How To Marie Kondo Your Life

I have good news for you in this sea of crisis! There is a whole lot of power in this pandemic.

  • There is inspiration in the isolation.
  • There is clarity in the crisis.
  • There is opportunity in the unknown.
  • There is volume in the quiet.

I am not trying to be a polyanna here nor am I a fan of toxic positivity. While not ignoring the pain, suffering and disruption we are all experiencing, I am acutely aware there is a gift here that I encourage everyone to take some time to appreciate.

We have all been forced (or strongly advised) to physically separate from the world around us. We have been asked to shelter at home, which many of us consider our personal sanctuaries.

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Think about that for a moment, we have not been asked to go to war, we have been asked to remain in the safety of our homes. We have been asked to gather with our loved ones, families or on our own within the confines of our sanctuaries and put aside anything not deemed essential.

Wow! What an opportunity for those who have a home to go to and are safe and healthy where the worst thing at this moment is staving off boredom.

It’s in these moments that I encourage you to bask in the void of non-essential responsibilities and take a look at what you consider essential at this time. I’m willing to bet that there are less things that fall in this category in this moment then a month ago. The items may be a little different for each person and that is ok, but realize what really is essential.

Here is where I believe the opportunity lies for each of us to design what our “new normal” looks like. This is the clean slate from which we can decide what to add as we move into the next chapter.

This is the ultimate KonMarie for our life!images

The opportunity here is to take a deep look at what you have deemed essential in your days at this time. Then take stock of your values and priorities based on this list which should be pretty easy in this time of unease.

From this viewpoint as the world begins to reopen, albeit slowly and likely in phases, I encourage you to be intentional about what you add back into your days. This is where you get to architect your life to the extent that is possible.

Everything you filled your days with prior to this time deserves a look.

  • Is this item essential?
  • Can you be absolutely certain it is essential?
  • Is there a different way it can be accomplished within your values?
  • Does it “spark joy”?

As the orders and advisements begin to lift over the course of the next weeks and months, I encourage you to really take a hard look at what you bring back into your days. Take the clean slate you have and really decide what you will spend your time and energy on and make sure each has a reason to be in there.

We are beginning again and this is an opportunity to design what your life looks like going forward. Choose wisely.

Mindful Time

My desire to grapple with the concept of time started at a very early age. I was a child IMG_9720living with a mother with a terminal illness and I always understood that she would not live the “normal” life expectancy. From the age of seven I understood our tomorrows are not guaranteed and that time is precious.

As a child and teenager, long into my early adulthood, I had trouble being “on time” for anything. As a young child my mother called me the pokey little puppy from the children’s storybook of the same name, but it quickly became an issue and not cute at all as I got older.

As a teen and young adult I struggled with schedules and meeting people at a specific time. It never failed as I was getting ready to meet someone, a friend would call needing to talk, or something would come up that I felt needed immediate attention.

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We now call that being in the moment, or being present – but then…it was called disrespectful.

I do own the fact that not everything truly needed the immediate attention I gave it, but this came only from practice and experience. I have also learned the art of predicting the unplanned and notifying people if it appears I’m going to be late now.

Once I got a handle on working within the constricts of time, I then was a single mother with children. Anyone with children knows this was an utter derailment and all my efforts to keep on schedule went down the drain as I tried to get my children to care about time.

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Children don’t care about schedules or time; they rely on their own rhythm and make their needs known as they arise. I allowed being on time to become so important to me that I missed so many important moments by hurrying them through something because of a schedule.

It’s funny how natural the child’s presence comes and as adults many struggle to become present. It is a natural instinct that we have put aside in order to work within the concept of time.

I know we need some type of order in the world. If everyone ran around being present and “in the moment” there would be chaos and we would certainly have trouble.

Ambergris Caye, Belize

Yet I think about living on the islands and going to a store or a utility office to pay a bill only to find a sign on the door, “out to lunch”. I knew that meant I should come back in 2 hours or so because they would come back when they were done, not within a prescribed 20 minutes or hour. Yes it was sometimes a hassle but not often because who doesn’t appreciate living on “island time?”

The thing is that time is a man made concept. It is a method we use to understand a rhythm of our existence. However this is not always to the benefit of our human experience, sometimes it separates us from the very experience and rhythm of life.

As I prepare to take a trip to the other side of the globe whereby I will cross the date line and a day of my life will vanish into thin air this concept becomes ever more illusive. A day will pass that I will never have lived yet been present the entire time.

If this doesn’t explain that time is not real, I’m not sure what does!

We are pulled each day by appointments, obligations and our schedules. Many often have trouble saying no to a request to spend their time doing something they may or may not want to do but once put in the schedule it is time spent.

Each time I step on a plane, each time I talk to my children on the phone or my family or friends either in person or on the phone, I recognize that time shared is a gift and not a guarantee. To miss being fully present in those moments however normal and routine they may be is to ignore the gift because it is those moments that are the ones I will long for if and when they are no longer available.

So I leave you with these thoughts on time. Time is a gift not a guarantee. It means onlyimages what you allow it to mean, so I encourage you to consider this each moment you
schedule on your calendar. Make sure what is in your calendar is what is in your heart and that you make space to be present during those appointments.

I encourage you to celebrate each moment. And if you forget how to be present, take a child for a walk in the woods and follow their lead, you might just spend a 20 minutes following a critter and it might just turn out to be the most magical and enjoyable 20 minutes you’ve had in a while.

Thank you for spending your time reading this and I hope it helps you be more present with the rest of your time.