Friday, June 27, 2008

Am I a New Ager?

I’m really getting into animal totems. I think I might be starting to turn into a new age freak – you know, yoga, (which I’ve started 3x a week on my T’s urging and LOVE) animal totems, the likes. I still haven’t gone vegetarian/vegan though, which is good – my D would freak out. I think a lot about going veg though, because I get sad when I think about eating animals. I’m turning into one of those animal rights’ activists I used to not get.

Tiptoe gave me that quote about the duck totem, and then my T randomly brought it up yesterday when I saw her, (she’s very into animal totems herself) and I had read her The Ducks Made it, and we both kind of thought that the duck totem might be a big one for me – it is, as are cats. It’s actually incredibly creepy (in a good way) when I look back on my life and think about how much ducks just always seem to run into me. Once there was one that kept jumping in my window well and would wake me up at night, and there are ducks that love to waddle around our front yard, of course, and if you read The Ducks Made it, you know that I’ve had several other experiences with them, too. I even remember when I was in IP for the first time in 2002, our art therapist did animal totems with us, and she had animal cards upside down and we just randomly picked one, and I freaking picked a duck! At the time, I was like, LAAA-AAME – I want a lion or a tiger or bear, oh my – but I now don’t find it coincidental at all that I somehow picked it. And cats - don't even get me started on cats -- I went and bought Animal Speak, and I’m fascinated, just fascinated. If I start talking about astral planes and wear a plethora of beads, though, feel free to bring me back. Thanks.

Is anyone else into animal totems? I’d love your thoughts or to know what animals you feel connected with. Am I sounding weird? Like, the Brie you’re totally not used to? I know. I’m feeling weird…I think I might be turning into a shaman or something.

I should go before I start painting my face and wearing feathers in my hair and doing tribal incantations around a bonfire.

29 comments:

Emily said...

I don't think you're weird, Brie. Embrace your new age side! I sure do. :) I am interested in animal totems, and have chosen a butterfly for myself, as the whole process of a caterpillar becoming a butterfly is absolutely applicable to me and my situation.

I, too, love yoga! When I get my gym membership back (which will be soon, my interview for financial aid is July 2nd!), I am going to go to at least two bodyflow (which incorporates a ton of yoga) or yoga classes per week.

And as a vegetarian of almost 9 years myself, I would totally support you going vegetarian. I know that you would NOT be doing it for eating disorder reasons, that you would be doing it for the animals. My dietician supports my vegetarianism as long as I make sure to get enough protein, which is not a problem for me at all.

Love you, Brie!

Jackie said...

I was a vegetarian for about two years but had to recently give that up due to obvious reasons....But when I am in a healthier place in my life, I will go back. I can't stand the thought of killing and eating animals :(

And you are not weird. Just make sure you keep the feathers and face paint home when we go for our chai tea :)

As sad as it is, my two dogs have been the reason I decided to "stick around" more times than I would like to admit. It is crazy, but they are seriously like my kids.

Love ya B.

xo Jackie

jana bananas said...

I have been a vegetarian for...16.5 years I think. (Oh my god I'm OLD.) It has nothing to do with ED but some ED professionals have tried to convince me otherwise.

So here's my advice to you. Of course I'd like to tell you to go vegetarian. Right now, I have to say that this is not a good idea. I think you need to wait until you're at a stable weight, eating a regular mealplan, not relying on Boost...and then maybe start cutting out meat while substituting different sources of protein. But now...I think it sounds like a catastrophe.

(I can't believe I'm actually telling someone to keep eating meat!)

Laurie and Corey Kunz said...

i could never be vegetarian, but yoga is great. We should do it together like join a class or something once a week. I think it would be good for our anxiety.
I feel a strong connection to all animals, I am an animal LOVER. I would say my strongest connection to an animal would be dogs. Call me!

Angel said...

I definitely believe in animal totems. Mine hasn't let itself be known yet, but my husbands is a hummingbird. I have a post on my blog about it called A Hummingbird Dream

I loved reading your post about the ducks. Your husband is wonderful. It made me cry.

Take care:)

Keely said...

