Happy #nationalcomingoutday !!!!

By | 2018-04-07T23:19:10+00:00 October 11th, 2017|activist, animals, anxiety, anxiety disorder, anxiety relief, bears, birds, birds of prey, bulldogs, dogs, Equality, homosexuality, lgbtq, Life, love, marriage equality, mental health, mind/body, Owls, sharks, stress, stress relief, suicide prevention, therapy, totems, transgender|

National Coming Out Day!

I hope that whoever you are, whoever you want to be, whoever you want to love and be loved by, that you have the strength and the courage and the support to do just that. At Totem Tamers, we send you all that love and strength and courage, and we see you for all that you are, and all you deserve to be! Keep a Totem in your pocket for any time you feel anxious, and be reminded that you are beautiful and worth it!

Stay well.

Dog Day Afternoon…..

By | 2018-04-07T23:19:13+00:00 June 6th, 2017|animals, anxiety, anxiety disorder, anxiety relief, bulldogs, dogs, family, pets, totems|

I’m a dog lover. I mean, I really like most animals, but when it comes to domestic creatures that can fit in an NYC apartment, it’s dogs and/or cats for me. My current living situation includes my three boys, one four-legged boy, and me! There’s a lot going on for sure, and I’m gratefully everyone’s “mommy”. Today, I’m wearing my doggy-mama hat, because my sweet boy of almost 7 years has something funky growing in his mouth and he needs to have it removed and biopsied. While they’re in there, they’ll clean his teeth, and also remove a small, but benign, growth from his eyelid. The pooch will be in the cone of shame for a couple weeks, I’m not looking forward to that, because I know just how annoyed he will be!

My four-legged baby!

As I was bringing my boy to the vet this morning, he was being classically difficult, as somehow he knew we weren’t heading to get him a cheeseburger. The vet’s office is only a couple blocks away, but it took quite a while to coax him there, and a few giggles from passersby, who watched him just lay down mid-sidewalk refusing to move. We finally made it and I barely held it together, even though I know it’s all pretty routine. I choked back the tears when I kissed him goodbye and told him I would see him in a couple hours. Yes, he understands me. Duh!

Then I started thinking about the anxiety he must be feeling because he doesn’t have a clue of what’s going to happen to him, and he watched me walk out the door. Then I started thinking about the anxiety that I am feeling, because I know exactly what’s going to happen to him. Then I started to think about how we all handle anxiety differently and there is no right or wrong way, but it might be helpful to know how best you handle your anxiety. For example, are you the type that needs every detail, down to the last possible outcome, so that you can get through a situation with ease? Or are you the type that just likes to dive in head first and not spend too much time considering all the outcomes? Think about that the next time you’re  faced with a potentially overwhelming situation, and see how you handle your anxiety. I’m definitely a combination of those two types and know that it depends on the situation for me.

Either way, I will have my Bulldog Totem close to me all day as I wait to hear from the vet about my doggy! Having my Totem (and even just writing this for you) reminds me to take deep breaths, which help me stay calm.

Bulldog 3

No matter how you take your anxiety, straight up or on the rocks with a twist, you can have a Totem, too! Visit our shop at www.totemtamers.com/shop and pick one out today!

Stay well.

Seizing the moment…..

By | 2018-04-07T23:19:18+00:00 December 11th, 2016|anxiety, anxiety disorder, anxiety relief, apartment, bulldogs, childhood, children, dogs, holiday, inspiration, Life, meditation, mental health, mind/body, motivation, Music, nyc, prevention, rock and roll, rock n roll, stress, stress relief, totems|

I always talk about how much I love to hear from people who love their Totems! Sometimes the messages are bittersweet, especially if the Totems have helped them through some harrowing experiences.  For example, I received a message the other day from someone who could easily be a Totem Tamers spokesperson because he “gets it,” and I was glad when he said I could share his testimonial.

“As someone who has suffered from a seizure disorder his whole life, I think the Totems could be a big help to little kids who suffer from epilepsy or seizure problems.”

Bear Totem

Speaker buddy!

