Here’s one case for NO separation of “Church & State”!

By | 2018-04-07T23:19:16+00:00 March 14th, 2017|activist, anxiety, anxiety disorder, anxiety relief, broadway, civil rights, Creative, creativity, death, donation, education, elections, family, grief, gun violence, hate crime, inspiration, Life, loss, mental health, motivation, nyc, politics, prayer, relationships, religion, sadness, school|

I don’t talk much about politics in this space, although if you have been a reader of this blog, you can pretty much gauge what side of the dais I would sit on. Don’t worry, this post isn’t going to be about politics….really, well, not really, but sort of, maybe a little bit. This post is going to be about theater, drama, comedy and friendship. I went to theater the other night with a group of friends, to see a play that was written and produced by friends, and it had equal parts comedy and drama. The play is called “Church & State”, and it’s in previews now at New World Stages. While I was watching the play, I was struck with imagery of a heated tennis match, because my emotions were being slammed across the net between laughter, anger, fear and sadness. In less than 90 minutes, I was moved to a point of paralysis. Yes, moved so emotionally, that I couldn’t move physically for a few minutes after it ended, because I was taking it all in and letting it wash over me. I was having varied experiences, mind you. I had just watched a play that someone I know wrote and someone I know produced, and it was good. I mean, not just like “Oh wasn’t that sweet” kinda good, I mean “Holy crap, that was impressive” kinda good. And, the content was just so relevant, and important, and crucial to the current state of affairs of our country and our communities, that I wanted to get up and holler that something needs to be done!!! So here is my holler, GO SEE THIS PLAY!

Powerful new play!

I can tell you that this play is about a lot of things including politics, but also faith, speaking your mind, marriage, community, and death. I can tell you that this play is already making an impact and it hasn’t even opened yet! Politicians and celebrities are not only coming to see it, but some will even be participating in panels throughout the run of the play to further conversation about the controversial subject matter. I guess I’m being a little vague on purpose here, because I want to protect the power of the play and if you go in knowing too much, it might color the way you receive it. Even thinking about the play now, I get choked up! Of course, you can click on the link above and learn a little more about it and what inspired it, or you can take a chance and see something that will undoubtedly leave you thinking, if not shaking just a little bit.

Off my soapbox!

Stay well.

 

Sticks and stones…..

By | 2018-04-07T23:19:25+00:00 August 13th, 2016|anxiety, anxiety disorder, anxiety relief, childhood, children, education, family, friends, friendship, mind/body, motherhood, parenthood, parenting, relationships, school, totems|

You know the old rhyme! “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” Most kids are taught that one early on in childhood when they have their first experience with name calling. “Mommy, Janie called me a poopy-head!” “Well dear, it’s just a word and as you know, sticks and stones, sticks and stones.” There are others we had too, like “I’m rubber, you’re  glue! Whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you!” That one was always bizarre and never really made much sense as a comeback, almost as weird as this exchange: “You’re a poopyhead”, said Mikey. “I know you are, but what am I”, retorted Billy. What? I know you are but what am I? What does that even mean and why do we continue to perpetuate these comebacks when they don’t really deal with the bigger issue at hand. Words can and do hurt! I mean, ok, someone calling you a poopyhead isn’t a big deal in the scheme of things, but there are plenty of harmful words out there that are sometimes used against our children and we are doing them a disservice if we don’t equip them with the tools to handle them. Namely sticks and stones! I’m kidding!!!! Physical violence is never an answer. What I’m getting at though, and what’s super important, is validating your child’s hurt if they come home sad because someone called them “stupid” or “fat” or “ugly” or a “prude” or a “loser” or a “geek” or a “nerd.” What doesn’t work is telling your child that the perpetrator didn’t mean it, or they’re only saying those things because they’re jealous, for example. What your child needs is for you to recognize that no matter what was said to them, they are feeling hurt by it and they need to know that it’s ok to feel hurt. It’s dialogue waiting to happen! “Mom, Timmy called me stupid today in the yard.” “Oh honey! That sounds awful. You seem upset, and that’s totally understandable. Do you want to talk about it?” You can even take it a step further and use the incident to teach some compassion. Talk to your child about what might make “Timmy” want to call other kids hurtful names. Maybe even suggest that “Timmy” might have been having a hard day or tough times at home, and that usually name-calling is a reaction to something deeper going on inside the perpetrator. Sure this might be going a little deep, (and “Timmy” might just be a grade-A jerk) but you can likely gauge what shape your child is in and how much they need from you. It might be enough for them to just hear you say “yeah, that probably sucked a whole lot and I’m sorry it happened.” Bottom line, and this is for any situation, not just when your kids are hurt but when anyone expresses their hurt, validate, validate, validate!!!

