The Life-Changing Magic of Getting It Together

Sharing is caring!

Amiyrah Martin 1

Life is a mess, y’all. Whether life is going well for you or not, it always seems to be a little messy. The good mess is like having a ton of kittens and puppies wanting to cuddle with you all at one time, and you’re biggest issue is trying to figure out whom to pet first. The bad mess? Well, I’m sure you can imagine what that would entail. But nonetheless, the mess of life can be overwhelming. Alas, this is where I currently am.

When things get crazy, I reference one of my favorite books. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up was a hit across the world, and is still a book that has a big impact on my life. I had this funny idea that I was a minimalist, until I read that book. I most definitely was not. But, the big lesson I learned from using Marie Kondo’s system of downsizing our things, was this is something I could use in other aspects of my life. It’s my fault if I’m feeling overwhelmed. It means it’s time to focus on getting it together. Again. Here’s how I do it.

Amiyrah Martin

Friends and Family

News flash: you can release people from your life, if they make you feel less than. Double news flash: you can release family members from your life, if they make you feel less than. Over my 35 years of life, this has been the hardest lesson to learn. I am a reformed people pleaser, and always thought if I was nice enough, everyone would like me. Wrong. The nicer and more accommodating I was with toxic people, including family members, the more they took advantage of me. But, when I start to see this behavior bubbling up in myself, I stop and take a look at the Joy Factor.

What’s the Joy Factor? It’s very simple. I take every person in my life that I interact with on a daily or weekly basis, and I ask “do you bring me joy?” Now, I don’t ask them directly, because they would think I was nuts. But, I do something a little less nutty. I open my hands, and pretend a tiny version of that person is standing on them. Then, I ask them “do you bring me joy?” What usually happens is I start to recollect memories of that person, and if those memories are joyful and cause me to physically smile, then they are a joyful influence in my life. If the memories are awkward, dark, or depressing, that person has to go. It’s that simple. If they spark joy in your soul, they need to stay in your circle. If they don’t? STOP WASTING TIME ON THEM.

Home Life

If someone tells you that their home life is perfect, give them a side-eye. It’s OK; I’m giving you permission, especially if I say it. No home life is perfect. There are always things that people are struggling with, and things they have trouble realizing they don’t have to do. Every 3 months, I’ve found myself re-evalualting our home life. Now that we own our first home, I need to be more disciplined about this. There’s so much to do, and I don’t have time for it all. Again, what sparks joy in our home life? For this, I look at the past few month’s long list/short lists in my planner. I see the items I have consistently completed, and the items that seem to get left behind. Here’s the cool part: the items that I never seem to get to? I hire out.

Yes, hiring out could mean hiring someone who isn’t a family member, or having our kids or my husband add these things to their chore list. But, they if they don’t give me joy, or motivate me to keep my home peaceful, then I need to let them go from my responsibilities. And no, I won’t feel bad for doing so. You shouldn’t, either.

If you aren’t familiar with the long list/short list system, here’s a helpful video:

Mental State

When it comes to me getting it together, I know it had a lot to do with my mental state. By taking care of the two items I mentioned above, my mental state tends to be healthier. But, I still have to sit down and come to terms with how well I have been taking care of me. If you aren’t sure where your mental state is, do these two things:

  1. Slow down. Take a weekend to turn off your brain. Color. Read. Lay in the bed. Watch bad TV. Whatever you can do to get your mind to quiet down. Once you slow down, even for a few days, you’ll have epiphany after epiphany. You’ll see where you need help. You’ll remember the things that filled your mind, body, and soul.
  2. Treat your body right. You’ve heard this time and time again, but I have to say it here. The way you treat your body directly reflects what is happening in your mind. I find that I eat horribly when my mental state is dark. I also find that I may workout WAY too much when my mindset is off. I’m an “extremes” girl. Extremes don’t bring me joy, so if I see that I am treating my body in extremes, things are bad internally. Remember what I said about letting go of friends and family? The ones that I’ve had to let go of ALWAYS lived in the land of extremes. Learn what is good for your body, whether it’s more rest, less exercise, well-balanced meals, more activity with others, etc. The physical things that spark joy will increase your mental state exponentially.

Amiyrah Martin 2

There’s so much more to getting it together when life gets crazy, but these 3 sections of my life get the most attention. Once I do these activities, I find they create a domino effect of awesomeness. I feel as if the boat is is no longer capsized, and I can continue to sail along. I find that once I acknowledge what sparks joy within me, then I can spark joy within others. I challenge you to do the same.

About Amiyrah

My name is Amiyrah and I'm an an African American fashion & lifestyle blogger based in Ohio.

Plan Your Year Now!


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. 8.29.17
    Liz said:

    Interesting idea re: The Joy Factor. A friend who I had been friends with for 15+ years recently decided he didn’t want to be my friend anymore, and, the more I thought about it, he definitely did not pass The Joy Factor test anymore.

  2. 8.29.17
    Janice Brady said:

    Love how well you put this into words. I didn’t realize until I was in my 50’s that I had to stop trying to please everyone. Coming to that realization was a huge release for me. I also began removing what I refer to as “toxic” family, friends and acquaintances out of my life a few years ago and I am now at a much happier place I’m always very grateful that you are one of my friends..

  3. 8.29.17

    I am right there with you! I have had to slow way down after a very, very trying few months…. new house, my mom passing, moving my mom’s stuff, my mother in law moving twice, travel, unpacking box after box, and more. I do NOT have it all together. I have let some things fall through the cracks. I just do not have enough time to get it all together. And when I get stressed I tend to zone out and do things that do not matter. This is not good for me, or my to do list.

    Hang in there. Your post is inspiration. (((HUGS)))

  4. 8.29.17
    Summer Len Davis said:

    This right here is something I struggle with more than I’d like to admit. It’s so refreshing to hear it from someone I look up to so much. With you in spirit and in <3

  5. 8.29.17

    For the longest time, I struggled with cutting off toxic people. But once I started the watching the company I kept and reevaluated the people I let in my life, things improved drastically. I’ve also started taking the weekends off to unplug and just enjoy me time or time with my family. We all hold the keys and tools needed to get our lives together.

  6. 8.29.17
    Jennifer said:

    You are always such an inspiration. This post made me cry. Thanks for the reminder to love me, to make me important in a world of people who might not think that about me. You are a rock my friend. <3 I pray supernatural blessings of peace, love, and joy over you today.

  7. 8.29.17
    Nikki said:

    That mental state is one I definitely need to focus on more. We just bought a new house as well and I spent last weekend doing N-O-T-H-I-N-G and mah brain was so happy for it.

  8. 8.29.17

    Love this post! I remember when I made my first big choice to remove someone who brought all the Rama to my life. So freeing and made me mentally healthier!

  9. 8.30.17
    Aaronica said:

    Listen… the way you got my entire life with this post… thank you.

  10. 11.27.17

    Wow!!! This is it. I love how you say you are a reformed people pleaser. Asking if people in your life bring you joy is something I have been struggling with lately. There are energy takers and energy givers in our lives and if people are taking your energy and not bringing you joy, as hard as it may be, cutting them lose will only make YOU happier. Thank you for this <3