Bulldog sits on a speaker sending a regular reminder to take deep breaths and use visualization and repetition to help get through any potentially overwhelming scenario. Sometimes we need this reminder to help us prevent overwhelming situations. Like this Totem owner mentioned after a recent seizure, he was “overworked and stressed out”, which could describe most of us, if not all of us, especially around the holidays. So take it from me, speaker buddy, and our latest Totem Testimony, take a moment to listen to the music and remind yourself to breathe!

Stay well.

Send us your pictures and testimonials, to julie@totemtamers.com, and maybe your story can help others. I know it will help me!

Bulldog Power!!!

By | 2018-04-07T23:19:19+00:00 November 17th, 2016|animals, anxiety, anxiety disorder, anxiety relief, art, artists, bulldogs, Creative, creativity, dogs, friends, friendship, gift, gifts, gratitude, inspiration, Life, loss, mental health, mind/body|

When I get a message about a Totem helping someone, I am always deeply moved. When I get a message and a stunning photograph, I am compelled to move others.

Bulldog POWER!

Bulldog POWER!

I got this image from an amazing photographer and friend, who I had just given Bulldog to because he has done so much for me. Included with the photo was a short note telling me how he held Bulldog through his Grandfather’s eulogy and thanking me. Heartbreaking, but beautiful at the same time.

There is power in the Totem when you allow yourself to recognize it. Find your power and your Totem at www.totemtamers.com.

Stay well.

Heart on a cutting board!

By | 2018-04-07T23:19:24+00:00 September 9th, 2016|anxiety, anxiety disorder, anxiety relief, brotherhood, brothers, bulldogs, childhood, children, coffee, dogs, food, gratitude, Life, motherhood, Owls, parenthood, parenting, school, sharks, siblings, single parents, totems|

So there I am going through the daily routine of waking up three kids to get them ready for three different schools and three different start times. I manage to brush my teeth, walk the dog and somehow pour a cup of coffee, while everyone is straggling around the house in a morning haze. The only time I short-order cook is in the morning, even though they mostly eat the same things, but either way I’m barking out options and getting grunts for answers. Then I prep their lunches. Again, three different kids, three different taste buds, three different lunch preferences. Yes, I know, I could have them make their own lunches and be responsible for their food choices, thanks for that epiphany. But you know what? I’m freaking grateful that I get to make my kids lunch. Am I so grateful that I put dorky little notes in their lunch bags with smiley faces and x’s and o’s? Ok, fine, every once in a while I succumb to a smiley face. And every once in a while I do get pissy about having to make lunch, but then something incredible happens, and I am reminded what a blessing it is to have these three different kids, three different taste buds, three different lunch preferences.

totem heart

Heart to heart for lunch!

I’m packing lunch, juice box, fruit, snack, and I look down and see this heart just staring up at me! It gave me the millisecond I needed to stop, take a deep breath, smile, and smear on the mayo for the 3,467th time! Put some heart into everything you do and the impact will last a lifetime. It’s morning and breakfast time as I write this, but you know what? I think I’ll make some lunch.

Stay well.

Totems are a great reminder to take that millisecond to breathe. Get your Totem today at www.totemtamers.com/shop

Happy National Dog Day!!

By | 2018-04-07T23:19:24+00:00 August 26th, 2016|animals, anxiety, anxiety disorder, anxiety relief, bulldogs, dogs, mental health, mind/body|

If you have a dog, celebrate! If you don’t have a dog, rescue! If you can’t have a dog but still want one, Bulldog Totem is the answer! Visit our store https://totemtamers.com/shop to get yours today!

In the meantime enjoy this:

Zeke and Naia say hello!

Zeke and Naia say hello!

Bulldog Totem!

Bulldog Totem!

The love I get from my dog has helped me through some tough times and makes the good times even more special!

Here’s hoping you enjoy National Dog Day!!

Stay well.

Old dog, new human tricks!!

By | 2018-04-07T23:19:24+00:00 August 21st, 2016|anger management, animals, anxiety, anxiety disorder, anxiety relief, bulldogs, dogs, inspiration, Life, mental health, mind/body, nyc|

Bark at the vroom!

Bark at the vroom!

