Wandering with my eyes and heart open, searching for pieces to add to my own personal big picture.

Tag: the minimalists

Death, Curiosity, and Woke: A Podcast Roundup

Eek! It’s been over a month since my last Podcast Roundup! Near death, curiosity, woke, and so much more today.

The following paragraph has absolutely nothing to do with my Podcast Roundup, but it was exactly what came to mind when I started writing this morning.

Are you ready, kids?!

death curiosity and woke

Yeah…Spongebob was a big thing at this house when our kids were little. I think I’ve seen every episode at least twice. And, for a while, there was rarely a conversation with my husband’s daughter that didn’t start with, “Remember that time in Spongebob when…” I found that show so clever and there were some great gags. I especially loved the so-called villain, Plankton!

On with the show!

My drivetime included four podcasts this week and all of them were pretty good. I could have listened to more, but I had important phone calls to make on the drive home. Priorities!

Practicing Human – Unwinding Bodily Tension

My one takeaway from this short piece is now my daily mantra, “Allow yourself to be just as you are.”

The Minimalists – 342 Near-Death Experiences

Those pesky near-death experiences. Life is short, and for some crazy reason we need to be reminded.

What’s important to me? Spending time with the people that bring light into my life is more important than anything else. What’s my legacy? An emotionally healthy family and friendships. When I’m gone, I want the people I love to think, “She was the coolest person, so much fun to be around, and always ready to be there when we needed her.”

You’ve heard that saying, “If it’s not a ‘hell yes,’ then it’s a ‘hell no!’” I like it and I use it, but holy Toledo, you guys. I’m afraid that just about everything is a ‘hell no!’ to me. Remember those in-person books clubs I swore I’d attend? Yeah, nope. Maybe that’s ok? “Your willingness to walk away from things can be a superpower.”

Oh! And they had the best analogy for living life. When you drive you watch the road in front of you and the activity in your immediate surroundings the closest. You only glance at the map and up at the landmarks, the mountains and passes, to keep an eye on where want to go. You glance in your rearview mirror for what might be coming up from behind you. This is how we should be living too.

EconTalk – Ian Leslie on Curiosity

What is curiosity? It’s looking for insight and connections. We’re all born with it. It’s what makes humans thrive, but somewhere along the way we seem to have lost it. I’ve met so many people over the years that seem completely incurious about…everything. It’s sad. Why is that?

Also, my dad and I were recently discussing how we should or should not be interpreting works of art, specifically movies and books, but it applies to just about everything. I found another piece of the puzzle in this podcast. “The best art asks questions, instead of answering them.”

What does that mean? I think it means when we’re experiencing some form of art, if we feel led to think more deeply about a topic, like why do humans act like this, then we’re seeing something great. We can see it multiple times and learn more. When we experience art we can see once, get what they are saying, and then walk away, never needing to experience it again, that’s not great art, it’s entertainment, a diversion which also has it’s positive uses.

Another book added to the TBR list: Curious: The Desire to Know and Why Your Future Depends on It by Ian Leslie

Also, I have a small rebuttal to one statement in this podcast. He said that some people, after reading that kids learn best on their own, through their own exploration, just “let them out in the garden to figure out life on their own.” Maybe some people do, but we didn’t.

Instead of formal school, which is great for teens and adults that choose it, but I believe is failing all our young children and creating incurious robot people, we allowed our kids to grow up right next to us. They asked questions, we answered. They expressed curiosity; we supported their pursuits. We didn’t direct their learning, we encouraged them to explore and experience the world by taking them out into it. In essence, we were mentors.

PS Young children don’t ask a million how and why questions to get information or to be annoying. They do it to practice interaction and connection. They are constantly proving to themselves that they exist and can influence their environment, that adults around them care about them. When adults ignore or rebuff them for being intrusive and annoying, they begin to shut down and isolate. THIS is one of my biggest problems with our culture in general and with schools. But that’s another post.

Quillette – Progressive Social Panic at Yale and Princeton

I had no notes on this last one, but it was interesting to hear more conversation on the idea of “woke” and “social justice” possibly going too far. I’ll just leave you with the description they posted on their website: “Reporter Aaron Sibarium talks to Quillette podcast host Jonathan Kay about his recent scoops concerning the campaign against anti-woke Princeton classics professor Joshua Katz, and the unsettling radicalism of student activists at Yale Law School.”

So, there you go. Several more hours of listening all logged in. Do you listen to podcasts? Share them in the comments here. I’m always looking for new perspectives and voices.

Minimalism in Things AND Relationship: Final Thoughts

“They focused less about things and more about our relationship with things and people.” That was my final thought as I closed Love People Use Things by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. I was not disappointed by this book about minimalism; it just wasn’t what I had been expecting and I’m glad it wasn’t.

