You are always ReBranding
Remember the iconic picture of you from when you were “first standing”? The image that defined your passage from baby to toddler? The fresh new hair-cut? The all-pink-wardrobe? That first make up session? New glasses? The drastic weight-loss? The upscaled job title? The new boyfriend? Husband?? And don’t even get me started with the details of the newly acquired “Mama” status!!! (I don’t know about you, but I had to change all my clothes, less cleavage, more length, stopped wearing necklaces or long earrings, or my hair down as someone would pull it all off, no more high heels, and in general nothing that required “dry clean only”, but lots of burp accessories instead.
Although a term kept for business talk, apparently we have been playing with ReBranding since we were born. As we are constantly changing phases, we experience new emotions, thoughts, feelings, moods, perception, body…looks. In the process, whether we are looking for it or not, we re-create ourselves by acquiring new “identity” characteristics and perks.
How is that for rebranding??? A walk into an advertising or design agency, is not always necessary!
ReBranding and Entrepreneurship
And one day, you are an entrepreneur. You may have chosen this for yourself, or organically grown into the idea and title. Maybe you are like me, that it never crossed my mind, but I have been one anyway.
The turning point happened when I “came of age” to create my own brand. A Personal Brand, that is, the kind that puts “me” rather than “my product” on center stage. I started asking questions. I investigated thoroughly my combo of talents, desires, aspirations and purpose.
Conscious awareness got into the play, and this wild proposition of “brand making” became a fortunate, exciting, daring and scary opportunity.
I answered the “call”, and honestly this is what this is about. Because by going about a Brand, we get to further discover ourselves, and to re-create ourselves.
ReBranding becomes then an act of intention and an art of creation. We create from the inside out, but also from the outside in. “In” and “out” take turns in an eternal cycle.
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Let’s look at this cycle for a moment:
Most of us have had a bit of wrong programming here. Don’t show, cover and conceal instead. Choose “presentable” and put up with “appearances”. Oy, don’t I know that too well…
But what are we meant to cover? The imperfections? The ugliness? Or our spark and spunk? Should we cover any of these at all? Because when the veil comes down, everything behind it is hidden, blemishes and beauty altogether.
This is where the part of “Intention” joins. We get to choose our flavor of tweaking. We get to be the creators of ourselves.
The challenge and opportunity in our re-creation is to have the outside reflect whatever is going on inside. The beauty is to have that happen, even if you are not very excited with what is happening inside. If you can transfer out any mood, any feeling, any memory, then you can bring all the rest out as well, especially your shine in full beam!
How I go about a Brand
In my process of re-creation, I start with observation rather than with a desired vision.
Observation of “what is”. This is my starting point. There is no judgement about the findings of “what is”. All is accepted, and all a part of our journey.
Deep observation is very rewarding. We may look at the mirror several times a day, but we never really stop to SEE ourselves. When we begin with deep observation we get that treat. Our face is a landscape that absorbs all our experiences. By looking at ourselves that way, we get to establish a new level of connection with ourself.
And this is when the Self-Discovery begins. Right here.
From there, I invite inspiration to flow in, and to loose control as much as possible. To allow things to take place, to be there as a witness of these happenings. I allow myself to SEE myself, and what wants to emerge from within. To see on the outside what was inside.
I know things are going well, when I am surprised. When I see something I had not expected. Something that excites me and moves me into a new place. Then this becomes the new “branding” of self. The new discovery offered the highest vision for that moment.
The newly acquired space will dictate a new way of doing.
So this is when I had the vision of myself jumping out of a huge cake wearing a pink outfit. I was so surprised and inspired from this. And I created a whole rebranded campaign in 48 hours (talking about taking action!)
I taped paper over the door opening, so that I can tear it and “jump” out through. I immediately “saw” this very high, pink head wrap, and I placed a stuffed animal on top of my head to wrap around it the jeweled scarf. Everything was so much fun, filled with hilarity. It was impossible not to capture this inner excitement, creative play and burst of new energy! This image has become my iconic pose to depict that side of me. Whenever I am not in touch with this side, I look at this image, and remember. Everything. Especially the loud giggling that filled the room with just me!
The Invisible Series
Not all re-creation or rebranding of ourselves has to be public.
This last summer as I moved to a new home while the kids were off school, I fell into the role of eternal service and hustle, and I lost touch of whatever has happening around me, and also of myself. I went into deep hiding. It took me months to come out of that, and that was achieved by very small and delicate steps.
This is when I did the photo-play-shoot that I call “Invisible”. I tried to examine how I felt being hidden and isolated, and what it would be to come out. In the comfort of my “own photographer” I had no wish or expectations to adorn myself or even to smile. While accepting my fear and pain, I went about it with curiosity.
I embraced my situation, as I covered my face not with make-up but with sunscreen. Literally, to protect myself from the sun. The outside sun, and my own light as well. If I used make-up it would be to conceal something, but I was already concealed alright!
It was the most therapeutic experience. As it progressed, I found humor. I found peek-a-boo play. I saw beauty. I saw light coming out of the absorbing sunscreen. I saw what was possible.
I did not share these pictures at first. They felt very intimate and quite anti-visibility. I mean, the title was “invisible”, right?
The idea is that not everything has to be part of our store front brand, but these discoveries are essential to build a strong image that we can really carry its essence.
The outside will both reflect and inspire the inside.
After a while, I felt I was coming “home”. The most home to myself than ever.
For that I decided not to use any props or special clothing. Only a piece of my art, while I stand by it, and not behind it.
I don’t know what images tomorrow will bring. Two years ago when I started with this practice, and now after 21 play-photoshoot sessions (!), I see the infinite development of these possibilities. They reflect the possibilities in me, in the ways I can engage and connect, in the ways I can serve and delight.
I plan to keep this train going on forever.
Will you join me?