The fog will clear.

By | 2013-09-30T16:26:18+00:00 September 30th, 2013|Life, Uncategorized|

Foggy Sheep's Meadow in Central Park.

Foggy Sheep’s Meadow in Central Park.

Central Park was quiet and crisp this morning as I went for a walk with my pup. I was struck by the site of the fog layered over Sheep’s Meadow. It’s a bit how my head was feeling having had a bad dream that rendered it impossible for me to go back to sleep. You know that feeling, when you just can’t shake something, almost like a thick fog that grips you and won’t let go? That’s where my head was this morning. When we have stress, anxiety, fear, it’s almost like a heavy blanket of fog that weighs us down, preventing us from moving forward. Thankfully, fog can usually get burned up by the sun rise, or by our own determination and will.

In the clear!

In the clear!

Just a short time later, the fog was gone, the sun was up, and Sheep’s Meadow was filled with people enjoying nature and each other. Even though the fog still lingers in the corners of my mind, I reach deep down within for my bright, burning sun, and help keep it at bay as best I can. Find your sun, and clear your fog. 

Stay well.

To learn more about Totem Tamers, please visit our site at www.totemtamers.com.

Amazed and confused.

By | 2013-09-27T12:22:27+00:00 September 27th, 2013|Life|

People are so interesting aren’t they? Wonderful knots of pent up emotions blamed on childhoods that were somehow not as fulfilling or rewarding as they might have been. Twisted grins of expression on others who had brilliantly and classically lovely childhoods who somehow haven’t realized their dreams as adults. Of course there are those who are “normal”, too, but not many. And still, here we are somehow finding the capacity to open our hearts for strangers on the street looking for money while simultaneously ignoring the trash tossed three feet from the garbage can. I guess I am waxing on today because in the last couple days I have witnessed or heard of people on both extremes. There are the ones who have never met me who are asking about my MRI results after reading my blog post. I am truly touched by these empathetic strangers concerned for my well-being (the results were normal by the way but still trying to get to the bottom of remaining symptoms.) How someone can create space in their lives to care about a virtual stranger is incredible. Sadly, there are different stories out there, like the one I heard from my children’s art teacher. She was attacked on the train coming in to work the other morning. A teenaged girl decided that the art teacher was standing a little too close to her on an overpacked morning commute. Without a word of warning, this teenager turned and punched the teacher in the eye and shoved her down. Not a single person on the train, and it was packed, did a damn thing to help. Unacceptable. In this day and age when everyone has a cellphone, the least someone could have done was snap a picture of this kid so that she could be held responsible for her senseless violence. No one intervened on behalf of this teacher to help her and it sickens me. We are better than this! We need to be better than this! Don’t even get me started on the homophobe from the pasta company that shall not be named! We are a community of all different shapes, sizes, colors, beliefs, and the difference is incredible, but the bottom line is we are all human and we should act that way. Ok, I am stepping off my soap box now and I will wish you all a wonderful human-filled weekend.

Stay well.

To learn more about Totem Tamers, please visit our site at www.totemtamers.com.

Visions of WARRIORS past!

By | 2013-09-26T12:04:32+00:00 September 26th, 2013|Uncategorized|

It was great to see Dr. Jill Biden, one of our past WARRIORS, again yesterday at an event put on by the Women’s Leadership Forum!

Thank you Women's Leadership Forum!

Thank you Women’s Leadership Forum!

It’s always empowering to be in a room with a group of incredibly politically active individuals, even more so when they are all women!! I had the opportunity to talk to so many different people and share the Totem Tamers vision with them at this function. It’s validating when I put a Totem in someone’s hand and there is an instant connection. There were doctors (my dear friend who joined me,) there were lawyers, executives, women’s group leaders, representatives from many different foundations, and of course the Second Lady, Dr. Biden, who continues to hold down a full time teaching position at a college in Virginia. She took time out of her schedule to speak to us and further empower us to get involved in causes near and dear and let our voices be heard. Thanks to the Women’s Leadership Forum for organizing the event!

Stay well.

To learn more about Totem Tamers, please visit our site at www.totemtamers.com.

Totem Tamers presents WARRIOR WEDNESDAY (or Thank you POTUS!)

By | 2013-09-25T12:57:53+00:00 September 25th, 2013|Life|

Earlier this week I whined about The Naked Cowboy attempting to usurp my authority by tempting my 13-year-old to forego college and start a Naked Cowboy franchise instead. That would mean my son prancing around in tighty-whities, cowboy boots and hat, with a guitar strapped to his chest. People would give him cash tips to take pictures and chicks would dig him. My son’s obvious interest was frightening, so I did what any mother would do, and I introduced him to another gentleman, whom I hoped would have a more positive influence on my son.

"Do your homework!"

“Do your homework!”

