This week’s tip comes to you from another unnamed hotel in another city because I’m on the road…thus, the awesome lighting.
Today, I wanted to focus in on the concept of touchstones. Back in the day, touchstones were a stone (like Jasper or something else) that would be used to test the amount and quality of gold alloy in a stone, and it basically helped you judge the value–how much “richness” was in it, among other things.
Over the years, touchstones have taken on a different sort of format, that is, what are the things in our lives that help us evaluate and measure whether or not we’re living as we wish to; whether or not we’re doing what we intend to do; whether or not we’re showing up in the world in ways we want to be.
To me, a touchstone is a tangible thing in your environment that helps remind you to ask yourself a few questions, like: “Am I living my values?,” “Am I living my priorities?,” and “Am I living in ways that focus on what matters most?,” and the touchstone helps you stay aware of those questions and their answers.
I personally always have a few different touchstones with me, especially since I spend a lot of time on the road. When I travel, I wear several touchstones. One is a watch that my husband gave me because it reminds me that he loves me, but it also reminds me that time is finite, and we want to be sure that we’re using it in ways that really speak to what’s important to us in the world.
I’ve got another bracelet, from my son, Carsten, and it reads, “strong, motivated, and loving.” I wear that one as a touchstone to remind me of how the people who are important to me perceive me to be and what they wish for me to feel, so that’s a daily reminder to myself that I am strong, motivated, and loving. And, on the days when I’m not necessarily feeling that way it helps me remind myself that that’s what I want to choose.
The third one is a bracelet from my daughter, Malina, which says, “Be Kind,” and what I love about this is it reminds me of quality time we spent together on a trip where we found this in a gift shop and she purchased it for me as a gift not only to remind me that this is my mission in life–to spread kindness and to show up in ways that are kind. But it also reminds me that we are all connected in in those types of behaviors when we share kindness with a world that so needs it. It calls me to behave in that way, even on days when I’m not feeling it so much.
So, think about touchstones that help you stay oriented to what matters. There can be touchstones on your desk, on your wall, on your bedside table, or wearable things like jewelry. While these pieces are what I take with me when I travel, there are plenty of things like art, quotes, and reminders on my phone, my computer, in my home, and in my car that help me remember who I want to be and how I want to choose to live my life.
Living your values and living your priorities–it’s such an important thing to attend to, and it’s always helpful to have reminder that sparks you to ask, “Am I in the zone that I want to be in regarding how I want to live my life?” So, enjoy your experiment, this week, identify some touchstones you already have or identify some new ones that you want to put into play because you think it will help you “remember and do what matters” (as my friend, Mary Anne Radmacher says), and also helps you focus on what matters most and what works best to live a life you love.
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