I welcome you to the black sheep mom. I am super excited to have you join me here on this page to talk about one of my favorite subjects in all the world: intentional living.
That also includes (but is not limited to) minimalism and simplicity. This blog is about a lot of things, but intentional living, minimalism and simplicity is where it all started for me.
It helped me become a better person and a better mom. It led me to start writing about it.
Why do I love the idea of intentional living? Oh, so many reasons my friend. But first, let’s talk about you (because let’s face it, that’s why you’re here, right?)
I am stoked you’re here because I know how huge accepting the beauty of intentional living into your life can be. I know how dramatically it can change things for you — for the better. Actually, I know it can make you shine like you’ve never shone before — like a gazillion North Stars on a black summer night. Yeah, that kind of shine. You are so awesome, but sometimes awesomeness can be hidden behind all of your stuff, obligations and mind-messes (um, things like thoughts, monkey-mind, digital clutter, to-do lists in your brain, you know what I mean). We all have hidden gems inside of us just waiting to be released. We all have thing about us that we hide because we are afraid of what other people will think. This is the “black sheep” in us. This is what we are most afraid of exposing to the world, yet this is where our most precious gems are hidden. Oh, it is such a treasure trove of gem-candy that you can’t even imagine how freaking beautiful it is until you open the lid. Open it. Take a peek. It’s time, don’t you think? Living with intention can help you release those gems and share them with the world. And that is what will bring you true joy and contentment in your life: being your true self inside and out…
Being your very own, unique black sheep.
The answer could possibly be this: Intentional Living
Intentional living is a journey — it’s not a thing you can do and get done in a weekend — and it’s not about just getting rid of all your crap and thinking “wow, I did it!” No, it’s not that. It is a lifestyle. It’s a mindset. It’s a whole new way of looking at your life. So, I am not speaking as a professional or know-it-all; I am speaking as your partner in crime, the person who is right here beside you sharing insights about what works and what doesn’t. I don’t even know if I’m right, but I have a feeling this is part of “figuring it out”.
I’ve always been that person that can’t stand having too much (it makes me feel creepy crawly), but I’ve also had hoarding tendencies in certain areas, so I am speaking from both ends of the spectrum. It may help you to know that. I have struggles. But the key to what I’ve learned is that the stuff doesn’t matter. The mindset matters.
We’ve all been programmed to think more is better. We live in a first world country (I’m assuming if you’re reading this, you are not living in survival mode). But the exact opposite is true: less is more.
Less is almost always more.
Intention is the key. Intention is the why. Why do you have something? Why do you do something? These are the questions we need to keep asking ourselves.
I am a minimalist (I think), but I am here to tell you that I am not a bachelor in the city with less than 100 things (which seems to be where minimalism has gone lately…a competition of sorts, which seems to defeat the purpose, no?) Instead, I am a stay-at-home-mom of four kids under the age of nine in a fairly large suburban home. Oh, and we have a dog, two cars and a membership to Costco. You probably think I have no credibility for anything related to minimalism or simplicity at this point. But that is where you would be wrong, because minimalism is not just about how much stuff you do or don’t have. It is a mindset. It is intention. And that is what I want to share with you — how to have the intention of a true minimalist and how to live your life with vigor in ONLY the way you see fit (that is sort of where the black sheep part comes in). Minimalism is clearing the slate of your mind so you can be who you were meant to be. You don’t even have to be a minimalist as long as you have intention with everything you do. Minimalism is just one example of living with intention.
You too can become intentional and minimalistic no matter what your circumstances. You do not have to be a spartan, a bachelor or a keeper of less than 100 things. You do not have to own a “capsule wardrobe”. You do not have to feel bad having or buying things — human beings have always had things, so we are not special. You just have to be intentional about it and cut the rest, ruthlessly. All the time. That’s it. Easy right?
In its physical sense, intentional living is about living among the things that you love, use or need. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less. All of your things are not going to be pretty, but some are beautiful simply because of their function — the ease they may provide you in your life (e.g. dishwasher, washer and dryer). Because sometimes your things can give you your most precious commodity of all: TIME. Time with family. Time with yourself. Time with your creativity. Just time.
You don’t have to get rid of everything. You don’t have to keep everything. You just have to be intentional about what really matters and keep only that. Before something comes into my house, I think about how it will impact me, my family and our environment — and I ask myself if it is going to take away my most precious commodity: TIME. Sometimes I screw it up and buy a shiny new “pretty” and I regret it later. I am still living and learning, as will you.
There is nothing more precious in life than our time. It cannot be renewed. Intention can help you find:
- More time with your family.
- More time to be creative.
- More time to be with yourself.
- More time to meditate.
- More time to learn about life or other subjects that interest you.
- More time to learn about or live in awareness and mindfulness.
- More time to [fill in the blank here — whatever floats your boat — basket weaving, running marathons, twiddling your thumbs, writing that novel, etc.]
If things and busy schedules take away precious time from the things I love doing most, they go. If they help and are worth their weight, they stay. Easy peasy…ahem…well, sort of.
To help you get started, I am going to provide a link to the first article you can read if you are new to intentional living and minimalism and want to learn more. From there, you will find recommendations of where to go next in your reading. Otherwise, just pick and choose what pertains to you and leave the rest. The search function is pretty awesome too. Just type in a keyword and see what you get — sort of an intentional living roulette.
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Start here if you are new to all this and want the basics: stuff is temporary