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WRITE TEAM: Does you 'stuff' hold you back?

Unstuff your life.

What thoughts does that evoke in you?

Pause here for a minute to reflect on what came to your mind first.

What emotions came up about your “stuff”?

As I made a list of ideas to write about, this one percolated to the surface. How you answer the above will be different than how I answer or someone else perhaps.

What does your stuff look like? How does your stuff make you feel? Does your stuff hold you back or get in your way?

We’ve been going through the stuff in our house room by room to purge the things we no longer need. It is a daunting task that just seems to never end. Honestly, for me, it feels like dental work.

I would rather not do it!

We started last year with our garage. The reward at the end was to be able to park our cars in the garage for the first time in 20 years. We had been using it for a storage unit because I just couldn’t make myself deal with saying goodbye or letting go of what was in there.

I was emotionally attached to all that stuff so we could never use that space for our cars. It’s no wonder I hate winter so much.

Letting go was hard, emotionally draining and labor intensive but when we drove the cars in there that first night my heart was filled with joy and delight. It was so exciting I took many pictures to document that it was real.

We have been parking the cars in the garage ever since. I refuse to let anything get in the way of that joy ever again! We have done the same in the attic and some other areas of the house but there’s more stuff to let go of; it’s a process.

Stuff that’s physical can be easy to identify because we can see it with our eyes. Stuff that’s emotional isn’t always easy to see or identify.

According to Andrew J Mellen, “The most organized man in America,” “It’s often the stuff behind the stuff that holds people back. He starts with truly achievable goals and works toward the nightmare projects everyone tries hard to avoid."

I don’t know about you but I’m glad to know I’m not alone. Since we have talked about goals for this year and this decade we need to take a look at the stuff holding us back.

What’s in the way? What’s stopping us from achieving our goals? What are the obstacles we’re facing? What do we need to let go of? What do we need to say “no” to? What are we emotionally attached to that is holding us back?

If we can identify the stuff then we can begin to examine it with fresh, clear, unemotional vision.

If we want to reach our goals we must unstuff our lives. It’s hard, emotionally draining and labor intensive work but it’s so worth it!

Every time I park my car in the garage I am reminded of the joy and rewarded by being able to use it. I’m glad I made the effort to do the work.

What stuff do you need to let go of to reach your goals?

CRYSTAL BALAS is a life coach, writer and speaker living in La Salle. She can be reached at

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