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14 Films that Inspire Minimalism and Mindfulness

I get my best lifestyle inspiration from stories. Show me a cool character with style and I’m sold. Here are some awesome films that get me thinking about minimalism and mindfulness.

Films that Inspire Minimalism and Mindfulness

Kiki’s Delivery Service

Kiki the minimalist witch flies to a new city with just one outfit, one bag, one radio, and one cat companion.

The Lord of the Rings trilogy

The smallest steps, taken by the smallest of beings can still go a long way.

Moonrise Kingdom

If you ran away from home, what would you bring in your suitcase? Boy scout skillz and books are a pretty good combination.

Bambi

Watching animals is a great way to calm down, and this Disney classic really captures of the magic of a forest’s serenity. Slow-paced with a great nature-y soundtrack.

Cast Away

Limitation fosters creativity. If you need inspo for making do with what you’ve got, this is it.

Her

The tech-obsessed future is hands-free and clutter-free. More good news: befriending computers make people more mindful and appreciative of the of the physical world around them.

Midnight in Paris

While his fiancé dreams of a mansion in Malibu, Gil just wants to write, dream, and wander through Paris. Frustrating shopping scenes (“Cheap is cheap!”) contrasted with glitzy nostalgia. But despite gorgeous 1920s fashion, what’s really attractive is the content of artful conversation.

127 Hours

A film about a dude stuck in a rock that is so much more than just a dude stuck in a rock. A reminder that even if we’re off adventuring, it’s worth nothing without mindful awareness of our surroundings and the people in our lives.

The Bling Ring

We can all agree that stealing is bad, right? But what this film questions is our materialistic society, by luring us in with dazzling visuals.

Shi (“Poetry”)

A Korean film about an older lady whose life takes several devastating turns. But it’s really a film about hope, which she finds in a simple poetry class.

Amélie

All about the details from the very beginning, Amélie reminds us of the joys and quirks of day-to-day things.

Labor Day

Includes an excellent mindful pie-baking sequence. 

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

The most fabulous yet nearly-empty apartment, including the Bathtub Sofa.

Much Ado About Nothing

In a summer jam-packed with flashy superhero films, Joss Whedon took a step back to make a black and white Shakespeare film over the period of a week. In his own house. 

What are your favorite films for minimalist inspiration? Let’s grow the list in the comments!

miss xandra bee

 

Why I Force Myself to Visit Art Galleries

Why I Force Myself to Visit Art Galleries

I’m rarely in the mood to visit art galleries.

But every time I make myself go, I end up feeling refreshed, inspired, refined, and very glad that I went.

Mama and I have a tradition of visiting the MFA when I’m home. We tour a new exhibit and one other room. That’s enough to take in without feeling too overwhelmed. 

I love the calm of gazing at paintings. In London I learn about modern art movements from Sara, and construct stories about the characters with Ania.

Just wander into a room and see what draws you in. Art speaks to what is on my mind and reminds me of parts of myself I have forgotten. It inspires my future, bringing clarity to such desires as designing my own studio.

Each visit I pick one favorite painting.

I used to be camera-happy, taking pictures of everything that inspired me. But when everybody is special, no one is. Picking just one favorite means that I focus more on the experience in front of me. A picture of a painting does not do it justice – obvious, but worth remembering.

I display my favorite paintings in my digital salon. This visit, I chose Degas’s Ballet Dancer With Arms Crossed. I love the colors, and its unfinished rawness. 

Art is best appreciated over lunch.

Why I Force Myself to Visit Art Galleries

Art galleries tend to have delicious counterparts, and finally, I sampled MFA’s in-house restaurant Bravo. The atmosphere balances plush and simple, with beautifully crafted dessert.

Also, I love browsing museum shops – they tend to have beautiful books and an eclectic assortment of interesting things.

And of course, I dress the part.

an eclectic assortment of interesting things, and

 Sometimes I even match the art.

What are your gallery traditions?

miss xandra bee 

Capsule Workwear: 5 Fabulous Looks

Workwear can actually be fabulous.

Being your own heroine is all about dressing confidently and for the occasion. That means adding a bit of personal flair. Here are five examples of my colorful capsule work outfits!