Minimalism

I believe the relationships we have with things reflect our relationship with people. A house crammed with stuff you don’t need or use, collections, castaways, bins of old things you no longer need, but…what if?! Your relationships people are probably similar. Old friends and new, people you’ve outgrown, people you thought were going to be great that turned out to be not so much. We keep them in our lives through social media contacts, email lists, and Christmas cards at the very least.

The opposite is just as unhealthy. The truth is we need some things, and we need some people. Finding out what is needed and what is not and crafting a healthy relationship with those things and people, is the key. And it’s complicated.

Love People Use Things isn’t just a self-help book of how to get rid of your excess stuff, it’s a personal story about how they got where they are. They don’t give a list of rules. They help you find your own principles of minimalism and then actively use them to build a life of intention.

“Minimalists don’t focus on having less, less, less; they focus on making room for more: more time, more passion, more creativity, more experiences, more contribution, more contentment, more freedom.”

I think of it as having space to move.

“…we feel threatened by the freedom of others. So we protect our hoard, we question anyone who approaches life differently, and we cling tightly to the status quo because we’re scared that someone else’s nontraditional lifestyle is an affront to our own. If that person is free, then we are not. But we forget that freedom is not a zero-sum game.”

I’ve experienced this from people since the day we decided not to send our kids to school. And I still experience it every time I explain to someone that my sons never went to school as children and still have jobs, travel the world, and go to college. My choices are mine alone. They are the way I wish to live. They give me the kind of freedom that I feel comfortable with. It is not a condemnation of your choices. We can both be living the “right” way.

“Allowing others’ expectations to shape our desires and behavior and, ultimately, our lives, will always lead to guilt and shame because we’ll never be able to live up to everyone else’s conflicting values.”

Best to decide what’s best for you, what you personally need, and run with it. You’ll never win the “making other people happy” game. I’ve opted out of that game for a long time now. I will admit, though, it’s very hard. I still long to be accepted and validated by others. It’s human nature. But I’d rather be alone than to not be myself. I’m still learning who I am, what I want, and how to present that to the world without the need for approval.

“Fear is the antithesis of freedom; it is, by definition, constricting.”

I’ve lived with my fear meter up on full my whole life. It’s exhausting.

“The pause is just as essential as the action.”

Minimalism can give us the time to pause. That’s where we think. It’s where we take in information, formulate plans, and make decisions. It’s where we look back and take stock, admire what we’ve done, how far we’ve come. Pause and look around.

“We’ll never ‘get there.’ Because there’s no there there.”

We’re born. We grow. We live. We die. There is no finished. There is no complete. There is just life.

“Never-ending growth says we must grow at any cost; intentional growth happens when we grow in accordance with our values.”

That goes for personal growth, gardens, businesses, non-profits, economy, and government. Having one house and keeping it nice for fifty years is fine. Having one child is ok. Doing one thing well for a long time is great. We don’t need to keep growing just to be growing.

“Just like it’s important to make conscious choices as a consumer, it’s equally important to create consciously. Otherwise, you’re just adding to the noise.”

I struggle with minimalism as a blogger. It’s also another reason why I gave up social media and only write here. If what I write is valuable, it will be looked for, found, and shared. Social media is just noise. This chapter on creativity was a bit of downer for me. I got reflective and judgmental on myself. I’d like to re-read and think on it more.

“The Three Relationships: Primary, Secondary, and Peripheral”

Life is a story. Who are your main characters, supporting roles, and walk-ons? And don’t forget all the extras! This made far more sense to me than family, friends, and strangers.

“Many of us navigate different roads toward joy, but even if we travel separate routes, it is important that we appreciate the journey – not only ours, but the journey of everyone we love. When we appreciate others for who they are, not who we want them to be, then, and only then, will we truly understand.”

Every. Single. One of us. (do not sing Devil Inside)

The last chapter on people was my favorite. Yes, minimalism relates to the people in your life. You don’t have to keep everyone you ever meet in your life. It validated a lot of my thinking and made me feel a little less alone in the world. Something I crave beyond anything is to be accepted by others, for someone to see me, the real me without any masks, and love me. This book made me realize, I DO have that from the main characters in my story. And those are the relationships that matter.

So, yes, I enjoyed reading this book. The Minimalists podcast has been a favorite of mine for several years. They inspire me with their peaceful discussions and the feeling of joy I sense between them. Like the few families I met years ago when I started my unschooling journey, I see them and wonder how they got there, listen closely, and adopt the pieces that work for my life, to get where I want to go.

Minimalism: No rules, just principles, self-reflection, and adaptation.

Want to go back and read my first thoughts on this book when I started? Click back to Love People Use Things: A New Read

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