by Julianne Kulosa
Julianne is a Spiritual Intuitive and Guide, empowering others to live a life of miracles and magic through trusting the power of love.
First of all, for those of you who haven’t read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Condo, it’s time for you to pick up the book! Marie offers conscious access to one of the primary aspects of the authenticity of who we divinely are. We are joy!
It’s easy to focus on what is wrong, including around your home. You might look around and think how you need to clean, clear your clutter and get more organized. It’s natural to want to get rid of the problem that is causing upset or pain. Change is often motivated by fear, and it’s true: fear is a big motivator. However, it’s also so draining, so tiring and stressful, to continually focus on what we need to change and fix in order to feel better.
Good news! There is a different way! This way is through the power of gratitude. It is the gateway to experiencing authentic joy.
In her book, Marie discusses how we can let go of items that don’t spark joy by acknowledging that at some point they did, thanking them, and releasing them for someone else to enjoy. I’m sure you have items in your home that you purchased yet never used, such as clothing or books. Why did you buy these? Consider that in that moment you were in a place of joy, even if just the possibility of joy in the future.
You might think, “Well, if I truly feel gratitude for an item and the joy it brought me even if it was long ago, won’t I just keep everything in my home?”
Absolutely not! We hold on to things with an attitude of lack. There are two reasons we keep items that don’t bring us joy in this moment. The first reason is that we hold on to the past, as if when we let an item go, we will surely lose or forget the love, joy, peacefulness, abundance or experiences that the item represents.
Personally, I am very attached to my books. If I kept all my books from over the past 25 years, I would have a room in which every wall was filled with books from top to bottom. In my most recent release of books that don’t currently bring me joy, I noticed that there were books that had been on my shelf for literally 25 years or more. I collect informative books, specifically on topics around holistic health, metaphysics, spirituality and consciousness studies. I noticed that my books are like symbols of who I am, of my interests, my experience, my passions and my knowledge. It was extremely challenging to let many of them go because I felt like I would lose a part of myself and forget all that they represented. I realized that my books are not me! Furthermore, I saw that my past has brought me to who I am now, and I can release the past, whether my memories or physical items, and know that all that matters is this present moment of my experience. My past has brought me to now, and anything I need is inside of me!
When gazing at a book that didn't naturally light me up in the moment, I noticed it would seem to shout, “You are not enough right now. You might forget all the experiences and knowledge from your past, so I will remind you. You might need this book in the future. Furthermore, look what you’re not practicing or doing right now!” I held the book, reflecting on when I got it and the experiences I was having at the time, and felt authentic gratitude for those experiences and the wisdom I received from the book. This allowed me to let go of the book with love and appreciation, opening to new ideas, new experiences, and new me.
The second reason we hold onto items that don’t bring us joy in this moment is because of our fears about the future. Like the past, fears of the future reflect feelings or thoughts around limitation, lack and scarcity. It could as simple as, “What if I’m having a bad hair day and don’t have anything to wear that will make me feel pretty?” (Notice that in that moment you are thinking your physical body is lacking beauty…) Fears about not measuring up might come, such as, “What if my friends thinks I’m poor, stupid or missing something by not having this item?” We might think we’re being logical and responsible by thinking, “What if I need that item again and can’t find it anywhere?” or, “What if I need that item in the future and don’t have the money to buy it?” Ooh, that last one is one the main fears of lack when it comes to material possessions, isn’t it? Furthermore, we have limited our openness to abundance by thinking that the items we need can only be attained through using our own money to purchase them.
Can you see how keeping items that don’t authentically inspire joy right now creates a feeling of lack and limitation? You could have a house full of items and yet feel you never have enough. How many times have you purchased an item only to find you already have it? One day I was clearing out my first aid shelf and found that we owned seven elastic (“Ace”) bandages. Two were unopened, and I remembered buying those because I was concerned that if my son sprained his ankle (yet again), we wouldn’t have any bandages. The shelf was so cluttered and unorganized that I couldn’t find the bandages that were there all along.
Keeping only what brings you joy actually creates more abundance. A great example of this is clothing. Have you ever felt like you have nothing to wear? You go through your cluttered closet and drawers, stuffed with clothing, and can’t find anything you want to wear that day. What if you truly only had items that had you feel good when you looked at and wore them? Imagine you could look in your closet and every item was something you love the idea of wearing!
Material possessions don’t really bring us joy. Instead, they inspire us to express the authentic unending stream of joy that resides in us. Keeping only what inspires joy is practicing a new way of being, a way of living an authentically magical and abundant life. As you gaze around your home, every item can be something that prompts you to express gratitude. Gratitude aligns you with joy and joy aligns you with authentic divine YOU. You don’t need to “force” yourself to express gratitude or joy. Committing to surround yourself with items that have you feel good and thankful is all it takes. It’s also important to be honest with yourself about your fears, whether holding on to the nostalgia of the past or concerns about you future.
A home infused with your gratitude and joy creates an opening for even more gratitude and joy. The question to ask yourself is, “If this doesn’t spark joy, why am I keeping it?” You don’t have to reflect on what you don’t like about the item. Instead, know that when you got the item it did bring you something, even if just the possibility of something, such as being prepared and calm in an emergency (those Ace Bandages), or a healthier lifestyle through those kitchen gadgets or workout equipment. Honoring that you picked and kept an item with the best of intentions will cultivate gratitude for that item and an ability to then let it go.
Let’s be honest: if there is one thing we can count on, it is change. Our possessions are a way to practice being open to change, to letting go of trying to feel safe and secure in an ever-changing reality. Instead, we practice moving toward gratitude and joy, independent of what we have or don’t have right now or in the future.
Your possessions are just one aspect of your life. They give you an opportunity to be honest with yourself about your fears and doubts. They also give you an opportunity to experience gratitude and tap into joy! They steer you in the direction of filling your life with joy and gratitude in all that you do, to ask yourself time and again with every aspect of your life, “If this doesn’t spark joy, why am I doing it?”
You are meant to have items in your home that remind you that inside you is all the abundance, joy and love you could ever desire. These items might be beautiful or useful. You can courageously clear out the things that you’ve kept that seem to protect you from the loss of letting go of the past or fears of scarcity in your future. Opening up your physical space opens you to the vast spaciousness of your own heart, of your authentic self.
No longer weighed down by material possessions that don’t activate your joy right now, you assert to the universe that you trust life to provide you with all you need. You declare that You Are Enough, You Have Enough, now and in the future. You can look around at what fills your home and let every item you use or gaze upon remind you to be truly grateful and enjoy your life right now.
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