August 31, 2008

Minimalism: A Worthy Hit

I've heard tons of quotes throughout my 17 years (does it not almost-kinda-notreally sound like I'm old?) that have mentioned that possessions welcome grief aka negative energy. I never really got it until -- well, I still don't know if I fully get it, but I can certainly feel the wavelength a little more.

These quotes were expanded upon when I checked out the "100 Things Challenge" on Zen Habits (credits to Dhru for the ref), and happened to find it all over the place online. The more possessions I own, the more burdened I feel, especially when I start to concern myself with them. I mean, if you can own shit and not care whether or not you lost it, great for you, but I struggle a bit with that. When I buy new bedsheets, shit, I want those bedsheets to stay spotless. When I buy a book, I want to make SURE the corners don't bend because I like the way new-looking books look in my bookshelf. Simply put, increased possessions lead to increased attachment.

Today, I completely cleaned my room, inside the closets and drawers and out. What I found were tons of clothes I don't wear anymore or that I could do without. Sadly, my closet still looks like this:
Mildly successful attempt at combining two pics of the closet?

If I knew I were going to write a post about this 12 hours ago, I'd have taken pictures of it pre-cleaning, but trust me when I say that it was a LOT more jam-packed than that.

Now, is it just me, or do we all get clean feelings inside when we trash, donate, or sell a lot of belongings we don't use/don't need/don't need to use (or any combination of the previously listed)? This 100-things challenge is really getting to me, and when I think of it, besides the things I wear, read, use for school or put around my room, the only things I really use are my iPod, camera, water bottle, tennis racket, blender, juicer, and cell phone. Maybe a few more things, but I really don't think the things I wear/read/use for school/put around my room are necessary at all.

Cleaning out the bit that I did already makes me feel like my life is a little simpler, and that feeling would only be amplified upon ridding myself of more possessions (read: weight). I was briefly mentioning this to Kush earlier, and together, we kind of came up with the idea of having a clothes drive at school where all of us could clean out our closets and bring stuff that other people would actually wear and sell it at school as a fundraiser. It wouldn't be old garb that no one wants, but rather, nice clothes that we've just stopped wearing so much. Upon thinking about it a little more, I expanded on the idea by having a yard sale of sorts at school. With a group of willing individuals, we could all clean out our closets and rooms, and have a giant sale in the gymnasium as a fundraiser for the AIDS Walk or another cause we'd agree upon. It'd definitely take some work to get this by administration, but I think it's TOTALLY feasible. That said, rather than keeping it an idea, let's make it reality -- if you're reading this and you're from Herricks, let me know if you're into the idea via comment/email/AIM/whatever and we could put this together.

Basically, I'm putting the idea out there to challenge all of you. Do you actually need all that you own or could you live a simpler life? I'm still working on it, but I think it's definitely a worthy effort. Personally, I think being able to rid yourself of any number of possessions kind of emphasizes that we could not only be satisfied, but content with fewer possessions. It only makes sense that it would lead to further peace of mind and happiness with less _____ than you're used to getting. Just a thought.

Stay minimal,

P.S. I'm thinking of just throwing in random bits of happiness in the post-scripts of these posts when they have nothing to do with the actual post. With that, check out my room -- I finally put pictures in my frames and filling in my box-shelf things. The bookshelf is here and filled (though it's been here for about 3-4 months now. I just never posted it after my old post when I didn't have it [which I think is on the old picture blog]):

Also, school's starting on Wednesday, and to be honest, I'm totally excited. Work's no fun, obviously, but seeing everyone and the constant company you get in school isn't something you find everywhere. Looking forward to that.

XCountry started last Thursday for me, and it's so killer (in a good way). I love the post-workout satisfaction of having completely pooped your body. It's the best. On Thursday, went to Long Beach with the team for a boardwalk run then a sand workout + ultimate frisbee. Did 4.4 miles in 28:30 with Eric. I swear, I didn't think it was possible, but the thought of leaving all the pain for Eric sounded only too kind, so I got some for myself. Friday -- 6 miles at a human pace, dying of the lactic-acid buildup. Only getting ready for a whole season of this. Lovely.

Lastly, a few songs I haven't been able to stop listening to recently:

"Sarandonga," by the Buena Vista Social Club

"Green Light," by John Legend feat. Andre 3000 - you've gotta listen to 3000's rap at 2:53. Too good.

"Human After All," by Daft Punk - their music is what got me through the cleaning day. Always makes me wanna dance.

"Fruta Fresca," by Carlos Vives - sometimes, I wish I were latino.

I'm SO obsessed with this audio embedding thing. Hope you enjoyed the music.

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