The color of love!

By | 2018-04-07T23:19:09+00:00 February 14th, 2018|anxiety, anxiety disorder, anxiety relief, art, Creative, creativity, gratitude, holiday, inspiration, love, mental health, mind/body, motivation, nyc, stories, story, storytelling, stress, stress relief, totems|

Happy Valentine’s Day!! Or #galentinesday, which I hadn’t ever heard of until people started posting about it, and I guess it shows that I never watched the whole television series “Parks and Recreation”. Either way, it’s a fun concept and I’m all about it, but that’s not what inspired me to write today.

What inspired me was a heart, not anyone’s heart, but someone’s heart that ended up discarded on the sidewalk near my house. Now before you get all creeped out, it’s not an actual heart! Sheesh you guys are morbid! Here’s the heart:

green heart

Green is for love!

I initially walked right by it and then I knew I needed a picture of this green sidewalk heart. Then it got me thinking, why is red the color associated with love? Is it because when we feel love our blood gets pumping? Is it because when we feel love, we feel it in our hearts which are essentially red? I continued to ponder how the color red actually has a lot of negative emotions connected to it, like anger, rage, and danger. Here at Totem Tamers, red is the first step in our visualization process when you’re trying to stave off or recover from an anxiety attack. Red is typically not where someone wants to be, so why then do we associate the color red with something that is supposed to be a good thing? Red on a stop sign, red on a traffic light, that tells you to hold up, back off, stand still, but green, green means go for it, proceed, pass go! That’s what I got when I passed this green sidewalk heart. That my heart is not red, my heart is green and wide open, ready to receive and give love to all who cross my path. So from now on, I will wear green on Valentine’s Day, not red! It’s a revolution I tell you!

Show me your heart is open, show me your green heart, and I’ll show you mine.

Stay well.

Happy Hanukkah/Chanukah from Totem Tamers!

By | 2018-04-07T23:19:09+00:00 December 12th, 2017|accessories, animals, anxiety, anxiety disorder, anxiety relief, artists, bears, birds, birds of prey, christmas, Creative, creativity, Design, gift, gifts, holiday, mind/body, Owls, stress, stress relief, totems|

No matter how you spell it (there’s at least 16 ways), it’s holiday season! The Jewish Festival of Lights has a rich history behind it and it’s also become a holiday for gift giving!

What better gift to give than the gift of calm with Totem Tamers!? Totem Tamers is truly honored to be featured on the holiday gift giving guide by fashion maven, Stacy Igel! Igel’s blog provides insight in to the world of fashion and all things fabulous, but also a peek in to her journey creating her brand Boy Meets Girl, and more! Be sure to click on the link to see what Stacy has to say, and check out the clothing and accessories line! Here are some mugs I just had to have!

Boy Meets Girl meet Totems!

And if you’re looking for a last minute stocking stuffer, Totems make the perfect gift!

totems

What’s in the bag?!

Have a safe and wonderful holiday season!

Stay well.

Frappuccino with a side of anti-semitism!

By | 2018-04-07T23:19:15+00:00 April 10th, 2017|anger management, anxiety, anxiety disorder, anxiety relief, family, hate crime, holiday, Life, religion|

Happy Passover to those who celebrate. Chag Sameach to those who might know Hebrew. It translates into “joyous festival or holiday”, now you won’t have to look it up. The holiday starts momentarily and I hopped on a plane last minute with my kids to celebrate with Grandma and other family members. Anyone who knows me knows I am not religious, at all. I consider myself a “food jew” because I love Jewish food and make pretty darned good rugelach!  Well, today I felt more Jewish than I have felt in a really long time, and sadly it came out of the worst possible ugliness anyone should ever experience.

The Seder Plate!