I was blessed with having had the chance to introduce all of my children to The President of the United States of America, Barack Obama! They were awestruck, as am I every time I get a chance to see the President. President Obama, shook their hands and asked each child his name and age, and engaged in banter with all of them. It was awesome to watch my boys’ faces interacting with the leader of the free world, they were thoroughly impressed, but beautifully chill about the whole thing. We all smiled for our photo and we were being ushered out of the room when I heard the President let out a hearty laugh. I turned to see my Naked Cowboy-influenced 13-year-old still talking to the President. “Oh my goodness,” I thought, wondering what my boy was possibly saying. The President and I made eye contact, and he gave me his trademark grin as he turned to my son and said “No, I will not write you a note to get you out of homework!” We all laughed heartily, but the President continued to push and told my son that he needed to do well in school and that meant doing his homework. Even though he was disappointed, my son stayed up later than usual to complete his required tasks, but he did so with a huge grin, knowing that he was doing his homework because “the President said so.”

Hopefully I will be able to post pictures of that casual interaction between the two of them, but either way I know my son will never forget it! I’m just sort of hoping he’ll forget about The Naked Cowboy.

Stay well.

To learn more about Totem Tamers, please visit our site at www.totemtamers.com.

Would you take advice from this guy?

By | 2013-09-24T11:02:31+00:00 September 24th, 2013|Life, Uncategorized|

Undies and advice....

Undies and advice….

My kids and I ran in to The Naked Cowboy the other day. The boys thought it was hilarious that this guy was prancing around in his underwear and cowboy boots with a guitar hanging just over his biscuits to give the appearance of nudity. Hilarious enough to want to take a picture after watching The Naked Cowboy pose endlessly with giddy women. Soon the hilarity stopped though, at least for my teenaged boy. He watched with extreme interest as woman after woman came up and asked to be photographed in all sorts of interesting poses. But there was more….they paid for the pictures! Well sort of, people would generously tip The Cowboy by sliding money into his guitar. This, my teenager connected with, this was inspiration, this was the picture that followed!

Where's my Totem when I need to stay calm?!

Where’s my Totem when I need to stay calm?!

You think my kid looks a little too happy?! I was doing ok until The Naked Cowboy grinned at my boy and said “Fuck college! Come and work with me and open your own Naked Cowboy franchise!” Needless to say I lassoed my kids at that moment and let The Cowboy know this town wasn’t big enough for the both of us. Besides, it was chilly and there were way too many goosebumps visible for my liking! Seriously though, this guy is a millionaire and he walks around in underwear and a cowboy getup, hmmmm I wonder if there are any Naked Cowgirls?

Stay well.

To learn more about Totem Tamers, please visit our site at www.totemtamers.com.

PS: There’s a lot going on in the world today that has many of us heavy-hearted. Thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by the numerous natural and unnatural tragedies that have occurred int eh last couple days. I am a firm believer in laughter so I hope this post at least made you smile a bit in the face of sad news. J

"For you are a magnet and I am….

By | 2013-09-20T14:37:18+00:00 September 20th, 2013|Life|

That was definitely not the song playing in my head during my MRI this morning. It was more like the song of a thousand machine guns being drowned out by ten thousand jack hammers, and that’s when there wasn’t the sound of a million Semi’s honking their horns and computers attacking with all their beeps and tones. Holy crap that procedure is loud and frankly unnerving. Regardless of the body part being examined, you are pretty much immobilized and loaded in to a very large machine and then of course, all the noise, and I didn’t even mention the shaking and vibrations that you experience as well. I was doing ok for the most part going in, but when the technician handed me the “emergency ball,” I had a twinge of panic set in. This was a moment I was grateful for Totem Tamers. Now, I could not have a Totem on me during the procedure, although the image of the Totem being levitated by all the magnets is pretty cool. What I did have however, are the additional calming tips found in the Totem Tamers guide booklet. Visualization allowed me to occupy my mind while the procedure was going on and the repetition of the rhyme in the booklet helped keep me still and calm enough to get through it. If it sounds like I’m tooting my own horn here, well I am!!! Just knowing that I could redirect my anxiety from the MRI was calming. Sometimes it’s as simple as having the option. Totem Tamers aims to give everyone the option of not freaking out. I know that as I wait to hear the results, I will be clutching my Totems all weekend and reciting a whole lot of rhymes and maybe even some colorful four-letter words to go along with it. 😉 At least now I am singing the Walter Egan classic which always makes me happy. Enjoy!

Stay well.

To learn more about Totem Tamers, please visit our site at www.totemtamers.com and stay calm today!

The secret to happiness can be found in a yo-yo!

