Friday, August 8, 2008

Sacred Space?

"Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it's not all mixed up."--A.A. Milne

Someone once said that clutter begins in the mind and ends up on the floor - or the desk as the case may be! From this picture I can see that the owner does seem to have a system of piling items - I'm assuming that the important items are near the top? And I bet s/he could find what s/he needed at a moment's notice! ok....maybe a week's notice :)

Some of you may know that I engage in some decluttering counseling which is similar to professional organizing but with more emphasis on the spiritual side of getting rid of what holds us back from spiritual growth. Does their surrounding space draw the person closer to the Divine? Or does it somehow serve as a barrier to relationship? An ancient Hasidic saying expresses this much better than I can - "Where there is too much, something is missing."

When I see a picture like this one my heart skips a beat with anticipation for I know that in the process of getting to the bottom of this pile I will discover how the owner functions, thinks, and feels about themselves and their relationship with God and others and that is always exciting territory to explore! The only question for me would be, when do we begin?

8 comments:

Rebecca said...

I work for a City government. I can tell you that I have seen first hand SEVERAL offices in my department that look like this. These are people that have good paying jobs, have titles and have one on one interaction with the public. They can NEVER find anythng. When someone important comes to our office they are ordered to clean up their offices - which means that they simply throw everything into a box and hide it under the desk. When the important person leaves ... then instead of going through the box and decluttering it - they just dump all of the stuff out of the box and back onto the desk.

I think there is a large level of comfort with their desks looking like that. God forbid if you try and help them clean up the desk. They pitch a fit. "Don't touch anything - I know where everything is!"

It goes to show that it's much deeper than the stuff on their desk.

Brad said...

Roberta, this is fascinating - one of the best things you've sent. See? Your own writing is every bit as good as that of others whose material you share. Interesting too - your only question is "when do we begin?" And the cluttered person may say "I can't wait" and really mean it. But as you know from your experience, having somebody else dig through our clutter and really get to know us can be a very wrenching experience. Even though the walls of clutter may shut us off from something important, we built them to protect us from something, and when someone else helps us tear them down, we are forced to face that old threat or fear. Not easy! - Brad

ROBERTA said...

Thanks Brad,
That is why I will only work with someone for a span of 3 hours - usually by the end of that period we are all emotionally drained and sometimes the client is really upset with me - displaced resentment for what they perceive as my taking their "stuff" away....

But in the end they are surprised at the change in their energy levels and the ne feeling of calm that they are beginning to experience.

Love,
Roberta

Andrea said...

wow, great perspective!

Rebekah said...

My husband's office looks like that...and now so does what used to be my home. My mother's house looks like that. Need I say more?

Diane said...

Hi Roberta, I visit your blog periodically and can't help but comment on this post. The Hasidic quote is soooo true and can be applied to more than just the clutter on the desk or any other messy accumulation. People can accumulate lots of 'stuff' (usually at the expense of or in the absence of relationships)trying to fill a void, or to cover up a deep issue that is either too painful to deal with alone or too overwhelming to process. When the stuff is 'nice'(expensive) its a whole lot harder to see the important things that are missing.

Jayne said...

That was our former rector's desk. No, I am not kidding. And, he kept the church with the same care. Nuff said...

Scott R. Davis said...

that looks like my apartment at home with my clutter. i ran into your blog as I ran into your comment to Ruth. check mine out at www.scottrdavis.blogspot.com
do you do work in Ct or consult by phone.
scott