Recently, I consulted a consultant to help me tidy up my web page and set some business goals for 2016. But after laying out my array of projects and pursuits (there’s the dream business, the mindfulness workshops, the poetry workshops for adults in literacy classes, the writing workshops for dreamers, the book I just wrote that needs promoting, the books I wrote years ago that need promoting, my own writing and … ) the consultant basically said:
“Honey, you’re a mess. You need to get yourself organized.”
Okay, that’s not exactly what she said, but that’s what I heard.
So, I decided to start by tidying up my office. I’m one of those people who can’t think until I clean up my desk. And to clean up my desk I need to have someplace to put those towers of paper. And in order to find places for those towers of papers I need to clear out some file drawers and cabinets, and so …
That’s when I decided to jump on the bandwagon and join all of my other friends who’ve recently begun tossing out Hefty bags filled with old clothes and shoes and books, and fold their sweaters and T-shirts so they can be stored in the drawers standing up (!) … and I began reading Marie Kondo’s book, “The Amazing Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.”
But does it spark joy?
I haven’t had the time to address Kondo’s suggestions in any global way (see list of projects listed above) but I have taken her message to heart. Kondo’s premise is that we find a quiet expansive period of time and go through everything we own, object by object, holding each one in our hands and asking, “Does this item give me joy?”
Before I began the book, I’d been warned that Kondo, a Japanese tidying expert, might sound a bit nutty, but that I should hang in there.
But truth be told, I fell in love with Kondo’s quirky, obsessive, heart-felt dedication to her work, and I immediately resonated with her prescription to use Joy as the guiding light in her tidying method.
The other hallmark of Kondo’s approach that I love is that the first step in “getting your house in order,” is to discard anything all those items that don’t bring joy.
So, while I’m waiting for a break in my schedule when I can take each item in my office in hand and ask the magic question, I’m starting to discard some of the complicating detritus in my life, anyway.
Out with the old, in with the Joy
Along with a coral-colored sweater, a fork with a twisted handle, and some worn-out shoes, I’m sloughing off Facebook pages. Yes! I have accumulated 7…count them 7 Facebook pages, including 1 personal page, 1 group page, 2 family event pages, 3 business pages!
My personal Facebook page brings me great joy! There I connect with my family and friends—and as long as I don’t spend too much time there, I love reading updates about my loved ones. So that’s a keeper.
The other Facebook page that brings not only joy but deep meaning to my life is my 350 Dreamers page, where I meet with dreamers from around the world, to practice using the power of our dreams to bring healing, love, and light to our world in the face of Climate Change. (Anyone is welcome to join, whether you regularly remember your dreams or not.)
And finally, I really, really love my new author’s page on Facebook. This page is where I offer tips and ideas for increasing joy and meaning in day-to-day life, through working with dreams, writing, and mindfulness.
The upside of Facebook
For me the best part of Facebook is it lets us publish to the world (or at least to our friends and followers) our true values and aspirations. It’s also a place we can ask for support and affirmation and guidance. My author page is where I get to reach hundreds of people and practice honing my message and sharing my best practices for living my best life.
But alas, my other two Facebook pages (they’re gone now so I won’t talk too much about them) just felt like too much baggage. They each served a valuable purpose and brought me happiness once, but now they are just clutter in the cyber-reaches of my mind. So, as Kondo teaches, I thank them for the good they brought me, the connections they nurtured, and I bid them adieu.
And now, I hope you will take a look at my new page, and if it brings you Joy to receive practical, hopeful, original, and sometimes humorous messages in your newsfeed that help you to follow your dreams and live a life of meaning and happiness—please click the LIKE button.
Whatever you choose, I hope you will do it with intention and in the spirit of joy and love.