Breaking the Trance

Today’s client started out by saying, “I want the best for myself.” She wanted to remove anything from her life that didn’t make her feel good about herself.

We began by doing a clutter bust of her clothes. She came across a pair of pants in which the elastic had completely worn out. She frowned, and her voice got tight. She unhappily said she should hang on the pants because they still fit her.

I pointed out how uncomfortable she sounded. I imitated her voice. I said keeping those pants would not give her what she wanted, “the best for herself.” She was surprised she didn’t initially notice her reaction. She let the pants go.

Then we came across another pair of pants that were torn, worn out, and didn’t fit her. She got that same frown and tight voice again and she considered keeping those pants. Again I echoed back her reaction to her, and reminded her of her desire to treat herself well. Again, she was surprised, and let those pants go.

She came across another pair. She got that same shut down reaction. She said she didn’t wear the pants, but confessed a deep part of her wanted to keep the pants in case she lost everything because at least she would have these pants. I repeated this back to her and she laughed. She let the pants go.

In every case that my client got struck, she went into a trance. She was caught up in the emotional involvement of what she feeling and shut down. She wasn’t noticing her uncomfortableness. That often happens when clients come across something that is emotionally loaded and buried. They are protecting themselves from feelings that for some reason are overwhelming and uncomfortable.

This is why we often don’t see the clutter in our lives. We go into a trance.

I’m pointing this out to encourage you to take the time to check in with yourself while clutter busting. If you can, notice any feelings of hesitation, tiredness, or discomfort during the clutter bust. As you ask about a particular thing, person, or activity in your life, “Do I like and use this, or can I let it go?” be aware of how you are feeling. Use your clutter radar to detect any tensions, or overthinking that might arise. Or if you feel overwhelmed and want to move on to something else. Do the best you can to stay open to seinge these red flags.

At first it might be like trying to see something through a fog, but the more you practice this, the more aware you become.