This week’s WARRIOR is named in honor of a man who was responsible for educating millions of people about HIV/AIDS and even second hand smoke, among many other issues. Our WEDNESDAY WARRIOR is Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, who passed away on Monday. Dr. Koop served as Surgeon General for 7 years and was not afraid of ruffling some feathers and bringing important information to the public. Before entering the public sector, Dr. Koop, was a pediatric surgeon for many years in Philadelphia where he helped establish the first pediatric surgical intensive care unit. So not only did he save lives, he created precedence for saving many more and then went on to inform the masses thereby adding to his incredible history. Thank you Dr. Koop for your courage to be outspoken when most would rather hide their heads. Thank you for helping publicize vital medical and health related issues so that we can discuss them as a fully informed society. Thank you for paving the way for others to heal and be healed. May you rest in peace.
We love when we get pictures sent in of Totems in action! This picture was sent in by a Dad who came upon this scene created by his young daughter. This is proof that Totems are powerful and evidence that it is completely cool for girls to play with trucks! Thank you for sharing and we can only hope OWL is as good at keeping you calm as OWL is at keeping all those vehicles at attention.
Send in your pictures of Totems Around Town to firstname.lastname@example.org and you can see them here too!
Mama Bear is here again, and proud to share a story of one her other cubs (there are three) who is becoming a bear of his own in front of my eyes. Our WARRIOR this week is my oldest son, (hey, I get to pick whomever I want!) Daniel*. He will not be thrilled that I am writing this, but then again he’s a teenager now and is rarely thrilled with anything I do. I was recently on a plane with my three kids, only two of us were able to sit together, but we were in consecutive rows at least so I could easily turn my head and check on the other two. Our flight departed way past schedule and everyone was amped up from being late and having to wait and just general flying annoyances. It certainly didn’t help when we started to experience some pretty scary turbulence. I continued to check in with the kids who were seated by themselves and they seemed to be handling it ok. I reminded them to take deep breaths and to try to stay calm. At one point, Daniel asked for a Totem. I was surprised because he is usually so “chill” about everything, but then I was thrilled that he wanted to use the very product created for situations like this one. It was totally validating. We landed safely and Bear Totem was handed back to me for safe-keeping. As we were waiting to disembark, I was approached by a passenger who happened to be seated next to Daniel. She put her hand on my shoulder and told me that I had a very compassionate child and that upon noticing her unease during the turbulence, Daniel began talking to her and helping her take deep breaths to remain calm. The Totem was not for Daniel, but for his seat mate! I thanked her for telling me and lucky for Daniel he was still two rows behind me or I would have hugged him right then and there! There is nothing better for a Mama Bear to be told that her baby bear has done something truly selfless and wonderful. I am proud beyond belief and honored to call my son, Daniel, a WARRIOR!
We’d love to hear about more WARRIORS who are overcoming great challenges or helping others! Share your WARRIOR stories at email@example.com.
*I am not posting a picture of Daniel because that would really upset him, but he is terribly cute, if I may say so myself!
May your heart overflow with love and calm today…and may you share it with those around you.
It seems that when SHARK heard it was time for Fun Dip, he jumped in to the tub! SHARK is still in there and I swear I hear Yodeling!
Enjoy the day all!
Our WARRIOR this week is someone who received national attention just last night, but missed out on the full effect of a standing ovation and thunderous applause as a result of timing. Our WEDNESDAY WARRIOR is LT. Brian Murphy. He was one of the incredible people singled out during last night’s State of the Union Address from President Obama. The President was on a roll when he began talking about gun control and violence. Victims from Newtown were remembered. Senator Gabby Giffords was shown and mentioned. The young girl who performed at the inauguration and was then shot down and killed a week later, her parents were there sitting next to the first lady! There were tears, and shouts of support, and applause, so much applause. Then the President mentioned Murphy. “When a gunman opened fire on a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, and Brian was the first to arrive, he did not consider his own safety. He fought back until help arrived, and ordered his fellow officers to protect the safety of the Americans worshiping inside – even as he lay bleeding from twelve bullet wounds. When asked how he did that, Brian said, ‘That’s just the way we’re made,'” he said. Insert applause, cheers, people jumping to their feet to marvel at a man who risked his life to try and save so many others. Alas, that applause was not to be, but only because the President’s timing was just a bit off at that point. So Totem Tamers wants to make sure Lt. Brian Murphy gets his applause and his standing ovation, and that’s why he is our WEDNESDAY WARRIOR! Thank you for risking your life to protect others, thank you for having the courage to take that risk, thank you for the inspiration your story will hopefully give, so that others will take the vow to protect our citizens and our country. Bravo, Lt. Murphy!
I am blessed that I get a forum where I can be personal and emotional and no one has to “watch.” I don’t like people to see me cry, or get angry, or lose my shit in general (my therapist is working on this with me, I promise.) But I do cry, I do get angry and I definitely lose my shit, and thankfully I can get it out here!
