Image by Markus Distelrath 

Far above us, the North Star, or Stella Polaris, perches high in the velvety heavens. Talk about radiant! Because of its location in the sky, this guiding star doesn’t appear to orbit around the sky as other stars do. Polaris is a fixed point that has been used as a compass by sailors, explorers, and hunters throughout history when no other landmarks were in sight.  

Humans possess an inner True North, just like the reliable North Star in the heavens, that continuously steers us toward our essential Selves. It’s from that interior home within our Selves that the radiance within each of us can emanate. In effect, our True North relates to our drive to pursue alignment with our value system, core beliefs, and high spiritual purpose.

The pull toward these deeper and more profound inner priorities is a powerful attractive force toward our radiant potential. When we’re authentically aligned, we can feel the resonance of being in congruity with who we truly are at our purest level, and we shine brightly into all areas of our lives.  

But what if we get lost?

As happens in the night sky under thick cloud cover or weather patterns, the shimmer of our North Star can become obscured behind the distractions of our busy minds and emotional hurricanes. When we can no longer see or feel the pull of our North Star, do we have an internal compass system to help us find our way back? 

As simple as it may seem in theory, a great deal of self-reflection and inner knowing is required to orient our lives with a True North perspective. This nuanced, tricky alignment can be greatly aided by practices like anchoring, value exploration, and intentionality

innerself subscribe graphic


Just like a ship drops its anchor to connect with solid ground, each person has inner anchors that tether them to their authentic Self. Utilizing anchors to return to our core beliefs, values, and gifts of true Self help us remember our authenticity and true baseline. With such reminders, we become able to steer ourselves back from who we adaptively became in order to secure illusory success, social belonging, or emotional safety.  

Our anchors are intrinsic qualities we know and trust to be genuinely supportive of our essential life experiences. Perhaps for some, engagement with nature is a supportive anchor that returns them home after drifting too far into the pressures of modern living. For others, honest communication with trusted loved ones may enable them to regain footing and remember what truly matters. Examine your own anchors and notice how often you utilize these important tools to regain presence and authenticity. 


Our values signify what we care about most. With that being said, confusion can exist regarding values when socially constructed superficial tenets overtake the core values we hold most dear. For this reason, conscious value alignment is a necessary practice to ensure we prioritize our own values that are closest to our hearts.  

For example: Some may mistakenly value work above all else because of the financial rewards and social status it provides. Only upon closer examination might they recognize that the superficial value of workaholism distracts them from their core value of family.  

It’s important to clarify the difference between superficial values that are adaptive mechanisms for societally defined success, and core values that anchor a person’s True North compass.  

To clarify your core values, try this exercise: 

  1. Write down 20 values that you care about a lot. Choose words like financial security, fitness, friendship, honesty, etc.

  2. Comb through your list and circle the 10 that are more meaningful — that you would sorely miss if they went missing from your life.

  3. Next, narrow your list further by circling only 3 of the 10 values you most care about. These 3 are your core values that, if you don’t live according to them, you’ll lack satisfaction in your life. 

Fear not! Acknowledgement is step one to re-align your daily life and your values.

Step two is implementing change to bring your core values to the forefront of your life by carving out time, space, energy, and effort for them. 


Intentionality is being awake and conscious of our lives — essentially clicking off cruise control and living our existence from the driver’s seat. If we’re asleep at the wheel or being driven by other people or mechanisms that aren’t aligned with our True North, we most intentionally work to be present and coherent in cultivating and maintaining authentic living that rings most true to our inner compass. An awareness of our tendency to default to cruise control is our starting place. 

Switching off cruise control can mean noticing when we slip into autopilot at the office among colleagues or dinner with our family. Notice when we yield our power in these situations. Consider how to plug intentionality back into these experiences to improve presence with the life unfolding before us. In this way, we intentionality practice regaining our power. 

By implementing the practices of anchoring, value exploration, and intentionality, we can tap into the magnetism of our True North and emanate our radiance.

Copyright 2023. All Rights Reserved.
Adapted with permission of the publisher.

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About the Author

photo of Kate KingKate King is a licensed professional counselor, board-certified art therapist, radiant life coach, published author, professional artist, and creative entrepreneur. She teaches a unique transformational healing strategy that integrates science, psychology, creativity, and spirituality.

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