Guest Blogger: Marissa V - 21 years old - Junior in college
About a year ago I began my journey into living with less. It started when I was being openly criticized for not following my family’s religion. This made me wonder, what is it that I really believe in? Well, I stumbled across a few cool people, one of whom was St. Francis of Assisi. Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be a religious rant about how you should go to church more. It is, however, about turning away from materialism, and living on what you really need – and only that!
First let me give you a little insight about St. Francis. He was the son of a wealthy man, who turned away from his material goods to become a monk. There are plenty of stories of Francis giving his cloak to beggars on the street, even though that was the only piece of clothing he owned. Reading about this extraordinary man made me question my own living habits. I was a compulsive shopper, always buying new and better clothes. That was the first thing to go – my excessive wardrobe. What I found out was that, in the process of only keeping what I needed clothing-wise, I also downsized on my furniture needs. I gave away my chest of drawers, and now I keep most of my clothes in small boxes under my bed. I rarely shop, and usually only when something has worn out enough to no longer be useable. When I do shop, I only buy second-hand or thrift store clothes.
This had increased the amount of money I saved from month-to-month, and gave me even more possibilities on what I could own. This was a problem, so I began donating money. First to local, then international charities. Finally, I found out about sponsoring a child. I began researching, and found the charity “World Vision”. This charity not only has child sponsorships, but also a wonderful catalog for things you can buy for those in need around the world such as deep water wells, goats, chickens, or money loans for business owners.
I began my sponsorship for a little girl in India named Akahila. I keep a photo of her on my nightstand, and another photo in my wallet. This keeps me from spending too much money, as I know I need to support her also. It has been a wonderful journey, and made all the better by not only improving my own life, but someone else’s too. Sometimes when I really desire something, I send Akahila an extra bit of money instead. It keeps me grounded on what really matters.
Raw Footage - “Mo closet, mo problems”
As we enter the production phase of our documentary, we are going to be releasing pieces as a part of this “Raw Footage” series. Be sure to keep checking back to see what we are up to and what we’ve been filming as a crew.
During the first week of February we all had to make a number of changes to our lives in preparation for the challenges. To avoid any temptations, Mo decided to take home the entirety of her closet minus FOUR shirts and ONE pair of pants. Price tags and a penguin costume also make a guest appearance!
Please re-share and tell your friends about what we’re up to.
Mo’s thoughts on the first week of the Thrive with Less challenge.
I don’t think I have cared about anything in a long time much the way I care about Thrive With Less. This documentary— this journey both on film and within myself— it’s so important to me.
I’m incredibly excited to see what my character will bring as I embark in the first month of my minimalist lifestyle. I think the hardest challenge I will face will be sticking to the four shirt minimum. I am.. how do you say.. a compulsive shopper. I spend money in order to feel a certain satisfaction I am lacking in my life. I cannot explain to you the numerous shirts I have in my closet with the tags still intact. It’s disturbing actually— that someone can care so much about material things that it brings them comfort in a way they can’t get anywhere else. I hope that with this detachment from the material world I will again realize what is truly important to me.
I also think that focusing more on my connections with mankind through actual reality instead of social media is going to illuminate my world for the better. I am constantly preaching “disconnect to reconnect,” but I’d like to emulate it through myself and my personal way of life.
Who knows what this journey will show me? Will I succeed? Will I fail? Will I be a completely new person? Will I stay the same only with a different outlook on life? I cannot say as of yet. What I can say is that I am ready and excited to be a part of something so crucial to my happiness.
Thrive With Less.
Here I go.
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