Perhaps start by opening up the Feelings card and asking yourself which colour you might be feeling and why. There are no right or wrong answers. This is simply a way to reflect on how you feel.
Then perhaps use the Calming oil, applying a little to your wrists and smelling it, then breathing out gently. Then take a Presence card and concentrate on it for a minute. You can use the timer provided, if helpful. As you use Kitbag more you can extend the time to three minutes, again using the timer.
Using the calming oil and the Presence Card may be all that you have time for. However, if you wanted to delve deeper you could take a Transform Card. Sit with it a while, taking in the quality that it is offering, trying to bring these thoughts into your daily life. We suggest taking a week or a month for each card. You might like to leave it out somewhere where you can see if frequently to remind you of its message.
On a particularly difficult day or if struggling with a problem you might take a Hope Card. These offer solace and encouragement from others who have learnt through their own challenges. Remember it is OK to be angry or sad. Expect tears if you are sad. Expressing them in a safe way is important to help you grow as a person – and to help you recover if you have experienced a painful life event or are suffering from a chronic condition.
Egg timers can be used with Presence cards. They are also important for opening up different types of conversation, which help to build better quality relationships. With the One Minute timer, you may just want to catch someone’s attention for a minute. Just say, “Can I have a minute?” and put the timer down. Alternatively, the One Minute egg timer can be used if you have to have a difficult discussion with someone. The timer gives you and the other person equal turns so that you both have your say, each listening to what the other person has to say. After a few iterations the divisions between you will resolve. If this is a particularly difficult discussion, having a third party present can be helpful.
The Three Minute timer is for building relationships in your personal life and at work. Ask “What’s been good and what’s been hard?” and the person who answers holds the timer so that you can listen attentively. Then swap over. If you are using this in a group or a team, you can pass the timer round so that everyone gets his or her fair share of the time.
Using timed conversations regularly can help you building understanding and repair and strengthen your relationships. Having better quality conversations improves the quality of relationships with friends, children, partners or colleagues.
Originally a tool of Indian tribes, the Talking Stick gives the holder the permission to speak without interruptions and with respect from the listener. It is passed from person to person so that everyone involved has a chance to speak. You might use the Talking Stick when you need to talk through deep emotions or challenges you are facing. Again, it is important for the listener, or listeners, to respond to hearing someone’s story with positive appreciation.
The set of Worry Beads is a brightly coloured string of wooden beads on a piece of leather. This is a tool to make your own. Often handling the beads can be calming, even just passing one by one through your fingers on the loop. Sometimes they can be combined with calm breathing, the gentle clicking of the wood being a comforting sound and feeling.
You can add further items to your Kitbag such as a notebook to record feelings and challenges that may come up for you over time. Keeping a journal can help you work through difficult emotions. A photo album is good to keep so that you have photos of people and places you love in one place that you can refer to when things are difficult. A small pebble from a favourite beach is also a good idea for your Kitbag as it is something to hold onto to remind you of good times if you are not feeling well. You may also like to work with Kitbag listening to gentle music.