Even when we are committed to change, we lose track of what matters. The values and goals in our lives can get drowned out by the noise. The busy. The distraction. The day-to-day responsibilities pull us away from our purpose.

Anchor points can help us to reground and stay focused on what matters. Some people wear a symbol of their values on their bodies. A bracelet with a word like “peace” or “love.” A necklace with a symbol of faith and connection. A tattoo of a meaningful symbol or words.

We can also keep symbols in places that we see every day. By our toothbrush. On our desks. I have a little altar in my car—a piece of driftwood from a trip with my daughter to an Irish island, a blue stone from my mother, a bracelet given to me by a friend out of the blue, and a Ganesh–known to be a remover of obstacles.

I spend a lot of time in my car, driving my teenagers from place to place. I don’t really enjoy driving. These little symbols stay in view to help me to remember how valuable that car time can be to connect with these people whom I love.

My kids are at an age where it’s so hard to learn how they are doing, and they often enter the car filled with overflowing emotions. The symbols help me to try to remember to show up fully for them when they arrive in the car. To breathe. To stay present with them. To remain curious instead of judging about their experiences. When I have time waiting for a child in my car, they remind me to make a call to connect with someone meaningful to me.

We all need reminders of what matters to us. What are little ways that you can reground throughout your day with the help of symbols?

Written by Dr. Dana Mitra

I am a life coach at Coaching By Dana and tenured academic professor at Penn State.

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