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How to Declutter the Konmari Way | The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

How to Declutter the Konmari Way | The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

Following up with my previous post 30 Things to Get Rid of Before 2019, I wanted to guide you deeper through a decluttering technique I briefly mentioned that changed the way I looked at “things” entirely, and shifted the way I care for my home, my sacred space.

Recently, I listened to an audiobook called “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo, a Japanese Decluttering Consultant and expert of her line of work. This book takes you through a process she calls the Konmari Method which is the same process she walks each and everyone of her clients through in order to tidy their homes and do away with their hoarding habits that cause stagnant energy in their homes, as well as so much stress overall.

The Konmari Method was developed to make discarding objects easier. You start with clothes, something easy to do away with, follow the method through all the categories in the middle, and end with sentimental items, something much more difficult to let go of.

Anything that doesn’t spark joy when you hold the item has to go! She also mentions that this decluttering should be a celebration, and you should not wear house clothes or pajamas, but rather where a dress or other outing attire that will mark the occasion as a fresh beginning.

Rules of the method:

  1. Declutter everything all at once, by category, not by location. She mentions that the declutter should ideally not be spread out so much because you will end up tidying far longer than needed. When you let go of everything at once, you can also see how much stuff you kept that you don’t need. In turn, change some of your spending habits so that your space doesn’t return to it’s original state.
  2. Only after you finish decluttering everything, should you begin organizing. Organize papers and clothing vertically so that you can always see how much you have. Storing things horizontally is rough on the object at the bottom of the pile.
  3. If it doesn’t spark joy, let it go. Besides important documents, but most documents are unnecessary to keep.

I love this technique because I truly see how unconsciously we are absorbing information from the things we consume, and that surround us.

Our junk drawer is constantly reminding us how unorganized we are every time we find it impossible to locate an item lost in there, our unused gifts are reminding us that we feel guilty that we didn’t get to cherish the present the way the giver wished we would, and our supplies or gear for that hobby we thought we wanted to do, but never got around to sits there in reminder of how we don’t have any time to try that new thing.

All of these feelings are negative and caused by the perception which we see that object. This information is so subtle, we may not realize it’s there, but it’s constantly getting imprinted into our psyche through our unconscious mind which sees everything.

“Keep only those things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest. By doing this, you can reset your life and embark on a new lifestyle.”

That is a quote to live by, and if you agree, let’s begin decluttering our homes together so that our minds will be just as peaceful and serene. No distracting objects to catch our attention, just the objects we truly love. The objects we are using to get us where we are wanting to go, and none of the “I should,” “One day,” or “Just in case” objects.

We are going to let go of the scarcity mindset that says you will need more than one of whatever object, the past which you know isn’t serving you but you may one day need to return to and so you keep that object or reference book so that it’s available if that ever happens, and the future which you aren’t aligned with that says one day maybe you will pick up that hobby, book, or whatever!

If you didn’t use it when you bought it, you will not be using it now or in the future, likewise if you’ve decided to move on in a different direction, keeping the things that tie you to the past and those endeavors is really just steering you away from what you know you need to do in the present. Be here now.

“But when we really delve into the reasons for why we can’t let something go, there are only two: an attachment to the past or a fear for the future.”

Through the next seven days, we will be moving through different categories of your belongings, each day getting rid of as much as you can which is no longer bringing you joy, and ending with organizing all the things we love that are left.

I want you to remember that you must use your intuition through this process and not your rationality.

Your rationality may argue with your intuition and say things like “Well, I spent a lot on this item, I can’t just get rid of it,” or “What if I need it in the future?” This is not the point, and you don’t need those things. Thank the objects for how they served you in the past, and let them go if you know they are not sparking joy in your heart in the present. If it isn’t a hell yes, it’s a no!

Lastly, I would just like to remind you to be mindful of how you discard your things. If you can recycle it, do. Or you can donate your things to thrift stores, and food pantries. Try not to give anything to your friends and family unless you know they will use it and love it. You don’t want to pass on the clutter to your loved ones.

