Thursday, March 19, 2015

How Minimalism can change the world

Over the last few days I haven't really gotten a whole lot done when it comes to decluttering, organizing and getting rid of things. Neither have I felt like writing about it. Nor any of the other topics that are on my list. 

So before just not writing anything, I thought I'd share a comment I left on youtube the other day. It was a video of The Minimalists and I got into an “argument” (it actually turned out really friendly in the end) with another user. She'd said something about The Minimalists coming from a privileged perspective and not going far enough, not looking at the big picture etc. (if you want to read all our comments, go check out the video, I don't want to post her comments without permission). My answer pretty much sums up one of the big reasons I think minimalism is so awesome, not just on a personal level.

"But it [consumerism] cannot be transformed by "lifestyle choices" that do not acknowledge justice above personal satisfaction.” (She said this. I quoted her and answered:) I agree. But what I was trying to say (maybe badly) was, that I see this more as a matter of a "shift in consciousness". The Minimalism movement represents just another "sympton" and the "disease" is people waking up to what's really going on in this world and what really matters.
    I believe we all have our roles in changing this world into a beautiful and just place for everybody. Some of those roles are directly addressing certain problems at their root and trying to change certain realities. Other roles might be more subtle. There are still so many people out there who are still so wrapped up in consumerism and materialism and trying to pay the bills or just trying to survive. Those people might just not be ready for the big picture and the grand scheme of things. So their role will be smaller, more personal, in just trying to live a more conscious life. Eventually, those ideas of being more conscious will transform into higher ideas. And even if they don't, that's okay too. 
   Everyone has a "trigger" for waking up to reality. So we need people at all stages of consciousness, doing all sorts of different things and talking about all sorts of different stuff, because they can all trigger someone. And that someone is going to start thinking critically and reflectively about that certain area of his or her life. And eventually, they will extend those thought processes beyond that area.

   And before you know it, everyone is finally woken up enough to take your path of destroying the evil at its root and we'll get to our utopia in no time. But minimalism will have helped.
Hope this makes it more clear.
Love and peace. 

What do you think? Is minimalism more than just something personal to you?

Read you soon,

Friday, March 13, 2015

Another day, another unhaul

I've been pretty busy with school over the last few weeks and I find that decluttering is the perfect way to unwind. It gets me away from my computer, it gets me moving and it gives me a freeing feeling. Usually I feel bad about the fact, that the only time my apartment is ever really clean is when I'm supposed to be writing papers ;) But this time around, I decided to embrace it, not waste time on youtube (which I'm still doing) or facebook (not so much) but focus all the energy that I don't need for the papers on decluttering. 

Yesterday, I brought another 30 or so books to the charity shop. I walk them there so I don't take more than that at one time. I also contacted an old English professor of mine who's in charge of our department's booksales. She was very happy to receive donations, so I dropped off about 40 books there today. Most of them were classics (Wordsworth, Penguin etc.) which I know will come to good use in the English department. She was so grateful and that made me very happy.

My last stop today was at our local animal shelter, were I dropped of two big bags full of old blankets, sheets and towels.

So basically, I feel really good right now, another big load of clutter is gone and I've made some people (and puppies) happy. 
Time to get back to writing my papers.

Read you soon, 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Decluttering Books

I'm purging my books and I've thought of some questions to ask myself so I end up with a collection of true favorites and very special books that I love and actually read. (Read here) By asking myself those five simple questions, I can determine for every book whether it should stay or go. At least in theory.

Over the past few weeks, my books have been a big focus of the decluttering process. My questionnaire is helping me a lot with letting go of books I know deep down I'll never read. But I still have a really hard time letting go of books that I think I might read at some point. And books that I SHOULD read but know I won't. But it is getting easier with every book I let go. And I love my bookcases slowly clearing and actually being able to see all those books that I really really love and am happy to own.

So far I have gotten rid of around 80-100 books. Many of those came from my TBR shelf, which used to hold over 200 books. They have all gone to a charity bookstore right down the street. Yay! And I've already stacked up another 130 (!!!) books that I'm ready to let go. Most of those are mystery/suspense/chick-lit/YA that I've read already and know I won't reread. They will be going to a woman's outreach clinic which is coincidentally also right around the corner from my apartment.

I've realized it's just ridiculous to hold on to more unread books than I could ever read in several years. I read an average of around 60 books a year, so that'll be my limit for the TBR-shelf. Maybe if I have few enough books, so that I could theoretically read them all within one year, I'll be more inclined to read them at all. Right now my TBR is so overwhelming that I'll rather just pick up a new book than try to decide on one from that shelf. Let's fix that.

