Sometimes I get the feeling that my clients' places are out of focus to them. There are piles of clutter and to not take care of them they have to not see them clearly. I understand. There is often emotional pain associated with the stuff. It is too overwhelming to deal with. When I show up I help them refocus.
Yesterday I was working with a client who was having a very difficult time resolving the piles. She talked fast and felt scattered. She started telling stories about each pile. She told me about her shopping addiction. I said, "You're feeling very out of sorts right now. This is a perfect indicator that your home is filled with things that are no longer part of your life. It's depleting you right in front of me. Let's take care of this now so you don't have to feel this way anymore."
I found a dulcimer and a guitar in a pile. I took them out of their cases and laid them on the floor. I asked if she played them. She looked pale and didn't say anything. There was a lot of fear in her eyes. She was distant. She told me a story about how her mom forced her to play piano when she was three. She took a lot of lessons and got so good that by five she was performing on some famous stages. She didn't play anymore.
I said, "When you were very young you learned not to trust yourself. Other people knew better. Now you have a hard time making decisions. That's why there you have all these things here that are unimportant to you. Today I'm going to help you make decisions again. You'll make the final decision on everything." Her eyes lit up.
She told me she hated the dulcimer. She refused to pick it up. She agreed to donate it. I had her hold the guitar. She lit up. She strummed it and came alive. Her whole body relaxed. She was strong. I said, "What you're feeling now is a natural joy. That's the feeling of something being a part of your life. This nourishes you."