Research has shown that objects have the potential to hold power and meaning. I chose to call the objects sheltered in TODAY “talismen” because of my goal of providing a tangible object to remind the participants of their experience with TODAY, I’m Alright. Each workshop participant chooses a talisman to keep. The list below grows and evolves as our community learns and shares our strategies for change.
1. an object held to act as a charm to avert evil and bring good fortune
2. something producing apparently magical or miraculous effects
Higher Power Door Knobs
Everyone who has ever been to a 12 step program, has heard that if you do not believe in a G(g)od(s), you can choose anything for your higher power – even a door knob. As I created these door knob sculptures, they became little soldiers for me – fighting against the effects of their trauma.
Nasty Women Bi-Valves Being a woman of a certain 60 plus age, I have experienced overt and subtle oppression most of my life. Being from Maine, I am well acquainted with how a clam lives wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy down in the mud with a tiny blow hole to the air, the sky, the sun. This title, of course, is a cultural nod to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign slogan.
Loss of a Child Babies
Losing a child for any reason, including self selection, is a traumatic event. it is important to note that it was quite a challenge to find the babies of color.
Drops of Hair of the Dog
In ancient times it was literally used to say that if a dog were to bite you, putting the dog’s hair into the wound would heal it. “Like cures like”. This hangover remedy is not recommended because it leads to a bad habit of drinking during the day and it doesn’t really work very well. Holding this drop in your pocket will remind you of the trauma the drug brings into your life.
So many people chase the goal of being “happy”. TODAY suggests that more powerful goal might be contentment. Spend your time discovering what makes you and the people you love content.
This is a hard one. Oftentimes, one (or both) of the partners has serious issues which challenge the potential of remediation. This does not make the fracturing of the relationship(s) any less sad. Each person needs to develop their own healing strategies. Make a life for yourself. If your identity was focused on your role as a wife or a husband – find out who YOU are – all by yourself!
A death removes the potential of a relationship -permanently. Looking forward with a new menu for seeking purpose and contentment is an essential strategy. This Día de Muertos skull represents what I have found to be very healthy. The Mexicans celebrate the life lived with joy.
The power and danger of our pocket devices has been discussed and extensively examined in books, movies and on social media. Our advice is for you to drive the technology. Do not let the technology drive you. Identify a safe circle to call when you are battling a compulsive urge. The phone may feel like it weighs 500 pounds and we are conditioned by social norms not to “bother” people with our problems. When you connect on the phone or through a support group or on social media – focus on positive
topics. What are you reading? What are you doing to support your physical well being?
Files to Smooth the Edges
Our counselor shared that oftentimes his clients share that even when they are in recovery they still feel like others can see “the rough edges”. These files remind us that those edges CAN be smoothed off.
Plush Therapy Animals
Our counselor, personal experiences, the plethora of cat and dog owners and the multi-million dollar stuffed animal industry all support the idea that as a species, we respond positively to stroking fur. There is a LOT of research out there discussing why this preference exists. There is some writing on the idea that stuffed animals may help people challenged by disassociative conditions. Read More
Where, oh, where should we start with Barbie? Several generations of women were given these dolls to play with and encouraged to see them as our physical ideal. Women (and girls) continue to cut their chests open and insert sacks full of poison in an effort to achieve this ideal. Certain men encourage this dangerous practice.
Even more concerning, Barbie’s body aesthetic has transferred to the social media platforms embraced by our current generation of young women. Read more about Barbie and Body Image
The Odds Suck Poker Chips
Gambling is a compulsion which can take your financial life away from you in the time it takes to roll the dice. Common sense ( and statistical evidence) confirms the fact that you will never end up the winner but design of the gambling experience gives the addict and endorphin release just often enough to keep the user coming back.
The solution is to find other strategies to experience the “high” we all need and want in our lives. One idea: Take up a team sport. Hitting that great shot in raquet sports or sinking that great basket or putt might give you a similar endorphin release. Signs and Strategies
The Nibcos fit on your finger just perfectly and the metaphoric aspect of the conductivity of copper makes this object even more powerful. As with all compulsions and addictions…we need to develop strategies which provide a “pause” so we can think about what we are about to do. NIBCOS (and other rings) work for sex addiction, cigarettes and all compulsions. Just grab it from your pocket and start twirling!
Skeleton Key to Biology
Yin Yang balls
TODAY, I’m Alright
Embrace Cognitive Dissonance
Heart Stitch Card
Sex Addiction Object