The Three of Cups is an invitation to join the collective and choose JOY, says Lindsay Mack in her Numinous weekly tarotscope…
What if you applied the life changing magic of Marie Kondo’s tidying methods to choosing the right friendships, asks Victoria Cox? Artwork: Found on Pinterest
Friendship is a constantly evolving thing. We have our inner circle of friends, our coven of trusted confidants. Then there is a secondary circle, comprising people we are friendly with but who are less likely to know our strange quirks and deepest desires; work colleagues, gym buddies or school friends.
Over time, lesser known friends move into the inner circle, whist others move out of the constellation entirely. The point being that our friendship circle is ever changing, as we mature and grow. It is not designed to be stagnant and fixed.
Some friendships gain strength year after year, reaching surprising levels of intimacy. Some fade away entirely either through neglect, distance or simply growing apart. Then there are others that come to an abrupt end, the flame of friendship extinguishing itself in a dramatic fashion.
I understand all of this. So why do I still find myself trying to maintain friendships that no longer serve me? The answer to this question can often be surmised in one word: obligation. After all, if we’ve spent years building up a friendship, investing our time and our hearts, it seems counter-intuitive to throw it all away.
But what if we could learn to accept that if things aren’t what they once were? Acknowledge that it’s time to move on, with no hard feelings?
After all, I’ve learned to do this is every other area of my life. I’ve walked away from dysfunctional relationships; shitty bosses and unfulfilling jobs without even looking back. Why not apply the same thought process to my friends?
And then I finally read Marie Kondo’s book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and a light-bulb went on in my head.
Kondo, a Japanese organizing expert, touts the virtues of tidying by asking of everything you own: “Does this spark joy?” and if not, thanking it for its service and getting rid of it. But instead of pondering whether inanimate objects in my apartment sparked joy, what if I applied this method to choosing the right friendships?
Admittedly my first thought was to question whether or not I would qualify as a sociopath in comparing my friendships to my heavily stained shower curtain.
But really, what if we were to scroll through every friend listed in our phone contacts and ask ourselves: “Does this person spark joy in my life?” I would hazard a guess there’s probably a good thirty percent of people about whom we would either answer with a long “hmmm…”—or else blurt out a “Hell No!”
And when you really think about it, why would we choose to spend our valuable time with friends that no longer spark joy in our life? It simply doesn’t make any sense. Until you factor in that godawful G word. Guilt.
So powerful is the G-word (evil twin of the that O-word again—obligation) that I recently found myself spending hours with a friend who I didn’t want to hang out with, doing things I had no interest in doing and wishing I was somewhere else. Talk about soul-destroying.
And so turned back to Kondo’s book, seeking more pearls of wisdom to apply to my friendship circle.
She also wisely counsels that nostalgia is not your friend when it comes to your closet—and it turns out it’s not much help when it comes to friends, either.
How many times had I continued to hang out with a friend based solely on memories of what fun we used to have together? As it turns out, way too many. Our conversations always took a detour back down memory lane, peppered with “Remember when’s?” rather than “I’m so excited for…”
Sadly, the past is the past and if the only connection is over what was instead of what will be, then it might be time to reassess what purpose that particular friendship is serving. Is this person invested in your future dreams? Do they relate to the person you are today, or only the person you used to be?
Friendships are unique. Unlike relationships with our family, we choose to enter into them. And unlike a marriage, there’s no piece of paper reminding us we’re obliged to try and make it work. We choose each other because the relationship means something to us, it brings us joy, makes us laugh, brings over pizza when we’re feeling down and out.
Whilst it may be incredibly sad to bid adieu to a friendship that just isn’t working for us in the same way—because we’ve changed, they’ve changed or it simply doesn’t jive the way it used to—it’s also freeing to remember that since we chose to get into it, we can also choose to get out.
Join The Numinous & Guided By Biet for SOBER CURIOUS, a social experiment to discover what it means to get high on your own supply…
“Numbing vulnerability also dulls our experience of love, joy, belonging, creativity, and empathy. We can’t selectively numb emotion. Numb the dark and you numb the light” – Brene Brown
There’s a reason sobriety is in, and it’s because it feels amazing. Blissful, even. Within days of alcohol leaving your system, you become aware of how much more at peace you feel in your body. A little longer, and you’ll notice how even a friendly text sends a tingle of physical pleasure along your limbs. Give it a few weeks, and you may find yourself breaking into spontaneous laughter at the sheer ecstasy of being alive.
This is what it feels like to get high on your own supply. But modern drinking culture makes it easier, often way too easy, to choose booze as our go-to method for feeling good (by simply numbing the “bad”). The price? We’ve all been there.
And so SOBER CURIOUS is a social experiment from The Numinous and Guided By Biet – a new space for the sober curious to investigate just how good life can get when we re-frame our relationship with alcohol. Far from “boring” (an accusation they love to levy against non-drinkers), what if choosing sobriety meant being “high” all the time?
This might not mean total abstinence from alcohol, either. The power of positive drinking can be a beautiful thing. A sacrament, even. But an occasional cocktail to celebrate life can also be a slippery slope into the kind of habitual drinking that becomes a substitute for sustained, self-generated joy; that dulls our awareness; that only exacerbates feelings of anxiety and emptiness; and that ultimately separates us from a true sense of self.
A proposed series of meet-ups, talks, workshops, and other events, SOBER CURIOUS could be for you if:
– You drink to feel good, but it often leaves you feeling worse (and it helps to talk about it)
– You want to drink less, but think this will mean the end of your social life
– You want to drink less, but think this will mean the end of DATING
– You want to cultivate a healthier relationship with booze
– You want to attend high-end, high-vibe events where alcohol is off the menu
– You love how good life feels when you don’t drink, and want to connect with other people who’ve discovered this too
– You want to experience getting crazy high on your own supply
Sign up for the Numinous newsletter to see how the conversation unfolds.
And a caveat: SOBER CURIOUS is NOT an addiction recovery program – although it may be a stepping stone to AA for some people. If you think you might need a higher level of support to address a drinking problem that’s negatively impacting your life, or in dealing with any underlying emotional issues that may be part of this, we also have the resources to connect you with people who can help.
Getting my emo on at Story Medicine, and Gwyneth being Gwyneth at the Goop MRKT….
No column last week since it was Thanksgiving and, frankly, I was drunk. And it was so good to let my hair down and switch off for a day! It’s been a HARDCORE YEAR (any other life path 8s out there feeling it??) and I’ve been pretty much tee-total in the name of getting some serious inner and outer work done. But turns out a dose of “spirits” medicine was actually just what the doctor ordered 🙂
Anyhow, I’m back, and I’m also trying a new format for this column, mapping my week Mon-Friday. Lemme know what you think!
:: MONDAY ::
I got to see an advance screening of the new J-Law movie Joy, and entrepreneurial ladies, this is a holiday season MUST. It tells the story of legendary inventor Joy Mangano, and busts the myth of the “overnight success.” So many times building the Numinous I’ve been like, “oh man, this isn’t not working, it’s never going to work.” And then something DOES work, and I just keep going. Joy’s story is a reminder that making your dreams real and running a business is hard. You will feel completely vulnerable. You will encounter setback, after asshole, after humiliation, after enormous IT bill from somebody who didn’t even do what you asked, but it’s what it takes and it’s worth. Every. Minute. (watch the trailer below)
:: TUESDAY ::
I was reunited with my sweet soul sister and Temple of Venus co-creator Elyssa Jakim, who spent the past few months over in Portland (only meeting the love of her life…on Tinder!) She introduced me to two exciting things: a documentary series called The Quest For The Cures, all about one man’s search for the best natural cancer treatments (weekend watch-list sorted), and the fact she’s doing Akashic records readings from 12-5pm tomorrow at Species by The Thousands in Williamsburg. GO. She’s amazing.
:: WEDNESDAY ::
I went to meet Gwyneth Paltrow at the opening of her Goop MRKT – which is essentially the NYC version of our Astrolounge @ Selfridges, a high-vibe holiday pop-up decked with all things mysti-cool. A lot of people don’t like GP, but we say back-off bitches. As beautiful Alexandra Derby (who invited me) put it: “She comes from privilege, so her putting $1K sweaters on Goop is just her being her authentic self.” And isn’t that what it’s all about?? Enough hating on the sisterhood. Less envy of those who “apparently” had better breaks than us. How about just be inspired and go get yours.
:: THURSDAY ::
Story Medicine! So Alexandra and I cooked up this idea for a crazy-ass event, where YOU, our guests would create the content by coming to share your stories. And in the process get heard and get healed. The amazing team at lululemon’s HUB seventeen said “yes,” and we hosted the first Story Medicine event last night. There were tears, there was laughter, there were many, many hugs, and there was a vegan feast from Daphne Cheng (see pudding below). There were even three dudes! But best of all was hearing all the stories. Raw, honest, human storytelling is the BEST entertainment you guys. We’re planning the next one for Feb 2016.
:: FRIDAY ::
In the spirt of no such things as TMI (see Story Medicine), I got my period today. Now, I’ve been researching how to work with your cycle, and the wisdom all says “on day one, retreat from society and go within” – since this is when your intuitive powers reach their peak. Thing is, that would have meant no column again today. Also canceling four really important meetings this afternoon. Truly committing to working with my flow is totally on my to-do list for 2016, but since my cycle is really irregular it’s hard for me to plan for down days when my bleed begins. So period experts reading this, any insight on this one much appreciated!