February has arrived and with it for me a busy but exciting month of 3 challenges that will (hopefully) see me move from 5/10 to 8/10 of my challenges completed.
The minimalism game is all about recycling/giving away/re-purposing/ your stuff. On Day 1 you give away 1 item, 2 on day 2, 3 on the 3rd day etc, and see how far you can get! So far I’ve done just 4 days but am hoping to get up to day 20 and who knows, maybe even the whole month of February. Its an opportunity to reflect on consumption, what matters most, what do we really need, what brings us joy and life and will we really need to/want to use this again? I am hoping that as the month develops I will be able to explore some of the themes that the Minimalists focus on and seek to explore more what it means to have stuff and how to consume more consciously and in a better way. I am still wrestling with and working through the challenges of reading ‘Consumer Detox’ a number of years ago.
Here are a few images of the things I have taken out of my life so far!
For FAWM I’ve started by taking 2 songs I wrote/played at my first ever open mic night gig last October and given a bit of time to them. The original’s are posted up on my FAWM site and I hope the improved versions will one day see the light of day. I’ve been working on other ideas/parts of songs as well. I will be posting things up regularly on my FAWM Page / Soundcloud
Here’s the lyrics for a song I wrote yesterday called – Are you Ready? It’s a reflection on staying open, hungry to learn, to act and to live with integrity, but also about not striving and living unsustainably but also avoiding being stuck.
Are you ready? / Are you still hungry? /
Are you open to change? / Pressing in deep / do not be the one to fall asleep
Who are you? / Where are you? / Ready for what’s next / Not in the Delia sense
Cracked but open to the light finding its way in
What remains to build on, can still be built again
The times are getting darker / Can I see the light
Find that release / But not an escape
Embrace don’t refrain / Push on but remain
Push on but remain
In addition to these two month long challenges, next weekend 10-12 February I will be attempting to embrace 40 hours of awakened silence. Here’s my plan for that weekend in Silence.
Friday: 6pm – Midnight (6 Hours)
Saturday: 6am – Midnight (18 Hours)
Sunday: 7am – 11pm (16 Hours)
I will be silent in not speaking, not listening to music, silent from TV and any gadgets and being online. I’m planning to take the Saturday as more of a ‘retreat’ but the Friday and Sunday will be in the midst of Family and life. I’m going to raise money for Refugee Support Network, but this is a secondary motivation. The main thing is simply the silence, creating space to be still, to listen to what is around me and to others more intently. It will be a challenge, but I am hoping it will be a really enriching experience. I would love to visit Hilfield Friary or somewhere like St Beuno’s in Wales, but for now, this will have to do.
Bring on the music, bring on the silence, and less stuff, more life!