The decision to simplify my life of “stuff” was not initially an easy or sought-after exercise to free my mind and minimize my living space. In fact, you could say that I was a tad bit resistant to the idea since it was the result of a divorce. I had to sift through emotional baggage of believing that my sense of self was defined by who I’d chosen as a life mate. And faced with dividing or chucking our household items, I had to reassess the value I placed on things that I owned.

Save the best, toss the rest.

First, I needed do some mental housecleaning to regain recognizing my self-worth. I knew that I was a strong, kickass woman but surely there had to be something wrong with my super powers because I didn’t have the foresight to see that my marriage would fail.

Unless you are in fact psychic, there is no way to know with certainty the outcome of any decision. We make decisions based on the information we have on hand in the moment. And with matters of the heart, well, we follow our heart. Regretting a decision doesn’t change it or make it go away; regret only makes the bad feelings about the situation last longer. Holding onto negative self criticism detracts from all the important stuff you need to do. So chuck that feeling first.

"We have to stop being defined by what we own, and start being defined by what we create." - Mark Stevenson

Get real with what you own.

Divvying up our stuff felt like I was giving away half of my identity. But did I really need that chair, the one in the corner, the one that rarely got sat in but looked nice and filled a space? You know the one. It turned out that much of what I owned were feel-good rewards for things I had accomplished.

When you look around your home, can you honestly say that you really need all that you own? I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t treat yourself for reaching a milestone or accomplishment but if purchasing a memento is your primary way of placing value on your accomplishments, perhaps this is an area for introspection. Give yourself an non-stuff "Attagirl!" with a massage or a mani-pedi.

Find peace with less.

In the end, I decided to walk away from it all (mostly all of my stuff). Ridding my self and mind of limiting beliefs has opened my heart to more clarity of purpose: I am who I choose to be. Adopting a minimalist approach has afforded me opportunities to feel more gratitude for what I bring into my living space because I am more selective about what I choose to own and why. I appreciate that my choices give space for more energy to enjoy living in the moment rather than living to gain more stuff.

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Jaszy McAllister is a bad-ass project manager, writer, actor, model and speaker. She’s on mission to empower business owners, artists and organizations to grow with purpose and integrity.

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This article is part of our series on the theme of Simplicity.

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