What does it mean to speak your truth?
Why is it important?
In our struggle to make it out there as entrepreneurs, side hustlers and advocates of wellness, one of our first goals is to simply put ourselves out there and find our audience. In doing so, it can be easy to feel anonymous, like no one sees you or notices you. How do we stand out and make an impression on people? The best way to put yourself out there is to get crystal clear on who you are, what you stand for, and SPEAK YOUR TRUTH. Defining who you are shows others what is unique about you and how they might resonate with you. Why do you love your passion and how does it define you? What’s your message to your audience?
For example, perhaps you suffered years of corporate burnout and finally discovered wellness secrets like meditation, herbalism and yoga as career-saving alternatives and now your life mission is to help others avoid the same pitfalls of burnout. People want to hear your story and hear your passion for this!
Maybe you’re a yoga teacher with your own personal style of yoga designed to help insomniacs sleep better and regain their life. People are ready to empathize with your stories of struggling through the night just for an hour of sleep and how yoga was a game changer for you and gave you your life back.
Speaking your truth can be as simple as proudly exclaiming that, for example, your passion for acupuncture helped you avoid a heart attack. Your message would be how wellness literally saved your life and now you want to inspire others to do the same. People who’ve tried western medicine and failed want to hear about your health scares and the benefits of alternative medicine.
Putting yourself out there and expressing who you are in this way makes you human, personable, and relatable to others in a way that makes an impact on them. People begin to notice you. They subscribe to your social media accounts and start listening to your podcast. They want to hear more. They have questions, “Can you help me with this?”. The more you express your personal relationship to your passion, why you love it and why you want to help others, people will resonate with you. You will begin to attract your audience and find your tribe. Whatever your passion, what’s your personal story behind it? Why do you love your passion and why do you want to help others?
For me personally, speaking my truth as the biggest example of who I am and how I relate to life comes from my connection to others; my relationships. I truly enjoy getting to know what someone is all about, resonating with them and sharing that type of connection as their unique value with the world. My passion for wanting to help others is rooted in the fact that I actually give a damn about you. I am genuinely interested in who you are and what you’re about: your passion, your values, what makes you who you are and why. I want to know what makes you special!
Here’s one of my own personal examples of where speaking my truth comes from:
Part of wellness to me is our relationship to ‘place’: the place around us that we inhabit, the inner place of our heart, our sense of belonging, our overall place in life. Much of my heart’s self-identity comes from my connection with and relationship to my closest friends. My friends are my source of love, compassion and emotional support. They make me feel seen, heard and understood. I can truly be my authentic self with them. My friends nourish me like the earth nourishes the roots of a tree.
A few weeks ago, my relationship to my outer ‘place’ changed when I moved into a new apartment in the east bay, far outside of San Francisco where I had lived for 12 years.
Moving our sense of ‘home’ and the ensuing transitions can be so difficult. When the actual move took place, I suddenly felt that I was quickly getting up and leaving 12 years of self-identity and friendships in San Francisco. :( Before I knew it, I desperately missed my friends but more importantly, who I was in relationship to them. I felt like a piece of my heart was missing and along with it, my sense of who I am. In my heart, I felt adrift, unmoored, twisting in the wind, listless. Frankly, I just felt lonely. I felt like a tree whose roots had been abruptly ripped out of the ground. My wellness took a deep dive. I was burnt out from the physical move itself and now I was feeling disconnected from friends and my heart. I felt so ungrounded.
To make things worse, I couldn’t even settle into where I was trying to live. It was 100+ degrees for over a week, the California wildfires began, the downstairs neighbors played loud instruments...it was all too much. I reached out to friends for connection, which helped, but it was far from sustaining or nourishing in a consistent, long-term way. During this time, I discussed my feelings with my good friend Margaret. Margaret is a wonderful therapist with an interest in eco-psychology who recently wrote a blog post on developing a relationship to the place around us and within us by utilizing a “sit spot” to connect with nature. Given how much I was having trouble grounding anywhere outwardly or inwardly, I listened closely.
Margaret writes, “Coming home to nature (or: how a sit spot can save you)”:
“...by consciously engaging with the place where you live, you can develop a relationship with it that can enhance your sense of well-being and connection.”
“When I’ve moved to new places and felt alone, finding a sit spot has always helped me to find my bearings, to feel at home.”
“...developing a conscious connection with the non-human world can help to restore balance, comfort and well-being. In times of trouble, a sit spot can quite literally save you.”
