Travelling into the Unknown: 5 Essential ‘Suitcase’ Items by N. Paley

A reality that becomes more pronounced as we get older is the uncertain nature of life; what we can rely on is that things are always changing and often unpredictable.  An individual’s ability to cultivate inner sturdiness, as well as an inner sanctuary–as much as possible–takes work and is worth it.

5 Essential Items:

1) Compassionate Relationship with Self
An important aspect of self-compassion is regular, honest check ins about where one’s mind, heart and body are at–which then corresponds with healthy self-care behaviors.  The empathy and care we offer to ourselves is vital as we go about the small and large trials and tribulations of being a person.  This might look like self-statements such as, “Ah, you’re not having the easiest of times dear, are you? It’s okay that you’re feeling sadness” or “This is confusing to you and it’s okay that it’s confusing;” or acts of self-nurturance such as long walks, vigorous exercise,  baths, a nourishing meal, spending time in healthy, satisfying relationships.
2) Bringing items into your inner ‘home’ that generate a feeling of ‘oomph!’ 
Taking stock of what you’re bringing into your life/self is also integral to feeling as good in self as possible.
Using a holistic approach:
-What food are you eating?  What food do you notice brings energy/calmness? What might do the opposite?
-What art or literature or media do you consume/ participate in/engage with daily? Does it leave you feeling connected to others/the world/yourself in a meaningful way? Does it brighten up your spirit? Does it bring it joy?
-This is a little ‘outer’…but what clothes are you wearing? Are you wearing items that make you feel comfortable and cozy or vivacious or do they make you feel worn out in any way?
4) Bringing people into your world that encourage and celebrate all parts of you to come out to play and being *that* person for others
You know it when you’re around these people 🙂 And it feels amazing to be this person for others.
5) A Case of the Sillies 

Finding things to laugh about alone and with others every day is energizing and healthy. Laughter gives stress a ride for its money. It’s hard to feel both at the exact same time! Get as silly as possible. Have a laughing fit. Find someone to have  a laughing fit with! 

6) An Attitude of Openness to Being  Beautifully Baffled 

Enjoy the mysteries….. You never know what magic is around the corner and you might find when you think about life, with a bit of a poetic wonder, that joy comes in naturally into your every breath and step. And on the note of poetry…

The Real Work, by Wendell Berry

It may be that when we no longer know what to do
we have come to our real work,and that when we no longer know which way to go
we have come to our real journey.The mind that is not baffled is not employed.The impeded stream is the one that sings.
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