Yesterday's client showed me two full bags of mail. She said dealing with the mail was a great burden to her. She felt getting and dealing with the mail was an intrusion in her life. The mail bothered her so much that she didn't even want to take the mail out of the bags.
So I took the mail out and and put it in small stacks on a table.
I said there are indicator lights in life that tell us when we are overwhelmed. We can see it in our over-reaction to what's usually a very simple thing. It's nature's way of giving us a warning sign. It's like the check engine light in our cars. "Hey, you need to stop and take care of yourself."
My client was exhausted. She was living beyond her emotional and physical means. She saw the mail as the problem. But her reactions to her mail were warning her that she'd used herself up and had nothing left. They were the messenger.
I held up a letter. I said this envelope is telling her things would be so much easier if she took some breaks during the day. Kind things she could do for herself would be just as valuable as any actions she felt were important and needed to get done.
I picked up a manila envelope. I said that this one was telling her it's okay to take a walk outside and not be on her computer.
I said when I'm tired, really simple things suddenly become problems. I might find myself getting upset at a seat belt that won't latch. Clicking a seat belt is the simplest thing in the world. It's not a problem. Being tired and pushing myself is a problem.
Trying to regularly live past our emotional and physical means is clutter. The simple warning signs are kind gestures. They are on our sides.