No, I am not here to sing the praises of Marie Kondo and her Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up, I promise. I’ve folded my clothes and stood them upright in my drawers long before she shared this practice. And I’ve done my October Minimalist Challenge for enough years now that my home only contains things that bring me joy. (But yes, she’s a genius for encouraging others.)
So what are you tidying up, Lisa?
My side of the street.
So we all have best friends. I love to qualify and label - not rank - but I am blessed with a team of about 14 confidantes, accountability partners, soul mates. Of that number, exactly one is living and working in New York City right now, and I’m sure she’ll book something soon and be whisked away again. So I kind of live in my phone and in social media keeping me connected to these precious dears.
This team is made up of people that have seen my worst behavior and love me in spite of it. They’ve heard horrible things come from my mouth and watched me do unforgivable things. And yet, with their guidance, I’m shepherded back to the Lisa I want to be. My truest self. My best self.
Stay focused, Lisa. Tidying Up...
Here we go. You know how we have to vacuum ALL the time? Like, we’ll always have to vacuum. Inevitably, we wake up one Saturday, turn on the vacuum and run it over our floors and it just pushes the dust around. It stops sucking it up. Ugh. So we have to clean out the filter or vent or whatever it’s called so it can do it’s job and start picking up more crap.
Cleaning out that vent is vital. Once all the lint, dust bunnies, kitty hair, food crumbs, and filth from the out-of-doors are cleaned out, our vacuum is healthy and unclogged and can go about the business of being a vacuum until we have to clean out its vent again.
As humans, our lives are full of notsogreat stuff. Anger, resentment, lies, jealousy, fear, sadness, heartache, failure. Really icky things. We’re conditioned to be embarrassed about those things. Ashamed even.
Often times, that shame keeps our stuff hidden. It stays inside of us, it grows. We build a case. We stack up facts in our favor justifying this behavior. We stay holed up in our own thoughts making things worse. This is dangerous territory. We’re clogging up our vents. We’re stuck and denying the world our best selves.
What to do? Tidy that $h*t up ASAP. Clean out your vent! You may not have the luxury of 14 best friends that will listen and absorb your ickies away. I know this. But you’re not in this alone. Whether it’s confessing bad behavior or admitting mean thoughts or coming to terms with losing your job, your marriage, your father - you must vent about it.
Call on your team! Make an appointment with a therapist. Talk to your priest. Get a life coach. Go to a recovery meeting. Talk to your dog. Call your sister. Buy a journal and write all of these grievances down. I believe we must exorcise these little demons out before they grow into big demons. Talk them out of your body. Write them out of your mind. Tidy up.
Yes, those yucky thoughts and actions will come back. We’re human remember? This is not a preventative measure, it’s just good old fashioned house keeping. This venting isn’t only cleaning out the bad stuff, it’s also making room for more goodness. I believe the fast track to good things is to create a pathway for them to find us. If we keep our communication lines open, clean, and honest, we have greater access to our truest and best selves. AND we show up as better team members for others.
In the spirit of house keeping and tidying up, I’m sharing a recipe for kale chips! Nutritionally, kale is referred to as nature’s broom. (Eeeeew.) But seriously, this is a savory treat that will clean up your snacking habits. They’re baked, not fried. And a great substitute for a salty potato chip, a bag of buttery popcorn, or a cheesy orange doodle.
With only four ingredients, I encourage you to use the finest ingredients you can find. Pomora’s olive oil is exactly that. Pure, delicious oil from the olive trees of Italy. These are trees that you can actually adopt. You can play a part in tidying up the globe by supporting trees and farmers!
Baked Kale Chips
One bunch clean Tuscan or Lacinato kale - it works with curly kale too, but there’s more moisture in those leaves and needs more time in the oven to dry out and crisp up
Olive oil to drizzle
Nutritional yeast to taste (you can also use finely grated parmesan cheese)
Salt to taste
Preheat oven to 385 degrees. Remove middles stems from kale, Lay leaves flat on a sheet pan, not overlapping, but fitting together like a puzzle so the bottom of the pan is covered. You can tear some leaves as well as leave some whole. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with nutritional yeast, and salt. Bake in the oven until the leaves are crisp and dried, but not burnt. Keep an eye out because they can go dark quicker than you think. My oven takes about 10-15 minutes.