Continuing the conversation

Blogging requires a certain amount of jumping in and getting your hands dirty to do it. Some things work and some may not, but there is no way to really know unless you do it. Many successful blogs started as just someone just sharing their own journey about a particular subject. New blogs are usually not starting a new subject, but simply presenting a new take on an existing subject.

Since this blog is in its beginning stages, it is crucial to examine others on the same topic and see what is being talked about, and what could be added to the conversation. Following are some ideas that others are talking about that inspire me to continue the conversation.

In his latest blogpost, Approaching Life with Beginner’s Mind, Leo Babauta discusses the importance of dropping our expectations and preconceived notions to look at things like we are discovering them for the first time. He reminds us that the process of learning something new is confusing, but we tend to approach it with curiosity and wonder. He encourages using this approach to everyday activities, like eating, so that we appreciate everything as a gift.

Babauta insists that this matters in more important things in our lives, such as relationships. He points out that sometimes we are frustrated with people because they are not meeting the ideal standards WE have for them. Instead, he suggests if we use our “Beginner’s Mind” we can see people in a different light, allowing us to transform the relationship. This approach definitely has a minimalistic feel to it. Fewer expectations. Better relationships.

Along the lines of expectations, it is important not to take this decluttering thing too serious. This month on Nourishing Minimalism, there is a great post about enjoying life while decluttering. It is easy to get so swept up in simplifying that it actually creates less joy. Frustrations can build if progress is not made quickly enough, and may cause some to give up. Exploring this topic further could inspire others to stay motivated.

It is easy to focus on stuff when discussing minimalism, but minimalism can really be applied to many areas of our lives, including the food we eat. My family and I are also trying to simplify in this area by reducing additives, preservatives, and artificial flavorings and sweeteners. This has been a win-win because we are becoming healthier, but we are also spending more time in the kitchen together because it takes more time to prepare the food.

Rebecca Shern points out the benefits of “Batch Cooking” in her latest post. She discusses the benefits of preparing meals or at least meal components to simplify cooking throughout the week. She suggests starting small and then expanding at your own comfort level. These suggestions could definitely be expanded upon and incorporated into my decluttering mission.

One of my favorite blogs is http://www.becomingminimalist.com. It has advice for almost every question I have had so far, and is very relatable because of the family aspect. On a guest post by Patrick Rhone, the subjects of finances and involuntarily minimalism are discussed. Although I started my minimalism journey voluntarily, private school tuition will start for my daughter next fall, so we do have financial motivation to cut back. People are always wanting the latest on saving money, so it should be easy to continue this conversation.

The final area that many bloggers, regardless of topic, are concerned with are critics. Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, known as The Minimalists, address this topic in an essay titled “Dear Critics”, where they kindly invite their critics shove their criticism where the sun doesn’t shine. In the related podcast, the pair insists on taking constructive feedback, but ignoring those who are just being critical. In everything we do, there will always be critics. In the spirit of minimalism, we can chose to eliminate this from our lives, just as we do unwanted physical things.

These are just some of the ideas that provide me inspiration for future posts. What inspires you? What do you want more information on? Leave me a comment or find me on Twitter to keep the conversation going.

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