Mostly Mindful

How it Started

In 2014 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 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 everyone can 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: “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 its too extreme for you 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.

What Do We Talk About Here?

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 things 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 in the middle of the Karoo, though by the way some people react to our car-less, stuff-less, plant-based whole food 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 the people we share it with.

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

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 it’s 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

It took a while, but we eventually realized that Jack Canfield’s notion: “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.

Believe it or not this bold, new (where no woman has gone before) approach can be applied to all aspects of our lives. If we think of some examples we may even share them with you here. Stranger things have happened.

To mostly mindful infinity and beyond!

18 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.

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