I find myself thinking about my own tools and also suggesting tools to others. It's become my feeling that if we don't have defined tools---that we recognize and deliberately decide to use every day---setting aside time for those tools, then we keep on doing the same things. It just stands to reason that if we can't create different "neural pathways" in our brains (I'm reading When the Servant Becomes the Master, and it talks about creating different neural pathways---actual pathways---of different actions), we won't/can't do anything different. We will just keep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting (hoping, praying, begging for) a different result. The very definition of insanity. It also seems to me that there are different tools for different points in the journey. Some are the tools we begin with---like a nap, a gratitude list, a walk, one Al-Anon meeting. Some are the tools in mid and later journey, like a trip, working the 12 steps with a Sponsor, writing and reading this site daily, keeping a daily journal. Sometimes we have to go back to the beginning, and keep it simple. Other times we are ready and have the inner and outer resources to go further. I find myself cycling through different tools on different days, depending on my physical, emotional, mental and spiritual state. Sometimes I just have to take a nap, I am so spent with this. Other times, I can read a Buddhist writer so is taking me to a completely new place in learning to live with uncertainty. What are your tools? I am finding that my tools grow and change and some of the things I am doing---like my blog for Lent about getting rid of 40 things a day for 40 days---are turning into tools. Who would have thought that? I just started with the nagging, growing feel that my closet was completely out of control. Now, it's growing beyond that simple start. A few weeks ago, I read a post where someone talked about reading the book Simple Abundance. I knew I had that book somewhere, although I had never completed it. I ran around the house and found it on a bookshelf. Now, I am keeping it out and visible. I have started it over again. It's a daily meditation and it is packed with relevant things for me. In the foreward, author Sarah Ban Breathnach says: "During this time of profound introspection, six practical, creative and spiritual principles---gratitude, simplicity, order, harmony, beauty and joy---became the catalysts that helped me define a life of my own. One morning, I awoke to the realization that, almost imperceptibly, I had become a happy woman, experiencing more moments of contentment than distress." This book was published in 1995. So. My precious 24 year old son is a drug addict and is homeless right now. He has been on the street for 30 days tomorrow. He doesn't have a job. He doesn't have a place to live. If he gets arrested again he will go to prison for four years. He is not in recovery or working a 12-step program. He talks some of the talk of change, but there isn't much action. I love him very much but I can't hitch my wagon to his any more. If he takes some solid steps forward (not talk but action) for a while, I will be there to help. Right now, my help comes in the form of saying I love you, I know you can do it, and I'll bring your mail to the shelter If I get any. Let's keep in touch. So. I am talking about cleaning out my house at a time like this? Yes, I am. I know, it sounds crazy on the face of it. But somehow, it is much, much more than cleaning out a house. I am so grateful to be in this place. I want more of it. And I believe it's about finding, committing to and using, the tools of change.