Life Tool Box?

We’re having fun kicking off our “It’s Never Too Late” class this week, getting to know each other.  In the course of responding to a comment, I wrote something about putting one of the techniques we’re learning into my Life Tool Box.  I didn’t realize I had a Life Tool Box until I typed those words, but my subconscious mind seems to have been collecting tools for quite a few years.

So now I’m challenging myself to think about what is in my tool box.

Books.  Lots and lots of books.

“Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill was one of the first philosophies I learned to live by as an adult.  I always have a copy of the original book in my book case.

Multiple copies of the Tao Te Ching, in many translations, including those by Ursula LeGuin and Stephen Mitchell.

Journalling, or doing Morning Pages if you’re familiar with Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way”.  I journal every morning, and add more thoughts at the end of my day.  Been doing it for many years now.  I can always tell when there is something off in my world because I quit writing.  It’s a big warning sign that I’m out of alignment.

My favorite pencils, Palomino Blackwing 602s.  They are the best pencil in the world, and well worth the $2 each I pay for them.  Boldly stamped in gold on the side of each pencil are the words “Half the pressure, Twice the speed”.  They write smoothly, allowing you to ease off on your grip and write faster.

Absence of sad and depressing things.  Cee and I don’t watch the news.  We don’t watch TV shows that are downers, or deal with an apocalypse or nasty things like that.  Comedy that thinks it’s funny by denigrating others or relying on swear words to make a point.  We stay with uplifting ideas, heart-warming shows.  Yes, we’re sappy.  And proud of it.  Pollyanna?  Sure, why not?  I’d rather envision a happy world than anything else.  And for the most part, we live it.  Almost every day’s journal ends with “It’s been a great day.  Life is fun”

I live with so many powerful philosophical ideas that I’ve collected over the years.  It would be hard to list all of them.

Techniques like Pivoting, Segment Intending, Baby Steps and others, that allow me to reframe my experience.  One of the first things Cee ever taught me was how to turn the bad into good, followed closely by baby stepping, breaking things down into small parts instead of trying to be Practically Perfect in Every Way, which we know is reserved for Mary Poppins.

I’m going to keep thinking about what is in my Life Tool Box.  It’s fun to appreciate all the wisdom I’ve collected over the years.

What’s in your Life Tool Box?


24 Replies to “Life Tool Box?”

  1. Awesome post Chris. I had never considered the toolbox concept until you mentioned it in your earlier post. I too have developed so many coping and life tools over my life that it’s amazing. I have a naturally positive attitude but most of my life philosophy boils down to something my grandmother told me years ago. “Every day above ground is a good day.” Thanks so much for sharing, keep it coming. 😉

    Liked by 5 people

  2. O would need my books! Poetry by David Whyte, Mary Oliver, Christian Wiman, Marie Howe, and John O’Donohue. And books by Kathleen Norris, Joan Chittister, Anne Lamont, Richard Rohr, Fredrick Buechner, and Brene Brown. And I’d need gratitude and prayer and music, my writing and photography…and my meds and lots of sleep!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I don’t watch the news any more. I listen to the news on the radio when I wake up and I skim headlines online but I don’t want to spend an hour hearing mostly depressing stories. I stay away from apocalyptic films and those with ugly words and acts too. I like a story with a happy ending too so I don’t think you and Cee are sappy at all. Like you and Ann Stock I liked to visualise how my life would be, what sort of place I wanted to live in and how I wanted to spend my time. I think it’s good to have aspirations as long as they are not totally unrealistic. It’s better than thinking that what you have is the only way life can be if you are not happy with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Exercise is an important aspect of my life. If I skip for several days in a row – I’m grumpy. I’ve recently started reading a book by Dr. Lisa Barr (who happens to be a physician I see as needed – her specialty is Physical and Rehabilitative Medicine aka Pain Management). Her book is Outsmarting Your Pain and she writes about the mind-body connection associated with pain. She uses traditional medicine as any other doc – but – she is very holistic in her approach. So her book is in my box. And anytime I can get to the beach or near water is something I do regularly. I am very drawn to it. I have a saying “my worst day on the beach is better than my best day at work”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We love the beach, too, and don’t take the time to go there often enough. It’s about a 90 minute drive away, so it can be a nice day outing. I love just sitting and watching the waves rolling in. Mesmerizing. I don’t even know where my head goes. I just escape and love it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Don’t want to be dumb here, but just what is Life’s Tool Box? This is the 1st time I’ve seen & read about it. Do you write about it on your WP page or here?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s just something that came to mind the other morning, so you didn’t miss anything. I was thinking about how when we learn a new skill we talk about a person having another tool or his tool best or her tool box. When it comes to tools we use to get through life, those tools can be philosophies we’ve learned, books we’ve read, mentors and coaches we admired. People, things and ideas. Does that make sense?

      Thanks for asking the question.

      Liked by 1 person

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