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I have been reading and thinking about slower living and how I can live a simpler lifestyle. I have been pondering on how to simplify routines and live a more peaceful existence. My first baby step is to stop writing to do lists, this seems so counterintuitive to me but I have recently become familiar with term creative thinking and I like this way of recording things in my diary much better. My next plan is breathing (my way), followed by sitting, becoming lost nature, and then taking slow walks barefoot, followed by who knows what yet.

A thing I have always been fastidious about is donating items that are surplus to requirement, but now I am looking around and questioning “do we really need all this stuff”? I remember the very day I arrived in New Zealand with only a couple of suitcases and a big sense of wonder, and it felt amazing. Or course it doesn’t take long to accumulate items, so 14 years later, here I am bogged down again with too many things and not enough homes. I have always loved reading about the concept of minimalism, “intentionally living with only the things that I need” and obviously this is open to interpretation! But, I have always been resigned to thinking, well I have a large family, this type of living could never be a reality for us. But that is just perpetuating the exact type of thinking I am trying to release myself from. Minimalism does not have to be an absolute adjective, I’ve figured it can also be a verb as in doing or practicing. Here a little reframing will go a long way to make this fun and manageable.

This will not be my perfect project but one that begins with gentle decluttering and thinking twice before heading to the mall. Living in a busy household, I find myself dashing to the shops for one thing or another but am now experimenting with improvisation. OK, so swapping the empty tube of tomato paste out for tomato ketchup in a bolognaise isn’t exactly the most creative thing I have ever done, but it feels good all the same! I do have visions of upskilling in simple living and it certainly seems something worth celebrating just for the shift in thinking. This season, for me, is about noticing habitual unquestioned behavioural patterns and redefining what has a place in my day to day living. My intention is to live a less consumer driven existence (including social media) and a more wholehearted life. I am still figuring out what this means and what changes I will encounter. Just for now though, its feeling like a breath of fresh air knowing that I have an option to make these changes no matter how small they might seem.

For information on minimalism check out:

https://www.theminimalists.com/minimalism/ – “Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus help over 20 million people live meaningful lives with less through their website, books, podcast, and Netflix films”

The Art of Letting Go with Joshua Fields Milburn and Ryan Nicodemus – TEDx Talks https://youtu.be/w7rewjFNiys

Charlotte Kelp WBOP FO


Charlotte is the Western Bay of Plenty Field Officer for Complex Chronic Illness Support

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