The color of love!

By | 2018-04-07T23:19:09-04:00 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.

I am my own Valentine!

By | 2018-04-07T23:21:45-04:00 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!

 

A heart has to be full before it can be broken.

By | 2018-04-07T23:24:15-04:00 May 1st, 2014|Life, Uncategorized|

This was the message I conveyed to the sweet young lady in the doctor’s office who felt comfortable enough with me to confide that she was nursing a broken heart. Her face was priceless when I remarked how wonderful that was. She asked why it was wonderful, and I explained that for her heart to have been broken it must first have been filled with some beautiful and wonderful memories. It took her a minute but her face softened and she understood where I was coming from. The good times she shared with this person who was responsible for her broken heart, still happened. She still experienced them, and she can still hold on those thoughts (and yes, curse her ex repeatedly whenever necessary.) We talked further and I shared my wisdom (learned only by experience, thank you very much), and I assured her that the pain would ease eventually. I also advised her to sit with the feelings she was having, the hurt, the loneliness, the fear, and only when she recognized everything she was going through, would she be able to move forward. Yes, I do have an awesome therapist!! By the end of my appointment, the young lady and I were laughing and commiserating about dating and how awful it can be, but there was hope, for both of us. On the way home I walked passed something remarkable.

Street He-art!

Street He-art!

On the sidewalk in front of me was this beautiful heart, cut out by some sweet child, somewhere. A child who hopes for love and can’t wait for heart to be filled up. I know plenty of “children” who are seeking the same.

Stay well.

Have a Totem? Great! Need a Totem? Click on the left and get one today!

Sweaty palms, heart racing, agitation = Anxiety. Bring it on!!

By | 2018-04-07T23:24:20-04:00 February 27th, 2014|Life|

Everyone experiences anxiety differently. The symptoms noted in the title of this piece are only a couple of those my son suffers from, when he’s in the throes of an attack. We can add to them stomach upset, pressure dropping, which leads to a frighteningly pale face, and sometimes even anger. There is no right or wrong way to experience anxiety, the key is how you react to it. It’s frustrating that we have drilled it into our heads, and those of our children’s, that somehow it’s not okay to be anxious. I have always said to my children, on the precipice of some show or performance that they are in, that if they weren’t nervous or anxious, I would be worried. It’s NORMAL to feel anxious. What makes anxiety abnormal, is when it cripples you into paralysis and prevents you from participating in real life. That is why Totem Tamers was created. To help people (my son) cope with overwhelming situations so that they can make the effort to move through whatever the situation may be. There is no cure for anxiety, there is only easing the symptoms so you can progress. I am heading out of town on an adventure of sorts (I’m calling it an adventure because I am totally anxious about it and somehow the word adventure makes me feel excited as opposed to terrified) and I am carrying a ton of Totems with me. Not just for myself of course, but to introduce them to people I meet along the way. I realize that my being anxious about going to an event with a bunch of strangers might not seem like a big deal to you, and if that’s the case, good on you. I, however, need to recognize my trepidation, otherwise I will not be able to move through my adventure with an authentic being. Be authentic, recognize your anxiety, and head out on an adventure today!!

Stay well.

Is that a Totem in your pocket….? It can be! Look left and purchase the Totem of your choice to accompany you on your next adventure.

Happy Valentine's Day from Totem Tamers!

By | 2018-04-07T23:24:20-04:00 February 14th, 2014|Life|

"Yes, that is chocolate and yes I will share," said Shark!

“Yes, that is chocolate and yes I will share,” said Shark!

I am blessed with three incredible kids, all at different stages of life, which certainly serves to keep me on my toes! My youngest is 7 1/2 (that half is really important), and thankfully for Valentine’s Day he is still in that phase of being ok with giving everyone a card or a piece of candy. “Even the kids I don’t like so much.” That was moving, sort of. My middle son is 11, and he is in that Valentine’s Day sucks, mode. When we talked about it, he was lamenting that it’s a crappy holiday if you aren’t part of a couple. When I asked if there was someone in particular he was hoping to be coupled with, he balked as though I had asked if he wanted frogs’ legs for dinner! “No, Mom, there isn’t anyone, sheesh!” Well, excuuuuuuuuse me for asking! Then of course there’s my 14-but-looks-16-year-old, he’s another story entirely. Having been associated with his “friend-girl” (I refuse to say the word) since the middle of 7th grade, he is taking this holiday a bit seriously. He told me exactly what I needed to go get, his favorite chocolates that Meredith’s Bread sells. I did my job, and then he did his by simultaneously breaking my heart and filling it completely. My little baby boy is growing up and his heart is making room for other people and that is definitely hard to take, thus the heartbreak. That same little boy however, makes me so proud because he has the capacity to feel and share his feelings. Just like he will share that he is really pissed at me if he finds out I wrote this! Inside the little box of chocolates, my sweet baby boy taped a little note, it read “because you were something special.” It confused me a little so I asked him about it, and he explained that when he first saw this “friend-girl”, he knew she was something special. It was enough to keep my eyes from welling up with pride, but also with fear for wanting to protect my boy from potential heartache. That’s when I realized that we shouldn’t protect ourselves from heartache, but just the opposite. Open yourself up to receive the love that someone gives you just as you allow yourself to give the love you have to share. That love doesn’t need to be a grand gesture, it can be a simple smile from the soul to that stranger on the train, or a phone call to your folks, or an email to an old friend, just give love and it will come back to you.

