My Tool Belt
Fall has come to Minnesota and I’ve just returned from the north woods where the trees are ablaze with the deep rich colors of red, gold, orange and brown. The skies are dark and the clouds are luminous with the occasional peek a boo sun guiding me safely home. This weather and this time of year always makes me think of my Grandfather who was a cabinet maker by trade. At this time of year I always welcomed his embrace which was a combination of a Pendleton wool shirt and the fragrance of freshly milled wood. As a child I loved to go into his workshop to watch him build things. I was a curious child who asked lots of questions and was fascinated by all of the tools and tool boxes that he had. I don’t recall him wearing a tool belt, but he always seemed to have the right tool for the job, and if he didn’t he went out and bought it. Having the right tools supported him in achieving beautiful outcomes.
“They” say we are to walk through this world one foot at a time, and that its best to be living in the present, and in the present moment. It sounds like a right and reasonable plan right? For me, it’s an aspiration, and a daily practice. I personally have several practices that I do daily and it’s taken time for me to find the right tools that are supportive for me. My tool belt consists of many things; yoga mat, pen and paper for journaling, meditation, daily prayer, mantras, and weekly coaching to name a few. But what happens when life throws you a curveball? How do I use my tool belt? How supportive are my practices then? Honestly, using my tool belt of practices can be hard depending on how intense I am hit with a life curveball.
My tool belt may be lying in the corner of the room staring at me waiting for me to go and take something out of the pocket. If it sits there too long it shouts at me “Hey! Pick me up, just choose one of us, we’ve got lots of pockets here, c’mon pick one!”
I know my practices are supportive, it’s taken me a long time to cultivate my tool belt adding and subtracting things along the way. But in times of difficulty my mind says “blow off the practices.” This is where the challenge comes in because I know better, and at this point one would think I have it nailed down. Sometimes the first step is the hardest, and I get on that yoga mat and “asana it out” other times I write fast and furiously releasing the pain onto the pages, maybe I bang on my drum. Whatever practices I choose to do helps me determine what I need. I’m a good problem solver by nature and can easily come up with a plan for most scenarios.
When the life challenge is big, hard or sad, “what do I need” sometimes is not as clear. I go to the tool belt and in one of the big pockets are multiple options: energy work, acupuncture, massage, coaching session, call a friend, take a nap. What matters is in my tool belt are choices, practices and people that help me, support me. There are times when only one thing is needed. For example when I am missing my Grandfather, I will head over to Menards and roam the lumber aisles inhaling the reminiscent scent of him. Other times what I need is a more integrative approach and several practices are needed.
What’s in your tool belt? What is inside those pockets that support you and sustain you? What’s missing from your tool belt? How can I help? Want to learn practices and tools that are supportive for your own self care? Contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org Visit my website: www.deanadowns.com