As I was walking through the airport today, I noticed a greater than usual number of Kiddos with their parents. All of these Little Ones were carrying a stuffed animal of some sort- I saw an Elmo, a Pokeyman, an Elsa, a Teddybear, a Dollie and a Starfish. All held tightly, with love and protection in the arms of their keepers. And suddenly, I remembered...I used to carry one too! His name was Bon Homme, a skinny little clown that I brought everywhere and sucked on the tip of his hat for solace. Fond memories of Bon Homme had me thinking... when and why did I stop carrying him?
As we grow older we're told that we are too old for Bon Hommes, or Elves, or Elmos, but why? These creatures we gave our affection to had purpose, and continue to, today.
Totems are adult versions of stuffed Teddy Bears. They keep us focused, calm, help us maintain presence and can potentially create a shift in our emotion.
I have totems. They have me surrounded. In my bag, my purse, my glove compartment, my chest of drawers. One is a beautiful stone a colleague sent me (thanks Lynn!), its smooth, cool surface refocuses my uncertain mind and reminds me that I am solid and cherished. I have a beautiful red heart stone that I received from my Nurse Coaching Community, it reminds me I am connected to brilliant, positive Nurse energy from around the globe. I have a bracelet made of yarn, I wear it to feel I am part of a continuous thread of others.
When I need focus, or calm, or feel I should ask myself for clarity, I pick up a precious stone, and feel its sensation in my hands, its weight, its intention and its energy and it helps guide me to a more present moment. The sensory change allows me to focus on what is important to me.
Bon Homme would be so happy he is not forgotten, that in childhood, he created a space of positivity, grounding and purpose. Do you remember your Bon Homme? Remind yourself of your childhood totem and allow the sensory change to bring you to a space more present. Or, find something more 'adult' and special to connect with to bring peace, calm, joy, space, or whatever you need to your life.
Do you have a story about a totem that brings you serenity, or a childhood totem that brings you back to fond childhood memories? Share your story in a comment below.