Updated: Apr 23
*ROAR Magazine feature from 2021* It was only two years ago that I was terrified to use my first name, I was hiding my natural hair, I was dimming my light. I had given my power away to societal pressures. Pressures to be like everyone else when I wasn't meant to be like everyone else.
I was newly transitioning from family photography to full time brand design and was wanting to work with coaches to create their brand identities. These coaches though were flaunting their big money, "perfect" bodies and fancy lifestyles on Instagram, and what created a greater feeling of distance between us was they were all white. No one looked like me. So I decided if I was going to work with these coaches I had to be more like them. I had to straighten my hair every day, speak like them, fake the 24/7 high vibe life, hide my first name, have the perfect morning routine, hide my body, etc, etc. Basically I had to hide myself, silence myself and make myself small. I didn't want to be too black, too outspoken, too fat, too wild for fear of intimidating others or making others uncomfortable.
For a while this worked. I was working with people who I viewed as successful coaches, and people who had things I dreamed of. The only problem was I was miserable and felt as though I wasn't growing in any way. My creativity felt blocked to the point where I had to start forcing it and this just made me resent my business. I started doing shit that I didn't even want to be doing. I had no boundaries. Nothing felt good anymore. I was disconnected and stressed. My mental health wasn't any better, if anything it was worse. Around this time, I was diving deeper into Human Design and Astrology. Both which were SCREAMING at me to be an individual, to embrace my differences, to be the weird, outspoken, wild woman I was born to be. They were giving me permission to be all of the things which I had given up for fear of judgment, loss of business and loss of status. All of the things that made me, me!
I knew I had to make a change, that the way I was running my business and living my life was not sustainable. There was so much more to me than I was allowing the world to see. So I did the scariest thing I could think of. I burned it all down and reclaimed my power. I changed everything, I reclaimed my name, I restructured all of my offers and set serious boundaries. I started to use MY voice to really say the things that mattered to me. I spoke about injustices, being differently abled, the masks that people were wearing in the coaching industry and so on and so on, and you know what happened? I bloomed. I became magnetizing to the people who were truly meant to be in my universe, the ones who support and love me for ME. The ones who wanted to work with me and pay me what I deserved to be paid. My creativity started to flow from me and not feel like I had to force it.
The energy of my content changed, the energy of my work changed. I was struggling to search for the answer to my expansion when the answer the entire time was ME. It was fucking terrifying but I wouldn't go back if you paid me to. The scary things, the things that make your stomach turn and make you feel like you might be crazy for doing them are sometimes the most powerful catalysts for growth and joy. This journey is far from over for me. I am a firm believer in this being lifelong work, but now I have the tools and knowledge to help me when I feel like the shadow of needing to hide starts creeping back in. If things are feeling difficult and it feels like there is resistance all around you, I challenge you to take a look and ask yourself: Where am I not showing up 100% authentically? Where am I hiding or making myself small? Where am I denying myself of my desires? Where am I giving away my power? Where am I not setting firm boundaries?
You are your answer boo! You being you is the secret sauce you're looking for. It's something no one outside of you can give you and so it's going to take turning inward to release the magic. Part of the definition of a temple is, "regarded as the dwelling place, of a god or gods".
There is God within you. You are the temple, so go forth and do it scared, do it feeling not ready, do it feeling crazy.
Go forth and reclaim the temple.
I'd love to hear about anything that came up for you while reading this. Feel free to drop a comment and if we aren't already connected on Instagram, be sure to give me a follow at www.instagram.com/itskeishanjordan