What an amazing clutter busting workshop on Saturday! Everyone let go of so much! I'm there to prompt and encourage, but it's the people attending who do the letting go.
Here are some of the highlights:
There was a guy who talked about the great amount of paper clogging up his home. He sounded defeated. He was a young guy, and he was so tired and overwhelmed. I asked him about the papers. He said the bulk of the papers were credit card statements dating back to 1987. He didn't even know why he'd been saving them. But they were piled on a table and the floor.
I said that the past doesn't matter. Nothing we've done before counts against us. There's this time and what we can do with it. We don't need to worry about the cause. But we do need to clean up the best we can.
This seemed to relieve his guilt and anger towards himself. I talked with him about things he could do now. What was within his means to do at this time. We talked about shredders, but he didn't have one. I asked if he had a fireplace. He perked up. He said yes. I said he could burn all the paper statements. He enthusiastically said that's the one he wanted to do. He said he could get his family involved with that one. I left it at that. Sometimes all we need is a jump start.
A woman came to the workshop with a bag of stuff she scooped up from the floor in her home. We found some old CDs of her music she recorded a ways back, but hadn't done anything with for awhile. I could tell by the way she held the CDs that they felt like trash to her in her hands. I asked if she could let them go. She wasn't sure. I asked if she liked recording the CDs. She got happy. She said she loved that time. I said it sounded like the CDs served her when she made them, but they don't seem to be making her feel good now. She decided to put the CDs in the donation box.
Then she came upon a small school photo of her son when he was a senior in high school. It was beat up and torn. She said it was one of those sets of twenty pics. I asked if the picture felt fresh to her. She said she didn't like the picture. But she felt horrible with the idea of throwing it out.
I asked what she would do if she hung on to the picture of her son. She said it would end up in another pile and be forgotten about again. But she reiterated that it felt painful to toss the picture.
I said that's what clutter does. It uses pain to make us think we need something. Clutter tells us, "If you toss me, you will hurt badly." This is the opposite of, "I love this thing, I enjoy it in my life now, and it would hurt to let go of it."
I asked her how old her son was now. She said 23. I said that is what feeds her now. Her relationship with her son as he is. That's the antithesis of clutter. What we love now is what we have an actual connection with.
She had enough with being threatened by the supposed pain of tossing an old photo and let it go. I checked in with her 15 minutes later and she said she had no regrets about tossing the old picture.