The identities I carry + the values I hold

 

Hey friend…

Real talk: deciding to start a conscious, creative business is an invitation to self discovery, inner exploration and the willingness to share your findings to others. Of this, I become more certain every day.

I’d like to share a bit about the identities I carry, the values I hold and how I’ve been blending the two in my life and creative business.

We all carry different identities with us. Some, we hold onto really tightly. Others, we enact casually. Some are self-assigned, while others were taken in because we were beat over the head with others with it: “You’re always so _______!”

As I’ve been exploring my own identities that I carry through into my creative work, how I show up in my life and in my creative business evolves and shifts as a result.

Some of the identities I carry include:

  • Cisgender

  • Straight

  • Woman

  • Native-born American

  • Brown

  • College-educated

  • "Other" Racially (Did anyone else have to check off this box growing up?)

  • Multicultural (American, Colombian, Moroccan. And a whole lot of French influence)

  • Multilingual (Fluent English and French. Conversational in Spanish. Baby/Preschool level Arabic)

  • Miami, FL (305 til I die)

  • Creative Business Owner

  • Daughter

  • Sister

  • Not-A-Mother

  • Friend

  • Romantic partner

  • Violinist / Musician

  • Artist / Creative

  • Strategist

  • Student

  • Teacher

  • Guide

  • Introverted Extrovert

  • Scorpio Sun / Leo Moon / Cancer Rising (Astrology)

  • 8 (Enneagram)

  • ENFP (Myers Briggs)

  • Human (from Planet Earth)

  • and so many more

Some of the values I hold include:

  • Beauty

  • Creativity

  • Authenticity

  • Growth

  • Community

Some of my identities are 100% accepted in the environment I live in — the strange western world of the United States. Others… are under attack by the same environment every day. Acknowledging these complexities also opened up possibilities within me about how I wanted to show up to play in this world and life.

Some identities I carry come with a lot of privilege in this world. And it has taken a lot of tears and snot and deep breaths and pangs in my heart to work through the shame and guilt I have felt for not realizing how these privileges hurt me and all of those around me.

Some identities I carry come with a lot of marginalization in this world and guess what?… it’s taken just as many tears and snot and deep breaths and pangs in my heart to process living with these identities as well.

And some identities actually shift from privilege to marginalized (and vice versa) based on where I am physically located. For example, I'm a Latinx in Miami, FL and pass as fully Latinx here. In Miami, that grants me a position of privilege. People just assume I belong here, that I'm good to be here, that it all makes sense that I'm here. The moment I drive 5 hours north to central Florida to teach at the University of Florida... things change. I haven't changed. I'm still the Moroccan-Colombian-American that I am. And to the eyes of many in Central Florida, I'm still someone who looks fully Latinx. But my environment changes and I'm not granted the same privileges as I would be in Miami.

To uncover and explore these identities, I’ve worked with and learned from many different mentors from over the years: Andréa Ranae Johnson (Coaching as Activism, Liberatory Leadership Training), Ash Johns (Acculturated Space), Mary Beth Benfiglio (Writing Resilience), Jonathan Fields (The 108), Katherine Coder, Rina Jakubowicz (yoga teacher training) and many other people in my life — my parents, my brother, my friends and peers — that opened up pathways to self exploration.

Interested in exploring these concepts for yourself?

I made you a thing (click on the image below to check it out):

 
 

A Gentle Process

1. Contemplate: I think deeply about all the the identities and values I carry and write them out to see them all come together.

2. Reflect: How have they influenced my own inner landscape and worldview, and how they interact with the external (do they hold privilege? do they not? does it change as I change my environment?)

3. Integrate: Take time to let these ideas simmer. We’re often so rushed to know exactly what to do with all the intuitive and factual information that is bubbling up. Make space to research, journal, art, meditate, divine, pull cards, listen… whatever methods are calling to you. Use them. Sit with them. Document them the best way you know how.

4. Create: This may be the the part of the process that arguably takes the most resilience. Although, every part has its challenges. The creative process is usually not so straightforward and takes a lot of trust. It’s tough to say when this will happen, exactly. Just know that it inevitably does happen. Ideas on how your closest known identities and values can show up in your life and business begin to form and seek your attention out. You suddenly feel pulled to focus in on certain topics. Make shifts in your marketing, pricing, how you present your work to others. This is creating from a place of integrated and inspired action.

There may be times in your life where this process looks linear and that is fine. There may be times where you are experiencing all these stages at once in different areas of your life and that is also… fine. A bit messy, but in the end… it all works out the same, doesn’t it?

How this process is influencing my creative business:

  • I hold dear a combined role of guide, teacher and student in the spaces I create

  • I show up as my multi-faceted, complex and very human self (and I make space so that others do the same)

  • I experiment with ideas around pricing, community involvement, giving back and the content of my courses and programs

  • I focus on serving conscious, creative people of color who are creating beautiful ripples of change through their art, coaching, healing services, etc.

  • I practice keeping my mental and physical body in a good place, while also nourishing my spirit

  • I embrace you and your potential in the past, future and most importantly… in this very moment

Ultimately, all of this is just information. Bits and pieces of your beautiful self to explore. It’s what you do with that information that changes everything.

Care to share some of your process with me? Did this process open up your eyes to any new ideas? Tap reply, I’d love to know.