I have never heard of animal totems before you mentioned them here, and I never did animal totems while in the center- but they do sound interesting! I think I will go get Animal speak and peruse it for myself. :)At this other place, we picked from a stack of cards to get an animal and they had to relate it to our current situation and I got a rabbit. sucky. I hate rabbits ever since I had one as a kid. He would jump around his cage and flick urine at anyone who came within a 5foot radius. sick.

I LOVE yoga too. Where do you take it in salt lake? I am at flow yoga. I volunteer on fridays from 5-7:30 and then get as much unlimited yoga as I want, which is a good deal since I am a tight-wad and not rolling around in riches right now...

Don't worry Brie, I would totally tell you if you became one with the hippi's at liberty park in the drum circle who can feel your shakra's upon entering your vicinity. ha! I would help Cade out too, so he wouldn't grow up to be a hippi man.

Brett said...

Ang and i were reading your blog and we were both confused because we don't know what animal totem poles and astral planes are. could you explain to us?

Krista said...

The duck description is cool and it seems like it fits you. I took a theory of art therapy class at Weber and we did a totem type activity and I took to the eagle, though I'm not sure it fits me or not. Maybe it's what I want to be and not what I currently am.

In regards to your other posts... I am trying to put a time line together in my head. The first time you went IP, were you already married?

Angel, how did you get a link to your blog to show up in your comment?

Paige said...

I'm not sure what animal totems are, but I'm intrigued! I have a feeling my animal would be a pig. I feel really piggy.

kristin said...

I don't think you're weird, Brie. I think you're awesome! ;)

I have never heard of animal totems. I need to figure out what mine would be. I don't know what mine would be. I've never had a connection to an animal like you.

Ducks are kick ass, by the way. :)

Tiptoe said...

Maybe not New Agey is the term but rather eclectic, like you're using eclectic approaches to healing. At least that's how I like to think about it.

I think it is awesome that you are getting into animal totems. Being an animal lover, I just find a lot of connection with them.

I'm not exactly sure all my animal totems, but I know dogs are definitely one. Last year, I saw many snakes which was umm sort of disconcerting, but I think they were really symbolic for me at that time in my life. I also think red foxes are another one. I've seen a number of them within the last several years. I love when they just look at me for a moment and then run off.

As for vegetarianism, it's definitely doable when you're at a healthy weight. The important factors are getting enough protein, nutrients, and essential vitamins/minerals.

b said...

Twin Brother and Sis-in-law-

Animal totems...okay, like you know how you are certain colors for your personality - like red, yellow, white, and blue - I'm sure we've all taken that quiz...well animal totems are kind of the same thing, only it's the type of animal that reflects you and your personality and maybe what you feel connected to. It sounds kooky, but really, it's pretty cool and accurate. And as for astral planes, well - they mention it a lot in Animal Speak, the book I just bought, so I looked it up and only got like half-way through the definition before I gave up - BORING!

I'll have to show you the book...Brett, I really think one of your totems is a monkey. For obvious reasons. But I'm serious!

b said...

Thanks JB and others for your advice about the vegetarianism - I agree that it would not be a good time to pursue this...so it'll wait until I feel healthy and strong and in a good place to do it.

b said...

sorry for another comment...

Angel thanks for your comment - thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you felt a connection to The Ducks Made it. I'm going to check out the post now...

b said...

Ahh! Sorry for another comment, but I keep forgetting to answer questions. Krista - as far as a timeline goes for my three IP stays...

The first was from April-Sept of 2002. I was 17-18 yrs old, and definitely not married!

The second time was from January-July of 2005. I had just gotten married the previous August.

The third time was from Dec 06 to Feb 07, and Cade was four months old.

Courtney said...

I think it's awesome that you've found those "animal" connections--I'm a symbolism and metaphor freak myself. I'm not sure why, but there's something powerful about being able to see aspects of your life in things that aren't even human.

I've never exactly had an animal totem, but I do have a slight obsession/connection with nature. I love the changing of the seasons and how all the plants and flowers that die in the winter somehow manage to hibernate and protect themselves so they can bloom again in the spring. I love when the sun shines after a long storm, reminding us that the light was there all along, we just couldn't see it. I especially love finding things that survived against the odds- one of my first blog entries was on these cool crooked trees up by Bear Lake.

