I have few heroes, but Joshua Becker is one of them. As humble as he is, he would probably be uncomfortable being considered anyone’s hero. But nonetheless, he is mine. I first learned of him through a niece’s Facebook post (thank you, dear little Dianne, who isn’t little any longer, but will always be called that!) several years ago. I have followed him since, through his blog, his online course, and his books. It was a thrill to see and hear him in person this week in Charlotte.
Joshua’s definition of Minimalism is: The intentional promotion of things we value most and the removal of anything that distracts us from them. Minimalism is not about organizing; organizing is a temporary solution that does not benefit anyone else. When we minimize our stuff, getting rid of what we do not need, we are able to give those things to others who do need them. Culling our stuff allows us, or even forces us, to face ourselves, and answer uncomfortable questions. It helps us focus on our purpose in life and rid ourselves and our home of any items that do not help us live out our purpose. It shows us the life-giving benefits of owning less. Once we commit to minimalism, spending money, time, and energy on things we do not need is no longer an option.
Joshua Becker’s latest book, The Minimalist Home, is a great resource and is a step-by-step guide for living a decluttered, refocused life. Joshua asked the audience the following question in the presentation in Charlotte: “What is the purpose of home?” There was similarity in the audience’s answers: safety, stability, security, shelter, and love were all answers given. Joshua’s answer was: “The purpose of home is not to house stuff. Home is shelter, stability, and love; a landing pad from which we go out and live our purpose.” Home is a special place for me, not really having much of one growing up. I am hanging on tightly to our primary home although it is too large for two people, Mike and me. We travel so much that we are rarely even there. We should probably downsize or right size. But I am not there yet.
Those who know me will be surprised that I have any interest at all in Minimalism. I have always loved stuff and have too much of it. While I have never thought stuff made me or anyone else happy, I still have and hold on to too much. But I am changing this, one small step at a time. I have (almost) stopped bringing more stuff in. I am also letting go of some things. It is, and I am, a work in process.
I find truth in the words Joshua autographed in my copy of The Minimalist Home: “Own less, live more.”