I recently stalked Steve Hopkins‘ Twitter profile, part of it reads “Decluttering, because you make what you are.”

Inspired, I set out this winter to declutter, hoping that it would allow me to cultivate a fresh mindset.

After I mediated on the concept of decluttering, I concluded that each option adds complexity to my daily process. The challenge became to get rid of the parts that weren’t essential.

A year ago I stripped my room back to a bed, a Bose Wave Radio and a side table. Last week I added a small desk that I keep clear and a 27” Apple Cinema Screen.

This environment is designed for a specific outcome: a place to sleep, listen to music and pump out wireframes.

My weekly items have been limited to a Montane Entrant Atomic DT Waterproof Jacket, two pairs of Dr Denim jeans, a pair of Vivobarefoot Neo’s, three lamb’s wool jumpers from Incu and four black and white t-shirts from James Perse.

The winter splurge was a Deadwood River’s Edge jacket, handmade from vintage leather and 80’s Levi’s denim. This worked for me when I found out the jacket required only 5kg of C02 emissions, compared to the average 200kg for a leather jacket. As the former owner of three leather jackets, this was an education.

I’ve designed my style to reflect my attachment to simplicity. The benefit is feeling comfortable and equipped for any situation. Some people have called my style hipster, I call it not having to think.

I haven’t nailed it yet, but decluttering has encouraged me to seek a lifestyle free from complexity, designed for context and optimised for outcomes.

Thanks Steve.

Finding calm amongst the noise.

Ramana Maharashi said: “Your own self-realisation is the greatest service you can render the world.”

I have spent the last four weeks immersed in a journey of seeking out mindfulness – addressing my relentless internal dialogue that while energetic, never sleeps. Jon Kabat-Zinn conveys the idea beautifully in this video.

This push to calm my mind presents a minor complication: I have always considered my analytic nature to be my greatest strength. It has enabled me to view things from a different perspective because I am constantly surveying my surroundings in an almost compulsive manner. 

At university I would not simply read the assigned text, I would read thirteen other further readings and arrive at a preliminary conclusion. I would then return to that preliminary conclusion two days later with a slightly more unconventional perspective. In the academic world this nature of thinking is a strength when preparing a strategic argument. Outside that bubble it can be a catalyst for an anxious mind.

With that in mind, the question that I asked myself was: What kind of peace am I seeking?

After some deep reflection including a number of long walks along St Kilda Beach and hours of meditation (which is still a challenge), something quite simple registered: I would like to have a thought, capture it and let it go.

The incredible machine that is the human mind is ensuring that this shift in my mindset will not be a simple task. But with the intention of changing my way of thinking for the better, I have embarked on an excursion that has led to changes in both my mind and body. I am now:

  • Meditating in both the morning and evening
  • Exercising daily to relieve tension and enhance my physical and emotional energy
  • Writing without expectations
  • Embracing Airplane mode on my iPhone

Life is wonderful and I cannot wait until I can learn to block out the excess noise and embrace the quiet.