Assisting my father-in-law in the hospital, I noticed him looking down at his wedding ring. It was tight, for sure, and I asked if he wanted me to take it off for him. He looked up at me and smiled — a rare treat, these days. “No,” he said, “I was just making sure it was still there.”
A wedding ring is what a coach would call a “structure,” an external reminder of something that is important for us to remember. A simple structure might be a message on the fridge, a to-do list or a reminder at the table to feed the dog. But sometimes, when we want to remember something that is more thoughtful — more about intention than task — an external structure can be really powerful. A rock in the pocket, a note in a child's lunchbox, or — my favorite — a piece of jewelry, can make us mindful, and serve as a reminder or connection.
Got something you want to remember — like taking 3 breaths so you don't lose your cool? Try a structure as a physical and visual reminder, and see how it works for you.