The Essence of the Marie Kondo KonMarie Decluttering Philosopy

“When you pick up an item, feel it and think, ‘Does this make my heart skip a beat?'” – KonMarie, [Youtube Video Link]

“In the KonMari Method even the contents of a drawer that is hidden away should spark joy in you.” – [12:08 Mark in NHK Video]

“It is very important to choose what you want to keep rather than what you want to throw away in tidying.”  – [10:36 mark in NHK Video]

“The Goal of my tidying method is not just to reduce what’s in a room and remove clutter. My criterion is whether or not, you, as its occupant are comfortable being in that room.”
– [2:42 minute mark in this Video Link]

“Keep only things that bring joy,” she writes. The rest should be thanked and then discarded. – The Japan Times

“Anything doesn’t make you feel happy, get rid of.”  – Marie Kondo, [Youtube Link]

“If you’re not sure, ask yourself if it’s suitable for you. Does it create the image you have of yourself? No? Look back over the memories you shared with it and say, ‘Thank you.’ You’ll end up with only the items you really like.” – Marie Kondo, [Youtube Link]

“It’s paradoxical, but I believe that precisely because we hang on to such materials, we fail to put what we learn into practice.” – pg. 101 “The Life-Changing magic of tidying up”

It may seem rather drastic, but I’m convinced that letting go, at least once, of anything that doesn’t bring you joy is the ultimate way to experience what it’s like to surround yourself only with things that do bring you joy.
“It might come in handy.” Believe me, it never will. You can always manage without it.
– pg. 21, “Spark Joy”

The Key That Makes the KonMarie Method Work Better than Others

The Indians addressed life as a ‘thou.’ I mean trees, stones, and everything else. You can address anything as a “thou,” and you can feel the change in your psychology as you do it. – Joseph Campbell The Power of Myth, Ep. 3, The First Story Tellers, 25m 32s

Holding an old pair of Eddie Bauer Khakis, asking not just my conscious mind, but also my “feeling body,” whether they “spark joy,” I suddenly realized that this method allows you to take the time, that it puts you in another state of mind. I walked into my closet, just now, on about “Day 3” of  my “KonMarieing” adventure, and that’s the exact thought that popped into my head along with a very calm, opening of the heart feeling:

“It allows you to take your time. It puts you in another state of mind.”

I think this is the key why this method works whereas many others don’t.

We’re so used to rushing in every area of our lives: making appointments, phone calls, paying bills, getting this or that done by the end of the week or month. It puts a stress on the subconscious, on the soul.

And you would think that a project like “decluttering” would also demand such a sense of rushing and stress. And when I first started, I found myself almost spontaneously trying to rush, thinking,  “Oh I’ve got to get this row of clothes done in the next hour!”

But here’s the special key: Hoarding is a psychological problem, not a time one.

So the part of her program where you actually hold each and every item allows you to slow down and bring calmness into the picture. It becomes a ritual. Your spirit is invited to the party. A transformation of consciousness occurs. This is the essence of a ritual. And a ritual like this, one that’s sincere and from the heart, allows the hoarder to break the psychological bond. And that’s freedom.

You can feel it.

Although not large, the space I live in is graced only with those things that speak to my heart. My life-style brings me joy.    – KonMarie, “The life-changing magic of tidying up,” pg. 31

What Marie Kondo Means by Spark Joy

“You can also define things that spark joy as things that make you happy.” – Marie Kondo, “Spark Joy,” pg. 82

“It is very important to choose what you want to keep rather than what you want to throw away in tidying. In other words, you choose from what’s in your house things that you feel happy to keep, things that you can cherish, and things that strike your fancy. That’s what it means to choose what ‘sparks joy in you.'” – KonMari [10:36 Mark in NHK Video]

I finished reading “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.”

Well, actually I finished reading it last year, and now, everytime I walk into my closet, I say, “Tomorrow, I’m gonna start!” That’s been going on for a few months.

But today I’ve really started! I’ve just finished filling two garbage bags. But now I’m becoming just a little hesitant, losing a little confidence. A lot of things are easy: Jeans, socks, and sweaters with holes.

Some things caused me to hesitate: There was a long sleeve, rugged, thick shirt perfect for cold days. In fine condition. I paused. But the fact is, it doesn’t bring me any joy. It’s not my color. It’s not embarrassing to wear, but it is a little on the “kids” side of things, if you know what I mean. The style isn’t very adult. So I held it, thanked it for its years of service, and into the trash bag it went. It’ll keep someone else warm this winter. Or the next.

But I’m still hesitating. After two bags, I wondered if there would be anything left in my closet to wear! I wondered if I should go up to Barnes & Noble and buy her latest book “Spark Joy” to get back in the spirit of things. Even though I hate to lose my momentum, I remember that when I was engrossed in her book, one day something clicked in my mind, I and understood it in my soul. (I’m holding her book now and its radiating great energy!)