I will be sure to link the challenges for each day in this post here as they are released. I can’t wait to hear about your improvements and share some of mine with you as well!

Day 1 Declutter Your Closet

Day 2 Declutter Your Books

Day 3 Declutter Your Papers

Day 4 Declutter Your Miscellany Part 1

Day 5 Declutter Your Miscellany Part 2

Day 6 Declutter Your Sentimental Things

Day 7 Organize the Konmari Way

Many blessings as always,

30 Things to Get Rid of Before 2019

30 Things to Get Rid of Before 2019

Hey everyone,

Coming into the end of the year, I always like to do a little declutter before the holidays… this year I took it to another level. And, Im glad I did because every time I’ve decluttered in the past, two things would happen:

1) I would end up holding on to a lot of things I wanted to toss because of guilt, how much I spent on the item, or fear of needing it in the future.

2) My house would always return to be somewhat cluttered rather quickly.

What I’m coming to embrace is a more minimal lifestyle. I have always resonated with Feng Shui, which is basically the idea that every item you have holds an energy, therefore you should only keep what radiates positive energy. Although, I realized how I haven’t been living to this idea fully because I would keep those things which made me feel guilt for not using or thinking of tossing them, especially unused gifts. Every time I saw these items, I’d feel bad about it. Every time I saw a book I was going to read but didn’t finish I felt bad about it, and even that canvas I never finished painting. Each item you keep demands to be kept up with and cared for. This can be very distracting, and we don’t even realize it consciously.

I decided that guilt isn’t going to stop me from listening to my intuition, and neither is the fear of scarcity for getting rid of something I might later use even though I haven’t used it in a year or more. This led to a massive declutter and since it felt so freeing for me, I’m sure it will spark the same joy for you to know that your space is only filled with the things that give you real happiness and are absolutely functional. So, let’s go ahead and dive into my list of 30 things you should get rid of before 2019 organized in the order of the Konmari Method of decluttering, developed by Marie Kondo. The Konmari Method orders the decluttering process into categories which allows you to begin with things that are easier to toss, and end with the harder things so that your intuition will strengthen as you get to the end so you will not be having so many doubts of what to toss and what actually brings you joy.

  1. Clothes that don’t fit you properly, comfortably, or are just not your style. I was able to really define my style with this declutter. When I used to shop trends, I ended up with various different styles that didn’t necessarily fit my personality.
  2. Shoes that kill your feet. I have only two pairs of heels left. Toms, flip flops, and work shoes.
  3. Jewelry you never wear. All that tarnished stuff can go, gold can get pawned. Unless it’s something very special to you, let it go.
  4. Socks without a mate, or that have holes in them.
  5. Underwear and bras that are looking a little too worn or are uncomfortable. We tend to hold on to these longer than regular clothes as we justify with the thought that no one really sees them.
  6. Books and Magazines you no longer read, have never read, will never read. The hardest thing for me to declutter by far. I held on to books as a part of me, and refused to read ebooks. But I found that I love audiobooks and it’s been an excellent substitution for me.
  7. Papers like insurance policies, bank account information, etc. All these papers should be scanned and saved into a Cloud drive. They are much safer there and take up zero physical space.
  8. Old bills, bank statements, and mail. Go paperless, this can all be found online.
  9. Business Cards. I have a note in my phone saved with photos of business cards I think I may one day reference, I tossed the physical version.
  10. Old journals, and notebooks. Have you ever actually looked at these for reference?
  11. DVDs, CDs, Video Games, and Consoles.
  12. Craft supplies you never use, for me this is something that took a weight off my shoulders because I don’t particularly love painting, but I had a lot of supplies and unfinished works staring at me for completion.
  13. Board Games.
  14. Pet supplies.
  15. Old cameras, Laptops, and other tech.
  16. Toxic cleaning products; replace them with an all purpose natural cleaner. You really only need one or two cleaners for your whole house.
  17. Pantry Items in your kitchen that are old or you will never use. Same goes for inside the fridge!
  18. Excess utensils, bowls, plates, and cups.
  19. Home decor you no longer vibe with and holiday decor that’s old, broken, or unused.
  20. Tools in the garage or toolbox that aren’t functional and used.
  21. Toxic beauty products. Switch them out this year for something safer.
  22. Clutter in your medicine cabinet like prescriptions and other medications that are expired.
  23. Excess makeup brushes, duplicate tweezers, beauty tools that are unused or broken.
  24. Miscellaneous items that have no home.
  25. Sentimental items that can be scanned and saved into cloud storage.
  26. Old trophies, take a photo of them and let them go. What good do they do in a box you never open?
  27. Excess bags, storage containers, and other containers.
  28. Just in case items.
  29. Apps and photos cluttering your digital space.
  30. Souvenirs. Take a photo from now on, it’ll last longer!

