THE LILLS MINIMALISM JOURNEY
We learned about dopamine in the brain and how sugar lights up the same part of the brain as cocaine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that assists in controlling the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. It’s built into everyone as a survival mechanism and it keeps animals and humans eating and on the hunt.
Materialism can also trigger dopamine in the brain. When we buy a pair of new shiny shoes, our pleasure centers go wild. When we get bored of the shoes and need something else to give us that good feeling, we go on the hunt for our next purchase. The tendency of this pattern, is to accumulate things, far beyond our needs.
Every day, we as a population are being moved by the things we see on television, in movies, in stores, online and on the street. We noticed we were working all of the time and that when we made money, we often spent it on things to make us feel better about our situation, to keep us going or to reward ourselves. This cycle was unhealthy and unfortunately, our behavior was enabled by almost everything and everyone we knew. If we were going to escape the mindless cycle of letting money and habits rule our life, we had to pull back, almost completely.
When we got married in 2010, we said goodbye to working nine to fivers and working separately. We started a design business, donated anything worth recycling and trashed the rest.
We purchased a pair of flip flops, pants and a shirt each and began our married life with nothing but the clothes on our backs. We said goodbye to television, watching movies, news, surfing the internet, listening to mainstream music, buying retail apparel and began honing our focus on the more important things in life…suddenly, we felt free.
For the first time together, we were completely lightweight and it’s as though all of the stress was lifted. Rather than being on the hunt for the next habitual purchase, we were now on the hunt to produce creative, satisfying work that would fill our voids and help spread our newfound knowledge. The illusion of what we thought our life should look like, completely changed. Less became so much more.
Without stuff, being mobile became our dream. We picked up a ’78 VW camper bus for $1,800 in 2013 and slowly worked on getting him ready for long distance travel. We kept our belongings to a minimum, continued to disengage from the media/social media and spent our time building our life and business from the ground up.
To this day, the less we have, the more important each item we choose to “own” becomes. Everything we have fits inside of our VW bus. We thrift for recycled clothing and when we’re done with a piece, we sell it, donate it or give it away.
Ultimately, minimalism has become a way of life for us and with very little, we have more than we could ask for. We are grateful and hope more people come to the same realization, so there can be less stuff, less fuss and more joy.
HOW TO GO MINIMAL
The first thing we’d recommend to anyone wanting to go minimal is to de-clutter and reorganize life. Start with going through every personal belonging and pick out the things that still have a purpose or use in your life. When you’re down to half the items you had before, repeat the process. Eliminate everything you can and push yourself to let go, so you can enjoy the results of breaking through.
Minimizing the objects we possess, cleans up the brain, clears the energy around us, allows us to make more mindful decisions, be more in-tune with our intuition and gives us the freedom to pursue our dreams.
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