Nov. 25, 2020, 6:23 p.m. by Dr Gayatri Mohapatra ( 479 views)
Some time ago, when the COVID pandemic broke out and we were all locked up in our homes, I read the book Essentialism – the disciplined pursuit of less – by Greg McKeown. In the subconscious mind, that book made me think of eliminating things I did not need from my life! The idea of living a simple life with less stuff sounded so attractive that I made a list of all the things I needed to get rid of from seemingly mundane daily stuff to the serious issues.
Albert Einstein said "Out of clutter find simplicity; from discord find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.
I started off on a cheery note & felt rather good about throwing those smart fashionable high heeled boots which I hadn't worn since my ankle fracture, ruthlessly removed few clothes from my wardrobe which had more sentimental value than utility, deleted and blocked certain toxic people on my phone but somewhere down the line that sense of urgency gave way & I got so overwhelmed that I kept putting it off.
(taken for illustrative purpose only)
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve suffered, just a little bit, because I realized over and over again that I didn’t keep my word to myself.
After all, the world will not end because I have stopped the decluttering work I had set for myself. Well, By not keeping my word to myself, I taught myself, even if it’s just in a small way, that it's ok not to keep my word and over a period of time it has a cascading effect with a gradual acceptance that it's quite all right if I don't honor my own word to myself & also to others.
All of us will encounter times in our life when we cannot keep our word as we can’t predict life perfectly. However, we can make amends by explaining the circumstances, admit and clean up the mess thereby honouring our own word so that the trust does not erode.
Realizing that decluttering my life is not an overnight work and certainly not a magical whim made me determined to start achieving freedom from the modern mania of consumerism fuelled by Amazon and flipkart.
I turned to Japanese minimalist philosophy, popularized by Marie Kondo, author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, which is characterized by leading a happy, clutter-free life. Drawing from the wisdom of ancient Japanese Shinto wisdom, it focusses on connecting with the ‘less is more’ philosophy. Fewer possessions equals less clutter, which equals less stress, which equals more happiness and well-being!
The approach, championed by Kondo is to essentially do away with all non-essentials – to live in a home that is streamlined and elegant. Her “KonMari” method of decluttering is straightforward – tidy your home by category instead of by room, pull everything out before sorting it out, take in the full horror of your materialism, and keep only things that are useful or “spark joy". Objects that don’t spark joy are “thanked for their service” before being thrown out or given away. Since the time, her first book hit the shelves in 2014, the craze has been growing & the latest
"Tidying Up with Marie Kondo" is a reality television series developed for Netflix and released on January 1, 2019. The show follows Marie Kondo, as she visits families to help them organize and tidy their homes.
So now that i have found my spark of inspiration, it’s comforting to know that I have a strategy for dealing with that clutter, and I know what the results of decluttering can be.
As Joshua Becker said "The first step in crafting the life you want is to get rid of everything you don’t.” While the motivation has me geared up to veer towards a minimalistic life, I can’t help but think of
Albert Einstein who was the owner of a notoriously messy desk and is often quoted as saying: “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”
Minimalism isn't a new trend, it's been around for a while. However the COVID pandemic has taught us to restart our lives and begin to focus less on what we own and more on what the things we own mean to us.
Minimalism isn't just a goal.
It's that journey of intentional self-improvement, and appreciating what we already have, that will bring us contentment.
To stay with the clutter or to declutter....think about it folks!