So, what’s the difference between intentional and minimal?
There both the same, right?
The Minimalist’s define minimalism as, “ Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.”
The title really tells you everything you need to know about this concept. Live with intention. Be conscious in your life choices. If you want to find out more, this post from Tiffany at No Ordinary Homestead sums it up well.
During the concept of Slowly Lived I explored many blogs across the world who share their story of living minimally and intentional living and to be fair there seemed a lot of cross over between the two concepts.
There are of course your hardcore minimalists and those who are trying to achieve zero waste. In theory, these would both be amazing things to achieve. Yet I know that in reality, we as a family would never be able to live this way.
Does that mean we’ve failed before we’ve started?
I don’t think so.
Minimalism and intentional living do go hand in hand. When you live with an intentional mindset, you are making conscious choices about how you are living. This, in turn, will introduce an aspect of minimalism into your life.
I was out shopping yesterday. I wanted to buy some succulents and cacti to add to some yunomi’s my husband had hand thrown but didn’t think they were good enough to sell. Rather than simply throwing them away as we would have done a couple of months ago, I knew they’d make great planters for my little office. Whilst browsing the isles I saw many things that I thought would be nice to add to our home yet something was holding me back, like always, from buying them.
No, it wasn’t the price! It was this little thought that kept popping into my head,
“Will it add anything to my life?”
Yes it would look nice on a shelf, but I have lots of bits and pieces on my shelves that look nice, some have sentimental meaning but what if everything was destroyed for some reason, would I miss it?
Obviously, the items which the children or family have made or given are what would yet we still clutter up our homes with other pieces that in reality probably don’t add anything to our lives.
I totally get that people will disagree with me, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I have come to realise that I have been living intentionally for many years without knowing.
There is one area that I haven’t been though, that’s with the children. They have more stuff than they could ever need. I think this is mainly down to the fact I have in the past thought that by letting them have some of what they wanted would make up for the failings I felt as a parent.
Giving them stuff would make up for the fact that they don’t go abroad each year for a holiday. Buying the latest must have item because I felt guilty for working when they were on holiday.
It turned into a vicious cycle that has continued for far too long and has meant their bedrooms look overstuffed and unrelaxing, not a healthy place to chill.
Although I will never be a minimalist who lives with ten items, I do want to minimalise the things we own and the things we need. Changing the way we think about the items we live alongside not only has an impact on the environment ( less landfill, less manufacturing, etc.) but it also has an impact on our own wellbeing. Less clutter usually means a clearer mind and less stress trying to find the things you want or need.
My journey to intentional living is starting now and I understand that part of that will involve minimalism, but minimalism within reason.