Sunday, November 1, 2015

Simplicity & Following Your Dreams!

            My sincere apologies for not posting any blogs in a long time, I have gone through a few major life events, its been incredibly hard, but incredible, none-the-less. I finally moved out of my parents’ house almost 1 ½ years ago, into a pretty cool old house in Minneapolis. I also successfully paid off one small college loan, and am working on the next few! Also more related to my 2014 new years resolution, within the next year or two, I will be doing a Working Holiday Visa (of 1 year) in New Zealand!!! So I can visit all “The Hobbit” and LOTR filming sites, do amazing hikes, see the Maori culture, make a bone carved necklace, and much more.

            I’m getting ahead of myself though. The most incredible thing that has positively influenced me the most in the past 7-8 months was the fact that I read Marie Kondo’s book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”   (link to amazon here   ).

            I am ever grateful that my sister, while we were skyping mentioned that she had started reading this really cool book, by a Japanese organizing specialist. After this conversation, hearing so many good things about her, and her recently published and super popular book, I looked up all I could on her. I read numerous articles reviewing her book, and praising her professional skills as a consultant (that’s her job-helping people tidy up their places & thus their lives). As soon as I could I received a copy of Marie Kondo’s book from the library, which took a while, since it was so popular. So on a cold night in February, I was quickly reading through her book, and started to tackle all my stuff—or tidy up—as Marie Kondo would probably say. Her method is simple, but extremely easy to use, and really makes sense once you get started.

1) tackle categories, not rooms: this is an easier way to deal with clutter, otherwise you’ll never seem to be able to diminish the chaos
2) respect your belongings: consider your clothing’s feelings, are they rolled up on the floor or shoved into the closet.
3) Nostalgia—is not your friend: focus on one category at a time, and don’t let your emotions get a hold of your project
4) Purging Feels SO very good: pile everything of one category on the floor, say clothing, then channel your energy and go through it in one go. If it doesn’t give you joy ditch it, donate/sell it whatever, but don’t let it linger. If you feel on the fence about it, you are probably feeling guilt (which she does mention as one of two reasons we feel we should hold onto stuff), but it’ll pass…so kick it to the curb. You’ll feel lighter!
5) Fold, Don’t Hang:  to better respect your clothing Kondo prefers a certain type of folding method,
6) The Fold: and placing items into shoeboxes (without the lid of course). I found this to help keep everything looking fresher, and much tidier.
7) Fall in Love with Your Closet:there is breathing roome for your clothing, for you itehat to wear.

8) Rediscover your Personal-Style: when you narrow down your clothing, decorations, books and everything else, you are left with your favorite things—what gives you the most joy! With that said, it is easy to find more happiness in having fewer items, but of what you cherish more.

Once this was in Place…I had the time, space, and mental capacity to pursue other personal endeavors, passions…etc. This is still a bit of a working process for me, because for some more major or nicer items, I am keeping out some hope that I can sell them, versus just donating them and hoping to get a tax break.

            After working on applying for really cool full-time jobs, so I didn’t have to work two part-time jobs anymore (they weren’t hiring for full time-ironically), I finally caught/got a break!! I was offered a full time position at a local food co-op here, starting in front end, and I finally was able to transfer to a more preferred department (to produce—though my top is HBC but that’s another story). I really do love the produce department, I get to work at my own pace, move around a lot, work with incredible people, and it is not a particularly mentally-taxing position at all. This being said, I had the mental energy to pursue my true passions, writing, herbs & my small business. I submitted, hopefully they will publish it, an article about Elderberry for the upcoming winter/flu/cold-season to the ever popular Western Herbal medicine journal “Plant Healer”. My most exciting news apart from finally landing a full-time job at a cool place, is that I got an incredibly well paid part-time writing/administrative position with an Herbal School. So far I have completed social media updates for them to post, and a newsletter, and will soon be completing a second newsletter!

         I am very happy and excited that I have successfully accomplished several major life goals recently, hoping for many more quickly (like paying off loans then travel), but I still have many more long-term goals to reach. Wanting to travel for me is one of the top few things I LOVE to do, along with anything herbal and gardening-related, and writing. A book I adore entitled “Less is More”, co-authored by Cecile Andrews and Wanda Urbanska, beautifully “Travel has become one of my greatest passions and one of those indulgences that I permit myself several times a year. For me, transporting myself to a different world, a different culture, brings home to me the importance of the here and now—living in the moment… I want to feel that I am truly in the moment and not just recording it” (pg 112).

         What I want to get to is the feeling of “I no longer dream of escaping to a better life. This is a good life. It will still change, evolve in different and surprising ways, but the restlessness is gone. It may seem simplistic to say, but living life in accordance with one’s values is a deeply satisfying thing” (pg 113).

         So what are those long-term goals for me? Here it is in a nutshell. In the next two years, work very hard to pay off most of the rest of my college loans, and save for New Zealand. Then year three, work and travel in New Zealand, year four travel and work through Australia & South East Asia. Travel back home for a bit, then work abroad a lot in Europe, I really want to learn from herbal companies there, get more farming and gardening skills, and just enjoy travel, life, different cultures (see above quote). Otherwise, I want to find a cool place to settle in, get a little land, garden, do permaculture, and have TONS of herbs. Start up my herb business (successfully) and do that, plus writing for myself and other organizations…maybe I even want to have an herbal practice. I want to be a healing-pillar in my community, so to speak.

          Will write again soon, cheers for now!

References/Further Information:

Marie Kondo’s website

 “Less is More” by Cecile Andrews & Wanda Urbanska