1. Just Add TweedCapsule Workwear: 5 Fabulous Looks

BLAZER RALPH LAUREN RUGBY  | DRESS [HONG KONG BOUTIQUE] | TIGHTS AMERICAN APPAREL | SHOES SHOE EMBASSY

2. The Statement Necklace FactorCapsule Workwear: 5 Fabulous Looks

DRESS MODCLOTH | NECKLACE CHARM GEORGETOWN | CARDIGAN ANTHRO | TIGHTS AMERICAN APPAREL | BOOTS REIKE NEN 

3. A Little DressierCapsule Workwear: 5 Fabulous Looks

DRESS FCUK | JACKET [VINTAGE - FROM HALMONI] | TIGHTS AMERICAN APPAREL | CROWN CROWN & GLORY | BOOTS REIKE NEN

4. The Vintage LookCapsule Workwear: 5 Fabulous Looks

BLAZER RALPH LAUREN RUGBY | DRESS [VINTAGE - FROM RADIO DAYS] | NECKLACE I AM ACRYLIC | SHOES SHOE EMBASSY

5. In TrousersCapsule Workwear: 5 Fabulous Looks

BLAZER [VINTAGE - FROM MAMA] | SHIRT COTON DOUX | JEANS RAG & BONE | BELT ANN TAYLOR LOFT | NECKLACE BETSEY JOHNSON | BOOTS REIKE NEN

Looking for more workwear inspo?

Caroline and I just recorded Episode 12 of FabulosiTEA: In Which We Discuss Making Workwear Wonderful!

What do you wear to work? Does it make you feel fabulous?

 miss xandra bee 

April’s Tiny Tweak: Learning Meditation

April's Tiny Tweak: Learning Meditation

Each month, I tackle a new habit.

I’ve been doing this for a while now, and I’m running out of habits that I want to try. But I realized this: when I skip a month, all of my habits become rusty. 

Focus on one habit. No more, no less.

It doesn’t matter what it is. Accomplishing one tiny task each day puts me on a roll: suddenly, all my other habits are falling into place too.

Why I’m Meditating this Month

Lately, I’ve been starting my mornings by reading a new ZenHabits article. I set the browser to full screen and devote my attention to the article.

It has been really effective, so I’m taking it a step further. I signed up the the Sea Change Program, Leo’s habit-building course. April’s focus is meditation, which is the one minimalist game-changer I have yet to try. [Yoga, running, and vegetarianism have transformed my life in the best way. Am I leaving any out? Oh yeah, writing! That has too.].

In the beginning, I will be meditating for two minutes a day. The time will increase over the month. I hope that it will help me to be more calm, mindful, and patient, and less frantic and stressed. 

Are you working on a habit this month? Let’s be accountability buddies. If you sign up for the Sea Change Program, you can join my Minimalist accountability team! [No affiliate links; Leo doesn't do stuff like that. I just like having minimalist buddies!].

miss xandra bee

I Won the Minimalist Game!

At the beginning of March I joined the Minimalist Game.

By the end of it, I got rid of over 496 things. [No joke!]. Years into calling myself a minimalist, I still find things to de-clutter and I still learn lessons along the way. 

I even got paid. I found a $50 gift card, and some free stamps:

I Won the Minimalist Game!

An example that represents my whole process:

I have a bag full of “sentimental England stuff” from my first trip to the UK. I was afraid to touch it at first, because it’s “sentimental”, but I realized that a lot of stuff was actually just rubbish:

I Won the Minimalist Game!

  • empty Walkers crisp packets
  • Caffé Nero napkins and takeaway bags
  • pamphlets and flyers for events I never attended
  • A sticker that says “I had a Bodleian tour today”, which is less special after spending hours in that building doing work.

I did keep and equally large pile of stuff that is not rubbish:

I Won the Minimalist Game!

  • my first ever plane ticket to the UK (the only ticket I’m keeping. All the others went in the other pile)
  • my illustrated map of Oxford
  • a Creation Theatre pamphlet for the best production of Midsummer I’ve seen
  • my graduation certificate from Oxford Prep
  • drawings from my friends
  • my notebook, handouts, and final project from my Literature and the Fantastic course

That stuff does not deserve to share the same container as the random stuff I recycled. Now it has its own space!

More insights from my MinsGame:

My main takeaway was this: The only thing stopping me from living my ideal, clutter-free life is clutter. And getting rid of it is free.

It isn’t too late to start for April!  Find a team, or start your own with the friendly folks at #minsgame on Twitter.

miss xandra bee

P.S. See my daily de-clutter photos (yup, all 496 items) here!



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