Pretty, girly, safe and yoga-ey. That’s what I thought my wellness brand had to be.
I would scour the websites of all kinds of yoga teachers and see if my marketing was as “yoga enough” as theirs. I made several versions of my site (one is below) but realized that with each iteration all I had to do was swap out the logo, a picture here and there and it coud be any Jane Yogi’s site or brand. Exhibit A below:
Which led me to some surrrrious mid-year refelection. Who the hell was I as a teacher? Was I saying what I really wanted to say? Who came to most of my classes? Which of my students were emailing me asking for more classes, more start dates, more videos, just more? Who supported me the most?
The answers came rushing to me in full, bright clarity. Knowing who my tribe was was simple, it was women like me. Women of color who were looking for stress relief, more peace, focus and a retreat from the bustle of the world.
Next came defining myself. I decided to step all up into my boldness and do one of the most daring but easiest things I could ever do which was to simply be ME.
No over-thinking about what I should be saying or teaching or doing, but simply leaning ALL the way into the only person I’ve been with every single day of my life, Nazaahah and sharing that with my tribe.
Hence the name change from Ama Wellness to Nazaahah Amin. I chose to use my own name in my brand because the preservation of it is of deep meaning to me.
Throughout my life, I’ve altered, shortened and chopped up my name to placate folk, from college professors who butchered it on the regular to co-workers and associates. I didn’t want to hurt their sensibilities with such an “ethnic sounding”name. But no mas. No mo’. No ma’am. Ya girl will no longer dim herself so others feel comfortable being around me. If the light the Creator gave me is too bright for you, then put on your RayBans or gets ta stepping. Cause I’m here to live out my Nia (purpose) and share it with the world.
So my name Nazaahah Amin…Na-Zaa-Haa Ah-Meen…is it. My mother named me over 30 years ago with the intention that I would live up to its meaning of ‘honesty and integrity’. That meaning of my Arabic name is something I try to embody daily. So in honoring that, I will proudly and boldly use it.
I know that me coming into my full self only makes me a better, more present, more focused, more purpose-driven teacher for my tribe.
Have you found yourself placating others but dimming your light? Have you changed who you were to fit a mold or be what others though you should be? Let me know in the comments below and how you decided to step into your true self. Haven’t done it yet, share when you will do it!