Boundaries and Living Bigger

I finished Brene Brown’s audio book yesterday, Rising Strong as a spiritual practice. I would encourage everyone to read/listen to it, its amazing! I am integrating the new information and probaboy will for awhile yet. BB’s definition of boundaries as stated in the book is “What is ok and what is not ok” by and far the best definition I have ever heard!

But another quote she had on Living Big as she called it was the following: “What boundaries do I need to put in place so I can work from a place of integrity and extend the most generous of interpretations of the intentions, actions, and words of others”?

She also said this: The trick to staying out of resentment is to maintain better boundaries. I believe this is my interpretation of what she said but its possible it was a direct quote. I took notes.

I encourage you to read the book Rising Strong as a Spiritual Practice, I can’t say enough good about it.

How does this pertain to Minimalism? How does this pertain to Slow Minimalism?

Well as the Buddhists say….everything is practice.

Minimalism is a practice. It can be or become a spiritual practice of simplicity or austerity. But it is something most of us must consciously practice on a daily basis. We have to become mindful about what we purchase, and what goes out of our homes. Minimalism just like any skill gets better the more you practice.

So go easy on yourself, forgive yourself, and when you fall down, get back up again. Its not the falling that is the problem it is when we don’t get back up that is.

Have a Happy Week,

Rise again, stronger,

The Slow Minimalist,

Riley

Give Yourself Permission

This week I’m listening to Brene Brown’s audiobook Rising Strong.  It’s good.  So good I had to slow down so I could digest it more slowly.  Today she talked about giving yourself permission.  Actually writing a note to your self for whatever permission you need.  I did it.  She says that she does this with her staff all the time now and herself.  She has post it notes everywhere, falling out of pockets in her car…well that is my interpretation of what she said…that she has so many notes because she gives herself permission all the time now.

This may sound odd, funny or too woo-woo for you but it is surprisingly liberating.  I say, give yourself permission for…letting go of some clothing that you never wore and that still has price tags on it.  Give yourself permission to not be done downsizing in thirty days.  Give yourself permission to get rid of as much as you want to, maybe everything, its ok.  Give yourself permission to be a slow minimalist, doing what you can, when you can.

Giving, is good.  Give to yourself.  Give yourself permission.  Start a practice of it today, try it for yourself, and if you need it, I’m giving you permission.

Cheers,

Riley

 

Menopause and Spoon Theory

Good Morning all!

My mother does not talk about her experience aging.  So when I was approaching thirty I asked my career mentor about menopause and her experiences with it so far.  She was approaching her late forties and was in peri-menopause.  We had conversations about it, more than I ever had with family, and she gave me some advice.

She said, the thing about transitioning into menopause is that you have only so much energy and you have to get really clear about what you want to devote your time to because you require so much more rest at this point in your life.  You don’t have the unlimited source of time/energy to do everything you want to do, there is brain fog and forgetfulness, and just plain tiredness.  Use your energy wisely.

I was young, I was like aww, naw, that’s not gonna happen to me!  But I remembered her advice and I held onto it like a gem, tucked away in my mind.

Now I know for certain, that she was indeed speaking the truth.  I don’t like it, but I am finding my energy levels are quite low after reaching menopause, some days are great, others I struggle to keep my eyes open at work.  Along with hobbies I enjoy, playing music, going to club meetings, wanting to exercise but needing to write…its tough.

So, sometimes we have to take things slowly…

I want to draw your attention to an example that I think can apply to menopause, with respect, Spoon Theory.  A friend mentioned it this past week and it’s quite interesting and illustrates the idea of dwindling resources extremely well.  I would respectfully like to co-opt this idea for menopause ( I will also mention that I have been diagnosed ADHD, and with an anxiety disorder so I feel that this theory is useful for menopause as well as for chronic illnesses, etc)

https://butyoudontlooksick.com/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/

Christine’s work speaks for herself and the article is not only touchingly poignant is feels useful in describing the need for clarity in what we put our energy and time to when we have little of both.

Ultimately, it is a deep practice into daily mindfulness.  I would challenge you to read up on spoon theory and consider what you have spoons for in your life.  I will say that the less you own, the less owns you and the to me that is one more spoon I can spend on something I want/need to do.

Cheers,

Riley

The Slow Minimalist

Self-Care and Minimalism

Sunday is my laundry day.  Since I live in an apartment with no laundry facilities, this is what works for me.  I take a weeks worth of laundry and a current read, book or magazine, some tunes then I  spend about an hour at the laundry mat.  I fold my clothes there as well, because they tend to get wrinkled if I don’t or I never fold them.

Since I minimized my wardrobe, I pretty much have a ‘uniform’.  I do this so I can wash all my clothes in cold, I have less decisions to make and to simplify my life, frankly its just so much easier.  Black T-shirt, black jeans, black socks, black sweater, occasionally I wear a hat to spice it up, or a printed Tee if I’m feeling it.  My wardrobe is a work in progress, finding out what works, what doesn’t, getting rid of T-shirts that are stained or have holes.

All of the above things are typical minimalist things.  Capsule wardrobe, owning less and using community items like a washer and dryer, the minimalist ‘uniform’, lessening the amount of decisions you make in a day.  But these things are also a form of Self-Care.

I do all these things for two reasons one, I want to simplify my life on a day-to-day basis so I can spend my time and energy on the things I value and two, because I care for myself and all these things are how I show myself I care.

