Minimalist Monday: 10 Ideas for Simplifying in Lent

As a follow up to last week's post on St. Benedict I thought I'd list some of the more interesting (and challenging) simplifying ideas which I've been reading about in Paula Huston's book, Simplifying the Soul: Lenten Practices to Renew Your Spirit. 

Many of these ideas may seem extreme or too difficult for a lot of us (including me) but it's worth remembering that they are just suggestions and are recommended to be followed for just a day at a time. 

If you're not ready for some of them now, maybe the ideas will be worth trying out at some later point. Maybe, just reading about them may influence your everyday life and make you question some of your habits.

They certainly reveal that as humans we are attached to more than just possessions and money. For example, what about our attachment to busyness, our appearance, our routines and our social interactions? These attachments can hold us back from so much in life: new opportunities, increased self-knowledge, building confidence and having time to explore new spiritual paths. 

Taken from Huston's book, here are some spiritual practices to try which may help develop a more minimalistic way of life:

  • Walk to the shops instead of driving
  • Cover your mirrors for a whole morning
  • Skip today's shower or bath
  • Spend a day without TV
  • Spend a day without any social networking tools
  • Spend 15 minutes in silence
  • Welcome an interruption today
  • Invite a lonely person in for tea and conversation
  • Forgive someone
  • Read a book or listen to a recording about meditating today

Confronting the malaise of our emotional clutter can be just as hard as dealing with our physical clutter and Huston's book deals with both. Any inspiration is worth passing on, I think, and can be useful whatever religious beliefs you hold and to anyone with any interest in living more intentionally with less. 



  1. Great ideas, thanks for sharing.


  2. I would find ideas 1,2,4 and 6 fairly easy to do but skip my shower.. nooooo....lol I do a lot of thinking whilst having my shower. Lovely post though, Claire

  3. All very worthy of being attempted Claire and I shall do my best :)

  4. Inspiring post, thank you! Jenni

  5. Some brilliant ideas, and I really wish I could walk to the shops but they are just too far away and as usual here in wet Wales the weather is atrocious. BUT ... I could manage any of the rest, maybe I'll choose one or two and just go for it ;-)

  6. I'm trying to watch less TV. Especially when it's just on around the 'soaps' time. I find they just infiltrate my mind otherwise! The others will be food for thought! X

  7. I've tried to comment on this twice already, before I realised my google account wasn't signed in...oops! I LOVE Paula Huston! I read The Holy Way a few years ago, and, while I'm not going to be getting up at 4.30am for prayer and meditation any time soon (not a morning person...) I love the idea of incorporating that stillness into my day. I looked this book (the Lent one) up at the library, but they didn't have it! Luckily our library system has a function where you can request they buy books, and put your name down to be first to have it when it comes in :) I am now patiently waiting (hopefully it gets here before Lent though...given that it's May! I would like to read it before then!)


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