Some of these items are difficult to get rid of, but when you see the piles of things your donating or recycling that you just don’t love, you will really re-evaluate your spending habits. Make sure to give these items up responsibly to a thrift shop or recycle everything you can. Try not to give too many things out to loved ones and clutter their homes. Only give items to loved ones if you KNOW they will love and use it. With all this gone you will feel a lot lighter, and I can bet you will notice a new sense of peace and gratitude for the things you have left.

Moving forward, I always like to keep a ongoing bag of things to donate or toss in my home so that as things come in they are also exiting instead of accumulating. This will prevent you from having to do a massive declutter again.

Thanks so much for reading and I know this will be a huge reset for you as we move into the beginning of a new year. It definitely has been for me!

Some photos of what I got rid of:

(plus a whole lot more, not pictured)

RED and WHITE MOON Cycle: TUNE IN to the energetics of your menstruation

Red and white moon cycle

Red and White Moon Cycle: Tune in to the Energetics of your Menstruation

In my previous post: Red Moon or White Moon Cycle, I dove deep into the meaning of the Red Moon Cycle, and the White Moon Cycle. If you haven’t read it, or don’t have your own background knowledge on this terminology, go check that out and come back to this post for more after.

As women, our bodies move cyclically, and therefore, our lives demand to do the same. Honoring the different cycles of our bodies longterm looks like welcoming the transitions of puberty, fertility, and later, menopause. On the short-term, we are able to take charge of how we will handle these larger transitions by allowing ourselves each month to experience life in alignment with the hormonal shifts occurring in the Follicular, Ovulatory, Luteal, and Menstrual phases of our cycle. When I say the way we honor our smaller transitions from the different phases of our monthly cycle will help us handle our bigger transitions into fertility and menopause I do mean that literally. Infertility is a huge concern amongst many women, but can be helped and prevented by syncing in to the natural rhythms of your monthly and acting in ways which allow the body to experience each phase appropriately.

The Energetics of the Follicular Phase

The Energetics: The Follicular phase of your monthly cycle comes with new life and energy. You have just ended your Menstrual phase and therefore tend to feel a sense of new beginnings. You are likely to feel a rush of creativity and an openness to new ideas and things that are out of your ordinary routine.

To Honor this Phase: Start a creative project, take a fun exercise class you’ve been wanting to try, or take a weekend trip to a nearby city you’ve been dying to check out. Keep the meals light and vibrant, and life as far from rigid in all possible ways. Your soul will thank you!

The Energetics of the Ovulatory Phase

The Energetics: The Ovulatory phase welcomes in loads of testosterone which means tons of energy for socializing. You will be likely to feel an increased desire to express yourself with others, and your communication skills are on fire right now!

To Honor this Phase: Collaborate on a project at work. Have some time with family and friends to catch up on life. Share some one on one time with your partner. Try a higher intensity workout because you have an excess of energy at this time. Keep the meals light and vibrant as well in this phase.

The Moon and You: If you are in tune with the White Moon Cycle, the moon would now be full. You bleed with the New Moon and therefore ovulate with the full. For those who bleed with the Red Moon Cycle, it would be a New Moon. You bleed with the Full Moon and therefore ovulate with the New Moon.

