The Inverted Anchor

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

What inspired the creation of HMS Log Book?

Many years ago, I was a young, single mother with a full time job and not much extra time to focus on my self-care practice. I was struggling with some minor health issues that I couldn’t quite put my finger on, and felt that if I could get a handle on all the elements that affected me on a daily basis, that might shed some light on the root causes. Were these issues related to diet? Exercise? Menstrual cycle? Was it a physical response to stored, emotional “baggage?” Often times it seemed like my symptoms were more exaggerated at the full moon, but my rational mind rejected this as improbable. Or was it? I had many questions and no answers.

I began to notice this urge from my intuition to create a method for tracking all the variables that affected me throughout the day. Good idea, I thought. The problem was that every time I sat down to do this, the blank pages of my journal always got the better of me. I would stare at the page trying to remember all the details of the day, and…nothing. The blankness of the page seemed to produce a blankness in my brain. Like most women juggling children, home, and career, I was pretty wiped out by the end of the day and my brain was not interested in a long process of analyzation. I decided I needed more inspiration, and began to search for a journal that would be a little more helpful. I searched far and wide and thankfully, found nothing.

It was this intense need to understand my inner workings that led me to create the HMS Log Book. I knew I couldn’t be the only one who was too busy to square off with a blank journal every day. I needed the questions to be there waiting for me so that all I had to do was come up with the answers. The single mother’s question, “do I have to do everything?” certainly played a big role here! I needed prompts, an efficient format, and hey, what about the moon? This led me to settle on a fill-in-the-blank experience which radically reduces the amount of time needed to journal every day. Women need efficiency, and I was determined to fill this void for all of us.

The first draft of the Log Book was created on a spreadsheet roughly twelve years ago after an extensive period of research. I went through many rounds of edits and printed a few copies for friends and family to try out. Rudimentary as it was, the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. The women of the world need this, I determined. It would take several more years before I arrived at the appropriate time to refocus on my dream of publishing the journal. My daughter, now in high school, was independent enough that I felt I could jump into the unfamiliar world of self-publishing.

In true entrepreneurial spirit, I refinanced my home, quit my job and began writing. With the help of my fabulous graphic designer Braxton, the HMS Log Book quickly took shape, and within three months I had published the very first journal. Aside from the privilege of being parent, the process of creating and distributing the journal to women all over the world has been the most rewarding experience of my life. When I hear a woman in her sixties tell me that after only a few months of journaling in the Log Book she has learned things about herself that she didn’t know, my heart is overwhelmed with satisfaction and gratitude. And I hear this type of feedback all the time.

Socrates claimed that the unexamined life is not worth living, and I agree. Self-Care is the cornerstone of self-awareness, and I am so proud to be able to lovingly contribute to this cause. The HMS Log Book is now in its seventh edition and going strong. Welcome to the Self-Care Revolution!