Entrepreneurial Work

How A Head Cold Can Help You Own Your Personal Brand Voice

I know this feeling all too well. It starts off with a tiny sting of anxiety. Nothing major but a knot in the back of your neck. I know deep down that something is not right but like clockwork, I ignore this feeling.

Things are different this time around. I’m more enlightened and spiritually aware. I understand things like Chakras and how physical symptoms reflect a metaphysical disconnect. I’ve done the work. Granted I still have a long way to go but I am finally at a good place where I can stop and see that the innocent little sore throat is more than just a simple bug.

Because nothing is really all that simple.

I’ve been holding back a lot. Not for the past few days, weeks or months. More like for the past few years. I suffer from breathing problems especially in the winter. I chalked it up to being asthmatic and living in the cold.

In the last 2 years I’ve come to see that my anxiety and depression is more pronounced in the winter. I HATE being in the northeast during the winter months. I get sick and it’s depressing. So I began to think do I get depressed because I get sick or do I get sick because I’m depressed?

In anticipation for this year’s bout of seasonal affective disorder I’ve gone into hobby overdrive.

  • I signed up for violin classes,
  • rearranged my room,
  • bought a bunch of oracle/tarot card decks,
  • learned how to sew,
  • took up knitting again,
  • got some coloring books and supplies,
  • made some jewelry,
  • invested in crystals and
  • will be getting a DSL camera in the near future.

I tell myself that if I can keep myself busy then I can ignore the disconnect with my mind, heart and soul. Tonight I’ve realized that while all of this is good, it’s not going to be enough. All I’m really doing is putting a bandage on what’s bothering me in the hopes I can distract myself from my truth.

Tapping into what blocks you is not an easy A-Z process. Sometimes we have to break a few well manicured fingernails while dismantling furniture to own up to our truth. For me my aha moment happened while I was painfully assembling my new desks.

My throat chakra is trying to deliver a message to me via a head cold. My throat and breathing problems are blocking me from speaking my truth and this is something that’s been a problem for many years.

Truth #1: I feel like a fraud more often than I want to admit.

I don’t admit it so when I do it’s because I’ve accepted that I’m normal. But since I don’t always accept that I’m normal, I don’t allow myself to forgive myself for being imperfect. Yet there I was, a week ago to the date, speaking with Yesi of Proud to Be Latina, for her Empower Hour series. I was talking about how your personal brand can disrupt the status quo.

I know my ‘ish and am comfortable speaking on it but when I look at my own reality, I feel like I’m not always living it.

Truth #2: Healthy boundaries are nearly impossible as an employee.

I struggle, like A LOT, with boundaries. I know where it comes from and I’m doing the work to unravel and heal. However there are patterns which continue to show up in my life and I am making a pro-active effort to address them this year. While technically I am not an employee, I do freelance at an agency as if I were an employee. You know how it goes, full-time hours and expectations but no perks of benefits or PTO.

The other day, I was walking down the streets to Fairway for tea, honey, apple cider vinegar and lemons (don’t judge) when I saw a billboard for antacid. It said something to the effect of “Your boss asks you to work on Sunday. It’s Saturday.”

As someone who now understands the constraints of working for someone else, creating healthy boundaries are nearly impossible because as an employee you are ALWAYS at the mercy of someone else’s schedule. I never had a problem telling clients “NO” or letting them know their request is unreasonable.

As a “freelancer” I don’t have that same luxury especially when an email comes in at 4:15pm with expectations of a deliverable for EOD. Off the record we’ll bitch and moan about how these requests are unreasonable, yet we do it with our tail caught between our legs.

Those with ownership get to determine where the boundary lines are drawn.

Truth #3: When you don’t know what you want, you get everything else.

This year my vision board has been hard to put together. I can’t seem to put it down into a beautiful collage. In reality, I don’t know how to own what I want. I revised my CDFs, which definitely helped but now I am trying to construct the vision for what I want and I can’t get myself to own it. Part of is might be because I’ve allowed my reality to reflect the needs of others and it’s easier to go with the flow when the flow is easy.

A few months ago I escaped my life and dove head first into this “normal” reality where I had a job and did the “right” thing. I craved feeling normal that I didn’t stop to think what it would do to my individuality. Now I have a freelance job that is anything but stable, I watch my nephew every Sunday and I am as far from my big picture vision as I ever was before. I created a prison for myself.

Truth #4: I want balance.

I know as entrepreneurs, the word “hustle” is ingrained into our psyche. If you’re not working 18 hours a day towards your business/dream/passion/startup, then you’re not being “serious.” I drank that Kool-aid story and have had to detox from the poison it did to my mind, body and soul.

I love downtime. I crave sleep.

Balance doesn’t have to be perfect but it has to make room for all the different areas of who I am and how I want to express myself.

I sorta feel better after writing all of this. That’s the thing about owning your truth. When you claim your voice as your own, you begin to clear what blocks the throat chakra. Hopefully I can keep up the work so that these truths become proud accomplishments and not cautionary tales for my life.

The thing about your personal brand, it’s not always about other people. It’s about who you are and how you want to show up. So when there’s a disconnect with who you are, what you want to do and how you’re showing up in the world to do it, take a look at your life as a whole to see what areas need to change.

Physical symptoms are often a great indicator for what needs clearing in your chakra. I’ve found that when I start there and work backwards I end up healing myself faster than any pharmaceutical drug can do.

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