Monday, June 8, 2015

Tidying Up Your Life And Other Steps To Loving Yourself

There may be quite a few fanatics of author, Marie Kondo out there. I am one of them. I have devoured her book, "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" and am quite content FINALLY understanding what all the stuff in my life was doing. 

Some of it was filling a void. Some of it was trying to be first class. (please read my blog post on being first class to fully grasp this concept). Some of it was useful and some of it was a very good representation of my emotional state while armed with a credit card. 

And so we come to Charlie Chaplin. Yes, Charlie Chaplin. I paraphrase this thoughts here because the actual quote varies on many levels. 

As I began to love myself I freed myself from anything that is no good for my health-food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew me down and away from myself.
At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is "love of oneself."

I have experienced the "magic" of #KonMari's techniques. I have seen my house linger with the awesomeness of being complete in all tasks BEFORE the weekend even begins. I have...seen the back wall to my closet. And all of these are unpaved steps on the journey of self love and self respect. 

Sadly, this is not a topic taught by most parents or schools. The self care my body, mind and soul requires is compartmentalized within the scope of exercise, study and prayer. However, no one has ever conceptualized the divine grace of combining all three aspects into a discipline of the self as a form of active self respect and self love. There can be no greater gift. No amount of money can purchase this sense of well-being and there is something wonderfully attractive about discipline. 

I have already seen the social media commentary about people who have tidying up their lives so completely that their therapists are beginning to intervene, requesting their clients not take up so much time tidying, as it is most probably serving as a distraction from real issues. If this is your therapist please understand, your therapist probably says that because he or she thinks the focus on tidying up takes away from purposeful living. Most people freakishly tidy up as a matter of bringing temporary order into their lives. Your therapist doesn't get that you are mindfully invested in living deliberately. This is not a chronic thing. It used to be and to most people perpetual cleaning, unstopping, decluttering, and all that that entails is manic behavior which is indicative of a long-term (read long time paying) client. 

The ability to self asses and realize that living in a tidy and orderly home is not a fantasy and having something like that is not reserved for the rich and famous. 

Have you noticed how the wealthier people are, the less stuff they actually own? Clutter is non-existent in wealthy homes, while it is pervasive in poorer homes or homes where debts are owed. 

In order to change the direction of your life, particularly if you agree that self respect and self love are the best gifts you can give yourself. Then why not start disengaging from anything that draws you "down and away from" yourself? This is the premise of KonMari's book. She captures her concept with "does this item spark joy"? I HIGHLY encourage a new reader to follow the order of releasing items from your home because the order actually determines your ability to succeed. There are many who will advise you begin decluttering by working in one room a little bit each day or setting aside a box of items you no longer use. These are all the same methods you are already aware of and these methods have led you to the same stuffed closets and cupboards you have today. Belongings MUST be grouped together in like categories before attempting any release. All Clothes, all books, all papers, FROM EVERYWHERE around your home must be gathered up together. That's why she urges one grouping at a time. 

The relationship I had with my belongings before I read Marie Kondo's book was almost non existent. I was the perfect consumer, buying, slightly using and then throwing or donating items to cycle in the newer and fresher things, never grasping the magnitude of my wastefulness. Particularly in full understanding the amount of money being spent on things that continued to make me unhappy. This realization alone, was worth the read for me. And it is very different when you read these words off a blog instead of living them. 
I also recommend the two-part Japanese video series about a fictional KonMari character who does a better job of explaining why belongings need to be sorted in a particular order. 

Droves of people are swearing by her technique. I am one  of them. I also see the value of how tidying up your life is the greatest demonstration to the rest of the world of how to treat you.