Why Are We Called Totem?


Hey there — the ‘I’ in this post (and in this picture!) is Leah!

I was very thoughtful in my selection of the name Totem Nutrition, and I spent months thinking of the name that I wanted to give my burgeoning wellness company. Then one morning, when I wasn't trying to think of a name at all, Totem Nutrition casually plopped in my brain. Once the name landed in my mind, I immediately knew it was the right fit. Not only did it feel right in my gut (which is always important to me), but I also knew it was right because I was SURE that someone else had already started a holistic wellness company by the same name. It was too perfect. I thought it'd be impossible to actually get the name.  I sure of this because the word "Totem" evoked all of the positive connotations and aspirational vibes that I was interested in bringing to the brand itself and I was sure that someone else had beat me to the punch. That, however, wasn't the case, and Totem Nutrition was born. 

There are two main reasons why Totem Nutrition was selected as the name of our brand. First of all, the first thing people think of is a totem pole. This wasn't my main motivation, but the idea of a totem pole typically draws up the idea of something that's natural, larger than life, sacred, sturdy, solid, creative, expressive, and community oriented. To me, all of these characteristics are critical to a thriving individual and their pursuit to mind, body, emotional, and spiritual wellness. 

The totem pole imagery certainly weighed into my decision. Beyond that a totem is also a signifier of a clan or a community's identity and is usually an animal or natural object whose properties the clan members aspire to live up to. Humans ascribe much symbolism to the natural world based on their observations of it, and we tend to identify with various animal and natural objects that evoke the tendencies, characteristics, and behaviors of those totems. We often feel an affinity for the animals that we relate to based on the ingrained symbolism that generations of humans have attributed to them and our own inclinations and observations. This distinctive animal designation serves as a way to identify oneself with the natural world (of which we are a part of) and to create a community of likeminded folks, who strive to exemplify the characteristics of their selected individual totems.

Bringing people together who are making progress each day toward more functional, holistic, and sustainable wellness through listening to and trusting their own internal wisdom is what gets me up each morning. Trusting yourself and understanding that your mind, body, thoughts, and soul are all interconnected and important things to heal and love are what makes lasting, impactful change in your life is the true secret sauce to having an incredible life. 

Personally, I think that a person's totem could be some version of their higher self. The self that they want to be. The self that exemplifies and honors all of the qualities, behaviors, and characteristics that make you feel tapped into your infinite wellbeing and the best version of yourself emotionally, spiritually, physically, and mentally. The self that is within each and every single person, but might be buried under emotional layers, stories we've told ourselves, and conditioning that we've received from the people and world around us that doesn't support our best interest. It's pretty impossible to attain our goals, our highest self, and our desires without addressing the emotional, mental, and physical things going on in our lives. It's an interconnected system. 

That aspirational and ideal self (which is within all of us) looks different for each person and each person's journey towards aligning with that ideal self is unique. We're here to help you on the journey to feeling your best and to help you learn to fall in love with the process, experimentation, and tenacity that comes with the journey. Additionally we're here to hold a torch for you by providing a community and resources to light your path forward. Some of the resources we provide you will resonate with you, some of them might make you uncomfortable, and some of them might not be right for you at the moment. That's all ok. It's up to you to discern what works for you, try it, and trust your self enough to decide if that's something you'd like to keep working with.  This life is about finding out what works for you and your totem. You might try one path and learn that it's not for you, but pick up somewhere else that feels more in line with who you are. That's ok. You always have the right to change your mind. 

We're also here to remind you that life is long, each day will look different, and there's always time learn more, improve, and do better. Be kind to yourself. You don't have to and simply won't make immense changes overnight. It's all a process, so take the pressure off of yourself and enjoy the ride.  Sustainable progress is a long game. You're doing great and we've got your back.