Soul Care

Touchstones: A Grounding Practice

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When you’ve been wounded, touching joy or happiness can feel dangerous, off-limits, and impossible for a myriad of reasons.

If you can relate, here’s an exercise I have to share with you.⁣

Several years ago while battling bouts of hopelessness, anxiety, depression—a whole cocktail of emotional and mental struggles—a therapist suggested I create a “toolbox.”⁣

He tasked me with curating a collection of items I found soothing or evoked happiness. These tangible touchpoints were to serve as a way of grounding myself in goodness when I felt like I was about to be swept away by a rip-tide. ⁣

To even give myself permission for such an “indulgent,” “earthly” thing was work at first.⁣

In absorbing the “Jesus is enough” messages, I stripped away anything “earthly” I found joy or happiness in that wasn’t considered to be God Himself. What I ended up doing was rejecting the goodness and happiness and tangible joys He offered me along the way. I rejected Him and His good gifts. I kept myself locked in pain.⁣

When I finally considered all the reasons and ways I could in fact find joy or happiness in something “small” or “earthly,” I began to see how everyday, ordinary things could serve a sacred purpose. I stopped denying God of all the ways He could meet me and began to discover Him everywhere. Nothing was wasted or trivial. ⁣



This simple practice, giving myself permission to touch happiness in things I once dismissed as “unholy” or “wrong,” became a transformative one. So much so that I included it in the opening pages of my #lifeworthlivingjournal. ⁣

In her book #theartistsway, Julia Cameron uses the phrase “happiness touchstones” to describe a similar practice in which you create a list of things you love. ⁣

Today I want to share 10 of my touchstones with you:⁣

1 – My mom’s homemade white bread⁣
2 – The mix “tape” of my dad’s favorite songs⁣
3 – Twinkle lights⁣
4 – The smell of Beach Bum sunscreen⁣
5 – Rainbow anything⁣
7 – Butter pecan ice cream⁣
8 – A soft, well-worn sweatshirt⁣
9 – Sunsets at the beach⁣
10 – “Find a Sunnier Place” painting @emilyjeffords that I finally bought myself a print of⁣

Your turn. Tell me yours in a post (tag me please!) or in the comments. Feel free to save and share the image below to use in your social media stories.

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  1. Nina says:

    I love this idea! I often need support in finding the good instead of the negative, and this really helps! Thank you for sharing.

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rainbow 'enthusiast,' ENNEAGRAM 4, deep thinker + deeper feeler

I'm Kristin.
Your host here and new writing
mentor.

I'm a bereaved mom, former English teacher and stay-at-home mom (to two growing boys), veteran military spouse married to my high school sweetheart, contemplative creative, writer, and writing coach. I'm all about spreading the love of writing as a way of healing and hope.

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