Sanity anchors.

The importance of staying grounded in the face of the oncoming storm.

A few days ago, I exchanged emails with Jon Lavin.  In the early days of Learning from Dogs, Jon used to write the occasional post, one of which seems highly relevant some three years later.  I will republish it tomorrow.


Jon and I go back a few years and most who know me know that it was Jon’s counselling back in 2007 that opened my eyes to something that, literally, changed my life.  For the better, I hasten to add!

In our recent email exchange, Jon wrote this:

Just started back at work today. A bit of a shock to the old system! Am wondering what to set my sanity sights on for this coming year in the middle of almost total uncertainty.

Of course!  How obvious! The need to ensure that our lives contain anchors of stability, safe places to curl up in, metaphorically speaking, where we can seek refuge from the winds of change.  Otherwise, we run the very real risk of being overcome by the uncertainty of the future.

The resonance with small boats and the sea is obvious, and unavoidable in the case of yours truly.

Tradewind 33, Songbird of Kent

For five years I lived on and sailed a Tradewind 33, Songbird of Kent; my base being Larnaca on the island of Cyprus at the Eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea.  Contrary to the image of the Mediterranean, it wasn’t uncommon to experience some ‘interesting’ weather; there were times when it could turn very nasty!

The comfort, physical and mental, offered by being tucked up in a small bay, listening to the storm about one, while riding securely to your anchor was beyond imagination.

Jon’s comment underscores the incredible importance of each of us knowing what anchors us to a secure place.  So, like any sailor, always keep a weather eye open for those early signs of a storm, and cast your anchor in good time.

Needless to say, having a loving dog or two in one’s life provides a wonderful storm-proof anchor.


3 thoughts on “Sanity anchors.

  1. If I’m correct, what you mean here is to be alert at all times, and also to know what you want (certain values or beliefs) so that you won’t be swayed by the prevailing or unexpected , events and loss your sense of direction. That is a lovely dog !


    1. The lovely dog is Hazel, a rescue dog from Mexico. Often spends the night curled up against my back.

      Effectively what I was saying was to know what things keep you rooted, as in validating who you are and what you believe in; the essence of you. And by ‘turning up the volume’ on those core values, you keep the ‘noise’ of a very uncertain future at bay. If I haven’t mixed too many metaphors in one go!


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