Spring Cleaning

Mari Kondo’s books and Netflix show have taken off, inspiring many to clean up and choose things that spark joy. The KonMari method is a way of choosing the things you have in your life with intention and organizing what you have in a way that creates harmony. The practices of this method might also be applied to other elements of life (not just that overflowing junk drawer).  

Take time to look at all that you have: One of the practices in this method is to take out all of the things in one category and create a big pile, so that you can see all that you have. This practice can be a huge eye opener to become aware of all that you have. I’ve taken this approach to my schedule. Making a list of all the activities in my life (work, play, friends, family, self-care, etc.). Writing the list allows me to see all that I try to fit in daily and all of the commitments I’ve made.

Choose (intentionally) all that spark joy: This part of the process can spark resistance for some – the argument being that life is more than simple joy and we should value all the things that challenge and make us feel. My take on this is that joy lifts us and helps lighten the load of adulting. Often, the negative things in life take over and the practice of cultivating joy is lost. Taking time to identify the things that truly spark joy and intentionally choose to keep them creates a practice of awareness that increases our mental and physical health. In my schedule, I’ve created a matrix to evaluate the qualities of each of my commitments (time, income, effort, feeling after, etc.) to give me an idea of the things I find most valuable/joyful.

Letting go: In the Netflix show Marie takes time to say thank you to those things that are being let go. This practice acknowledges that the item gave something at the time (maybe just taught us not to wear that color) AND that the item can better used somewhere else. When looking at my schedule I can use this practice to recognize those activities that taught me something and visualize that activity serving someone else. When I let an activity go, I take a moment to express gratitude for all that it has given me, and I think of how others can grow from taking over.

Maintaining the practice: This is a tough one! The first push to clean up, let go, and organize takes a lot of energy but the outcome is obvious. That before/after transformation is exciting. The hard part comes in keeping up the practice. In yoga the term is abhyasa – meaning the continuous practice necessary to clear the mind. It cannot be accomplished in one sitting. In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra (1.12-1.16) refers to clearing the mind and the requirement of discipline to develop consistent attention and time to develop the cumulative power of yoga. To maintain any practice requires a level of awareness and continued intention. We have to build a support system to keep the habit going. My scheduling habit includes a quarterly check in where I make my list and evaluate all my activities to assure that I’ve on the best track for me.

Ask for help! When you jump into a time of change, ask for help to keep you accountable. Make deadlines for yourself, put them on your calendar, and get a friend or professional to help.

Check out wellness coaching services: Coaching is a way of creating a clear vision and personal goals then building upon strengths, making a plan for overcoming barriers, and continually building toward the vision. Schedule a free call with Kim Allen to talk about how coaching can work for you.

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