Onward to the next 10 tools ...
Where did my love for mandalas begin? I swear I can't remember, but drawing and coloring mandalas has been a beloved tool of mine for a long time. I highly recommend any of the resources offered by Dr. Judith Cornell.
I'm certain that I have shared this story many times, although I am too lazy to dig around my archives to link to one of them. Forgive me. The short version is that my maternal grandmother crocheted constantly. I do not exaggerate. The woman was a master multi-tasker. She taught me how to crochet when I was about eight years old. As a matter of fact, I still hold the hook and yarn the way that I did as a child. It looks awkward, yes, but feels perfectly natural to me. Crocheting, period, feels perfectly natural to me. I believe that every form of needlework can be a meditation. I also believe that when we do needlework our female ancestors rejoice.
Thank you, Julia Cameron, for the Artist's Way and artist dates. This is where many of the things that I've already listed might fit in, but an artist date can be just about any outing that refreshes and inspires me. I can always tell when I haven't left the front yard in awhile ... it's time to plan an artist date.
I feel so lucky to have the most beautiful outdoor labyrinth a mere 20 minute drive from my house. It sits beside a river. I have seen deer, ground hogs, heron, and even a coyote that was as surprised to see me as I was to see it in the afternoon. If you have never walked a labyrinth, then I can't encourage you enough to find one near you. I can't explain why it is so transformational, but I assure you that it is. Take a problem to the path. Walk inward. Walk back out. See if you don't feel better for having taken the journey.
Animal Reiki Treatment:
Many thanks to my dear Animal Reiki teacher, Kathleen Prasad, for her books and workshops. I have learned so much. Although this tool is often used indoors with my two greyhounds and two cats, it often takes me outdoors where I send Reiki to wild animals and birds in the area (from a distance, of course). I don't always know where it goes, but I always feel better for having taken the opportunity to send it.
It sure feels great to give thanks where thanks is due. Gratitude letters are the gift that keeps on giving and this is a great tool when I find myself stuck in a mindset of lack. I pick someone who I would like to thank for being in my life or for just being themselves. Anyone, whether the impact was large or small. Maybe I send the letter or e-mail, but then again, for whatever reason, maybe I don't. But in the writing, I always know that the energy of gratitude gets sent.
I have to admit that I haven't employed this tool for a long time. I don't know what happened ... maybe just the changeover from tool to business, perhaps. I am working my way back to it. I haven't forgotten, though, how the wrapping process effects me. I don't plan the designs in advance, but rather let the stone or crystal let me know how it wants to be wrapped. I bask in the process.
A very simple, yet effective, tool to lift the spirits and energy. I am counting the days until my peonies bloom.
This one is pretty simple, as well. Who doesn't feel better in a new outfit ... even if it is just new-to-them? What we wear affects how we feel. Period.
Another biggie in my toolbelt. I handwrite in a journal almost every single day and have been doing so, with a few breaks, since I was teenager. When I miss it, it's like forgetting to take my vitamins. I swear I feel it. Nothing of any particular consequence or worth is going into these notebooks. I often wonder why I continue to pile them up because, surely, future generations will pity my apparent self-absorption. Oh well, it is a chance I choose to take because writing this way is such a big part of what makes me, me!
We're not finished. More tools to follow!