Can minimalism be applied in real life?

I grew up in a household where things have been given a higher value than human sentiments. Things were gifted to show love. Things were taken to show resentment. Somehow I began to seek value in objects, for they hold such emotional significance. The desire of owning went so far I sometimes had to dig in a pile to find something I genuinely need. I put my sanctification on shopping than conversing with people. I felt exhausted, but I didn’t know what was going wrong. For I had so many things. Happiness should be just around the corner. One day, I was going through a documentary on Minimalism, and I understood where it was going wrong. Essentially a concept of recognizing the things that matter and intentionally let go of attachment towards people, objects and opportunities that have no value.

Tried and failed multiple times over the years, because of changing lifestyles, moving from a city to another, and often finding myself in the necessity of breaking free from this sudden limit. This limit frequently restricted me from pursuing certain creative projects. Nevertheless, I have periodically come back to practice it again, as it brought me a certain degree of peacefulness and helped me focus. Consumerism has normalized excess, excess of clothes, excess of food, excess of people, excess of entertainment and excess of information. Minimalism is not just physical but mental too. Not associating with toxic people, quitting habits that harm you in the long run and taking care of your physical self because they are all in the same ballpark. Concepts as minimalism and veganism have been distorted to look like quasi aesthetic cults on social media and the real notion is lost through ideas portrayed online. The idea of neutral aesthetics aids in finding balance, and shifting focus towards other problems that are crying for help.

So I came to certain conclusions. One being, minimalism does not have established rules as to how many possessions it is acceptable for you to keep since every person lives in varied conditions. Minimalism promotes not letting possessions weigh you down. It helps with mental clarity in our lifestyles where we are overcommitted to plans. It gives room to focus on personal aspirations and purpose in life. There is unparalleled freedom in being in control of your own desires and letting go of the pressure to validate yourself through owning possessions. Through physical declutter, your attention would shift to recognizing who you are, rather than what you own.

Sukanya.

Grey

A lot of time passed since I last wrote. This draft page looks different. So do my thoughts. I have a lot on my mind, but don’t know what to write. What should look good on my blog, that has been so much curated to appeal my readers. If I wrote freely, maybe someone would be taken aback. But it’s just a thought, to write freely. Somehow I feel very detached and attached to the world at the same time. In many poems I’ve mentioned raw, I realized many times raw is also equated to wild. Do people label unfamiliar sensations as wild? What do they call unfamiliar aspects of their own? When they comb their hair in the mirror and feel unfamiliar with the scalp they are brushing the comb across, do they feel serene or a slight discomfort? Do they disguise or confuse it for the tugging of hair?

People assign sensations to songs. Sensations with people. People to songs. And sit for hours with it, enjoying the flow of time. Then watch videos on productivity, to correct their wired mistakes. You can just forget. Or forcibly reassign. While you munch your food with your laptop in front of you, do you feel empty? Despite having a plate full and a whole hour of entertainment to satisfy the null? Your quotidian routine has become a cycle of devouring not because you need to, but because you are too afraid to stop and feel the null. Nobody chose null and dared to find what null really is. What if it is peaceful?

These days I see too much grey. In people, in between my hair, in the angry sky, and in the ashes of my burning thoughts. I happen to like grey because it does not care about its pride, like black and white and does not need to stand true to its color. It’s comfortable being itself.

Sometimes when I am washing dishes in the afternoon, I look up at the window. I see white clouds scattered through a bright blue sky, swaying branches and birds adjusting themselves on it. In some odd ways that space makes me feel nice. Not for very long, just a few moments.

Sukanya.

How to utilize and not exploit your purchasing power.

Once you start earning, capitalism provides many ventures to help you exercise your newly attained power of purchasing. As it expands we spend more, sometimes out of pseudo need and sometimes to replicate the nostalgia. We see advertisements almost every where, the moment we log into social media or walk out to the buy our daily groceries. So much product information often impairs our rational needs. We end up buying things we might not want, only out of peer consumerist behavior.

