Charisma K. Adams is a Christ follower, multi-passionate entrepreneur, wife and mother. Her life’s work is targeted toward providing women and professionals with real, radical and relevant resources to win at life and business. She lives out this calling daily as a business strategist and the founder of Faith & Flyness, a fast growing Christian Women’s Community. We recently chatted about her journey to minimalism and how it not only impacted her physical space but the mental and spiritual aspects of her life as well.
1. Hi, Charisma! Can you please tell us how your journey to minimalism began?
Minimalism actually saved my life. My journey to minimalism began with everything in my life falling apart. About two years ago, after going through a separation from my husband, I discovered (actually my therapist helped me to discover) that I’d spent all of my adult years investing in an image of happiness that was rooted in the accumulation of things. Things that did not nourish my spirit or satiate my soul such as clothes, jewelry, accomplishments, cars, titles, positions, etc. My life was built beautifully but on a faulty foundation that couldn’t withstand the pressures of life. So as things began to crack, I couldn’t emotionally handle it because I was spiritually weak and everything literally came crashing down. It was sitting there amidst piles of stuff that didn’t matter, that I finally had full view of the broken pieces that mattered the most. That’s when I made the decision to get rid of the excess in my life and take those pieces and build again. Through minimalism I was able to co-create a beautiful life with my husband and children as well as thrive as a creative, author and business owner.
2. Wow! What beautiful and honest insight into your journey. Thank you! Minimalism looks different for everyone. What does minimalism mean to you and your family?
Minimalism for us is more about our time, energy, resources and gifts and less about material things. This means we focus on making sure that we are giving our best selves to what matters most to us, and that our gifts and talents are directed to fulfilling our God given purposes.
3. I have found the creative mind often needs a bit of minimalism to thrive. How does it help your creative process?
For me, minimalism isn’t just an outward expression. It is mostly internal. I have to daily clear the clutter in my mind and spirit so that I am open to hear God and move each day fully tapped into His creative power and energy. I start each morning with quiet time and mediation and then I pray. My prayer is for an ear to hear His voice, awareness of His presence, ability to discern His direction, and the ability to operate in the fullness of my gifts and talents. When something disrupts my routine and I can’t have this time, I can feel the difference and my creative process suffers.
4. Yes, I can so relate! The clearing of mental clutter was unexpected bonus on my journey to minimalism, and perhaps, the most essential. After hearing your journey, it seems that you not only simplified your wardrobe but you lifestyle as well. Please tell us more about that.
In order to make sure that I am fully present and my best self for my family and the people I serve, I had to “trim the fat” in all areas of my life. Beyond getting rid of dozens of shoes and handbags and getting 100% out of debt, I looked at every role I had and group I belonged to that required any of my time, resources, or talents. Then I asked myself, “Is this a good thing or a God thing for me?” I am 40 years old with children embarking on adulthood. I don’t have a lot of time to waste. For example, I used to sit on several non-profit boards, belong to a few business communities and own two businesses. I sold one of my businesses and now I only consult part-time. I stepped down from all boards and non-profits and decided to support the causes I believe in with annual donations. This freed me up to focus on my family and investing in impacting the lives of the women in my Faith & Flyness community.
I would say explore how the principles of minimalism can benefit your life and give yourself freedom to express the practice of it in your own unique way. I absolutely CANNOT live with ten articles of clothing or cohabitate in less than 1,000 sq ft and not kill a family member. LOL But at its core minimalism, is a tool in helping you to find freedom in your life in order to live more intentionally. For me, releasing roles and responsibilities and having mental and spiritual freedom was what I needed to achieve. So I used that to shape my very own version of a minimalist life.
6. Anything else you’d like to share?
Sure. Here’s my three step approach to jump-starting your journey to minimalism.:1. Pray about why you desire to begin this journey and ask for guidance from God and grace from others along the way. 2. Process what it will look like for you and your unique life. Map it out. 3. Pursue it relentlessly. You can’t half do it. You have to go all the way in order to see the results you desire.
Thank you so much, Charisma!