“Spark of Joy”

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“Spark of Joy” comes from Marie Kondo. I was introduced to Marie Kondo and “Spark of Joy” through a Netflix series named “Tidying Up”. In the series Marie Kondo assisted people in “Tidying Up” their homes. These people sought her help to make changes in their homes. During the visits to assist them, Marie Kondo talked about joy and harmony being created in the home. One example stated was when we come home from a busy day at work, we are seeking a happy place, a place with harmony away from the chaos we were in. The things that surround us as we come home should give us a “Spark of Joy”. I watched the entire series, and even viewed some of the youtube videos of her assisting others or teaching how to fold clothes and organize.

I do not travel to work, but I do enjoy a quiet harmonious place to relax at the end of the day. I have post traumatic stress disorder with the main symptoms of depression, anxiety, flashbacks and nightmares. I fight the depression daily. After watching this series, I decided to surround myself in my home with only those items that “spark joy” when I look at them.

I spent months sorting through each item, taking one room at a time. How does this item make me feel? Does this item create joy in my heart or dread? Sorting through took time and energy. Sometimes I would touch an item and get a flashback, quick answer, no joy there. Some items brought back a flood of pleasant memories, those items earned a front position of my eyesight. As the appearance of my home changed, I changed.

The process of going through everything in order to create a home of joy, harmony and peace, I decluttered my home and my life. There were things I had kept because someone gave them to me, feeling like I was unappreciative of their gift if I gave it away or disposed of it. Most of those items given that did not have pleasant feelings, the giver no longer is in my life. How would they know I had gotten rid of the gift? I was keeping things out of fear of offending someone that no longer came around. I had to change my thinking.

As I surrounded myself in my home with only items that brought joy, my depression lessened. I was not fighting a hard battle everyday to keep moving forward, the depression became an inconvenience that was easily moved aside as I went about my day.

Up until the time of watching the series on Netflix and changing my home, I had not thought I had to fight to keep my joy. I was of the thinking that you have joy or you do not. I learned to fight for the joy in my life and to keep it. I still fight depression, but the joy wins over most days. There is no cure for post traumatic stress disorder. But there are ways to lessen the impact and control this disorder has in my life, I just have to fight for it, and do some tidying up.

I took the tidying up step a little further than organizing a house and where I work in the barns and buildings. I applied it to activities I would do for others. I am a person who likes to help others. Sometimes when helping others there was no joy in what I was doing. I was good at the job, but there was no joy in helping the person. An example of one activity I stopped doing was making music cds for a friend who would lead the song services at church. I would copy their pre recorded song music in the order of the songs for the church service they were singing for each Sunday. This was very time consuming and I did not enjoy the work. I decided to really be helping a person as a gift, there should be joy in giving the gift, not what I was feeling. I gave my notice to the person that I was no longer going to do this for them. A huge weight came off my shoulders.

I still have to activities around the home that I do not much care for such as laundry. When I do the laundry, I am still looking for the “Spark of joy” as I fold each item of clothing and put them away.

Look for the “Spark of Joy” in your home and life.

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