Drop anchor when the storms of life come along

Every boat needs an anchor.  Dropping the anchor is a way of stabilising the boat, and of preventing it from drifting in the winds and currents of the sea. But have you ever thought about how you, too, can drop anchor?

Why is this important?

You don’t have to look very far in the current environment to know that people’s emotions are being pulled all over the place at the moment. Families are separated. individuals are isolated, jobs are in jeopardy. Career paths are wobbly, workplaces need to be safe and secure, finances are stretched. Everyone is wary of catching or spreading COVID-19, and futures are uncertain and unpredictable. 

Our current world, both business and personal is like a storm, full of darkness, confusion and drama. But as several have pointed out, we may all be in the same storm, but we’re not all in the same boat.  How we are experiencing the storm varies for each of us.  And this is true for many situations. We each face our own storms, at our own times and for our own reasons.  And when we do, it is so easy to get caught up in the storm.  Like a boat in the sea, it can feel like the storm is all around, and we are being battered by the wind and the rain. 

On The Becoming Journey, we share a well-used tool for these moments. It is called Dropping Anchor., popularised by renowned psychotherapist Dr Russ Harris. Developing the skill to drop anchor helps us to be held safe when the storms of life rage around us. This grounds and steadies us, disrupting us from rumination like a circuit-breaker. So that we can still step forward and do what matters most to us.

When we learn to use this tool, we work around a simple formula.

Acknowledge your thoughts and feelings

The first step when we start Dropping Anchor is to simply notice and silently acknowledge the thoughts, feelings and sensations that are showing up in that moment. There is no judgement. Almost like a curious scientist we can just observe and notice what is going on in our inner world.

Come back into our body

In the midst of a storm, it is easy to forget that we have a body attached to our heads Whilst continuing to acknowledge our thoughts and feelings, we take the second step in Dropping Anchor. Here we practice how to come back into and connect with our physical body. This can be as simple as pushing our feet hard into the floor to feel the connection between ourselves and the ground. We notice there is something firm holding our body up. We can change our posture by straightening our spine and feeling the energy in our body through pushing our palms firmly together. And all the time we can notice that we aren’t just thinking. We are breathing into our bodies from moment to moment.

Engage in what you are doing

The final step to Dropping Anchor is to get a sense of where we are in the wider world. That way we can refocus your attention on what we are doing. We still gently acknowledge our thoughts and feelings AND come back to our body AND pay attentions to what’s important right now. This might be gazing out of the room to see the horizon or looking around the immediate environment to notice five things we can see or hear. When we notice what we are doing, we can pay full attention to the thing we are doing right now.  

Of course, learning to drop anchor isn’t only relevant for a COVID infused world. It’s a tool for tomorrow and the day after. Becoming is about discovering a whole- centred life to be lived to the full. Learning  Dropping Anchor is one very useful aid for the journey.

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