At Saturday's Clutter Busting workshop, one of the participants opened up her box of clutter revealing that it was stuffed with photographs. There was anguish in her at the prospect of entering into the contents of the box. I pointed out to her and the group that this anguish is what keeps us from clutter busting. When we see and feel what needs to be done, it's too much, and we stop. It's as if that overwhelming sensation is like a guard dog bearing its fangs at us.
I had the woman set down the box on the ground. I had her pick up a very small handful of photos. Then she looked at one photo at a time. I led her to a more gentle consideration of her things. We shut down with too much. But we're present and capable with one thing at a time.
She looked at the photo and said, "Why do I have a picture of this?" She surprised herself to find a picture of something she didn't care about. The dog has no fangs after all. She put the photo in the trash. She looked at the next photo and decided to let that one go too. Her discriminating abilities were back and working well. I pointed out her strength to the group. She was being kind to herself in the process and this brought back a flow.
The woman kept a few photos of her deceased father. She said they reminded her when he was happy. She decided to let go of his leather coat that she had hanging in her closet at home. These few photos made her feel more present with her dad than the jacket. The group noticed that her heart was beaming.
The days of being bullied by our things can end when we approach clutter busting with a kind consideration of our abilities.