The last few months have been an adventure into the complete unknown for me. Working with someone to create something that I feel represents my brand, my purpose, my passion, my message, my experience…that is a very tricky thing to do and I had no idea how it was going to work.
Fortunately, I found two partners who are brilliant at what they do, and they not only created a website and a logo that I am proud of, but they also brought parts of who I am to the surface from some place deep inside of me.
I’ve been doing “this work” for over 25 years, and while I know what I do and how to do it, I was pretty clueless when it came to talking about what I do. The thought of trying to help my website designer create something that captured what I do and who I am was intimidating, but then she started to ask me questions. Her questions helped me sort through the mess. I began to see how the work, which was all one connected mess in my head, was really distinct pieces that were linked by a common thread. The more I heard myself talking about it, the more I could see it with clarity – it all began to make sense – and I LOVED it.
It’s pretty amazing to read about myself and what I do and why I do it and how I got to this place in my life. I can now SEE my story and it feels good. It was an iterative process of questions, answers, creation, revision – every cycle got closer to what felt ‘right’. Thank you, Grace, for being a flexible, intuitive, creative partner – for asking me the questions that enabled me to look inside of myself and find a way to articulate the tacit knowledge I have.
As if the website wasn’t enough hard work, I felt that I needed a new logo. Everything about the old logo felt wrong. I was no longer about red and black and huge swirly font and some symbol that looked like something from a physics textbook. I was quite clear on what I didn’t want, but what to put in its place was a mystery to me.
The first time I sat with my graphic designer, I could only offer this. “I like blue. I want it to be simple, fun, qwerky.” That was all she had in the beginning, but she ran with it. Soon, I began to get homework that seemed really odd to me, but I trusted her. Out of 25 images, I was asked to pick a few that I really liked and a few that I really didn’t like and provide very brief reasons for both my likes and dislikes. So, I did!
There were more pieces of homework that didn’t make much sense to me, but each time I was asked to talk about why I liked or disliked something. At some point, she sent me the sketch of what is now my logo and I was blown away. I looked at my new logo and thought, “How did she create this from what I said to her?” It captured my what, who, how – my purpose – my belief – my personality. It’s all in this logo. Bethany, I don’t understand how you do what you do, but I am incredibly grateful for your gift and I feel that you have captured my life’s work in something simple, fun and qwerky – thank you!
Since this is the first time that many of you will have seen my new logo, I want to help you understand what it’s about.
Blue was chosen because it feels calming, soothing; blue makes me think of water and water is vital to our life. I want to be a resource for those that want more of what is vital to their lives. It’s different for everyone, but I know that many of us settle for less in our lives – life can be more.
The gears represent changing gears. We are in motion. Life is in motion. We need to keep moving and we need to be aware that life keeps moving. The hues transition from light to dark, as I also believe that we all can learn to manage the transitions in our lives with more grace, gratitude and curiosity.
Finally, we have the pineal eye above the letter ‘J’. That represents what is core to my beliefs regarding our need to become better at noticing what is within us, around us, and between us. We all have the capacity to “see” more!
I understand that many of you are not creating a website or a logo for your business; that’s okay. My message is really not about that. I just happened to make this discovery while I was working with two individuals on a process that forced me to talk out loud about something that I didn’t know was inside me. It’s interesting that one of the things I often say is that my role is to help make the invisible visible, and that is exactly what my designers did for me. It was frustrating at times to try and explain what was inside my head, but they stayed with me and I feel we got it right!
What does this mean for you? I hope you will take the opportunity to voice some of the things that often rattle around inside your own head and heart. You may be very surprised by what can come from just talking out loud!