Enlightened: On The Road, a Chin Hair, Opened Eyes, and a Whole New View

Minimize your life for better mental health.

Lisa S. Gerard
6 min readJul 22, 2022


digital portrait of woman holding one popped out eye for focus
Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay


I read about minimalism and wondered if it was what I needed.

With life comes junk and it can weigh us down.

Not long ago, I incorporated a quasi-minimalistic approach to my life, to a degree, without discomfort and without moving to a teepee.

Initially, I identified what I held onto that caused me unnecessary anxiety. Not a difficult undertaking, at all. Dusting small decor on shelves? Gone. Shelves and the crevice-ridden tchotchkes served no purpose but to ridicule my housekeeping standards. I removed them. The trinkets and the shelves no longer exist. Problem solved.

Eight black shirts that all look similar? Ditto for the pants upon pants I never wore in Florida and I’ve been here 12 years. I kept a small percentage of clothes that are my go-to favorites and donated the rest. I have a closet again that I navigate my body in easily.

Mental cleansing is just as important. An emotionally imbalanced marriage? Done.

My anxiety lifted upon completion of each step toward simple living.

One by one, I erased or minimized the areas that drove me crazy. I relaxed after giving 100% and, I suppose looking back, became complacent. Routine. On auto-pilot.

There was a direct correlation between physically minimizing my stuff with mental health benefits. Lighter in goods; lighter in negative thoughts.

Less truly is more.

We Can Only Control So Much

But how to minimize triggers out of my control?

Like traffic.

I was at a loss to find a viable solution. How do I get rid of other drivers? Hand gestures and screaming obscenities had little to no effect.

Weekday traffic around the 4 p.m. hour is a bit hectic, a tad chaotic, and the roads slightly swollen with more than a few drivers who no longer belong behind a wheel. It’s a turtle race to the 4 o’clock seatings for…



Lisa S. Gerard

Just doing my thing, letting you do yours. Be kind. It matters. Help break Mental Health stigma. Share a smile.