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  • Writer's picture Cynthia Anne Hale


Lately I am reminded how much small things can matter in everyday life, especially when so much seems beyond our control. Which leads me to ask, "What are your daily touchstones?"

A touchstone is a fundamental feature or quintessential part, according to Merriam-Webster. It also is considered a means of determining value, quality, or what a thing should be.

In psychological terms, I think of touchstones as the significant yet ordinary ways that we can keep ourselves steady in difficult times. When Sarah McLaughlin sings, "Hold on to yourself. For this is gonna hurt like hell," I think she is saying that to make it through hard times, we must hold on to fundamental parts of ourselves, to our touchstones. One’s sense of self is reflected in what matters to us in daily life.

What is it that helps you hold on to your self, especially during this time of global pandemic? 

Is it keeping to a routine? Walking? Noticing the sky or a tree, connecting with nature? Music? Cooking or eating a favorite food? Reading? Meditating or praying? Talking with loved ones? Caring for an animal? Dancing? Creating? Writing? Resting? Playing with a child? Or something else?

Even within a strong sense of relative well-being, I continue to have great awareness of the impact that the virus is having physically, emotionally, and financially in our country and globally. More than ever, we can feel our interconnections despite closed borders. These are hard times.

I am sustained by talking with loved ones, working in depth with dreams and with clients, writing creatively, and being active outside. These are some of my daily touchstones. 

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