The great thing about going through the stuff in your life and finding and tossing the things that no longer serve you is you become aware of the things that do. You are reminded of the things that matter to you now. The things that used to matter to us that we hang onto because of the memories we associate with them, have nowhere near the impact and nourishment of what currently serves us.

I was working with a man who had a family, but he was obsessed with his work. He spent a majority of his waking hours in his office and barricaded this space with things. He had lots of items that were things that meant a lot to him when he was younger. He had lots of racing car model memorabilia. Also there were lots of action figures and comic books . They were piled on top of each other. It was hard to walk around the space without tripping. It was a way of discouraging others from coming in there. Also they acted as distractions from his family. His family got the idea and left him alone. He got lost in the stuff. He isolated himself in this space because he was compelled to work a lot and he didn't seem to enjoy it.

When I talked about letting some things go, he over-defended keeping the stuff. I notice clients sometimes do that to keep from feeling the stronger feelings underneath. When talking about work he used his dad as a role model. His father was a workaholic and avoided his family too. I said maybe he has the over-abundance of stuff from when he was a kid because there's a part of him underneath his tough work exterior that just wants to play. He defended the need to work and support his family. I talked with him about the amount of energy he expended living this way and that it was exhausting him. I said if he made more space for playing that would include his family he would be nourished by a strong and vital part of his life. He heard this and his eyes teared up. He asked how he could do that. I said the best thing he can do is remove these things that no longer matter to him anymore, so he can make space for something that does matter to him.

With this understanding he let go of a majority of his old stuff. When the understanding is there it becomes easy to toss and make room for the things that are vital now. When he was done there was clear floor and table-top space. He looked alive again. There was a return of the sensitivity he was born with. I imagined his family would find their way to him now.