This is part 3 of Processing Treasure, an ongoing reflection in preparation for submitting my final LEVN blog post, exploring the ways in which LEVN has impacted the way that I perceive myself and my “top five” values.

Delight of Being, Joy

This one is probably most surprising to those who know me. Before LEVN, certainly joy and delight were enjoyable to experience, but they would not have even made it to my top twenty values, much less snagging second place on my top five.

The origin story of this value’s rise to the top can be traced back to Thanksgiving, 2015, which was when I helped my sister move apartments. We made use of some of the methods described in the book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, which she’d heard of from friends and which we’d picked up a few days earlier from a local bookstore.

To begin the process of moving, we got all her clothes from everywhere in her apartment and piled them on her bed and for each one, she held it and considered the question: Does it bring me joy? If yes, she kept it, and if no, she thanked it for its service to her and placed it in a giveaway bag. That last part might seem strange, but really it’s all a very calming, exhilarating, joyful process that leads to a lot of closure and a closet/house full of things that bring you joy…

After seeing how helpful the process was to my sister, I began a modified version of it in my life. The method described in the book is that one must go through all the items in one’s possesion in one fell swoop; but so far, I’ve just done all items in a category (also a requirement of the method in the book, to go by category rather than location, so I got one thing right) for a few categories a few times over.

Having a higher percentage of my physical stuff bring me joy is something that brings joy in itself, and more importantly, it led me to see the connections with intangible things.

Any experience will have challenges or difficulties, things to stumble and overcome, or it is not an experience that helps one grow. LEVN certainly did help me grow in many ways; there were many obstacles and roadblocks along the way.

When my mind became cluttered, when I had too many frustrations or things to do or things going on, I just reached back to the now-familiar question to ask of “Does it bring me joy?” Will following through on or holding onto this frustration bring me joy, or will letting it go bring me joy? Will this thing to do bring me joy, or will that thing bring me joy?

It is now habit. I prioritize so easily based on joy. And because I also use a Passion Planner, I am more aware of my long-term goals and what it will take to get there, so when I prioritize my to-do lists based on joy, I do so aware that taking these solid steps towards achieving my goals will bring me great joy, even if it is a small step.

As you might expect, I will continue this reflection tomorrow with the next value on my top five, but I’m really curious to know if you have read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and if you’ve made use of any of the methods in it. Have you had the same experience I have, of having a better mental space as well as physical space, and a better experience of work and life?