“I would like to ask you to consider that you are not separate to the ecosystem around you, but part of it. Not just part of the human community where you live but bound to the trees, the birds, the animals and insects.”
“Your actions impact them, whether you let wildflowers grow in your garden to encourage pollinators, or spray pesticide, or feed the birds or drop litter. And not to forget, as you look at nature, it looks back at you. That crow on your front fence sees you, the urban fox that prowls your street knows your scent, the bees that buzz through your kitchen are aware of you.”
“Your sensitivity to nature and also to the currents of your own being will increase.”
“If you approach it with a conscious intention to build a connection, this relationship can nurture you and help you to feel at home in the world – wherever you are. I invite you to discover it for yourself.”
Check out more of Margaret’s blog post here.
I was intrigued and inspired. Rather than wait for the familiarity of my heart and self-identity to find me, here was a holistic, intentional way of addressing how unfamiliar I felt to myself by developing a conscious relationship to a place unfamiliar to me. I took walks to discover the neighborhood, the landscape, and the community. I sought out the parks in nature and eventually found one that offered a lot of walking terrain and a grassy hill with a nice view of the east bay. Soon enough, I had discovered a sit spot on a small log near a tree. This spot felt so far away from the community, I felt true solitude. I sat down and looked around and took a deep breath. The sit spot I had discovered was peaceful and solemn. I felt into my need for grounding, to put roots down not only in the place around me but in my heart. I thought of my friends. My friendships were my true anchor but I couldn’t anchor in them yet because I hadn’t even felt comfortable enough to ground into myself or into my own heart. I longed to be in connection with my loved ones and who I was in relationship to them. Embracing my solitude, I returned home and that evening, I sat on my meditation cushion, closed my eyes and thought of my friends... Margaret, whom i’ve known for almost 2 decades, was the first friend I made upon moving to California. Always so kind, Margaret has a gentle depth of compassion with which she holds space for others, helping them to feel heard and understood. It’s no surprise to me that she now does this professionally as a therapist, helping others transform and grow. Throughout the years, Margaret and I have shared our struggles and supported each other so I know I can be honest and authentic with her. I also appreciate and am inspired by Margaret’s mindful relationship to nature.
Feelings like these were those which I wanted to ground into. So, appreciating who my friends are to me and who I am in relationship to them, I began to turn inward and reach out with my heart… I envisioned roots coming out of me, grounding downward into the earth…reaching outward as an extension of my heart all the way to my friendships. I wasn’t grounding into my surroundings so much as I was providing the roots of my heart for my surroundings to ground into me. I was grounding inwardly to establish a relationship to my outer surroundings. It was a subtle flip in intention but it made all the difference. I was grounding into my heart as a means of establishing a relationship to my surroundings and in doing so, I became my own ‘home’.
It was very powerful and healing all at once. Inspired by Margaret, I became my own inner grounding for myself. Thank you so much for the inspiration, Margaret! I appreciate you! I felt truly grounded in a meaningful way. Truly rooted into where I was within myself and around me. This was all inspired by my friendships, who I am in relationship to them, and most importantly who my friends are and what they’re all about. In this case, it was exemplified by my friendship with Margaret and her emphasis on developing our relationship to the ‘place’ we live in inwardly and outwardly.
As I connected to my new surroundings with my heart, I continued thinking of my friends and what they mean to me. I thought of my purpose. Supporting friends like Margaret in who they are as wellness practitioners and how they help others is my purpose.
This is ‘wellness’ to me. Wellness practitioners help us heal and inspire us to be our best selves by cultivating feelings and values around putting ourselves and our wellbeing first, in life. This inspiration emanates from who wellness practitioners are as intentional healers; how their passion defines them and inspires others. Cultivating and promoting who you are and what you stand for in a way that resonates with others, inspires them and promotes value to them is my brand.
This is who I am and what I’m about. This is how my passion connects me to others. This is me speaking my truth.
When we speak our truth, we establish a relationship between ourselves and others that communicates our value, that creates connections and expresses who we are to the world…
This is what I want for YOU!
In a world of struggling against feelings of anonymity and desperately trying to build an audience or get in front of people, speaking YOUR truth is what makes an impression on others, creates impact and connection, gets you noticed, helps you break out of anonymity, makes you visible and makes others resonate with you.
So, what’s YOUR truth? Why do you love your passion and how does it define you? How do you feel it connects you to yourself and others? In essence, who ARE you? This becomes your personal brand identity. I would love to hear from you so let me know!