The Energetics of the Luteal Phase

The Energetics: In the beginning of this long phase, you will most likely feel pretty high energy. This will slowly decline as you come closer to the end and into menstruation. It’s common but not normal to experience PMS during this phase. If you do experience this, proper diet for each phase of your cycle and eliminating stressors can help heal this symptom. But, that’s for another blog post.

To Honor this Phase: In the beginning of this phase you can continue the higher intensity workouts, but slowly come into a less intense workout like biking, or restorative yoga. Your mind is sharp and grounded right now, so you will feel pulled to spend time finishing business and tying loose ends on your “To Do” list. Root veggies, and earthy, heartier meals are best for your body at this time.

The Energetics of the Menstrual Phase

The Energetics: You are likely to feel a release, as though what has been building up emotionally during your Luteal phase is finally evening out and flowing. Need for reflection is what is pulling your energy inward at this time.

To Honor this Phase: Allow yourself to feel the lower energy of this time by relaxing and meditating on areas of your personal development and life that need your attention. Cancel on plans if you need to, this time is for you to center and ground yourself so that in the next Follicular phase you can start taking intentional action. Light exercises like walking and yin yoga are ideal. Foods high in iron are key at this time.

The Moon and you: Red Moon Cycle ladies it is a Full Moon, and White Moon Cycle women it is a New Moon. Red Moon Cycle sisters, allow yourself to move in flow with these energies by allowing your introversion and self reflection out into the world with the fullness of this moon by creating art and expressing yourself in any other way. White Moon Cycle ladies work with the energies of the new moon by taking the time to think of your menstruation as a sacred release and new beginning, mirroring the new moon and welcoming in a new cycle.

Living in tune with what your body is needing from you will change your life. It may be a “going against the grain” approach when our society operates in a very masculine, linear way… but, it’s what you need. AND, it’s what this world needs more of too.

Infinite blessings and love,

Mindy Sheppard

Shrooms with Superpowers as Caffeine Replacements

photo from naturalmentor.com

As I’ve written about before in my article Why I Stopped Consuming Caffeine, caffeine can tire the adrenals therefore those more sensitive to inflammation and anxiety should steer clear; but that’s not so easy for some of us who wake up before the sun does and are accustomed to running off of 3 cups of coffee a day. I’m so happy to say that there are sustainable sources of energy to use as alternatives for your morning cup of joe. Let’s talk about them.

Medicinal Mushrooms. They are what you’ve been searching for. Simply spoken, they are shrooms with super powers. They help the body in numerous ways to cope with stress in a more productive way. This is major brownie points in the eyes of your adrenal glands! Less negative stress responses equals less inflammation. This means the whole body is going to function more harmoniously.

One remarkable and noteworthy adaptogenic fungi is Cordyceps. Cordyceps are beautiful at stimulating the body’s natural production of energy so you can keep a steady amount of it throughout your day, unlike caffeine which gives you the jitters and then sends you falling into depletion. This is best for tasks that require a great deal of physical energy.

Shop my favorite Cordyceps product from Four Sigmatic by clicking here.

Another mushroom to mention is Lion’s Mane. Lion’s Mane is excellent for mental clarity, focus, and memory improvement, to get the reading, writing, and learning done effectively and break through brain fog.

Shop my favorite Lion’s Mane product from Four Sigmatic by clicking here.

On top of all of those shrooms, juicing has been an incredible source of natural energy for me. I will definitely write more on this topic soon in a later article, but I thought it was qualified for mention in this one as an alternative source of fuel. All the nutrients within the veggies and fruits hit you at once and liven your cells up sending you into an alert state of being.

Check out the products, try them on for size. See if you can wing yourself off of so much caffeine. It has done wonders for eliminating my anxiety symptoms as well as the way I handle stress.

