In creativity, Life, UNCABARET, Writing by Beth Lapides

I was helping a friend Marie Kondo – or Condo as my spellfuck insists – her condo.
She had a big illuminated JOY sign
In the giveaway pile.
Wait. What?
Yep even Joy can cause you to not feel joy.

It got me thinking about
Our obsession with tidying up.
It’s obviously, at least partly,
That there are some very big things
We’d like to throw away.
That we have no power to throw away. 
That we are working on changing.
That aren’t bringing us any joy.
So we’re doing what we can.
I believe in that.
Doing what you can.
Next right action.

Just now in fact I had such a great example of how that works.
A friend texted to see if I’d found my sunglasses.
I might have left them in her car after meditation Monday night.
She gave me a ride home then had gone out of town
And was back.
And had looked in her car but hadn’t found them.
So it was just nice of her to ask.
No, I said. But thank you for checking.
They might still be at meditation.
Fallen into the crack in the couch.
I’ll check next Monday.

And right then
Our meditation teacher texted to say he had found my glasses.
But wait.
I lost them on Monday night.
This was so rando.
3 PM on Thursday. 
Both friends.
Right then.I texted her what had happened.
She said she had done the St Anthony prayer for me
Without telling me.
She did what she could.
And what it reminded me is
We are all so connected.
It’s not just a thing to say.
It’s sooooo real.
Synchronicity reminds us of that.
It’s all connected.

So, yes.
Keeping your space clear can make a difference
In the big picture.
The way I first found The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up 
Was stumbling on it at Skylight
After we’d seen something at The Los Feliz 3.
I hadn’t heard of it yet.
But it jumped off the shelf at me.
I wasn’t ready to bring it home though.
I showed it to Mitch who had been talking about wanting to declutter.
He wasn’t ready for it either.
So I read some in the store.
Eventually I did buy a copy.

Though not that special one.
Which on top of leaping out at me
Had been printed upside down.
Or was that my imagination?
And my crazy memory which I hold on to.
Because it brings me joy.

The book was calming and full of promise.
Until I got to the chapter about paper.
Throw it all away she said.
What good is any paper?
Well. If you are a writer… 
Wait didn’t she need paper to write her book?
Uh oh. 
Could I KonMarie some of my place without doing all of it?
Half measures avail us nothing.
But sometimes they do.
So I did.

And my space feels so much better.
And I am happier and more productive in it.
But I had to let go of trying to use ‘the Joy meter’.
I mean joy is a lot of pressure to put on things.
Does this plate bring me joy?
Well I love it but it also reminds me of the house I lost.
So the plate is bittersweet.
But it’s not bland.
And I can sometimes use it as a litmus test to see
Am I choosing to see beauty?
Am I choosing to see pain?
Am I an expansive enough person to hold both of those in my consciousness.
Can I let go of it all and just do my work?

And of course the biggest thing is this.
What brings true joy isn’t usually the things at all.
Maybe I have an out of proportion idea of joy.
Or maybe I’m just Jewish.
But there seem to be a lot of reason to keep things that aren’t joy.
The financial inability to replace slightly broken and annoying things.

I have my own rules for some of this.
The shopping rule.
If you don’t want to wear it out of the store
Don’t buy it.

And as for clearing out I ask this:
Would I prefer empty space to this thing?
It doesn’t put so much emotional pressure
On cleaning out.
In the end the joy is in the potential.
Hope and promise are joyful.
Not the perfect pair of socks riled up and orderly.
Though the prefect pair of socks rolled up and orderly
Can create the hope of an orderly world I guess.

I used to think hope was just an excuse for not living in the moment.
Sometimes the greatest hope I have is the ability to live more in the moment.
But hope for the future is like a light that you shine on the present.
It doesn’t have to take you out of the present moment.
But it flavors it.
And favors it.

And UnCabaret makes me feel hopeful.
So I hold on to it.
It makes me feel hopeful because of the community.
Because we did it against all odds.
Because I love the energy.
Because I love laughing.
Because I’m a monkey and I love performing.
Especially for a crowd on The Wavelength.
Looking forward to UnCab brings me joy.
And I hope it does for you too.
Before we know it April 14 will be here.

So go get a table for April 14!
And bring your most joy hungry friends.
Or come alone.
We love a lone wolf.
But come.
Because I’ve put together a joy generating line up.

Mucho love and gratitude.

xox Your Sunday Girl xox Beth