Being Kind to Yourself

Clutter busting in its essence is learning to be gentler with ourselves. We're removing the things that are harsh on us. That can be things as well as ways of living that no longer serve us.

I think we get used to pushing ourselves beyond our capacity. We're raised in a world that doesn't always consider our needs and just wants to get things done. So it can seem a little strange to consider bringing tenderness and compassion into our lives.

When I work with people, I often have to let them know that it's okay to be nice to themselves. It's okay to stop what you're doing, and take a look around and see what's bringing you comfort and what's causing you pain. Removing what hinders you is a kind and important act.

I was working with a client whose home was awash in her mother's inheritance. Her mother's furniture was stacked on top of itself in her living room, as well as stacks of boxes containing her mother's belongings. The inheritance had been sitting in the same place for three years.

My client was despondent in this mess. She didn't feel it was right though to question her mom's things. She felt they had to remain there, even though they were making her miserable. I said that we don't do anyone a favor by being in pain. Living with these things didn't benefit her mother, the things, and especially her.

Our job is to take care of ourselves. We do that by considering our needs. Our primary need is a supportive space. That is a place of comfort, a home that gives us peace of mind, a space of simple beauty. We get this by questioning and removing what's uncomfortable to us.

We quietly considered each piece of the inheritance. I spoke softly with her to inspire her to be soft with herself. I sensed this started opening up her heart. When we're overwhelmed and beat up by our surroundings, our hearts close up as a means of protection. By being gentle with this process, our hearts begin to open up again.