Presents

We are approaching the time of year when we give and receive gifts. For my most recent birthday, I was fortunate to have friends and family remember me and send me a little something special. Each gift is truly meaningful because it represents the thought, love, and caring energy from cherished individuals in my life. Even though I value these gifts, I don’t always end up keeping them. The KonMari™ process of expressing gratitude for each item that comes into my life, also allows me to let go. I recognize that I’m attached to the person who thought of me and cared enough to send me something. As I approach the holiday season, I reminded to place more emphasis on the person and the love behind the gifts I give and receive. As I shop for gifts, I’ve noticed that I prefer to give the gift of experiences rather than things. I love to give gifts that encourage my loved ones to take care of themselves and enjoy experiences that spark joy.

To that end, I’ve had a small number of gift certificates created for Joy & Space. If you are looking for a gift for someone who has everything, consider the gift of decluttering. You can purchase a $60 gift certificate by emailing me at yuriko@joyandspace.com.

Two Space Clearing Questions

I was reading an article by Joshua Becker entitled, To Declutter Any Room, Ask These Two Questions.

He suggests that we need to declutter first:

“…when we take the step of fully removing from our possession the items we do not need, we find permanent, longer-lasting benefits.” 

I absolutely agree with him. However, the questions he posed didn’t resonate with me. I’m not a minimalist. What I love about KonMari™ is the respect for the items in our home. It’s reflexive of respecting and taking care of ourselves and our loved ones.

As a KonMari™ Consultant, I’d focus on these two questions:

1. Do I want to take care of this? 

Do you want to fold it and put it away?

Do you want to find a place for it in your drawers?

Do you want to thank it on a daily basis ?

2. What does this bring to my life?

Each item in your home is there for a reason. You or someone you love brought the item in. If the item is still bringing something positive into your life, then it should remain. However, some items aren’t bringing you joy. If you feel a rush of unpleasant sensations when you hold the item, take a moment to sit with those feelings. Notice and acknowledge the feeling. What can you learn from it?  After this pause, thank the item and let it go.

Please note that I ask “what” rather than “why” above. I think it’s important to steer clear of “why” questions. They lead us in a different direction and can stop us from progressing forward.

Letting Go

The KonMari™ practice of thanking each item when you let it go can cultivate such a sense of peace. I find it so helpful to reflect on how the item entered my life and what it's brought to me. Each item came into my life and home for a reason. After I've spent some time reflecting on it, it's so much easier for me to let it go. I love this practice of expressing gratitude. 

I've wondered how Marie Kondo came up with this idea. To that end, I want to share with you an article on NPR about a send off for old robot dogs. (I recall my nieces had a robot dog at one point.) I found the idea of this Buddhist send off and the way the company has cared for these robot dogs so moving. The company has taken time to repair the dogs it could, but recognizes that it's time to let this project go. By having this send off at Buddhist temple, there is space to honor the time that was put into creating these items. They are truly letting them go with gratitude. 

Women, Wine, and Shoes Giveaways 2018

If you attended or are attending the Philadelphia or Reading area Women, Wine, and Shoes events, please keep an eye out for the cord wrap organizer and bookmark in your gift bag. You can use the cord wrap organizer to keep your headphones, power cord, etc organized and easy to reach. (It's so pesky when they get tangled around something.)

Also, if you book by the date indicated, Joy & Space will donate a percentage of your first lesson to either the Opportunity House or the Alzheimer's Association. Please let me know if you attended the event when you schedule.

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KonMari Your Calendar?

After reading Christina Wallace’s article about sparking joy in your calendar, I started to wonder if this would be of interest to my clients. Managing all the stuff in our homes is one challenge, but I think managing our day-to-day, hour-by-hour schedules' is another. 

I’ve spent time researching the best time management method for me and speaking with countless college students about time management. I’m all for applying the KonMari method to your calendar. Here’s how I would approach it.

1. Tidy by Category

Take out of piece of paper and think about the way you spend your time. (Look at your calendar from last week, if tat helps.) In my case it’s work commitments, teaching yoga, family/friends, wellness/exercise, errands, life maintenance (laundry, paying bills, etc).

2. What Sparks joy?

Of the things you do with your time, what sparks the most joy? Perhaps close your eyes and remember an event from last week. How do you feel? If you feel light and happy and  notice that your smiling, this event sparked joy. Make note of that on your list with a star, happy face, or sticker. 

The things that don’t spark joy need further reflection. 

  • What is leading you to spend your time on this? 
  • Is this truly what your heart wants to do? “Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams…” (Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist)
  • How can you bring a sense of joy and lightness to these events/activities? 

For additional thought pondering questions, I suggest you check out The Alchemist or Peace is Every Step by Thich That Hanh. 

Take a moment to honestly sit with these thoughts and what you’ve written. I’ll be back with Part 2 next week. 

Gratitude

A fellow yogi mentioned to me today how helpful it has been to express gratitude for items before donating/discarding it. I find that the process of thanking the objects that have come into our lives and homes, is transformative. It has allowed me to let go of guilt and sadness. I take a moment to recognize how that object has impacted my life and what I've learned because it. Sometimes, the lesson is as simple as a reminder to try shoes on before buying them. At other times, the lesson is that I need to have more meaningful conversations with my love ones. The quote below from Pema Chodron illustrates this perfectly.  

 Nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know. ~Pema Chodron

Nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know. ~Pema Chodron

Article in the Reading Eagle!

Today's Reading Eagle included an article about Joy & Space! It was fun to be interviewed for the article and to have a photographer in the house taking pictures. There are some additional pictures via the online article. I'm so excited for this opportunity for potential clients to learn more about this process. Please don't hesitate to call me to schedule a phone or in-person consultation about the process. 

July Is Great!

I've taken the month off from my full-time job so I can focus on growing this business, my yoga practice, teaching yoga, and sparking even more joy in my life. I love reading more about the benefits of decluttering and tiny home living. My local paper had a recent article about the benefits of tiny homes. 

In addition, next up on reading list is Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century: 32 Families Open Their Doors. This book is product of nine years of research from UCLA social scientists. Apparently, there is a link between elevated stress hormones and the number of household objects. In my experience, my stress level decreased after I completed the tidying marathon. I was finally ready to take a yoga teacher training class and to start this business. I'm still amazed at how the simple act of clearing a space has allowed me to do all these things. 

To celebrate this great month, I'm offering 20% of lessons until July 31st. Each four-hour lesson typically costs $100, so they will be discounted to $80 per lesson! Contact me at ybeam@aol.com or use the start tidying form.