Six minimal living tips from Nevoazul magazine

by Grace Wang in December 2016
Everything

With just a few days left to Christmas, the shops are packed with people hurriedly scooping up their last few seasonal gifts. So we decided to take a breath of fresh air by asking Nevoazul magazine to provide us with some simple living tips.

Themed on minimalism, the bilingual (Portuguese/English) title merges culture, literature and art with ideas of sustainability and consumerism. But it’s not the usual rhetoric of going offline and dropping out of the modern world — they’re more interested in embracing and being grateful for what we already have. Editor Inês Catarina Pinto (below) lists six things you could do that will help you slow down this Christmas.

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1. Enjoy the present moment with Snapchat
Your life doesn’t always need to be pictured as perfect in social media. Use Snapchat and embrace the present moment and its flaws without fearing the future. It’s less relevant, nostalgic and permanent than a Facebook status update, but that’s its appeal. A snap is no more than a quick glimpse of someone walking by us in a street. A brief moment that ended almost after it began. Snapchat reminds us that the truer moments are usually the ones that last only for an instant.

2. Watch Jacques Tati’s protagonist fumble around his ultra-modern flat in comedic film Mon Oncle
Nowadays, technology is present in almost every task we perform in our daily lives. But we can fool ourselves into believing that technology is the unquestionable solution for the future. In this movie, Jacques Tati shows us that a futuristic, smart house doesn’t necessary mean a simpler, more meaningful life.

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3. Put the pieces together
When something cracks or breaks into pieces, follow the ancestral Japanese art of Kintsugi. Use your time and skills to give these objects a second chance. Learn to appreciate the value of what you have, while practising a meditative exercise that will remind you that nothing is doomed. The object will not be as it was, but that’s part of its beauty.

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4. Find the right balance with Youtuber Aileen Xu
It’s always hard to find the right balance between who we are and who we want to be. Change is a constant in our life but sometimes it doesn’t arrive as fast as we want it to. Aileen Xu, the Youtuber behind the channel Lavendaire, shows us how to fully appreciate and be grateful for who we are right now, while keeping in mind who we want to become in the future. Because life isn’t about getting quickly to the destination, it’s about enjoying and appreciating each moment of the journey.

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5. Contemplate the nature in your surroundings
Is there anything more serene than spending some time looking at the sea? New York-based painter Katte Geneta decided to immortalise the waves as they change through sunset and sunrise in a series of paintings. Watching the subtle changes of light, especially where sky and sea meet at the horizon, it’s impossible not to feel a sense of quietness.

6. Discover that Einstein was a minimalist too
Albert Einstein is remembered for his wild hair and brilliant discoveries in the field of physics. He theorised about relativity and gravity; he said they overlapped and coalesced. What was unnoticed about Einstein is that beyond his incredible mind he seemed to attack the fundamental social structures and the culture of materialism. It’s clear that his love for simple living made him a better, more unique thinker. Without a doubt Einstein was an early pioneer of minimalism in the face of excess.

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