Minimalist or scarcity mindset?


It's all the rage right now. Or at least I'm hearing about it more lately in the circles I run in.

image source  here .

image source here.

And I think it's a great concept. I began to wonder, though, the fine line between minimalism and a scarcity mindset--because I think there's some potential there. 

My Buddhist practice teaches me not to think in absolutes, but instead to find the Middle Way with anything and everything. And OH MY GOSH does it help with so many things. All the things, in fact.

So, when thinking about minimalism as a lifestyle practice or identity you can consider the aspects that work and the point at which it begins to not work. Here's how I came to think about it for myself.

I recently moved into a new and amazing and TINY apartment. I found this hidden gem studio in the middle of a great neighborhood in Somerville and I jumped at the opportunity. It's basically a tiny house within a house. To be able to move into that space, I had to consider two contrasting perspectives:

  1. it would be an increase in living expenses to live alone
  2. I had to significantly downsize all my worldly possessions

Moving into this space required me to test out my own issues around scarcity mindset (related to the cost of living alone in a city with a high cost of living) AND minimalism in one fell swoop. And it was an incredibly challenging and awesome experience. Since I had a month and a half to prepare, I painstakingly went through almost every nook, cranny, gadget, gizmo, letter, picture, book, etc. that I owned and weighed its value in my life.

Did it make the cut or nah?

I'm talking pictures from when I was five and my high school yearbook and letters from my love interests from 20 years ago. And then I had to consider my 36" television and speaker setup----one of the things I loved most in the world. The hard truth was, they just would not fit in the new space so I had to either sell or donate them. I looked at the days remaining in the month and weighed the work of posting ads to sell things to make money (scarcity mindset) versus giving away (minimalism and abundance).

I can't say how or why it suddenly became effortless to just give everything away.

I CAN say how and why I chose to prioritize my resources on living alone after almost 10 years of living environments that didn't work for me. My mental health depended on it. All the scrimping and saving and coming from, "I don't have enough _____________" was bleeding out into my whole life.

"I don't have enough money" also showed up as I don't have enough time, love, support, balance, energy, focus, memory, integrity, etc.

Minimalism is awesome. It really shows us what is important--it allows us to release attachment to materialism or possessions that block our emotional freedom and peace. But it, like anything out of balance, can also be a way for us to deprive ourselves of things we need in name of being frugal. And that becomes scarcity mindset. And it begins as coupon clipping but can also show up as not reaching out to friends when you need help or overworking or perfectionism. If there's not enough for you to have, there's also not enough for you to give----and VICE VERSA--and it keeps repeating back and around on itself.

Tell me if you're with me?

Next time you find yourself making a decision from a well-intentioned place of minimalism, ask yourself if you're really scaling back from intentional choice or from conditioned behavior of scarcity mindset coming from deep-seated feelings of your value and worth. 

See what you discover and reach out to tell me. I'll be sipping coffee in my tiny house while not watching tv.

No One Can Do You Like You Do.


  There are a lot of coaches doing the work I do.

There are a lot of people in the business of health and wellness, competing for the same time, energy, air space, resources, money, clients, etc. Sometimes it makes me a little nervous, I'll be honest. Industry experts and trade secrets tell me I am either crazy or right-on to tell you this, which is a whole other blog post for another time--that whole authenticity thing. Stay tuned for that one. For now, let's stay here--with fear, doubt and what you can do with it.

It's true. Sometimes, I get especially nervous when I see someone copying something I've just launched, taking material I put out there (maybe a recipe or a blog post or twitter bio) and passing it off as their own without a mention or reference as to the source of inspiration. Despite that old saying, "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" sometimes it doesn't feel that way, especially when you're talking about building and sustaining a business. It's easy to get small and concerned and need the validation and maybe even a little frustrated when you think someone is stealing your spotlight--or your brand or your message or __something__ faster, bigger, sooner or better. Can you relate?

Well, it isn't true, because no one can do you like you do. It's just not possible.

For instance, I saw this guy online, a big twitter personality with massive numbers of followers, suddenly start talking about health and nutrition. Since he has built his business around being a guru of marketing, it surprised me that he was now talking about health and fitness considering he didn't really have "credentials" to do it. I got all up in my head thinking about his reach and his advantage, etc. etc. And I even went to that "but he knows nothing about nutrition" place. That dark, small, lonely space. Hmm.

Then, I paid closer attention and realized he was on a path, himself, to become more healthy. He was busting his ass day in and day out trying to find the answers and solutions he needed to feel better in his skin. I instantly got flooded with compassion and, I'll admit, love. He was walking his talk, just like me, trying to get from A to B and inspire people along the way. When I read his posts and followed his pictures on instagram, I realized it was nothing like what I'd do or promote or put out there as advice or ideas but his followers were eating it up, pun intended. It was working for him and that's all that mattered.

It was him doing him. And his followers needed that from him, because only he could do it like that. 

I could go on with more stories but I think you get it. Whether it's someone changing his twitter bio to match what you say in yours (it's happened to me), sending a similar message in marketing, copying your recipes and not giving you credit (it happened to my friend) or heck, copying your interior design as they open a new business right across the street from you (also a true story), it can certainly bring up feelings of frustration, concern or worry. We can go to that place of scarcity and threat, that there isn't enough to go around and someone doing what you're doing takes away from what you're trying to accomplish. Think of the hours spent in litigation (legal or mental) over things like this and how much time it takes away from actually just DOING more of the stuff you love to do?

If you can allow those feelings to come up and get them out, it's a good thing. I can even go the Buddhist place with this stuff and tell you that it's all about impermanence, right? Wanting to hold onto something and make it be ours and ours forever--and not wanting it to end. Get present with that fear, get real with that concern and talk to someone about it or write it down. Then work on getting to the place of remembering that no one, NO ONE, can do you like you do. There's only one person who can say it like you'll say it, do it like you'll do it and sell it like only YOU can sell it.

Your sass. Your wit. Your insights. Your ideas. Your color. Your character. Your wisdom. Your experience. Your perspective.

Social media shows that everyone is doing their thing, adding their two cents to the hustle and competing against hundreds and thousands of competitors.

We can get caught up in the stress of trying to win "the game" with content, messaging and marketing all hours of the day or we can relax and stay true to us and what we love and want to create and share. Besides, we're all saying or doing the same things, in case you haven't noticed. We might as well add our voice to the mix for whomever needs to hear it as only we can, and feel damn good about when others do it themselves.