Anchor Your Dream to a Totem


Goals may come and goals may go, but a worthy Life Dream deserves persistence, patience and flexibility. Because it may take quite some time to manifest your Life Dream fully, as you gradually live into this Dream it is important for you to “anchor” or ground your Dream in mindful consciousness. That means you will want to keep your Life Dream in view, always, no matter where you are at in the process of manifesting this reality.


Anthropologists have long observed that humans around the world and from the very earliest times have learned to ground their goals as well as their primary group values by using TOTEMS. A totem is what Emile Durkheim called a “symbolic representation.” It is a symbolic object or artistic expression that reminds someone of the idea or goal in a meaningful way, thus reinforcing the significance of that being represented.  Religious symbols, such as sculpted icons of religious figures like saints or gods, remind believers of the values associated with that figure and might also be a central symbol around which a congregation will socially bond. Or a rabbit’s foot may symbolize the sort of “luck” a baseball player might wish to have by keeping this talisman in his or her pocket while playing ball.


I believe once you have established a meaningful Life Dream—one that accords with your highest sense of Purpose or Mission in your life—, this can become a focal point for much that is Sacred in your own Life Story.  To center your dedication and focus around manifesting this Life Dream, I encourage you to create a TOTEM (or a set of totems) that represent key attributes of your Dream in symbolic form.


Your Life Dream Totem can take whatever form feels appropriate to you and that form might depend on what features or aspects of your Dream you are wishing to anchor.  For example, if you relate a particular Archetypal aspect of your Self with your Life Dream, you might represent your Dream totemically by creating or obtaining something symbolic of that Archetype. If an archetype you associate with your life mission, for instance, is a Warrior, maybe you could use a Lion, or a sword, to represent that. If it is a Lover archetype you are identifying with, maybe a Heart image of some sort will work; or if it is a Communicator or a Teacher archetype, you can find or create symbolic totems to remind you of these personal attributes important to you for manifesting your Dream.

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So what Life Dream do you aim to manifest in your life? What is one (or more than one) key value or major ideal that you associate with your goal? You may create or find some object that represents this value clearly to keep as a Totem.

Does your Life Dream relate to strengthening or expressing one or more archetypal aspects of your Psyche? (The twelve universal archetype forms I have identified through this blog site—based on the archetypal psychology of Dr. Charles Bebeau and his consociates—include: Elder Leader, Lover, Warrior, Nurturer, Artist, Idealist, Golden Child, Descender, Teacher, Communicator, Healer, Mystic.) If so, you can represent your archetypal Allies totemically, too. For instance, you could create a pendant or a charm bracelet with charms that represent your archetypal character strengths, and wear this necklace or bracelet to remind you always of these important internal aspects of your identity that you aim to deepen and strengthen as you realize your golden ambitions.


Have fun with this. Imagine and create or obtain the “perfect” Totem for your Life Dream. This can help to anchor your attention so that you always remember what you are aiming to realize in or about your life, from day to day!  Next week–the final week of this Life Mapping series before a new annual round is to begin at Better Endings–is about how to Live Your Dream, Now! So this week I am inviting you to find that perfect Totem you can carry forward with you in manifesting your Life Dream both in consciousness and in the reality of your active life, to express your high values and your meaningful purpose. You can root yourself in your Totem to help to nurture and focus on the beauty and integrity of your unique and fulfilling Life Dream.

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I invite YOUR Comments and your Stories!