27 Sep Creating Spiritual and Practical Anchors
“Suppose,” says the old salt of a sea captain, testing his new recruit, “that a sudden storm springs up on your starboard side. What would you do?”
“Throw out an anchor, sir,” says the new sailor.
“And what would you do if another storm sprang up aft?”
“Throw out another anchor, sir,” the raw recruit replies.
“Now,” says the captain, “a storm springs up forward of the ship. What would you do this time?”
“Throw out another anchor, Captain.”
“Hold on, hold on. Where are you getting all these anchors from?”
“From the same place you’re getting your storms, sir,”
So, I want to talk today about intentional anchors, what they are, and how you can create them and use them anytime you need them.
Wouldn’t it be awesome to be able to choose our emotions rather than excuse our behavior? yeah.
Late last year, unexpected events descended on me simultaneously, they all kinda came together like a Bermuda Triangle and jolted me out of my comfort zone.
On one fateful Thursday in January, after a co-founder’s meeting, I knew something had to give. I was feeling so much pressure from the totality of professional demands, relational conflicts, and financial stressors that I felt myself being pulled in a million different directions! I had no clear idea of where to go or what to do next.
It was in a single moment that I was no longer willing to be at the mercy of external events. So, that evening, in full disclosure, there might have been an extra glass or two of wine involved, I sat cross-legged on the floor with Katie and we carefully considered our options.
I could slap a bandaid over the situation as a temporary fix, I had done that for years, but then I would just relive this recurring Groundhogs Day I was stuck in . . . OR, I could take control of my own future. So, that’s what I did.
Shortly thereafter, I went on Vacay to Mexico with friends. On the way down, I carefully crafted my intention for going which was to come into peace and love with my life and to move forward with grace and confidence.
So, while I was there, I meditated on the beach, sat outside the casita in the veranda doing nothing but basking in the sunlight, sometimes I would just sit on the roof, I watched or listened to the sound of the waves crashing to shore, and the smell of the saltwater that permeated the air. Together these things became a powerful anchor because it brought in 4 of my 5 physical senses . . . .visual, auditory, kinesthetic, olfactory, I wasn’t allowed alcohol or I could have added the gustatory, the sense of taste of margaritas! LOL!
Each time I did any of those activities, I’d completely immerse myself in the totality of the sensation and just as I was coming to the “peak” of the emotion, I reached up with my right hand and firmly touched the cap of my left shoulder. And I set an anchor.
So, that’s what I call a “spiritual anchor”, and the first time I felt that connection? Well, I knew that everything would work out very well for me. No worrying, no planning for the apocalypse, just peace.
Now, anytime I start wavering in feeling confident or at peace in any situation, I fire off the anchor which means, I firmly touch my right hand to my left shoulder in just that right spot and I pop right into that wonderful feeling.
AND I can tell you that in those occasional times I feel disconnected from Source, all I have to do is fire off that anchor and I know I am in my right place at the right time.
So, what are your spiritual anchors? What is it that you do regularly that anchors you to your reality of God or the Universe as we understand it?
Yoga 4 times a week, meditation, gratitude work, breathing practice, walking in nature, chanting or singing like Naam Yoga, reading the bible, the koran, the torah and other spiritual writings? What are those special rituals and routines that anchor you on your spiritual path?
Here are some ideas in case you need them:
A Sacred Object – It should be something that reminds you of a time when you felt at peace, connected, unconditionally loved . . . it could be a sacred symbol like a rune
A special piece of jewelry
A stone or crystal from a favorite place
Something you can wear, carry in your wallet or purse, or put it in your pocket. And by creating an anchor with that item, every time you need to feel that special feeling again, you can, for example, take it in your hand, close your fist around it, squeeze 3 times.
You could also take it in your hand, pull it into your heart or to your 3rd eye, back of your neck, anything that might be unique, and just allow the good feeling to wash over you.
Another anchor could be A Place — Sometimes being in a specific location can be helpful. Like on the beach in Mexico. How about down by the Verde River, or up in the Red Rocks near Sedona, your childhood home, wildlife rescue where the animals are lovingly cared for, it could be anyplace at all.
You can create an anchor to that place that elicits that yummy feeling ANY time any place you want. Wouldn’t THAT be amazing? Yeah.
A Song – Music often has an immediate effect on our mind, emotions, and spirit. You know when you hear a special song, maybe something from your high school, maybe a song from an anniversary, it brings back a particular emotion? Then a month, two months, a year or even ten years on, you hear that song and . . . you experience those feelings and emotions as if you were right there right now.
As Albert Einstein said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
So I want you to think about a time you made a really um, , , unfortunate decision. Chances are you weren’t in the best state of mind or the best emotional state.
Now imagine, you’re in a crappy mood, you’ve gotta make this huge decision, and you want to feel really confident, and. . . you fire off that anchor which immediately fills you with that ideal state. Think you’ll make a better decision then? that maybe you’ll feel a closer connection to Spirit?
So, let’s imagine all the ways to create Intentional Anchors because we all need something we can create, that can INCLUDE, but doesn’t depend on anyone else.
Now the best Intentional Anchors are the ones we create for daily or weekly use. A daily anchor, might be yoga, meditation, prayer, altar rituals, exercising, these are intentional anchors, why? Well, just think about how you feel when you’re doing them or when you’re done. You don’t have to take time out to DO that activity again, you can just create an anchor, fire it off and you can feel that feeling over and over. It might be peace, clarity, relief, whatever good feeling it is.
