A few weeks ago I did something impulsive, crazy, and totally aligned with my spirit. I was at a healing retreat for women of color, sitting at our first dinner together and chatting about life and relationships. The conversation turned to name changes and stages of life. One elegant, sassy older woman shared that she changed her name because didn’t like the way it sounded.
Didn’t like the way it SOUNDED?
At that moment I felt a lightning bolt strike my whole system, waking me into the realization and memory that I have wanted to change my name since 7th grade. There was Daisy, Georgina, and other more embarrassing options I would rather not share. What is important to share is that somewhere along the way I gave up the POSSIBILITY and the PERMISSION to change it. In that lightning bolt moment I recognized that there were STILL so many ways I wasn’t giving myself permission to be fully me, probably because it would be too much of a nuisance, or because I might get some pushback from people I love, particularly my parents.
But the details and fallout were no longer important. I needed a new name NOW. I went to bed immediately after dinner, researching names online. I prayed for guidance and woke up at 3:15am with a name that wasn’t on my list. Isha, Isha, Isha was the whispering echo I heard in my ear. Without even knowing the meaning of my new name, I knew that was IT. The search was over. I thanked my ancestors and began using it that very day.
The ruling goddess. Woman. The night prayer. It is the name I am now able to inhabit with all of my life force.
But this message is less about a name change than about giving ourselves permission to live in alignment with our souls or our spirit, even as it is inconvenient, disruptive, and even painful.
In a world that asks us to protect, defend, shut down, deny, numb, and ignore our authentic selves, ask yourself what it might mean or look like to give yourself more permission to live out the truest, deepest part of yourself.
- Do you need to set limits with loved ones?
- Are there habits or defenses you are needing to give up?
- Are there relationships you need to transform?
- Is there wisdom and knowledge you need to share?
- Are you being called to change your career?
- Do you need to start over altogether?
And to be clear, when I speak of authenticity and truth, I don’t think of these as simply good, New Age ideas. Living in alignment is about awakening fully to your authorship in life, and awakening to your ability to respond to the call of humanity. It is about letting go of victim stories and harnessing your personal power as connected to your purpose and deepest longing, something that extends far beyond the individual.
We cannot fully and effectively heal the separation and division in our sphere of influence or work for the freedom of others if we ourselves are saddled with our own limitations and fear.
For me, I know already that 2019 is ripe with the promise of 180 degree change. Stay tuned for rich partnerships offering deep healing and connection.
Raise your glass to personal (and collective) evolution in 2019. Asé!
With much love and support,
Isha Vela (the healer formerly known as Ingrid Rodriguez)