These days it looks like there is a craze for writing about minimalist living. Ironically, the Internet is overloaded with similar minimalist blogs. It appears to me, some folks who talk or rather blog about minimalism, are actually doing it to make money out from their readers; selling them both e-books and physical books, offering online coaching and whatnot.
Do they actually live or really love to live a minimalist lifestyle? They sound as if it is hip or heroic to live a simpler life. As far as I know to truly live a simple living is no simple task. You have to make a lot of sacrifices and major changes in your present life.
I am sure you have noticed most if not all minimalist blogs are similar in terms of blog design or templates (plain looking a la Leo Babuata’s blogs) and also content-wise. Many of them are so strongly influenced by Leo Babauta of zen habits and mnmlist, to the extent of blindly following Leo Babauta of not having any icons on their computer desktop, just because he is doing it. Minimalist living or simple living is not just having a blank desktop!
I haveo read Babuata’s blogs and his book just to find out what his stuff is all about. Personally I find the most of the content from all his blogs are overlapping; meaning similar content. They are all about simplicity, and having less or clearing the clutter so we can focus on what’s important, to keep life less stressed, happier and more productive. That’s it.
Minimalist living is more than TALKING or WRITING about free of complications, clutter,confusion and distraction, letting go, the joy of less, slowing down or quoting some popular inspirational minimalist quotes and sayings.
I do adopt some kind of less-is-more lifestyle. I learn to make conscious choices, true to myself, spend within my mean, no financial debt, apply 20/80 Rule, living in a sparse uncluttered home, having fewer friends, etc. I do love to share my own personal experiences on reducing stuff and stress in my life. But I don’t go around claiming that I live a minimalist lifestyle or living a simple life.
I am sure you have read that the popular site SimpleLiving.net has finally closed down on December 31, 2010, after 15 years.The founder of The Simple Living Network Dave Wampler admitted that sales of books were down and so was the financial support. All those great wisdom and inspirations from authors, activists and teachers and leaders like Duane Elgin, Cecile Andrews, Carol Holst, Wanda Urbanska, John de Graaf, Linda Breen-Pierce, Joe Dominguez, etc. cannot even keep the site afloat.
As I have said, minimalist living or voluntary living is more than just doing a few things, writing, listening, reading or attending online courses (blogs, books, forums, radio shows) on simplifying your life. And spewing other people’s quotes like ” Every day is mine” or “Any time that is not spent on loving what you’re doing is wasted.”
I know there are lots of folks who actually do what they preach about minimalist living and voluntary simplicity. Some may not write or talk much about it, but actually actively leading a minimalist lifestyle, be it in the city or country. For instance people like Kristen Martini, Terry and Tia of The Simple Living Institute’s Econ Farm or the couple Frank Levering and Wanda Urbanska as featured in Oprah Magazine,
They don’t spend all their time and energy blogging and boasting about their minimalist living or voluntary simplicity. They set out and went through insurmountable obstacles to make radical change in their personal lives; living and embracing simple-living values.