The Minimalism Experiment W4 : Being Present
For this week I have decided to take the time to be more present in my life. At first, this may not seem like something that goes along with Minimalism, but I can assure you that it does. My goals for this week were to cut down my time on social media, to listen better to my loved ones, and to simply be more present in each day.
In preparation for this week, I got rid of physical and digital items that no longer do anything for me, and simply take up space. By getting rid of the physical items that no longer served me, I was able to free up space in my life and give less energy to the objects that I had no want or need for. I was also able to do the same digitally, deleting files, apps, and photos that simply took up digital space and only served as a distraction. After getting rid of so many items, it is much easier to be present in my life. I was no longer consumed by the clutter, regardless of the amount, and can focus on the items that are useful and bring me the most joy.
I took this same concept and applied it to my social media use. While I still did spend time on various apps throughout the week, the amount that I used them was greatly diminished. By doing this, I was able to give my attention to doing other things that I enjoy such as reading and drawing. Because of this, I was then able to focus more on my Etsy shop and create a bunch of new stickers and promotional Instagram posts.
As you can see, the practice of being present in even just one area of life seems to have a landslide effect. Once you start with one area, it starts to branch into others. I found that this process made me feel much happier as I was able to focus on the things that I truly enjoy instead of wasting time on distractions like social media.
I also took this concept of being present into my social life. I made a conscious effort to spend more time actually listening to others, then simply thinking about what I was going to say next in my head. By doing this, I found that I had less disagreements with the people I love and felt a much deeper connection with them throughout the week. I also learned how little I really listen to people. This is not in an effort to be rude or mean, but listening is definitely a skill that takes practice and is hard work.
Lastly, I practiced being present this week from a personal and self-care perspective. I am a person who tends to feel a lot of pressure and stress about future tasks. When I am worried about something in the future, like a presentation for class, or a job interview, I obsess over it for days before hand. This week, especially with it being reading week, I made an effort to simply think about things in the present, and not stress about the second half of the semester or future plans. By doing this, I found that I was actually able to enjoy reading week, instead of having it be a time to stress about the future.
Practicing being present in your life is a way of living that some people take a life time to fully perfect, but by incorporating little bits of it my life this week I was really able to establish more of a connection with myself and my loved ones.