A couple weeks ago I posted how proud I was of my son, who went through a stressful audition for a performing arts middle school in New York City. By the way, my son has tremendous anxiety. I had to talk him off the ledge a couple times just leading up to the audition, but he did it! He went through with it, even with the nausea, the sweaty palms, the rapid heart rate and pale face, he did it! Totem in hand, he went in and sang a song (“Grow For Me” from Little Shop) and performed a monologue, in front of several adult strangers and a bunch of kids also vying for the coveted call back. It was heart-wrenching to watch him go off and then be left there sitting and waiting with other anxious parents, but that wasn’t the worst of it. Even still not the worst of it, was the waiting for the letter to arrive with the notice of whether there would be yet another chance to knock their socks off and hope that somehow out of hundreds of applicants he would be awarded one of 26 available spots. The odds were ridiculous. Ok, so the worst? Yep, you guessed it, my brave, beautiful, talented boy, didn’t get a call back. Now I had to be the one to tell him. My heart breaking for him, especially upon learning that several of his friends, who also auditioned, received call backs (we are really happy for them.) Shit! Those fuckers! How they can sit there and judge a ten year old’s potential is unnerving and frustrating for this Mama Bear. I get it, I do. I am an actor and I am rejected over and over and over and over again, but I’m old, I can handle it and not take it personally. Dammit! How was I going to protect him from this? One of the lessons I have learned as a parent, is that sometimes protecting our children comes in the form of not protecting them. I had to just tell it to him straight, without any fanfare or bullshit. “Honey, it was a “No” from the school. I’m really sorry, but I am so proud of you for taking the chance and going for it.” He looked at me with those sweet blue eyes and said “It’s ok Mom, I don’t even know if I would have gone there anyway.” There was something else in his eyes, but it took a few minutes before I figured out what it was. It was survival, and it became truly apparent when that anxiety plagued little boy looked at me and said “They don’t know a good thing when they see it!” I wanted to shout from the roof tops and say back “You’re damn right!” I did say that actually, I just didn’t shout it from the roof. I knew then that my baby bear would be ok and that he would be able to cheer on his friends who are continuing with this grueling process and that he would continue to dream and never give up.
Did I mention he has the lead in his theater company’s next production?! That’s my bear, that’s my boy!
Stay well and never give up! Take a Totem and a deep breath and just take a chance, no matter what happens, it’s a learning experience, and maybe not just for you.
Here is a shot of BEAR, OWL, and BULLDOG, surveying the immense sledding hill in the neighborhood. SHARK, wisely knew to stay in and was kind enough to have hot cocoa waiting upon our return!
Hope you are safe and warm and that you too, have a close friend to make you hot cocoa!
While watching the snow fall from the storm that has been named “Nemo”, SHARK decides to read BEAR a story!
Stay safe and warm if you are anywhere near this massive storm that is bringing a lot of snow and wind to much of the Northeast. There will be squeals of delight from many children tomorrow as they sled the day away. I will be enjoying the sounds while cursing the cold as my kids ask for “Just a couple more turns, please?!”
Stay well and stay tuned, maybe a Totem or two will have a first sledding experience!! Will you take your Totem sledding? If so, we want your pictures! Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org and look for them here!
I find it interesting that for an eye doctor to see more clearly it is necessary to blur a patients’ vision. Maybe the lesson is that for those of us seeking clarity we must be willing to look through cloudy lenses occasionally?
The exercise for the day is to take deep breaths and squint a little!
Visit www.totemtamers.com for some clarity!
I may get a little or a lot of flak for this week’s choice of WARRIOR, but you know what, bring it on!!! Standing tall in the face of adversity is the mark of a true WARRIOR and I believe that we saw a perfect example of that this weekend from Beyonce! Yes, I said BEYONCE! Honestly, I am not a fan of her music because it’s just not my taste, but I can certainly recognize that she is a talented singer and dancer. Period. This superstar had the honor of performing at the Inauguration of President Barack Obama (whom she calls friend,) in January. The frenzy that ensued after it was revealed that her rendition of The Star Spangled Banner was pre-recorded, was heartbreaking to witness. I was at the Inauguration and I was moved, along with nearly a million people crowded on the Mall and the millions who watched on TV around the world. In that moment of history, it didn’t matter, and it shouldn’t matter. This past weekend, when Beyonce took the stage during halftime at The Superbowl, she proved that what matters is courage, and she brought that and more when she strutted and sang (live) for millions of people across the country and the globe. She was hot and she kicked ass, and that earns her the right to be our WARRIOR WEDNESDAY!
Courtesy Huffington Post
Fierce is a word that Beyonce has used often, and fierce is a word that Totem Tamers uses to represent, SHARK. So if there are times you are faced with adversity and need a little boost of fierceness, make sure you carry SHARK in your pocket and you too can overcome any potential obstacles!
Visit www.totemtamers.com to order your SHARK, today!