On August 27, 2013, I stopped eating meat after watching a few too many documentaries about our food system.  I began thinking about every product in my life and all of the things I owned and purchased. I switched over to a mostly vegan lifestyle by the middle of October and have since thought carefully about whether I purchase items that use animal products.

At the beginning of 2014, I stumbled across a few minimalist blogs (Becoming Minimalist and Zen Habits). I became engrossed in reading about people who lived with only 100 objects or less. I was fascinated by Joshua Becker's story (of Becoming Minimalist) about when he decided that he didn't need so much STUFF anymore. It all became even more real when I saw the total number of student loans I have racked up while being in graduate school to become a Jewish educator and rabbi. I wanted to get rid of stuff; I had the itch to ditch everything that I wasn't using and stuff I didn't need. I have sold some items, given many away, and continue to question every single "thing" that's in our house.

I also quickly realized that many of the benefits touted by minimalists sounded VERY similar to the benefits espoused by practitioners of Mussar, a Jewish method and movement to teach one how to live an ethical and balanced life. 

Since then, I have begun to overhaul my lifestyle (slowly but surely) to get rid of excess possessions and learn what it means for me to feel uncluttered and able to live my best life possible.

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