A shelf in my office in front of a window.
Using dream analysis and guided imagery methodology you can dialogue with your obstacles and discover opportunity. Here’s an example that gives both sides of your dilemma a voice.
If you are depressed, claustrophobic, engaging in poor stress relief habits like overeating or drinking to calm or numb yourself you may be adding to your lethargy or downright paralysis about clearing your clutter.
This physical and emotional situation is a call to hopelessness and despair while the life you want grows more distant and unreachable.
You can become accustomed to your clutter so you no longer see it, or worse, it feel familiar and homey.
Example of Self-talk and conversation with clutter
Setting: Clutter is in your face ranging from a little corner of clutter on a kitchen or desk corner to jammed closets to a house full of disorganized stuff.
What does my clutter have to say?
“You are weak and tired. I am too heavy for you to lift, too complex for you to sort and too overwhelming for you to deal with.”
No. That’s what I say. What does the clutter say?
Here you put yourself in a relaxed open frame of mind and listen.
“I am everywhere, full of treasure for you. I am important, but you don’t allow me to show you my value. Please sort me so you can see me.
Please remove the rubbish from me so you can see me and use me.
Please, don’t be afraid of me.
Yes, you will discover things I have that will give you freedom, ideas and challenges.
Don’t be afraid. Inside me is inspiration and answers to questions and solutions to problems and even money.
Your new and better life is based on the treasures and value that is hidden in this clutter of me.
Please clear me out so I can offer you my value. Then we can journey through this transition to what comes next.”
Wow. That’s a wake up call. And suddenly I feel some tenderness for the clutter that is trying to hold what I need without my help, without a container or at least, without a reasonable container.
How sad and foolish to ignore answers that may be right in front of me.
Tomorrow I start clearing and making a work schedule.
The dangerous part of this dialogue is the last sentence that begins with the word, “Tomorrow.” Better to start now.
Just move three things to where they belong: to a clothes hangar, to the trash bin, to a bookshelf.
Your movement is evidence to yourself that you really heard your inner voice and are taking action. Tomorrow you will do more. But you can go to sleep tonight knowing that you have begun. That evidence will work its way into your deep psyche giving you the energy and will to do more.
Important note: You are reading this article. You see words on a page. The words go to your conscious mind where all your defenses are in place. You might get some insight from this article, but not a warm flood of a gasping sensation that inspires and reassures at the same time. That's the kind of force you awaken when you have this dialogue yourself and let your clutter speak to you.
Your clutter is a physical manifestation of your personal obstacles and opportunities. When you allow it to speak to you it will say what is most meaningful to you. That's where the power of this dialogue is.
This article is a map. The journey is yours.
Joanna Poppink, MFT, private practice psychotherapist, E-mail for free telephone consultation.
Book: Healing Your Hungry Heart: recovering from your eating disorder