How to Spark JOY

I was thinking the other day about the idea of taking Marie Kondo’s philosophy on tidying up and applying it to our daily lives…

If you’re unfamiliar with Marie Kondo, she is a Japanese expert in organization. In 2014, Marie wrote a book titled: “The life changing art of tidying up,” which has since spun its own Netflix series outlining the same principles. The question always asked by the popular Netflix guru  - “does this spark joy?”

Now, most often she’s asking this question in reference to an object. Does this sweater spark joy? And if there’s no spark, the object must go! This process of letting things go allows us to open up space - in not only our closets, but also our minds.

So what if we applied this principle in a broader spectrum? Perhaps to include our tasks, who we spend time with, and what we think about? Now, don’t get me wrong, I understand that taking out the garbage may not spark joy for you and clearly someone has to do it, but we can focus on sprinkling this concept through the things we can change.

As an example, when you’re looking through your weekly plans perhaps you can start taking the time to schedule things that spark joy. This could be as simple as brewing your favorite tea in the morning or meeting a friend for lunch. It could be tidying up your closet - Marie Kondo style - or scheduling a workout date. Maybe you love cooking, but have recently told yourself that there’s not enough time in the day.

The reason Marie Kondo’s book and now Netflix show is so popular with people is that we can get stuck. We hold onto items longer than we should. We clutter our lives and eventually these things weigh us down. I challenge you to think about the other things that are weighing you down - physical, emotional, and mental. Perhaps it’s a relationship that has run its course or maybe you’re holding onto past resentments. Maybe you need to shake up your daily routine to have more balance and time for creativity. Perhaps there are obligations in your life that you have put onto yourself- that if you thought it through you could streamline or shift to be better for you.

Now let’s make this practical…

  • One way to connect to this theory is to write down the tasks and obligations that you do every week. Put everything down from work tasks, to household chores, to time spent with others, fun projects, and workouts. Circle the ones that spark joy.

  • Next, write down things that spark joy for you that you are not currently doing. What lights your fire? What makes you happy?

  • Now, critically look at how you are spending your time. I suspect there will be things that you can cross off the list that are not serving a purpose for you anymore and things that you can add in. This is the starting point. Use this as a guide to start building a life that you want to live. One that brings you joy and love.

Finally, it is important to note that Marie Kondo’s approach requires discipline to uphold the principles. Let’s be honest, those shirts do not fold themselves. So if you do these tasks above, try your best to hold yourself accountable to executing your ideas. This is your life to create, so do it wisely.

Dr. Lindsay Kellington

Naturopathic Doctor and Spin Instructor

#PSLove | Yoga | Spin | HIIT

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