|"Talking Tulips" Pheralyn Dove Image|
As I sit here in
silence, refreshing thoughts give me
hope, peace and faith.
It has been said that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Two books were introduced to me this past week, both of which have “transformational” qualities: “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo and “The Artist’s Way” byJulia Cameron.
From Marie Kondo, a Japanese woman who developed the “KonMari Method,” I learned that I have been approaching my domestic practice the wrong way all these years. She claims that if you clean a little at a time, you will never be finished. (That is certainly my case.) She also claims “storage experts are hoarders.” (I must admit that I am the queen of tucking things out of the way.) Because all of the surfaces and sight lines in my home are clear, I am under the false illusion that I have “de-cluttered.” Where in fact I have actually moved stuff around and put it in storage bins and boxes. Her advice is to commit yourself to a “tidying up marathon” of sorts, during which you go about a massive purging and then choose a place for every single object in your home. After that, she invites you to live in peaceful orderly bliss for the rest of your life!
Here are the highlights of the “KonMari Method”
#1 – Clean by category, not by location. So instead of tackling, for instance, your bedroom, change your approach. Go after organizing every single piece of clothing in your home, whether in your main wardrobe, a hall closet, stuffed away in storage bins in the basement or neglected in a chest of drawers in your guest room.
#2 – Discard first! Gather all of your clothes, place them on the floor or bed and then handle each piece, asking yourself, “Does this spark joy?” If it doesn’t get rid of it. Pure and simple.
#3 – Once you are settled on the items you will keep, choose a place where they will belong, always and forever.
#4 – Go about this process in the following prescribed order – no exceptions!
(I will keep you posted as I embark on this journey.)
Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way” gave me a way to further refine and ritualize my morning routine.
Here’s a synopsis of Julia Cameron’s three most salient ideas:
#1 - Morning Pages – Spend twenty minutes or so each morning writing three pages in long hand. This is a “free write,” so no censoring allowed. Just write down whatever comes into your mind. She likened the practice to a meditation. As opposed to sitting there watching your thoughts, write them down.
#2 - Artist’s Date – Once a week, do something creative, freeing, pleasurable. Dive into an art project. Browse shelves in a bookstore for inspiration. Take yourself out to dinner and let you mind go free – whatever. Just make sure you claim this as your immensely personal “Artist’s Date.”
#3 - Take a Walk – at least a couple of times a week, take a 20 minute walk, let your mind go free, let your thoughts clear. Be refreshed and see the long-term benefits.
Here’s how I am Implementing suggestions from “The Artists Way”
#1-I have adopted the “Morning Pages” writing practice, which is an extension of my “Morning Haiku” writing practice that I learned from studying with Sonia Sanchez.
#2 - I am making a priority to have an artist’s date with myself on a weekly basis. I look forward to this stress free “me time.”
#3- I enjoy getting exercise and combine a series of yoga postures and tai chi movements in my morning routine. Aside from these floor exercises I do before I leave my bedroom, walking has been a morning ritual I have observed for many years. However sometimes, like during this frigid artic vortex we are currently experiencing on the East Coast, I let my practice wane. I feel so lazy when I don’t get out in the morning. Julia Cameron gave me encouragement to stay on track. This inspiration is coming just at the right time. Because not only do I walk, I also jog. I learned this week I was selected in the lottery for Philadelphia’s annual Broad Street Ten-mile Run, the first Sunday in May. So I am keen on getting my training started. Rather than a speed goal, my goal is the same for this year as it was last year: be safe, enjoy the run and make it to the finish line!
What about you? As we encounter the moments, days, weeks and months of 2015, what kinds of inspiration have encouraged you to go after your heart’s desires? How are you living your best life? Please let me know.
Asante Sana. Peace and Blessings Always.