Contentment In A Basket
I had some questions about participating in this blog share as private therapy and quality baskets seemed to have little common ground.
Then I remembered that when previously working in a community drug and alcohol service, staff used to frequently joke that they needed a basket of kittens or puppies in the office to manage stress and to offset the harrowing disclosures they were privy to. This led me to consider what baskets represent to each unique individual.
How did I feel when I first visited Choice Baskets Headquarters? I recalled experiencing strong feelings of excitement. I was surprised by the strength of feeling and recognised that my excitement was rooted in what a basket represents and reminds me of. It occurred to me that baskets tend to be a receptacle for good, precious and positive things.
Hampers are representative to me of Christmas, picnics, gifts and prizes. There is something supremely decadent and luxurious about a hamper. As a child growing up in a working class household I was fascinated by storybooks that spoke of boarding schools, tuckboxes and Christmas hampers. As an adult I have no shame in admitting a preoccupation with Fortnum & Mason and Harrods Christmas hamper brochures. I guess I’m just morbidly captivated by how the other half lives and enjoy make believe shopping.
I suppose there are certain baskets that socially and financially suggest you have “arrived” they represent a certain standard of living. I recently had a discussion of how Choice Baskets aren’t selling baskets but a lifestyle. Their storage products are completely accessible and reasonably priced but they are a nod towards style and far more eco friendly than a plastic tub. The humble laundry basket can create a positive illusion of something appealing to the eye and effective in disguising its insalubrious contents.
My experience of picnics extends to sandwiches, hard boiled eggs and crisps in a carrier bag or rucksack. I am curious about people who actually own a picnic hamper and I have an insatiable urge to interrogate them about frequency of use, location and most importantly what their hamper contains.
Being a therapeutic practitioner means I am fascinated by people’s habits, thoughts, emotional behaviour and what drives them. I am wary of material possessions being responsible for happiness, this can only ever be short lived.
When running workshops we use (Choice Baskets) baskets for interactive exercises and one hamper contains prizes and gifts for participants. This tends to generate feelings of excitement in the group that exceeds the value of the contents. I guess my point is that anticipation of something is often much more powerful than the actual and that the simplest of things takes on added value when in a basket.
Our homes are reflective of us and where we are in life. In the western world whether we like it or not our experiences are inextricably linked with “stuff.” How often is a memory of a person, place or time triggered by an item?
I have an open fire and would love one of Choice Basket’s vast log baskets because they look so fabulously homely, unfortunately my living room is not large enough to accommodate one. They stock smaller baskets which do not hold the same allure for me, which makes me wonder if subconsciously a large log basket represents security and stability for my family.
There are times in our lives when things are completely out of our control, this can lead to feelings of helplessness and powerlessness. There is genuine benefit in implementing structure and organisation to steady the ship.
This can be completely detached from the presenting, challenging circumstance. It is not uncommon for people to sift through their wardrobes and have a clear out when there is a change in season or a change in circumstance. Jamming clothing into a cupboard ‘jenga style’ is merely transferring or displacing rather than organising and has little or no benefit to your wellbeing. Purposefully sorting and storing them in baskets makes much more sense. When we are feeling rudderless and disorganised this can lead to a generalised scatter gun approach, where as being ordered and organised lends itself to a responsive, measured way of being and functioning. Feeling out of control can be an anxiety inducing state, focusing on organising our environment, both at work or home instils feelings of ownership and being ‘in charge.’
I have hankered after a rose lined wicker basket from Choice Baskets for some time. Initially I thought it was solely because it was pretty and rustic. I later realised that it was symbolic of my granny and associated happy memories from childhood. So, what is stopping me from buying it? I have no issue buying for other people. The reason I couldn’t justify this purchase is a consequence of previously experiencing significant financial hardship. There is a barrier to me buying things for myself because I want them rather than need them, this is something I am continually working on. Would the rose lined basket fulfil all my wants and needs? Of course not. The reason for this purchase would be because every time I look at it I would be reminded of my beloved granny and feel a hug in my tummy. Some things are priceless but don’t need to cost the earth.
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