I’ve recently been introduced to the Japanese method of de-cluttering made popular by Marie Kondo. She helps people around the world take stock of their ever growing possessions and audit them with care. At the heart of her technique is guiding people to hold up every item of their cluttered closet, for example, and ask themselves ‘Does this spark JOY?’
I love the simplicity and power of this query and being able to tap into our intrinsic YES and NO buttons. We can’t fake a YES when holding up the frayed edges of a silk frock that appeared to be fashionable a rather uncomfortable number of years ago. And we can’t pretend to answer in the affirmative when the trousers in question are known to sag and lose their shape after a brief and unavoidable session of sitting rather than standing. Sagging simply doesn’t spark joy.
Being able to let go and discard or donate pieces that aren’t met with a resounding YES leaves us with more space. It also creates an environment where all the possessions that surround us are beacons of JOY! We can de-clutter and create a life, immersed with the things we cherish and those items that truly cultivate levity.
So what if instead of de-cluttering our closets and cupboards, we directed this profound question to other facets of our lives? Does our job spark joy? Does our partner spark joy? Do our evening and morning routines offer levity and joy? If so, fantastic! It’s time to practice even more gratitude. And if not, that’s fantastic too! Because we can’t fake our YES to joy. Asking the question, believing our answer, and then being brave enough to change or discard layers, adds to the richness of a JOYful life.