Follow my regular postings on why and what I’m getting involved with in the growing movement known as ''Minimalism” and for some insight into why and how I think it’s the best alternative way forward for many other people too. There will be some surprises - not least to myself - because the existing lifestyles of much of the population cannot continue at the present uncontrolled rate of consumption, waste and destruction... our Mother Earth simply cannot sustain it!

Friday, 19 November 2010

#03 - No Government health warnings

don’t give up starting

I ended the last posting saying, “’s all about taking that first step towards something better.” Well, such tentative improvements can come with downsides in the short-term. Think about how hard it is for most people to give up smoking for example. I found there was only one way to do it... to throw the remaining contents of the packet into the rubbish bin.

The more of those slim sticks of questionable pleasure one throws away the better the statement of defiance in breaking the habit... for ever! It’s building false hopes and deceiving yourself to just have one more, then just one more. Throw away the root causes of bad habits... with tobacco it’s only a tiny waste compared to the mounting cost of continuing a nicotine addiction.

Cough... Cough... Can you believe this. The old 1950s French cigarettes I photographed were being smoked by a friend in the bar last month and he said they tasted awful (as in “la merde de chameau” or camel shit) – were branded “Phenix Vie” (Phoenix Life) in order to advertise the well-known family health assurance company!

Same with cakes, candy and chocs... I once threw away most of the contents of a box of luxurious Belgian chocolates... not only did I lose weight by not eating them, I was able to relax and sleep better because my brain and body hadn’t been overloaded with extra caffeine, and I spared myself feeling sick because I’d not over-gorged on their creamy, sugary contents.

help! who to turn to

During the past few weeks I’ve read the contents of many interestingly inspirational ‘minimalism’ websites and subscribed to newsletter updates from those I find are the most informative, and, in-tune with how I see my life progressing... which is not necessarily the same thing when keeping an open mind. In that time I’ve gained a feel of how previously unknown folk out there in the big wide world are really ‘getting it’ and whom I can trust and shall connect to in furthering my own aspirations for a better way of living and being.

These men and women have adopted the gentle persuasion of “tell it as it is” because they are doing it and living it – rather than the hard practice of “sell it as it is” because they have a large bonus target to hit every month. They aren’t dropouts, weirdoes, hippies or oddballs... they’re just like you and me with husbands, wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, cats, dogs and in many cases with growing families and living in the suburbs. Others wander the world with less than fifty items in their possession and are equally secure in and with their lives.

I’ve already downloaded several very informative e-books from those writers which were free... and bought a bunch of others which are more in-depth for only slightly more than free. The ones I paid for didn’t actually cost a lot, but their information was invaluable. Whilst the freebies are a great start, the paid-for e-books reflect the increased dedicated input and experience from their authors.

ridiculous or what!

Basically a good overall plan of action is to search a lot, click a lot, connect a lot, and read a lot. I’ve found the “Buy one – get two free!” way provides a good balance on the continuing path and cycle of learning. Others such as the cool dude Karol Gajda of Ridiculously Extraordinary have free courses sent via e-mail... so sign up there if you do nothing else.

The “Eat With a Smaller Spoon” project is all about ‘minimalism’ – and yet I’ve hardly mentioned the word in the first three postings. That’s because I’ve only just scratched the surface. There’s much, much more to write about because the subject increasingly envelops so many everyday walks of life of most people – like you and I – on this Earth. The day will come when it will not simply be an alternative life-style of choice, but a necessary one. That’s the way the World is heading!

Most people don’t know about ‘minimalism’ yet, and many of the others who should know better don’t quite know what to do about it. There’s great information out there written by wonderful people who have overcome the huge burdens of modern life and its associated expectations weighing down on their shoulders – people who have gained freedom for their lives and who want to pass on their joy of living whilst saving our Planet at the same time.

“The first idea that comes to mind may not be so interesting
but the second and third ideas that flow from it
can be very interesting” ~ Edward de Bono.

There’s a simple answer to most of our problems – but activating those simple answers is sometimes a little more difficult. We’ll examine those problems one by one on “Eat With a Smaller Spoon” and find the solutions that suit you best.

In the next posting I'll describe some of the e-books I've found to be the most useful to read when starting out on a simpler, more respectful lifestyle.

In the meantime here’s a great one to start you off – Leo Babauta, the creator of Zen Habits, has written “Becoming Minimalist” for everyone to understand... and then to think hard about themselves and their lifestyle.

PS :  Remember to bookmark this page and click the Facebook, Twitter and RSS Feed buttons so we can spread the word, stay connected and travel together on an interesting journey, sharing our experiences with each other and our friends to improve our overall well-being.

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