I want to discuss toolboxes with you! What is a toolbox? Is it a place where you keep your personal resources. A toolbox should be your go to place anytime you have a problem. The place that helps you make a plan and move forward.
We have been discussing toolboxes a lot around here. Part of the reason this sassy mama has been so quiet is because elementary school started and boy was the transition rough this year. I would love to tell you that we have handled everything with grace, calmness and ease … but I cannot.
What I can say is that mindfulness has been an amazing tool for us. It has allowed us to see how we are handling things as individuals and discuss that. The children have come up with some amazing thoughts on how they could have handled things differently and sometimes insight into how another family member could have done better.
Also, as parents it has been an amazing tool. We have been able to honestly look at some of the times that were handled without grace to flat out badly and say “we do not want to be that type of parent”, without judgement. The lack of judgement has been really helpful in mental and emotional clarity; let’s face it parental guilt sucks.
During a time of high frustration, my partner pulled out a wonderful phrase. He asked our daughter “what tools are you using for this problem?” I then sat back and watched him have a conversation about tools and our job was to help her learn about tools and build her toolbox.
This was a huge turning point in the mindset and how all of us had been approaching this school year. We were all mindful that there were struggles but the variety of approaches wasn’t working well. However, once we began to focus on the tools in our individual toolboxes things fell into place.
This led to our MESSY toolbox:
Inside our MESSY toolbox we have tools to help on the Mental, Emotional and spiritual level to make you the superhero that you are. Mindfulness is a primary tool that I have in our toolboxes. We use this to be aware of the moment, situation and our feelings and attitude about this. Once we have that mindfulness, our awareness is greater. With greater awareness we can judge what tool or tools to begin with.
What happens when awareness isn’t enough? Trust. Trust yourself. Use the tool of meditation and journalling to listen to your inner wisdom. Not the ego voice, which is often louder and validating our fears. The voice that is calm, reassuring, clear and honest. The one that feels right to your gut.
Once we have that guidepost in place, we can begin to navigate our way through the situation at hand with tools in our toolbox. You may think that you don’t have tools, but rest assured that you do.
If we are fortunate, we all begin with a base education that tells us how to read, perform basic math, and research information. These basic skills propel us forward in life and we build on them through work and play.
Community, family, tribe all of this builds another skill set that we put in our toolbox. It is how we relate to people. Communication, trust, relationships, relying on others, working and cooperation to name a few.
Experience. The good, bad and ugly are stored here. This is where we have pain and pleasure. A spot where warning, instinct and experience marry and color our actions and reactions.
Wisdom. The place that keeps us from acting solely on experience and instinct. Where knowledge shapes and molds our experiences and instincts allowing us to choose how we will act or respond to a situation.
There is much more to discuss and I look forward to unpacking this with you over the Fall season.
Sassy Mama Irisa