Elephants as a design element always seem to pop up in life, don’t they? Almost 2 years ago, at a family party, I noticed my sister-in-law Allie’s beautiful scarf. It had an elephant motif and I was so taken by it, that of course I complemented it. She told me that she got it from Stella & Dot. Here’s a picture of this great accessory she donned:
Allie told me that she saw it in their catalog and just had to have it, so my brother bought it for her as a birthday gift. Allie has a corporate job and had been wanting to take a temporary position overseas. At that time, she had just been passed over to take a temporary position in Europe. Allie was especially upset over this, as she and my brother would have loved to spend some time living in Europe, even though they had traveled there a few times before. Now she had to wait for another opportunity to apply for, which could be months and even years away.
Later that evening, back home, I’m checking my Instagram account and find more elephant-motif products, from bags and jewelry to home decor.
A few days later, my cousin just mentioned that she is doing an elephant theme for her nursery.
What is it about the elephant that inspires us to constantly incorporate these huge, unique beings into our textiles and home accents?
According to Feng Shui (an ancient practice of using furniture, color, symbols, direction and physical elements to bring luck and harmonious energy into a space), elephants symbolize good luck, prosperity, protection and fertility. Although I believe that the power of the mind, or our intentions, to bring benevolent life energy trumps all, I do think Feng Shui is a good practice to facilitate what the mind holds true. Elephants with the trunk turned upwards signify good luck; double elephants placed at an entryway usually signify protection, and elephants with a downward trunk are said to represent fertility.
Many of us are not familiar with Feng Shui, but are still attracted to the elephant in design and in life. Contemplating this, I realize that we all see elephants as huge, unique, social animals- but full of kindness, sensitivity and wisdom. And I realize that the qualities we see in them, are qualities we’d like to see in ourselves. We all want to be our greatest selves, our unique selves, socially connect to others, and that it’s OK to exude at the same time, the kindness, sensitivity and wisdom that elephants do.
We, as a society, love our “big” people. We put so much value on our celebrities, CEOs, performers and athletes. I wonder if maybe, like the elephant, we truly honor those that are “big” in our society, but when they also exude kindness, sensitivity, uniqueness and wisdom.
Elephants are definitely a part of Bella Vita!! It’s OK to be “big” and exhibit kindness and sensitivity at the same time. I believe people really do appreciate it.
Back to Allie. Another opportunity, not long after, came up for her to take a temporary position in- guess where-HONG KONG!!! And she got it! And she and my brother and their little girl got to live in ASIA for close to a year, touring amazing countries in the region and having experiences so new and probably more unique and exciting than Europe. Divine timing had finally emerged. Divine timing felt there was something even better for Allie. Allie’s little thought that she liked elephants on a scarf, coupled with an intention to change up her life a bit turned into this:
I hope this post inspires you to set intentions to be your greater self, and trust in the divine timing to achieve your dreams!
Here’s another example of using paired elephants at the entry for protection. Using pillows is a creative and more subtle alternative to using statues at the entrance. I saw this in the entry of a Thai restaurant I had visited just as I was writing this blog…talk about timing;)