A Home Tells Your Story

Marie Kondo suggests that you keep only things that spark joy. I don't think in those terms but, if that speaks to your heart, follow the advice. I think every shelf, dresser top and table should have items that do more than spark joy. I think they should consciously tell a part of your story. Just as a museum will carefully curate an exhibit that brings together certain aspects of an artist's life so too you should decide what you will reveal to others. And, more importantly, what you would like to be reminded of on a daily basis.

This curation should not be intended to create a false image of your life but rather reveal the richest parts. I have been in homes that were clearly created by a design team. Every item is exquisite but the purpose seems solely to suggest that the occupants have money and nothing more. I usually find a chaotic bedroom in these homes as if the truth must reveal itself somewhere. Every Zen Organized project needs three aspects when it's completed: beauty, function and ease of maintenance. A Treasure Is Found

This aspect of organizing is dear to my heart but instead of waxing poetic about it, I have shared an image from my home so that I can tell you how the main items came to be present. The statue you see is Kwan Yin who is known as the Bodhisattva of Compassion or the female Buddha. I am a yogi and so Eastern icons abound in my home. You might have Jesus or perhaps a trophy you won in a contest. The item need not have spiritual significance. It must simply be dear to you.

I was unpacking a long time client in her new home in Seattle when I first saw this statue. She was in the guest room waiting for me. She has a remarkable story. When Mao was marauding through China, the monks in the Yangtze river valley dediced to bury their precious icons in order to preserve them. Decades later the Valley was to be flooded. Now the monks felt these statues should be set free and so they were sold to dealers all over the world including my client.

I knew instantly that I had to have her. I asked the price and we agreed I would pay for her over time. She is hand carved jade and the attention to detail is astonishing. You can see her finger and toe nails! Someone created her with deep respect and love. When I made the last payment, she would be sent to me. I could not have been happier. As it happened there was another item in the home I knew a friend of mine would be interested in and sure enough she purchased the most extraordinary singing bowl I have ever encountered. A few weeks later on Christmas Eve, a large package arrived in my home. It was Kwan Yin herself given to me by my friend for Christmas!

Time Passes

My friend passed away last year and the camel you see is one of the items she left me in her will. To the left of Kwan Yin is a small pitcher that was dear to my late mother. The vases were gifts to me from a friend who is an amazing potter. One was a birthday present and the other was gifted on the 18th anniversary of my surviving cancer. Every item is related in some way to everything else. As I walk into my bedroom, this is the first thing I see. At night as I cuddle with my rescue pups, I feel blessed to have been so loved in this lifetime. Kwan Yin is positioned so that she can watch over us while we sleep. I change out the flowers every week and find that simple baby's breath or greens serve best.

Do you have areas like this in your home? I would love to see what you have created and know how it makes you feel! Zen Organizing wants to remind you how loved you are and help you fulfill the purpose for which you were born. We all have a purpose. It may not be lofty like heading a large corporation or being a surgeon. Your purpose represents work that is only for you to do and do it with all your heart. Your Zen Organized environments will nurture and support you in this, the most important quest of your life.

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