What Sparks Joy for You?

Sarah Al-Zadjali on Jun 23, 2019 in Life Transition

Are you familiar with the KonMari method of #SparkJoy? It was brought to light by Marie Kondo, a Japanese organizing consultant and author who encourages you to explore a different way of de-cluttering your home and personal spaces. It’s not about discarding items that you no longer want, but being mindful about the items you keep because they spark joy. Although I have yet to practice her method within my own home, I have, however, applied this philosophy to my own life and my own emotional well being.

There comes a point in everyone’s life where you may feel somewhat dysregulated, a little off, or even get this gut instinct that your life is not moving in the direction you want it to. When moments like this happen, listen and observe your feelings on what’s going on within you. After all, aren’t you the expert of your own life and know what’s best for you?

I decided to carve time out of my day to self-reflect and re-evaluate my goals and values in life. Change is inevitable, and as humans we learn new information every day that promotes growth within us. So, I asked myself “what experiences are currently going on in my life that spark joy for me?”

To do this, I had to apply mindfulness, a free and powerful tool that supported my observations and awareness of the experiences occurring around me. I recognized things that seemed to weigh me down without putting too much thought into it. I thought about all the positive experiences I have had thus far, as well as the negative and uncomfortable experiences, too. I was self-aware of the components and elements in my journey that I wanted more of, and considered the flip side of things that I felt weighed me down as well. Self-reflection is a powerful tool to use to examine your past experiences and honor the journey you have been on thus far.

I stumbled across a post that read, “You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy.” This resonated with me deeply and left somewhat of a sour taste in my mouth. Yet, with acceptance, I recognized that it is okay to let go of the things that no longer spark joy. What made it easier to accept these feelings of letting go was the application of gratitude.

The KonMari method shares that when you find items that do not spark joy for you, do not just simply toss them away immediately. Instead, it is encouraged to hold these items close to you, reflect on your past experiences with them, be mindful of your emotions and feelings, and practice gratitude and thanks before you let them go. In other words, you are taking the time to thank the object for the lesson you learned, good or bad, and the emotional or spiritual connection that was created with it.

Can you imagine the difference your life would make it you practiced gratitude with everything that came to an end in your life such as a job, moving to a new home or a new city, and even ending a relationship? If you think about it, there is so much power in acknowledging the ending of things with a grateful mindset and attitude. What better way to begin something new when you’ve experienced the beauty, positivity and closure to an ending.

So here is your challenge: carve some time out to practice self-care this weekend, and ask yourself, does this spark joy? Try not to rush yourself with trying to find an answer, let the answer be authentic and non-judgmental. Take it one step at a time, and be gracious and kind to yourself. You are growing when you take time to learn about yourself, and sometimes that is a very uncomfortable feeling. The good news though is that this is temporary, and an opportunity for growth.

Sarah Al-Zadjali is a Counselor in Saint Louis, MO.

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