On a whim, I watched one of those Suggested-For-You Netflix shows and it actually turned out to be very useful. The program was Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up. Marie Kondo is a Japanese organizing consultant and author. Her books have sold millions of copies in multiple languages. The foundation of her organizing system is Sparking Joy.

In the Netflix series, Kondo visits a family whose home is stuck in chaos and teaches them how to organize their belongings. Starting with clothing (and eventually taking on every area of the home), she has the owners take everything out of the closets and drawers, from all over the house, and put it into a huge pile. That in itself is educational, seeing the size of the pile. But then the owners must go through the pile and hold each item individually, deciding if it sparks joy in them. Joy is a physical sensation, of being lifted up or energized. If the item sparks joy, it stays. If it does not, it goes.

This is more than just the process of eliminating joy-less items, although that does happen. By only choosing joy-full items, the home becomes a place filled with only joyful objects. And, the people going through the process also re-learn the feeling of joy. Touching thousands of objects and determining if they spark joy creates and reinforces an energy pathway for feeling joy. It ignites joy energy. The participants become more joyful. Their home becomes filled with joy. In turn, their personal relationships with each other become more positive and joyful. What an enormous and amazing transformation!

I was thinking about this while I was out snowshoeing. Each step in the fresh snow was not just propelling me forward, but also creating a path. Like life, each step I choose––each thought and word and action and inaction, is creating a path of intention. What if I were more in touch with joy energy? What different steps would I take in my life and what path would I be creating? This is the point of mindful living, to travel a path of joyful living.