I was picking up some last minute items for dinner, my two oldest along for company. They bribed me with their presence by weaseling out frappuccino’s from Starbuck’s. I’m a sucker, I know, but they are a pretty powerful team when they want something. There happens to be a Starbuck’s in one of the most religious areas near Grandma’s (it’s near a Synagogue), so I double-parked with my hazard lights a-flashing, while the boys ran in to get their drinks. There were plenty of cars doing the same thing, so even though I was blocking a lane partially, I wasn’t the only one. I was surprised when a very fancy black Rolls Royce (also a very chi-chi neighborhood) pulled up behind me and started laying on the horn. I mean, really honking! Everyone else went around, why didn’t this guy?! I was then totally and completely stunned, when the car pulled up next to me and the very distinguished looking, gray-haired passenger rolled down the window and screamed “Move you f#$ing Kike! You Kike!” I sat there in disbelief that someone could be so offensive, so horrible, and so angry! I hadn’t done anything personally to him, but the venom he spewed and the look in his eyes when he screamed that disgusting word at me, left me paralyzed for a good few minutes. It was in those few minutes I became overwhelmed considering every insult ever thrown at anyone for being different, and I got angry, really angry. Then I got sad, and then I got love, when my boys came back to the car and I told them what had happened. They were both shocked and both said how sorry they were that I had to experience that, and then they got angry too. We talked about the ugliness that exists in the world still today, and how we have to find a way to be a more accepting people. My middle suggested I write about the experience, so here I am, about to break Matzoh with family and friends and I will revel in the gefilte fish and the matzoh balls. I will also take pleasure in knowing that the man in the Rolls may be driving around in a fancy car but he will always be an angry and ugly human being. Chag Sameach!

Stay well.

Her-knee-ugh!

By | 2018-04-07T23:19:18+00:00 December 23rd, 2016|animals, anxiety, anxiety disorder, anxiety relief, gratitude, health, holiday, inspiration, Life, medicine, mental health, mind/body, motivation, recovery, stress, stress relief, surgeon, totems, travel, vacation|

I put my pants on ass backwards this morning. No, really, the ass was in the front, they’re not supposed to go on that way, but there I was walking my dog in my ass backwards pants and realizing that I could still put one foot in front of the other even if part of me was facing the wrong direction! I did try to put my hands in the pockets, but that didn’t work out so well. Point is, you never know what life will throw at you (or your country), and even though we can’t necessarily be prepared for every possibility, we can allow ourselves permission to just let it unfold.

Every Christmas, my kids go away with their Dad to see family upstate. They look forward to hanging out with their grandparents and their cousins and hopefully lots of soccer and football in the snow! Every year I convince myself that I am going to take a trip to some exotic location, or Miami, but those trips never quite seem to happen. This year, I was going to finally do it, and this past Monday I decided that I would head to my old stomping grounds in the 305 for a few days of warmth and visiting with friends. Monday night, my hernia, which has been close to me for quite a while, decided it didn’t want to go to Miami with me, so it’s begging to be shoved back from whence it came!

Where’s Sigourney Weaver when you need her?!

Ok that’s not my image, and for all I know that could be a guy, I can’t tell what all those nooks and crannies really are, but at least you can see the hernia there where the arrow is pointing. Mine thankfully isn’t that bad, or big, but it’s a bitch nonetheless and needs to be handled. So why am I telling you all this? Did you know that more than a million hernia surgeries are performed every year in the US? Yeah, I didn’t either, but what that means in all likelihood, is that several of you have probably had the surgery yourself! Mine is umbilical, for information purposes, but no matter your hernia, abdominal laparoscopic surgical recovery is surely somewhat similar. The tips and suggestions those of you, who are now experts might have, is probably very valuable to someone like me! So bring em on! I want to hear what helped you, and what didn’t help you, and what you wish you had known but weren’t warned about. And no, don’t tell me the horror story of your Uncle Sal who ended up bleeding out on the bathroom floor when he tried to pull out a stray nose hair after hernia surgery. But definitely tell me the story about Aunty Sheila whose flatulence was so horrific no one could stay in the room with her while she recovered! Get the drift? Keep it light, keep it helpful, keep it informative, but for goodness sakes, don’t keep it to yourself! We all benefit from shared experiences, so in the interest of helping me stay calm (I’ll have my Totems), please bestow the wisdom of your experiences on me and anyone else who might need it! Thanks and happy holidays!

Stay well.

