Fucking Marie Kondo.  God-Damn Marie Fuck Fuck Kondo.

No, no, not really.  How can those words even come out of my mouth?  

Cue the Dwight voice in my head – Ha!  Correction! They didn’t come out of my mouth, they came out of my fingers…

But seriously… She is precious. And kind. And loving. And wonderful. And I made the very thoughtless decision to watch her series on Netflix, Tidying Up.  Yep, it’s all my fault.  I should have never done it.  I know myself better than that to have clicked on that luring, practical, wise, heartwarming show… and my consequences?  Well, they’re driving my guy bat-shit crazy.

EVERYTHING MUST GO!  EVERYTHING MUST HAVE A HOME!

Yeah, I have been on an obsessive mission to de-clutter, organize and ensure that every god-damned nook and cranny inside my home (under my discretion) sparks that mother fucking joy.  I’ve embarked on this mission over the past few days and much to my surprise, it’s embarrassing to see how disorganized we can get over the course of just a few months (shit, I only moved into this house in May, and already got rid of so much junk then!).  Even more so? It’s embarrassing to ask myself, why didn’t I just toss this bullshit when I unpacked it? It clearly has no use or has worn out its purpose, yet I have kept it, only for it to await it’s discarded doom under this current selection process.

(And now, I can’t stop thinking about the bathroom I still haven’t done.  Or the cabinet in the living room. Or the side dresser next to our bed I forgot… The obsession, although I have already gone through 3 rooms in the house, is unyielding I say!)  

I mean, c-mon… the house is looking GREAT.  Even better? It FEELS so, so great. Any closet you open will be organized, clean, with all the items visible to the eye.  Any drawer you reveal will look like it was organized as a model home. Of course, there are still little things here and there I want to do (tiny little boxes!) to make it even better, but it’s definitely feeling so… good. Fuck you Marie Kondo for the stress and exhaustion you introduced me to this past week!  But God Bless your gorgeous, adorable, wonderful being for what you’ve now brought into my life.

What is it about an organized and uncluttered space that just alleviates the soul?  What is it that is so special, to open your drawer full of tightly rolled thongs that makes you actually happy?  Perhaps it’s just knowing exactly what’s there and the pure ability to choose (with least exerted effort) what precise item you want to wear at that given moment.

That’s been the miracle in this.  As I move along organizing and de-cluttering, I LOVE opening up my drawers and seeing exactly what’s in them.  I can see every article of clothing, every kitchen utensil, every medicinal product or spice on the rack… It’s a direct hit of realizing I have an ample amount of things to live and survive, and it just makes me feel mother fucking blessed. Additionally, because everything has a home, I am not searching for things or running around from room to room, screaming “No! No! I think I put it in this place!”  It’s already in its place. It’s just there, visible to anyone who wishes to look for it, and they won’t have to make a larger mess in the process of trying to find it.

Why have I not thought of this before???

I mean, I have always prided myself in being an organized and clean person.  But she just took shit to a whole new level – And I am so, so grateful for it.  Not because I want to be some uptight ass that stresses out at the slightest mess in my home, but because it just makes me feel more calm and peaceful in my own space.  It’s the realization of all that I have, and all that I don’t need.  This practice has made me not WANT to go and buy more things.  Because I can see my supply, every day, all the time and it’s already more than enough.  

While those are the overall benefits on a practical scale, something deeper is definitely there too.  I’ve used words like “calm,” “peaceful,” “grateful,” and “joy.” That is where I think the simplest miracle is in all of this.  Outside of my home, my days are chaotic, disorganized, frustrating and even soul-sucking. But when I am home? Well, right now, it feels stable.  Clear. Controlled, even. I do think we have to be careful not to go into this OCD mode with it, though. And that might be too easy to do because right now, when I see something is out of place, I have a natural urge to go and put it in its home. Regardless… what I am learning is my environment directly affects my mental state to a degree.

About 3 weeks ago I was listening to an online course by Jonathan Field’s (founder of The Good Life Project site and podcast). It’s his “Spark Accelerator” course that I got for free (for a limited time – sorry) due to having been an early bird purchaser of his “Sparketype Mastery Guide.” Basically, you can take his free personality quiz and find out your Sparketype (a description of what most makes your life “spark”, or light up).  He then has a Sparketype Mastery guide for purchase for a greater deep dive. The coursework I then received (which is about $200.00) is basically a step-by-step process with tools to creating your best work situation that is life-sparking and fulfilling.  (Okay, this sounds gimmicky… I usually cringe when I hear things are for purchase. But I have been listening and appreciating Jonathan Field’s work for years, so I already had a good foundational trust with him and his work to justify my own reasons for purchase.  I gain no benefit, financial or otherwise, from promoting his [great] work on this site, FYI)…

