We took Isabella and Ellessia to see the Minimalists, Joshua Fields Milburn and Ryan Nicodemus, at the Wilbur theater in Boston this past weekend. Isabella has watched their documentary many times, often requesting it as the movie for our family movie nights. We have been reading their blog for a couple of years and much of what they talk about we have tried to adopt (especially their perspective on debt).

Minimalism, at least the way these guys talk about it, is not necessarily about getting rid of your stuff. It is not about deprivation. Instead it is about making room for the important aspects in your life by getting rid of the stuff that is taking up space. That “stuff” may or may not be physical “things”. What I love about their message is how intentional it is.

All too often when we begin something thinking “it” will make us happy, “it” doesn’t. That “it” is the “secret” to happiness and “it” isn’t. Maybe “it” is a certain salary, clothing style, a car, shedding a few pounds, adding a few pounds, a new phone, a new house, starting a meditation practice, finally going to yoga, taking a trip to a paradise location, becoming a minimalist. Too many times achieving these “things” does not make you happy. “I got rid of all my stuff, why am I still miserable?” How ironic is it that our Declaration of Independence states that our inalienable right to the Pursuit of Happiness may be exactly what makes us UNHAPPY. Looking inside of ourselves and figuring out what makes us truly unhappy, facing it, and making changes is at the heart of their message.

Josh and Ryan talk about making conscious decisions and living with intention and their message resonates with lots of people. There were over 1,000 people in the Wilbur Saturday night to see these two guys talk about how they arrived at this place and time and answer some questions. They recorded the whole show live like one of their podcasts (which are great!!) Hopefully, it will be available soon. The highlight for us was meeting them and giving them a big hug as a family. I am pretty sure Isabella and Ellessia were the youngest members of the audience.

The quote both girls took away as their favorite came from the lightning round where the Minimalist give tweet sized answers to audience questions. The question asked had to do with a family member, spouse, or partner who is unwilling to adopt a minimalist lifestyle.


“People don’t mind change, they mind being changed.” Joshua Fields Milburn


Thanks for reading,

Josh (Hall)




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