“You can’t read the label when you’re inside the jar.”
Do you know how often I say this?
That’s how often. (Usually accompanied by a ☝️). Why? Because it’s sooooo dang true! Think about it. How many times have you tried to fix a problem that was totally unfixable by YOURSELF but the only reason you’re not getting help is because you think you CAN and SHOULD be able to do it on your own? (Oh, and you’re being stubborn.)
Maybe you’re having thoughts like:
-Why can’t I get organized on my own, it’s not rocket science for gods sake!
-I’m so frustrated, why do I have to spend time, money and energy going through ‘all my crap’.
-I’m totally mystified and overwhelmed, how did this ever get to be this bad in the first place!
Listen, I get it. It kinda sucks! Opening jammed up closets, peering at your desk with all the piles of who-knows-what’s-in-there paperwork, or walking into the crowded living room that does not feel cozy like those Wayfair commercials at all.
It can be so overwhelming.
But again, I invite you to consider the jar-label analogy.
I’ve worked with a wide swath of people and their stuff and you know what? They’re just like You. We all get stuck and need a little help from time to time. And what we often really need is someone to really listen in and be there in an agenda-free way (I call this “holding space”). While Stuffology is very active and energetic, it’s also about being witnessed.
At the end of the day, my friends, that’s what my work boils down to. How can I be there for you?
Quick story. A friend I super duper enjoy but don’t get to connect with all that often reached out, needing help with her garage. As we wove through her home on the way to our work zone, she pointed out all the other areas she was going to need me, “Oh gawd, just look at my pantry. What a mess!” and then, “Oh, man Nicole, you should see our master….we gotta get you in there.”
Then we got to the garage. Silence. Defeat and frustration registered across her face. Immediately, she went to the place everyone goes: the place that lands you right inside that jar again. The thoughts, the should’s, the bad feelings, all the judgment..
The truth is, of course you’re more than able to get the task at hand done. Where we get jumbled up is when we let the momentum of our bad thoughts snowball to the point where it blocks us from reaching out and getting some help. There’s no shame in asking for help! In fact, what could be a stronger act of courage and vulnerability that to reach out and say “does this blouse I bought twenty five years ago still look okay on me?”
Back to my friend and the garage. “It’s okay, we can do this,” I said confidently. I may have even lightly grasped her shoulder. She was wearing a Seahawks jersey so I knew she had plenty of grit. She looked at me, nodded with a, “you’re crazy, but let’s see what you got” and then, we launched.
Three hours later, the garage was half done but we were cooked. It was a good days work. We were filthy and tired but man, we kicked some serious clutter ass. We stood there and looked at our work, hands on our hips, staring at the organized gloriousness and just smiled. I left her with a list of things to do: “Homework” I call it.
The next day, she texted me a picture of the list with a bunch of red check marks next to the “to do’s.”
WHAT!?!! Amazing. She was so on it.
And then, a few days later, a picture of the other half of the garage. Done. What a badass!
Then, she went after the pantry.
All. By. Herself.
She was officially OUT OF THE JAR.