Does …… Spark Joy or What?

A few years ago, it was all the rage. You might recall the big fuss that was made when Marie Kondo introduced the world to the concept of “Spark Joy”. She wrote a book focused on cleaning out all of what I think of as “crap” in our homes.

The stuff that we have that clogs up our space and saps our energy. I jumped on the “Spark Joy” bandwagon and cleaned out everything in my house. I got the opportunity to keep this practice going when I moved from a 2800 square foot home to one half that size 4 years ago.

It has now become one of my favorite habits. Three or four times a year, I have a “Spark Joy” day and clear things out. I had one such day this past Saturday. The weather has shifted dramatically here in Ojai. Sweaters and puffer jackets that were essential a few weeks ago are no longer needed for our 80 degree days.

I put some of them away. Others I put in a bag to donate to a local thrift store. As always, it felt so good to look at my closet and ... well ... be filled with joy!

During my cleanout, my husband Curtis was telling me about the Buddist practice of questioning every thought with this question: “Does this thought bring me suffering or peace?

It struck me that I could use the “Spark Joy” question with my thoughts the way I used it with my possessions.

I have been noticing lately that I have certain thoughts when it comes to running my business for instance. Thoughts that cause me to suffer such as, “I am being too pushy with my marketing” or “My schedule is too full” or “I should be ... better, more ...” — well, you can fill in the blank with that one!

So, I have decided to do an experiment with my thinking.

As a coach, you know that is one of the primary benefits of having a coaching relationship, right? We help our clients shift their thinking which leads to more inspired action and ... yes ... it sparks joy.

My experiment is to look at my thoughts as if they are on hangers in front of me and ask that question. Does this thought spark joy? If not, put that thought in the “Donate” pile and ask myself, “What thought would?

Care to join me?


I would love to have you join me in this experiment. It will be really simple.

  1. Notice your thoughts. Particularly when your energy drops or you feel anxious, nervous or upset. Check out those thoughts as if they are clothing on a hanger. No judgement just the question. Does this thought spark joy?
  2. If not, let it go and choose a thought that does. This is the super simple part. It requires discipline!
  3. Once a day, choose just one thought that sparks joy. It can be goofy, make no sense or be very practical in nature. Choose one thought that sparks joy and write it down.

You can do this on your own, of course. I would love to hear how it goes. Please drop me a note so I can support and celebrate your transformation.

If you want more support, I will be hosting a half-day retreat for coaches in May. Let me know if you are interested and I will send you the details. 


Here is the book I refer to in this message: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

Another book I absolutely love is Excuse Me, Your Life Is Waiting Playbook by Lynn Grabhorn

Click here to download my own process “Untangle Your Thinking” 

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