In my quest for less clutter and more freedom, I decided to make steps towards a more minimalist lifestyle. It made sense; what I was seeking in my day to day life was more “experiences” and less “stuff”.
So I started selling and donating what I saw I could live without. Goodbye television, farewell excess wardrobe, adiós bulky desktop computer. I tossed and purged until I finally hit my stopping point. To become a true “minimalist” I felt that there were still a lot of items that had to go.
But the possessions I was left with, I realized, were ones that were of true value and importance to me. I felt that by discarding these remaining items I would be lacking. These were also items that I had put a lot of thought and research into before deciding to purchase them. There were also a few things I may have been a bit sentimental about as well. That’s when I realized I am not so much an “extreme” minimalist as I had thought, but more so a conscious consumer.
So What is the Difference?
In making the choice to become a minimalist, I started researching other blogs as well as reading books on the topic. What I took away was that a minimalist should basically be able to live out of a suitcase! Now that would be to the “extreme” of course, but their focus is to delete possessions and declutter their life, which allows them more freedom.
To an extent I lined up with all of their values, but I hit a point where I felt like I was sacrificing a certain level of my quality of life for the sake of freedom and adventure. I realized I could find the freedom I was looking for simply by being mindful and grateful for what possessions I currently had and allowed in my life.
The Conscious Consumer
So my take on the conscious consumer? They are mindful! They are very aware of their purchases, and make them with intent and purpose. They do research on their prospective product or consumer good. They are content with what the currently have, and take responsibility in making the choice to purchase items rather than allowing alluring marketing to make the choice for them. They focus on filtering items in and out of their life through mindfulness, and not tossing everything out to the curb!
Which One Is Better?
Okay, so which option is right for you? Where are you at? Where are you trying to end up? My advise would be to take a look at what your goals are right now. If you are looking for long term travel and ultimate freedom at this time in your life then minimalism might be right for you! The great thing about pursuing this lifestyle is that it doesn’t have to be a one size fits all.
If our ultimate goal is happiness and fulfillment, then the important thing is that we are looking in the right places.
I know that empty mindless consuming can be just as sad as having nothing at all.
So whether you chose to live happily with very few possessions or you chose to fill your home with lots of things you love and cherish, the important thing is that you made the choice.
Consciously. Mindfully. With intention and gratitude.