Synopses & Reviews
Cut the Crap — and Discover What Really Matters
Over the course of his career helping people let go of things they no longer need, Brooks Palmer has been struck by the many ways that clutter affects relationships. In these pages, he shows how we use clutter to protect ourselves, control others, and cling to the past, and how it keeps us from experiencing the joy of connection. With insight-prompting questions, exercises, client examples, and even whimsical line drawings, Palmer will take you from overwhelmed to empowered. His gentle guidance will help you to not only clear clutter from your home but also enjoy deeper, more authentic, and clutter-free relationships of all kinds.
After many hours spent clutter busting with clients and responding to emails sent by the readers of his first book, Brooks Palmer realized that many people were curious about some of the deeper manifestations of clutterhow it crowds the mind and thought processes and how it can even interfere with relationships. Although this distracting bulk never serves us, it can provide the illusion of insulation from our essential fragility, a quality that Brooks sees as essential to existence but also the root of many futile efforts to build power that would obscure it. Alas, these tricks never work, but the clarity of awareness can prevent the clutter-building part of us to learn to appreciate space not as void, but as a life-giving resource that renews us. Brooks illustrates these points through anecdotes, gentle discussions, and abstract jokes and cartoons, never forcing the reader to accept his thesis but prodding the subconscious with subtle suggestions that bring about deep change with the absence of blame.
In Western society, weve accepted that more is always better, and our houses and garages, basements and storage lockers, are jammed with things we never use but feel we need to hang onto until some future event will prove their usefulness, or because they were valuable to someone we loved (or hated). Brooks Palmers advice: cut the crap.” Cut the crap of pretending that we need these things and cut the crap of the way we talk about clutter, both emotional and physical. By clearing physical clutter and acknowledging the lack of inherent value in many of the possessions we cling to, we also learn to cut the crap around relationships and emotions and discover who and what really matters in our lives. For example, if someone hangs on to their great aunts bureau, a white elephant but a family heirloom, they may also be hanging on to repressed feelings about their own worth, hoping to demonstrate that they care about family, or that they are a valuable member of the tribe. Brooks tells a poignant story about a man struggling with his feelings for his alcoholic father who trips every night over a massive wooden chest the very same chest the father hid liquor in. By discarding the chest, the son was able to move forward with his own healing.
Clutter affects all of our relationships, and our relationships affect our tendency to hold on to things that no longer serve us, be they objects, resentments, anger, dependency, or habits. It is all clutter if it isnt serving us, and Brooks has learned how to help clients and readers understand this without making them feel bad about themselves. Brookss gentle approach guides and supports rather than accuses, and he helps anyone start small, with a few forays into clearing out what has become garbage, and moving on toward a healthy relationship with their things and other people. As Brooks writes, were all fragile, and weve built up clutter armor to protect us. Yet that very armor is what we must shed in order to find the love and happiness that we deserve.
After writing his best-selling Clutter Busting
, Brooks Palmer realized that he needed to delve deeper into how clutter affects all of our relationships and how our relationships affect our tendency to hold onto things we no longer want or need. This is the stuff that keeps us from experiencing "the joy of connection," the stuff we use to protect ourselves, control others, and hold onto the past. Most of our physical and emotional clutter served a purpose at one time, so Palmer gently guides readers to start small. Insight-prompting questions, exercises, client examples, and even whimsical line drawings by the author take readers from overwhelmed and vulnerable to liberated and empowered so that they enjoy deeper, more authentic, and clutter-free relationships of all kinds.
About the Author
uses compassion, awareness, and humor to help clients get rid of clutter. He has been featured in national and local media and offers clutter-busting workshops. Also a stand-up comedian and member of the Screen Actors Guild, he lives in Chicago and Los Angeles.