I also did a little googling. The first thing that came up was this LA Times Article. I think it provides a good summary. I’m going to quote one thing that they actually quoted from her book:

“[Hold the item] firmly in both hands as if communing with it. Pay close attention to how your body responds…. When something sparks joy, you should feel a little thrill,” Kondo says. Conversely, something that doesn’t elicit joy creates a sensation of heaviness. – Bonnie McCarthy, The Los Angeles Times Home

When I was thinking of going to Barnes and then decided maybe to get the Kindle version, I read some reviews. One guy’s review had some good things in it that I will quote:

In a nutshell, the konmari method involves getting rid of anything in your life that doesn’t spark joy. Starting with clothes, you go through each item and decide what stays or goes based on whether or not it sparks joy when you hold it. Joy is the only criterion: ‘If it makes you happy, then the right choice is to keep it confidently, regardless of what anyone else says.’ – Moi Surtout – from Amazon Review for “Spark Joy

See, just doing this is starting to get me back into the spirit. Clothes are interesting, and definitely the best place to start. Does this bring me joy to wear this? Does this make me feel good to wear this? Most of the time with clothes, at least, it has to do with their age. They’re faded, out-dated, or have holes. They’ve lost that “luster.” But that value isn’t always the criterion: I remember a very special T-Shirt that Marie described in her book. It was old. It was maybe considered childish by others. But she loved it, and still loves it. She loves to wear it when she’s at home relaxing alone. It’s one of her favorite things: So she keeps it. I have a similar relationship with a blue Adidas sweat suit: Thing must be almost 20 years old, but no other sweat suit has ever fit me so perfect and felt so good exercising in. I love it. I totally love it!

Try to get the voices of other people out of your head, when you are deciding whether to throw something out. And ask yourself, “Does this make me happy? Does this give me joy to have in my life?”

The answer will be spontaneous.

The Cure for Fear is Following Your Bliss

“I’ve said in the ‘Hero with a Thousand Faces’ that if you go on your own proper voyage, there will be protection, magical aid to come to protect you. If it’s not your proper voyage, that will be missing, and you’ll be in trouble. But if it’s the voyage of your own spirit and soul and destiny, don’t be afraid. There will come assistance.”

– Joseph Campbell, Collected Works, Audio Series II, Volume II – Perspectives on Creative Mythology, II.2.2 ‘Hermes, Alchemy, and The Voyage of Ulysses,’ The Adventure of Circe (1:43)

Twitter Should Take Some Notes from Peach

I think Twitter should take notes: Instead of thinking how to make it easier to use, think of how to make Twitter more Fun, Creative, and Useful alà Peach and Google Now. Twitter feels stale, like it has hardly innovated since 2006, and it feels like its catering to brands and celebrities instead of the user. I wouldn’t accuse Google of having Social and Fun in their DNA, but one does feel like they are constantly innovating, in the name of the user, trying to make themselves more useful. Peach also has a personal, interested in the user first, mentality. They’re coming at if from the fun, creative side, but there are seeds of service popping up like the “move” and “song” magic buttons. I’m having fun in Peach, which keeps me in there, and going back more often, and in this attention economy, that quality is hard to overestimate. Twitter should be thinking in terms of pushing into “personal digital assistant” in as much as being a public message bus.

How to Find Your Purpose Part 2: Becoming and Worthiness

And I realized that when you set yourself on a path to really follow your heart’s desires, the dreams that you were born with, the dreams that are deepest in your genotype tend to find you or you find them. – Martha Beck

 

“The key is you’ve gotta do what speaks to your soul, what puts you into a ‘peak’ state.” – Carl Harvey – The Big Life Show

Becoming and Worthiness

I’ve had a revelation or realization just now while I was working on a song. It envolves two ideas: 1. Becoming 2. Worthiness. And the two ideas are interconnected. First, let’s talk about the process of “Becoming.” I’ve heard Joseph Campbell as well as Buddhist literature refer to this word. Joseph Campbell calls it the “burning point.”

Here’s the central thesis: Whatever field or endeavor you choose to be engaged in, are you comfortable being there, happy being inside of it, inside this world or activity, even when things aren’t going right or well? Because you love the process so much, in and of itself, that you actually look forward to the challenge of problems that are inherent in this field of activity?

If so, that’s a big sign that this is your calling or purpose in life.

Also you know that just being in the process will spontaneously produce unexpected upside results. For instance working on this song the last couple of days, there have been times when it felt great and other times that it didn’t feel like it was good, and its still not finished, but I know that staying with the process through the up and down feeling is when the unexpectedly great lyric seems to come out of nowhere, or my voice unexpectedly achieves notes, depths, and vibrato that I didn’t know I was capable of, until it happens.

So, its the doing of something that is the best teacher of how to do it.

That leads me to the second idea of “Worthiness.” So often I stopped with a creative idea, whether it be in writing or music, because it didn’t seem to be going well. This lead to a feeling of “unworthiness” to continue.

But if its something that’s really your calling or “why you are here,” then the Ego falls away and you lose your discouragement because you know that you are doing your best and that you are just as “Worthy” as anyone to be engaged in this endeavor.

The word “talent” is meaningless and a totally misleading idea. People who are successful in any field get good at what they do by doing it, and doing it, and doing it. Not by starting out by knowing how to do it.

And therein lies another key: Pleasure. Take any activity that could become a career, no matter where your results lie on a scale say, between 1 and 10, if you get pleasure out of the activity itself, then you’re going to engage in the activity long enough to where your results improve and keep improving.

You’ll become so good that you can make a career out of this activity, and you would be inside your “bliss station” all the time as well.

You have all the patience in the world to stick with it because deep inside you don’t want to leave this field. So you lose your anxiety about things being “not quite right” about a piece you are working on. The challenge actually thrills you.
Because you get to keep playing in the field.

And that’s where the adventure begins.

You’re not worried about accomplishment: That’s an Ego identification.

When you’ve found your bliss, the ego drops away, and its all and only about being inside this certain field.