It's been a pretty action packed week, working with clients and doing workshops in Los Angeles. I was thinking I'll give you some of the highlights:
One of the workshop participants kept telling me that she wanted to be super effective with a laser focus. She was feeling that she wasn't doing enough. The thing is, she was already doing a lot. Her days were about taking action. I told her that when she said she wanted the laser focus, she looked really tired. It was like her body put up a sign that said, "Please stop, I'm exhausted!" Hearing this caused her to stop in her tracks. A part of her recognized what she was doing. She took a breath. I said, "You can't keep going all the time. It wears you out. Nothing is worth that. It's good to have rest and play in your life too." The hyper drive part of her switched off. She relaxed. She looked like a whole person. Sometimes the way we live can be clutter. When we get tired, it can be hard to see that it's not serving us. That's a good time to be kind to be kind to ourselves.
I was working with a client who had 187 emails in her inbox. She was frustrated that she had gotten behind. She said it felt like the unanswered emails were like fallen leaves in a forest that were turning to compost. She felt trapped. I had her open her email account. We opened the first email. It was an invitation to an event she wanted to attend. She said she needed to enter the event in her schedule book, but since it was downstairs, she wanted to wait until later to write it in there. I asked her to go down and get her book. She did. She came back and wrote it down and then deleted the email. It turns out many of the emails were things she needed to enter into her calender, but she always put it off because the calender was not there while she went through emails. She hadn't seen that this way of doing things was causing the email backup. Often we don't notice that certain activities are clutter. We get used to them and don't question whether or not they serve us. She said she would bring the calender into her office every evening from now on when she went through her emails. She continued with the emails. She answered the ones she needed to, wrote down the dates to events in her calender, then deleted the emails.
A person at the workshop was feeling frustrated with the amount of clutter in her home. Her body looked distorted as she described the hardship its presence put her through. As she talked about it, she became more bleak. I said, "3/4 of a clutter situation is the emotional over-involvement with the way things have become in a person's living space. 1/4 is the actual stuff. The 3/4s is a reaction to the situation. It's the part that keeps the person from clutter busting. It's the part that makes the person feel overwhelmed. I know because when you talk about this, your eyes look like they are in a tailspin. It doesn't help the situation. The reaction itself becomes clutter. When I'm working with a person in their home, I help them feel calm so that the 3/4 dissipates and then dissolves. It becomes, 'here's some clutter in this space, let's take care o it.' And they are able to do it. As we are talking about this, you're feeling calmer. This is the place where your clarity resides. It's going to be a lot easier for you to let go of these things."