Minimalism

I struggled with whether I would post this, as it made me question the scope of my blog. However to me spirituality isn’t something you set time aside for every day or once a week, you live and breathe it in every moment. Minimalism went hand in hand with the realisation that everything is within me and I need not seek out of myself to gain anything. That realisation made me realise I was trying to fill the void I felt, in part with material possessions.

Now I am not saying that material possessions are bad, by all means enjoy your luxuries, enjoy the physical and material things the world has to offer, but do it consciously.

Minimalism is a topic I have been exploring and living for quite some time. I wasn’t aware it had a title until a friend suggested I watch the documentary – The Minimalists, a documentary about the important things. In fact, that is how I welcomed in 2017. While everyone was out partying on new years eve, I watched the documentary – twice. These people were speaking my language, they were articulating everything I had been feeling for the past year. I was surrounded by people who didn’t get it, but these people got it.

I felt it necessary to write this, as the idea that minimalism is something that is only for well to do, upper middle class people seems to crop up quite often. Indeed, I have read many articles written by wealthy people who decided to step off the consumerism band wagon. I applaud them too, but what about those who have no claim to wealth or 6 figure incomes?

What if you got yourself through a university degree partly working in cafes with stints of unemployment, only to graduate and decide to make coffee full time for a year because you were burnt out? And then decide the following years to make 3 overseas trips on very little money.

Was I a minimalist when I was a poor student? The answer is a definite no, not even a forced minimalist at that. Rent took up half of my meagre weekly income, but it didn’t stop me from accumulating things. I became the master thrift shopper and I stuffed my little unit to the brim with useless items – kitchenware, clothes, trinkets, cushions, books. I didn’t need three quarters of it and although it cost very little, I certainly could have kept that $2 here and $5 there for experiences I often missed out on as a result of having no money.

I went through a weird phase of discontent after my third overseas trip. I feel in part that it was because I had been exposed in Europe, to a kind of wealth I did not realise existed. Backpacking on a budget, I was on the outer looking in and it stirred a sense of lack. At the same time I was exposed to a level of poverty I had never experienced either – tent cities and an overwhelming amount of people begging for money in the streets.

I came home torn. Angry at the massive gap between rich and poor, mixed with a sense of material lack in my own life. All of a sudden my second hand furniture I had accumulated as a student and was still using looked shabby to me. “I’m almost 30 and I am still living in a house filled with furniture from my university days?? I deserve nice things”. My mind whirled. It’s a weird thing, this age marker we put on things. I am this age, therefore I should own these things and have this much in the bank…who made that rule?

I decided to go out furniture shopping and it was an eye opening experience. Cheap and flimsy furniture for ridiculous amounts of money. I saw first hand the throw away culture we now live in. There is no way what I saw would have lasted beyond 5 years, but it was trendy, so it had a price tag to match. Which is apparently okay, because people will update in 5 years anyway. I had my mums words of wisdom in the back of my head – words from a woman who grew up in a poor family. “Always buy quality, even if it takes longer to save up for and you can only afford one. It will save you money in the long run”. I went home.

This sparked a period of deep reflection. There was a discontent that I couldn’t quite place. I wanted nice things. For the first time in my life, I actually felt like a lesser being because I didn’t have “all the nice things”. This was conflicting with the fact that I was (and still am) also a passionate advocate for the environment and the negative effects of over consumption. Then there was a deeper level, the fact that when I am true to myself, I have always been somewhat of a natures child, who requires very little and is content with earth under her feet over fancy shoes. So why was this coming up at all?

Perhaps it was the comments of a wealthy visitor that came to my house. Upon arrival she walked in the front door and took in my combined living and kitchen area. “Oh.” She said. “I guess this is all you need”. It’s funny now when I look back, because she was right. This is all I need – if anything it was more than I needed and I have gotten rid of a lot of my possessions since. The tone of her voice though, was almost as if I were living in some kind of hovel or tent.

Or perhaps it was the accumulation of being treated as inferior in my work environment by wealthy people.

Whatever the reason, this saw 2016 as the year of my reading rampage. I read books such as “Not Buying It” by Judith Levine, “The Moneyless Man” by Mark Boyle and “Walden” by Thoreau. Anything that questioned the status quo, consumerism and what makes a “successful” life.

I observed that when I was a poor student, there was a sense of security in collecting things, be that clothes to kitchenware. It made me feel safe. I’m not entirely sure why, but it was almost like storing up for the winter. When the global financial crisis hit and the cafe I was doing weekend work in shut down, the winter had come.

