As a frequent traveler, the metaphor of anchoring is a powerful one for me and my work. Maybe it’s because BK (before kids), my hubby and I used to fish and anchors made me nervous. Sometimes, they’d come loose—what if we drifted somewhere unfamiliar? Or they’d come up full of weeds—what if we got stuck in those weeds? Or it would clunk a rock while settling—what if the anchor or propellor got damaged by hardness? Come along on this trip down memory lane as I relate some of the lessons from traveling to anchors…
Fifteen years ago or so, every time I traveled, I’d get sick. My kids were little and I was traveling for Brain Gym® work so I’m sure there was a bit of guilt involved—conscious or subconscious. One time, my friend said it seemed like I had a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy going. I talked about getting sick, I scheduled sick time into my return home, and I believed it was part of traveling. Was I setting myself up to be sick? It appeared so. As soon as I became aware of this pattern, I was able to shift it. “I leave and return from traveling physically and mentally healthy and strong!” Whew! It worked. The anchor of travel health was reset from sickness to wellness.
The first time I ever traveled to Asia, I did so alone. I experienced some trepidation but did all I could to prepare for every possibility. When I arrived at my final destination, there was no one to meet me. All these drivers were holding signs and shouting names, but no “Cindy” in sight or sound. I breathed, walked a lap to think, and then returned to the chaotic circle and there was the person looking just for me. I reset that anchor from lost to found.
Europe was my 2018 summer adventure. Now one time I flew to Germany with a 24 hour stomach bug. The anchor was not worth talking about. Yuck! This time, I flew to Germany through Amsterdam. I couldn’t find my friends right away. The “lost and found” anchor pulled on me for attention. The sickness to health anchor reminded me a headache was lurking. Again I used my tools of walking, breathing, and sipping water to support my moving through potential stress and not getting anchored to the stress of being alone in the largest airport in the world.
On the way home, a new anchor presented itself. My ticket was flagged for an extra search at the boarding gate. All the alarms went off when my bag was swabbed. So, my bag was dumped out in front of hundreds of people. I had a hot flash that wouldn’t stop. Sweating profusely and sporting a red hot flushed face, I did my best to continue breathing and making friendly eye contact with my Dutch speaking TSA agents. Mind you, I simply wanted to crawl under the table with my spare change of clothes and airport souvenirs. But, I didn’t. I reset that mortified anchor to one of trust. I had done nothing wrong. Other than my undies on display for all to see, I had no reason to be emotional. And, in the end, they let me and my bag onto the plane.
Anchor as a Metaphor
Paul and Gail Dennison, the founders of the Brain Gym® work, speak of anchors in the Brain Gym® 101 Handbook. They talk of noticing and observing as a way of anchoring. They say that “anchoring provides a recognition that something in the process is now smoother and more fluid…As we explore physical skills (through in-depth checks) and the goal for a second time, we notice if there’s a greater ease, suggesting that new neuropathways have been laid down and the new learning is now anchored in the physiology. The post-activity is an important step in the balance process. It holds the notion that we have “paused a moment in time” and that we’re gathering and validating incremental elements of the completed learning. We do most of the post-activities in reverse order, so that, when we get back to the original intention we set with our goal, we’ll have “anchored in” each element involved in the learning, and will thus have filled out the various aspects of the new learning pattern.”
Back to Fishing
Whether you’re in a Brain Gym® Five Step Learning Process or in the middle of a life experience. Life provides you many anchors. Some are useful little memory markers and some are not. It’s like fishing–when you find yourself adrift or bogged in weeds, make a change. Pull up that anchor and reset it somewhere more conducive to your life vision and goals.
PS Visit my website for offerings of Brain Gym® 101 in Alaska and Minnesota and even dabbling online a bit.