Photo Credit: Ty Schmitt
As people leave nasty comments on my social media sites, questioning my use of the word “conscious” in my branding, my use of leather as a textile, and my choice to manufacture in Leon, I am forced to come within and really define what I stand for.
I have my personal core values, and these values definitely bleed over to my company and how I want to run it. I believe in conscious capitalism. I believe in putting people over profit. I believe in looking at the impact my creations have on the environment. I believe in giving back, through charity work and being a mentor. I want Soul Carrier to be be a B Corp, and I know that will take some rigorous assessment to become certified as a Benefit Corporation. I also feel strongly about helping people — whether they are US citizens in my own backyard or a woman entrepreneur in another country. There is no “US against THEM” in Jenn Boonlorn’s world. All humans are equal and deserving of love and contribution.
I aim to show up with integrity, kindness and the spaciousness to allow others to be whatever they want and stand for whatever they want. The DNA of Soul Carrier is that we are ALL UNIQUE souls with a unique path and journey to embark on. I am all for everyone rocking out to the beat of their own drum, having their own voice, opinions, and belief system. Vanilla-cookie-cutter has never been my thing! However, what rattles me, is when people voice their opinions about Soul Carrier and they assume their way is the right way and that I better lay down and swallow everything they have to say.
I often shake my head, thinking, if you don’t like what my bags are made from, where I manufacture or how I run my company, then don’t buy my products – every purchase is a vote and no one is forcing you to buy Soul Carrier…you are free to support whoever you like. You can have a voice and opinion about me and my product, AND unless you are in the trenches with me building this business and brand, your feedback is just annoying noise, it is not the golden standard.
All the time you spend tearing down someone else’s choices and business, from the safety of your computer screen, could be time you spent taking action towards a cause you are passionate about. Remember that line, actions speak louder than words!?? The way I live my life, how I run my company and the choices I embrace, may not resonate with everyone – BEAUTIFUL — That is what makes life rich and dynamic!
There are plenty of brands I dislike and companies who behave in a manner I disagree with. I simply don’t shop from them – leaving nasty comments on their social media sites is a waste of everyone’s time. My energy is better spent focusing on the change and impact I do want to see happen in the world, versus harping on what I disagree with.
However, when the snarky social media comments were thrown my way, my shadow-self rose to the surface, and I thought about some equally snarky things to say back! And then I got still and decided it was time to shed some light and actually BE CONSCIOUS about all of this.
I want to be mindful of the ripple effect of my actions and behaviors – cleaning up messes as soon as I make them. I want to ground all my choices in consciousness and make sure my intentions don’t intentionally hurt another human being. That is how I define consciousness and why it is important that I use it in my branding.
Brene Brown and The Landmark Forum have really helped me see how easy it is for us to criticize people from up in the bleachers — it is a WHOLE lot harder being in the arena, on the court, LIVE and in action! Only from this space (of being in the arena) can we actually empathize and take the time to understand why others are acting and behaving the way that they are.
People often say “I would never do that! I can’t believe so-and-so actually did _____X!!” You know what?? So WHAT! That is YOUR preference, opinion or judgement of how life should be lived. It does not mean it is the RIGHT way for everyone else. It is fine you think that way, and it is FINE that the other person behaves that “other” way.
So to the social media commenters who want me to run my company and live my life different than the way I am running them — THANK YOU! I am always open to looking within and seeing if I can grow, stretch and improve both my company, and how I live my life. Your comments helped shed light on the fact that I don’t have to validate, justify or explain why I do what I am doing.
You can have your voice, your opinion and your judgements, they are beautifully yours and what make you a unique soul. I am thrilled you have a voice and that you are passionate to see the world made a better place. That is exactly what I am out to do as well.
Every hiccup, every frustrating rub, every snarky comment, it is all pushing me through the fire, allowing what I truly stand for to rise to the surface. Every annoying situation is a chance for me to grow, to get closer to my truth and to shine a bit brighter because I am one more layer closer to my genuine-authentic soulful self.
All the best on your journey as you shed light on what matters most to you and you set out to bring your dream to fruition.