I know I wrote something about clutter recently, but given it's springtime, the time of clearing out the old to make way for the new, this topic keeps coming to mind. Over the February break, we considered going to Santa Cruz or Tahoe, but instead, we decided to stay home and get our lives in order. We figured we'd get more enjoyment in the long run from making the place we are at all the time a place we want to be rather than escape it for a few days at great expense. As I've mentioned in past posts, both my husband and I lived in homes as children in which clutter was one of, if not the central cause for (and symptom of) stress. Since I didn't grow up learning how to manage the items in my life, I've read a lot on the topic, and the little book by Marie Kondo, The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up, was by far the most effective. It turns out her method is extremely Vedic. I'll explain how her key tenets fit into the Yogic philosophy.
The Creation Cycle
According to the Vedas, the whole universe functions on the principle of the creation cycle (related to the three Gunas). Destruction makes room for creation, which is maintained, then stagnates, then calls in destruction. A house full of stagnant items is no place for energy and creativity. Marie Kondo centers on discarding things as opposed to organizing thousands of items. She feels putting things away "creates the illusion that your clutter problem has been solved." The stagnation must be cleared out, not just moved around.
Follow Charm = Spark Joy
Kondo's signature phrase, "spark joy," is another way of saying what we often do in group meditations, to "follow charm." It is the method by which a meditator who is grounded in Being moves through their life–by letting the Big intuitive Self be the guide and not the intellect or small self. In other words, your intuition is the part of you that is connected to all things and therefore knows the best choice to make. Following it involves feeling that charm or spark of joy in a certain direction. This only works to the extent one's awareness is grounded in the field of Being which comes from meditating. Someone with a physiology full of stress would have a hard time knowing what sparks joy and what is merely a grasping, stress-induced compulsion.
Manifestation and the Quantum Universe
Kondo has her clients visualize the life they want to live before embarking on decluttering their home. The idea of manifesting what you want by specifically visualizing it and putting attention on it is pretty big right now. It's based on the principle that we live in a Quantum universe, which means, since the universe is made up of consciousness, all things start first as an specific intention within the consciousness field before manifesting on the most surface level of creation. When we meditate, we grow our awareness to occupy a greater and greater expanse of that field, so the power to manifest becomes exponential.
Everything is Consciousness
I love how Marie Kondo doesn't shy away from saying hello to a space, thanking belongings or "carrying on a dialogue" with a house. What she doesn't say outright but acknowledges through this behavior is that everything is part of the consciousness field, so on some level, everything is conscious. Going through life with some awareness of this connects you to the oneness of all things and encourages respect for everything in which one comes in contact.
I find understanding the mechanics of how things work helps motivate me to do them. I hope breaking this down will help us all get our lives in order so we can go on to create great things.
My attempt at Marie Kondo's folding method