What’s your anchor? What’s your one thing that keeps you grounded in reality? That keeps your day on the right track? For me it’s meditation. From my conversations with mantic59 of Sharpologist, I can safely guess it’s his morning shave. For others it might be something they look forward to doing every night, like an evening run or Crossfit after work or building model ships inside bottles. So what’s yours?
Why have an anchor?
This world is crazy at times, and at no time is that more true than during the holidays. From gift-giving, to Christmas cards, to kids with too much candy in their system, my day can get away from me pretty quickly. Starting my day off with a quick twenty minute meditation (yes, you have time for twenty minutes to yourself too) keeps me balanced for the rest of the day. I may fall off-center momentarily, lose my temper, complain, worry too much about the uncontrollable future, but my anchor always keeps me from drifting too far.
What should an anchor look like?
I want to refrain from giving too much advice here. An anchor can be just about anything that helps keep you centered. I would suggest keeping your time to an hour or less. The point is to help you manage your responsibilities, not to add another. I would also suggest keeping the number of people involved limited. This is supposed to be something for you. Sure, Crossfit and yoga classes are rarely one-on-one, but everyone is there for themselves, and the sizes are usually small. Finally, and I think most importantly, no screens. To me, an anchor is about mindfulness. Being present during my meditation helps me stay present during my more trying points in the day. I love movies and television, but those are about getting lost in a story and viewing someone else’s experience, the opposite of being present in your own life.
The challenge of maintaining an anchor.
I think the biggest challenge in taking a few minutes each day to cultivate my anchor is doing it despite other people needing my time and attention. It’s on me to tell people “no” or “I will after I meditate”. My anchor is not their responsibility, it’s mine. Of course, I can go about this politely. Saying “no” does not mean I’m a jerk. The funny paradox is that the more often I center myself, the better equipped I am for all my other responsibilities.
I hope this post inspires you to go out, experiment, and find your anchor. If you already have one, I hope this post inspires you to maintain it diligently. I would love to hear what you do to keep yourself in balance daily.