I’m having a hard time cleaning my office. Can I use EFT to help from being distracted and just get the job done?
photo by Jaymie
Recently one of my clients, “Julie,” was about to start packing up her office. She had quit her job as she was moving on to do work that she really loved. I offered the following suggestion. “Before you clean your office, sit in the middle of the mess and tune in to it. See if it has anything to say about how you feel about the transition you are going to make. If any emotions arise from this, simply pay attention to them. Do Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) on any undesirable emotions before you start to clean the office.” Often the emotions we feel tell us something about how we fit in that situation. When we make necessary changes in ourselves first, the other tasks, even cleaning and organizing, are much easier.
Here is what she later wrote about the experience on her blog:
“Yesterday I received some wisdom from a friend regarding the only item on my to-do list this week…cleaning and packing my office. His advice was to tune myself in to the mess, let it speak to me, let any emotions related to the mess come to the surface and pay attention to them, acknowledge them, and then clean them.
“Having said that, I completely disregarded his advice when I got to the office this morning because I had done an amazing job on the drive in convincing myself that the state of my office is clearly about a lack of shelf space and couldn’t possibly be emotional, a reflection of myself, etcetera, on any level.
“Forty minutes into my cleaning and packing project all I had done was rearrange piles. Not one paper clip was packed. Not one piece of paper tossed in the recycle bin. I plunked myself onto my leather sofa, took a few deep breaths, and started to tune myself in to the space around me. And it began to speak. My bookshelf told me one thing. My desk told me another. The enormous box of Christmas lights whispered that I am really afraid that by choosing to leave my current job I am going to be left with a giant void of laughter in my life if I don’t spend time with teenagers on a regular basis. Who knew Christmas lights were so insightful? The wall in front of my desk covered in pictures, quotes, and notes, spoke very clearly about the struggle of managing long distance relationships. Little by little I was able to acknowledge and clean the feelings around cleaning my office…and as a result I made a serious dent in packing things up. By the time I got to the stack of paintings leaning against the wall, my perspective had completely shifted. (Sometimes we don’t want to hear what things, situations, or relationships have to say.) But now I was ready, even eager to keep moving forward. I will admit that I was tempted to take the artwork and spread it out around the room but I had at some point chosen to stack them in a pile way back when and needed to pay attention to that.
“So I did.
“And this is what was revealed…
“Don’t be afraid. You are an artist in bloom.”
Now, did the mess, the desk, the walls, or the paintings really talk? They talked no more or less then when I ask my clients, “If the pain in your knee could say something, what would it say right now to you?”
Did the information come from outside or within? In my mind it doesn’t matter, but by tuning in and listening Julie was able to identify emotions she was feeling about her transition. Before they were under the surface. They were hiding (or she was just refusing to hear them). By tuning in a different way — admittedly a very different way– she dealt with feelings that needed to be healed before she could move on.
From time to time I suggest this to my clients. The process is very.
- Sit in a place where you spend a great deal of time (office, kitchen, bedroom, or car).
- Tune into the area around you.
- Ask if the car/desk/table/wall could say something, what would it say?
- If something arises, do EFT on what you were tuning into, but whatever emotion has just grown in yourself.