Sticks, stones, Totems!

Sticks, stones, Totems!

Stay well.

It only takes a second…..

By | 2018-04-07T23:19:29+00:00 May 4th, 2016|anxiety, anxiety disorder, anxiety relief, bears, birds, bulldogs, charity, gratitude, inspiration, Life, mental health, mind/body, motivation, nyc, office, Owls, prevention, relationships, sharks, social media, strangers, totems|

There I was heading out of a building, when I noticed a woman also heading towards the exit. It was one of those double door situations where you actually had to exit twice, ok? So I held open the first door for her and let her exit first, me following out behind her. Nothing. Not a smile. Not a nod. Nothing. She reached the second exit door ahead of me and pushed through it. I, being younger, more agile and way prettier (that’s important), was right behind her and loudly said “Thank you” as exited I the still opened door. I suspect if I hadn’t been fast enough, she would have let the door slam in my face. She didn’t even blink at my “thank you” which made me even more annoyed. Sure, I can have compassion and think that maybe she was just having a bad day, but seriously, it only takes a second! Thank you! Please! One second. I timed it!!! It’s true!!

So I don’t care if you are having a really crappy day, you assuredly have one second to be courteous to another human being. Try it!! Oh, and give it as a gift. Meaning don’t be attached to their response, as you may not get a “Thank you” or a “You’re welcome” but at least you’ll walk away knowing you’re not an a*@hole!

Stay well.

Totems say BE NICE!!!

Totems say BE NICE!!!

Baby expert and Totem lover? YES!

By | 2018-04-07T23:21:42+00:00 April 8th, 2016|anxiety, anxiety disorder, anxiety relief, bears, love, marriage, mental health, mind/body, parenthood, parenting, relationships, stress, stress relief, totems|

It’s the best feeling when you’re validated or at least when your company mission is validated, especially on a national scale. Maybe I’m reaching here, but it was actually a friend who brought the article to my attention, so she made the connection first! Totem Tamers mission is to help people who struggle with anxiety, stress, anger, or any overwhelming emotion that may get in the way of every day functioning. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal focused on baby sleep expert, Marc Weissbluth, and his connection to a carving that healed him. “Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child”, was definitely a book I used with my last baby, and it was a miracle worker! Dr. Weissbluth’s basic premise of “sleep begets sleep” saved my sanity while caring for a newborn with two toddlers in the mix! Anyway, the WSJ article is all about how Dr. Weissbluth discovered the healing impact of a Native American carving of a Bear! He’s quoted “it just felt right in my hand.” That’s what Totem Tamers is all about! If I am out at a fair or expo, I always encourage people to pick up a Totem so they can see how it feels. They all feel differently, but inevitably one will feel “right”! Sometimes people just know and connect to a Totem without having to pick it up, because they have an affinity for one of the creatures we carry! If you don’t have an opportunity to hold a Totem, I can tell you that they are surprisingly heavy and beautifully designed. Here’s a closeup of Bear!

 

Bear!

It was great to read how Dr. Weissbluth looked to his carved Bear for healing properties, which is exactly what we want you to do with your Totem of choice! Do you need something to help keep you grounded? Help keep you calm? Then you need a Totem! Visit our store at www.totemtamers.com/shop and get yours today!

Stay well.

I am my own Valentine!

By | 2018-04-07T23:21:45+00:00 February 14th, 2016|anxiety, anxiety disorder, anxiety relief, bulldogs, Equality, friendship, Life, love, Owls, relationships, stress, stress relief, totems|

Well, sort of. As a dear friend calls it, this is “love day”! This isn’t a day where you’re supposed to feel sad  if you aren’t in a relationship, for example, this is a day where you find gratitude for being able to love in the first place!! And the best way to find that gratitude is by loving yourself, and then you can make room to love others. I know people who think this day is a crock of you-know-what, others who use this day to lament that they are ever lonely and will never meet the right person, and still others who cherish their loved ones and celebrate them with flowers and chocolates and fancy dinners. Me? Sure I’ve gone through different iterations of this day, but I’m wiser now (fine, older), and I realize it’s not about romance, it’s not about relationship, it’s about finding love in yourself so that you can share it with others. Then it can be shared back with you, and that’s what “love day” is about. I am blessed with three incredible children who fill my heart on a daily basis, so it’s Valentine’s Day every day in my house! So whenever you need a Valentine, start by looking in the mirror, and there you’ll see the best Valentine of all, then offer your love from that reflection, and this day, and every day, will always be special, no matter what!

