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Clearing the Path

I've decided I am done with the junk in my life. All of it.

Celebrating sunset and life in New Hampshire

Done especially with the inside stuff that makes me hesitant and deny myself the opportunity to be my truest self.

I have become obsessed with cleaning out my house over the past few months (okay, years). Many rooms (I never seem to do one at a time) have found themselves exploded in that gotta-make-a-mess-before-it-gets-organized stage.

This summer, I went through all the books. Then my daughters' rooms, which we decluttered using FaceTime while they were in Nashville and Galveston. My clothes--so many are out the door to charity. Soon, I will take on the basement. (How many paint cans of we-might-need-this-[color]-to-touch-up-dings do we really have to keep?)

In August, Ruth and I tackled our family's house in New Hampshire. Hauling everything out of cabinets and drawers and trunks, we sorted into piles of keep/toss/recycle/donate then tidily reorganized what we kept. The joy it brought us was palpable.

Cleaning out a cabinet of pots and pans

I have been using the Marie Kondo method. I admit I have not read her books, but I have watched her YouTube videos on folding clothes, and how to tell whether something you own sparks joy.

The method has worked beautifully--if I touch an item and it brings me joy, it stays. If not, it's out the door.

I enjoy folding laundry now, making my drawers look tidy. I use packing cubes when I travel, which are not only tidy, but make it easier to find just what I need. (And, yes, true confession, I selected this company's product not only for their bright colors, but because dot-dot is one of Jonathan's pet names for me.)

I've gotten rid of many items I've held on to for whatever reason--usually nostalgia or inertia (it's been in that same spot for years...). But if I touch it, and as Kondo says, my body feels weighed down, then it goes.

She recommends removing and analyzing everything, in purses, closets, drawers, cabinets. Using the does-it-spark-joy method, you keep only what you need everyday.

Now, can I apply this to own self?

Will I be able to touch all that arises in me at a particular moment, hold it close, and assess it?

If I feel frustration, fear, or resentment, and it weighs me down, can I toss it away?

I realize this simplifies a complex process, and suggests a presumed ease with which to get rid of all the extra stuff we carry. Maybe we have to find ways to live with certain things. But, maybe not.

If I declutter what is inside, perhaps what benefits me will be easier to find.

Feeling joyous in NH

When a sense of being, thought, or emotion sparks joy, I will (like Kondo recommends with clothes), fold it carefully, touch it with love, and keep it. I will offer it my gratitude and affection.

In her video, after folding a piece of beloved clothing, Kondo demonstrates how it will stand on its own.

I am ready. I too want to stand free.

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