That’s my doggy there, he’s awesome. He’s cute and fluffy and very smart, most of the time. Don’t get me wrong, put yourself between Zeke and a bone and you will be sorry, but more often than not, he’s just as gentle as a butterfly. When he barks though, it could strike fear into the strongest of man and beast, like the excavator pictured here with Zeke! My sweet and very smart dog barks his best bark at construction vehicles and street cleaners. I often giggle when he does this because he sounds like he can take on the world with all that “woof-woof-ing”, not realizing these vehicles could crush him in a blink. However, the other day when he was taking on the excavator, I didn’t giggle. Instead I watched my dog and saw inspiration in all the commotion. Trying to understand what was behind his barking, I realized it’s likely anxiety because the big machine is moving and making very loud noises and is seemingly threatening. Most of us have likely experienced those same construction bangs and booms, the sound can be very unsettling. What inspired me this time, is that in Zeke’s anxiety, he didn’t back down, he didn’t run away, he didn’t cower. Rather, he stood tall and gave plenty of ferocious ruff-ruff’s and would have continued to do so if I hadn’t pulled him away. Therein lies the lesson, anxiety can be truly crippling, but sometimes facing it straight on is where there is power. For those that struggle with anxiety, you know what it looks like: the sweating, the agitation, the palpitations, the actual freezing in place, the inability to speak, the list of symptoms go on. That’s why Totem Tamers came to be, because I was helpless watching my son experience many of these symptoms, and I knew he needed some tools to help him manage those feelings. When my son has an anxiety attack, thankfully few and far between of late,  he has figured out the way to use the deep breathing and visualization techniques from Totem Tamers to help keep him calm and measured. Sometimes though, you just need to bark, and bark really loudly!! That’s why I hang on to thick magazines and bubble wrap, for example! When any of my kids are needing to let out some aggression or excessive energy, which is often times instigated by anxiety, I put them in a room and give them the magazines to tear to bits, the bubble wrap to stomp on, or just let them bark at the moon if that’s what they need.

Diggin' the Totems!

Diggin’ the Totems!

Now when Zeke tries to take on something that is way bigger than he is, I don’t giggle, I pay attention!

Stay well.

Sometimes what matters is saying absolutely nothing.

By | 2018-04-07T23:19:29+00:00 May 24th, 2016|animals, anxiety, anxiety disorder, anxiety relief, childhood, children, death, dogs, Life, parenthood, parenting, Uncategorized|

Those who have had the privilege (or curse, everyone has their opinion) of meeting me, know that I like to talk. And talk, and talk, and talk. My kids are often heard exasperating “Mom, do you have to talk to everyone you see on the street?”) I like to talk, and I like to talk to people as much, if not more than I like to talk to myself. When you talk to a lot of people, you get to know a lot of people, and I love that! It is rare that I walk around my neighborhood and I’m not greeted by someone on the street, and it works for me. It keeps me present and it keeps me grounded, and I am grateful for the people who pass through my life every day. I live in a big building on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, which means lots of people to talk to, from my neighbors to the awesome employees of the building. Just like any social situation, you hear things from time to time. Like “neighbor so and so” has a new grandkid, or “neighbor so and so” got engaged, or “neighbor so and so” has a puppy now. And sometimes it’s not great news, like two weeks ago when I heard that one of my neighbors children was killed in an accident. This neighbor is not someone I know well at all, and he isn’t here all the time either, but we’ve had conversations and he likes my dog, so there’s always polite chatting while he gets his dog fix.  I ran into this neighbor a couple days after hearing the news, we ended up in the elevator together and I was with a friend. I simply said “Hi, how are you?” He looked wrecked of course, swollen eyes, slumped over a bit, just clearly having a hard time. He worked up a smile and asked me about my kids, without answering the question. I knew then that he didn’t want to talk about his son, or couldn’t talk about his son. So as best as I could, I pepped up and gave him a quick answer as the elevator let us out of what had become a very tight space. Then I saw him again last week. Again we ended up in the elevator, this time I had my dog (thankfully), and this time we actually walked down the block a clip. The conversation was light and we talked about his dog who is getting up there in age, and about the weather, and nothing else. I watched him walk off on his way to work with his head hung down just enough for me to notice but something others might not sense if they didn’t know what I knew. It was then I realized he didn’t need me to say anything about his devastating loss, he needed me to just be the chatty neighbor with the cute dog that he knows me to be. And in that moment, I was grateful to be just that.

Stay well.

totems

Silence is just as important as talking.

