“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
~ Leonardo da Vinci
Are you a minimalist or a purist?
For millennia, there have been those who have sought a different or higher state by denying themselves some of life’s pleasures. Their idea was to eliminate luxuries, avoid what they liked and live a life of stoicism.
On the other hand, there are those who are purists. Purists may appear to the world to acquire less or live more simply, but it is hardly because they are trying to avoid pleasure. To the contrary, purists merely choose to do and possess what they like while failing to take on any further accoutrements or baggage that the rest of the world considers valuable.
I grew up in a house that was too big and required far too much upkeep. Observing what an effort it took to leave our house caused me to remark, “When I get older, I’m going to live in a small house.” It probably struck my family as odd. Yet what they didn’t realize is that I would rather be free to fly and explore than remain anchored to the confines and costs of a house that lacked purpose.
I did end up in a pretty sizable house for several years. My husband, daughter and I enjoyed it immensely as it served as a place for great gatherings. Family, friends, missionaries and exchange students and even our furry dogs all enjoyed the space for a time. The years were filled with happy memories.
But when our daughter started to grow up, when we’d redecorated for the second and third time and when house cleaning turned from being a pleasure to a chore, I was ready to make a change. My husband and I sold our house and looked for a new place that would reflect a purist lifestyle for the next chapter in our lives.
The day my daughter and I stepped into our future town home and I ascended to the landing of its entry, I felt no remorse. Instead, a feeling of liberation and joy overtook me.
“It feels like I’m finally putting on the right dress,” I explained to an inquiring friend. “This is giving me a rare opportunity to shed many things we’ve acquired over the years that I never really wanted. I am so grateful for this new found freedom!”
Surely others considered us strange in a society that venerates more over less. But my idea of more came from having less weight, less house cleaning, less time in a kitchen that no longer held meaning for me.
It wasn’t a move toward minimalism or self-denial; to the contrary, it was my expression of being a purist who valued her own sense of liberty and simplicity.
If you are on a path to find personal happiness and authenticity, I hope you listen in to the following podcast that takes up the very topic: minimalism v. purism.
The thoughts should help you identify those things in life that are important and authentic to you and your sentiments. The podcast may enable you to weed through some purchases you’ve made or commitments you’ve entered into that have little or nothing to do with your true interests.
Listen here or click on the icon below to listen.
May your life resonate like a song with all you love . . . and may greater happiness follow!
Maura Sweeney is a Podcaster, Author and Speaker
Her mantra is “Living Happy – Inside Out!”
Fan her on Huffington Post
Follow her on Twitter