Mostly Mindful

How it Started

In 2013 Ang gave a talk at TEDx Cape Town called: The less you own, the more you have.

To say it was well received would be an understatement. People were demanding selfies and autographs, it was crazy.

The idea landed.

People wanted to know more. We figured we’d share our message online and see if it really was an idea worth spreading.

This piece of interwebs real estate is the result. 🙂

What’s it About?

Mostly Mindful is a not so hardcore blog about minimalism, decluttering, sustainability and eating a plant-based diet.

Sometimes we’ll talk about frugal living, but not a lot. Because, almond milk flat whites from Bootleggers. OMG!

We believe we can all make a difference if we’re mindful most of the time. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

It took a while, but we eventually realized that Jack Canfield’s notion that “99% is a bitch, 100% is a breeze” doesn’t apply to absolutely every situation.

Sometimes, what we need is simply to cut ourselves a little slack and do the best we can. Because when we set the bar too high, we paralyze ourselves with fear and end up doing nothing at all.

Graham Hill’s talk about being a weekday vegetarian is a perfect example of someone who has embraced the concept of being mostly mindful. He’s recognized his limitations and figured out how to work within them and still achieve results.

Maybe eating a plant-based diet is too extreme for you too. Well then what about following Graham’s example or going meat-free on Mondays? It’s not just about what you eat though. There’s lots you can do to make a difference.

Here are five ways you can be mostly mindful, starting right now.

You’re welcome, we aim to please around here.

Who is Mostly Mindful?

Plant-Based Diet for Beginners - Ang & Sporty Story

We weren’t always the picture of glowing, outdoorsy good health (we used sit in bars)

We’re Ang and Sporty. We fell in love the day after Independence Day in 1997 and haven’t looked back. We’ve been really fortunate in our relationship, because we’ve always been, if not on the same page, then at very least somewhere in the same book.

Back then (and for the 10 or so years that followed) we smoked too many cigarettes, drank way more tequila than we should have and subsisted on a steady diet of sugar, white bread and Frankfurters. Life was good.

11 Things You Might Not Know About Us

Sporty was never a sporty adult, but she was a top swimmer at school. She routinely took first place at galas in spite of her ridiculously long hair.

Ang did a great job of pretending to be sporty and once won a race at her school sports day. Her Mom was over the moon and bragged about this phenomenal accomplishment until Ang was well into her thirties.

Sporty wore her hair long —as in down to her bum long— until her last year of high school, when she finally got fed up and cut it off with a pair of pinking shears she’d ‘borrowed’ from her house-craft teacher.

Ang dressed like a boy when she was a kid. Back then we called it being a ‘tomboy’ and everyone laughed indulgently, convinced that she’d eventually outgrow her ‘phase’ and find a boy to marry. She stopped emulating Grace Jones in her choice of wardrobe, but marrying the boy never materialised.

Sporty is a granny; her granddaughter turned two in April. She keeps insisting that this makes Ang a granny by default, but Ang insists that a) she’s far too young for the moniker and b) she’s far too young for the moniker.

Ang once had a relationship with a man and even went so far as to grow her hair into a shoulder-length bob and wear skirts during this time. Fortunately this was a phase she eventually did outgrow.

Sporty is the world’s über nerd when it comes to Excel. She loves it only slightly less than she loves Ang.

Ang once tried to go snowboarding in jeans. She didn’t realise that snow is actually wet, she just assumed it was white powder. Luckily a kind Samaritan stopped her just as she was about to plunge waist-deep into certain sogginess.

Sporty never liked coriander, peanut butter or avocado. Thanks to Ang, that’s all been rectified.

Ang has notoriously bad taste in music.

We recently started a house sitting side hustle as means to untether ourselves from fixed abode living (and stop paying rent). Next stop, Oudtshoorn!

What Do We Talk About?

This is where we pontificate ponder and expound on the many benefits of living with less, going vegan, reducing our carbon footprint, having shorter working hours and figuring out how to let things go (stuff as well as emotional baggage).

We may also, on the odd occasion, offer a tell all, no holds barred look at what goes on behind the scenes when we think no one is watching. Popcorn and tequila-laced green smoothies optional, but recommended.

The clue is in the name: Mostly Mindful. We’re not a couple of greenies living off the grid in a teepee somewhere in the middle of the Karoo, though by the way some people react to our car-less, stuff-less, plant-based approach to city living, you’d think we were.

Although, given that we save  our composting waste maybe the hippie image folks have of us isn’t as far off the mark as we’d like to believe. (The above photo probably doesn’t do much to dispel the myth either.)

Okay fine, we’re hippies urban hippies.

Everyday Minimalism

everyday-minimalism

If it’s a balanced, debt-free and uncluttered life you’re after, then downsizing your life will get you there lickety-split.

Most people are living stressed out lives because they own too much stuff, which is completely ironic since they were convinced the stuff would make them happier.

The guy on the TV said so, right?

Our need to ‘consume’ has consequences far beyond a cluttered house and inflated debt and stress levels however, it also affects our planet and all the living beings we share it with (animals and people alike).

Although we try not to be too hardcore in our approach, we will, from time to time, bandy about hippie-esque phrases like ‘sustainable living’ or yabba on about how our actions and decisions impact the world around us. (Case in point, the paragraph above.)

That’s just how we roll. Sometimes. Mostly, though, we try to keep things light and conversational and have us a whole lot of fun.

Why Is There a Blender in Your Logo?

