I’ve been going through a lot of change of late and have been feeling a bit lost. Not because the change is unwelcome. Not because I haven’t known how to move forward.
I’ve been feeling a bit lost because I’ve not been very anchored.
Anchoring yourself is hard at the best of times. But when you’re moving a lot, like I am, it becomes much harder. I was recently talking to two dear friends of mine who are travelling around Asia right now and they confirmed this. After a couple of months on the road, they’re feeling in strong need of some anchoring.
As a concept, anchoring is hard to explain. It’s not about staying still and putting down roots – although that IS anchoring.
It’s more about finding some constancy when you’re constantly moving.
It helps if you think of a boat. It anchors to stay safe and secure when briefly stopping somewhere before moving on again. A house, on the other hand, roots itself to one place and stays put. Its rootedness also helps keep you safe and secure, but in a different way.
So, how do you anchor yourself?
Here are some possible ways:
- By creating a routine. Routines can help you feel connected to a place, even if you’re there for a short time. My travelling friends eat in the same restaurant for most meals, that anchors them.
- By spending time in nature. Nature is grounding, it anchors you just by being itself. I get maximum anchoring from walking barefoot on wet sand, dewy grass or forest floors.
- By creating a ritual. No matter where I am, I start the day with a cup of mega strong, black tea. The tea reminds me that, even if everything around me is constantly changing, some things in my life remains the same.
- By meditating. A regular meditation practice can really help keep you grounded. In itself, and as a ritual.
- By making time to connect with loved ones. There is nothing that connecting with our loved ones can’t help resolve! Deeply, not superficially.
If you’re feeling really unanchored, you may need to do all of these. A lot. It’s worth taking time to do this, even if you’re busy. You might find that some of these work better than others at a given moment. I recently found myself creating more and more routines in response to my unanchoredness, and that started to feel too rigid. I finally realised that I’ve not been spending enough time in nature – I’ve been living in cities for the last 18 months. So I’m amping up my nature time.
We humans are community-oriented creatures at heart. So when we stray from that life, even for something exciting like exploring new places and people, we often feel a little lost. Then we feel guilty for feeling lost, for not appreciating the new experiences we’re having.
Instead of feeling lost or guilty, anchor yourself and those new experiences will again start to feel wonderful.