Life is scary these days. The economy and the financial markets are nose-diving, the housing market is in the tank and many people are losing their jobs. In these turbulent and unpredictable times, we need anchors to hold us steady and give us peace and perspective to weather this “storm.”
As a personal and relationship coach, my role isn’t to give tips on how to manage money, sell a home or find a job. What I can do, however, is tell you about five anchors that I periodically “drop” in my life, anchors that hold me steady when life gets really scary. While these anchors will not directly rebuild your 401k, sell your home or find you a job, they will hold you steady and give you peace. And from such a grounded place, you will gain the perspective and insight necessary to make wise decisions for you and your family.
Anchor #1: Meditation
I’ll be the first to admit that sitting in silence and paying attention to my breath (and other body sensations) seems like a complete waste of time, especially in these turbulent times. Doing “nothing” seems particularly inappropriate. We should be networking, making calls and developing our careers, not sitting on our butts! But if we’re not grounded, how do we come off when networking? If we’re not at peace, how do we sound on the phone? And when we’re afraid, how clearly do we think? If you watch any great athlete closely, you’ll see him or her pause, breathe, and often close their eyes just prior to engaging in their athletic task. And they’re just trying to hit a ball or run fast! How much more do we need to take a few moments to ground ourselves before we engage in tasks that effect our families and our futures? In Psalm 46 it says, “Be still and KNOW that I am God.” It seems that insight emerges in times of stillness, silence and solitude. Meditation grounds us to that which is beyond space and time. And that grounding quiets our fears, stills our minds and activates our intuition. “Drop” the anchor of meditation first thing in the morning and see if you don’t feel a difference as you work and live in the midst of the “storm.”
Anchor #2: Nature
Nothing in the physical world has a more grounding influence on us than nature does. When we peer into the infinite night sky, breathe in the salty ocean air, gasp at a towering rocky mountain or ponder a simple flower, somehow our soul is opened and our fears evaporate. Nature doesn’t fret over the future nor regret the past. A flower doesn’t worry about water and sunlight. Nature exists peacefully beyond the ever changing cycles of life. Spend time with her; she has so much to say. Whenever you can, stand on the shores of the ocean, hike in the mountains, gaze up the trunk of a Redwood. Skip Disney and go to a national park. Pass on the mall and walk on a nature trail. Get outside. Go mountain biking, canoeing, golfing, skiing. Play in the snow, walk in the rain, sleep under the stars. Allow the universe to put her loving arms around you. For in her presence, you will find your peace.
Anchor #3: Children
I was recently at a McDonalds (hey, don’t judge me!) and standing next to me was a two year old boy. When our eyes met, we locked on to each other for what seemed like an eternity. As I continued to gaze into his bright blue eyes, I saw simplicity, peace and unmistakable presence. He didn’t have those qualities, he WAS those qualities and in that moment he reminded me that I was too. I am in the middle of my life, far removed from where I came from (almost 49 years, in fact) and far removed (hopefully!) from where I am going. In that moment, this little guru, fresh from eternity, reminded me of who I am-a Spirit Being-and silently encouraged me to not get too attached to this life and all it’s ups and downs. Since that day, I have made it a practice to go to McDonalds occasionally and sit outside the Playland area (don’t go in there, that might appear freaky) and learn about who I am from who they still are. For soon, they will become fearfully identified with their life situation like the rest of us are, but for now, the simple presence with which they eat a single French fry grounds and anchors me to who I really am.
Anchor #4: Animals
While the depth in a child’s eyes is a portal to “who we were before our parents were born”, an animal’s presence grounds us, not beyond time and space, but TO time and space. They remind us that we are simply another link in what’s been called, “The Great Chain of Being,” and that we are part of an ever-evolving planet and not to become too self-absorbed in our problems. Animals anchor us to our ancestral history saying, “All is well. All has always been well. Everything is unfolding just as it should. Relax and trust the invisible Presence guiding it all.” One of the best things you can do for your soul in these turbulent economic times is to visit a zoo, an aquarium or even an animal shelter and allow the animals to anchor you with their peaceful presence.
Anchor #5: Coaching
I wish I could find the words to describe how wonderful it is to have my mentor, my guru, my coach, Diana, in my life. Though I can talk to my wife and my close friends, there’s something uniquely valuable about having a coach (or a therapist) to confide in. A coach does not simply help you design a meaningful life or create fulfilling relationships, as wonderful as that is. A coach (at least this coach!) takes you much deeper than that. They help you open up to, and become of aware of, who you truly are as a Spirit Being. The coach/client relationship is a co-journey to enlightenment, not merely a problem solving arrangement. At your core, in your deepest self, you are at peace. In that place there is insight, wisdom, courage and love. Finding that space, and living from it, is what “coaching with Roy” is all about.
If you can find the time to meditate with some regularity, be in nature occasionally, look deeply into the eyes of children and animals and hire a coach whose purpose is to support your personal evolution and enlightenment, then no matter what happens with the economy, your finances or your career, you will be grounded and anchored in a Peace that is beyond understanding.