Sunday 5 February 2012

What's in a Name? Nothing at All and LOTS!

Lately I have been thinking a lot about names, mostly because I have been playing with the idea of making a change to mine to better reflect who I am understanding myself to be.  So that got me thinking.  I know a handful of people who have changed their first and/or last name over the years.  My friend, who I did a course with in Ecuador, recently changed her name, and I like it.  I think it suits her better.

If one was to do a little research on famous actors and musicians, one would surely find that many of them have in fact changed their names.  Cat Stevens, Prince, Marilyn Monroe, Demi Moore, and list could go on and on. Even though a part of me thinks that a name is really just a random phenomenon that is nothing more than a shell, and the real beauty lies beneath, names seem to be significant.  In the book, "How to Win Friends and Influence People", by Dale Carnegie, I recall a key secret he shared with his readers. Dale said to, "remember that a person's name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language."  This was a surefire way to get people to like you.  Something makes me think this suggestion directly relates to appealing to a person's ego, nevertheless, it is a word that we identify with on a daily basis.  And I will say, Dale's suggestion came in handy!  I read that book the summer I sold Cutco knives, and I sold more knives that summer, ranking 5th top seller in Canada, than I ever imagined I would.  It also helped that the knives were of stellar quality, and I felt like I was truly helping people to have more fun and productivity in the kitchen.

I digress - back to names.  Given my current phase of transition and transformation, I figured I was ripe for a name change; one that would reflect or symbolize this significant time in my life.  Then, my beloved sister, Corrie, entered the picture.  She called attention to my name change on my hotmail account, and was inquiring.  I shared with her my name experimentation phase, and then she reminded me of something I had completely forgot about.  When I was 18 years old, I traveled to Israel to explore my "home land".  We visited the Diaspora museum where they had this big  machine in which you could look up the significance of your last name.  Being my curious self I was first in line.  In went my name and out came a one page printout that gave all kinds of information pertaining to my last name.  What it boiled down to was that my last name, HAIN, translated to "LIFE".

What a gift?!  How could I have forgotten that?!  Sometimes we need to be reminded of things by the people we love.  So as it turns out, I have decided that the renewal occurring within is already being reflected by my given name.  How lucky i am?!  I get to symbolize life - a life that makes me ooze with passion and love and beauty, and this is precisely what I am working on creating for myself.  This experimental project, called life, encompasses much of the transition and transformation that I find myself in these days, and one that I will speak about more in the posts to come.  Looks like I don't need a name change after all.  And after all, in my opinion, a name is simply a shell; what truly matters is the beauty that lies beneath!

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