Saturday, February 8, 2014

< = >

Which means, less equals more.

Is minimalism going mainstream? I hope so. I slid into minimalism 8 or so years ago, but it was always lurking in my background. When I lived in Manhattan I used to pride myself on the fact that I could move all of my possessions to a new apartment by myself, with a rented van.

The success of websites like Zenhabits, and the The Minimalists is proof of a growing movement towards minimalism. I find it interesting. I don't read the New York Times, or watch tv, so I wonder if minimalism is showing up in mainstream media? Or is it just that I am seeing it more because I want to see it more - like when you learn a new word, and then hear the word all the time.

I think one of the reasons I like Kayaking, and in particular kayak expeditioning, is because of the minimalist aspects. Everything I need for a month will fit in two duffel bags. Everything. Food, fuel. Clothes. Everything. It is liberating.

In my non-kayaking life I am pretty strict with myself. Before I buy something I generally think, "do I need this?" And if I do buy something, something else is generally disposed of (disposed doesn't always mean thrown in the garbage). One in, one out. When I get stressed I purge things. I frequently am handing things to people that I think they may like. I tend to give books to people. I tend to offer things out in conversation, "hey, I am never going to use this, would you?"

When I do acquire things I generally get things I need, versus want. I want a Phantom quad copter to shoot video with. But I will never need one. There are a couple of pieces of gear I need for the next Alaska trip. I need a new sleeping pad. I already know who my old one will go to.

I hope minimalism is going mainstream. I hope that people are starting to recognize the benefits of a simpler life. I am also starting to think that mindfulness - which I think is just a non-religous way, or non new agey way to say Buddhism/meditation - is going mainstream, and a big part of it is the cover of Time Magazine. But I am also seeing many online sources talking about the benefits of meditation. Multi-tasking is bad. It has been proven time and again. Focus on one thing, like your forward stroke. or eating. But it is interesting to see these things get more popular and where they may go.

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