The New Year Purge: Freeing Yourself From Excess
I feel so blessed to be alive and well and to be able to enter the new year with my loved ones. 2017 has been a great year and I am looking forward to what 2018 has in store. I'm not huge on sharing personal goals across my social platforms so don't worry I won't bore you with a list of to-do's in today's post. Instead, I want to engage in conversation with each of you regarding an issue I experienced in the previous year - Excess, which I think could really inspire you. With the new year upon us, and the resolution-making frenzy in full effect, many of us (myself included) will be decluttering our personal spaces but what, and how much, do you get rid of?
I've been reading Issue 16 of The Gentlewoman and came across an article discussing how "these are times when emotion and sensation are more representative proxies for the modern state of being - a receptiveness to experience that is the true luxury of our era." Under this article, the six motifs that were mentioned include: Devotion, Excess, Entrainment, Anonymity, Surrender and Fascination. Excess really caught my attention as I pictured my self in the author's shoes, who sees "the world as divided into the excessives, who suffer from that fear of empty space - generous types with volatile tempers who believe More is More - and the measured, who appreciate midcentury modern, purge their wardrobes..." Today we live in a consumer culture where we always need to be buying more. It could be due to social influence, peer influence etc but whatever motivates us to do so, we continuously fill our lives to the brim with items we think we need. For a split second, think about this - do we really need all this excess?
“Knowledge is learning something new every day. Wisdom is letting go of something every day”
Our needs, wants, possessions etc can become excess. A valuable lesson I learnt in 2017 is that having more in our lives or buying into the concept that more is better can mean we miss living in the moment. I found myself constantly waiting for my life to be complete with more and striving for a day that does not align with where God wants me to be. I was in a state of deferred living, always assuming that what I have now is not enough. Always wanting more when one day, I decided to escape from this predicament by starting with the simplest thing to rid myself of - all my unwanted items. For those of you who know me personally, you'll know that my wardrobe has always been doing the most! When I decided to donate 80% of my items to charities in my city (20% went to my younger sisters), it was definitely refreshing letting go of all the unnecessary clutter but there is still a long way to go. In 2018, I'm aiming towards a journey to simplicity and less. Over the last year, I started to accumulate more in my life. More material possessions, more commitments, more financial responsibilities and more hassle. Alongside this, I felt like less of my time was, my time. And even when I made time to focus on my own work, it normally resulted in procrastination as I no longer had the motivation or the willingness due to everything else I had committed myself to. Here's to not being afraid to say 'no thanks' in the new year, guys!
In an age where being 'busy' is glorified, I was in motion a lot of the time but wasn't really making the most out of my life. I had bought into the concept of more and that more would be the answer. I had lost track of any goals I had committed myself to, and most importantly, I did not dedicate my time to friends and family. As well as that, I made several holiday plans which completely flopped.
In this period of reflecting, I've started to identify more of what I truly want in the new year and in life. It's also a period for me to uncover those things in life I would rather be without. This can also be applied to relationships etc.
Here are just some of my reflective thoughts:
Seek out books, seminars, workshops that will challenge my thinking, help me build my brand and aid in my personal development.
Take action. The time is NOW. Not tomorrow.
Peel back and eliminate what doesn't matter.
Extract myself from commitments I have no interest in being at or cause some sort of convenience to my daily schedule. The other option is to also seek help and advice with these commitments. I'm always up for helping someone and adding value in any way I can so I will try to remain diligent in this, without getting myself into a state!
Feel less guilty about saying 'no thanks.'
Remove distractions and excuses I'm making to myself.
Focus more on the things and the people that are important to me. Tomorrow is not promised - show love and kindness to others, reach out a helping hand, devote time to family and friends. Invest in experiences - be spontaneous! Don't let others dictate what you can or cannot do. Here's to my first solo trip in 2018, yes!
Accumulate fewer material possessions and use my disposable income to travel, attend events, dine, and occasionally top up on key pieces in my wardrobe that I can wear throughout the year. After all, less is more. My latest inspiration? Parisian chic.
I look forward to December 2018, God willing, when I can look back and gladly say that I succeeded in all of the above.
I'd love to know if this post has encouraged you in some way so please feel free to leave a comment below.
Happy New Year (in advance!)
Shot by @o.shea.o