I'm 5 days out from starting my second Project 333 Challenge! And you know what that means?
1. I haven't worn my 'Mum Outfit' once since January, except for when I actually was doing Yoga
2. I get to change up my wardrobe with 33 new pieces of clothing for the next 3 months! My creativity and excitement and inspiration is off the richter!
So why on Earth would you limit your wardrobe to 33 pieces?
For 3 months!?
Sounds like a nightmare for any woman who loves her clothes, accessories, shoes, handbags... Yeah, all the prettiness that we fill our lives with, that we think makes us happy. Yes, we can have healthy attachments to clothes and presentation - that make us feel sexy and confident and feminine and sensual. But it's when we need these things to make us feel safe. Or loved. Or needed. Or fulfilled. Or whatever it is we're longing and searching for...that we need to take a few moments for some self evaluation.
Minimalism the Documentary - This documentary led me to the challenge I have been telling everybody about it!
And wow, what a mind blower. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. For someone that doesn't have much attachment to things (I gave almost everything I owned away when I moved across the country to Perth - for free), it even blew my mind!
I won't go into the plot (because it's an amazing story of transformation and evolvement in itself!), but the 2 major things I took from this documentary were;
'Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. That doesn’t mean there’s anything inherently wrong with owning material possessions. It's just that we tend to give too much meaning to our things, often forsaking our health, our relationships, our passions, our personal growth, and our desire to contribute beyond ourselves.' - The Minimalists (Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus)
It's the buying the house stuff. The mortgage stuff. The big ring on your finger stuff. The $50,000 one day wedding. The things I've never really held much value in - for myself. And I don't mean to offend. It's just not for me, if other things have to fall by the wayside.
It's the collection of material objects. But not just because you desire them - because you have other attachments to these things. Old belief systems. Old paradigms.
The idea that the stuff equates to success. That the stuff represents status. Or that you work harder than others. Or that you're winning 'the competition'. That the stuff means you're happy.
It's a projection that some of us feel we need to display. And it's the way we've started to prioritize the things in our lives that scare me the most.
- Is the big house worth it, if we never see our family because we're working all the time? If we never have the time to paint, draw, dance, or pursue our passions - because we've chosen to use our time in other areas. ("Well, playing the guitar just isn't going to pay the bills you know!" Even though it would certainly make you more fulfilled.)
- Is the flashy expensive car worth it, if we bump our health down the ladder because we think organic fruit and vegetables are too expensive? Yet a $200 a week repayment is acceptable for a vehicle, because it has all the extras - whilst we neglect our health and follow down the path of illness or disease.
I feel the people that know me might be snickering right now, so let me divulge. Yes - I have a Thermomix. Yes - I have a Robot Vaccum Cleaner. Yes - I have a big collection of Essential Oils. (Again - Minimalism doesn’t mean there’s anything inherently wrong with owning material possessions.) I chose to have these things in my life because I value my health and my time. I'm sure you can figure out how that works by owning all of these items.
'Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important...'
2. Project 333
THIS got my attention! I love a good challenge. A good project to sink my teeth into! Reading that Project 333 is the minimalist fashion challenge that invites you to dress with 33 items or less for 3 months, got me listening.
33 items including clothing, accessories, jewelry, outerwear and shoes.
I, like everyone I've preached this to, thought 'oh that's easy, I clean out my cupboard all the time and give it to charity'. No, no, no, no. Oh no. This project is far more challenging! Far more rewarding!
How do you start?
Well, you take everything out of your wardrobe. Everything. Shoes, hats, scarves, beanies, handbags, everything folded, everything on hangers, everything up top and everything down below. And you put it on a spare bed, or your bed.
Next, I cleared the energy. Cleared the space. I used Sage, a Lemongrass Essential Oil Liquid Smudge I'd blended especially, sunlight, fresh air and loud music. Vibrational Clearing. I visualised the times I had worn these clothes, where and when. How far some of these clothes have travelled with me - to the United States, Europe, Western Australia from NSW, from house to house in Wollongong. I cleared every emotion I'd felt whilst wearing these items of clothing. Every memory. Every piece of the past. And just left it there, in the past - where it belonged.
And this is where the challenge really begins.
Humans have a hard time letting memories go. They think that if they forget a good time, that it didn't happen! They cling to the good feelings of that good memory, and rely on it to boost them in the present. Not a good habit beautiful ladies. Using the past to do that all the time is what we call attachment. And not being present or 'in the now.' (Eckhart Tolle would back me on that!)
Active wear is not included in the 33 items, but can ONLY be used to work out or move your body in some sort of physical exercise. (The hardest part yet for a Mum of a toddler! It's not that I don't work out, it's that when I do it's hard to have a shower immediately afterwards with a little one, or even 5 minutes to get changed out of that outfit.)
Make 4 piles of clothes. (I turned the 4 piles suggested, into 3.)
1. LOVE - fits me well, I would buy it in a shop today
2. Maybe - want to keep but not sure why
3. These don't fit my body or my life!
'Loungewear' is not included in the 33 items in your wardrobe, you can have as much loungewear as you like! But I made sure I only kept out 2 loungewear outfits and as soon as I'm not meditating or watching a movie etc - I change right back into my outfit for the day. Otherwise it's way too easy to wear harem pants all day, everyday!
This project is not just about minimalism - for me it's also become about self esteem, self respect and self love.
So, April 2017 brings for me the second round of Project 333. If you feel like joining me, get on board! Tag me in your social media pics - I love seeing the wardrobe creations and the transformations it brings for everyone that does it.
Here is some further information from the lovely Courtney Carver who features on the Minimalist Documentary and who inspired me to get started - http://bemorewithless.com/project-333/