This weekend I was working with a new client. The first thing she told me about was her journals. They were over fifteen years old and she'd been keeping them under her bed. There was an intensity to her voice. This often happens on a clutter bust. As soon as I arrive, the client reveals and confesses. There is a relief in their voice as they tell me. On a deep level they know this thing no longer has a place in their life, and it helps them to have the support to release the thing.
She had taken the stack of old journals and put them in a box and brought them outside before I got there. I said, "Let's start with the journals!" We went to them.
I noticed she had placed them by her fire pit. I could tell she was ready to let them go. I said, "Let's burn them." She said, "Yes!"
We tore out pages and crumpled them up and put them in the fire pit. A few times she read the pages. They talked about all the pain and suffering she was feeling at that time in her life. She looked pale and tired. I pointed that out to her. She got matches and lit the papers on fire.
As we tore and tossed in more paper, she told me she was feeling freedom. She said writing in them felt good at the time and she had thought keeping these things would make her feel free too, but their presence in her living space made her agitated and made her sad. She said, "The feeling of freedom right now is what I was looking for all along."