Do you have trouble keeping your library in check? How do you decide which books to keep and which to pass on?

Read you soon,


Monday, March 9, 2015

Getting Rid of Book Guilt

Oh books, beloved books. What happened? How did I miss the moment in which you went from being beautiful and helpful friends to being stressful and guilt-ridden clutter? 
Guilt for having bought a book knowing I would probably never read it.  Guilt because of books that I will never read but feel bad getting rid of because they were given to me as presentsGuilt for intending to read a book but never doing it, despite owning it for years and years. Guilt about all those unexplored worlds and all those unknown characters. 
I don't want this guilt tarnishing my love for books any longer. This needs to stop. Right now. In fact, I am already stopping it.

At last count I had around 900 books. I've been an avid reader from an early age and have always owned a lot of books. I love looking at books. I love holding and touching them. I love being able to research things even when the power goes out. But I'm realizing that my love of books isn't expressed through the number of books that I own. On the contrary, how does random and indiscriminate accumulation of a certain item show one's appreciation of it? It doesn't. Simple as that. 

So I've decided that I'm going to downsize my book collection. Big time. I don't have a fixed number that I want to arrive at, I'll just see how it plays out. But I do have an objective for the books I will eventually own. In the process of decluttering my books, I've come up with five questions to ask myself to end up with a collection of true favorites and very special books that I love and actually read.

The five questions are:

1. Have I read this book? If yes, proceed to question 2. If no, proceed to question 3.
2. Did I like this book? If yes, proceed to question 4. If no, GET RID OF IT.
3. Do I want to read this book? If yes, proceed to question 5. If no, GET RID OF IT.
4. Will I read it again? If yes, KEEP IT. If no, GET RID OF IT.
5. Will I read this in the next 2 years? If yes, KEEP IT. If no, GET RID OF IT.

In one of the next posts I will tell you how I am doing working with these questions, how many books I have already gotten rid of, what I've done with them and what I hope to do next.

Read you soon,

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Healthy Makes Happy

I strive for both and I think one cannot exist without the other. To be happy, you have to be healthy. And by healthy, I don't mean the absence of illness, as western culture has come to define it. I don't mean to say that if you're not sick, you'll automatically be happy. I don't think health is defined by how often you get a cold or whether you need a wheelchair to get around or how high your cholesterol is. I don't think it's as easy as eating five servings of fruit and veggies a day and going to the gym once in a blue moon. 

What I am talking about is true health. Physical, mental and spiritual health. A state of mind in which you realize that your body, mind and soul are connected. That your body is your instrument and it will become what you put in it. Your organs and cells will eventually consist of the atoms that once were your food. Your mind will eventually think in a way that is in harmony with the information you are receiving. Your soul will eventually adapt the energies you surround yourself with. All these areas need to be healthy and then happiness will find you.

If your body is healthy, you will have the energy to do the things you love and to strive for achieving your dreams.
If your mind is healthy, you will know that you deserve to be surrounded only by people who love and support you.
And if your soul is healthy, you will never be afraid to express yourself and always have the comfort of knowing who you are.

Knowing who you are, doing what you love and being loved and supported. That's what you need to be happy. Or rather, that's what I believe it takes to be happy. 

Read you soon,

Finding My Way

Hi, I'm Lisa and this is a blog about my journey towards a healthier and happier life.
It's an attempt to become more conscious on my journey. I want to clear mental clutter, define goals and dreams and hopefully find a community of like-minded people. I will write about:
Physical health
- as in nutrition, yoga and such. An area of my life I am not very happy with yet.
- as in simple living. Another area I just started working on. I will be talking a lot about decluttering, organization and minimalism.
Mental health
- as in High Sensitivity. I'm an HSP and it will come up regularly, because it kind of pervades every aspect of my life. If you don't know what High Sensitivity is, check out Dr. Aron's work at
- as in books and language, because I love them and feel like I need them for my mental health. I love studying languages. I also read a lot. And I love to think and talk about language. So it'll just come up.
Spiritual health
as in I'm-not-sure-what-will-happen-yet. As a de-facto atheist concerning all major religions, I am just finding out that you don't have to be a religious person to be a spiritual person. 

For now, I am happy to get started and would love for you to join me on My Way to Happy.

Read you soon,

PS: Wonder why I focused on the health aspect although the blog is called My Way to Happy? I'll explain how I link health and happiness in my next post.