Also, sorry I haven't gotten back to ya about hanging out sometime. I'm not sure what's been in the air but I feel like I'm living in the storm laden mid-west right now (where the dams are breaking and floods are raging). Hopefully things will dry up soon so I can just deal with the aftermath.

Laurie and Corey Kunz said...

I found this website quiz about animal totems. Not that you care but here is what mine said, "For 36,84 % you are: You are...A WOLF! Your utmost priority is leadership and kindness. You make friends easily and steadily, learn quickly, and care about others, hurting as much as they do when they're having a hard time."
Go to
http://www.allthetests.com/quiz10/quizpu.php?testid=1095198776
to take the quiz. Its kinda cool I have to say!

b said...

Laur, thanks for the link! I'm going there now. Just sent you an email, btw...

Tanya said...

I don't go too far into the new age things anymore since they were heavily tied into my ed for part of the time...well not all of it. I was vegetarian for 10 years and still lean that way, but there are a lot of valid reasons behind that. And I still have valid reasons, but there were ed reasons too ya know?

I would have to look up these animal totems...they interest me now lol. As for yoga...wekll I am a total yoga nut. Nia can count me at, but yoga is awesome.

Tanya said...

Oh and Brie...I will call you...we should definitely do something sometime this next week...maybe it will help keep my mind away from things ya know...I will call, I promise. Just don't expect that call to be this weekend. I work all weekend. And since its graves when I am not working I am sleeping.

Krista said...

OK so I figured out that we got married in the same month and year Aug 04, and had our boys the same month and year Aug 06. WEIRD!

Kathy with a K said...

Never freakin' heard of an animal totem before. Is it an actual totem pole??
I do like animals. Often, more than people. (come on, I know you'll agree)
Cats, squirrels, chipmunks,birds, deer...hell, all the woodland animals. I'm a regular Snow White. Did she have a totem?

NoSurfGirl said...

love animal totems, my dad gave me the book you mentioned as a half joking, half serious birthday present. I think my totem is an Orca. Strange, because I am extremely afraid of water hand have scary water dreams all the time. A spirit at war with itself, perhaps? I wouldn't be surprised.

Whether they're real or not, they provide a nice venue for self-discovery, don't they?

zubeldia said...

Hey sweetheart. as you likely know I'm vegan, and have been vegetarian for over 20 years. It is very separate from the ed and is completely to do with animal issues (I don't wear leather wool or anything, either) and my nutri is fine with it. However, I think that being in a firm place in your recovery would be a fine idea...

Hope your day is going well, poppet.

jana bananas said...

Oh, I forgot to mention that my nutritionist is a vegetarian so she understands. That's a bonus. But when I first met her and I was underweight, she said I might have to start eating meat. Of course I said absolutely not! But that's me.

I'm glad you're going to wait until you're in a healthier and stable state! But after that, you know you have plenty of people that can give you advice and support. Just make sure it is NOT in any way an ED excuse. EDs are sneaky, as you know.

zubeldia said...

Couple things I forgot to say:

I have an affinity with squirrels and chipmunks... and loons. Craig (my medial doc) even did an impression of a squirrel for me once!

Also, the same Harvard, Columbia medical school educated Craig )who trained with Andrew Weil) suggested I see a Shaman last year. I didn't - but I was tempted :-)

Embrace your crusty side, Brie!

KC Elaine said...

I'm here, and I'm reading, and I'm agreeing, I've just been quiet lately. I had a duck experience when I was 11...I can see if I can dig up the story and send it to you. I love peregrine falcons - they're my recovery bird.

Kathy with a K said...

Gotta make another comment here in response to Zubeldia! Lovin' the squirrels and chipmunks!!! I've even named the routine 5 squirrels and one chipmunk that visit my yard every day. So damn cute!

zubeldia said...

Oh, I am so happy to find another fan of squirrels and chipmunks. I have two westies and they LOVE them too.. though I fear that they might be a little rough with them if they ever caught one. Squirrels are so underrated :-)