By | 2013-09-19T12:43:06+00:00 September 19th, 2013|Life|

I have often been told that I am observant. I often joke that I should have been a secret agent because I notice things that others might disregard. This is both a blessing and a curse. It’s a curse when you notice that the person you are talking with has a fairly thick hair growing from right out of the tip of their nose, and you just can’t take your eyes off of it. Sort of like that car accident you drive by and you don’t want to look, but you just can’t help yourself. Yeah, you know what I mean. It’s a blessing however, when I get to see things that lighten my spirit and make me smile. Like the cardinals that fly overhead on my block early in the morning calling loudly to each other, or like the little girl I saw the other day with her yo-yo. She was walking down the sidewalk several feet behind her nanny (who was busy texting and not paying attention, sadly.) She must have been at least 2 years old, but not much more, and she was dragging the yo-yo behind her by the string. The beautiful thing was that she wasn’t just dragging the yo-yo carelessly, she was chatting with it, almost as though she were the nanny and the yo-yo her charge. She was telling the yo-yo that they would go to the playground later and that now they needed to get home. She was so sweet and gentle about it, and so nurturing that I was sure she would tuck that yo-yo in for a nap when she got home. Our lives are like that yo-yo, sometimes dragged around over every bump and pothole, sometimes wound so tightly that we have no room to grow, so many ups and downs that we sometimes lose direction. My hope for you, and for myself, is that we treat our lives just like that little girl treats her yo-yo, with care and comfort and love, even through the tough times and even more, through the good times.

Totems Yo!

Totems Yo!

Stay well.

To learn more about Totem Tamers, please visit our site at www.totemtamers.com.

Totem Tamers presents WARRIOR WEDNESDAY!

By | 2013-09-18T13:51:48+00:00 September 18th, 2013|Life|

Today we are honored to name U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, as this week’s WARRIOR! He is the man charged with managing the funding for our children’s education and creating policies to protect and enhance the potential for learning in this day and age, among a host of other huge responsibilities. Totem Tamers had the pleasure of meeting Secretary Duncan and watching as he fielded questions from people with varied backgrounds, all interested in improving the education of our children. There were questions about technology and how to increase access for students and families. An astounding 7 to 9 billion dollars a year is spent on textbooks. Secretary Duncan spoke about using that money to go high-tech and put textbooks online, which may ultimately save money but certainly save the kids from carrying heavy loads back and forth. There were discussions about testing standards, teacher evaluations, physical education and the arts, and Secretary Duncan listened intently and offered his experience and his hopes for the future. It’s amazing when a group of passionate activists get together in a room for a similar cause and it was great meeting one of our countries foremost education experts. Totem Tamers was pleased to send Secretary Duncan away with a Bear Totem Set as a thank you, not just for speaking to this group, but for doing what he can to make sure our children are well equipped to lead this nation in the years to come. If you’d like to know more about the Department of Education, this link can tell you everything you ever needed to know.

A little blurry and he is really tall!!

A little blurry and he is really tall!!

Thank you Secretary Duncan for being a WARRIOR on behalf of students and teachers in this country!

Stay well.

To learn more about Totem Tamers, please visit our site at www.totemtamers.com.

Happy National Day of Encouragement!!

By | 2013-09-12T10:41:55+00:00 September 12th, 2013|Life, Uncategorized|

Who knew?! Of course every day should be a day of encouragement, but on this day it is the National Day of Encouragement which sort of makes it really official. You can also read in to it what you like, it may be a day for you to focus on encouraging others, or you can finally (even if just for today) make it about yourself, and encourage yourself to do something you have always wanted to do! It doesn’t matter how small or how big the task may be, what matters is the message to yourself and others as you are encouraging possibilities and potential. There’s a tremendous difference in the impact on emotions when a message is delivered in a positive, motivating and encouraging manner. For example, saying to yourself “Today is the day. I will walk with my head up, with a smile on my face, and know that just because that enticing neon sign is flashing “Hot Now” doesn’t mean I have to stop for a Krispy Kreme”, is a positive encouragement. It is more likely that the message in your head sounds something like this “Dammit, that stupid Krispy Kreme had to open up in my neighborhood, and of course the sign is on telling me the donuts are hot and fresh, and I haven’t done a darn thing to lose those pounds I put on over the summer, I may as well just have one, but no, I’ll just walk right by because I don’t deserve it.” See the difference? The first message is giving you power while the second message is giving those deliciously glazed donuts the power and putting you down, even though the end result is not eating the donut. (Not that there’s anything wrong with eating a donut of course.) Encourage yourself and others with positivity and not only will it make you feel good, if you feel good, everyone around you will feel it too!

The Totems encouraging each other to take some deep breaths and relax!

The Totems encouraging each other to take some deep breaths and relax!

Stay well.

To learn more about Totem Tamers and to bring a Totem in to your life, please visit our site at www.totemtamers.com.

Back to school, back to basics!

