Set Your Anchor
I'm not really one for the ocean, but one of the things I've always found amazing is how a steel anchor can hold steady a large ship and keep it from drifting away. I've considered so many times how we can apply the same idea in our own lives when it comes to how we live. We all know (with our heads) that we can do better in terms of lifestyle choices. There's always room to clean up the diet, move more, sleep longer, read instead of stare at a screen, go outside, drink more water. You get the idea. It's convincing the heart to follow that's the challenge - if the heart's not in it, we can't really change. As we age and life continues to heap on stressors, we all can drift far from where we really want to be. That's where a personal anchor can help!
Just like a steel anchor holds a ship steady, so too can a meaningful reason to be healthy and just do the next best thing. Almost always, what ends up drawing us close to our values and holding us accountable to our choices is love. When I work with clients who are struggling to lose weight, exercise more, begin a supplement regimen, tighten up their finances, reorient themselves back to their faith, I can talk "at" them until I'm blue in the face about all the scientific and statistical reasons they need to change. The reality is none of us likes to be talked TO. We all want to be heard and seen for the unique individuals we are. I've learned, over the many years of doing this work, if I will just listen, each person will eventually get themselves where they need to go. Coaching is such a powerful addition to this journey, acting as the wind in the sail, gently nudging this way or that. Most people need external accountability in order to set and achieve goals. That's just a fact. But the coaching relationship is finite. We need to also be able to rely on something ever-present; something that is an inextricable part of who we are at our core. That's where love lives.
Your anchor could be a loved one, likely a child or spouse, for these are the nuclear family members who mean the most to us. It could be your love for someone who has passed; a way to honor them with your life. It could be a passion for causes like childhood cancer or Alzheimer's Disease. An effective anchor is going to be anything that deeply moves you and settles into your core; something that invokes your higher self to show up. When I feel myself slip in my resolve to stay on the narrow path of health (and YES, I do slip!), I put in my mind's eye my husband and three beautiful children. I'm more motivated to do better when I think about their lives without me. That thought alone is enough to inform my choices every day. I simply cannot contribute, by my own choosing, to an early departure from this life. God will take me when He's ready. That's an obligation none of us can escape. But, I won't leave earlier than the date He's set for me because I didn't FEEL like doing better. To me, this is the highest expression of love - to forego your desires for the benefit of another.
How about you? What, or who, is your anchor? Give it some thought.