Freeing the Self

“Everything needs space in order to breathe. This includes everything you own, including yourself. If you are lost in clutter, or have become the clutter, then it’s time to release & let go”….Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht


I met up with Kate over the weekend. When she walked into my office, her back was bent over, as if carrying a heavy weight. The image was so real that I almost asked her to please put it down. She sat in the chair & looked up at me as if she were looking at me from inside a hole where she was residing. Kate is only 20 years old, but her burdens have aged her well beyond her years. It’s always sad for me to meet up with the Kate’s of the world.

I ask Kate to tell me about herSelf. She looks at me as if I am speaking a foreign language.

“What do you mean?”

This is a hiding, low self-image & self-esteem answer to my question. As a clinical hypnotherapist, I’m already forming the metaphors that will hopefully help Kate out of the hole. I still don’t know how long she has resided there, nor how stuck she was. However, my experience tells me that the right metaphors can yank her out, even if she prefers living down there.

I smile quietly, relaxing my body into the chair, looking to build rapport slowly, not wanting to frighten the bird. I communicate with Kate’s subconscious mind through spoken & unspoken words. There is no need to rush, no need to panic. While time is always an issue in our busy lives, we must stop rushing. It’s next to impossible to free the Self when rushing or when being with others who rush & push. The tonality of my voice delivers the chosen words of my own subconscious mind, somehow knowing how to travel forward.

“If you could give me anything you don’t want, what would it be?”

Kate smiles….“Oh, just one thing?” 

This is a good opening. The question was playful, bringing her into the metaphor without a direct challenge. Smiling back, I relax deeply into my chair, taking Kate deeper into a relaxed state. We are on our way.

“Let’s take a shopping cart & walk the aisles of your life, starting in the aisle of “right now” & then going backward. you can put as many things in the cart that you would like to give me.”

The metaphor forms a framework that allows the mind to open & to release. The release is paramount to freeing the Self. When we are highly cluttered it is often impossible to focus on the issues or problems. We are suffocating, but can’t seem to move the garbage so we can breathe. The baggage on Kate’s back indicated the level of clutter she was carrying around with her.


The truth about clutter is that it’s difficult to see, even if we are surrounded by it. This is true for both tangible & intangible clutter. It’s possible for someone to sit at a desk piled high with papers, magazines, old coffee cups, personal & business junk, etc. & not be aware of the disorganization. One can live in a house with clutter coming out of the walls & be blind to it. The refrigerator can be storing moldy vegetables, old take-out containers, empty catsup bottles & the like without being able to communicate with the owner.

It’s impossible to free oneself when one can’t see the clutter.

Kate resides in her hole because she believes she is safe from her confusion or clutter, but unfortunately, there is no hiding place. Also, residing in the hole is not free. There is rent to be paid & that can be quite hefty, as the hole is very demanding. Kate pays her rent by being swallowed by her compulsions & addictions that range from shopping to daily wine consumption.

But….If we choose to be free we can move along in life. However, we must be willing to see & then take ownership of the clutter, be it tangible or intangible. Changing behaviors & patterns will be part of the equation & that is how Kate will exit her hole.


The good news is that all clutter is related. As tangible clutter is opened & cleared, it’s intangible counterpart will also release. We begin where we are.

Clutter equals confusion. If the environment is confused, then the mind also lives in confusion. We tend to own too much stuff & have trouble releasing or letting it go. “What will happen if I throw that away? I’d better keep it. If I move it, then I won’t be able to find it. I’ll read that later. I want that. I need that. That makes me feel good. I’ll fix that later. When I have time I want to spend time with that.”

The conversations go on & on.

Clutter breeds clutter. We never seem to have enough. Shopping lists & desire lists tend to get longer & longer. We want & need more things. We equate things with feeling safe & contented, but it is fleeting. The compulsion to buy, to store, to hoard intensifies. The addiction is busily forming itself into its own monster shape. The credit card reports the story on the tangible side. Anxiety, tension, depression, lack of concentration tells the story on the intangible side.

Kate heads for the hole.

Kate pushes the cart down the first aisle. It fills quickly. We go back for another cart & it will be one of many. There is much that Kate wants to release & so this is good news.


Look around you? Take a cart & begin…