Totems on valentine's day.

Totem Love!

Stay well.

A Totem is a great Valentine to have because they always keep you company and always keep you calm. Get yours today or even better, get one for you and your Valentine!

 

Happy Friendship Day from Totem Tamers!

By | 2018-04-07T23:22:00+00:00 August 2nd, 2015|anxiety, anxiety relief, friends, friendship, Life, relationships, stress, stress relief|

Thank you being our friend. Thank you for supporting this meaningful little business of ours by liking our posts, sharing the blog, and buying Totems for your friends and family. Thank you! Hopefully, our friendship doesn’t feel one-sided in that regard, and hopefully what we give to you is the gift of calm, and my words, which I try to use to inspire and motivate. That to me is really what friendship comes down to, two entities engaging in a mutually beneficial relationship. Kind of like cheese and crackers, peanut butter and jelly, Bert and Ernie, and Bear, Shark, Owl and Bulldog, of course! Thanks to The Meeting House for reminding me of a wonderful quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson that reads “The only way to have a friend is to be one.”

Have you been a friend lately?

Have you been a friend lately?

The Meeting House is an amazing after school organization that helps kids develop their social and emotional selves, so they can participate in the community as thoughtful and empowered individuals. Part of that is learning how to be a friend!! I wish there was a booster class for adults to go to every couple of years. Not only to reinforce what it means to be a friend, but remind us how to be a friend. I believe that there are many different kinds of friendships. The ones that we have on Facebook with people we’ve never even met, for example. Than there are the friends we’ve had for years who we don’t talk to all that often, but we know they are there for us if we need them and vice versa. We also have friends during different phases of our lives. We have Mommy friends (Daddy ones, too), work friends, gym friends, dog friends, neighbor friends, etc.. We’ve all had friendships come and go, and hopefully there were lessons to be learned in all of them. I guess the lesson for me on this Friendship day, is that just because someone calls you a friend, doesn’t necessarily make them a friend, and if you want to have a friend, you need to be a friend. Go out and BE a friend today!

Totem Friends!

Totem Friends!

Stay well.

If you need a Totem friend, just click on any of the Totems on the side of the page and head to our store to get yours today!!

Sometimes a memory should be just that, a memory.

By | 2018-04-07T23:22:41+00:00 April 4th, 2015|Life, love, relationships|

We all have memories, some good, some bad, some that we question as if they might never have happened, and plenty that we would like to forget. I was reminded a while ago of a beautiful memory that I have held on to for about 25 years. In the age of social media, I decided to seek out the other party in my memory, just in the hopes of reconnecting, for the memory’s sake. Lo and behold, LinkedIn, turned up my search and even though I hesitated, I clicked the invite button and waited. The hesitation was rooted in fear of course, because my memory is just that, mine. The other person involved might have had a completely different experience and not share the same nostalgia with me. I was quickly rewarded with an email telling me that my invitation had been accepted! Now I could send an email, open a dialogue, and possibly, hopefully, validate my memory. To spare you the angst that I experienced in the process, I was able to validate my memory. Amazingly enough, this was indeed a truly shared experience, down to the sweetness associated with it, down to the cherishing we had both done of our short, yet deeply intimate connection. I had taken a risk, and I had been rewarded, we both had in a sense, and for that I will always be grateful. Sadly though, that beautiful shared memory, is shared by people that no longer exist in the way they were 25 years ago. We have had a lifetime of experiences since then and created many lifetimes worth of memories, the good, the bad, the ones we’d like to forget, and those we hope to never forget. These new people aren’t necessarily supposed to be connected today, maybe their time was 25 years ago, in that shared moment that has kept them both warm in heart over the years. These new people don’t know each other, and the attempt to try and box them in to the fantasies of who they used to be, is futile and frustrating at best. As a result, that wonderful memory has lost a lot of it’s luster, and no longer provides the warmth that it had supplied for so long. Now all it gives is a twinge of loss and a melancholy for someone I used to know, someone who isn’t who I remembered them to be, and hoped they would still be.

With that, I bid you cherish those incredible memories from your past and find that the validation you may be wishing for already exists within you. Your memory is just that, yours, and that is enough.

Stay well.

Totems can help you create wonderful memories by helping you through potentially overwhelming situations. Click on any of the Totems on the side of the page to get your Totem today, and start creating a lifetime of memories to cherish.