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.
Somehow, impossibly, I travelled around the world one year ago!
I am deeply grateful to have taken a trip to Bangladesh when I did. I was at a stage of my life & business when the adrenaline had long worn off, and I was a getting a bit stuck in a cultural mindset trap: "I don't feel like doing this every day."
More details on that, I'll save for another day (or perhaps for a more intimate conversation!). But, let it suffice to say that my colleagues in Bangladesh do NOT operate from that mindset... it doesn't even factor into the conversation.
Being reminded of this, as well as seeing — in person — the inner workings and impact of the blanket biz on the production side... well, it was deeply regenerative for me.
If I had not visited in January 2020, I don't know when that trip would have taken place! Soooo thankful.
Here is one story of a woman artisan I met: Poli.
This season for dignify has challenged us with waiting. Blankets have been leaving our hands at the fastest pace ever (yay!) and we are trying to simply keep up. Add extra inconveniences & delays (from COVID, from customs checks, and more), and we have been really exercising our muscles in patience, trust, and gratitude.
Culturally, we are in a stage of waiting, as well. Waiting for vaccine rollout. Waiting for "normal" opportunities to return, for "normal" life to resume in our cities, our nations.