JTC Omni V Blender

Ang and Sporty with Blendobi (he doesn’t really have a heart on him, but he definitely should)

Funny story that. So basically there are three main pillars we talk about here at Mostly Mindful. Minimalism is the main one and is depicted by the little house. The bicycle reflects our sustainability efforts. We sold our car in 2012 and have been indulging in the art of slow living ever since.

And then there’s our JTC Omni V Blender, or Blendobi, as he’s affectionately known in our house. You can read more about him in this post about deciding between a juice and a blender. When we were explaining our plant-based lifestyle —the third of our three pillars— to our designer, she decided that we absolutely had to feature Blendobi.

And that folks, is why there’s a blender in our logo.

Is More-Ish Even a Word?

minimalism-made-more-ish

For a lot of people minimalism an off-putting word loaded with value judgements and negative connotations, so we’re making it our mission to set the record straight. Starting right now.

In short, we’re making minimalism more-ish. We’re making it more appealing, more fun, more doable, more everything, except more stuff.

Sure, there are those who get off on owning less than 100 things. If it floats their boat, we say kudos to them, but that’s not the kind of minimalism we’re referring to  here.

What we’re talking about is an all-encompassing concept, an ethos that permeates every aspect of your life (not just your closet).

 

Getting Started (or, Baby Steps)

baby elephant

Getting started on this ‘less is more’ journey can seem daunting. Especially when you’re stressed, in debt and surrounded by clutter. Be gentle with yourself. Take it slow and steady. This is definitely one of those instances where channeling your inner tortoise (or baby elephant) is going to win you the race!

To mostly mindful infinity and beyond! 😉



If you enjoyed reading this page and would like something written for your own blog, website, newsletter or annual family missive, get in touch. Ang would be happy to help. Check out her Hire Me page for all the deets.

20 thoughts on “What’s It About?

  1. I just watched your Ted talk night before last, and I think you’re awesome. You’ve inspired me and my husband. I’m getting rid of stuff left and right already. I decided 10 things a day for 30 days. So far, I’ve done more than that. I’m very curious to see how this goes.Thanks for the talk!

    • Hey Laurie

      Happy days. You won’t believe how much better you’re going to feel once you get rid of all the clutter! Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed the talk, glad it was helpful (makes all the work worthwhile). 😉

  2. Wonderful thoughts! I am on my way to minimalism as well (Less is More project). It feels so liberating. Your TED talk was inspiring. Keep sharing the good advice!

    • Yay, I’m always so happy to hear about people embarking on a minimalist journey. So much excitement awaits! Glad you enjoyed the TEDx talk! 🙂

  3. Saw your Ted Talk today. So inspiring. Thank you!

  4. Hey Ang, I just watched your TED talk and was nearly in tears because I feel so inspired and re-energized! I’ve been aware of, and interested in, minimalism for a long time but it had gone off my radar recently… Your words were just what I needed to bring me back to how I want to live – you summed it up perfectly! Thank you for such a powerful message – and good luck on your journey! 🙂

    • Hi Claire. Thanks for the kind words. I’m super chuffed that my talk was the cause for inspiration! I can attest firsthand how much peace and happiness this way of living brings. Feel free to reach out on Twitter @angelagayehorn if you have questions etc. Good luck on your journey! 🙂

  5. Your Ted talk is the most inspiring thing I have seen in ages. So much of what you said deeply resonated with me. You have given me a big push on my journey towards minimalism, and I greatly appreciate it. Thank you so much.

    • Hi Jeanette. Wow, thank you for letting me know that! I’m so pleased to hear my TEDx talk made a difference in your life. Please keep me posted about how your minimalism journey is going and let me know if I can help in any way, if only to offer encouragement! 🙂

  6. Just wanted to let you know how awesome your TED speech was – you’re very talented! Really enjoyed it. I’m having a very hard time letting go of “stuff”, but I’m trying little by little, though I wish I could let go of more and let go of things faster. Your talk is very inspiring in this process.

    • Hey JJ, thanks so much. I appreciate the positive feedback. Letting go can be tough, especially if we’ve attached emotion to the things we’re hanging onto, but persevere and you’ll see that eventually, with time, you’ll start to make progress. A trick I find works really well is to find memories to help you remember the good times a physical item is providing you. Make sense? 🙂

  7. Ang, I am definitely a minimalist wannabe. I keep wanting a clean, no frills, no clutter, life. I’m getting closer, but still have a ways to go. I love it.

    • Hey Corine, being a wannabe is the first step to living with less. I reckon it means you at least recognize the need to declutter. Let me know how it goes and if you have any questions please feel free to give us a shout. We’re happy to help. 🙂

  8. Hi! I stumbled across your blog after wading through an ocean of South African Fizzle users 🙂
    I have been reading Mr Money Moustache’s blog for a while now, and your message seems to fit with that, thought I would mention it so you can check him out.
    All the best!

    • Hi Anke

      Thanks for stopping by! Wow, I was a Fizzle member way back. Funny, I’d heard of Mr Money Mustache but never really got around to checking his blog out. And then just recently someone pointed me in his direction for a post I was researching. Small crazy world hey! 🙂

  9. Hi Ang,

    I have just watched your TedTalk. It is inspiring and I am motivated to do something about the clutter in my house. I tend to keep things for keep sake as some are of sentimental value. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Hi Ang, I’ve just watched your inspiring TEDx talk; just what I needed to put impetus into my journey towards a mostly minimalist lifestyle. Thank you.

    • Hi Ally. Thanks for getting in touch, I’m so pleased to hear you found it inspiring. Let us know how your journey to minimalism is going and feel free to reach out if you need help, advice, some motivation or whatever. We’re happy to help. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *