The Inverted Anchor

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In the nautical world can be found countless metaphors that perfectly link it to the Self-Care field. The compass is an obvious one, as is the anchor, and perhaps the best of all; a great ship out to sea, surrounded by Mother ocean, sailing under the glorious flag of freedom on a grand adventure of love. Yes, that’s a great one too. Life preservers, the Captain’s Code, sailing by the stars, ship wrecks… you can see how much fun we can have if we can keep going. Much of the great literature in the common era centers around the journey and the quest to understand the human condition. It is a familiar and resonant tale.

“Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.”

Matsuo Basho

The seafarer is the quintessential Everywoman, and her voyage is the romanticized version of what we are all doing every day; journeying through life. We experience rough weather, high winds, unforgiving seas, and we pray for calm days in the same way the captains of far-away days would have. We rally and care for our crew, rationing if we must, and we ensure that our destination is reached with as much grace and economy as humanly possible. The nautical metaphor resonates because we can all identify, in one way or another, with the trials and challenges of the Odysseus archetype. She is within us all.

“Winged Victory of Samothrace” 3rd Century, BCE, The Louvre

It is easy to see why I chose a nautical theme for the HMS Log Book. Not only are the archetypes and metaphors ripe for the picking, the imagery can keep us busy for days. My favorite of all these would have to be the inverted anchor. In the old days before ships became the automated vessels they are today, the crew would have been responsible for hoisting the anchor and then stowing it on board. Anchors aweigh, business as usual. When the ship was headed back home, however, the crew would hang the anchor upside-down. This would indicate to all maritime traffic, “Hey, don’t mess with us, we’re going home.” You can also find the inverted anchor on old maps, and this almost always indicates safe anchorage. The swift currents and changing channels in many parts of the world can make for tricky maneuvering for the larger ships, and knowing where to drop anchor would have been invaluable information.

“Your journey is magnificent, and it deserves to be documented.”

I became so enamored with this concept while doing the initial research for the journal that I decided to incorporate the inverted anchor in the compass logo. It is a daily reminder to “come home” to oneself by turning inward and contemplating the activities of the day. It is an invitation to witness your “safe harbor,” and by doing so, becoming better acquainted with your needs, wants, desires and wishes. As with all things, the more information we can gather about a topic, the better equipped we are to make healthy decisions, and this is the main purpose of the HMS Log Book. Every day is a good day to begin working with this amazing self-care tool!

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

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