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The Daily Anchor Becomes The Anchor
The Daily Anchor is becoming The Anchor! If you joined us on our Monthly Momentum Call (MMC) earlier this week this will not come as a surprise to you, as we shared about this at the beginning of the call. If you were not on the MMC, while this may be a surprise, it’s probably not entirely unexpected. Every project changes over time and/or is completed. Charlie and I made the decision this past weekend to say farewell to the “daily” part of the Daily Anchor. Rest assured that this format and content is not going away, just shifting to meet us where we currently are.
Why we started the Daily Anchor
In mid-March, when it became clear to all of us that COVID was going to disrupt and change all of our lives, the first thing Charlie and I did was ask ourselves and each other what we could do to support our community. We very quickly decided to hold a webinar to offer some ideas and best practices for working through challenging times and learning to work from home (or learning to work from home when everyone else is all up in your space now). ;-) We were honored to be able to support in that way and had many hundreds of people show up to that webinar and thousands more that went on to watch and share it. It was very clear to us that people were going to need support and resources, and we — because of the work we have done for so long — were in a wonderful position to help. After the webinar, we continued to think about how we could support our community during the changes and stress of the early days of COVID. Not surprisingly, Charlie and I independently were thinking about some type of daily sharing practice that we could implement. On a walk, a few days after the webinar, we decided to start the Daily Anchor. Charlie’s hesitation in starting it was that he was concerned about not being able to commit to writing something that would need to be shared daily. I told him that if he was OK with my style of writing and contributing things in the way of self-growth and awareness and inspiration and spirituality, then I was 100% on board to write once or twice a week and share. Hence, the start of the Daily Anchor (DA) on March 20th. In the first couple of weeks of the DA, Charlie and I were generally writing and contributing the same number of posts and the shared responsibility of the project was definitely just that: shared. A few things happened as the weeks went on, and I started writing more and more and Charlie started writing less and less. I started to find a daily rhythm and flow to my writing practice, and writing became non-optional for me — in the sense that I didn’t feel at my best or complete if there were days where I skipped writing. As Charlie calls it: writing became an organizing principle for my days. In the earlier days of the DAs, the content of my writing was more on the inspirational side or how-to, especially around boundaries. As always happens with creators — whether the medium is pen and paper or a laptop or a canvas or their body — my creations started to shift little by little. From the beginning, I was sharing things that were close to my heart or more personal in nature; however, I found over time that I started to go deeper and deeper. And, also not surprisingly, I didn’t realize the shift until I was well into it. As the weeks went on, moving later into April and for sure as May came around, I was sharing more and more, deeper and deeper, and often would find myself emotionally “hungover.” Writing was still good and healthy for me and I was also understanding that there was a cost to it, as well. I would often — probably daily, now as I’m thinking about it — ask myself if I was still writing to be of support for those who were taking their precious time to read what I shared. I realized, pretty early in the project, that the work I was doing was of support to our community (why I primarily wanted to start it) and also of support to me. I had really found a way to do both! How cool! I knew this was possible and I have done it in other ways and mediums before — but the writing practice, in this format, was new for me. I was rediscovering my voice; at the same time I could be of service. I have always been a writer at heart, but I haven’t written consistently since I was in academia (more than a decade ago). Writing in academia is much different than the writing that I do now (“factual and objective” vs. personal), and to be honest, those experiences left my sensitive writer’s heart a bit scarred and battered. For too long I associated writing with being put in a spotlight for others to tell you all the reasons you were wrong (aka, not smart enough). I know, that sounds incredibly awful and jaded, but there it is. It doesn’t have to make sense for it to feel real, and it felt very real and scary to me. [As a bit of an aside, it’s incredibly interesting to me just how comfortable I am with being wrong now or not having the answers or learning, but when I was still in academia it felt like a vulnerable and unsafe place to inhabit not knowing. Isn’t in school where we’re supposed to not know and be learning?!? That’s a whole rabbit hole I’m not going to take us all down right now. You’re welcome. LOL! ;-) ]
So, why the change from the Daily Anchor to The Anchor?
Projects change over time as our realities change — and that is what has happened with this project. A couple weeks in, Charlie turned his time, energy, and attention to other projects, which left him a lot less time to write for the DA. His priority projects are perfectly in alignment with his goals and our greater goals for our life and business. And your focus blocks can only hold so many projects and steadily move them forward. If Charlie wants to share more about that I’ll let him do that and not speak for him here. I’ll just say as a life and business partner I’m 100% behind his decisions and where his energies are focused. GO CHARLIE!! And now that we are four months into the DA project, I have started to notice my own shifts in energy, focus, priority, and capacity. Ugh, OK, I can’t not be honest with y’all. Full transparency: I actually noticed about six weeks ago that I was starting to struggle with this commitment, but it was something I apparently needed to struggle with for a while longer before I made a decision. ???? Remember me mentioning in so many other writings about the “me being a work in progress” thing? Well, here ya go — another example. I want to share with you some of the top-level things that have been happening internally and externally that have led to and are continuing to move me through these energetic and capacity shifts that have resulted in the DA changing to The Anchor. Some of these I have already shared in earlier writings, and others I have not shared before. [A bit of a side note here: When I shared with a few people that we were going to be changing the DA, they asked if I would share what the shifts were so that they could learn and understand too, which is part of why I’m sharing this. We all grow through projects and it’s not just the finished project that matters; it’s what we learn about ourselves on the journey. Also, it helps me to be clear within my own self about why I need to listen to and honor this needed change. Hang with me while I work through my way of giving myself permission to enact a much-needed change.] Here are some of the contributing reasons why I have needed to shift this project:
1. I have been starting to feel pressure to write coming from outside of me rather than inside of me. For me to truly be of service to others and myself, I need my writing to come from a fully heart-centered place and not feel like a “should.” I used to “should all over myself” and this time, I want to stop earlier in the process — before “the should” overrides the good.
