Everything created has an Origin Story. I like to make mine fabulous and dramatic, embellishing emotions, not facts.
Buff Beads was birthed into existence on a cool June morning in Vancouver. We were walking down Hastings after visiting Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden where I had purchased from the gift shop a green Buddha engraved elastic beaded bracelet on sale for ten bucks.
I was feeling feverishly hung over and fighting off the mocking attacks of my unconscious. I had made an ass of myself the night before. Or had I? I didn’t really remember. It was customary for me to receive a mental tongue lashing after a night of letting loose. It’s what I do. It’s what a lot of us do. This time, however, I knew the implications of allowing it to happen.
A few months earlier I had an encounter with myself. My true self. Some call it, the soul, spirit, God, The Universe etc. I like to call her my Self. She is the essence of my very being. Made of pure unconditional love. After meeting her in my, what is now infamously known, Shame Shower, I was very aware of hurting her and that meant taking control of my inner bully.
My husband and I walked the streets silently. In and out of shops we wandered as a silent war raged inside me. The sickening, stomach clenching shame of being a drunk ass came in waves and I, with my newly purchased beads in hand, I would counter my out of control self-talk with controlled words of love and compassion.
It reminded me of buffing.
Buffing is a video game term. It is a skill used to grant the player brief extra power during a battle. There are specific buffs for different needs. Stronger attacks, extra health and more protection are the most common. During a difficult battle, the gamer must be completely aware and focused in order to use their buffs at the opportune moment. Any sway in attention and they may find themselves dead and alone at a respawn point. My respawn point was 100 km east and any sway in attention would find me in the emergency room with a world class panic attack…again.
“David!” I tweaked with surprising joy! “I’m buffing myself!” I filled him in on the drama going on in my head and how I was using the beads as a tool to stay self-aware and focused on controlling my self-talk. “Buff Beads, David!”
In an instant, I had a million and one people I wanted to give some too. Anyone that I knew suffering from anxiety due to out of control self-talk could benefit greatly from my creation. The next day, I found a bead store and I made my very first Buff Bead.
Three years later, hundreds of people world wide are wearing Buff Beads. The most famous being my idol, Carrie Fisher. (The tale, which is a dramatic spectacle on its own, can be found here. )
The type of beads and styles may have changed throughout the years and their message has grown and evolved to include many areas of self-care, but it all leads back to what the original Buff Beads were to me.
A simple reminder to be aware of my self-talk.