REVIEW – “Tidying up with Marie Kondo” Netflix series

Marie Kondo is getting into everyone’s drawers with her new series on Netflix.

CLUTTER- It’s a modern day challenge. I can’t imagine too many cave people stressing about the state of the cave. If you had too much wildebeest in storage and Santa had brought everybody, including nana, a new club or axe, it was probably a welcome problem and time to move caves.

In fact in the form of Feng Shui I was trained in decluttering is a fairly recent addition as a first step in the process of renewing a home’s energy. Again the ancient Chinese were probably not wall to wall with drawers of Ikea allen keys, manuals for toasters you no longer own and photos of their cats (or maybe they had their equivalent).

So Marie Kondo’s new series on Netflix is timely (and no doubt deliberately timed). It’s New year- we all want our caves to feel organised, peaceful and supportive of our goals for 2019.

I have watched quite a few episodes (running time around 40+ mins each) and what I like is that if you are not familiar with her work, you still get the basics of her method which is all about tidying and decluttering in categories through a staged process. Once complete you feel liberated and are more likely to be able to maintain the home in its super organised state. Or at least find a pair of socks in under a minute. And with a lot less belongings in your road. Of course you need to commit to bring less in again. So you still need to make that fundamental mind shift in how you view your home and possessions and this is where I think this series shines.

I’m sure it feels a bit strange to some to hear Marie talking about the importance of the energy in belongings and the home itself. Although I have read she doesn’t attribute it as a direct influence she was an attendant maiden in a Shinto Shrine for 5 years. Shinto credits everything with a life force- animals, rocks, people, places and objects. This is the crux of her method and why I have a big girl crush on this cute little organisation elfin.

Marie’s focus is much gentler and kinder than the other recent Netflix decluttering offering, “Consumed” where you feel people are being forced into realisations about themselves. Although both shows end up with piles of belongings on the floor to emphasis the amount of crap they have, Marie then takes her people through a process of finding those objects they want to KEEP and CHERISH because well, they SPARK JOY. Unlike “Consumed” where people feel embarrassed, full of self loathing and are asked to get rid of stuff they may find hard to part with. Even when the tower of Tupperware threatens to kill them this is still too big an ask for some. In that episode the woman actually ended up storing it in her in-laws garage at the end of the process!

“Tidying Up” gives credence to the idea our house is our sanctuary and a place to be creative. We want to be surrounded by things that gives us great pleasure. And for those who find it difficult to figure that out there is usually some lightbulb moment, like the episode with Frank and Matt where eventually one of them (sorry can’t remember which one! – it’s Marie Kondo blur in my mind), recognises he had moved from being emotionally closed and completely in the dark about which items of clothing gave him any joy, to being able to share more with his partner. Sorting your crap out individually and together definitely can move relationships.

One of the most moving bits of seeing her in action is her ritual of introducing herself to the house, where she kneels in a spot and takes a moment to connect, gently patting the floor. She asks the home owners to sit quietly and envision what they want from their house-what their intention is for their home. People are so surprised and moved by their own response to this moment. It is a moment that connects everyone to the energy present in people, places and belongings. I LOVE that she is getting that message across in such an authentic way.

Setting intention is so important as a first step. If you are not clear on what you want to achieve – whether it’s feeling peace, joy, inspired or just plain mentally healthier in your home, you run the risk of just stopping mid stream and losing focus – potentially with a pile of kitchen utensils in the middle of the floor. Yeah, so from my experience don’t skip that bit!

So if you are a Netflix subscriber and want a bit of New year motivation to get into the junk room/s (I will be doing a whole blog post on this soon) I recommend it as 40 mins well spent. You can even peruse the episode descriptions and find the one that seems most relevant to you. Empty nesters, family with young children etc

Until next time – Happy New year and Happy Tidying!

CHRISTMAS COLOURS – What do they mean?

We associate some colours, (red, gold and green), with Xmas and once a year we act as though possessed running around streaming anything that doesn’t move (and some things that do – see the slideshow below) with gold bead chains and fake ivy. Or is that just me?

So I was fascinated to find out a bit more about the history of the colours and their meaning more generally.

RED: A fave Xmas colour of mine! While it can traditionally represent the blood of Christ, it can also symbolise the red heart and the teaching of love. That is the spirit of the season to me!

Red was also the colour of Saint Nicholas’s robes – hence translating to Santa’s cool and highly practical pant suit.

Red generally symbolisies love, passion, strength and joy. During the rest of the year it can be a good colour to use where you want to promote these feelings. Possibly in moderation – depending on exactly where that area is in your home and it’s function. Some people can find it too stimulating.

GREEN: Very much related to the northern hemisphere history of Xmas, evergreen branches symbolised..’hang on, it WILL get better and lighter and we will soon be drinking beer on the beach and surfing again’. Or planting stuff.

Holly grows anywhere and in very difficult situations, just like how ivy threatens to take over my back fence here in the outer suburbs of Melbourne. It symbolised Christ’s birth in difficult circumstances. In the middle ages when people couldn’t read, Paradise plays were performed with a Pine tree with red apples representing Adam and Eve’s story. Hence the modern Xmas tree.

Green symbolises fertility, renewal, spring and can restore depleted energies. It is associated with certain areas of the home in Feng Shui and at some point I will do a post on this too.

