What’s In Your Pocket?
Looking at a bowl I keep on my dresser, pictured above, it occurs to me that the simplest remedies have had the most profound and lasting impact on my life. And most often, at least for me, these remedies occur through pure happenstance. Which, in a way, makes them even more meaningful. For me, it all started with a Rotary Coin. I was given the coin when I joined my local Rotary Chapter. The coin was inscribed with the Rotary four-way test of the things we do and say:
Is it the truth?
Is it fair to call concerned?
Will it build good will and better friendships?
Will it be beneficial to all involved?
I liked the idea of having a bit of inspiration close at hand, so I took to carrying the coin in my pocket. I really didn’t think much of it, it was just something that I did. Then one day, as I was desperately trying to remember not to react to a situation by making a hasty judgement and unleashing unkind words, I thrust my hands into my pocket trying to buy some time as I told myself to breathe and count to 5 before responding. My hand hit the coin, and in an instant, I had the reassurance I needed to focus on how I wanted to handle the situation. Responding and not reacting. That day the coin in my pocket became a talisman—an object believed to be endowed with special powers to bring good fortune. Holding that coin in my hand saved me from acting irresponsibly and irrationally. For me, the effect was pure magic. Since that day, I have never been without a talisman. For me, they are an ever-present reminder to focus my attention on the person I want to be. The presence of the talisman prompts me to act in a kinder, gentler, more loving way. In the moment I need help, there it is, filled with quiet reassurance that I can handle the situation at hand with grace and dignity. Looking into the bowl on my dresser, I was able to see how the talismans I’ve carried have changed over time as I have grown and changed with my journey. And in that, I find great comfort. My talismans have included the Rotary Coin, a Buddhist wrist cuff inscribed with a mantra, a copper cuff made by a very dear friend, a string of purple sugilite crystals in homage to Archangel Michael, a glass eye bead, a key, a crystal, a polished stone, a coin engraved with the Om symbol, a tangle of wire resembling chaos, and a Tree of Life coin. Looking at them, I realize each has a story to tell. Each was with me at a different time in my life as I explored the opportunities and endeavored to learn the lessons life presented. Each, in its own way, kept me safe, most often from myself, and served to remind me of the person I want to become, the life I want to lead, and the gifts I want to share. These days, my talisman is the Tree of Life coin. On one side, the Tree of Life reminds me that we reap what we sow. The other side is inscribed with the words “As Above, So Below,” reminding me that, despite the distance between them, my head and my heart are indeed connected. As my journey continues, I have no idea what talisman will present itself next. I never do. And that, it seems, is part of the healing and the magic.