The reduction in material things that we see when someone begins to live a minimalist lifestyle is the most visible aspect of a minimalist lifestyle. Yet, it’s not the deepest and most valuable part of it.
I’ve talked in another post that human beings constitute four parts of dimensions: Material (physical), Emotional and mental, Spiritual, and Social dimensions.
Related Article: Body, Mind, Spirit: Biopsychosocial-Spiritual model of Health
I think minimalism can be seen in a similar way.
- Spirit: It has a spirit (heart/will) that is the deepest and most central aspect of minimalism.
- Mind: It is a mindset – it’s a way of thinking, perceiving, understanding, and feeling.
- Body: This is the material or physical aspect of minimalism. It is where the physical action happens and steps are taken to declutter. This what people physically see.
- Social Relationships: It shapes our social relationships and interactions. This is the social aspect of it.
A great mistake is to focus on the physical or material aspect of minimalism such as how many things you can declutter and who can live with the fewest number of things.
Decluttering is only as good as the maturity of the heart out of which it proceeds.
If you want to be a successful minimalist, focus on the heart or spirit first, develop the mindset and then let that lead to material changes that are congruent with that spirit and mind.