GOLD: Is the colour of giving. It appears in many different religions (Gold Buddhas, Gold Menorah). It was one of the gifts the three wise men gave in the Christmas story. It is light, warmth, the sun and the stars. All very important in northern hemisphere winter Xmas. It became associated with the Star followed by the three wise men and has traditionally been used as the tree topper star.

Gold symbolises illumination, love, compassion, magic and wisdom. It is precious as in the metal gold. And for many it is a sacred colour, used as adornment in their homes. It is associated with luxury too. Sometimes it’s good to incorporate some into areas of the home where you want to feel abundant, like a study or office. Or wherever you want to feel any of things described above.

I do feel this is a colour to use in moderation though. I went through a gold phase where I had a lot of gold things and quickly felt overwhelmed by the energy of it. While it is a colour of confidence it can become overbearing – just like some overly confident people can!

I would love to hear about your Xmas…. -💞 What colours do you use and why?
💞 Are you a traditionalist?
💞 Or do you like a really unique or contemporary look?

The Colours of Xmas

Acknowledgements- Photos in the slideshow come from Upslash – Toni Cuenca – Aaron Burden – Freestocks.org – Jakob Owens – Rawpixel – Erin Walker.

The art of feeling good.

“I could totally – get fit, solve the world’s problems, figure out my next career move, or at least finish a book, INSERT YOURS – if I had some ME time!”

I hear this a lot from my friends. Beautiful women in their 30’s, 40s, 50’s and beyond who are talented, committed and courageous all longing for a bit of ME time and space.

“Just some time out from my hectic schedule and everyone else’s expectations.”

 

There isn’t any one answer to this issue – we can’t bend time (yet)! But what I know is that taking the time to get clear on how you want to feel everyday (not just what you want someday) is not a selfish act. It deserves you carving out some ME time. When you know how you want to feel everyday you can give to yourself and others more easily and with more grace. And less surly face (ok, maybe that’s just me).

 

Things flow easier. You become more productive in all areas of your life. The truth is that a constant connection with the feelings you have deliberately chosen to feel acts like a guide. For me everything is easier. Because I have made “ease” one of my core desired feelings it is a litmus test. When I have a big decision that needs to be made I ask “Is this going to create ease?”  If no, well forget it then. That doesn’t mean I avoid challenges. Challenge and ease can definitely be friends. It just means that I do not want to encourage and make room for struggle in everything I do. Struggle may find me, but it is easier to give it up than it used to be. I am fully conscious and on board with ease.

 

How do you frame your life this way? I spend a few moments every morning consciously bringing my core desired feelings into my awareness. I let myself feel them – even if the cat has just vomited and I need to be out of the door in 10 mins – I take time to feel ease in my body (unless the cat vomit is on my shoes, in which case I attend to that first). How does ‘ease’ feel for example? Well to me it is kind of slow and relaxed and like a Sunday morning lie in. It feels like everything going well for me that day with minimum stress. It isn’t me in control mode like a mad thing running here and there trying to make all the bits fit like a giant Jenga puzzle. That analogy comes easily to me because it is what my life used to feel like.

 

We all risk depletion in this hectic, crazy world we live in. The information age is well and truly upon us and we can feel overloaded and overwhelmed with possibilities, choices and demands. Being clear on how we want to feel is a way forward, whether you call yourself a seeker (just trying to be more of who you could be) or a goal setter (wanting to achieve it all this time around on the off chance reincarnation doesn’t exist).  It is a grounding practice that creates a daily sanctuary and some lights on the pathway ahead. I can’t see the future, but I can feel my way to my next step and trust my feelings to guide me further.

 

If you want to learn more about the process for discovering your own Core Desire Feelings please visit my Desire Map workshop events at http://www.annetterudd.com/events/

Vale Stephen Hawking

Vale Stephen Hawking

His work was like yoga for the brain!

I tried to read a couple of his books, including the last one, “The Grand Design” because of my interest in quantum physics.  But because while I love the idea of science, and even studied the history of the philosophy of science (yes there is such a thing) years ago at uni, that was really as close as I got!  It was  like teaching my cat to use the toilet. Great in theory but in practice was never going to happen.


But whether I understood everything he wrote or not ( yeah it was definitely “or not”) I know a great brain when I see one and his should be celebrated!! The contributions he made despite the limitations of his illness, who knows maybe because of it, were astounding. So much has been discovered and will continue to be as a result of his work. But for me it was his enormous will,  personality and heart that I loved as much as that amazing brain that made universe creating scientific discoveries.  He was on the Big Bang theory for a start –  I can’t think of a cooler way to not take yourself seriously! But he was also a humanitarian, seeing women as not just as equals but potentially overtaking men in years to come, and a great supporter of gay and lesbian rights. He said many brilliant things including the quote above but also the very beautiful  ‘It would not be much of a universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love.’

I have great faith in advancing consciousness and believe that we are all connected as one energy. I know he didn’t share such beliefs, at least not in any spiritual sense; certainly not a  belief that our energy continues on as part of God. But I think he is definitely continuing on and whether you believe that’s an energetic thing or it’s because of his research legacy is kind of irrelevant.

He made a mark. A great big star shaped one. And we are all better for it.