I don’t need to have Netflix anymore to know that the new show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo has surged a whole new wave of excitement over the KonMarie stuff cleanse & its “life-changing magic”.
On Instagram stories, in my neighborhood, and blogs across the internet, women and men (though, let’s be frank, the latter are mostly of the indulging-their-significant-other variety) are purging books, refolding clothes, and asking the question, “Does this spark joy?” (a fancy version of: do I still want this thing?)
The desire to simplify & subtract seems like a natural reaction response to the rampant materialism & consumption that mark our current cultural era. A counterswing to the flurry of Black Friday, the holidays, and 2-day free shipping.
So, I think it it’s a good thing, unequivocally.
What's not to love about reorienting your surroundings to only reflect what you love, what brings life, what lasts, and what has meaning? I have hitched my horse, professionally, 100% to the idea of products that are a bigger investment, but imbue meaning, are well-loved, and, well... spark joy! (I'm talking kantha quilts: see!)
But, I know that when we create a void, when we remove something, the space doesn’t stay empty. Another thing moves to fill it. I don’t mean literally, physically… this isn’t a comment on how the junk drawer will be mysteriously bursting again by March!
If I stop a bad habit, like checking my phone a zillion times a day, what will I do with my time, my hands, my antsy-ness, instead? This is why many smokers who decide to quit start chewing gum, or go for a 5 minute walk during what used to be their smoke break at work.
Even more abstractly, if I want to be less impatient, or think fewer judgmental thoughts, I need to create a positive resolution to focus on, too: maybe I start a mental bucket list of fun activities to think about when I am stuck in a line or otherwise trying to be patient; maybe decide to say a prayer of gratitude when I am feeling down or frustrated.
When we're motivated to simplify, to minimize, to clutter-bust... what do we want to fill that gap? If we don't consider the answer we envision to that question, I guarantee that the space will be filled... just maybe not with the life-giving, joy-sparking stuff we want in it.
So, what are some ideas to think through in refilling the space?
What else? Have you successfully decluttered and remained decluttered, in space and/or mind? Thoughts on the list above, or on all the recent KonMarie love?
Share your thoughts & stories in the comments below.
(Photo courtesy of Friends of Basha)
Reflections from my experience visiting a Brothel in Bangladesh
As impossible as it is for me to believe now, earlier in 2020 I flew around the world. The primary objective was to visit Bangladesh and see, in person, the life-changing work in which dignify has had the privilege to participate over these past 8 years.
A friend recently asked on Facebook for “the most challenging and enlightening resource you have read/watched about the problem of racism in America”. This question received numerous responses within the day: half a dozen films, dozens of books, podcasts, courses, and other hubs of information resources (as well as the astute reply, “Conversation”, which is, of course, the most relational and human of “resources”).
I think that this experience was shared by most people in early June (as protests & concerns over racial injustice had reached a critical volume): so many resources, so much to learn.
But now, 2 months later… what have we done with the magnitude of worthy, fascinating, perspective-altering information & insights that have been brought to our attention?
And this it only in the area racial injustice. In other interests & concerns: How much do we know? How much have we learned & read & listened to already?
Approximately 25 years ago (in March 2020), we did a customer/reader survey. I asked what you like to read on the blog & one of the respondents suggested a post on "living generously". What a fabulous idea and perfect for this time in history!
[The title of this post implies some kind of authority or expertise — ha! Nope, no experts here... just some thoughts on generosity from a fellow human, trying to make my way!]