It is a normal phase for every adult who transitions into this phase. Our ultimate goal is to attain that utopian level of satisfaction. Somewhere we believe that those physical objects could bring us happiness, that happiness is ‘somewhere around the corner’ as Ryan Nicodemus says. This is also mistaken for the belief that real happiness could be achieved by the deprivation of objects. Perhaps not. Perhaps it is what we target for.


Based upon my experience, I compiled a checklist on how to know whether you actually need the product or service:

✓ When you pick the item/service, state three reasons why you exactly need it. Say that aloud.
✓ Will you use this item/service for more than five times?
✓ Is there a cheaper alternative for this item/service?
✓ Are you easily able to walk out of the check out portal/cash counter without buying the item/service?
✓ Do you love the item/service or the price?
✓ Does this fit in your budget?

While buying monthly groceries online, give yourself time of two days to plan the groceries. Check your fridge and pantry. Always following the rules above, you can double check in case you are buying any extra item. For groceries it is even more important because these are generally perishable being of consumable nature and wastage is even greater.

Create a budget based upon your average shopping activities and allocate money to it. Allow yourself to strictly follow the budget unless any item is of necessity as per the checklist above. By averaging, you should be able to budget while not withdrawing yourself of actual necessities. While it is good to allow yourself the comfort of your spending power, it is also necessary to not permit capitalism to abuse it.

It is absolutely normal to mindlessly buy an item or two at the start because we are not used to this routine. Give yourself time of twenty one purchases to settle in with the pattern. Do not give up practicing buying with awareness because you got back to your old habit once.

Blueberry.

Unknown Painting by Joseph Zbukvic
Painting by Joseph Zbukvic

 

As I clutch his hand and walk away from school, I ask him, “Can I have ice cream later?”. He nods and strides ahead quickly, while I try catching up with him. I try to walk fast, trying to fix my brown bob and adjust my little bag on my tiny shoulders. My cheeks turned red from the winter breeze. Unable to match with his pace, he picks me up and gently places me on his shoulders.

I could see the world from there. I could view the tops of people’s heads while they passed by. I could see the buildings, the trams, the statues and trees all better. It used to be nice to not feel the distress of not being able to view places while I strolled.

My mother imagined I would be spoiled if I would always demand to sit on his shoulders. So I asked him whenever only we both walked together. Though he knew how much I loved observing, for all the drawings I made of the things I saw outside, nature I loved being present in and the peculiar details of certain personalities I saw.

I vividly remember as soon as I was placed, with each step he hummed, like a soldier marching. “Hmm, hmmm!” he sang in a deep voice as he confidently paced in synchronicity while we head towards the ice cream shop.

We arrive and he places me down, asking me to select the flavours. I was never the person who would follow suggestions. So even though my father asked me to try pistachio, I would always go for the most unusual looking ice cream colour. I pointed at blueberry and looked up at the young woman in her apron. She smiled and asked in Italian, “So you’ve picked blueberry? Any other flavour you would like to add sweetheart?” I looked around with wide eyes, examining every flavour. I could not read by then, so I could only distinguish their uniqueness with the colour or perhaps if any fruit was drawn on the placards. I nodded in negative and waited for my ice cream to be handed over.

My father was right. Pistachio is indeed worth the try. But I am glad I made my own choices. I was given the space to learn from my own experiences. He and I are uncannily similar when it comes to our wants to explore. He learns from me and I learn from him. And together we grow, understanding each other.

The lady in the apron looks at me like I am the purest form of joy breathing. Perhaps I was. My concentration was fixated upon the curiosity of tasting that blue coloured ice cream. And it was all. All the worry was there. Whether it would disappoint me, and I would have come back again some other day to try another flavour.

 

 

Calm.

Anonymous Artist

 

Cars moving in disorder,
something like the chaos in my head
but in harmony with the leaves
of branches hanging in dismay.

To seek more beauty,
I look up towards the dark horizon.
The grey clouds and the frightened birds,
shrilling across the skyline.

I’m so happy to see the world like it is,
that I would cry tears of joy.
Except I couldn’t,
and I shamed in the inability.

So nature took pity
and covered my face with tears from the sky,
soaking everything to deceive the imaginary
and explicate the real. 

