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Re-branding the Mind

Most of us have grown up with a tin of Golden Syrup on the larder shelf, and few of us would have realised as children licking the sticky spoon after mum’s baking, that the lion on the iconic tin is actually dead. It is only with recent media discussions about Tate and Lyle’s rebranding that the deadness of the lion has entered public awareness.

For some reason, Abraham Lyle deemed the image of the lion that Samson (as in Samson and Delilah) vanquished with his bare hands on his way to acquire a wife from an enemy tribe, an appropriate logo for the bright yellow sugar syrup he was about to launch on the world. Having ripped the King of Beasts apart, on his return journey, Samson discovers the carcass alive with honey bees and feasts on the honey.

Once Samson has consummated his marriage, he sets out to fulfil the “Lord’s plan” to vanquish his wife’s people by posing a riddle; if they can’t solve it, they forfeit their lives.

Out of the eater, something to eat;

Out of the strong, something sweet.

A lion carcass oozing with honey is such a rare occurrence, even in Biblical times, that no-one can guess the answer and Samson’s new bride begins to suspect that her spouse is hellbent on wiping out her kin. She pleads with him to reveal the answer and for reasons we are not told, Samson, discloses the answer and she tips off her men who come to Samson saying,

What is sweeter than honey?

What is stronger than a lion?

Samson is angry and, after settling the account he owes his triumphant in-laws, gives his wife to one of his companions.

Rape, pillage, trickery and abandonment are strange tropes for a sugar hit.

Perhaps in 1883 biblical patriarchy, colonial superiority and a puzzle inspired the right sort of feeling for a product built on the slave trade. The context might be appropriate but the link between this story and golden syrup is especially tenuous given that the sticky yellow empty calories Tate and Lyle are touting bears no resemblance to the nutrient dense food of the bees.

My curiosity was piqued by this story because of the bizarre use of religious iconography that was both inacronistic and misapropriated. It made me wonder what, in the way we package our lives, is hidden in plain sight – that is long out of date and doesn't truly reflect who we are or what we aspire to be?

Within the mind, the unconscious holds a vast amount of data that is as bizarre as a dead lion buzzing with honey bees representing a sugar syrup to a secular, increasingly diabetic prone society. Our traumatic past has a habit of lodging itself deep within us and feeding us self-sabotaging stories and fostering limiting beliefs that hold us back.

So how can we re-brand ourselves and present to the world a true image of ourselves that reflects our values and desires?

The best re-branding tool I have come across is the Grief Recovery Method. There is one step in the 7 week programme that invites us to create a loss history graph. This involves marking all the experiences of loss we have had from birth to the present day, using the length of line to indicate the emotional intensity of the loss. This creates a striking visual image. For me, I came to see how many losses I had experienced and this opened a door to self compassion. Self-love is where any healing journey begins. Another graph is produced after the loss history graph. This time it portrays a single relationship – it could be with a spouse, a parent, child, friend, someone who has died, even a pet. It begins at the relationship's inception and is brought up to the present day. The highs and lows are depicted, again using the length of a line to indicate the emotional intensity of the experience. Once you have a visual picture of a relationship, it is much easier to work out what emotional baggage needs to be completed and the final steps of the Grief Recovery Method Programme teach you how to do this effectively.

In my own life, I have experienced it repeatedly as I have worked on different relationships. It means that I am increasingly able to show up in the world authentically. The old branding that was born of broken relationships, traumatic religious instruction and abuse amongst other things has been relegated to the cutting floor and I'm emotionally freer to be my authentic self in the world – a branding design that speaks of joy and silence and peace and connection.

Find out what your authentic brand is by booking a free Grief Recovery session with me using the link below.

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