At yesterday's workshop, a guy brought up a cube of papers. It was filled with things he had to take care of, but had been putting off. He looked so tired and small, sitting with the cube on his lap. It was as if the cube of stuff was bigger than him. I think clutter makes objects bigger and heavier than they actually are. Plus, since clutter diminishes us, we shrink.
He explained to the group that there was always more stuff coming in everyday and he couldn't get to it all, and some days it was too overwhelming and he would avoid the cube of stuff.
I had him start to go through one piece of paper at a time. His wife was also at the workshop. I got her involved too. As I asked him about each piece, I'd ask her too. A lot of the stuff in the cube was family related. He said he normally struggled to do this on his own, but that it was easier with her help. They were kind to each other in this process, so it flowed easily. I pointed out to the group that he no longer looked tiny and tired. His vitality was flowing and he looked alive.
I asked the couple about the first five or so pieces, but after that they were doing well on their own. Sometimes we need a gentle push to get us started. Once the momentum takes over, it becomes a lot easier. The cube of stuff was cleared out in less than a half hour. The guy was amazed.
There's a lot of value in asking for help. It opens us up. Plus it allows the person we ask, the opportunity to give. This works especially well when the person helping us stays neutral and kindly helpful with the letting go.
The interesting thing was after fifteen minutes of his wife's help, he was able to start making decisions on his own. And she intuitively got out her laptop and started deleting old files that she didn't need anymore. She was inspired by her husband's letting go to start her own clutter busting. She said, "Normally I couldn't do this if I was by myself, but since we're working together I'm feeling really inspired!"