Less, Plus More

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It’s Monday, and the words are few but the inspiration is high and these Paul Jung images are just hitting the right notes for me today. I know minimalism is trending high these days (thank goodness – simplicity is a serious ideal this lazy girl can get behind), but I’ve always wondered about the people that do it so well. Have they always been minimalists? Or are they just coming into their own, all the sudden, like when you first discover Nutella and you’re like, duh, Nutella? I’ve been craving this for years, I just didn’t know it.

I wonder. I don’t know why I wonder about this kind of thing, because surely there are more important things. But I don’t know, I’m riding the wave. Paul Jung just seems like a guy that’s always been this way, like he just sees the world like this, all white space and static and empty walls.

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Lea Babauta once wrote, “Simplicity boils down to two steps: Identify the essential. Eliminate the rest.” And as a thirty-something mother, I’ve got quite a bit of eliminating to do.

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There have been social media breaks and dietary limitations and long weekends filled with purging and donating, purging and donating. And then – boom – six months later, I’m back at square one in a cluttered chess game – a pawn in my own teetering balance board. It’s normal, I know, and there will always be more progress to be made: more items to give away, more space to create, more ideas to fill the empty, more adventures to replace the mundane.

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But minimalism isn’t about more. It’s about less. For me, that looks like a lot of different things: less complaining, less consuming, less second-guessing, less Yes’ing, less resenting, less worrying.

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And when I think about it this way, rather than it’s inverse, it seems easy enough, right? Less doesn’t have to be the opposite of more. Instead, it can simply be a starting point for something new entirely – the emptying of expectations and the welcoming of grace.

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Less expectations; more grace. Perhaps these are the only essentials we need to identify after all. The rest – it seems – can be eliminated.

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(I’ll purge to that.)

Image Credits: Paul Jung

  • So true and very well said, Erin. Thank you! This is exactly what I needed to hear today.

  • Less expectations, more grace. Deep inhale. Deeper exhale. I’m not sure if these brilliant men and women went at it, but Minimalism has evolved from aquaintance to trusted friend over the years. Thanks for this, Erin.

  • “less complaining, less consuming, less second-guessing, less Yes’ing, less resenting, less worrying.”

    Less heavy.
    More ease + grace.

    Le sigh. Big deep exhaling sigh.

    Thank you Erin! For helping me put more words to things I’m going through…and thank you Michelle, too. I have definitely been moving in this direction too “from acquaintance to trusted friend”.

  • Minimalism is so central for our lives. With more and more options in modern life, we risk losing sight of the essential. Less should be our new paradigm.

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