As a society and culture, we like to show that we care for others.  But really how do we care for ourselves in a healthy way?  Well how I do it is, I wash my clothes, I work on having less so I have less I am beholden to, I take care of what I have, I respect my things and myself by taking good care of all I own.  But I also continue to own less so I am more able to take care of what I own and then I can buy better quality items because I am purchasing less.

I think it is important to recognize that even a small thing like folding the laundry is actually self-care, because it is something done intentionally for our betterment.

How do you show yourself, in everyday ways, that you care?  Can you get better?  How?  Can minimalism help you take better care of yourself?  Is it taking a walk, folding your clothes, making a lunch to take to work, or is it minimizing your closet?  Or is it cutting out social media so you can…write, create, draw, dance or some other thing that only you can do for this world?  We need everybody creating and using their voice!

Practice some self-care today!

Cheers,  Riley

 

 

Minimalism, Amanda Palmer, and Art

Amanda Palmer has a mantra “Make Art Everyday”.

On her new album There will be no Intermission and there is a song about stuff called The Thing about Things.  Listen to it.  Think about it.  It challenges the valuation that we give to ‘things’ especially things that come from people and how our internal narrative about a thing can get really skewed and mean something it was never supposed to mean.

But I want to draw your attention to a line in the song:

“I can carry everything I need in one collapsible suitcase”

The times I owned the least, I am the most productive creatively.

So how do we incorporate mantras in our lives?  We need to make room, mental and emotional room.  We need energy to put into it.  Our things can be a drain on our energy reserves.

When we spend all our time ie. life ie. energy working a 40-60 hour work week its hard to create unless it’s the kind of job you can leave at work and is not too physically/mentally draining .

You only have this life.

What will you do with it?

The practice of art and living a creative life requires energy, time and space.

If you want to live a creative life you need to make room for it.

Pick a mantra.  Practice, practice, practice. Figure out what things get in the way.  Be brave and clear out the mental/physical clutter that prevent you from doing the thing you have always wanted to do.  Those internal stories you tell yourself , “I am a painter” or “I am a writer” or “I am a creator” clear out the obstacles that keep you from the realization of your aspirations.  I promise its worth it!  I promise you will be happier!  It will be hard work, there will be days of drudgery even with art, but we need all of you creating what you and only you can create.  The world is too full of hate and violence.

Make art because creating things is love in action, self-love and love to the world.  Love yourself today and make something only you can today.  It doesn’t matter what it looks like, just do it!  The world needs you doing only what you can do!

Happy creating,

Riley

 

Distractions

Distraction is a negative feedback loop.

More distractions, less time to think, ponder, daydream.

Do we place more distractions in our life to avoid thinking?

Tv is a distraction, purchasing can be a distraction even a hobby for some.

Pain is a distraction.

Spend some time today thinking about the distractions in your life.  Can you remove one or two?  What would that look like?  Would that open enough space in your life for something you have been wanting to do or take on?

When we remove physical things, we open the door for more mental space and allow for the things we value and want to enter into our lives.  If we have too many things then there is no room for things to come into our lives.  What do you want in your life?  Can you make room for it?  Do you need to jettison something to do this?

Good luck,

The Slow Minimalist

Love and Intention

Hello there,

Thank you for joining me today!  I’m a bit distracted today due to a Kickstarter Campaign that is going to blow up the internet I think in the next few days/weeks.  So to me Minimalism is a tool to use to get to the life I want to live.  To bring in the things that I value, and not get distracted by things that don’t bring value to my life.  This means physical things but also mental things like space/peace/contentment and it allows me to bring in things that are important to me.

So the Kickstarter Campaign is for an animated special based on a Dungeons & Dragons show on Twitch.tv called Critical Role.  The starting goal for the Kickstarter was $750,000…this morning it hovers at $4 million.    I can’t think of a better way to explain love on the internet than this…a bunch of friend voice actors got together for a birthday of one of the guys for a one shot several years ago and its been streaming for at least three years on twitch.  They share their love of D&D and they have been super amazing there is such a #crittercommunity out there that is all about the LOVE! It’s one of the best all around stories on the internet.  Well after all the love they have put out over the years they started the Kickstarter yesterday and now the critters are loving them back!

A few years ago when I watched Critical Role I was in a rough place.  I was high off graduating Massage School and working on getting my certificate when within weeks I fell and broke my wrist…I ended up being in a cast for three months, and then PT after into the new year.  It was a tough time, I had to quit my manual labor job.  I almost got thrown out of where I lived.  With lots of time on my hands my best friend told me about Critical Role and I started watching on YouTube.  About the time my wrist had healed, I was caught up with about 68 episodes and I was hooked!  These folks saved my psyche, when I was out of work, and didn’t know how to pay the bills, if my wrist would heal or not, if I could ever massage again… all these questions ran around my head, but so did Vox Machina (The name of their adventuring party for campaign one).  It was my salvation for this time, and I am forever grateful.

This is one in thousands of stories about critters being touched by this wonderful, amazing, talented group of individuals and I think it’s because they love each other and us and we love them back.

Since reaching a good stage in my minimalist journey I am able to help with the Kickstarter campaign for this fine group of individuals.  It is a pleasure to be part of art and creation, even when it’s not mine art.  That is community, and that is love.  Before really getting serious into minimalism I don’t see how I could have contributed at all because I spent too much money on things.  Now I am practicing using my money more intentionally, this is what minimalism has brought into my life, and I’m grateful because now I can participate within a community based on fun, and love.

If you want to see history made on the internet go check out this link https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/criticalrole/critical-role-the-legend-of-vox-machina-animated-s

May your journey to minimalism enable you to participate in the community you want to support with the gifts that you have to give!

Cheers,

Riley