The Real Usefulness of KonMari

I love KonMari and her tidying technique, and I’ve used it several times and still abide by her general principles, which I’ve found wonderfully useful as tools for building a kind of bio-feedback link with deep discernment. 

(Wondering what the heck I’m talking about? It’s Marie Kondo’s ‘does it spark joy’ question. Pick up a single thing, concentrate on it, ask yourself if it sparks joy, and then wait for the answer. It’s unmistakable – if it sparks joy, it sparks JOY. If it doesn’t, you may find yourself waffling on all the reasons you shouldn’t get rid of it, but if you take a moment to consider that response itself, you’ll note there is zero joy in it. And building this very physical, very emotional, very immediate awareness helps to realize where and when other things spark joy. And given my own spiritual proclivities, I’m inclined to believe that what Sparks Joy has God’s stamp of approval on it, and I should generally follow the trail of joy-crumbs I’ve discovered, above and beyond just items in my home.)

And it helps, perhaps, that I’m very sensitive to the state of my home. I’m not saying it’s perfect (I’m in a perpetual state of needing to dust), but if things start piling up, I can feel the unrest inside of me. When things aren’t clean (yes, even the dust) I can feel the ickiness that’s there just under the surface unless I’m actively ignoring it. And when things get put away, when things get cleaned or vacuumed or dusted, it’s so much easier to be clear and calm and balanced. But it goes beyond tidying.

When our physical spaces get cluttered up (even nicely organized and quite tidy, but still filled) with things we don’t use, or don’t like, or feel obligated to keep, things we don’t actively appreciate, I do believe it can massively affect the rest of our lives. Mostly because we’re sending a super clear message to the Universe: “I’ve got a high tolerance for living with stuff I don’t want, so when I say I don’t want that and do want this, you can ignore me.”

“I’ve got a high tolerance for living with stuff I don’t want, so when I say I don’t want that and do want this, you can ignore me.”

-Us, to the Universe, when we put up with stuff we don’t want in our homes.

If you’re someone who works on actively manifesting things, this is going to 86 your process. And if you’re someone who is just trying to make some good, positive changes in your life and you’re not sure about all this spiritual-but-not-religious stuff, think of it like a really powerful metaphor. If you’re praying and telling God that you really want this change in your life, that you’re a good person and you deserve nice things, and God is merciful, and you really need a change, but then you put up with crap in every other area of your life, then you’re actually sending two different messages to God. Message number one, said rather softly, all things considered is, ‘I want good, positive, healthy change, and I want it right now.’ Message number two, screamed, painted in neon, and carved in stone all around you is, ‘I’ll put up with anything, and I don’t want any change at all.’

So if you want to change your career, your relationships, your finances, your mood, your outlook (which is a tall order, but can be done given enough persistence, support, and time), start with whatever physical space is under your control, even if it is just a single room, or a part of a single room. Make it a pristine reflection of what makes you happy, and don’t hold back. Use whatever system of tidying works for you. And don’t be surprised when, once you’ve begun that, you start to see other areas of your life that you can also bring your ‘tidying mojo’ into to start cleaning and changing. Because the opportunities will start to present themselves as God lines them up one by one, or dozen by dozen, for you to take or ignore as you prefer.

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