Recently I took on the challenge of Konmari, which is a method of decluttering based on a Japanese art and a book by Marie Kondo. It is an excellent process and transformational journey. I had been fascinated by it from the moment I saw the book. I wasn’t ready to take on that challenge for a while, but once I was there was no stopping me.
I was in quite a mood. My boyfriend had just left (maybe for good,) and I was in purge mode.
I scoured the house. I got new sheets and even was able to snag new furniture for the living room and I rearranged the house and even cleaned the corners of the laundry room. I saw areas that had not been seen in a while, those areas that often get forgotten when cleaning house.
I even cut my hair.
I found Konmari and loved the idea of only having things that I loved and things I felt happy when I held. I loved the idea of living a life with less possessions and more clean space. I was leaving a huge part of myself behind. Parts of me that no longer made me happy.
I took it on. I approached it as a spiritual practice and I began the process by putting all of my clothing, even the underwear and scarves, in piles and went through each piece reliving memories that some of them brought up. I was ready to leave parts of my persona behind in order to create this new Kelly who was fresh and ready for new and exciting things that were more in alignment with me.
I released things. I leg go of many of my dance costumes, things in my ‘dress up’ box that I used for photo shoots, clothing that no longer fit (that part was positive.) I was ruthless and let go of over half of my wardrobe, even nice things. I was in a mood and mode where I wanted to change my entire life. It reflected in my willingness to give away parts of me that I felt I wouldn’t miss.
Then I moved on to book-books. I have a love affair with real books. Sure, I have a full Kindle and many digital books, but there is nothing like holding the book in my hands.
The whole living and dining room was FULL of piles of books. To make a long ordeal short, I also gave away most of my books, mostly the things I wasn’t actively into at the moment. What I wasn’t thinking of was that what I was going through was a temporary and necessary mood. I needed to release things and I needed to leave behind parts of myself, but I was so single-minded that I gave away much of my life due to a temporary state.
Sure. I have been searching for books I gave away. I need some of them for school and they are long gone. I have also regretted some of my fantasy dress-up clothes that I used for photo shoots, ugh!
Do I think this is a positive method of changing your life? Did it work for me?
Now I am viewing it as devaluing and rejecting things that were a part of me. It didn’t feel good. I felt grief. I realize this is part of the process, but I question whether I should have completely left behind those aspects of myself that shaped who I am today. Many times spiritual growth arises from grief and regret, and humility.
I did make huge shifts in my life, but I have also been taken over by waves of regret upon realizing I gave away something I cherished. I often feel that sinking feeling in my body.
I am choosing to look at this as an opportunity to fully release my attachment to “things,” as painful as it is.
Have you had an experience with this method? I would love to hear all about your experience and how you feel post-Konmari (or mid-Konmari.)