WellBeing

Less is more

Atall, dark stranger walked into my clinic one day and handed me a box of expensive items. A new designer jumper, fancy headphones and shiny trainers. “Please give these to someone who needs them, I’m a minimalist,” he smiled with monklike serenity. I was reminded of the movie Brother Sun, Sister Moon when St Francis of Assisi dispersed his family’s coffers.

What ensued was an enlightening conversation exploring needs versus wants and simplifying versus stockpiling. For years Richard was a workaholic to pay for his lavish lifestyle, which ironically helped him unwind from work stress! This vicious cycle led to burnout, depression and ruined relationships. After reducing work and radically downsizing Richard felt free. “I was straining so much to get more; I didn’t appreciate what I had.” Today he measures success by a more meaningful life rather than more money. He had the courage to escape his comfort zone and prestigious position to treasure himself over his privileges.

Richard’s epiphanies inspired me to explore more about this minimalist movement. Distinct from the 60s reductionist art movement, minimalism mirrors the style of many traditional cultures. Zen Buddhists, monks, nuns, Quakers, Spartans, Japanese and Swedes embrace minimalism’s pared-back style. Minimalism involves more than possessions: it promotes

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