What we choose to prioritise (consciously and unconsciously) and put at the centre of our life is paramount. Not only because it greatly impacts how we experience each moment, but the work you do, the people you give your time to, the habits you agree to, what you focus your mind and energies on, where and how you spend your spare time… It may sound obvious, but these choices are where our power lies.
My philosophy is that if we can gradually design our life so that we naturally prioritise and give our energy (whenever possible) to the essential, the beautiful, the precious and the most valued, then we can truly access more and more moments of living our best life.
I call these essential and beautiful elements of life, ‘everyday touchstones’. Your everyday touchstones are the people, places, activities, dreams, and goals that really matter to you. They are your gifts, talents, strengths, and your passions. They are your favourite places, treasures, and past times. They include the ways that you enjoy or value moving or caring for your body, or practice self-care in some way.
Some of your everyday touchstones have the capacity to weave a sense of purpose throughout your life, to fill you with energy and light, and some can help you to reach your highest heights. They will all help to lead you along the path that is right for you – they can provide an inner compass because they resonate with your soul and your spirit in some way.
I believe that if we commit to doing all that is in our power to live our life around them, our touchstones can help complete a beautiful jigsaw that equates to living our authentic truth. And living this way can have a positive flow-on effect on our communities, and on our planet. If we are each taking full responsibility for how we move through the world, how we spend our energy and time, and focus on what resonates with a deeper truth, this will naturally be gentler and more cohesive for everyone and all that we share this planet with.
Your touchstones can also help you to surrender to the things that are out of your control and if you can trust in these gems, those gems that help to lift and light you up – they are places, practices, activities, people etc to invest in. This is about mindfully choosing to engage in what currently resonates as a place to put your energy, your heart, your soul into, and perhaps for a moment let go of frustrations or despair over the unsettling aspects that are not in your control.
Of course, life will present us with challenges and situations where we are simply unable to prioritise our touchstones, and out of necessity we must give our energy elsewhere – like doing work that pays the bills for now (but doesn’t feed our soul), needing to provide a lot of care for others, or perhaps circumstances mean that a precious touchstone is no longer available to us. My personal solution to this is to create goals and take small steps that will help to bring more balance, that will help to eventually come to a place of peace or acceptance of loss and will gradually help to withdraw from any situations that are essentially toxic.
Everyday touchstones often provide us with support when we are facing big challenges. Certain touchstones help create balance – like taking time every day to move your body, connecting with someone who can provide the exact support that you need, or choosing to set boundaries that help to safeguard your time and energy for nurturing a touchstone. Sometimes they can even motivate you to push on through dark times, because you believe in them, you are grateful for them, they lift you or they create meaning and purpose when life is confusing or disheartening.
Our touchstones sparkle, when we take time to notice them, enjoy them, invest in them, savour them. The key is knowing what they are, and consciously connecting with or nurturing them throughout each day. Do you know what your touchstones are? Do you nurture them and tap into some of them every day? When you know them all, they can create a tapestry of the true richness of your life, and this can help to put things into perspective when one aspect of life is seeming to dominate in a negative way.
I encourage you to contemplate and write down what your everyday touchstones are – every single one of them. Grab a pen and paper now, and write down; the people that are most important to you and add to your life (including the ones in your broader community that provide you with a much needed service), what is meaningful to you, what is important for you to put your energy behind, what are the places/spaces that you love, your dreams, your goals, your gifts, talents, strengths, your passions, your treasures and simple pleasures, your favourite past times, your favourite self-care activities or practices, the aspects that bring a sense of purpose to your life, that energise you, awaken your spirit, feed your soul, the people and practices and community resources that support you emotionally, and support your mind and body.
Now that you know what they all are, how specifically can you use them in a practical way? 1) If needed, you can create goals that will gradually help you to move them more to the centre of your life, and to replace activities/people/places/habits etc that don’t truly bring something positive or meaningful to your life (these stem from family and cultural conditioning, unresolved trauma, negative patterns created by dis-empowering coping habits, etc) 2) You can consciously choose to direct your attention and energy toward one of them when you are struggling with an issue that in this moment is out of your control, or you need support or a healthy outlet of some kind (i.e. a walk to clear your head, connecting with a friend, prioritizing time with someone you care about, seeking emotional support for a problem that is overwhelming, preparing a healthy meal, spending time with a furry friend, etc etc) 3) You can work on developing a touchstone or bringing a completely new one into your life, where ever or whenever you recognise this is needed 4) You can pause and savour a ‘touchstone moment’ when you recognise one.
It’s important to remember that these touchstones have power when you consciously make contact with them and give them your awareness and energy. This is you choosing to be in your power and doing all in your control to respond to life in an empowered way and use the resources and wisdom you have for designing your best life. One of my everyday touchstones, a simple treasure, is a heart-shaped blue howlite stone that my mum gave me. I like to hold on to it, and just sit in stillness. May you cherish, nurture and take courage and support from your unique, everyday touchstones.
Nicki can support you with any big goals, dreams or challenges that you are facing right now. She is a Mentor and Counsellor, and the founder of The Inspiration Couch. www.theinspirationcouch.com