Releasing the Parking Break

Trying to live your life with clutter is like driving with the parking break on.

It's frustrating because you can see it happening. The clutter is there. It's thwarting you from doing what you really want to do. But you can't let the clutter go.

The first thing to do is realize this situation is bigger than you. If it wasn't, it wouldn't be a problem. By bigger, I mean it's more than you can handle in the moment. You're feeling overwhelmed.

When I get to a client's house, they often find themselves overwhelmed in a situation they feel they should have been able to handle. Their involvement with the frustration is what keeps them from finding a way to release the parking break.

I help them with the frustration by speaking gently and without judgement. It's calming. The involvement with the situation begins to cease, and an openness takes its place. This means the client sees the clutter as it actually is, stuff that's no longer useful to them. When it's matter-of-fact, they can do something about it.

If you find yourself stuck in the frustration, begin to notice that the frustration itself is clutter. A part of you is thinking you should be able to do this, even though you can't. It works against you.

It helps to just be with the uncomfortable feeling. Trying to avoid it tends to perpetuate it. I know, I've tried. I found I could never run far or fast enough from pain.

The frustration of living with the clutter may be intense, but with whatever awareness we can give in the moment, we find the pain starts to fade. As it evaporates, you'll find more of yourself available to take care of the problem.