Anchors Away

indexImagine, if you will, “the best-cruise-ship-ever” heading toward that spectacular spot on the horizon. The people on-board seem to be full of hopeful abandon, and you feel exactly the same way.

“Maybe there is a romance waiting at the next port for that pretty young girl over there?,” you think.

You smile and wonder, “Perhaps a new beginning for that young family, happily posing for pictures with two beautiful blonde toddlers wrapped around their legs?”

Drinks continue to flow, and the Caribbean beat keeps time with the easy sway of the ship. Life is good.  Yet, you suddenly feel that not everyone is as excited as you. Something is off.

“Could that young man, who avoids everyone’s eyes, be in trouble? Nah…Relax…”

So you ignore his troubled expression, because you want to revel in this happy-go-lucky atmosphere. It’s fun, exciting, and you want to stay there. But that young man’s expression won’t leave you alone. Just as you force yourself to return to your lounge chair with drink in hand, everything goes dark. As in black. You can’t see anything, and you suddenly realize that you can’t speak, either. It feels like you are suspended in a deep, dark, black hole that presses against your chest. You jolt up from this day dream, and at first, you relax and say, ” I was just dreaming.” Then, “Weird.” Then, “Shake it off.” Then variations of the same type of direction for, like, 15 minutes.

You run through a mental check list, and reassure yourself that everything is okay. But, darn it, that feeling is still there, only now you are going into red alert mode, because the more you think about it, the bigger it gets.

My Greek Yiayia would tell me something along the lines of  “eat garlic,” “wear the eye necklace I gave you. What do you think it is for?,”  and “pray.”

My husband would look at me funny, and say something like, “It’s a dream.”

But who listens to Yiayias or husbands, anyway?  This whole experience was getting a little old, and I just wanted to get back to our schoolwork. However, then the light bulb went off. Something in that dream gave me this feeling. Anchors can do that.  If you didn’t already know, anchors are stimuli that trigger certain thoughts and emotions, and you are buckled in till the ride is over. Unless…

If you recall from school, Pavlov did a conditioning experiment, with his puppy dog, that resulted in the dog salivating just from the ring of a bell! That is just what happened to me from my dream: I was feeling uneasy about the dream, then the feeling wouldn’t go way, I couldn’t make it go away,  and then boom: red alert.

Our cat Cutie is very familiar with this method. Every morning at 4am she is up on my husband’s chest expecting to be let out. Her expectations are well founded. She has conditioned him for years. The minute she is on his chest, he gets up and lets her out.(Hmm maybe I should take a tip from Cutie on conditioning one’s hubby?) Somewhere along the way,  I was trained to respond to lingering unease with red alert. That may be a good strategy if I were being stalked by a Woolly Mammoth, but, oh so, not helpful when we are trying to go over schoolwork.

What if with just a touch of a finger, I could trigger myself to get out of that state of “red alert,” and into a top mental state? That would be really cool. Well, then it dawned on me. I already had an anchor I could use. Years back, one of my favorite coaches, Wendy Hart, introduced me to the wonderful, “That Was Easy” button. Anytime I wanted a jolt of fun to either prize myself, or to keep me in momentum, I would press that button. Now I was able to use it to get me out of this “red alert” funk my dream had put me in. And it worked!

So I guess Yiayia was right about the anchors she used, and my husband was right about his anchor too!

If you want to learn how to put yourself in any state of your choosing, this link will help you establish some anchors to use just like I did with that Easy button.

How to Anchor
Until next time,

That Was Easy!!

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PS If you are morally opposed to cruise ships, think planes, trains, horses, anything that gets you into hopeful abandon and then follow along with the rest of the story. 🙂

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