How to Get Your Minimalist Groove On

by Tammy Strobel on June 29, 2010

Editors note: This is a guest post from Katie Tallo of Momentum Gathering.

I don’t consider myself a minimalist. I own way more than 50 things. I drive a car. I have a swimming pool. I don’t grow my own vegetables. So what am I doing hanging out with Tammy?

Simply put, she knows her shit. I’ve learned a lot from this Rowdy Kitten. She’s opened my eyes to the fact that I can’t ignore certain moral imperatives any longer. I can either plead ignorance, feign innocence, cuddle up to indifference, or I can evolve. I choose to evolve.

I’m ready to step up and step outside my comfort zone. I’m ready to stop whining and start caring more. I’m ready to stop making excuses, stop passing the buck, and stop consuming whatever the f#*k I want, like a spoiled child. I’m ready to start taking responsibility and start participating in my world actively, consciously, and immediately.

That’s right. I am a minimalist-in-the-making. I may not have it all figured out and maybe I never will, but I know that it starts with simplicity. I blog about momentum and the more I sift through its meaning, the more I realize that momentum is all about embracing simplicity. In fact, I’ve discovered that momentum thrives on simple actions. But, how does a minimalist-in-the-making begin?

How do I get my minimalist groove on?

Here are 10 things I already do and can build upon:

  1. Drive a compact car.
  2. Walk daily down to the local, organic market to buy my groceries.
  3. Don’t eat meat, milk or eggs and very little cheese.
  4. Use my green, blue and black bins to recycle.
  5. Use salt in my pool.
  6. Spend weekends in the backyard instead of cottage commuting.
  7. Don’t take planes very often.
  8. Use vinegar to clean.
  9. Avoid malls, especially at Christmas.
  10. Work mostly from home.

Here are 10 things I intend to do to continue my evolution:

  1. Start thinking abundance. Minimalism doesn’t have to be about giving up, lack, losing out, pulling back, or slowing down. There is velocity, power and abundance in lightening your load. You stop tripping over things and you create space for what really matters.
  2. Ease into it. I will pare down in a slow, organized way. Starting with looking at what I don’t need and finding simple ways to move these things out of my life.
  3. Do it my way. There’s loads of advice about how to minimize, downsize, de-clutter and simplify your life, but I have to come up with a way that suits my pace, my needs, my energy level, my inner knowing and my family. It can’t be forced or fake.
  4. Love it. I’m going to embrace my newbie minimalist spirit in large and small ways. I’m going to congratulate myself every time I choose to walk, choose to not buy something or choose to keep things simple. I’m going to make sure this is a fun evolution for everyone around me and for my spirit.
  5. Shake things up. Yes, I am going to shake things up, piss a few people off, offend, discuss, debate and get engaged because it’s worth it. Someone will always be offended by difference. So be it. I will do what is right for me and I won’t worry about who is shaken or threatened.
  6. Learn and explore. I’m going to be open to new ideas and explore the growing movement that is minimalism. I’m going to learn from the Tammy’s of the world, take in what they know and incorporate into my life what resonates most.
  7. Leave my wants on the shelf. I’m going to weigh out each and every purchase or moment of consumption as either a need or want, and then I’m going to actually do something about what I feel in my heart, instead of just buying it anyway.
  8. Live by example. I’m not going to preach and be a raving born-again minimalist. I’m just going to quietly (unless asked or I feel like doing #5) make changes in my life. I can do that simply and profoundly, and it’s nobody’s business.
  9. Keep it simple. There won’t be to-do lists and deadlines. Just ideas put into action on a daily basis and a commitment to be more mindful of my footprint, my impact and my choices.
  10. Believe in life and love. Embrace what my father-in-law calls “those weirdo hippie environmentalists” who choose to care about their planet and humanity, who voice their opinions, and who get out on their bikes and make waves that spread across their communities and their world.

Hopefully, soon I will be able to call myself a minimalist. It took me years to call myself an artist or even a writer, so it might take years for this new label. But, it really doesn’t matter because it is just a label. It is in the doing that I will truly get my minimalist groove on.

How do you get your minimalist groove on? If you don’t, how do you think you could begin?

Katie Tallo is a writer, director, motivator, runner, vegetarian and mother who writes a blog called Momentum Gathering that encourages simple, positive action for joyful life change.

****

Previous post:

Next post: