simple shui | got dull joy?

May 25, 2016

a couple years ago, the lovelies were having a hard go – they simply didn’t want to grow up. there were countless tears and late night conversations. when reassuring them was becoming more habitual than helpful, i did what i usually do.

i used shui.

when i talk clutter, i imagine thought bubbles over people’s heads – swirling images of messy, unorganized, hoarding, too-much-stuff clutter.


i see plenty of DULL JOY out there, and it is clutter, too.

dull joy happens when we outgrow certain things, and our attention around them gets flabby. we don’t really notice it until one day, instead of soaring, we feel like we are struggling.

and our homes and things are a reflection of our successes and struggles.

that’s what was happening in our house. i looked around and noticed all the photos we had of the lovelies were snapshots from their smaller + younger days – a safe distance from adolescence.

and as much as i LOVED the photos, i realized this was the subconscious roadblock.


truthfully, we had been in a photo drought, not having our family photo taken in several years. i figured the photos we had were “still good enough” – why bother? and the photos captured their personalities so perfectly, how would we possibly top them?


but i needed to do something, so i scheduled a session with a local photographer.

within minutes of shutterbugging + a few sneak peeks at her camera, the shape of my heart was changing. every image insisted, “pick me! PICK ME!” and without missing a beat, current snapshots were soon up around our home.

that’s the thing with dull joy. it lulls us into a mediocre version of happy, and we get comfy with what is. and while happy is a good thing, the knot is this: we outgrow comfortable and become complacent, and that turns into a rooted resistance to change.

i resisted new photos for years – even thinking about the effort required was exhausting. but the marvel and pleasure from the new crop of pictures was spellbinding. and it bulldozed the dull joy on our walls.

shui doesn’t expect us to turn our homes upside down and shake everything loose until very little remains. it does encourage us – especially if we are hesitant or unable to move past certain situations – to consider how that feeling might be anchored in our home somewhere. because our homes are meant to be simple. fresh. and galvanizing a life we LOVE.

AGPfam 36

we change out photos on the regular now, and i can’t remember the last time the lovelies were weepy about letting go of their youth. while i will always carry a flurry of heartbeats for photos when they were little, it was a good reminder we are all in constant conversation with our things. and when we have outgrown our objects of affection – and everyone does – it’s okay to change our minds and tickle our homes with something new.


Categories:  catching days, happy, house + home, simple shui, the lovelies

2 thoughts on “simple shui | got dull joy?

  1. oh this is so spot on — this week (celebration of the wonderful full moon) I did a total revamp of my home office space and noticed a bookcase of all my grandchildren’s pictures were 7 years old — i thought I need updated pictures! Thanks for the push! (by the way my new space is wonderful)

    1. i LOVE that you revamped your space + this coincided with that creative endeavor! and those updated photos will certainly swirl into all the good energy percolating in your home office now. i am always happy to be the “push” + SO grateful to hear about it! xo

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