As soon as the teen declutters her folder in my Dropbox – she’s got a video in there she’s working on for a cool project she’s doing – I’ll begin talking more about our Tidying Up a la the KonMari Method, complete with pictures.
I read Marie’s book, and some of her beliefs and how they translate into her method strike me as strange. Her beliefs, not so much, but how she ties them in with tidying… That’s another story. If you catch her show on Netflix, she begins each home visit with a time of meditation in which she introduces herself to the home and thanks it for what it does for the home’s owners. It seems strange to thank an inanimate object for anything.
In Marie’s book, she advises thanking your home each time you enter. She suggests thanking everything you get rid of for what it did for you or taught you. The focus of the KonMari method is being intentional about what you keep, not what you discard, and keeping only those things that spark joy. When we express gratitude for what we have, we find our attitude towards it changes.
As I’ve said before, I’m not a “stuff” person, so finding joy in what I have is rather a reach for me. That being said, I’ll try almost anything once with the belief that, if it doesn’t work for me, I can always go back to what I did before or try something new. No big deal. Following the KonMari Method, I became intentional about making the bed every day. Then I decided that the last person up should make the bed, so I only do it half the time. It’s nice sinking into a nicely-made bed with fluffed pillows each night. My husband, though… He has to put up with some girly pillows. Poor guy.
I don’t verbalize “thank you” to my house when I enter. Generally, I’m simultaneously kicking my shoes off, hanging up my purse, and keeping a cat from slipping out. At night is when the gratitude is most available to me. I slip my day clothes off and let them rest on my bed before changing into what the evening holds – loungewear or workout wear. When I get ready for bed, I put my day clothes away and thank them for what they did for me. Same with my lounge wear and workout wear. As I do this, I’ve noticed a couple of new things. One, no matter how tired I am, I will still take the time to put the clothes away. Two, I am becoming more grateful for these clothing items.
Gratitude is also part of the practice of yoga. One of our instructors says every practice, “Think of someone you’re grateful for, maybe someone who made it possible for you to be here tonight.” My thoughts immediately go to whoever is home and cooking dinner while I practice. It’s one thing to think, It’s so nice of my teen to make dinner while I’m at yoga! It’s still another thing to feel grateful in my heart for her doing this. When I go home, though, and tell her “thank you,” that gratitude is out in the open. It becomes a tangible thing that fills her heart and mind so she can then share my joy. She blooms in front of me in those moments.
With these expressions of gratitude comes an understanding of joy in my things. I have always appreciated my things and taken great care of them. Now, I will know the joy they spark when it comes time to tidy again and to cull out.
Part of the healthy coastal lifestyle is having good mental health and a healthy space. These are interconnected, and feeling and expressing gratitude helps promote good mental health and good, healthy relationships. How do you express gratitude for the things you have and for the people who help make your life possible? Drop a comment below.
So far, we’ve done clothes and books. My trunk is filled with bags of clothes and my living room still holds bags of clothes and boxes of books, all ready to donate.