Welcome to March Dear Ones,
Last weekend, I held up an old sweater of mine, considering whether it still “sparked joy” in me. Turns out, not so much. So I thanked the sweater for occasionally keeping me warm and for keeping my closet full, and placed it in the “to-go” pile along with several of its closest closet companions.
For those of you who aren’t following, recently I immersed myself with the contagiously sweet goddess of organizing, Marie Kondo, and her KonMari method of “Tidying Up.” In this work, she suggests viewing possessions in light of the energy they spark within us. Although I’m usually resistant to joining bandwagons, “KonMari” sparks flew through my home recently via a Saturday afternoon of streaming her show. I can now proudly say that every single piece of clothing, paper, and once randomly stuffed piece of “stuff” in my home has been intentionally chosen to carry into my future and has a clear, visible place to live.
And beyond my home’s newfound lightness, this process has sparked so much creativity and energy in me. Now that I can see everything in my drawers (thanks to her unconventional folding methods), I am starting to put unlikely articles of clothing together in my day’s outfit. Since all my notes are filed and marked clearly, I suddenly feel more excitement to go through them and work on my book. Seemingly unrelated to any home organization, I finally finished the redesign of my website that’s been lingering for months…. and, for no explainable reason, I’m enjoying wearing my hair in a whole new way.
I’m not simply feeling “tidied up,” I’m feeling like all my most engaging and energizing parts are suddenly available at my fingertips… and I have a hunger to take it deeper. What would life be like if we could KonMari our souls?
I summarized her method into four basic principles that seem to have some interesting parallels in how we approach our own internal clutter and vision for what could be.
Here goes… KonMari’ing Your Soul…
- Envision What You Desire Your Home (Body/Mind) to Eventually Be
In regards to your life… how do you sense your future self would like to feel? In the most energized fulfilled version of yourself – what are you spending your time on? What thoughts are you focused on? How do you feel in your body?
When we get a sense of what we desire – and what our most energized self is like – we can use that version as a magnet, pulling us forward into our next chapter.
- Commit to Tidying Up Completely (Or, in this case, with complete presence)
Before we move forward, we must bring full presence, acknowledgment and acceptance to where we are right now. One thing Marie asks people to do is to gather up each category of of their possessions, in its totality, in one big pile. This way they can really see – and feel – just how much stuff they have. Really being with it brings up the necessary emotions to fuel change.
In a similar way, we are invited to pause and be with all that’s moving through us, acknowledging what’s true and real in the moment, with compassion and acceptance, allowing the necessary cry, scream and/or laugh in response. From here, the way forward starts to become more clear.
Unlike clutter in our house – there is no “completely” uncluttering our psyches. But we can bring complete presence to any given moment and, when the emotion comes, allow that wave to have complete expression. This is what moves us through, rather than keeping us stuck.
- Pause and ask “Does This Spark Joy?” & “Do I Want To Carry This Into My Future With Me?” If Not, Thank It and Let It Go.
When we do feel heavy or stuck, even after presencing and emoting – it’s good to ask what belief/story is underneath this feeling. What’s happening is what’s happening… but the story we spin about what’s happening and where we focus fully dictates our experience of it.
If the narrative we’ve been buying into sparks anything other than joy – it’s time for an upgrade. When someone says “be realistic” what they probably mean is “keep reality limited to the view I’m currently aware of and can be “certain” of.” There are always multiple perspectives from which the view the same set of circumstances. If you current vantage point leaves you feeling powerless and/or exhausted – put it in the goodwill pile of your life, thanking it for serving you over the time that it did. (Every story had wisdom at some point, it just may be outdated wisdom now.)
Your future self will thank you and a better story to navigate will have space to emerge.
- (Re)Organizing In A Way That All Is Visible
One of my favorite parts of the KonMari method is her clear way to display and honor each thing chosen to keep. She encourages her followers to fold and sort everything in ways that keep all our stuff visible, therefore respecting their importance.
Now, when I open my drawers, I see a beautiful palette of color and design – and my creativity feels so nourished. Nothing is in the shadows, or hidden balled up in the back of the drawer.
What if the same were true with parts of ourselves? It’s not about undiscerning exposure or oversharing – even Marie is a fan of doors and drawers. But what if, within our own awareness, we left room for every part of us to stay in the light, nothing shamed or hidden or contorted to try to be something we are not? This means that the scared, messy and insecure parts have spaces on the shelf right along with the confident, put together and brave parts.
When we have committed to and done the work of feeling what’s calling us from our future, accepting and being with what’s in our present, tidying up our limiting beliefs and allowing all of our internal pieces to be seen, attended to and loved, there is a wholeness that brings flow, energy, creativity and new possibilities… not to mention a tidier home.
With sparks of joy,