I have been spending the month of June re-reading the book, Present Over Perfect. This was a book I read early on in my minimalist journey and is one I have been finding so much more peace with the second time around. In re-reading the words I can’t help but feel a little flutter in my stomach as I realized I have already put into practice many of the words and suggestions that the author Shauna Niequist shares. However, just like I seem to pick up a new joke whenever I watch The Office, even if I’ve seen the episode 15 times, I found myself hearing a new theme presented to me throughout this book and that theme was finding our soul in the midst of a busy, hustle-filled world.
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Go down the waterslide
Most days I am one of those people that other people seem to not really believe. People ask me all the time how I am so calm or so “Pooh like” referring to the book The Tao of Pooh, or like my sister recently said, “Buddah without the belly.”
I usually laugh comments like this off, however, when my family recently went to a hotel with a water slide, the first thing I did was go down the waterslide, while screaming and laughing the whole way.
After I splashed into the pool, letting my hair get wet and everything, I emerged from the water and made eye contact with another mom whose eyes almost seemed like they were sparkling just watching me behave like a kid — with my kids.
Before I knew it this mom had taken off her shirt revealing her bikini body and was going down the waterslide with her kids. In some way I felt like maybe I gave her permission…permission to be happy, to be joyful, to be a kid again. At least I’d like to think so.
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Finding our inner child
Why was this little moment between us mamas so magical? Well, because I think we detach from this inner guide, this light, this joy, this inner child and sometimes all we need is someone else to give us permission to let it out.
I have adapted so much to not caring what anyone else thinks, even if it means I look childish or silly and let me tell you I often have to stop and remind myself that I wasn’t always this way.
When I pause and remember who I was over a decade ago that woman seems so foreign to me. She was angry, hurt, bruised, and just constantly on the verge of eruption. (Probably because she stopped giving herself permission to laugh and be silly years before.)
Believe it or not, minimalism saved me from all of that. It helped me let go of who I thought I had to be so I could reconnect to the person I always was.
Minimalism and reconnecting to my inner child
Let’s be clear, when I say minimalism helped change me, I don’t mean that I just cleaned out my pantry and found myself being a whole new person.
It was a gradual letting go.
First I had to understand that my soul, that eternal being that I am – that is bigger than all of the STUFF I owned. My stuff quite literally meant nothing in the grand scheme of my life and what I was born to do. It doesn’t compare to the amazingness of any of us and yet for so long (and for so many of us) we pretend our stuff can somehow define or enhance who we are.
That’s why I started detaching and getting rid of stuff in a desperate attempt to find who I really was.
3 questions to use minimalism to locate a bigger part of you:
If you need a jumping off point to start finding that hidden inner child again, I’ve put together 3 simple questions that might help you.
What is that thing you want for your life that you keep doubting is possible?
This question is a lot more loaded than most people might thing. When I tell you to ask yourself what it is you want that you doubt is possible I do not mean things like, “I just want to be happy.” “I just want to be healthy.”
We all want that stuff.
These things are the bare minimum for what we want for our life.
What I’m referring to is that one thing that maybe instantly came to your head but you quickly brushed it off going, “No, that one’s too ridiculous…too out there…” That one. That’s the dream I’m talking about.
So what is it? What is that bid, audacious dream that you doubt is possible.
What if you just allowed yourself to sit in the emotions you feel when you think about that thing. What if you allowed yourself to even daydream that it was possible? I know it might not feel like it is, but what if you just humored me for a second and pretended.
How does that feel?
Now, if you’re still feeling filled with doubt about your ability to have this amazing thing or experience in your life, I want you to actively seek out people who have made it happen. I want you to Google people who are doing exactly what you want to do and I want you to find people who came from similar backgrounds as you too.
You might not believe it yet, but the more you fill your consciousness with thoughts like this, the more of a reality it will become.
What is the bare minimum required for you to achieve this?
Often times we over exaggerate just what it takes to accomplish this big, amazing dream of ours. We think it will take too much time, too much money. We are so quick to tell ourselves all of the reasons why it won’t work.
I’m going to challenge you today to make it as simple as possible, as minimalist as possible. What is the least amount of THINGS required to make this dream come true.
I didn’t say amount of money or time. I said what to do you need to make it possible?
- Plane ticket.
- Job experience.
Think bare minimum. What do you actually need.
Then look around you…what DON’T you need to live that life?
What isn’t necessary? Probably most things.
The more you can be willing to part with the things that are unnecessary for you to achieve the life of your dreams, the faster you will welcome in that life.
How do I keep this dream impossible?
Believe it or not we sabotage our own dreams all the time.
We spend all of our money.
We keep ourselves busy.
We do things that make us look noble but really distract us from acting on a bigger call.
If you have something bigger you are being called to and if you keep yourself slowed down and overwhelmed by caring about or managing too much, you are never going to get to where you want to go my friend.
What can you begin to let go of?
Should you be reading this and think to yourself, “It’s too late for me.” or “I’m too old.” I want you to consider this thought:
If you think it is too late, you’re wrong. If you think you’re too busy – you might be right now…what can you take off your plate?
My dad died at 43, my step dad died at 63 and I bet you know someone who died young too and you had this gut wrenching realization that they lost out on so much life – YOU HAVE THEIR YEARS!!! Those years they lost, those years they were robbed of that you cry over…LIVE FOR THEM. They would want you to. I want you to.
Fill your consciousness of only thoughts that your dream is possible. Follow others who have made it happen. Daydream. Read books that enhance your belief. You literally have nothing to lose.
And being willing to detach from your stuff…your literal baggage, can be the first step in helping you find the liberation to truly live.