With love,

Plant-based CANDIDA Detox

Plant-based Candida Detox

If you follow me along on Instagram, you know that I am currently detoxing to help eliminate the excess candida in my gut. Now, I’m not much interested in juice detoxes, pills, or dry fasting especially because my hormones are easily disturbed by those extremes and I work a strenuous career as a massage therapist and need food to maintain my energy throughout the workday. The safest, and in my opinion most effective way to detox is nutritionally. This route takes longer, and demands your consistency, but sustains results once you’ve integrated the new diet.

Candida Cleanse Diet

As for candida elimination, the nutritional detox diet I’m using is high protein and fat, and lower in my carbohydrates intake in order to limit the amount of carbs turning into sugar and feeding the candida. As a vegan, limiting my carbohydrate intake isn’t going to be easy therefore I have turned away from starches like potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, and corn. These are digested and mostly turn into sugars. Also, eliminating sugar and even natural sugars from fruits is important during this time. Instead of white rice, I turn to brown rice in smaller portions. And beans are a no-go, so I turn to lentils, walnuts, almonds, seeds, and tofu for my protein currently.

A crucial thing to remember as well is to fluctuate what your eating, and to eat all the colors of the rainbow everyday. Most of the time an American diet consists of foods brown, yellow, or white in color (meats, eggs, milk, processed carbohydrates.) So, an example of fluctuating would be if you have oatmeal for breakfast, make sure you eat a very green and colorful lunch and dinner to support the detoxification process. If you drink pressed juice, make sure you are only drinking a green juice with ingredients such as kale, green apples, cucumbers, and the like so to avoid sugary fruits. Water, unsweetened almond milk, some other nut milks (omitting cashew), and unsweetened herbal teas are the only things supportive to be drinking besides a green juice during this cleanse.

Supplements to support your candida cleanse

Spirulina when supplemented can help to reduce candida growth tremendously. Make sure that it is a reputable brand made with clean Spirulina and containing no harsh binders. Buying capsules is a great way to avoid the binders. Also, purchasing a Probiotic will be beneficial to your cleanse. The best ones will be found at a health food store in the refrigerated section. Be sure to look for the products that have the largest variety of strains of probiotics within each serving. Some may say 10 billion strains or even more such as 50 billion. You get what you pay for in this case.

Once symptoms clear, slowly reintegrate some of your favorite fruits and starches back into your diet, but try to remember what you’ve learned from this detox and incorporate the principles into your normal diet so you can maintain results!

Why it’s USELESS to Dim Your Light for Someone Else’s Comfort

Empathy can go a long way, but when you start tuning into someone else’s insecurities, you may feel responsible for making them feel secure again.

This is counter-productive for your growth as well as their growth. By being a crutch for them, you don’t allow them to tap into their karma and grow past these insecurities by learning the necessary lessons. More so, you are refusing to shine your own light so not to be too much of you to make anyone uncomfortable.

Not being too much of you?

But lo, you are you. Falling into inauthenticity to spare someone of suffering (aka karma blocking them) is you giving them your power. Uncentering from who you are to be less of you, it’s a mental disease plaguing the people pleasing women of the world…the way we were raised to be; kind, nurturing, self-sacrificing. There are men who fall into this trap as well, but it is mostly the women who were raised as girls to be sweet, charming, and pressured to please.

This paradigm is shifting, as women resist and turn their paths against the grain. Standing strong and proud of who they are in all of their entirety, no matter who is around. It’s not boisterous, it’s not the opposite of humble, but it’s not catering to everyone else’s needs before your own either.

Be nurturing, be loving, but not to those who take your power from you in the meantime or who force you to be less of you for their own comfort. Be you.

♥️ Mindy

6 Simple Ways to Balance your Hormones

6 Simple Ways to Balance your Hormones

Symptoms such as PMS, insomnia, headaches, PCOS, menstrual cramping, unexplained weight gain or weight loss, loss of appetite, emotional eating, acne, and many other issues are generally originating from an imbalance in your hormone levels. When one gland is thrown off by an imbalance, it sets the entire glandular system into disharmony. For example, if you are imbalanced in your adrenals because of overworking yourself, this in time can cause your other glands to fall out of order as well and release too much or too little of the hormone that they should be regulating. Fortunately, there are ways to address these symptoms and bring you back to homeostasis without popping a birth control pill to place a bandaid over the problem and eventually cause infertility issues and many other issues. Let’s take a look at these solutions to get you on the right path towards healing and restoring your glandular system.

