So I jumped on the bandwagon this past week and have been enthralled with Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up series on Netflix. Have you watched it yet? I’m usually one to recommend books over television shows, but this is high on my list of recommendations lately!
I’ve always been a purger. To me, there is something so freeing about getting rid of the old and making room for the new. When I purged everything I owned in 2017 to travel the world, it was one of the hardest things I’ve done. I cried buckets of tears as the family who bought my car drove away in it. And yet, it brought me so much joy to see how happy they were with something that had once made me so very happy.
Marie first introduced the idea of sparking joy several years ago in her book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I love to watch her facial expression on the show when she imitates “sparking joy.” It’s precious.
The point she’s making, though, is that many of us don’t even know what sparks joy for us anymore. Somewhere along the way we became buried under a mountain of clutter, expectations, commitments, deadlines and pressure. The thought of joy never even occurs to us anymore. We pick out clothes and shoes that are convenient or on sale. We purchase the latest electronics, books or movies because everyone else loves them and we must have them too. We keep old furniture because it’s practical.
I love this show because it brings about 4 important points for living the life you crave:
Purging Relieves Pressure
Many homeowners describe themselves with the phrase “busting at the seams.” When working with clients, the pressure of past mistakes or hurts is often described as a “weight on their chest.” Whether decluttering your home or letting go of past hurts, purging relieves pressure. The weight on the chest is lifted, the inner pressure on the seams of the home is gone. People describe feeling lighter, freer and more open. Check in with yourself. Where do you feel a weight or pressure? How can you purge in that area of your life?
Marie recommends homeowners “thank” their items before letting go of them. I LOVE this practice, as it cultivates an attitude of gratitude. In fact, before selling my car I pulled off the road, broke down in tears and had a long conversation where I thanked it for keeping me safe, getting me to my destination, and always being there when I needed or wanted to run. My car was my escape mechanism. And yes, I know it is inanimate. The car or items in your home don’t have feelings and don’t comprehend your gratitude. However, an attitude of gratitude creates a paradigm shift within you, which is what’s important here. There’s an energy shift in the home and in your life when this practice is adopted. Just like thanking items in your home, what past relationships, mistakes or hurts can you thank right now in order to move forward?
Our Exterior World Reflects Our Inner World
When your inner life is in shambles, your exterior world tends to reflect it. And, vice versa. When you make your bed in the morning, put your dishes in the dish washer and your clothes in the hamper, often times your inner world is just as organized and at peace as your exterior world. When your kitchen is a mess, toys clutter the floor and you trip over dirty laundry, chances are high that your inner world is chaotic as well. You may have a crazy busy schedule, be frustrated at work, feel overwhelmed with school or feel as if there isn’t enough time. Bring awareness to the parallels between your inner and outer worlds.
Who doesn’t want more joy in their life? Then why do we allow people and things to steal our joy all the time? Why do we hold onto bitterness, anger, frustrations, toxic relationships, unfulfilling jobs and mounds of tangible stuff that no longer serves us? Practice the art of sparking joy in all areas of your life. Take stock of your work, relationships, and other obligations. Ask yourself if this commitment still sparks joy. If the answer is no, consider letting that item or commitment go this year. Cultivate joy in all things!
Remember friends, tidying up is both a mental and physical process. Take your time. You may uncover some items or memories that are painful to purge. Know it is completely okay.
Sometimes we have to go through the mess to appreciate the outcome. Take crafts, for example. I helped my niece throw a painting party for her birthday a few years ago. Thirteen girls with easels, paint and water cups turned into one heck of a mess I wasn’t prepared to clean. However, once it was done and my niece gushed about what a great time she had, I knew the memory was worth the mess.
The same goes for past hurts I’ve faced. In the midst of the chaos, they weren’t fun. However, with my attitude of gratitude in place, I can look back with fondness for the emotional and personal growth that came because of the messes I once encountered.
So tell me, friends, how do you feel about tidying up? Do you do a spring cleaning or yearly purge? Are you more of a junk room or pack rat kind of girl? What do you think of the Netflix series? Leave me a comment below with all your thoughts!