HOW I LET GO TO MAKE ROOM FOR JOY
How lawyer-turned-organizer Pia Thompson transitioned from a life of box-checking to one more vivid (and self-aligned) than ever.
– KEYS SOULCARE
Corporate-lawyer-turned-home-organizer Pia Thompson’s willingness to push through fear and inauthenticity led her to define what her joy looked like… and to start choosing it. Here’s her journey, as told to Keys Soulcare.
The things in your home tell the story of your life. They are your choices, decisions, habits, dreams deferred and realized. I was a corporate lawyer for 17 years before undergoing a personal journey that made me realize I was choosing a life that only checked boxes for “success,” but didn’t bring me joy.
My journey with truth and joy began with tiny feelings of unworthiness that would pop up every now and then. For as long as I can remember, I would compare myself to others, judge myself harshly, and feel as though I needed to make people like me — not to mention to please my immigrant parents who didn’t come all the way to the U.S. from the Caribbean for me to act the fool.
Initially, this set me on a path to getting good grades, being one of the cool kids, going to the best college, having a “respectable” and well-paying career, and so on.
From the outside looking in, my life looked like the American Dream. A Juris Doctorate from the number eight law school in the country. A career as a corporate lawyer literally working on Wall Street and making a ton of money. A five-bedroom house in the suburbs and all the name-brand everything I could get my hands on. A marriage to Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome, with a sweet baby girl. All tied into a box. (Boom. Done.)
I defined abundance by a solid nine to five that would give me freedom to buy whatever I wanted. Every time the feeling came up that I actually wasn’t happy, I pushed it away and denied it. But those feelings of unworthiness were still there, and they had begun to yell really loudly that my career (the foundation of this fake life) was misaligned.
Two things happened.
First, I gained awareness around “why.” I was in the process of getting divorced, and at this point, I felt like a failure because my marriage was ending. I started to think about my childhood and past. I realized that I had spent most of my life unhappy, living with low-level anxiety as well as valuing money, things, and people’s opinions.
The second? I started to see the power in my choices. I finally recognized what I had been doing to my life by making choices that didn’t align with my authentic self.
I literally began paring down (and letting go) by leaving my ill-fitting career, my marriage to someone who wasn’t my spiritual partner, and all of the material items that went along with them behind.
I finally decided to trust my intuition. I’d begun reading books like The Power of Now by Echkart Tolle, doing real self-work, and attracting friends who were doing the same. The more tiny choices I made in that direction, the more it became clear that it was time to leave my career. (No guilt or fear anymore around leaving a life that wasn’t mine in the first place.)
I made the mental decision, and got laid off about 2 months later. (Hi, universe!) I then spent about a year and a half hanging with my kid, continuing to do my self-work, and freaking my mother out because I had no idea what I wanted to do!
My intuition said wait and for the first time in my life, I actually listened. Instead of doing what others wanted, I waited. I tried a few new jobs and my intuition was like, “NOPE.” Then one day, I saw Marie Kondo’s show [Tidying Up] on Netflix and within five minutes said, “Oh, hell yes! That’s it!”
I felt fully aligned and knew that my purpose was to organize and take people on a journey of self through their homes because it so much mirrored what I had done with my own life. As a home organizing consultant and KonMari Consultant in training I inspire people to gain self-awareness, embrace their power of choice, and find freedom to choose authenticity and joy through tidying their homes at my company, Sweet Digs.
That’s where I’ve found true abundance. The abundance of being happy with my choices. The abundance of filling your home (or not) with the things you truly want. I realize that my purpose lies in teaching people to design a life they love, embrace the power of choice, and let go of guilt, fear, and shame.
And I feel so incredibly grateful for that. I used to spend so much time unhappy — squeezing in family and fun into what little time is left after work — and not having the time to think about myself and understand why I was so unhappy.
I am not a failure in admitting to myself that the choices I was making created a life that was overfull and blinding. That life wasn’t mine. I deserve rest, joy, and abundance — and I define all of that for myself.
Is my life perfect? No. Do I sometimes still struggle with self worth? Yes. I choose myself daily. But now the choice is clear.
We’re loving Pia’s honesty and pursuit of joy and abundance on her own terms. How do you define them? How can you keep designing a life that lives up to them?