My Minimalist ‘Aha!’ Moment

It’s not that I woke up one day and suddenly decided to embrace the minimalist lifestyle. No, the dye was cast after the innocuous, or so we thought, decision to watch a documentary on the local on-demand-channel. It was a Friday night, January 15, 2010 to be exact, and we chose to view “Food, Inc.”, a movie we knew nothing about.

So we watched. Having been a vegetarian for over thirty years, I went into the viewing fairly confident that the movie would probably affirm my choices and perhaps I would come away with a new insight or two. Oh, such sweet, simple naivete!

My husband observed the movie from a somewhat detached vantage point while I watched with increasing horror and dismay.

By the end of those 93 minutes, I knew I could not live in denial anymore. It was impossible “unknow” what I had learned. Like a cosmic light switch flipping in my awareness, I knew I had to make some changes so that I could live with integrity in my own skin. I adopted a vegan diet and a leather-free life-style then and there.
The next day, I went to my closet and began pulling things out.

Good-bye salmon-colored designer sandals with the clear, round Lucite-bubble heel; good-bye taupe knee-high, western-style boots; good-bye aqua-hued, faux-crocodile mules; good-bye woven red leather chunk-heel sandals; good-bye black mary-jane flats with the leather flower accent on the ankle strap purchased at a summer sale in Paris. Good-bye dark chocolate brown boots with the ultra-pointy toe.

Good-bye cherry-red leather gloves lined with gray rabbit fur.

Good-bye numerous leather coats and suede jackets and elegant handbags and turquoise padded opera-style wallet that snapped shut with a reassuring ‘click.’

Bye-bye Leather

It was with a mixture of relief (mostly) and regret (a twinge, but hey, some of these items were kinda chic) that I donated all of these items to Dress for Success, a nonprofit group which provides professional clothing to help low-income women successfully enter the workforce. It took more than one trip.

Afterward, as I glanced in my closet, I felt a sense of peace. The first round of purging had left a little bit of space between my hangers and I could actually see where the back walls met the floor.

And I knew that my work had just begun.

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10 Responses to My Minimalist ‘Aha!’ Moment

  1. Pingback:Seeing the Clutter of our Home as if for the First Time | elegant simple life

  2. I bet this was a big step for you. It’s impressive how this movie has influenced and touched you deep in your heart. You’ve described it good saying “Afterward, as I glanced in my closet, I felt a sense of peace.” – That’s one of the greatest rewards you get being a minimalist. The peace and clarity you gain afterwards is something, you can’t imagine BEFORE. You need to experience it.

    All minimalism provides you with more awareness, which leads to more apprectiation of the present moment. And that leads to happiness. 🙂

  3. I bet this was a big step for you. It’s impressive how this movie has influenced and touched you deep in your heart. You’ve described it good saying “Afterward, as I glanced in my closet, I felt a sense of peace.” – That’s one of the greatest rewards you get being a minimalist. The peace and clarity you gain afterwards is something, you can’t imagine BEFORE. You need to experience it.

    All minimalism provides you with more awareness, which leads to more apprectiation of the present moment. And that leads to happiness. 🙂

  4. Avatar christianna
    christianna says:

    Michael, thank you for your thoughtful comments. And I agree with the connection you draw between minimalism, present-moment awareness, and happiness. They are very inter-linked.

    Christianna

  5. Avatar christianna
    christianna says:

    Michael, thank you for your thoughtful comments. And I agree with the connection you draw between minimalism, present-moment awareness, and happiness. They are very inter-linked.

    Christianna

  6. All I can say is, I wish I was your size.

  7. All I can say is, I wish I was your size.

  8. Avatar christianna
    christianna says:

    Karen,
    Smiles 🙂

  9. Avatar christianna
    christianna says:

    Karen,
    Smiles 🙂

  10. Pingback:Veganism versus Minimalism