During the recovery of Mr. Al (my Love) from his lupus-caused stroke and near death, there were many, many emotional ups and downs. It took 5 weeks for him to come home from the hospital and years of further healing.
And so, to combat the frustration, anger, and depression, we came up with an anchor—a word and accompanying image—to pull us out of our blues and back into our Happy Place.
That word was “Puppies!”
How can you be unhappy when you imagine a bunch of roly-poly, happy little puppies, frolicking around with their waggily tails and their licky tongues? They’re so adorable and joyful. Instant happy. Whenever we’d say “Puppies!”, we anchored in happiness to keep us going.
Going back in time, I’m about 32 or 33 and newly married. It’s the late 80’s, and I’m imagining what happiness looks like to me. In my mind, I see myself laughing hysterically, deep belly laughs, with my hand on my belly, cradling the baby growing within it. That image made me feel so joyful, it filled me with happiness and well-being. That image was my anchor, and it served me well. Five years later, I gave birth to my Sonshine.
Yeah, it took me five years, hormone therapy, a miscarriage, and heartache, but that image was my anchor through thick and thin.
Now, before I invite you to create your own happiness anchor and offer you a way to do it, I want to caution you about using it.
The purpose of an anchor is to create happiness and joy. It is not used to create yearning, or desperation, or a feeling of lack.
When I had my miscarriage, I didn’t use my anchor—the image and joy of a pregnant me laughing—to make me sad. I mourned my miscarriage and that little life that might have been. But I used my anchor and the feelings it cultivated to pull me forward, pull me through that dark time.
And the meaning of my anchor changed after that, as well.
It wasn’t as literal anymore—and this is important, so please take note:
After the miscarriage, I realized I might not become a Mom. I might be too old to experience motherhood.
And so my anchor was tempered with surrender. I focused on the feeling derived from the image and added the thought, “this or something better,” whenever I invoked it. The feeling of laughing and holding my pregnant belly was what I really wanted. Actually being pregnant and being a mommy might not have been in the cards for me, BUT I could expect and did expect that what I was bringing into my life would give me the feelings that image invoked.
Do you understand what I’m saying, here? Some people believe you can order your life exactly the way you want it to be. I don’t believe that. I believe if you focus on the feelings you want to feel, become the feelings you want to feel, you will live experiences that bring you those feelings.
We’re co-creators. We’re not creators. There’s only one Creator, one infinite intelligence, Who’s a heck of a lot smarter than I am, and Who encompasses an infinitely vaster picture than I can possibly see from my limited perspective.
And I like delightful surprises. So, I wouldn’t really want to custom-order my future, even if I could. I want lots of wiggle room for magic and mystery and delight to frolic in.
So after I acknowledged the fact that I might not become a mom, and accepted that possible outcome (even performing a little “living as a child-free woman” ritual), I continued using my anchor.
And, lo and behold, Cole was born when I was nearly 38 years old. Me being a mommy WAS my “this or something better.”
So now, I invite you to create your anchor for your future. How do you see yourself? What kind of clothes are you wearing? Where are you? Are you with your Forever Love? What are you doing? Most importantly, what are you feeling?
Is that image solidly in your mind?
Now, build on it until you feel like you’ll explode with joy and well-being. Make the feelings powerfully, vividly intense and real, and then make a fist with your right hand and say (or shout) out loud “Yes, please! This or something better! Thank you!”
And now you’ve got your anchor. Well done!
Here’s a link to the guided visualization – I created to take you through the above anchor-making-process. I recommend you listen to this visualization 7 times to really anchor in that anchor of yours. Enjoy!
Until next Tuesday, have a Saucy Dames kind of week, and many blessings to you,