Why “Gray Bear”? And what does the logo mean?
Although there is symbolism in the name, fundamentally the reason I chose Gray Bear Coaching as the name for my business was this little guy pictured at the right. I had wandered through hundreds of possible name ideas, maybe even thousands. I hated them all. Or, the few I liked were already overused in the coaching space or didn’t truly match my personality. (I did try one, even buying a domain name and building a logo and website, but it never really fit me.)
Then one day I was tidying up my home office, moving things around to improve my zoom lighting, and I saw this figurine. It’s been with me for decades, sitting on desk or shelf in all my workplaces. It doesn’t have a name. It’s just “that little gray bear figurine that used to be part of an ashtray we got in Mexico.”
It was a strange ashtray, carved from stone with the ashtray in the center, this bear on one side, and two holders where you could stick pens on the other. It was 1990, and I was on my honeymoon in Ensenada, Mexico. I loved this little bear, so I bought the ashtray. At some later point, I removed it from its base and kept just the part I loved. And it’s been with me for more than 30 years.
The symbolism in the name Gray Bear
Bears typically symbolize strength, courage, and health. They sometimes also bring up images of family, protection, or even playfulness. The “mama bear” imagery is strong among the parents of transgender kids, as a fierce protector of those who are targeted and unable to protect themselves.
To me, the gray bear symbolizes all those things but also wisdom and intelligence, a willingness and ability to approach things with a thoughtful, deliberate attitude. The gray bear has been places, has seen things. But the gray bear does not wear those things out loud in flashy colors or boastful claims. It observes, reflects, and lives in harmony with all those around it.
I think that Gray Bear is someone I would trust to be both a good coach and a good mentor. And I think the traits of gray bear are very aligned with who I am as well.
The logo is simply a stylized outline version of the photo on this page (flipped horizontally). As a person who is very positive in my outlook, I love that the bear is looking up. Also, he’s standing sturdy and solid, but he appears ready to take forward steps. This outline logo is a reminder to keep things simple, to understand your own essence, and to stay true to who you are at your core. When you can understand your true essence and approach life with that in mind… it doesn’t get any more authentic than that.
If you want to know more, or you want to set up some time to see if I’d be a good coach or mentor for you in whatever you’re facing, please contact me.