We are magically sold out of inventory from this holiday season, but restocking shortly!! Put your orders in for Totems now and have them to use and share in the new year! Visit our store and choose your Totem today!

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!

Totem Tamers wishes all who celebrate Rosh Hashanah, a sweet new year!

By | 2018-04-07T23:19:21+00:00 October 2nd, 2016|anxiety, anxiety disorder, anxiety relief, childhood, children, church, family, food, gratitude, holiday, inspiration, prayer, religion, stress, stress relief|

This is one of the good holidays in the Jewish religion, not that any are bad per se, but this is definitely a happy one. I am not religious, I am spiritual, but I guess I would call myself a “food-Jew”, because I actually really like gefilte fish, and I make great rugelach. I actually wrote about my rugelach in an old blog post, feel free to go back to it here https://totemtamers.com/religion-in-a-rolling-pin/. You can read about my rolling pin that was handed down, that is easily a hundred years old. That’s my religion. Or you can just marvel at this season’s rugelach waiting to be demolished over the next week!

My grandma in my heart and my heart in my dough!

My grandma in my heart and my heart in my dough!

Yes, that’s a butter heart that appeared in the dough as I was making this batch of rugelach!

This is rugelach before...

This is rugelach before…

This is rugelach after...

This is rugelach after…

I always make specialty flavors, which is definitely a departure from how my grandmother taught me, but I know she would be impressed!

There's Whitman's sampler, and then Selma's Sampler!

There’s Whitman’s sampler, and then Selma’s Sampler!

So yummy, and you should smell my house!! I don’t care what religion you choose, or don’t choose for that matter, just be kind and share sweetness! Who wants?

Stay well.

Happy Labor Day from Totem Tamers!

By | 2018-04-07T23:19:24+00:00 September 5th, 2016|animals, anxiety, anxiety disorder, anxiety relief, bears, bulldogs, holiday, labor, labor day, labor movement, Life, mind/body, Owls, sharks|

Labor Totems!

Labor Totems!

Labor Day is essentially a day commemorating those who labor. Well, that means that this is a day for EVERYONE!! We all labor in our own way, and we all deserve to be recognized for that labor, even if it’s labor that doesn’t come with a paycheck. The Totems certainly labor. They’re job is to help keep you calm whenever possible, and we all know that sometimes that is a very hard job indeed!

Kick back today, even for just a second, and be grateful for the opportunity to labor and for all those who labor around you.

Stay well.

A muslim-american, african-american, and caucasian-american all walk into my house….

By | 2018-04-07T23:21:47+00:00 January 18th, 2016|activist, anxiety, anxiety disorder, anxiety relief, childhood, civil rights, Equality, family, friends, friendship, holiday, inspiration, Liberty, Life, mental health, parenthood, parenting, racism, religion, stress, stress relief, Uncategorized|

and THAT my friends is part of Dr. King’s dream. This is just a cross-sampling of the kids that come over to hang out and play video games with my kids. And it’s awesome, because in those moments, it’s only about whose player has better stats or who has annihilated more zombies. There’s no question of religion or race, it’s just kids being kids, and that has to be attributed to all the work Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., fought for and ultimately died for. On this day, when we get a break from school, many get a break from work, maybe we will have a nice brunch or go to a movie, take a moment to acknowledge that we have indeed come very far. Then take another moment and consider how far we still have to go. Thank you Dr. King, for your dream, for sharing it, and for inspiring many to be better human beings.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Be the dream!

Stay well.

There’s more to #givingTuesday than cash!

By | 2018-04-07T23:21:52+00:00 December 1st, 2015|anxiety, anxiety disorder, anxiety relief, brotherhood, brothers, charity, childhood, children, donation, education, family, friends, friendship, gift, gifts, gratitude, holiday, inspiration, Life, motherhood, motivation, parenthood, parenting, strangers, stress, stress relief, totems|

