Inspired by blogger and Radical Self Love guru, Gala Darling, last year I created what I refer to as my Totem. As part of her Radical Self Love teachings, Gala suggests creating a ‘bible’ which is essentially a notebook full of things that inspire and encourage you. It sounds like an amazing project, at least, it does for me fifteen years ago but I knew I’d never get around to following through on something like that – who has the time? That’s where Pinterest came in for me: as any Pinterest user knows, you’ll come across pins that really speak to you but you don’t really have any boards that they make sense to pin to. Remembering Gala’s suggestion to start a ‘bible’, I created a board for all the motivational quotes that resonated, pictures of adorable animals that made me smile, gifs of glitter storms, etc. etc. etc.
I admit, the term ‘bible’ felt off to me so I decided to use ‘Totem’ as my descriptor – another tool Gala recommends in her Radical Self Love practice. The way Gala describes a totem is a personal object that speaks to you on a deep level and instills a sense of security and/or power on which to draw during challenging times. Not feeling that sort of affinity with any one possession in particular, I found that as I built my board with the same sentiment in mind it was becoming a virtual totem for me. Whenever I’m feeling down, overwhelmed, or uninspired I find myself scrolling through my board, remembering helpful sayings, cheering up at photos of capybaras in a lemon bath & drawings of Pikachu eating Pocky, and feeling strength from pictures of gorgeous emerald clusters. In fact, it’s been so helpful for me that I decided to share my previously secret board in hopes that it might inspire you to create your own totem board. It’s been such a useful tool for me I can’t help but want to share.
It’s pretty simple: after you organically come across something that truly speaks to you, start a board and continue to pin items that ring true. Mainly, I pin things I come across on Pinterest but sometimes a post from Instagram or Tumblr grabs me and I pin from there. The trick is to carefully curate this board so that it achieves it’s purpose of cheering and encouraging you. Real talk: watching gif’s of Pikachu making goofy faces is enough to put a damper on even my worst moods while as a Taurus, I feel a strong resonance with emeralds and bulls so I love to pin them all when I come across them. As for motivational quotes, I am pretty picky when it comes to those as most feel a bit cheesy to me, but when I come across one that really hits home, I’ll be sure to add it to my board because chances are I’ll need to see it over and over again to reinforce the message.
Whatever you choose to pin, make sure to review your board at least once a week but preferably when you’ve had a rough day and need encouragement. Anything that sticks out oddly or loses it’s power to fill you with joy should be deleted. My Totem is always a work in process and I love to scroll all the way to the bottom to see how my life has changed over the last year, which is reflected in which quotes I’ve chosen to pin and any patterns in picture types. Right now I’m posting tons of kawaii type stuff but just a few months ago I was obsessing over Einstruzende Neubauten vocalist Blixa Bargeld, an old crush from my late teens. Who knows what I’ll move on to next but whatever it is, it will be something I truly love or want to attract to me (like Pikachu!).
I’d love to see your Totems too, leave a link to your board in the comments below!