This weekend I spoke with a friend about how my vegan cleanse fit under the makeunder umbrella. My friend didn't understand how eating vegan was actually making under, since it was more expensive, made eating out difficult, and made cooking more complicated. And I admit, she was right on all three accounts. It was challenging and slightly more expensive to follow the non-processed food plan. But to me, the three week experiment definitely qualified as a makeunder.
Since this site is a reflection of my perspective on the term, I think it is fair to explain what I think a makeunder is for the purpose of this blog.*
makeunder (noun): the process of simplifying an aspect of someone or something with the intention to make it better.
Given this definition of the term makeunder, my vegan cleanse removed foods in my diet in order to: break bad eating habits, improve the quality of my nutrients, and become more familiar with a plant-based diet. Although the process required more thought and money, it did reflect my ultimate intention of eating healthier and consuming more vegetables.
Other makeunder examples include simplifying one's wardrobe, schedule, or even a DVR queue (guilty as charged). Generally, I consider the act of "addition by subtraction" a makeunder.
One conclusion some may have is that because I am so excited about living with less, I must not be into shopping or consumerism. However, I am most focused on living a high quality life above all- it just happens that quantity is often what causes stress and dissatisfaction for me and much of our society.
So though many times having less is better, having the right things in the right quantities is best. What the right things and the right quantities are vary person to person, and can even fluctuate throughout one's lifetime. The trick is to be aware of one's changing needs and lifestyle and adjust one's environment accordingly.
In the weeks to come, I plan to give more helpful tips, ideas, and interviews regarding this concept as well as explaining what the term "designing an intentional life" means to me. My hope is that these suggestions and stories inspire and encourage personal reflection.
*I believe the term makeunder can be defined differently, depending upon the individual, and what may work for me may not be right for someone else.
[photo from Rachel at Heart of Light]