oh hey there!
I'm Azalea. I've also been known to respond to Az, Azzy, Azmataz, Zales, and Erin (if you're family or have known me long enough to call me that)
Fun story, I'll tell you the short version... I named myself Azalea when I was 10. I found the name in a book and thought "Hot damn that's a good name! I should use it for something!" Later that year was the first time I ever went to summer camp. A couple days before I got there I had an exciting realization... nobody knew me, I could be whoever I wanted! And so for that fateful week, I was known as Azalea. Of course, being 10, I had that whole "What is time? I'm never going to grow up!" thing going and didn't think about the fact that I would spend the next 10 summers at that camp. And so, I became Azalea.
The long version has some funny parts, ask me about it when we meet sometime. I'll give you a hint... it involves baby goats.
Anywho, back to the story... I think that my childhood name change was really just a super obvious example of a main theme in my life (and work):
- self expression -
What does that even mean?
Isn't that just another fucking new-agey buzzword that has no meaning anymore?
I think that's the whole point. It means something different for each person and part of the magic is figuring out what that means to you.
Here's what it means to me. Self expression is saying the thing that feels true, even/expecially if it is super uncomfortable. Self expression means taking the time to really get to know yourself, your style, your desires, your special sauce, your vision and then bringing it to life in the world. Self expression is not living based on defaults you've been handed, and instead, designing your life, business, home, relationships, art, and work to be a true reflection of the luminous soul at the centre of it (that's you lover!) Self expression is doing the thing that feels sooooo dang right, even if it scares this shit out of you. Self expression, for me, means looking at my whole dang life as a series of experiments and an ever evolving art project to address one question:
How can I be the most me, right meow? Because meow is all we got.
Seriously though, in one form or another, this is the question I ask myself and my clients every day.