Think your nickname is holding you back? “The manifestation of your current situation will be shaped by how people address you.”
A few weeks ago I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing the CEO—that’s Chief Enlightenment Officer—of Yogamint LLC, Hari Bhajan Khalsa. I reference Yogamint often in both my newsletter and my Better Day Yoga Facebook page. Yogamint is a wonderful resource! I signed up for their emails some time ago and have enjoyed every last one of them. You can sign up for the emails on their home page: www.yogamint.com.
One of the things that intrigued me the most about Hari Bhajan was her spiritual name, Hari Bhajan Khalsa. Hari Bhajan Khalsa is the spiritual name she received from her spiritual teacher, Yogi Bhajan, in 1973. “In Kundalini Yoga, the spiritual name that you receive is based on your full name, and also the numerology that is associated with your date of birth. Your spiritual name is your challenge but also your destiny. For many it is also the strength that you may not have necessarily learned to harness just yet.
Additionally, a spiritual name is based on Naad Yoga, which can be described as the power of a sound vibration. Any time we think, speak, chant, or utter a sound, we set a new vibration into motion. That thought, word, or sound may be a vibration of high frequency that serves to elevate us and those around us, or maybe one of a lower vibration that diminishes us and others. In the case of Kundalini Yoga and spiritual names, the experience is of the former.
Each of us has experienced the powerful impact of sound when we have been on the receiving end of hurtful words that have had a lingering harsh effect on our emotional state. A spiritual name based on a high quality sound vibration reinforces and accelerates our progress for our highest destiny. It challenges us to live in highest consciousness and awareness. Your sacred name is one of your first steps in leaving past patterns behind and embracing your spiritual identity.
A spiritual name reinforces and accelerates your progress on your path to your highest destiny. Making the choice to receive a spiritual name (and using it) is taking a rebirth in consciousness. It has positive benefits every time one says it, meditates on it, or hears it.” http://www.karmicecology.com/body/environment/patty-kikos/1072/change-your-namechange-your-life
Hari Bhajan told me that a name is something to live up to—it’s an identification. Her name means “Song of God.” Echoing the sentiments above that your spiritual name reinforces and accelerates your progress toward your highest destiny, she is a writer, speaker, teacher, poet, and CEO of an inspiring, educational website. She uses her voice to help people change their lives—“Song of God” indeed.
A name representing a spiritual identity is not uncommon. One of my yoga teachers, TeriLeigh Schmidt has studied extensively with a West African Shaman from the Dagara Tribe of Burkina Faso, Malidoma Somé. In the Dagara Tribe there is something known as the hearing ritual—or naming ceremony. A shaman comes in to help name a newly conceived baby speaking through the voice of the mother. The baby communicates why they are coming this time. They communicate their purpose for this new life.
“Malidoma” means “he who would be friends with the stranger/enemy.” Malidoma was literally kidnapped when he was four and taken to live in the modern world until he was an adult. When he escaped back to his tribe he was initiated and given the purpose of using his modern-world knowledge to communicate with those that were threatening the Dagara Tribe’s way of life. “He is a bridge between two worlds, a man whose self- expressed goal in life is to convey his knowledge of the spiritual life of his people to the rest of the world.”
Malidoma “came to the United States originally because the tribal elders said it was where he needed to be. They knew his role in life was to explain the Dagara culture, to be ‘swallowed’ by the West, in order to teach others about the African world.” http://www.answers.com/topic/malidoma-patrice-some
There are many traditions for “naming” a child or changing a name. In Poland, where my parents were born, they name the child after the saint that is celebrated nearest the child’s date of birth, fostering a spiritual connection and blessings from the saint. Also, historically it’s been common to take your husband’s name upon marriage.
Those of us who have changed their name know that it feels different to be called by another name. With Hari Bhajan Khalsa, or newlywed brides for that matter, the new name represents a new path. I know from experience that when I started referring to myself as “Krzyzanowski” vs. my maiden name, “Bronicki” it felt very different. Just as when I refer to myself as “Sandra” vs. “Sandy” there is a difference in both how I feel as well as how I construe others feel toward me. “Sandy” evokes more warmth and familiarity. “Sandra” feels like a wall of formality is present.
My husband calls me by the nickname my father gave me. It was always said with love and was chosen because with my father’s native tongue, it was an easier name to say than “Sandy”. So the two most important men in my life have addressed me by this name. Anyone who knows me knows how close my husband and I are.
As I look back upon when my husband started to use that nickname, I have to acknowledge that the vibration of that nickname certainly has made me feel more loved, unique and his. Being called by the name no one else but him now uses (my father passed away in 2003) has been a continued source of constant closeness. It would “feel” odd to have anyone else call me by that name. To hear it from my husband’s lips envelopes me with an energy I can’t describe, so I won’t try. In a word, or four, I absolutely treasure it. Perhaps that’s why I am continually saying that our marriage “gets better every day”. Twenty-eight plus years later and I not only feel like a “Krzyzanowski” through and through, but the nickname my husband uses for me has changed the vibration of who I am. It really has become my new identity.
“’When one asks for a spiritual name, that name describes the destiny’ says Yogi Bhajan (Hari Bhajan’s teacher). This is a particularly poignant thing to remember regardless of whether you are known by your birth name, spiritual name or even pet nickname. The manifestation of your current situation will be shaped by how people address you.” http://www.karmicecology.com/body/environment/patty-kikos/1072/change-your-namechange-your-life.
How about you? Have you experienced what it feels like to use a different name than your birth name? Do you have a nickname? Do you notice how you feel when you are called one vs. the other?
Changing your name “changes your nature because it changes your behavior. It changes the vibration of who you are.” ~ TeriLeigh Schmidt.
Choosing to take on a spiritual name carries with it the responsibility of living in accordance with the spiritual path you have chosen.