On Toolboxes: Why We Need Options

November 1, 2016

toolsetting

I have this Talisman. It’s a gorgeous weaving of 3 types of metal wire, in the form of a pouch.
I often wear it around my neck like a medicine bag placing small tokens (other talismans) in it that I need to plug into for that day.

Sometimes I keep it empty. It’s incredibly powerful in its symbolism alone.
It’s a container for what I need. And those needs change.

Health, wellness and healing are nonlinear. Nor are they flat.
And our approach to these things can not be one-dimensional.
We have various needs. And those needs change.

We are complex, multidimensional, dynamic beings.
Physical, Mental, Emotional, Energetic.
We need movement. We need rest.
We need sovereignty. We need connection.

It’s not and/or it’s and/but.

We can not limit our approach to wellness to simply addressing symptoms.
Or even prevention.
Limitation does not equal health.

Eating well and moving your body is just as important as quiet times of reflection
and connecting with people who support you.
Doing things that bring you joy, caring for your teeth, even dressing in a way
that makes you feel comfortable and confident are all on the spectrum too.

And so we need a toolbox.
A different toolbox for everyone because everyone’s medicine is different.

What works, what doesn’t, what you’re drawn to, what you’re curious about.
What works occasionally, what brings you joy and pleasure and eases pain.
What shifts your mindset, calms your nerves, revs you up.
What changes your perspective, connects you to something bigger, higher.
What helps you move with ease. What helps you navigate the road ahead.
What inspires you, what reduces inflammation, what clarifies your trauma.
What opens your heart, what gets you through. What helps you pay attention.
What makes you think, what makes you feel.
What helps.
What is easy and accessible when you are on the cold tile of the bathroom floor or deep under blanket fort on your bed having convinced yourself you can’t and actually don’t want to do a single thing for yourself at that moment.

All these things.

My personal toolbox is quite extensive. More like a toolshed.
Some things remain true and steady. Many are more fluid, ever changing.

My medicine today may not be my medicine tomorrow.

Some of my tools are objects:
Crystals, MELT roller, hot water bottle, running shoes, vitamix, tarot deck. A word.

Some are actual remedies:
Homeopathy, herbs, essential oils, clean food.

Some are people.
My girlfriends, my teachers, my massage therapist.

Often my most healing medicine is a verb.
Cooking, hiking, seeing live music, writing, looking at art.
I’d keep listing but I prefer you explore and find yours.

Each day I try to ask myself what I am devoted to.
And what my needs are so that I can show up fully.
Then I lift the lid and choose.

On very rare occasions my answer is laying on the couch in pain,
choosing nothing but feeling sorry for myself.
On those very rare occasions, though totally un-helpful, I find I am devoted to wallowing.
That’s when the easy-to-grab tools come in handy. Like an essential oil or a song.
They pull me out of the hard.

But generally, daily, I make self care sacred.

I am responsible for me.
And I need all the help I can get.

Take some time to dig through your toolbox. Ask yourself some questions.
What are you already doing?
What’s in there that you haven’t used in a long long time?
What’s no longer serving you?
What part of your body or aspect of your life is feeling neglected?
Who can help you figure out more and diverse tools?
What are some ways you can get more use out of your tools?
What are some ways you can get better access to your tools?
What are you devoted to?
What is your medicine?

How can you make self care sacred?

let’s rock this thing.
karen

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