⇑ “Starve your distractions,
feed your focus.” ⇓
Yesterday afternoon, Kayla, Benson, and I loaded up in the car for a quick trip to the North Carolina High Country. Though the escape would last only a few hours, it was worth every minute of the winding drive.
As we’ve gotten older (and perhaps, hopefully, a bit wiser), Kayla and I have started to contemplate what it is that brings us joy.
We’ve found that it’s eerily easy to begin living a life that society tells us is worthy; a life that we never consciously choose for ourselves. To step back and question whether or not that path is growing us, fulfilling us, and providing us with nourishment for our journeys requires active reflection.
After countless evenings at the dinner table, talking and wondering, we realized that what we want is to simplify. We want to spend time with each other, with our friends and our family, and truly engage. We want to make an effort to put our phones down when we’re in the company of humans, to save the Instagrams for later, and to really, deeply experience the beautiful moments that we’re so ready to share with the rest of the world.
This concept of simplifying is one that has made quite an impact on us. I have always had an aversion to clutter and I’ve never been a senseless spender. I like to save my money for items that I’ve tried to do without, that I have then throughly researched, and have hand-picked, based on both reviews and price. I’ve mentioned before that I have also become markedly less sentimental over the years, in terms of things. I treasure connection, happiness, and the tribe of lovely souls who I am fortunate to know. I can take or leave possessions. Even so, I had never explored the idea of “minimalism.”
One Saturday while Kayla was at work, I was scrolling the documentary section of Netflix and happened across a film called ‘Minimalism: A Documentary About The Important Things.’ I love documentaries, but one thing I have had to accept is that they rarely delve into worlds of sunshine. That being the case, I was immediately intrigued by this title. I’d like to spend some time learning about the important things. Who wouldn’t?
Approximately two hours passed. By the time the final credits rolled, I honestly felt that I had stumbled upon answers that I didn’t even realize I had been seeking. I was so moved by these film makers and their stories that I played the documentary again when Kayla arrived home. I was worried that she might think the whole concept was a little… well, out there. But she didn’t. In fact, she was so moved by the insights of these minimalists that we stayed up for hours into the night, discussing them.
Since then, we’ve started on the project of minimizing our existence. It’s true that we do already live in a one-bedroom loft, so we don’t have as far to go as some might, but it has been extensive nonetheless. Already, we’ve given ten bags of items to Goodwill, and we’re not done yet. Additionally, there have been mountains of papers to shred and, frankly, some things that we’ve had to toss out because they’re unusable and unrecyclable. That part has been slightly cringe inducing, because it’s served to amplify our compulsive consuming habits.
No, we won’t be paring down our belongings to the point where we’re sleeping on straw mats on the floor and sharing a coffee mug. We appreciate comfort. We have every intention of holding onto the things that add value to our lives. Our small library of books is intact, my handbags are mostly untouched, and Kayla’s elaborate hat collection has decidedly survived the cut. But items we don’t use, duplicates, or things that we don’t enjoy are being passed onto new owners, and replaced with a fresh mindset.
Our home feels more spacious and peaceful. It’s a relief to have what we need and to know precisely where it’s all located. We have sincerely embarked on a mission to create more from less.
So, this weekend, we honored our new purpose. We strode away from the hectic everyday and into a dark, cozy wood. We proceeded up a rocky incline and we arrived at a breathtaking view. We silenced our phones in order to hear the sounds of nature and of our own heartbeats. We stilled our minds and focused on the power of our own intentionality. We left only footprints and gathered only memories, just as we now hope to do everywhere we go.
click any photo to enlarge/scroll
xo Faith (and Kayla + Benson)
P.S. Please do consider watching ‘Minimalism: A Documentary About The Important Things,’ available on Netflix. The link provided earlier in this post will take you to the film’s official website, where you can find information and view a trailer. I anticipate that it will have a continued impact on my thinking/writing.