The Conflict Within Me


There is a fight going on inside of me.

On the one hand, I am a minimalist, and I revel in keeping things simple, at the bare minimum, clean and sparse. This brings me immense joy and copious amounts of satisfaction. It gives me peace.

On the other hand, there is the part of me that lives in the real world, the real American world, if you will. This is the part of me that is constantly being bombarded with ads and jingles and flyers and billboards and images and words that promise me that I will finally be happy and everything will be perfect if I just buy Product X or Product Y or drink this beer or wear this cologne or drive this (very expensive and very fast) car. It’s amazing how, when your eyes have been opened to how marketing campaigns really work, you actually notice the sheer level of gimmickry that you’re being bombarded with on a regular basis. It’s truly amazing that we have any money left to pay our bills at the end of the month! No wonder when the month is over we’re left wondering where all the money went. This is the monthly curse of too many people.

Minimalism has tought me that I am not the sum of what I own (or owe, as is more often the case), and that my net worth as a person, as a human, comes from what is in my heart and mind. This is easy to understand in principle but sometimes hard to practice on a daily basis. Unless we’re in full-on alert mode (also knonwn as being MINDFUL), it will be very easy for us to fall prey to marketing ploys acting all around us. I am constantly trying to remember that I’m being led to believe someone else’s vision of what my life should be like and I must resist that every day. If I actually NEED an item, I will purchase that item, and if I want quality, I may pay a high(er) price for that item (minimalism is NOT frugality; we’ll discuss that in a later post) but it will be MY decision, my choice.

I guess that as a minimalist, I’m constantly thinking of ways to do more with less, to live a better life with the minimum amount of contraptions, and usually as a result, with the least amount of debt or waste. You can’t “un-learn” something once you’ve learned it. Ignorance is no longer bliss. I am on to those who would try to deceive me into giving in to their vision of happiness, always in exchange for my hard-earned money, of course. Once you know, you know. And you’re all the better for it.

Don’t let others tell you what to do. We stand for personal freedom and democracy in this country but all too often we are being enslaved by giant corporate interests that only want to take our money (in exchange for cheap trinkets that we don’t need), and our time (countless hours wasted in front of the TV being bombarded by ads telling us to buy even MORE cheap trinkets we don’t need). Do you want to go through life that way? There’s a better path. Trust me, it’s much better and it’s waiting for you.

Very soon I will be incorporating links on this blog to other blogs that will show you and inspire you to live a life of mindful purpose. These are people whose blogs I read on a regular basis and they have helped me grow as a minimalist and a mindful human being. I’m still learning, and learning is something we never stop doing, nor should we. We are all finding our way, but if we band together, we can make it. Keep visiting this blog and soon this info will be available for you.

Let’s continue on this journey together. I always like to say that we are all “perfectly flawed”, and I truly believe that to be a wonderful thing. Let’s celebrate our uniqueness, our beautiful humanity.

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11 thoughts on “The Conflict Within Me

  1. Well hi Rick. Francine (Miss Minimalist) sent over your link because I’m putting together a big list of minimalist bloggers (adding you to the list!).

    I’m with you on the quality over quantity thing. Since going minimalist a few years ago I shop only for things I really need. But when I do make a purchase I make sure it’s exactly what I want. Conscious consumerism!

    Perfectly flawed. I love it. Kind of wabi-sabi. 🙂

    Cheers,
    Tanja

    1. Hi Tanja! I feel so honored that you visited my blog and left such a nice comment. I’m very new at this (blogging and minimalism) and I’m still learning so much on a daily basis. Minimalism has helped me in so many ways, and I know I’m only scratching the surface of what is to come. I want to help others realize that this is a viable lifestyle choice, and hopefully by chronicling my own journey, I can be an inspiration to others. Thanks for including my blog in your list, and again, I’m so humbled and honored to be in such great company. Cheers!!!

  2. Rick,
    Aloha! I first found you when you “liked” a comment of mine on facebook, and then found you again in the comment section of Becoming Minimalist; thought I’d pop in and see what you’re up to! I like that you shared that minimalism has taught you that you are not the sum of what you own; that you are defined more by the content of your heart and mind…how true! I’m glad to have found your site, and tickled to see that Tanja has as well; its been a great week of connections and looks like your site is a great wrap up to my week’s discoveries! I look forward to connecting and checking out some of your other articles, we’re minimalists who blog about simpler living, slow travel and spreading aloha (changing the world via minimalism)feel free to stop by and connect with our readers :)Mahalo!

      1. Yes, that is definitely something I must do, and thanks for pointing that out. I’ll let you know when they’re ready so you can share with your community. I can’t wait!!!

    1. Hi Gena! Thank you for your kind and uplifting words! I’m so happy you discovered my humble site. As you can see, it’s practically new, as I just “discovered” minimalism a few months back and decided I had to tell the world about it! 🙂 I’ve become so disenchanted with the modern world and the constant race to out-do everybody else, and I never realized what I was doing until I discovered minimalism. It has helped me tremendously, and I know this is just the beginning. I can’t wait to dive in deeper and share my experiences on my blog. Again, thanks for stopping by and please come back often. I will visit your community very soon! 😀

  3. Glad to have found you at the beginning of your journey, if you haven’t found out yet Tanja at the minimalist packrat has a great boot camp for decluttering, that might be a great shot in the arm for you, it helped my husband & I so much to have other blogs to read, I have to update my blogroll again to reflect those that have been the most helpful to us. I followed you on twitter, if there is anything we can help you with or you need any encouragement in feel free to pop us off a connect form on our site and we’ll reply via email. We look forward to connecting!

    1. Thank you so much, Gena. Again, I’m so honored that you follow me and I would love to connect with you on a regular basis and learn from you. I will check out Tanja’s Boot Camp. I’m sure that’ll come in handy in my continuing quest to let go of stuff. This is such an exciting journey, isn’t it? 🙂

  4. I understand what you’re saying, Rick. And thanx for taking the step to make this blog and share your thoughts. We can all benefit from many voices. I, too, am a minimalist. And I too am not immune to things I “want” versus what I “need”. I don’t own much. No car, no home (I live with my wife, mother-in-law and brother-in-law). I have 3 surfboards, some clothes, one pair of running shoes and one pair of dress shoes (though I own no suit). I have no debt and am retired. Yet, I do enjoy cable TV, high speed internet and central heat and air. I also agree that there is a connection of peace within that comes from uncluttering our lives. And that our net worth comes from our “heart and mind”. Minimalism, and this heart/mind connection is part and parcel of enlightenment.

    1. Wow, Ricky, powerful words! Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I’m still learning so much about this lifestyle and how it can be applied to just about every aspect of our lives. Wants versus needs are constantly tugging at us, but it’s only because we’re mindful and alert, and we know that stuff is just stuff and can never make us happy, but we do need to have *some* things, LOL. And those things that we DO enjoy, must remain a part of our lives. Minimalism allows us to know the difference, and that is huge. Yes, we’re all on the path to enlightenment, and I feel so lucky to have people like you to guide me there. Thanks again!

  5. I’m a new reader and want to explore and learn on how to become a minimalist and thought ‘this would be an amazing great place to start. I can’t imagine that you are a new blogger! Way to go great stuff keep it up

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