Finding Gratitude Pt. 4 - Letting Go to Find Joy

Welcome back to our Gratitude Journey, and this the the end our journey together. If you stuck with us since the beginning, amazing! If you are just tuning in now, welcome! After I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, I was inspired to go on my own journey to living with Gratitude everyday. You can read our Introduction to this journey, our first step - Finding Choice, and our second step - Finding Forgiveness. They offer some powerful exercises you can use to clear away negative energy.

Thank You

In The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, there was one specific activity that Marie Kondo  emphasizes that I do no matter what for every item that is discarded. I get to thank the item for what it had given to my life before parting ways. Saying thank you to inanimate objects isn’t what I normally do, let alone saying it to every single item I discard. It was pretty easy to reflect back on both my clothes and books because I remember so clearly why I bought them, and what I wanted to achieve with each particular item. Saying "Thank You" to these items gave me closure. It helped me with the choices I had made, and cleared space to forgive any negative thoughts if there were any.

The greatest impact of this exercise happened when I was discarding my sentimental items. It is one thing to appreciate how particular clothes had helped me over the years, but with sentimental items such as old gifts and journals, I was parting with pieces that had shaped who I am now. It was a strange duality to witness, as I remembered who I was then, while seeing how far I’ve come. I found gratitude in everything I chose to keep as I thanked my old journals and cards. The process of saying thank you to those items that I discarded not only gave worth the those items, it gave me joy.


Joy and Purpose

There was a small flicker of joy that formed each time I thanked an object, and slowly, it grew. It grew with the appreciation I had in an object and what it brought to my life. It grew when I brought discarded things to a donation center knowing that they would go to a new home. It grew when I looked at everything in my home and every single thing sparked joy inside of me. I probably discarded 60% of my possessions yet I felt more abundant in what I had left. I felt as though I was empowered to live from the fullness of gratitude that rose in my heart. I trusted that if things no longer brought joy to me, it is not because there was something wrong with me, but it was time for me to let go of that item. It also helped me when I purchased new items. These pieces had to spark joy in me. Now, I am no longer settling for items that are lukewarm or “could work” for what I have in mind.

All of the discoveries up until this point had a common thread - to  truly appreciate all of the items for the value they had in my life. If I hold on to them, I am just keeping them from fulfilling their purpose in someone else’s life. It might just be the thing that someone had been searching for for months. It might be a gift that will light up someone’s life. This new mentality really supported me in parting with my sentimental items. I can forward this item to another person, and the purpose of this object will be revitalized.

This new space of joy in my heart really brought all the pieces of this journey together. Recognizing choice, finding forgiveness and setting my intention at the beginning of this journey culminated in Joy. From Joy, I feel as though I can truly find gratitude everyday. Everyday, I feel present in my home and connected to what I choose to surround myself with.

Here are some additional tools I’ve found helpful in this journey:

Create a ritual - I have a morning ritual of yoga, tea, and journaling that allows me to check in with myself before the day sweeps me away. 

The 5 minute journal notebook or app - to take a few minutes morning and night to appreciate what is happening right now. What I love about this notebook is the focus on the positives in my life. 

The 5 second journalplanner/notebook hybrid that works with the 5 second rule by Mel Robbins. What I love about this is that there is a space for planning, for checking in with how I am feeling, what I want to accomplish in the day, and a daily task to complete that pushes me out of my comfort zone (just a little).

We hope you enjoyed this Gratitude Series! If you would like to share any part of your journey with us, please email us at REFLECTION@MYINTENT.ORG. 

If you know someone who would love to start this journey, please share our Introduction so they can experience this journey from the beginning!