By | 2013-09-09T12:34:37+00:00 September 9th, 2013|Life|

I sent my three kids off to school today. My oldest entering 8th grade, my middle entering 6th, and my youngest entering 2nd grade. Whew! I was exhausted before 8:30 this morning. It was very interesting watching them all deal with first day jitters differently and it reminds me (and should remind us) that all kids are different!  My oldest was his usual suave-self, making it seem like nothing could affect him, even as he checked his hair one more time before walking out the door. My middle, because of his experience with his own anxiety was able to express his nervousness brilliantly and went off with his Totem in his back pack. My little one had a really hard time going to sleep last night but refused to admit he was nervous, and not usually shy, he was very quiet entering the school yard this morning until he found a familiar face in line. They will all be fine and even if they aren’t, they will be eventually. And let’s not forget about the parents! The Mom who was so upset because her son ended up in a class with “no one” he knows. The Dad pushing his teary eyed daughter in to the line with a toughen-up message who was later seen staring through the fence just to make sure his baby got in to school ok. The list goes on with parents who project their own fears and prior experiences onto their kids. Which brings me back to my earlier statement, that not only are kids different from each other, but they are different from us! (Thank goodness.) I know it was helpful for my boys to hear me talk about my school experiences, just as it was helpful for me to relive them, and not all of them were good. But it helped reinforce the notion that everyone will have a different experience and the only one that matters and is relevant is the one you have. I can’t wait to hear three completely different tales of how the first day went!

First day Totems!

First day Totems!

Stay well.

Since school can be very stressful and anxiety producing, why not send your child to school with a Totem! Head to our site at www.totemtamers.com and pick one out today!

Insight as a result of "kidsight!"

By | 2013-09-06T17:26:11+00:00 September 6th, 2013|Life|

I was struck by a memory today of when my oldest (now 13!) was just an infant. We used to go for walks every day around the complex where we lived. It’s the same walk I would take my pregnant self on for exercise for months before he was born. Now all of a sudden the walks took on another meaning and another appearance altogether. I hadn’t noticed the blue-jays cawing above, but now I was pointing them out to my son. I somehow missed the iguanas and lizards that called the foliage home, but now they were our pals that we would visit when we could. I didn’t pay much attention to the squirrels who ran circles around each other and us, but now we brought them peanuts and often fed them by hand. All of a sudden my whole world opened up because now all of a sudden I was given the wonderful opportunity of opening up my son’s world and I didn’t want him to miss a thing. Then it was him pointing things out to me! The helicopter that we couldn’t even see, but he heard the whir of the blades and called out “he-wi-copper!” The blare of the sirens in the background of my existence, but to him it meant “fire twuck!” Every dog, every bird, every plane, now became players in my little one’s script and I will always be grateful to him for helping me notice all the wondrous sights and sounds I was taking for granted. I went on to have two more children and each time I couldn’t wait to point out all the things they could see and was surprised (and still am) by the things they would point out to me. Give yourself a gift and take a moment to see and hear the world as a child does and see the beauty all around you that comes with the innocence.

Stay well.

To learn more about Totem Tamers, please visit our site at www.totemtamers.com.

Totem Tamers presents WARRIOR WEDNESDAY!

By | 2013-09-04T10:44:04+00:00 September 4th, 2013|Life|

I enjoy the opportunity I get to pick a WARRIOR each week. I treasure the opportunity when I get to pick a dear friend as a WARRIOR. Our connection was instant from the moment we met and I am honored to call this man my friend and even more honored to make him a WARRIOR this week! Bobby Kleinau is just one of those special people. Not just because he lost over 140 pounds, but because he lost all that weight and wants to help anyone who wants the help, do the same! Bobby is an amazing person. Not just because he adopted a stray dog, but because when that dog became paralyzed after a freak accident, Bobby ignored advice to euthanize him and Jack the dog continues to thrive today on just two legs. I can tell you more about why Bobby is this week’s WARRIOR, but you can see for yourself in this short video that will surely warm your heart.

Bobby, thank you for being a WARRIOR, and most of all, thank you for being in my life. Give Jack a kiss for me!

Stay well.

To learn more about Totem Tamers, please visit our site at www.totemtamers.com.

 

Happy Labor Day from Totem Tamers!

By | 2013-09-02T11:36:12+00:00 September 2nd, 2013|Life|

Always nice to have a day off, especially when it’s a day to celebrate having a job! Let’s not forget about the people who still have to work today, be extra nice to them and thank them for making your day off a little bit easier. The good thing about the Totems is that they are always working and they never seem to mind. They decided to read up a bit more about the history of Labor Day and were definitely surprised to find that the notion of Labor Day dates all the way back to the late 1800’s! Learn even more on the Department of Labor website.

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day!

Enjoy the day off if you have it, enjoy your day on if you’re lucky enough to have employment!

Stay well.

To learn more about Totem Tamers, please visit our website at www.totemtamers.com.