Not too long ago I stumbled upon a Netflix show called "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo", little did I know how much this show's message and practices would change my life.
Anyone who knows me well knows I love when things are organized, labeled, color coded, in alphabetical order, .... okay, I'll admit I can get carried away. Even as a kid I can remember pulling everything out of my closet, reorganizing it, and putting it all away again ... many times over the years of growing up. I've always loved to get organized ... and I've always had a difficult time getting rid of things which may just be the reason I've had or re-organize my spaces so often over the years. Marie Kondo has shifted that for me. Her reverence for "things", her thoughtfulness, and her enthusiasm for a simple life has made me pause and ask, "Does it spark joy?".
I love things, pretty things, cools gadgets, useful items. And I love to collect things, books, kitchen tools, and clothes have been big categories for me. For years I had space to hold and time and manage all these things. But over the last 9 year my life has shifted, I've wanted and needed to downsize. And I've developed the desire to spend my time and energy living life verses organizing. I love my things. But as I've begun to downsize and simplify my living space I find I don't have room for as many things.
Marie says that you only have to organize once ... WHAT? That can't be right. She also says you must first start with getting rid of what does not serve you anymore ... hummm, this sounds rather familiar. Yoga is an inquiry based practice, both on the mat and in life. Yoga is about purifying and cleansing, the body, energy, mind, heart, on and off the mat. It tells us to seek "What is no longer need?", "What is enough?", "What is no longer serving me?", "Where can I let go to make room for what is next?".
After watching Marie's Netflix series I eagerly tackled my home with a keen eye for what I could get rid of. But soon after I began, I hit a wall ... in my mind I wanted and needed everything and if given enough time I could come up with an argument that everything served a very important purpose. It did matter if I had not used it, read it, or worn it in years. I felt as if the things I owned was a showcase of who I was. When people entered my home they would get a sense of me just from being in my environment. This coupled with being brought up to believe that you could not get rid of things you paid good, hard earned money for. I could not get rid of anything! So now what?
I was forgetting one important inquiry, Maries question, "Does it spark joy?" Now I had been asking myself this for years in the context of life. Answering honestly lead me to letting go of relationships, dropping practices, and banishing beliefs that did not harmonize with me living a wholehearted life, full of vitality. But I never asked of the things I owned.
Yoga has taught me that I am not a fixed thing, nor a single thing, that I am a universe of things and I am always changing and evolving and I have a myriad of expressions simultaneously ... Yoga taught me that my past, beliefs, and experiences do not define me so it was not a stretch to start seeing my "things" don't define me either.
So going back again and with reverence for how these items came into my life, how they served me, and if they currently sparked joy- so I began again. And with ease and inspiration I moved through my home removing, rearranging, and re-enlivening.
My space still reflects who I am at this moment in time. I love my things, as long as they spark joy. Come the day when they do not I will thank them for their service and send them out to find a new home without regret.
Yoga is about unblocking and creating vitality and aliveness ... you could say finding "a spark of joy" ... in the heart, mind, body-home, and for me now, the my house-home .
** Click on the photo above to visit Maire Kondo's website.
** Click on the book image to purchase Marie's book from Amazon.