However, did my little unit busting at the seams with excess clothes, books, trinkets and kitchenware help me weather that? No.

Christmas time 2016 rolled around, a year of deep contemplation, reflection and reading and we were heading into one of the most consumeristic times of the year. I saw all of it with new eyes. By that time, I had come to the realisation that it was all within me. I needed nothing outside of myself. This realisation had me overwhelmed by the abundance in my life and the abundance I was surrounded by. I would tear up with gratitude quite often (and still do).

The desperation, the scrambling to fill up trolleys with useless stuff, the anger and erratic behaviour of the general public on the roads and in shopping centres. Listening to friends dismay at not being able to afford Christmas or relying on credit cards. It actually made me feel physically ill. And then New Years Eve with The Minimalists, I wasn’t crazy.

So no. Minimalism isn’t a luxury of the wealthy. Consumerism is so ingrained in our modern culture that we don’t realise we are doing it. Even as a person who has lived without a TV for 7 years, it seeped in. We are sent a steady stream of messages from advertisers and as an extension, from the people who allow themselves to be brainwashed, that we need to keep buying – even if that meant on my student income it was in thrift stores.

I am still living in a house full of second hand furniture from my university days. It’s old yes, but it is good quality solid timber, the kind that you can sand back and touch up as needed until you’re in a nursing home.

I AM all I need. As are you.

~ Fox Robin

 

Photo by Jake Melara on Unsplash

Liberation

Here is my latest channeling from my spirit guide Cuchulain.

“Cutting back to the bare essentials is both liberating and exhilarating. The society you find yourselves in is one of excess in many ways. I feel many have chosen the path of excess in regards to their spiritual journeys also. I know that I sound at times, like I preach the same message over and over, or perhaps one can view it as a mantra. However, you are all you need.

So then why dear ones do you spend so much time trying to gain? Trying to attain something? That something can be anything from enlightenment, to healing, to understanding. It does not matter what one is trying to attain, the problem is the idea that one needs to obtain anything at all.

I know I invite you all to your breath often also, however this is a good anchor point. The amount of spiritual books on your shelf is by no means a measure of how close you are to obtaining your spiritual goals, nor are the amount of lectures you may have attended, nor the spiritual paraphernalia you have collected.

There is no measure of what cannot be obtained. That which you seek is unobtainable because you already have it. Feel into it. Do not think into it, for this is something which dwells outside of the realm of the mind. To know thyself, one must be willing to strip back all that they think will get them there and all that they think they are.

Painful? Challenging? Perhaps. But only to those who resist the very essence of their being. Those who are not willing to surrender unto themselves will find suffering in the process. Those who view it as a process will be lost in the process, going in circles around the truth of their being.

There it is, in that still point, in the present moment. It is you. Breathe.

I AM

Cuchulain”

You exist, therefore you are worthy.

Here is our latest channel from St. Germain. Our next channeling evening will be held on Friday the 14th of July. Check the facebook page for more details.

Dear ones, how do you view yourselves? When you honestly watch your thoughts about yourself, when you honestly observe your lives, what is reflected back to you? Do you see a smooth road? What do you see when you look backwards? What do you see when you look forwards? What do you see in this now moment? Where are the discrepancies?

I bring this up, as the energies right now are asking each being to know that they themselves are worthy of love. That love will not come from an external source – true, pure love, unless one can extend that love inwards.

When one is in the flow of self love, a funny thing happens. It is as if the universe responds in kind and all of a sudden opportunities will begin to flow in, abundance will flow in, synchronicity will fill your life. These dear ones are all signs that you are opening your heart to yourself.

I know many of you put yourselves on the back burner. You believe that your loved ones are more important than yourself. That you must give and give and give, that you must sacrifice to be worthy. This is an old and out dated belief system that has been held on Earth for too long. The universe is pure abundance and I do not mean that only in regards to wealth. I mean true abundance, love, friendship, opportunities, experiences – the fullness of life dear ones!

It is all right there waiting for you to accept it. It is all right there waiting for you to receive it. Do you not understand how worthy each and every one of you truly is?

You exist, therefore you are worthy. It is as simple as that. You exist, therefore you require nothing less than your own pure self love. When you come to this space the universe will respond in kind and you will have all the energy and resources you need to pour outwards in anyway you see fit. However, if you do not afford yourself this basic necessity, then you will be of no use in the outer world, your energy fades and many hit “burn out” or a spiritual crisis of sorts.

There is no grand secret and there is nothing you need to do to be worthy, except accept your own love and know that existence is a blessing, that makes you worthy of all the great things experience has to offer.

With love,

I AM St. Germain