A golden teardrop pendant picked up during a road trip with three of my best girlfriends.
A turquoise ring to remind me of the one my G.M. used to wear.
Silver ear cuff for good luck on long flights.
These are my talismans: the tangible things in my life that carry meaning, that connect me to those I love, that remind me of the person I want to grow into.
Taking care of talismans can help ground us in new experiences. Recently, my mother gave me a rose quartz necklace to guide me through a break-up. Whenever I feel sad, I touch my necklace and it brings a measure of comfort, of emotional healing. It's the purest expression of the placebo effect that I know (and I don't care). If it works for you, it works for you. And if not? That's okay too.
As soul-nourishing as it can be to imbue an object with a deeper purpose, it's important to remember that things are just things. Once, when I lost a snake ring of mine that had seen me through a dizzying first year of college, I was flooded with so much sorrow--and shame at my own carelessness--that I neglected to honor the sense of strength that the snake ring had brought me. A talisman is a reminder of a certain person, place, philosophy, practice. And in that sense, bringing a talisman into your life means making yourself open to the idea of detachment. Enjoy the inspiration a talisman can bring without tethering yourself to the object itself.