Yesterday's phone client was feeling out of sorts her home office. She wanted to read and be creative in this room. But it was filled with so many books, magazines and boxes of random stuff, that she couldn't think straight. I said that we would go through each thing and decide what's serving her and what can go.
She said, "I don't like making decisions."
I said that she makes decisions at her job.
My client said "At my job I get things done, but at home I let my stuff pile up, and I can't use my space."
I said that her job is to enjoy her life. She can bring the principles of focus and decision making into this room so she can enjoy this space.
She said, "But, I have so many interests, and the things in this room support those interests."
I told her that when things pile up and aren't used, even if we want to use them, our homes become stagnant. Suddenly any value from these things is gone, and they cause us harm. Because these distractions make us feel lousy, we go and buy more things that distract us with excitement. The high is temporary. The new stuff adds to the other crap and we end up feeling even worse.
My client said, "The thing is, I don't have enough lifetimes to read all the stuff I stored in this room."
I said the only thing we are concerned with is finding the things she can do and enjoy now, and let the rest go.
"Do you hear that? I'm tossing all my old magazines."
I said that it was a beautiful noise.
She wrote me a nice testimonial:
"I contacted Brooks Palmer for help with a room that was jammed with things I never use but could not bring myself to thin out. We accomplished more in a two-hour phone session than I had done during several previous solo attempts. I highly recommend working with Brooks, whose gentle but persistent style of questioning helped me acknowledge my instincts to let go. It was not only a decluttering session but personal training in how to think about things, and even activities, that are no longer relevant and just get in the way of "now.""
Salt Lake City, UT