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I recently came across a little gem of advice. It is buried in an old Instagram post from this stylist in England, @scandinavianstylist. Check her out.

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Beach in Ayr, Scotland. (photo credit: Jean Brown)

Amid lovely posts of her minimalist but cozy home and her simple but lush fashion aesthetic, there was a photo of a person (her, I presume) standing on a broad beach with a grey sky and miles of little puddles in the background. She discussed how she’s always dreamed of living near the sea, but where they live is magical, too, with much to enjoy and appreciate. She’s a minimalist, so she shares how her lifestyle creates space for doing the things they love, like visiting the sea often.

Then she finishes with some advice on where to start if you’re trying to minimize. She advises you ask yourself this:

What would I like more of in my life?

Well, shit.

I’ve read lots of minimalist literature, blogs, etc, and many of them circle around this idea of looking at minimalism as what you want rather than what you need to purge. But for some reason, the simple and earnest presentation of this question hit me.

Right after I read it, I mentioned it to Mike, my husband, and it sparked an interesting conversation. Our answers to the question were not material things but more about experiences and spending meaningful time together and as a family. They came to us easily. (If you’re curious, I said I wanted to travel more and get outside in the wild [not manufactured city nature] more.)

I’ve thoughts about this question a lot since I first read it a few weeks ago. This morning I realized what it is about it that’s so good. What you want more of suggests that you already have what you need. It’s not about filling a hole or acquiring something new. It’s not creating a laundry list of things you want that probably really don’t have much meaning in the long run. It’s about focus and attention and deeper appreciation of what you already have.

The Scottish Highlands "More" on theselfstyledlife.com (Photo by Jean Brown)

The Scottish Highlands “More” on theselfstyledlife.com (Photo by Jean Brown)

 

So now I’m curious: how will other people approach this question? Do you, like me, find yourself answering with intangibles, too? Does it get you to a profound insight or is it more like, “I neeeeeeed more cashmere socks in my life.” (And frankly, I can understand that one, too!)

Have you gotten any good advice lately?

{…and not to totally ignore the deafening crickets around here lately… I’ve been working on something Big that’s taken up most of my mental energy and time. Nevertheless, I hope to get back to more regular posting here soon!}

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