Giving you my love, always.

Stay well.

Look left! Our Totems are a great way to give love and calm, shop now!

Totem Tamers presents WARRIOR WEDNESDAY!

By | 2013-09-04T10:44:04-04:00 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.

 

Totem Tamers presents WARRIOR WEDNESDAY (redux)!

By | 2013-08-14T09:27:00-04:00 August 14th, 2013|Life|

Last week, I had the pleasure of introducing you to yet another WARRIOR in Helane Brachfeld-Colvin. In that piece, I talked about Helane and her efforts with an amazing charity started by her late husband, Dr. Steven Colvin, called Project Kids Worldwide. The short story is that PKW brings children in need of life-saving heart surgery to the US, covering the costs along the way. When I learned about PKW and Helane, I knew it was something that Totem Tamers could get involved in by way of donating Totem Sets to the kids coming in for surgery. I am proud to say we have made our first donation to this week’s WARRIOR, Maricel Rodriguez!

Happy Birthday WARRIOR Maricel!

Happy Birthday WARRIOR Maricel!

Maricel celebrated her Sweet 16 last week by receiving a new pacemaker, just one of the many surgeries she has required after being born with a heart defect. Her first surgery was at just two months old when the late Dr. Steven Colvin performed the life-saving procedure. Maricel and the incredible work of Helane Colvin was covered in a news story last week.

http://www.myfoxny.com/story/23087993/dominican-teen-gets-lifesaving-surgery-in-new-york?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=9179822

Totem Tamers wishes Maricel a speedy recovery and we are proud to call her a WARRIOR! For more on Project Kids Worldwide and how you can help, please visit their site at http://projectkidsworldwide.com.

Stay well.

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

A heart to heart with my cardiologist.

By | 2013-05-10T12:11:01-04:00 May 10th, 2013|Life|

On a gurney in the ER a year and half ago, a really cute doctor with a porn star name, came in to tell me that it didn’t look good. In fact, he said “It’s bad.” Holy shit, I’m a 38-year-old woman with three young kids and this (thankfully very cute) doctor, is telling me that I might be having a heart attack and that my heart may be severely damaged. Well fast forward, I am here writing this, so clearly I survived, but I did have a serious bout of Myopericarditis. Definitely not fun and definitely scary. I was having symptoms of a heart attack that included chest pain, pain in my left arm, pain in my jaw, and severe palpitations. The palpitations I had been dealing with for years, so it was the addition of the other symptoms that freaked me out, and rightfully so. Thank goodness I am fine, but I still have the palpitations and will possibly have them forever. We all do apparently, and some of us just feel them more intensely than others, I’m just lucky that way. That old saying “once a bell has been rung…,” is sadly how I’ve been living for the last year or so. Anytime I get a blip or a funky feeling or what feels like chest pain, I call my cardiologist. And every time, he checks me out and tells me I’m fine. I love my cardiologist, for the most part. I respect him as a doctor, but sometimes his bedside manner sucks. Today, I finally had the courage to tell him so. At first he was almost argumentative, but then he heard me and that gave me courage to really explain what I was feeling and what I needed from him. I told him that he is the expert so he understands exactly what’s happening to my body and even though he knows it’s no big deal, I don’t know that. In fact, I think it’s much more and that I will end up in the hospital again. (Thank you anxiety!) I explained that no matter how many times I call, it’s because I am in fear for what could be wrong and that I need him to validate my fears and then calmly tell me its ok. The doctor admitted he had some work to do on his communication skills and would try to soften his edges. He heard me, and even though I may have had a ridiculously expensive test for no reason today, my peace of mind is worth everything. If you are afraid to talk to your doctor, or call your doctor in the middle of the night, then your doctor is failing you and you should start looking for another one pronto!

Stay well.

PS: My Totems were with me today thank goodness as they were helpful in keeping me calm and giving me strength. Take your Totem with you next time you know or even think you might be in a stressful or anxiety producing situation. If you don’t have one, get one! Shop our site at www.totemtamers.com/store.

Happy Valentine's Day from Totem Tamers!

By | 2013-02-14T09:03:31-04:00 February 14th, 2013|Life|

May your heart overflow with love and calm today…and may you share it with those around you.

Valentine's Day 2013! Where's SHARK?

Valentine’s Day 2013! Where’s SHARK?

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!

TT