When we get stuck during a clutter bust, our minds are overwhelmed. We can't think clearly. It becomes hard to make a decision. We can get involved with the reasons why to keep something and why we should let it go, and they become at odds with each other, and nothing happens.
The problem is the heart has been left out of the process at that point. I saw that this weekend at the clutter busting workshop in Seattle.
I was helping a woman go through some of the clutter that she brought to the event, and she came upon an object that became very emotionally confusing. It reminded her of painful events in the past. She felt she should hang onto it. Another part of her felt, "Why am I hanging onto this? I should get rid of it." It was like she was the defense attorney and the prosecuting attorney.
It was an emotionally involved loop that was playing back and forth in her. She lost perspective. I knew that she needed some distance, so I told her, "Hold the item against your heart and close your eyes. Breathe into the item and your heart." And then I didn't say anything. I waited to see what would happen.
After about 30 seconds I said, "How are you feeling?"
She opened her eyes. The turmoil was gone. There was a simple peacefulness. In a much more relaxed voice, she said, "I don't need this in my life anymore." There was certainty in her words. That's because the intuitive, quieter, gentler side came through with its simple decision-making.
I think we're trained to only figure things out on an intellectual level. "Why am I feeling this? What's going on?" as opposed to experiencing the emotions of what's happening. So when she connected on a heart/feeling level, she made it very basic. If there's too much going on, we shut down. But when it's simplified, an answer comes to us. For her, the answer came naturally from within and she was able to take action from that awareness. There was a strength in her from that simplicity.