1. Don’t over exercise/ under exercise.

Overdoing your workouts can actually cause a stress response on the body, signaling your adrenals to pump out the hormone cortisol. This hormone is great for waking you up in the morning from your slumber, but when experiencing unnecessary stressful situations it can cause inflammation in the body as well as sending your nervous system from parasympathetic, into sympathetic. This means that instead of healing the tissues of the body and digesting food properly, the body will be halting those tasks in order to focus on survival. This has been known to actually cause weight gain or plateau your results. Conversely, under-exercising deprives your body of a natural release of endorphins. Endorphins help to signal the brain to relieve pain and boosts your mood. Balance is key, so listen to your body. If you’re feeling sluggish, choose a laid back workout for the day like yoga. If you have lots of energy, try HIIT or running.

2. Be in bed at the same time every night, and be waking up at the same time every morning.

This one is key to healing insomnia or adrenal fatigue! Be sure to make your alarm the same every day, even if you don’t have work or anything to be up for. Just as you should be in bed at the same time every evening, regardless of if you will fall right to sleep or not. If you are tired of not being able to settle down at night, or not being able to pull yourself out of bed in the morning, this is something to be strict with. The body is very receptive to ritual in the matters of sleep.

3. Limit your intake of sugar.

Blood sugar fluctuation causes a variety of issues within your body. Your pancreas will react in the way it knows how to, and that means storing excess sugars. As for your mood, well… you will be crashing and burning frequently. This leads to inflammation and exhaustion. Limiting consumptions of sugar is a solution, switching to low-glycemic options like Agave, and Stevia are wonderful replacements.

4. Avoid harsh chemicals found in beauty products and house hold cleaning products.

Many beauty products have estrogen replicating ingredients that are absorbed by the skin and mistaken for actual estrogen by your body. This causes the body to produce less of the real hormone since it has registered the extra intake of these replicators. Avoid products containing Sodium Lauryl Sulfates, Sodium Laureth Sulfates, Parabens, Frangrance or Parfums, synthetic dyes, Triclosan, Toulene, and Formaldehyde at all costs. Makeup brands like Physicians Formula, and 100 Percent Pure are great alternatives, as well as Alba Botanica and Burt’s Bees for shower gels, face washes, lotions, chap sticks, and creams.

Cleaning products like Lysol, Windex, Clorox, and Ajax have many toxic chemicals that if breathed in, consumed, or touched can cause serious issues in the respiratory system as well as the glandular system. Switching to products such as Seventh Generation, Method, Mrs. Meyers, or making your own products out of ingredients like Apple Cider Vinegar, Baking Soda, and Essential Oils, will save you from coming into contact with the harsh ingredients.

5. Eat three square meals, and have nutritious snacks in between. Avoid processed foods.

Ensuring you eat at set times throughout your day will help you to avoid overindulging and shooting your blood sugar through the roof. It’s a sure fire way to curb cravings, especially when you have meal prepped those three meals and have handy some fruit, nuts, and other healthy snacks.

6. Spend some time in the sunshine, and drink lots of water.

This is where the “You’re basically a plant, just with more complicated emotions” saying comes into play. Vitamin D is an excellent aid to relieve insomnia and weight gain. It aids the brain in releasing the proper hormones at the proper times to wake the body up (cortisol) and help it fall asleep (melatonin). This means artificial lighting certainly throws off this balance, so avoid it a couple hours before bed to help you relax at night.

Drinking lots of water is crucial for mood regulation and flushing the body out of excess hormones. Drinking 80 ounces of water a day as a woman, and 105 ounces as a male is a good parameter to go by.

Following these simple integral principles, you can ensue great results and limit the chances of experiencing any symptoms from an out of shape physiology.

By: Mindy Sheppard