I met these great guys last Saturday. Their names are Josh and Ryan and they write a blog about minimalism. Well. It’s not really about minimalism. It’s about living a meaningful life and how making money and acquiring stuff doesn’t bring the fulfillment or satisfaction we think it will.
Ryan and Josh are on a tour to
promote their new book, meet other cool minimalists, like moi, and that’s how I got to meet them. Saturday they came to Phoenix and spoke about how they’ve changed their lives; they spoke about letting go of possessions and fancy corporate titles, about living with less and creating more.
Reading the Future
The meet-up moved from a coffee shop to a bar down the street, and the larger group broke into clusters for deeper discussion. The sharing of ideas and connecting of minds was just what I needed to renew my energy and continue the frightening but liberating path of bettering my life. The interesting thing is that I could have missed out on all of it.
I almost didn’t go.
My friend Bibi is the one who changed my mind. We had met up for an early dinner, and while sorting out the bill, she asked what I was doing later that night. I told her about the meet up. “But I don’t think I’m gonna go.” I said.
“But why?!? It’ll be so much fuuun!!” Bibi has this way of making everything feel like sunshine and rainbows. After combatting a few lame excuses I had thrown out about “being tired” and “not feeling confident”, Bibi convinced me that it would be a super-duper-awesome time. And it was.
The Lies We Tell Ourselves
Since then, I’ve had some time to think about why I wasn’t gonna go. It seems I was lying to myself. I was making up stories about what the night would be–perhaps as an attempt to protect myself from the discomforts of facing the unknown–and using those stories as an excuse to take the easy path of going home and hiding.
I’ve been making that a habit lately, but I haven’t always been that way. I remember a time when I remained open-minded and approached each moment with the excitement of discovery. Life was a colorful adventure and I rested only on the buoyancy of adventure and possibility.
Letting Go of Fears
Recently, I’ve been considering leaving my job without having a new one lined up. I know that sounds risky to many, but it doesn’t to me. Besides that I’m at the point where living out of my car seems more pleasant than going to work , I have already explored other, more entrepreneurial options that I know I’d be great at: contracting for a small business and selling art on commission.
But I’m hovering.
I carry countless messages in my head that scream the dangers of joblessness. I suspect most of them are lies, yet they still hold power. If I were alone in this world, I would have already moved on. But I have friends and family. It’s the thought of dealing with their fearful reactions that stop me–as if my choices would somehow hurt them by triggering their most deep-seated fears.
I don’t think anyone I know would consider earning their living by selling art on commission, but for me it feels like the most natural, most obvious thing I should be doing right now. Just the thought of it invigorates me with a joyful energy. Certainly I’ve already started taking steps towards realizing it, but I want to give it my all, my 40, 60 or 80 hours per week.
As I gain clarity and separate the fact from the fiction, I’ll keep you updated. Until then: what are you lying to yourself about, and how is it limiting you?