Creating my brand

October 2011

Dear Friends and Colleagues

After the completion of my doctoral studies, I recently consulted with my dear friend, Lee Griffin, a branding specialist. I shared with her elements that were significant to me. Based on this, Lee designed my branding and this is the end product, which I would like to share with you.

I grew up next to the Orange River, literally next to it. Late at night in the hot Upington summer nights I could hear and smell the river whilst lying in my bed. Living close to the desert enhanced my awareness of water. I often visited Kalahari farms during school holidays, which intensified my appreciation of the life force of water. This contributed to water being the most significant element in my life.

My mantra to life is: Be like water, find a way. Water always finds a way, even when obstructed. Water brings life and has the ability to transport. For me water represents hope, which is not only my ethical stance for my personal life, but also for my practices as professional. I do hope with people through therapy and workshops. Together we find new ways of relating and being in this world. However, water can also be a destructive force, as I have experienced living through floods. It therefore stands as a reminder for me to be aware and mindful of the power that exists in my interaction with others. It calls for caution and accountability. It calls for respect and awareness. This desire of mine to support life-giving ways is rooted in and defined by my faith. I position myself in caring with people by finding ways with them and co-author with them the stories of their lives.

The second element in my branding design is a dragonfly. My fascination with dragonflies started in 2002 and coincided with my entry into theology. I felt an inexplicable connection with these little creatures and it was only in 2010 that I realised the significance of it when I stumbled on the symbolism of dragonflies. Dragonflies symbolise and are reminders that we are light and can reflect this light in powerful ways if we choose to do so, which reminds me of the divine prompting: “Let there be light”. Dragonflies encourage us to see through our illusions and allow our own light to shine in a new vision. They symbolise change and going past self-created illusions that limit our growth and life-giving change.

They are fantastic flyers, darting like light, hovering, changing direction and even going backwards as the need arises. They are inhabitants of two realms – starting with water, and moving to the air with maturity, but staying close to water. For me this speaks of living in ways that keep us connected to the earth and the spiritual realm. The main symbolisms of the dragonfly are that of renewal, positive force and the power of life in general. In Japanese paintings they often represent new light and joy.

The colour that I chose for the water was a periwinkle blue, thus a combination of blue and purple. Lee suggested that I research the meaning of these colours and I found the following.  Blue gives a feeling of distance – it allows us to look beyond and increase our perspective outward. It contains a cool vibration that is helpful to communication. The vibration of blue can be used to open energy flow where it is blocked and could encourage feelings of communication and peace. It helps to calm, relax, broaden perspective for learning new information and invites solitude and peace.

Indigo helps one to focus on personal issues, develop intuition and also invites solitude and inner communication. It supports us to step outside of everyday life in order to find new and interesting ways of viewing and solving challenges. It represents the door to the subconscious and guides us to inner knowledge. I intuitively knew that this specific combination of blue and purple was needed in my work!

Doing the branding work with Lee was an amazing experience and it showed me that within ourselves we hold the knowledges that will create fulfilling life on both personal and professional level. She helped me to focus my future, to become aware of and create opportunities for both my career, as well as me as a person.

Let us find a way,

Nicki

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