One thing that is wonderful about minimalism is that it isn’t a one size fits all lifestyle. In fact, there are extremist, essentialist, nomads, and cozy minimalists just to name a few. It wasn’t until I found Melissa and learned about her coined view of minimalism called Whole Life Minimalism that I realized how truly diverse the minimalism lifestyle was.
Her family’s take on minimalism is one that isn’t talked about much, so I asked her to share about it. The advice and story she shares is one I admire because she is true to her core about her intentions. In fact, her core values for this lifestyle includes the following tenants:
- Minimize things to decrease stress
- Minimize environmental impact
- Minimize harm we do to others
For this post specifically, Melissa is focusing on how to implement Whole Life Minimalism in your life today. I think you’re really going to enjoy what she has to say, so let’s get to it!
Whole Life Minimalism: Making Unconventional Choices in a Conventional World
My family is pretty weird. We make unconventional choices quite often, and live to tell about them! We have sold all of our belongings to move to Germany, we have become vegan, and we chose to live in 876 sq. ft. home with 5 people and one bathroom…while renovating it!
This may be a little crazy, but these choices were not hasty and they were not to prove someone else wrong. We made these shifts because it was the direction we wanted our lives to go in, it felt right for our family, and we had to make sure that we were listening and following our own voices and not letting others fear to stop us from achieving the wild and seemingly odd life choices we made.
But how did we do it? How did we allow our own dreams to lead us and not listen to others trying to convince us otherwise?
1 // Know your WHY.
I know, I know, everyone says this! But for good reason. Knowing the reasons you are making such unconventional choices will allow you to push forward in your pursuit of XYZ.
Our why for moving to Germany was a better paycheck and to show our children different cultures and beauty. Our reason to move into a small home was that it’s what we could afford at the time and we didn’t want to go into major debt just to “keep up with the joneses”.
Shoot, we have a three-pillar reason for going vegan! But that’s a totally different blog post altogether.
2 // Have an “elevator pitch” response to the inevitable question…but why???
It might sound silly but trust me when I say, just keep repeating the same thing! This allows you to continually hear your why and to also have a wonderful answer for when people ask you the reasons you’re making such a radical choice. And the more you say it the more confident you will become in your choice.
One key thing to remember is that people are naturally curious, they want to understand because it may be something they have literally never thought of doing. They may come across as judgmental but in reality, it’s their way of making sense of someone else’s choices. It may be something they have never seen or thought of before and they truly want to understand.
3 // Let it go!
Let others’ expectations and thoughts about you and your choices go. Don’t concern yourself with others’ opinions. At some point you may have family or friends who just don’t get it, they may not be able to let it go and that’s ok. You only have control of how you respond and since you have already replied in love with your why then you have to just let the rest go.
By doing this you will be able to ENJOY your choices. So don’t get distracted by opinions of your unconventional choices and let it steal your joy.
4 // GO FOR IT!
Don’t let fear hold you back. You’ve already conquered all the naysayers, so don’t let that voice in your head be the one holding you back. Fear is a crazy thing and it can squelch the most amazing ideas. Make sure you are communicating with your spouse or even with a friend who totally gets you to help keep the dream alive.
Making unconventional choices is hard! Some amazing things can happen when you step out of the box and create a life you have always dreamed of. Now go do it!!
Melissa Risenhoover is a podcaster and essential oil lover living in Fort Worth, Texas with her three kids and teacher husband. On most days you can find her homeschooling her kids, interviewing a podcast guest, or cooking up some awesome vegan food. You can connect with her on Instagram @melissarisenhoover.