I worked with a client this morning who had a troublesome clutter area in her kitchen. It was the counter top area near the phone. There was a paper bag stuffed with paper, there was also one of those metal envelope holders filled with paper, and lots of miscellaneous items piled up on top of each other. As we stood by this space, she looked physically ill. She was pale and out of whack. She didn't want to venture in.
I had her put on one of her favorite Cd's and enthusiastically said, "Let's start with the paper bag." She let out a groan. She said, "When I look at this mess I feel like I'm falling into despair." I said, "That's an interesting image, falling...into despair. Falling through the sky into a nice soft pile of despair. Turning despair, into repair." She smiled.
As we went through the papers in the bag, she told me that she gets behind and can't finish things. I said, "Oh, good, we'll have a good time finishing things today. Before it bothered you to try and finish things. But then bother turned into despair as nothing was getting done. So we're having fun finishing things because it feels better than the despair. We're trading one for the other." I kept bringing it back to how good it felt to complete things. Often times clutter is the result of being overwhelmed. When we feel that way we don't have the capacity to take care of things. It's good to see what has happened and go, "Okay, that's what happened, let's take care of this."
We went through the entire bag and the metal organizer and the pile of things and either took actions that needed to be done, put papers in the proper files, or tossed what wasn't needed. When we were done she was happy. She looked vibrant and healthy. She felt good because she took care of herself.
This blog is a reminder that you can take care of a troublesome area too. Care is the power of your attention. Care is your awareness in action. It's amazing how powerful it is. It fixes things, it brings solutions, it makes you feel good.