The branches stopped and went to sleep,
so the people had to leave too.
But I didn’t, because I was not a dancer.
Only an observer. 

I felt happy, in that moment of stillness,
until stillness felt torturous.
And I turned towards my car,
longing to seek confusion anew.

 

Eternal Lullaby

leon-perrault-mother-with-child

She hummed to me,
a faint lullaby
etched in a corner,
of my numb mind.

Her wrinkled hands,
caressed my scalp in pauses,
running her thick fingers
through my tangled hair.

I know this cradle song
since I started to utter words of my own,
and carefully listen to her sing
the story of the king,
who fights the monster alone.

I watch the white walls,
project me as the king,
battling my monsters
and return home in victory.

Suddenly her voice breaks.

She pauses, and I know why.

But again, she continues to sing,
this time on sadder notes.
Her fat lap and stout fingers,
give more comfort,
than the dull hospital ward,
and the foreign pillow.

My mother is beautiful,
in her grace and strength,
concealing her inner devastation.

I am not afraid to die,
for I spent my last breaths
in a place I call home.

My mother’s eternal lullaby.

Sukanya. ©

Real.

493ss_thinkstock_rf_purple_bruise

Real as the purple bruises
Real as the vulnerable me
Find peace in the real you,
For being real sets you free.

 

Sukanya.

Raw

06228077fdf4a27005a218279b6b24ae
Unknown Artist

 

 

 

Have you stayed raw lately
With your flesh still clinging to your soul
changing skins
For every excuse and rationalisation

Raw is denied, raw is abhorred
Raw is uncomplex, naked in all senses
From raw we escape
And raw we want to seek

And no, it’s not a necessity because
Sometimes you’ll pause and stare
For you’ll forget your real one
With all the masks you wore

You’ll often call the false one your own.

Until it will give an itch
And crawl up under your skin
Infect your heart
And murder your soul

You’ll realize you’re sick
Struck with a terminal disease
Life will become a nauseous ride
And plenty of time of endure

For I am raw.

 

 

Sukanya.

Work.

 

Alex Pillin.jpg
Artwork By Alex Pilin

 

The dark sheets are tangling,
and so is my spirit to keep myself awake
in the wee hours of the morning.

I have to work
and by work, I intend
lending my knowledge and substance
to thieves smiling in suits.

They call it called work.
The ultimatum of fifteen years
of dreaming with open eyes
of having the power to change.

I am being consciously robbed by society.
And my people are the accomplices
because of their worldly possessions
of talents and the ability to dream were snatched too

They want you to exchange
these treasured belongings of yours
like your gift of creating magic with sounds
or evoke feelings with mere words

for coloured paper with unmatched worth
they put a price tag on your ways of life
ask you to sell your worth

in replacement for attractive litter
calling commodities obligations of life.

You know, you know all.
Yet you prefer to blindfold your eyes
and enjoy the distress

Your real riches are validation
You celebrate sadness
Your value misery
And misery you chase to seek,
and recommend your loved ones too.

Like pills, society prescribes it
drugs themselves of ignorance.
My ancestors did it, and so will I.
I will go to work too.

 

 

Sukanya.
©reserved.

Me and my storm.

sea-waves-storms-rocks-dark-1080P-wallpaper-middle-size

I stand on a slippery rock
while huge waves roar beside me,
foaming white and grey.

I quite not remember how I arrived but,
The hard blue sea is the only horizon I see
for my eyes don’t reach lands, or any humanity

This sea is powerful,
but I wonder whether it ever exhausts
of being in a constant storm and conflict

I am tired, of watching this sea every day.
I calm one wave, a thousand more erupt

And then I send a bottled message,
“Please help me.”
desperately crawling around the small rock,
bearing the wild sea, waiting for the aid

Perhaps it is a mirage
but the rock I am stranded on,
becomes smaller,
and the sea ever more monstrous

It is beyond my control, this havoc
I am tiny to this mighty phenomenon
There is nothing I can do
except wait for the rage to calm itself

The only thing I dread that
I may have finally accepted that,
this is where I belong.

Me and my storm.

Sukanya.