First, there was Black Friday, then Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and now, Giving Tuesday. All of these “days” are centered around money. Black Friday has everything on super sale after Thanksgiving, so you’re encouraged to buy, buy, buy. Small Business Saturday is all about supporting small businesses (duh), so buy, buy, buy! Cyber Monday means you can sit in your PJ’s and what else? Buy, buy, buy! Now we come to Giving Tuesday, which encourages you to take any money you might have leftover and donate, donate, donate. It’s a grand idea and there are countless worthy organizations that need support by way of donations. I know I have several that I support year-round, but there may be a new one or two that I help out this year. (If you’re looking for some ideas, shoot me an email at julie@totemtamers.com, and I’ll happily share some needy organizations with you!) Over the last couple days though, something occurred to me, there is plenty of giving that doesn’t actually require spending! You can certainly give time, like my family did on Thanksgiving when we served dinner at a homeless shelter run by The Doe Fund.

Aren't hairnets awesome?

Aren’t hairnets awesome?

Giving can be as simple as a smile to a neighbor, or an extra hug to your kids. I had a birthday over the weekend and so many people gave me time and well wishes that it moved me to tears. Giving feels good and it works in both directions! The giver and the receiver end up rewarded, and there’s no better gift than that! So, if you have some spare change and/or a cause near and dear, go ahead and make a donation. If you don’t have money to spare, that’s ok, because you definitely have spirit and good will in abundance, and that’s free! Use it! I think you’re awesome and you will too, when you give.

Stay well.

Small Business Saturday!

By | 2018-04-07T23:21:52+00:00 November 28th, 2015|accessories, animals, anxiety, anxiety disorder, anxiety relief, bears, birds of prey, bulldogs, children, creativity, dogs, friendship, gift, gifts, holiday, labor, Life, mental health, mind/body, Owls, parenting, shopping, stress, stress relief, totems|

Shop a small business like Totem Tamers!

Shop a small business like Totem Tamers!

Today is Small Business Saturday, where you are encouraged to shop at small businesses because they are the foundation of our society! Small business.com is a website that has tons of resources available for anyone who wants to start a business, or who has already started a business and needs support. A small business is exactly how Totem Tamers identifies! Do you know how we got started?  It’s a simple story really, my middle son was experiencing anxiety attacks, and I was struggling with how to help him. I reconnected with my friend (and now business partner) Daniel, who was suffering panic attacks. In the span of a couple emails, Daniel and I realized we wanted, no, we needed to help others who were surely struggling with the same issues. With Daniel’s incredible artistry, and my words, Totem Tamers was created! Pocket-sized bronze animal totems, a beautifully illustrated guidebook, and simple steps that are accessible by all, and a small business is born. We can both attest to how Totems have helped our families, but we have also heard from many others who have been helped as well! Have a look at our original four Totems, and keep checking back as more Totems are added!

Totems

Shopping small businesses should happen every day, not just one day of the year, so shop wherever you see the Shop Small sign, and shop often!

Stay well.

The power of distraction.

By | 2018-04-07T23:21:53+00:00 November 19th, 2015|anger management, anxiety, anxiety disorder, anxiety relief, bulldogs, childhood, christmas, gift, gifts, holiday, Life, mind/body, stress, stress relief, totems|

A friend shared this article from the NY Times that appeared the other day about the power in a “fiddle toy.” This is exactly what Totem Tamers do for anyone who might experience potentially overwhelming emotions. Always great to find validation from a psychotherapist, who has witnessed how her patients are better able to open up when they have a tactile object to focus on.

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/11/17/the-invisible-power-of-tchotchkes/?_r=0

With a Totem in your hand, and the simple visualization and deep breathing techniques we share, you can have the power to get through almost anything! Totems also make a great gift because they are beautiful, too! Get yours in time for the Holidays.

totems

Stay well.

 

Totems Around Town!

By | 2018-04-07T23:22:40+00:00 April 10th, 2015|family, holiday, mental health, parenthood, siblings, stress, travel, vacation|

Thank you to one of our loyal Totem Tamers for sending in this gem, all the way from Santa Fe, New Mexico!!

Must be a pic-a-nic around here!

Must be a pic-a-nic around here!

We love seeing your Totems as they visit different sites and come upon different creatures! Send us your pictures to julie@totemtamers.com.

Stay well.

Need a Totem to take around town? Get one today by clicking on any of the Totems on the side of the page!