I’ll admit I’ve not read Marie Kondo’s book, but I get the gist…keep what uplifts you, let go of what does not bring you joy.
The past two years I’ve purged my closet (and house) multiple times. Slowly distilling material possessions down to ‘what brings me joy’ – sort of…as often what brings me joy…especially in the clothing department brings up the question, “do I want to take a vacation, or wear my vacation?”
This morning as I turned pages of the J. Peterman catalog, wondering how the heck I got on that mailing list, while simultaneously being entertained by the elaborate descriptions, I spotted a dress – not just any dress, an “East Meets West…but we’d never ask you to stay in one place…100% silk georgette…that highlights your décolletage” dress. For a split second, I imagined slipping this dress on, the feel of the silk against my skin and then walking the 30’ to my home office.
I recycled the magazine. Which brings me to…Marie Kondo – ing Your Life.
We’ve been raised in an “I want” culture, from clothes, to cars, to fancy homes – it’s about more, better, bigger, faster. Even what’s healthy has become an extreme—I rode my bike this far, I hiked that mountain, I ran that marathon. And hey, don’t get me wrong, if these activities really make your heart sing (as opposed to filling an unmet need) – go for it! I’ll be the first person to tell you that when I accomplish an asinine elevation hike, it feels pretty darn good.
Until it doesn’t.
Sore muscles aside—bigger, better, faster, higher, further is a short lived “feel good”. More on top of more. Doing becomes a drug. Having becomes an addiction. More becomes a false path to happiness.
So, what is happiness? A quick google search brings up hundreds of books offering up ideas for how to be happy and yet…so many people aren’t. Are you?
To borrow a few lines from one of my favorite poems, “The Invitation” by Oriah Mountain Dreamer:
I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.
I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
A pandemic pause is upon us. It’s a blending of both grief and joy. It’s an opportunity to learn a new dance…it’s a time to not place ‘more on top of more’ and instead allow space to feel into what uplifts you and let go of what does not bring you joy.
Ponder this…at some point in the future, we’ll likely say, “remember the pandemic of 2020?”
Will you have returned to old ‘normal’?
Did you make different choices with what you do and how you feel?
How did this shape you – where did you grow?
What new dance did you learn?
Ubuntu (I am because we are).