The Stuff I Found Oddly Compelling This Week

This week, in addition to trying to nail my four foundational practices every day, and planning and teaching my classes, and training little Stella Bella in the fine art of Sit and Come, my attention has been pulled toward:

Marie Kondo

 I’ve decided to start folding my clothes Marie Kondo-Style.

I like it. Even though it takes a little more time, I can now see all my clothes all at once.

My tops

I used to just make piles in my drawers, but I could only see the top two shirts in any one stack. I had to paw through to get to what I wanted. Probably not a coincidence, but what I wanted turned out to be the top two shirts on each stack.

 

But now I can see everything, all at once. Colors, too. 

My pants drawer isn’t as colorful as the shirt drawer, of course, but I still like seeing all my bottoms at once. It makes it easier to pull myself together in the morning.

(It made me laugh to write “pull myself together.” As if selecting the right top and bottom to wear could do that.)

And, bonus, I find myself  wearing more of my clothes.

Socks are the things that have been most problematic thus far. Especially my no-show little pedi socks. No more pairing them by turning them inside out into each other. Now, they need to be rolled, and they won’t stay together. Marie says I need some small boxes for them. 

As I was hunting for such a box in my bedroom cupboards, I came across my old I-Ching cards.

Cards and Runes

 I had not looked at them in ages. I opened the box and read how to use them. (I used to know how without reading.)

But I put them away. 

Too complicated. I don’t want to build hexagrams. Takes too long.

Then I found the Runes. I like these stones. They’re hard, tactile, with a watery smoothness. 

I especially like the clicking sound they make in the velvet bag as my fingers root through them. (So does Stella. She came running.)

 The interpretive guidebook for them is also good: concise and aimed at the spiritual warrior. 

I brought them to the Space Chair shoved my hand inside the bag and picked one.

Today it was Dagaz. It’s the Rune of Transformations and Breakthroughs. “A major period of achievement and prosperity is often introduced by this Rune.”

Hot diggedty.

I used to be so entranced with this stuff.  Especially card decks. 

Part of my collection

And I still like cards. My friend Zee turned me on to Inquiry Cards recently. They’re especially handy when I need a question to riff off of for that day’s writing. I also give them out in my classes, sometimes. They make great mantras for guiding a yoga practice.  I especially love it when someone in class says: “This is totally my question today.”

Right on.

And then there’s my NVC Feelings and Needs cards. 

My emotional vocabulary was so limited before them. Being able to say, “I feel so frustrated,” instead of, “I’m so pissed,” is game changing. I only wish I had found them sooner.

But other cards like the Tarot, no longer have much appeal for me. Is it that my internal, intuitive guidance system is stronger now? And I don’t need them? 

Who knows.

But I’m playing with the Runes again, which is curious. Something to watch.

Planners. Plural.

I’m still spending a little time with my planner everyday, writing down and reviewing my goals. I got another one recently after reading and watching YouTubes extolling its virtues. It’s the Hobonichi Techo

I don’t need another planner; the Circa is working just fine, but the reviews of the Hobonichi were intriguing so I ordered it.

Comparison open

Comparison closed

At first its size surprised me. I am a cow who likes a big meadow for planning and hatching schemes, and this was a very small holding pen indeed.

But its size is growing on me. It forces me be concise. I like it much more than I thought I would. In addition to its size, I also like its pebbly black cover, the Japanese lettering in gold, the thin, lightly gridded paper, the small moon-phase icon on each page.

It feels friendly, companionable. 

Throw it in the bag friendly.

Doesn’t take up much room companionable.

So I decided to not let it go to waste and I’m now using it to track my health metrics: alcohol, drugs, water, meditation, yoga, walking, and sleep. I also want to list out, in the back, all my body products: toothpastes and rinses, cleansers and bath bubbles, moisturizers, make-up, and deodorant. I want to get all my products to be clean, green, and minimal.

So now the Circa is functioning as the catch-all, the fat compendium of addresses, passwords, birthdays, Sprocket photo reminders, as well as a daily, weekly, and monthly planner. 

The Hobonichi will be just for health. 

I think there’s room in my life for both. 

Books

There’s a teetering pile on the bookshelf, but currently I’m toggling back and forth between Circe in the mornings, and My Life with Bob at night, both of which are engaging in different ways. 

Circe is on loan from Linda Rashidi. I was happy when I saw that it was written by the same writer as The Song of Achilles, which I really enjoyed. It’s a fictional story about the life of a mythological woman (Circe) who falls in love with a mortal.  Good times.

My Life with Bob is a memoir about a woman who tracks her personal development by the books she reads. Fascinating and funny.

It feels so good to be out of World War II.

I haven’t started Digital Minimalism yet. I like to read the book group book closer to the discussion so it’s fresh in my mind. I have a little time before I need to chow down on that one. 

Dot

Emily sent me a book where you use dots to spur your creativity.  I don’t know about this yet. I like to doodle and I have a few go-to doodle patterns I learned during my short infatuation with Zentangle. 


 I still like Zentangle, and it’s something I always say I should get back to because I find it oddly compelling, but I don’t. 

This Dot book could get me back to Zentangling, either that, or launch me into a new whole new world of dots.

What do all these things have in common? 

Don’t know. 

Need to connect the dots.

3 Things That Sparked Joy This Week

I like that phrase “sparked joy.” It comes from Marie Kondo. She’s the phenomenal Japanese woman convincing people to de-clutter. And apparently she’s so successful that landfills are starting to overflow, and even shut down, because people are getting rid of their stuff in such a big way.

So here are my 3 joy sparkers this week.

1. My circa system planner from Levenger.

It’s not perfect, but I like it. The only bad thing about it is the fragility of the holes, or notches in the paper. You have to be gentle with them,  pull them straight back towards you, and gently nestle them back onto the disc, two or three at at time.

But the thing that makes this whole system magic is the hole puncher. You have to get the hole puncher or else it’s pointless.

With this system I now have an easy way to deal with all my papers. And as the taxman approacheth, it’s been nice to go through my papers, punch them, and put them in notebooks. 

Ever since I started with it it a few weeks ago, I’ve punched up all my class plans, workshops, and inspirational readings and now I can actually see what I have, and move things around to suit my needs. This has made class planning so much more enjoyable.

2. The Sprocket printer. I asked for it for Christmas wondering if, and how much, I would actually use it. Turns out, quite a bit. I would never have guessed that a tiny 2×3 inch sticky picture could have so many fun uses.

I send these pics in cards to the kids. I’ll take a picture of Stella, put a caption under it, and send it off with a stamp. The kids like getting mail, and Emily said it’s like Instagram for them.  Insta Gram? Get it? Heh.

I’m also using them in my planner. I put pictures of the books we’re reading in the book group, for instance. And to commemorate the snow day, I have one of G pushing the snowblower after the storm.

G snowblowing

Another use I thought of but haven’t done yet is inclose a small pic of me using or wearing a gift in a thank-you note to the giver.  That would be cool.

 3. The third thing that pleased me was an essay I read on Medium called,How to Seem Like You Have Your Sh*t TogetherIt was really good. I wish I had written it. She described 20 areas of your your life to look at to see where there might be room for improvement. Some of her points were obvious, but still insightful. 

It made me think I might need to pay more attention to Medium. I’ve been a member for a long time, but I don’t check the feed much, so I’m glad this piece broke through the noise.

What’s been sparking joy for you? Please share in the comments. I love hearing about stuff that makes people’s lives more fun and efficient.