You can also do it for the emotion of fun and excitement. Maybe the kids and grands are coming over and you just had an argument with your contractor. Instead of being grumpy grandpa, you can immediately put yourself in the right state to enjoy the time with the grands. My grandkids call me the “fun” grandma and that’s why. Well, when they watch this, they’ll be on to my little trick!
Spiritual and Practical Anchors are kinda like the old saying “the right tool for the right job”. Every anchor you create can become the “right tool for the job”.
Anchoring is such a powerful tool because with it, you can recall any particular emotional state that you desire. You could create an anchor for creativity. Another anchor could be for motivation. One for feeling powerful, an anchor for love, an anchor for happiness and so on.
Weekly anchors are really important, too. They can give us something to look forward to during the week without fail. Places like a favorite restaurant, church, road trip, It’s a place you can count on for comfort, support, it’s your rock! Steady and true.
One of my cousins in Phoenix has a HUGE extended family. Until Covid, they had Friday Family Night. They went to the same restaurant EVERY Friday so they could all gather to “reconnect”. It’s not much different than what we do here on Sundays. For many of us CUL is an anchor. It sure is mine. Granted it feel more so when we’re in person, and so we’re doing our best to make sure we can do that again on October 11th. Be sure to remind your friends.
There’s a reason that I start each Gathering when we’re in the OTCA with upbeat, happy songs. It creates an anchor to take you to a place of feeling good, happy, curious, ready to hear the messages and take away just what YOU need.
I have the same thing in my practice. I have a big comfy leather recliner and when clients sit down in it, their face immediately softens,they relax and are in a much better place for healing.
We first go through and collapse negative anchors that might be holding them back, keeping them stuck in anger, frustration, sorrow, depression and just so we’re clear, every emotion has its purpose, but you just don’t really want to get stuck in the negative one. That law of attraction will latch on to that and give you more to be angry, frustrated and depressed about. Yeah, not my idea of a good time.
This process of collapsing negative anchors has more layers to navigate through, so its nothing I can teach in a Sunday talk.
One of my favorite anchors is when I’m getting ready to play pickleball I hear “Eye of the Tiger” in my head because I automatically associate my competitive spirit to that song through watching the Rocky movies.
The cool thing about this is now that you know about anchors you can begin to create your own intentionally . . . just the right ones to serve you in whatever emotional state you WANT to get into. Like I mentioned, anger can be very useful, as long as it’s not a regular and ongoing emotional state, If it is, it would be helpful to collapse the underlying causes so you can choose your emotions rather than excuse your behavior.
We’ve all created anchors that are positive and valuable in times of trouble. For some, it’s religion, your spiritual path or even your church. It could be something as simple as your family, a garden, the river, hiking. Any place where you can go to pray, or when you need perspective, clarity, peaceful time alone to sort out your thoughts.
So creating an anchor is easy. All you need are intensity and uniqueness.
So if the emotion you want to experience is absolute and total empowerment and motivation, get yourself to that emotional state by either remembering a time when you were in that state or imagine what it would be like to be in that state.
Ever see Tony Robbins in the earlier years smack his chest? This was his anchor for empowerment and motivation when he was walking on stage.
At this point, for this kind of emotion it’s a good idea to get your whole body involved as this will add to the intensity. Spend plenty of time ramping up the feelings, really getting juiced up.
It is important for your anchor trigger to be unique, because you don’t want your anchor to become diluted or accidentally fired off at the wrong time.
So here are the steps:
- First, think of an emotion you would like to anchor, something you’d like to come back to on demand. Happiness, contentment, empowerment, self confidence? Or maybe just the feeling of being loved?
- Next . . . Think of an anchor that you would like to use. I first learned about anchoring when I was listening to one of Tony Robbins “tapes” on NLP and one of the anchors he uses is to tuck his thumb into his fist and that was unique enough to create a powerful trigger.
- Then remember a time . . . . Close your eyes and create an image of that event, is it a still photo? turn it into a movie, make it color, make it big, is there a sound or a song? Make it loud. Are there smells, like food or the ocean? Recall the emotion you wish to anchor and allow yourself to really feel into that state, I mean REALLY spend time feeling into it and just as you’re coming to the peak of emotional intensity . . .
4. Engage your anchor and hold for a second or two. Once you’ve done that, release it. Go get yourself drink of water, walk outside, anything to “break state”.
5. Then test it. Fire off the anchor and feel that feeling come over you almost immediately.
5. Then, when you need that emotion, it’ll be there for you. For example, If you’re feeling insecure, but you’re getting ready to go into a meeting and you want to show up confident, secure, Assuming you created a unique anchor JUST for confidence, you fire off that anchor and you’ll instantly return to that optimal feeling and state of mind for the meeting.
5. Repeat as much as you like, the more you do it, the stronger the anchor becomes.
That’s pretty much it. Now you have the tools to create powerful anchors that you can use at any time for any occasion. Need help with that, call me.
Without even realizing it, I’ve anchored you. From now on, whenever you see or hear the word anchor or you see a picture of one, you WILL REMEMBER the anchoring process.
Because, when we create intentional anchors that we can access and recall at a moment’s notice, we can anchor to the true, right things in life . . . we can live confidently, accomplish what we want, ready to explore the unknowns, and most importantly, to weather any storm life sends our way.