This past month of leaving Los Angeles and traveling around Europe has only ignited the never-ending question I’m always asking myself: do I really need all of this? I mean, what do I really need when I’ve got great people around and great views like the above photo to gaze out at? You don’t need much, I’ll tell you that. I guess it’s already pretty liberating (or devastating depending on who you’re talking to) when your entire life is packed into two bags, but even with these two bags, I feel like there’s some dead weight.
You only start questioning this when you’re carrying it around everywhere. Do you want to be carrying around a 25lb bag and 20lb dufflebag for the next month in Thailand? I’m not sure either. That’s why this month I’ve been back on my minimalism game. Minimalism isn’t about getting rid of everything, but it is about getting rid of anything that is truly holding you back, and weighing you down – literally. Here are my favorites from October 2016:
I don’t need much to write a blog – I’ve written them in journals, my iPhone notepad, in an email to myself, directly in WordPress, even once on the back of a napkin – but one of my favorite resources is Ommwriter, a minimalist text editor. It’s like Word, but without the thousand distractions and buttons – and with hypnotizing music to focus. Hence the “omm.” Def not for everyone, but def for me. I just like that you can choose from 10 different calming backgrounds (I chose a background that gradually changes colors every minute), and different music soundtracks.
Whole-wheat Cereal with Stracciatella Bits
How many of my mornings were spent with a bowl of this cereal? Ok, who I am kidding, how many mornings, days, and nights were spent with a bowl of this cereal? I don’t recall ever seeing this kind of cereal among all the 50 kinds of cereal in the cereal aisle in the States. Probably because it’s so basic. The best part: I’ve always found the cheapest store-brand to actually be the best tasting.
A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
While in London, I noticed my friend Lucy was reading The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle – a mind-opening book to remind yourself that the past and future don’t exist without the present. The only moment you’ll ever have is the present.
Another of his most famous books called A New Earth is one that was recommended to me from a Brazilian Couch Surfer. Who is I really referring to? I is not who I am. I am the person behind the I. I am also not “Damon.” These are made up for convenience. Clearly it’s a super trippy, WTF kind of book, but also one that’ll have you questioning the meaning behind many of things we have always considered to be the norm. I remember reading this book on the New York City and half of the time being like what-the-f*ck and the other half being like whoa, I have never thought that far.
Minimalism and mindfulness have been one of my key interests of the past ten years. mnmlst was a blog written by Leo Babauta that unfortunately is no longer updated. He now updates over at ZenHabits, but for me, mnmlst was the realest minimalism blog out there. It’s not one of those minimalism blogs that feel like what you’re reading is common sense. Scroll through the archives and pick a post – they’re short, interesting, and thought-provoking. Try Living For Everyone Else or Live More, Need Less.
It’ll take your thinking to the next level.
Free Kiehl’s Samples
After one my last-month “favorites” started breaking out my forehead (after many tests), I’m giving Kiehl’s another chance. After all, if you walk into any Kiehl’s store, you’ll see that there are about 85 different moisturizer, creams, gels to choose from. If you want choice, you’ll definitely get choice. Creams tend to have me looking like I caked olive oil all over my face, so after asking the employee what she would recommend for combination skin, she recommended three products: the oil-free moisturizer, the facial fuel, or their SPF-50. I walked out of the Kiehl’s Store with a bag of free samples of a few of their products and just in the past week, I feel like my skin looks 10x more radiant – then again, I have also been drinking a lot more water. Who knows? But at least you can go store to store and they’ll gladly offer you samples! The Amazon product I’ve listed here is a lot more expensive than the in-store price, so be on the lookout!
What were some things you discovered this month that I/We/Other readers should look into?