self-acceptantance

How do you want to live your life?

Photo by  Roman Mager  on  Unsplash

Photo by Roman Mager on Unsplash

How do you want to live your life? It's a big question, but when you're organizing, it's an important one.

We all want to live in clean & organized homes - living with mess and clutter isn't pleasant, no matter where or how you live. But what "an organized home" looks like for you is probably going to be different than what an "organized home" looks like to your neighbor.

A big part of decluttering is getting rid of things that no longer 'spark joy.' And the things that no longer spark joy are different for everyone.

While strict minimalism isn't necessary by any means, the fewer things you own that don't spark joy, the easier it is to organize what's left. Most of us hang on to tons of stuff that doesn't spark joy, that we don't like, that we don't need, that we don't want - and all that stuff weights us down.

So, how do you want to live your life?

In your idea world, what would you have around you? What wouldn't you?

The Difficulties of Describing, and the Inherent Contradictions of Wabi-Sabi

Photo by  Cater Yang  on  Unsplash

Photo by Cater Yang on Unsplash

How do you describe or explain an aesthetic that is inherently contradictory?

Perfect imperfection is wabi-sabi's inherent contradiction, and as an aesthetic that embraces life's imperfections, wabi-sabi also embraces life's ambiguities.

So, maybe the best way to describe wabi-sabi is through other author's writings and quotes.

And we're not alone in our stumbling over an explanation for wabi-sabi, in "Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers" Leonard Koren writes,

"When asked what wabi-sabi is, most Japanese will shake their head, hesitate, and offer a few apologetic words about how difficult it is to explain. Although almost every Japanese will claim to understand the feeling of wabi-sabi - it is, after all, supposed to be one of the core concepts of Japanese culture - very few can articulate this feeling."

From the book description of "Living Wabi Sabi: The True Beauty of Your Life" by Taro Gold,

"Wabi Sabi helps us to see the beauty in imperfection, to discover that our unique flaws also can lead us to our greatest strengths and treasures…. What is Wabi Sabi? A universal ideal of beauty, Wabi Sabi celebrates the basic, the unique, and the imperfect parts of our lives. Wabi Sabi is the comfortable joy you felt as a child, happily singing off key, creatively coloring outside the lines, and mispronouncing words with gusto. On a deeper level, Wabi Sabi is the profound awareness of our oneness with all life and the environment. It includes a deep awareness of the choices we make each day, the power we have to accept or reject each moment of our lives, and to find value in every experience."

And from Taro Gold's book itself, "Appreciate this and every moment, no matter how imperfect, for this moment is your life. When you reject this moment, you reject your life. You don't have to settle for this moment, you are free to steer a different course, but for now, this moment is yours, so be mindful to make the most of it."

In "Wabi Sabi Simple" Richard Powell writes, "Wabi-sabi nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect."

"If an object or expression can bring about, within us, a sense of serene melancholy and a spiritual longing, then that object could be said to be wabi-sabi." Wrote Andrew Juniper in "Wabi Sabi: The Japanese Art of Impermanence"

And bringing it back to Leonard Koren, in "Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers," "Wabi-sabi is exactly about the delicate balance between the pleasure we get from things and the pleasure we get from freedom of things."

So, maybe wabi-sabi really is best summed up by the phrase "perfectly imperfect." Everything - life, us, our families, our neighbors, our homes, even the description of wabi-sabi is - perfectly imperfect.

Time to Organize Life Around Cooking & Baking (at least this time of year)

kitchen 5 VivianJohnson.jpg

It’s already Tuesday and I am only slowly climbing, one minute at a time, out of a Monday slump. Today feels better than yesterday.

Progress Not Perfection.

I messed around with a few items on my to-do list but was feeling off – every thought seemed to trail off to the next with no consistency. Looking back on the weekend I realized I was either busy learning or doing, no time for just being.

There was no point in pushing myself and over-riding my feelings..

If I had gone down that road I would have felt more blue and prickly. I racked my brain for a simple way to feel better, more grounded (and I mean back-to-earth!).

Thank god I remembered cooking, and especially baking, which makes everything lighter, dare I say happier? I feel a bit of shame admitting that fact, how crazy is that? Is baking going to get me closer to my goals—sometimes is it not better to just live and be satisfied with ordinary chores, which is what most of the day is made up of anyway: not a glamorous fact.

Luckily I had a bunch of plantains hanging in my studio (first time ever) that were getting to the over-ripe-ready-for-banana-bread-stage. I purged most of my recipes years ago, so next stop random internet searching which brought me to Nigella (first time ever) and then stops at two of my favorite food bloggers Molly and Heidi. I cannot follow one recipe exactly, so I combined the three into one, taking the powder chocolate idea from Nigella. Yes, I felt more settled down after the experience AND it gave me a break from thinking non-helpful thoughts. And yes, I cooked again today.

What my organizing & design clients have in common & it makes me love them!

shelving 2 VivianJohnson.jpg

You know it’s a sign of strength to ask for help, but for the longest time  thought you should be able pick yourself up by the bootstraps and power through it.

You have many talents (some not realized).

You feel safe with me & know I won’t judge you.

You have been through your share of difficulties and have survived (and usually thrived).

You have a sense of humour about your predicament.

You are seriously ready for change in your life, and willing to put the effort in.

You have an appreciation of beauty and independence.

The things you love, you cherish.

You know what it means to take care of yourself.

You love a good pair of shoes

You feel a sense of urgency about your organizing project

You are eager to start (and complete) this process called organizing, because that means you can focus on your dreams.

You are excited by imaging how much better your life will feel when things are in order.

You realize organizing is a process, AND

Because you want to be happy at Home. Now.