Embracing Minimalism

Ever watch a movie you find yourself thinking about days after the fact?  Recently, for me, that movie was Minimalism: A Documentary About The Important Things, streaming on Netflix.  Always a fan of a worthy documentary, I initially heard about this movie on one of my favorite DIY podcasts of all places, Young House Love Has A Podcast

Let me back track a bit...first off, initially I was skeptical.  Could a documentary on minimalism keep my interest for 79 minutes?  I mean, come on, I'm definitely not a minimalist, I like my stuff.  I shop online.  I know the thrill of a delightful find at Target.  I cultivate clutter...  And as it turns out, yes.  It was eye opening, and enlightening. And as I now know, minimalism goes far beyond the reaches of just 'stuff.'  

Ever bought something simply because it was on sale?  Or feel the need to shop online simply because you received a coupon code in your email?  Fall victim to the algorithms that put items you've previously searched into pockets of space in your social media feed?  If you've said yes to any of these (as I have), then this documentary might resonate with you. 

"We spend so much time on the hunt.  But nothing ever quite does it for us.  And, we get so wrapped up in the hunt, that it kind of makes us miserable." - Dan Harris 

The film begins with the story of Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, and a series of interviews with others, who like them have embraced the concepts of minimalism in their daily lives.  Take Dan Harris, an ABC news reporter whose panic attack on live TV caused him to take a hard look and reevaluate how he was living his life. He shifted his mindset, took up meditation, wrote a book, and has never looked back, all because of choosing less instead of more.  Embracing minimalism. 

"What meditation can help you do is figure out when you cross the line between what I call constructive anguish and useless rumination. And so on the 17th time that I’m worrying about all the awful consequences of whether I’m going to make a flight, I’ve learned to ask myself: “Is it useful?” And often I’m able to cut myself off before I go down the rat hole of rumination and resentment." - Dan Harris

So why did this documentary strike a chord with me?  Because I think in a lot of ways it is so true.  Our culture has hard wired us to constantly feel hungry, empty, fueling this urge to spend, spend, spend.  Bottom line, this movie is worth a watch.  And if you're feeling extra ambitious and want to kick up this Minimalism streak, might want to pick up Dan Harris' book 10% Happier too.  

This post is part of my partnership with Netflix where I share what my family and I are watching each month on our favorite streaming platform. #StreamTeam

image via theminimalists


Leslie said...

My husband and I watched this documentary too! I also love my Target trips, so I don't think I was really the idea candidate for this film. We enjoyed it, but at this point in my life, I'm just not ready to jettison all of my things. We spent five years living in DC, and after routine purging, I am kind of loving spreading out in the suburbs. :)

Lea said...

JUST watched this the other night! In my dream I'm a minimalist, but must admit that I could never go to the extreme as the two leads have. However, we ALL could live with much less. Great documentary. Definitely makes you think!