Tools in Your Pockets

Pockets. They’re designed to keep useful tools close by. Against the body. Like a second skin. So that when you need to jot something down. Remember a task. Fix something. Hold something for later. You don’t have to scramble around like a basket case trying to find it. 

Or rely on someone else for help. 

In short: they help you be better at being you.

Up until the French revolution women had large pockets tucked under their voluminous skirts that were large enough to hold books, mending materials, writing devices, and even lunch. 

But as fashion became more streamlined, women’s pockets moved off the body and into handbags — more distant, easier to misplace, or have stolen.

Making essential tools harder to find and more difficult to access in need. 

Pockets speak to this question of preparedness, and your ability to move in public and to be confident. It’s really difficult to get around if you don’t have what you need...” says Hannah Carlson, a lecturer at the Rhode Island School of Design who was interviewed about the politics of pockets in the awesome podcast, Articles of Interest.

So I guess you're wondering what pockets have do you with coaching?

Well, I’ve been thinking recently about the tools we need to move ahead with our projects. 

Women often think they need to have everything mastered, integrated and assimilated into every fiber of their body in order to be legitimate, comfortable and prepared. 

Maybe it has to do with the diminishing size of pockets over time and the growing sense that men are better equipped for the challenges of the world than we are. 

Who knows.

But what interests me is this question:  What tools do you need to get you where you want to go with confidence and ease?

And when I say "tools" I'm not talking about hammers and nails and mending materials, in fact your tools don't have to be objects at all!

A client of mine recently described an "immaterial toolkit" that she created to collect “things” she knows are good for her as she journeys forward. 

  • Friendships where she can be vulnerable and real

  • Rituals that bring her immense joy

  • Experiences that spark curiosity and enable growth

  • Mindsets that are benevolent and constructive

They’re all tucked away in her toolkit — safe, cosy and close. Carefully selected for the precious vitality they bring her. 

Once you know where you’re going, the next step is to choose the tools you need to help you get there. Venturing out ill-equipped just sets you up for pain and a whole lotta trouble.

You wouldn't head into the forest for an overnight in the wild without a compass, a sleeping bag, and some coffee for the morning after, right? That would be bonkers. 

So tell me, what tools do you want to put in your pockets to get you where you want to go? 

And here’s some more great reading about the politics of pockets