Growing up, I lived in a house that regularly filled up with all manner of clothing, containers, and electronics – every sort of bargain and gadget you can imagine.
Ever since that time, I have prioritized keeping my personal space clear and distraction-free. At times, I’ve had a near obsession with material simplicity. Too much stuff makes me feel claustrophobic.
It was not until recently, however, that I considered that the simple act of de-cluttering might be a spiritual practice. I encountered an article about Marie Kondo, a fascinating woman from Japan whose ideas about tidying up transcend the normal boundaries of good housekeeping and approach the transcendent.
For Kondo, the single-minded pursuit of less has become an art form, and a method of meditation. Relentless in her pursuit of a simplified, joyful life, Kondo teaches her followers to develop clarity and spaciousness in their lives.
The core of her philosophy can be summed up in one simple rule: Keep only those objects that spark joy.
This idea is so simple, and yet deeply challenging. It has encouraged me to ask myself: How much of what I keep around me inspires joy and gratitude, and how much is merely a reflection of my own refusal to let go?
Kondo rightly perceives that our material surroundings are a reflection of our spiritual condition. By becoming more aware of beauty in our lives, we can begin to sweep out confusion and compulsion.
What do you cling to that isn’t making you happy? Can you identify those objects, relationships, and environments that trap you in a self-defeating mindset?
What truly does spark joy within you? Where do you encounter beauty in your life? Where do you find the simple clarity that enables you to become radiant and free?