More than half of us modern humans now live in urban environments. Often a full-frontal assault of technology, consumer culture and disconnection from nature… enjoying a life free of unnecessary extras and distraction from what actually matters is now (for many of us!) a conscious lifestyle decision that takes some re-conditioning.
This month, VIVOBAREFOOT are celebrating minimalism. Ditching the superfluous and feeling more connected, happier and lighter because of it. In a modern world full of brands making unprecedented amounts of stuff, it’s never felt more important to make sure the ‘stuff’ we produce is the best we can possibly make it.
Because of the ‘stuff’ we buy… we only actually wear 20% of it. And of the 20% of stuff we wear, we only wear it 20% of the time. You see our point… less accumulated ‘stuff’ and more enjoyment of the ‘good stuff’ because of it.
We believe that conscious consumer decisions are a big contributor to leading a minimal lifestyle. It’s not about going ‘without’– it’s about understanding the things you actually need, with consideration of its environmental impact, and letting go of the temptation to amass more ‘stuff’ that serves as a distraction to what truly matters.
Each week we’ll be trying our hand at some minimalist challenges, aiming to inspire consideration for how we can enhance our connection with ourselves, each other and nature.
THE MINIMALIST CHALLENGES
1. DISCONNECT TO RECONNECT
This week we’re enjoying a digital detox; disconnecting from our devices and reconnecting with the real world in all its sensory glory. Instead of skimming through emails before putting a first foot out of bed, or an evening indulged in the eternal entertainment stream technology has to offer, we’re reclaiming every spare moment by switching off our devices.
Not only does this open up time for meaningful experiences, it should also do wonders for our natural sleep cycle by encouraging the brain to take the lead of natural light when shutting off for the night and rebooting in the morning. Win, Win!
2. CREATE MORE, CONSUME LESS
There’s a strain of human instinct that’s conditioned to desire the accumulation of possessions as a route to fulfilment… and this propensity has been pounced on as a means to sell us ever more ‘stuff’ at an unprecedented level.
We’re sure you’ll agree that true happiness is in fact achieved through the appreciation of simple pleasures, meaningful connections, a sense of mastery and achieving personal goals.
This week (and hopefully for many many more to come!) we’re swapping the instinct to consume with a decision to create – pouring our energy into creating and sharing ‘the good stuff’.
A great way to filter out the superfluous is to ask 3 simple questions: What purpose does it serve? What is its environmental cost? Does it have emotional durability? Tick all 3 boxes and you’re good to go.
3. GO BAREFOOT IN NATURE
Perhaps one of the easiest of our challenges to complete (no fighting against conditioned urges!), but by no means any less fulfilling than the rest.
This week we’re taking the time to experience mother nature in all her sensory glory; nourishing from the sole upwards by kicking off our shoes and exploring au-natural.
Whether it’s a local park, a riverside footpath, an ocean shoreline or a woodland trail… the aim is to engage every sense in the enriching experience of presence and connection in nature. The enjoyment that can be gained from such a simple act is pretty profound – we’re sure you’re going to love it!
4. THE ‘GOOD STUFF’ LIST
Our final challenge aims to serve as a reminder of the real ‘good stuff’.
Grab a pen and paper, and note down in an energetic, explorative and creative list all the experiences, activities and key items that truly bring a sense of connection and happiness to each day.
Whether it’s riding your bike instead of taking the bus, waking at sunrise and having a stretch before work, or hiking in your favourite trail shoes and camp fireside with friends… the aim of the game is to create a point of reference for those moments of temptation… we’ll be reaching for our list instead.