Shopping with Bulldog!

By | 2018-04-07T23:19:30+00:00 April 30th, 2016|accessories, animals, anxiety, anxiety disorder, anxiety relief, bulldogs, Design, dogs, gift, gifts, shopping, social media|

Bulldogs at Robert Graham Columbus Circle!

Bulldogs at Robert Graham Columbus Circle!

So many colors which is what brought me into the Robert Graham store in the Shops at Columbus Circle, but it was their bulldog that made me hang out! Bulldog seems happy, too!

Where does your Totem take you? Send me a picture at julie@totemtamers.com, or tag us Instagram @totemtamers.

Stay well.

Y’all can’t deny these dimples!

By | 2018-04-07T23:21:43+00:00 March 31st, 2016|animals, anxiety, anxiety disorder, anxiety relief, bulldogs, childhood, children, dogs, friends, friendship, gift, gifts|

This is the smile of one of our newest Totem owners! Standing proud and calm with Bulldog, all the way from ‘Nawlins!

New Orleans bulldog owner

Who dat?!

Thank you for sharing your smile and the gift of calm! Show us your Totems on Instagram @totemtamers, or email me at julie@totemtamers.com! Don’t have a Totem? Get one today www.totemtamers.com/shop

Stay well.

#NationalPuppyDay although it’s puppy day in my house everyday!

By | 2018-04-07T23:21:44+00:00 March 23rd, 2016|adoption, animals, anxiety, anxiety disorder, anxiety relief, bulldogs, dogs, pets, stress relief, totems|

Seriously, there’s a day for everything, and I’m sure there’s even a day for things that don’t have an actual official day! On this day, when there’s much to be worried about, concerned about, and upset about though, let’s try to find some cheer, and what better way to do that than to talk about our puppies! It’s National Puppy Day! This is a day to commemorate puppies, and pet adoption, and to celebrate our dogs.  Sure, there’s Totem Tamers official puppy, Bulldog, and there’s no better calming friend than that.

Bulldog 3

Sup?

As much as I love Bulldog, my life wouldn’t be complete with our furry, four-legged, family friend, Zeke! Here he is with his very own puppy!

a dog and his dog

“A dog and his puppy”

Yes, it can be hard to have to get up super early to walk the dog in the middle of the winter with the freezing cold, but the snuggles and cuddles make it all worth it. Zeke has a job in our house, he is the official waker-upper! I promised my middle that I wouldn’t post the picture I took yesterday of Zeke pouncing on his bed and waking him up with a face full of kisses. It was perfect. So let’s celebrate our puppies of all ages and sizes and if you don’t have one, adopt one! So many need homes and have so much love to give. Visit http://www.adoptapet.com and maybe you can find a puppy of your own. You can always start by adopting a Bulldog Totem, too!

Stay well.

#NationalNappingDay

By | 2018-04-07T23:21:44+00:00 March 14th, 2016|bears, brothers, bulldogs, childhood, children, creativity, dogs, Life, sleep, Uncategorized|

Not writing much because I haven’t officially celebrated this most perfect day yet, and my best napping partners await!!

Napping boy and dog

 

With Daylight Savings time in full effect, a nap may be just what the interweb ordered! I will frequently announce that I’m taking a “disco nap” which means under a half hour for me, and just enough of a boost to get me to the disco (more likely the kitchen to make dinner, but you get the point!) Apparently reducing blood pressure, enhancing productivity and reducing stress happen to be bonuses to taking a nap, not that I need anymore motivation but at least this gives it purpose.

So what are you waiting for? Take a nap!!!

Stay well.

Totems are great napping partners, too. If you don’t have one, get one!! Just head over to our store, link at the top!

 

Totem Tamers gladly calls “Bull!”

By | 2018-04-07T23:21:45+00:00 February 23rd, 2016|animals, anxiety, anxiety disorder, anxiety relief, bulldogs, dogs, Life, stress, stress relief, Uncategorized|

Bulldog had a pleasant surprise while reading the newspaper this morning!

Everyone loves a bulldog and it’s great to see the breed among favorites, at least in NYC!

Bulldogs Daily News

How about a picture of your Bulldog?! Don’t have one? Shop https://totemtamers.com and get one today!

Stay well.