Although I have been living a mostly intentional lifestyle for some time now, until recently I have been very hesitant to associate myself with “minimalism.” Somewhere along my journey I watched the minimalist documentary on Netflix. Which lead me to write a piece for Bold Latina on how there is no freedom in minimalism for the poor. I now completely disagree with what I wrote HOWEVER that is not to say I now love that documentary.
(This is how I feel about minimalism these days – not to be confused with how I feel about that documentary)
Here is the thing minimalism is about freedom, but it’s not solely about the freedom from things, or even debt – it’s about freedom from all unnecessary things in our lives. Minimalism is about living intentionally and in alignment with our values – rather that be eating healthy, living small, consuming less, toxin free living, whatever it may be that counter acts the current system which seeks to imprisons us.
Living intentionally for my family means consuming less but it also includes activism around i.e racial economic inequality, migrant rights, higher wages, etc. We are seeking a means to feel free but we understand that freedom is communal so as we fight for ourselves we also fight for others.
Here is how minimalism plays out in our lives:
Intentional consumers –
I hate clutter. so I go through our house every couple of months and get rid of things. To be honest I’m still pairing down from the time in our lives when we were over consuming. I aim to only own what we absolutely love. I aim to only buy what we absolutely love. Which is difficult because when I go to target I have to remind myself why I do not need everything.
For this reason, I avoid shopping as often as I can. Because for me temptation is real and I want to be intentional with what I bring into my house. I’ve made the rule that if something comes in two things go out – so I have to be 100% sure about my purchases. We also purchase previously loved and used items. Facebook market place is my best friend.
I have personally found a lot of freedom in owning less but when it really counts are the days when I’m moving into a depression. Minimalism has helped us to live a lifestyle where I feel we are more connected with one another but it has given to me emotionally in ways I never thought it could.
Staying connected –
Community is one of our values. Minimalism has definitely strengthened community for us. We have formed connections with people all over the world who help to support and lift us up. This community has also pushed us to find the time to explore what’s important to us and to manifest our future, allowing us to find new freedom and opportunities.
And the best part of all, we are able to spend more time outdoors, more time with one another, and less time worrying about money.
Living Small –
Due to the fact that we are living small, and buying intentionally we have more time and more money.
We are by no means rich over here but we are comfortable. We do not feel the need to buy new cars, or to live in a big house. We only have one credit card with a small limit and we buy food in bulk which helps to offset the cost especially when all 9 of us are together.
Zero-waste/Plant Based –
Along with owning less, I do not buy paper products. I also try to use the least amount of plastic as I can, and use cloth diapers for the babies. I have not totally radicalized my husband but I am working on it – he’s hip to the cloth diapers, reusable grocery bags and glass jars.
Have you seen the documentary on Netflix called Plastic Ocean? If not watch it!
Our environment is vital to our well-being. As we decolonize our thinking and push back against companies that put profit over people and environment we find that we feel lighter and more free.
This exact reason is why we also are plant based (for the most part), this is our area of improvement – however the point is not to be perfect but rather intentional. It’s a process and we have to unlearn a lot of bad habits – like McDonalds.
We also acknowledge that plant based and vegan diets are a way to decolonize and gain access to our ancestral foods AND must reach beyond our dinner plates to the migrant workers, Walmart employees, and food deserts.
It’s as I stated previously we are seeking a means to feel free but we understand that freedom is communal so as we fight for ourselves we also fight for others.
If you have any questions about our lifestyle, or what minimalism looks like more in depth feel free to find me on Instagram (mamaofintention).
I would love to be in conversation with you all.