It is so easy for us to question the belief systems of others, but when it comes to our own ingrained ideology, we firmly adjust our blinkers and stick to our guns, even if it’s no longer appropriate for where we are now.
Some time ago, on my second visit, I was sitting in a friend’s living room when, out of the blue, he said, “Are you really comfortable with your given name?”
I was momentarily taken aback – this guy had known me for five minutes and he was insinuating that my name was unsuitable. Goodness gracious moi! I sat there and watched all sorts of defences rise in me. I took a choking gulp of chamomile, and realised that I really didn’t like my given name. It was cute and appropriate when I was a child, but now it was in my better interest to put away childish things and make decisions for myself.
“Okay, so what IS an appropriate name for me?” I challenged him. So we had fun trying out new names until my time was up.
It took me a while to sort out a new moniker. For two months I confused myself with so many names that I felt like the United States of Tara.
Then one day while I was picking up my bread and vegies, I announced that my given names would henceforth be “Callista Grace” and what did they think of that? Everyone in the shop paused to discuss this momentous decision (some even admitted they had been wanting to change their’s too), and, since we easily had a quorum, my new name was unanimously adopted. The details in the order book were changed even before I sallied forth out the door.
I live in a place where no-one bats an eyelid at such an occurrence – there are many sanyassins hidden in the local shrubbery whose names are definitely more unusual than mine.
All I had to do was fill in the numerous forms, pay the fee (everything comes with a price) and I am now the proud owner of a new identity.
Oh is she, now? I hear you say. Let’s think about this carefully.
Since the age of 30 or so, I (along with several million others) have been consciously embarking on a journey of transformation. Thanks to many people, events, processes, guides, angels, teachers, and others too numerous to mention, my energy/blueprint has changed considerably from what it was. Somehow, my new name more aptly reflected my new energy. And it also seemed appropriate to have a new name as we enter a New Earth.
But, most importantly, I had taken responsibility for something that was uniquely and exclusively mine.
Now I am not suggesting that everyone has to rush out and change their names to display spiritual advancement. My point is that I was employing a belief that didn’t resonate with my true energy, so it was up to me to change it.
I was unprepared for the boost of creative energy that came with my new name. Suddenly I was awake at 2am scribbling; slopping paint brushes between stirring strawberry jam; designing a new garden bed. My neighbours innocently called in for a cuppa and were confronted by my canvases – clearly a fusion of Miro meets Picasso (with eyes) in the colours of Bollywood – and felt obliged to make noises of encouragement. I wanted to tell the world about my newfound inspiration.
Recently I had a visit from a dear couple I hadn’t seen for a while. I am very happy with my home and surrounds, and I was excited to be able to share my experience with them. They looked at the house and garden (loved them) and examined the paintings – “love the colours but don’t like the eyes” – and we sat down for a cuppa. The conversation drifted and I realised that we didn’t have that much in common any more. I had to move the bowl of nasturtiums because their eyes were itching, they baulked at the compost loo, they couldn’t get round my new name. I invited them back for lunch in a couple of days, but I knew as I waved them off, that they weren’t coming back.
My Shangri-la was clearly not their cup of chamomile. For a couple of days I was hurt and resentful – how could they not adore my nasturtiums? Approve of my compost loo? Fall into raptures over the symbology of my canvasses?
Different belief systems!
Which I was obliged to embrace and accept if I expected others to embrace and accept mine. And sometimes we just have to accept that it is more comfortable to withdraw from something that is too confronting. We are all at different stages of experience, where no-one is more advanced than anyone else – and we all have different acceptance thresholds.
Somewhere I heard an illustration of this: imagine a tree in autumn, with all the leaves of different colours – red, green, orange, yellow, brown – they are all on the same tree but at different stages in their evolvement – and they all get there eventually.
Somehow the baby elephant story fits in here too. You all know the story – the baby elephant is tethered every day to a small bamboo stake so he doesn’t stray from the herd. This memory of being tethered becomes so ingrained that he even believes it when he is a big strong grown elephant. His belief system prevents him from pulling up that stake and heading off in his own direction. Makes you think a bit, doesn’t it?
It makes it ever more crucial to examine your own belief system, and make sure it truly reflects who you are.
Just don’t expect everyone to applaud when you tweak it. And regardless of what anyone else thinks – for me, the eyes have it! ~Callista