Spiritual Lessons You Can Learn from Marie Kondo
If you want to know how to organize your home like Marie Kondo, author of the The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up & the new Netflix showTidying Up with Marie Kondo, not just because you’ve decided to adopt a minimalist, if not somewhat Swedish aesthetic after your last trip to Ikea, but also because you want to create a lifestyle that encourages your spiritual growth (and well, you can learn alot more than you think from the process of decluttering). Not only can getting your home organized and tidy create a more peaceful environment, it can quicken manifestations, attract new love and opportunities into your life, and make you more receptive to intuitive guidance. How? Here are 5 spiritual lessons you can learn from Marie Kondo to make your life substantially more magical.
#1: You can learn how to let go.
Oftentimes, it can feel hard to throw away an object that you’ve classified as sentimental. You might have scrapbooks with old photos, wedding invitations, and birthday cards your niece gave you fifteen years ago, stashed away in your drawers, closets, and under your bed. It can feel difficult to part with them (and it can even feel callous for me, or Marie, to suggest that you should), but the truth is that your relationships are experiences not contained within an object.
It’s not your high school yearbook that matters, it’s how you grew and experienced joy over those four years. It’s not the invitation to your baby shower that matters, it’s the time you spend with your child on Saturday mornings, when you decide to wake up early to make pancakes. It’s not your mother’s wardrobe that means anything; it’s the years you got to spend with her that were the gift.
You must be willing to let go of objects, not just because you want more space in your hallway closets, but because detachment is a spiritual practice. Be willing to release people, experiences, and objects. The more you cling to the past, the less likely that you will attract new people and opportunities into your life. If your heart swells with nostalgia (as evidenced by your cluttered basement), that’s equivalent to pushing the pause button on your life. You can’t move forward unless you’re willing to let go of the past (even the beautiful memories). You can think back to times that bring you joy, and you will decide which few objects you want to keep, either choosing to display them, or honor them in some fashion, but you’re not honoring your mom by keeping everything she ever owned smushed into cardboard boxes in your basement. Choose a few things that are special, and be willing to let go of the rest.
#2: You learn how to have gratitude for everything in your life.
Have you ever felt the rush of purchasing a new outfit, only to wake up the next day, certain that there’s something else you need to buy in order to feel happy? A new blender? Fancier artwork for your walls? Shabby chic decorations for your kitchen? A collection of ceramic roosters? We live in a consumerist culture that teaches that more is better. We have been trained to continuously seek more, and every time we turn on the television, browse the internet, or pass billboards while driving home from work, we are inundated with advertisements for things to buy. Our subconscious minds are programmed by the repetition of images we see, and so, we get an urge to shop, as if what we currently have is not enough.
Instead, choose to appreciate what you have. Do you really need more shoes? More sweaters? Ask yourself this powerful question: How many sweaters do I need to feel happy? 10? 15? 20? Break your clothing down into categories and count how many items you have in each. How many jeans do you have? 18? 32? How many do you really need? 50? When you get clear on what you have, you slowly start to see that what you have is enough.
#3: You learn to spend less time tending to possessions.
You spend time browsing the latest trends, going to the mall, only to find that when you buy new clothes, you have to wash, store, and organize them. In the morning, you’re sorting through piles of mismatched socks, as you wonder what color bottoms to pair with the coral blouse you bought. Every item you purchase has the potential to bring you joy, but it also costs you. It costs money, time, and energy. You need to plan a trip to the dry cleaners to drop off your suede jacket. You need to buy a pair of brown pants to match the new caramel-colored sweater you bought. You need to spend Saturday morning rifling through your closet, trying to figure out which purse you put your favorite lipstick in, and clearing piles of sweaters from off the floor so you can do a little bit of yoga to feel sane.
Here’s the key: As you pare down your possessions, you free up time and resources you can use to actually enjoy life. How much money do you think you’d save? How much time? Would your life be more peaceful and easy if you had an organized home that was spacious and clean?
#4: You learn how important it is to make room for the new.
You want a new job, a new relationship, not to mention a new group of friends, new furniture, and maybe even new flatware, but you feel like you’re stuck. Why? You’re so busy tending to your possessions (and the past), that life can’t bring you anything new. You see, your home is an out picturing of your energy. If you have boxes of objects from your ex, it’s a sign that your’e unwilling to move on. If you want a new job, but your home office is cluttered, what you’re telling the Universe is that there’s no room in your life when you can barely tend to your piles of paperwork as it is. The Universe won’t bring you anything new, because it’s doesn’t want to stress you out with more, when you’re barely able to function in your current mess.
In The Psychic Pathway, Sonia Choquette writes about a woman who spent a week cleaning her classroom, only to be gifted with new books the following week. She says,” As Mary organized and cleared her consciousness and her classroom, she created a space to be filled—and stimulated a flow of energy into her life that had not existed before.”
Here’s the key: If you want a new partner, you need to create space for one to arrive by clearing out some drawers and emptying your nightstand. If you want new friends, you need to clear out the sentimental objects you don’t want to part with (and make some room in your schedule to go to new activities). Your new life is at the finish line of your decluttering.
#5: You learn how to simplify.
The mind creates problems, because it seeks the joy in solving them. It looks for flaws, what’s missing, and what other people have that you don’t. Spirit keeps things simple. Spirit is content and appreciative of all things. It doesn’t chase after more. Spirit only focuses on love, joy, and peace. Sonia Choquette says, “Resolve that if you have something that no longer serves you, donate it back to the universe, where it can benefit another soul and continue to do some good. All spiritual masters live simply. I don’t mean you need to live as austerely as they—only that you need to keep out the unnecessary or useless so it won’t clog up your awareness.”
Decluttering can teach you how to simplify. When you’re willing to take an honest look at how many possessions you have, and you’re willing to not only let go of some, but stop buying new things to fill the empty space, your life becomes more simple. You don’t have to climb over piles of sweaters as your’e getting ready; you simply open up a drawer and pull out one of six neatly folded sweaters. Cleaning doesn’t feel like a pain in the butt; rather, it’s a matter of upkeep, once you’ve done the major work of creating a zen home, in which every object has a place and sparks joy.
Marie Kondo can teach you how to fold your clothing and store them in an upright position in your drawers. She can teach you how to assess each item by holding it in your hand and asking yourself: Does this spark joy? She can teach you how to use small boxes to organize your kitchen utensils, or that you should throw out all of the buttons you’re saving for one day, because one day is never going to come, and even if it does, you’ve never sewn a button on a jacket in your life (and you’re not going to start now).
Moreover, Kondo can teach you how to let go, become truly grateful for what you do have, and make room for new manifestations. Your spirituality isn’t confined to the 20 minutes you spend meditating in the morning. You can make everything in your life spiritual, even tidying up, or decluttering. Your home is a reflection of your energy, so survey where you’re disorganized, chaotic, or blocked. Make it a priority to set your home straight, and it will impact your spiritual life in tremendous ways.