Unless you have been under a rock the last few weeks you have no doubt heard about or watched the Marie Kondo series on Netflix. Following the series launch there continues to be a whole range of public reaction. Many fun (and some mean) memes emerged, many took to their closets to deal with their own chaos and others simply sighed and thought must be nice but I don’t have time to think let along organize my closet. I’m guessing a common thought was “maybe a magic fairy could come do this for me while I am at work or with the kids?”
Be honest… How many of you have prayed for that magic fairy?
You better believe I have!
I can relate to the reactions in different ways. Even this self-described anti-stuff queen gets loaded down and prays for a laundry fairy. It is maddening how it never ends but at the end of the day I am thankful to have learned long ago it is not just about the stuff or loads of laundry. It is about creating a strategy for the stuff that keeps room for joy. I approach it a different way but there are similarities between my beliefs on being purposeful with stuff, space and time and her method of organzing in the show. Differences aside I really ejoyed the series. How about you?
While most of the dicussion about her series seems postive I am fascinated by the negative reaction to her method of coaching individuals to learn to identify what “sparks joy.” What fascinates me most about the negative reactions is that the “sparks joy” part of her work is likely the main attribute of her method that drew the better part of America to her in the first place!
My guess is that the series struck such a chord with so many of us not just because we have too much material stuff in our closets and garages. Rather, I believe it struck such a chord because we are exhausted from jumping for a bar set at perfection while carrying the excessive weight of our stuff. By stuff I am not just talking about too many tee shirts in our closet. I mean all of it material, emotional, physical, financial, professional, spiritual all of it that is silently layered on us like a million weighted jackets that we feel but others cannot see. How many of us carry around this invisible weight day in and day out not knowing how to even begin to lighten the load? Based on the overwhelming reaction to the show I dare fear to think too many.
Let’s be real the truth of the matter is that we are all surrounded by an implied expectation of perfection whether you consider yourself a perfectionist or not. Images of perfection both of personal appearance and organized, spotless homes are all around us. While they are fun to look at they can be overwhelmingly stressful as they rarely reflect what our day-to-day lives look like. (Just look in the back seat of my car for example!) As a society we are aware of the impact that the edited images in social media, online and in magazines has on our kids but I am not sure we are fully aware or consider the impact on us as adults. Think about it in your own life. Likely the photos and posts of friends and family on social media are all of them looking, acting and generally being perfect. As professionals we see our peers on LinkedIn, in press releases and at speaking engagements often having had professional photo shots and edited professional interviews looking and sounding perfect. The images around us as adults, just like for our kids, can look and feel like a bar set exceptionally high with us left below exhausted as we keep jumping to try to grab it.
Wether you have no idea what it feels like to silently struggle with the weight of a million invisible jackets or you wear them everyday we should all be thinking about America’s infatuation with acquiring and managing too much stuff as well as our speed to judge and mock the idea of those seeking joy. What impact is this having on all of us? On our kids?
I am not suggesting that we end our love affair with social media, marketing campaigns, beautiful things or stop cracking jokes. Heck no! I love them all just like you. I am proposing that we become more conscious in our understanding of the impact of it all, how we manifest it through the stuff in our lives and how we work to find a better balance of stuff and joy in a healthy, sujstainable way.
Over the next four mornings of this week, Valentine’s Day week, I will be sharing some love with all of you by posting each morning highlighting some small, easily attainable changes I have made in my own life to lighten the load. I would love to hear your feedback on each post and your own ideas of how you lighten the load in your own life.