Does It Spark Joy? Spiritual Preparation for Passover

In the popular book by Marie Kondo, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, we read “When your room is clean and uncluttered, you have no choice but to examine your inner state.” This is where spirituality meets Spring cleaning.

Cleaning for Passover is one of my favorite rituals of the holiday. Each year I rediscover how cleaning with a purpose makes a huge difference in my life on many levels. Seder, in Hebrew means order. We have an order to the ritual when we gather around the table at the start of the holiday after we clean and prepare.

Passover, or Spring cleaning, can be a transformative endeavor even before the holiday begins, if we do it right. Scrubbing, removing, discarding, cleaning and rearranging our living spaces has the potential to refocus and give us a new sense of freedom and ready us for something new. All this physical work can however obscure the opportunity to attend to our inner clutter of thoughts and beliefs, unless we use the process as a vehicle and intend to include the inner landscape along with the physical.

It is hard to let go, but you’ll be glad you did. Marie Kondo suggests an efficient process by which we can select the things we want to keep. She suggests we use this simple question as a filter criterion, “Does it spark joy?” While Kondo’s book is primarily focused on how to tidy up one’s physical environment, her guidance can be metaphorically superimposed over the concept of clearing out inner clutter as well.

Marie writes, “There are several common patterns when it comes to discarding. One is to discard things when they cease being functional—for example, when something breaks down beyond repair or when part of a set is broken. Another is to discard things that are out of date, such as clothes that are no longer in fashion or things related to an event that has passed. It’s easy to get rid of things when there is an obvious reason for doing so.” Marie invites people to ask themselves, “Does this item spark joy?”
Let’s begin to clear our environments and attend to inner clearing   so we could forge a path to our freedom and ease.  remember what we cherish and remove what does not work or useful any longer. Choosing how, with who and with what we want to spend our time and resources. May we find the path to freedom and may it spark joy in all we do.

I wish you meaningful cleaning and organizing, and a joyous Spring holiday.