Thoughts on Minimalism
So what exactly is minimalism? The definition that resonates with me defines minimalism as a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom (source). Social media has a way of taking something like minimalistic philosophies and making them feel wildly unattainable because of the highly curated feeds many self-proclaimed minimalists have. But it doesn't have to be that way. Minimalism like wellness in general is better for all if it's more inclusive, more diverse, and, more attainable for people across socio-economic backgrounds.
People of color are minimalists too (despite the lack of POC presence among recognized minimalists influencers).
It can be disheartening feel like your passion or interest for minimalism as a black person/person of color, may not be understood by others who choose a different path. You may also not know where to find others with similar interest but don't fear! There are people of color interested in minimalism and practice it in a way that is inclusive. You can find numerous minimalist/wellness influencers on IG, here's a short list to get you started:
Try the website the Black Minimalists, start or join a minimalist Meet-up group, peruse Instagram hashtags for the latest within the minimalist movement.
Minimalism Doesn't Have to Be Difficult to Achieve
Modern Minimalism the way it's practiced and catalogued on social media and the Internet can seem limiting and expensive. I am very sensitive to the fact that as an employed, college educated member of the middle class that I can if I desired practice the trappings of 'minimalism' with little effort that my counterparts or lower incomes within my city's limits cannot. But minimalism should be inclusive of communities of color and other less advantaged communities in the mainstream media. Sometimes people are minimalists out of financial necessity, not because they want perfectly curated minimally designed lives
Do you Boo! Practice minimalism how you see fit either in one aspect of your lifestyle or universally
In my opinion, minimalism shouldn't be about deprivation or trying to fulfill some difficult to reach level of minimal attainment. Do what you can when you can to bring simplicity and minimalism to your life. You can dip a toe in and use minimalism practices to pare down unused belongings or you can go full throttle and implement minimalist practice across your entire life.
It's also important to acknowledge the many communities of color all over the country who are minimalist by default. They are truly minimalists despite the fact that they don't have the trappings of minimalism you are accustomed to seeing on social media. They don't have money for fancy gadgets or beautifully curated matching furniture and beautiful/useful possessions. They can't match their decor and spend on beautiful canisters to house their zero waste products and fancy compost bins. They may live in a house that is the same dimensions of a tiny house, but it's because that is all they can afford not because they want to lessen their environmental impact.
Less Stuff=More Freedom
So even if you don't plan to become a full fledged minimalist tomorrow, but there are so many things you can do if want to dip a toe into minimalism. If you want to rid yourself of excess things so you can have more financial freedom, or more freedom with your time since you won't have to worry about tending to your excess stuff, more power to you. But regardless on if you want to be a minimalist, reducing excess so you can focus on things that really matter is something we can all benefit from implementing.