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The Netflix series “TIDYING UP with Marie Kondo” sparked a get-rid-of-the-extra-stuff-in-your-life desire which led to the birth of another personal campaign. Watching the documentary MINIMALISM only added fuel to this desire.

Every campaign has members, right?  I am very lucky to be surrounded by at least three potential members. It does take a little bit of effort to convince them to join in with every new venture but the effort is worthwhile because their participation ensures many desired outcomes.

It used to be easy with 15-year old Marc and 13-year old Amy. I normally just waited for Sunday afternoon when we all sat around the table to chat about random things and then simply introduced a NEW RULE in the house.  The process is not as pain-free as in the past when they simply bought in and followed my laws without much resistance.

These days I must prepare myself with pros and cons, rewards, warnings and consequences. I must embody all my positive energy, intelligence and emotional wisdom to gain their votes. Surely this is because they are now teenagers and not because years of New Rules hardened them against my ventures?

I find it easier to gain my husband’s vote. This can be due to one of two reasons: he either knows that I am smart and my monthly additions are an act of pure brilliance or he gets tired of resisting my energy. He is a valuable team member either way.

Somehow I got everyone on board except my eldest son, Timon. His only response to my “lets-Marie-Kondo-our-lives” included a whatsapp message with no words but many smiley face emojis as if it was yet another hilarious joke!

So four of us embarked on a journey of sifting through our precious belongings and I vowed not to rest until I worked my way through every single cupboard and drawer in our house. The idea is to go through all possessions, hold it in your hands and ask whether it still sparks your joy and whether it is still useful. If not, show gratitude towards the item for once being useful and let it go by taking it to a charity shop or giving it to someone who needs it.

This process is not as easy as it sounds. The mind somehow likes to hold on to stuff and provides creative sentimental stories about it or uses fear, by painting a future picture where one will experience lack because you don’t own this specific item anymore. We consulted each other to gain clarity and I had to smile when John came to me and asked whether a specific shirt was still sparking his joy because he reached a point of utter confusion.


It is the thing we crave more than anything. The predictability of the human desire for more space is what keeps the real estate agents in the business.

A funny thing happens when we get the space we crave: we fill it.

We fill our physical space with furniture, ornaments, clothes, books, prized items, and toys.

We fill our time space with extended working hours, activities, web surfing, social media, and superficial get-togethers.

We fill our mental space with news and information that we don’t need to know. We fill every open space in the mind with opinions, judgments, labeling, stories, and negativity.

We fill our emotional space with toxic emotions or the emotions of others that drain our energy and our ability to focus on what’s truly important.

All of this leaves us no space for connecting with ourselves, nature or others in a meaningful way.

KENOPHOBIA. A Greek concept for “fear of the empty” is often referred to in visual art. The Latin version of it: “horror vacui – the fear of empty space” points to the filling of the entire surface of a space or an artwork in detail.


Is it possible that we fear what we crave most?

Is it possible that we miss a hidden treasure in the words “Seek the kingdom of heaven first and all the other things shall be added”?

Whenever I share these words of wisdom with a child I always get the same reaction. A spontaneous moment of gazing up into the blue sky. Wide-open empty space. Unconditioned, non-judgemental, undefined, formless space.

Like a child, I want to gaze more often into the vast openness of the sky and allow it to settle in my mind and body. Is it not ironic that the human body is filled with atoms that are filled with 99.9% empty space? And in the emptiness electrons move faster than the eye can see between atoms. We are unaware of the constant invisible movement in and around us.

Open space does not mean nothingness, Open space is the playground of fast-moving energy.

Let’s clear our minds in 2020.

Let’s become aware of the vast blue sky as often as possible during the day and stare at it until it covers our cluttered minds, opinions, and conditioning of how things must be.

Let’s just settle being an open observer without the mental chatter while listening or looking at anyone or anything.

Let’s resist the compulsive urge to own it, name it or judge it in order to feel okay.

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.                                                                                                                                                 This is not only true about our possessions but also about our fellow human beings. There is more realness in the unseen than the few heard words or seen actions that we take to be the whole truth about them.

Black Friday is around the corner.

Will you feed your kenophobia or allow that space to remain open?

A new year is around the corner.

Will you feed your opinions about others or allow space to remain open?