1. Congratulations on the successful launch of Black Minimalists! Can you tell us how your journey to minimalism began?
Thank you! We’re so happy this community is growing. My journey began about 5 years ago. I was doing everything I thought I was supposed to do to be a successful adult, but I felt trapped in the life I created. Over the course of about 5 months, I shed everything I previously identified with and began the journey of discovering myself. My minimalist journey is a spiritual journey ultimately.
2. Five months? Wow! That’s impressive. What was your inspiration behind creating the collective and community known as Black Minimalists?
As I embarked on my minimalist journey, I began wondering if there were people who looked like me pursuing minimalism. I knew about Minimalist Beauty and Happy Black Woman, but I did not see black folks represented in the mainstream movement. I began searching for and featuring the stories of black minimalists on my personal blog, and soon it became obvious we needed a space of our own to talk about intentional living and how it intersects with our lived experiences as black people. I’m also grateful for the BM team. The Black Minimalists space would not be what it is today without their contributions.
3. That’s how I felt when I started my journey. I kept searching the internet like, “Where are we?!” *smile* I am so grateful that you’ve created a collective space for our community. Thank you! Okay, minimalism looks different for everyone. What does minimalism mean to you and your family?
Minimalism means freedom to me. The freedom to decide what my life looks like at any given moment and how I will interact with the world around me. Understanding what matters most has given me the freedom and courage to do things I couldn’t have imagined years ago like travel solo, leave jobs, and in a few weeks, move abroad.
4. I have found the creative mind often needs a bit of minimalism to thrive. How does it help your creative process?
Creating space in my mind to allow new ideas to take root and grow is so important. Sometimes it looks like closing my eyes and being still for a few minutes or however long I need. Other times, if my physical space is cluttered, I have to declutter before working on a project. Journaling also helps me create space for creativity and not get stuck in unhealthy thought patterns.
5. What advice do you have for those just starting their journey towards a minimalist lifestyle?
Don’t be afraid to let go–of stuff, relationships, the past. Whenever I’m feeling resistant to letting something go, I always remind myself if I ever need it again, it will come back to me or I will have the means to re-acquire it. I also examine why I’m feeling resistant and address that issue.
6. Great advice! Anything else you’d like to share?
Black Minimalists just launched our monthly podcast, check out our first episode here. Also, we’re always looking to share the stories of our community members, if you’d like to contribute an original article or be featured, contact us. And thank you for holding space for the black minimalist community.
Thank you so much, Yolanda!