I confess I got sucked into the trend that was Marie Kondo’s book on decluttering, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.” Interestingly enough, I didn’t start listening to it until I was midway through my own purging. I’d pack a few things, listen to a chapter, toss out some papers, listen to another chapter.
As with anything, there were things that resonated and things that did not. But with every bag of clothes, every box of books, every load of ‘stuff’ from lifetimes ago, I found comfort in her message, keep only what brings you joy, keep only what still serves.
I was not surprised to find this process of releasing, making space, went beyond the physical removal of objects from my presence. It was a clearing of energy, a literal and energetic sweeping away of cobwebs. I noticed the increased clear-headedness I felt as my eyes moved around a room and no longer stuttered at something I hated. I found myself taking great big breaths as I opened my closet and saw only my favorite items hanging there and lots of room for my shoes.
The book clearing actually took two passes. The first one was easy, picking out fiction I knew I would never read, books on landscape architecture I no longer needed. Three boxes went to the Friends of the Library. However, after listening to the book, I decided I wanted to do a second round. This time I followed her directions, and took aalllll my books off the shelves, piling them around me. One by one, I picked them up and decided: should they stay, or should they go?
In the letting go, I gave away a copy of a play I’d performed when I was 12 years old, I gave away books I purchased as research for a story I never finished writing, and many more books on gardens and landscape design that I truly no longer needed. Once the discarded books were packed up, I had the pleasure of putting the remaining ones back on the shelves. I organized them by category, choosing the titles I wanted to highlight, and I touched each one and welcomed it back into my life.
One of the things that made letting them go a little easier, was the belief that a book’s purpose was to be read. By donating them to the library, these old friends of mine would find a new life in someone else’s hands.
They say one of the benefits of clearing clutter is making space for something new. Yesterday I received my first shipment of the book I had written, “If You Dream It …. A Garden Journal.” I looked at my near empty bookshelves and saw the perfect place to put them. It was a beautiful open space that was there, just waiting for these books to arrive.
Come this May, it will be two years since my husband passed away. Sometimes it feels like a lifetime ago, sometimes it is still a surprise this is my life. But as I’ve cleared and purged and tossed and dumped, I’ve realized this is all part of the becoming. With every choice we make we become more aware of who we are. With every layer we peel away the path forward becomes a little clearer.
So, my friends, as we move into the new year, consider what can you let go of today that makes way for the magic of tomorrow? We never know until we begin.
p.s. It is with great joy that I announce that my journal for manifesting your dream garden is now available at Amazon. Especially during these chilly wet days of winter, it is a delicious way to begin to envision the garden you will create come spring. Click Here to see more.