Change that background

(And I don’t mean the desktop only.)

A grounding technique for modern times.

This morning I changed the background of all my electronic devices. To whoever knows me, this means two things – either I’ve found a new obsession or I want something to change in my life.

(Luckily for you, it’s the latter.)

Over time, I’ve found this to be a wondrously grounding technique when I’m in the midst of a life revolution. (Even if it’s just decluttering my room.) Maybe it works because I’m a visual person, or maybe because I use my laptop a lot, but seeing the same image, again and again, serves as a reminder of what I’m working towards.

I’ve used pictures of coffee cups to help me focus during a hell of a week, a sea landscape to survive the last month of work, a funny screenshot from my then-favorite cartoon to remind myself that there was a life beyond the script I was working on. But I’ve also used a lonely wolf to contact my wild self, and an image of a ladybug + quote from Lao Tsu to gently remind myself that a big journey is made of tiny steps. And this is what I’m using right now to evoke a sense of centeredness and self-reliance.

Especially when it comes to this last kind of images, I take a lot of time to understand what I want before choosing one. This involves meditation, journaling and in general some self-reflection. Do I just want to stay grounded? Is there a trait I want to develop? Do I need to stay in contact with a specific part of myself?

Once I’ve got my answer, only then the process of choosing an image begins. A photo or an illustration? Color, b/w or a mixture of both?

Usually, I choose either photos or tarot cards. Both tend to have a certain quality in them, a way of using archetypes and symbols which is more or less subtle, but that we grasp easily nonetheless. (One reason why I love bringing them into play in my meditation and visualization practice.) A professor of mine said that symbols are charged with energy – a sort of psychological powerhouse, so effective because it resonates so deeply within us.

When we hold a symbol in our mind, it activates every part of ourselves. Like a catalyst, it attracts all our attention and energy, and drives us towards change and transformation.

One visualization helps us one time. But if we work with that image, again and again, it becomes an inner point of focus in the midst of the storm. Every now and then, it will pop up in our mind, and over time we’ll notice that it has changed from the beginning, a proof that something within us too is evolving and growing, a new version of ourselves caught while blossoming. In a sense, changing your desktop background transforms your mental and emotional background too.

When I started, that little triangle of colors was small and fragile, a little spot just above the heart. But I know that, as it happened with other symbols, one day I will find it to have grown, maybe not even in the same place as before, and as always I’ll reflect on how its changes are showing in my life as well.

Does it take time? Most definitely.

Does it sound like magic? Yes – because it is.

Give it a try. Ask yourself, what do I need right now? Look for the image that resonates with you. Put it as your background everywhere. And let the magic do its work.


P.S. You can also try a visualization [here and here] or play with the oracle deck for creatives I made some time ago!

Do you have thoughts or doubts bothering you? Do you just want to vent? Ask Box is the place where you can drop your questions about life, the universe and everything. My inbox is always open – email me at

{Original picture: Bruno Nascimento via Unsplash}

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *