Being Easier on Ourselves

Sometimes my clients get down on themselves for not doing better than they think they could be doing. It's hard to watch sometimes because it feels like someone has fallen and hurt themselves, and someone comes along and kicks them. It doesn't help them get back up.

In the early days I would try and talk about the problem. But it seemed to fan the flames and there would be a lot of talking and not much tossing. Both my clients and I ended up feeling very tired. So I found by letting the emotional involvement pass or changing the subject or making a subtle joke, the clients would feel better and begin letting go.

I figure we're always doing the best we can in the moment. If we're overwhelmed emotionally or physically, our abilities are diminished and we're not as capable. In retrospect we could say we ought to have done better, but that's because we're in a different and clearer place now than we were then.

My experience is life moves through us, back and forth and in-between, in a full spectrum, from one moment feeling amazing and being very productive, to another moment of feeling tired and uninspired and things just not working out. When I'm feeling the stuck side of things and frustration starts to kick in, I think, "not to worry, in a little while things will be flowing again." Eventually, sooner than I thought it would, it does. This way is easier on me than saying, "Seriously, Brooks, you're f%#cking up!!" I know, I've tried both.

Mostly, I've noticed it's helpful to let go of the blame for why something's not working out like "it should be." The personal fault finding is a kind of clutter that gunks up the flow of our life. I remember one client being particularly hard on herself and it was making her wilt right in front of me. It was raining outside. I said, "Maybe you ought to be critical of the rain so the sun will come out again." She laughed. She got back to the tossing.


A documentary film production company has approached me about filming one of my clutter busting sessions. If you know of someone in the Chicagoland area who is suffering under their stuff and would be okay about going through the letting go process while on camera, please have them contact me at