Packing List: Part III

Comfort piece: My green sarong. It’s my multi-tool piece of clothing. A skirt, a changing room, a scarf, a sheet to sleep under on warmer nights, a beach towel, a pillow cover… it’s cotton and feels like a security blanket in harsher wilderness conditions, or a piece of stylish accent to the same black fleece I’ve worn the last 5 days. It’s colorful. It’s fun but also functional. It’s not necessary, but each time I use it I feel a bit of joy and delightful acceptance of this gift I am giving myself.

The last post on packing may have felt a bit harsh (leave the options at home), especially if you’re the type of person who delights in options. This post is a balancing point, a reminder that we also get to be gentle with ourselves, to not just go lightly, but to have fun along the way…and an invitation to do so with intention.

Sara, a fellow ARC guide and therapist, will often bring a kite along on her trips, or possibly a soft cotton sun shirt (that may not seem like a lot, but when you’re carrying everything on your back and have heaving climbing gear and multiple days worth of food, each ounce of weight comes with a cost). Her guiding rule is that to earn a spot in her bag, she needs to use the item at least every two days.

What is your multi-functional comfort piece? How do you practice a little extra self care, even simple indulgence, on a regular basis? And does this practice serve you in multiple ways? If indulging in nightly television leaves you having difficulty sleeping and feeling guilty for not being with your family, this may not be your multi-tool comfort piece. If you enjoy a piece of chocolate cake out with friends and savor the flavor, the shared moment, and leave guilt out of the equation, you may be on to something. In your home, what are the extras? And do you actually use them or are they tucked away in a closet only to be reconsidered each time you have a spring cleaning?

We are not only shaping our environments, but our environments are in turn shaping us as well. What do you want to carry along in this adventure of life?