My client went through her winter clothes. As she was going through piece by piece, she told me she was feeling badly about problems that she was having in her life. She felt she wasn't doing enough to help herself.
This wasn't the first time we'd worked together. Previously she'd gotten rid of a large amount of stuff in her kitchen. Another time she cleared out and donated a huge amount of books she wasn't reading. At a different time she let go of and donated bags and bags of spring and summer clothes that she no longer wore.
I pointed out all this work that she had already done. I said the best way to help ourselves is in amounts we are capable of in the moment. Usually when we're overwhelmed, we want all the pain to go away right now. We think we need to come up with a solution that eliminates our problem in one fell swoop. But those solutions don't exist. I'm sure there are books or people out there that promise that. But we're not engineered that way.
I told my client that we take care of ourselves by approaching our situations with little steps. Little doesn't mean insignificant. Little means doable. What we are capable of at the moment. This action takes us out of our thinking mind, that has us lost in the daunting and overwhelming details of what were stuck in, and puts us in our doing mind, which over time gets the job done.
My client's mind settled down. Her obsessing was over. She went back to going through the winter clothes.