2. I have noticed in the last month or so that two other of my priority projects are not getting the energy they need to move forward, and it has started to cause pressure and anxiety internally that I am not OK with. These other two projects are necessary and important to me and to our business and I am no longer comfortable with letting them slip. They need more of my focused attention and I will not feel fully in integrity until I can find a better balance there.
3. As I mentioned a little earlier on, the content that I have been sharing has become closer and closer to my heart (this is a good thing) and deeper and deeper, revealing layers and unraveling in ways that I had not planned for — nor could have anticipated fully in the beginning of this project.
Charlie made an astute observation a few weeks ago that some of what I have been sharing is more memoir-ish. Any of you who have written a memoir, or know well someone who has, know that so much of the work in writing a memoir is the emotional work. It is A LOT. Time is needed to process.
Some days, I have uncovered things I didn’t know were there. Other days I’ve revealed things I had no intention of sharing. At times I had no idea where my writing was leading me, but it was always where I needed to go. It was/is a lot, and I want to be in alignment with what I teach and share, and also honor that I am needing to process and learn from what I have already found and revealed so that I am in highest service to my soul.
4. While I have shared with you not long ago that there is trauma in Charlie's and my joint history around his treatment and our joint treatment (death threats and more) by some people due to us being an interracial couple, I haven’t shared explicitly that I had no idea just how much pain was still buried deep inside until it came to the surface in early June. It has taken a lot of energy and attention to try to work through that trauma and pain.
There were many days in June where I wanted to quit the DA because I didn’t know how to not talk about my feelings around the killing of George Floyd and the racial injustices that were finally being seen by more people. I was angry. I was scared. I didn’t know how to not talk about it. I couldn’t not talk about it.
At the same time the DA wasn’t “supposed” to be about that, but it was evident that this shared reality was impacting us all. It still is. Not talking about it is how we got to where we are today. I can’t be a part of that any longer.
In all of this I think I need to explicitly say that there is a real possibility that I will be talking about race in more of my future writings, and if you’re not on board for that you might want to hop off the train at this station. On that note, there’s also the real chance that I also may be talking about gender, sexuality, and more, so now that it’s out there on the table you can decide to stay or go. I really hope you will stay, as I have loved this process of us learning and growing together.
5. The anniversary of my near-death in Alaska was this past week. It has been nine years now since that near-death experience. In so many ways, my growth and development as a person has been phenomenal since that happened. If I had never experienced what I did, I know there would have been a lot less trauma in my life, both from the actual experience and the aftermath. I also know that there is absolutely no way I would have grown, since then, in the ways that matter the most to me.
While not everyone has a near-death experience and don’t have the subsequent “anniversary” that comes with it, we all have anniversaries in our lives that we would rather not, because there are people or things we have lost that we will never get back. Those losses are deeply encoded in who we are.
The first few years after Alaska, when it would get close to July I would start to feel more PTSD symptoms, anxiety would increase, depression would sometimes be the result after, and I would often feel very “off.” As the years have gone on, that has gotten better and better for me, for which I am so incredibly grateful.
Not surprisingly, because of understanding how trauma and grief are interwoven, I have felt more of my post-Alaska "ughs" this year than I have in recent years. From having been through this over many years, I know that when this happens I must pay attention, increase my self-care, and give myself a break from some things. That’s where I’m at right now.
I don’t think either you or I knew we were in for this long of a share today, huh? ;-) As always, thanks for hanging with me.
So, what happens now?
First, thank you for being on this Daily Anchor journey with us. Again, I’m going to let Charlie speak for himself if he wants to share a post DA re-cap with you, but I just want to say for myself how much I have loved this project and this process. I have found my love of writing again thanks in large part to your willingness to join this project, even if you didn’t realize you were joining a project. ???? I’m not going away, just finding a cadence of writing and sharing that is a better fit for me at this time, and that allows me to honor the boundaries and limits I need to set for myself. My hope and intention is that writing will forever more be an integral part of my life — and I’m going to take the pressure off just enough so that it stays in that place of joy and desire and love and best work, and doesn’t become another casualty of the terrible no-win scenarios I used to set up for myself. Yeah, you know the ones: where you take something you love and that feeds you and turn it into something that does just the opposite. Nope, not happening this time! I see you, Past Angela, and while I so appreciate your fantastic self, in this version we’re leaving sabotage behind. Buh-bye. I mentioned taking the pressure off just enough — what that means for me in this scenario is that I still need parameters to keep me moving forward with my writing. For now, our plan is that The Anchor will be something we share at least twice a week, but no more than five times a week (how often we were sharing when it was the DA). That balance keeps me fired up to write and share, but not so pressured that I can’t spend the focus time I need to on other projects. You will also notice that there may be times where we might not share The Anchor for a week or so. If that happens it’s because we have decided to take a for-real vacation/break and have chosen to not write or share during that time. Or, because a teammate who is an integral part of the editing and posting process is out for some reason. I realize this part sounds a little less sure and that is because it is a little less sure. And I’m choosing to be OK with that (or trying to be OK with that). Breathe, Angela, it’s OK that it’s not certain. There’s the very real possibility that when I’m on break I will still be writing, as it feeds me, but I want to leave it as a “get to” instead of a “have to.” HahaHaha. I’m laughing at myself because of course this is what happened when I sat down to write this: I told you about the WHOLE PROCESS! So, there it is, why we started the Daily Anchor, the experience of writing it, how it changed over time, what was learned, and what to expect moving forward. THANK YOU for being part of this project and journey with me. I really do hope you will stick with us as we shift to The Anchor. There’s so much more to come!