Think about the most enjoyable moments of your life…
Did they involve accumulation, or removal?
Did they involve holding on, or letting go?
True happiness comes from removal, as opposed to accumulation. Inner peace comes from letting go, as opposed to holding on.
Think about the most enjoyable things in life. They usually involve a letting go of something; a celebratory release of the unnecessary; a divine dance based on the eradication of accumulated fears.
- Traveling is letting go of your anchor to one place and releasing yourself from the confinement of your comfort zone.
- Dancing is letting go of your inhibitions and allowing your body to express itself through movement.
- Sky diving is an act of completely letting go (to say the least).
- Partying is the release of all inhibitions with the intention of collective fun (except when you accumulate one too many drinks).
- Massages release tension.
- Sex is the ultimate act of letting go. The ultimate release on many levels.
- Meditation is letting go of everything and leaving yourself in the natural state of blissful stillness and inner peace.
Life is defined by experiences. The “best” life experiences usually involve little to no material things. And the material things involved are only those which are completely necessary for the experience to take place.
The most joyous experiences in life come when your fears are stripped away. When you’re worry-free, stress-free and pain-free. When you lose our inhibitions. When you let go of fear, doubt, limitations, paranoid control and all disharmonious states of being. In that release, what are you left with? The underlying essence of pure love.
Happiness is our natural state. It’s what you’re left with when you clear everything away. When you’re around loved ones, for example, you realize what you’re left with when everything else is gone; love and connection.
A happy life is defined by experiences, not the accumulation of stuff. And you experience more when you learn to let go.
Genuine happiness comes through clearing away all the bullshit. It comes from letting go of what doesn’t serve you. Let it go, baby.
Like, isn’t giving so much more deeply fulfilling than receiving? I think so.
Here’s some of the happiest moments of my life (off the top of my head)… Deep conversations with family and friends (too many to count). Every sexual experience I’ve had (too… many… to… count??? No, not really haha). Traveling New Zealand while living in a van. Traveling in Honduras. Walking outside. Reading/learning new, exciting things. Getting new ideas and insights. Every act of giving or helping people I’ve ever done (even the really small ones are so fulfilling). Hugging people I haven’t seen in a while…etc.
They all involve little to no “stuff.” Like I said before, life is defined by experiences. And “stuff” only works to your advantage when it contributes to an experience. That’s why minimalists tend to be happier people.
Note: The exceptions to this is what we need for survival. Air, water, food, and shelter. Because as humans, we kiiinda need those things to survive. (And plus, life is no fun when you’re hungry.)
Quotes about minimalism, letting go and all that good stuff:
“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need.” – Tao Te Ching
“We must be willing to let go of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” – Joseph Campbell
“Simplicity involves unburdening your life, and living more lightly with fewer distractions that interfere with a high quality life, as defined uniquely by each individual.” – Linda Breen Pierce
“One of the advantages of being born in an affluent society is that if one has any intelligence at all, one will realize that having more and more won’t solve the problem, and happiness does not lie in possessions, or even relationships: The answer lies within ourselves. If we can’t find peace and happiness there, it’s not going to come from the outside.” – Tenzin Palmo
“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
“It is preoccupation with possession, more than anything else, that prevents men from living freely and nobly.” – Bertrand Russel
“We go on multiplying our conveniences only to multiply our cares. We increase our possessions only to the enlargement of our anxieties.” – Anna C. Brackett
“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” – Socrates
Let go and enjoy the experience of life.