Ang and Sporty - Living a minimalist life

Welcome to Our Minimalist Life (The Not So Juicy Backstory)

The lowdown on our minimalist life. Here’s where you’ll find out all the important stuff. Like, why there’s a blender in our logo and what life was like before we got all healthy.

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 minimalist living. Mostly. We also offer tips on how to declutter your life and we love banging on about the health benefits of eating a vegan diet.

Sometimes we’ll talk about frugal living, but not a lot. Because going out for coffee and smoothie bowls is fun.

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 10 sustainable living ideas you can implement, starting right now.

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

Who is Mostly Mindful?

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.

A Few 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 happened.
  • Sporty is a granny. She keeps insisting 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 one phase she 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 bad taste in music.
  • Then the ‘burbs got too much for us and hightailed back to the city. We might even stay here a while, who knows.

What Do We Talk About?

Our three main categories are simple living, sustainable living and wellbeing. Topics under those umbrellas run the gamut from decluttering and organising to eating well, being more mindful and shopping in a way that doesn’t harm the planet.

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 simple approach to city living, you’d think we were.

Then again, given that we save our composting waste, perhaps the hippie image folks have of us isn’t as far off the mark as we’d like to believe.

Okay fine, we’re urban hippies.

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 beings we share it with.

Although we try not to be too hardcore in our approach, we do sometimes 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 Our Logo?

minimalist life

Funny story that. So basically there are three main pillars we talk about here at Mostly Mindful. Simple living is depicted by the little house. The bicycle reflects our sustainability efforts. 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 (which falls under wellbeing, the third of our three pillars) to our designer, she decided that Blendobi had to feature in our logo.

Blendobi turned six in December 2021 and he’s still going like a trooper. We’re still completely smitten with him, too. So much so, in fact, that we recently made a video showcasing his smoothie making skills.

Ang proved to be an excellent assistant.

Getting Started (Baby Steps)

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 is going to win you the race!

Next, you can choose your own simple living adventure by a) checking out our Mostly Mindful FAQ page, b) having a gander at our Stuff We Love page or c) just diving right in.

Our soporific, legalese-heavy Privacy page is also an option. You know, if you want a break from throwing sand in your eyes and watching tennis.

To mostly mindful infinity and beyond! 😉

22 Comments

  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!

    1. 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). 😉

    1. 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! 🙂

  2. 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! 🙂

    1. 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! 🙂

  3. 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.

    1. 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! 🙂

  4. 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.

    1. 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? 🙂

  5. 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.

    1. 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. 🙂

  6. 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!

    1. 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! 🙂

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

    1. 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. 🙂

    1. I guess it’s different for everyone. We’re all on our own path and different things are important to us. 🙂

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