One section in his course was identifying your ideal work environment both on a micro level (office surroundings, lighting, space) and a macro level (geographic preferences, i.e. being near water, mountains, city, etc.).  He told a story of an experiment run on older men (around 70 years old) who had an office space re-created to reflect that of when they were younger (30s or so). The results that were noted ranged from increased focus, happiness, and ironically, even eyesight. He mentioned as an aside, the researcher noted that following this experiment a random game of tag football broke out among the elderly men as they were leaving the facility… This made my heart just, happy.  And in the middle of that course section after hearing of this, I stopped what I was doing and begun ferociously re-organizing my art studio where I work at home. After I was done? I LOVED my space. I rearranged my desk to be able to see out of my window because I love light and being able to see outside. I rearranged my artwork into clean sections. I moved a shelf into the closet of that room so It reduced clutter. And for the next week, I was feeling creative.  I drew up some stuff, created a 2019 vision board and I would even randomly just go in there and sit.  I loved it. It sparked me.

So needless to say, when Marie Kondo entered my life, her methods made perfect sense.  And now my house is feeling the exact same way. I love being in every room.

I don’t know that this works for everyone seeing that some people may be in much darker stages of their life and/or may be in a season, or generally suffer from trauma or depression. Alternatively, which I’ll address towards the end of this – you may not respond to this type of organization at all – such as Aly (we really are such opposites). But for those of you that have a small nudge to try this, or to try it in your own way, I would highly recommend it.  

With my own experience, getting clear in my house is jump starting additional clarity outside of my house as well.  I know this sounds hokey, but it really is. (Maybe my “eyesight” is improving here too…) I have identified this really positive internal response of joy, calm, gratitude, and stability from organizing my home.  This internal response is now is allowing me to identify those same responses outside of my home (like, in work, or how I socialize). Sure, I can’t remove all the chaos from life – it’s every bit a part of life as the good… But having felt this joy inside myself, I can now seek out those things in my outside life that activate this same positive response in me.  I now can start to realize what it is I like and don’t like, and learn how to say no to more of the things that cause the opposite reactions in me, and likewise, how to say yes to more of the things that spark this positive response in me. And that’s a good place to be! Road map? No, I don’t have a “clear” picture on how to do this, I just have to take it experience by experience, opportunity by opportunity and learn along the way.  Oh, you want me to travel 5 times this month? I am not looking forward to that at all. It feels like drudgery, something I want to avoid. My internal road map makes my soul feel squeezed and shriveled – so that might not be a good idea. You want to publish an article of mine? Well, fuck yeah! That sounds scary, but exciting as hell, and I want to welcome that in my life (this has not happened – it’s just a made up scenario). It’s activating those same feelings of life inside of me.  So, the focus is not about organizing and controlling your life, but more about learning that process of identifying what it is that makes you light up and sparked.  

Aly and I were chatting about this yesterday over brunch.  And while she went and did her own version of Marie Kondo to her space, her focus wasn’t on the organization as much as it was keeping things in her space that she wanted to take into her future, and that genuinely brought joy to her life… So, if you’re more like Aly, the deep organization to jumpstart this identification process might be the exact opposite of what I did, or look completely different since the focus is on different parts of the process.  You may love chaos and disorder. You may have your own sense of order in your disorder, which is totally, completely fine.  You may love the mystery of not knowing exactly what exists in your space and thrive in that environment, like Aly. That’s good.  Keep doing it.  The point of all of this is identifying ways that really make you enjoy your space, and for you to enjoy your life.  You should not let my ways of how I respond, dictate or influence your way that you best work – not one bit.  

I think that’s where a lot of us derail.  We pay good money to have some other self prescribed expert telling us what it is that will make us more fulfilled.  We scour instagram posts to see what “secrets” are being exposed to help us in our life.  When in actuality, we aren’t even listening to our own internal compass – which guides (mostly, with a few exceptions) true north.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll likely say it 10,567 times more, but if we don’t do the work to actually find out who we are, we won’t know what really makes us happy.  Sure, I wish I was more like Aly in a lot of ways.  My way sometimes is perceived as uptight and rigid – but that is me.  And I have to live with me.  And if rolling my thongs and grouping same sized utensils together in a drawer makes me feel fulfilled?  Then I am best to just accept that and enjoy it, judgements be damned.  Likewise, it makes my heart so happy when I hear that Aly just loves not knowing what is in her space and gets a “thrill” at discovering what she already has.  It’s not me, but my god, I love that it’s like that for her.

So, here’s to the spark.  Here’s to the joy.  And here’s to learning the guiding principals that help us move along in our path for our greatest good.  May it be organizing and de-cluttering, or may it be just having things in your home that spark your joy and that you’re proud to take into your future.  Either way – get it.

Cheers.

 

 

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