On my path to simple, conscious living I found myself wanting to lighten the load I was carrying in all areas of my life. From the linen cupboard and wardrobe to the craft room and my handbag, slowly I've been make conscious decisions about the things that travel with us from place to place.
Three moves in two years has taught me a whole lot. It's taught me resilience, that I am not my belongings and it's taught me that home is not about the stuff that fills a space, but the love, the people, the intention and energy under that roof, wherever it is. Once I thought you needed lots of nice 'things' to make a home feel loved. Now I'm learning that with just a little creativity, the essentials, plants, animals and loved ones, any place can be home for us. So when the day comes for us to move on from the space, I know I can leave with a happy, peaceful heart, without the burden of packing up a bunch of things we don't really need.
This same philosophy has begun to transcend into to other parts of my life too. Now I find myself happiest when I travel as light as I can. You see once I carried bags full of stuff. Truly, you can even see them in old blog posts. I'm not even sure why I felt the need to fill my bag up, it was as if I was trying to prove something to myself, perhaps how busy I was, or felt I needed to be. I look back now and have to giggle, I just feel so silly.
Handbags really are fascinating though, they say a lot about a person's life. After we lost Cohen, I didn't leave the house for months, so the handbag I was using up until that day, just sat on my desk, like a time capsule of a previous life. Once we had moved and I was getting back into every day life, I just couldn't bring myself to even open that handbag and to be honest, still haven't really been through it. I decided the day we moved to Queensland, I decided I just had to start over. To travel light, without all the extra baggage I had weighing me down, physically and mentally.
So these days, I always carry a small bag, with the bare essentials. Even the nappy bag is as minimal as possible and you know what, it just makes me feel so much lighter. Not only am I not dragging around half the house, I know where things are, I have what we need and if it's not in there, then we do without. It might sound simple, but I'm just beginning to realise, how much of an impact it's having on my every day. Without that burden and excess on my shoulders, I'm finding myself more calm, more free and most importantly, more happy.
I look forward to applying this minimal philosophy when packing for our first holiday as a family over Christmas. I'll let you know how it goes!
What's your handbag philosophy? Do you find yourself wanting to travel light?
I'd love to hear your family travel tips too. What's essential? What can I leave at home?
Last week was just one of those weeks. One of those hot, heavy, cranky weeks, when midsummer arrives before its invited. One of those teething, sore ears, not a whole lot of sleeping weeks. One of those lots of extra cuddles and nurturing all round kind of weeks. I'm so grateful we are through to the other side, that Mercury has finished it's crazy retrograde and that it's the start of of something brand new and wonderful. Reflecting on the week that was, I'm reminded that it's the simple soul nourishing moments that really see you through.
A spot of Sunday experimental beetroot brownie baking.
Finally heading outdoors in those moments before sunset to enjoy the delicious warmth of the day.
A very happy brown paper package of inspiring craft eco friendly craft supplies and that moment of quiet to quickly crochet a few stitches.
Gathering vegetables from the garden to make our weekly broth.
Cheeky smiles and sweet giggles after a long and happy nap time.
Organic berry, banana and chia smoothies.. with extra cinnamon.
And the delightful scent of lavender oil in Epsom salt baths, to help bring restful nights and sweet dreams.
Wishing you a beautiful week, magical, productive days, and restful dreamy nights.
It's been two years this month since we packed up our old life, from the first home we owned, put everything into storage and took off in our little caravan in search of new beginnings. I vividly remember packing those boxes, filled with grief, with burden and frustration. How did I let my possessions overwhelm me? How did I lose my way and forget what was really important. The weight of our stuff was stifling and as we scrabbled to throw the last boxes onto the truck, I remember thinking I'd be happy never to see any of it again.
Two years and three moves later, life is lighter, easier and so much happier. It's taken a complete paradigm shift and a conscious decision to do things differently and bit by bit we've begun to change the way we see our possessions.
Getting started was fun and so liberating, but as we got done past the paper back novels and extra (and by that I mean way too much) crockery, things started to get tricky. Nostalgia begins to kick in, family heirlooms are not so easy to let go of and my sentimental nature sometimes get the better of me. Day by day though, I'm learning, that moments are collected and kept precious in the soul, not in useless day to day objects.
Sticking to our living with less mantra has been a fascinating and at times challenging experience. The whole process is raising big ideas, posing important ethical and environmental questions and teaching me so many big lessons, most poignantly, that I am 'not the sum of my possessions', as Erin so beautifully put it in her recent blog post.
So week by week we try to tread a bit more lightly, choose a bit more carefully and most importantly make the decision to say no to more stuff. The dining chairs can be mended, the vacuum cleaner really is ok and although a new yoga mat would be lovely, the one I have is perfectly imperfect.
We are by no means total minimalists and I'm not sure we ever will be. We still have boxes in the garage that need sorting and wardrobes that are ready for another clean out, but we are getting there and it's that weekly process that continues to inspire our new lighter way of living.
PS. There are plenty of wonderful resources to create a happy, minimalist life. One I've found really inspiring is The Minimalists. They post great daily links on Facebook and have so much useful information on their website. I'd love to hear about any resources you've found inspiring too.