On Changing My Name

After a long delay, I am officially Carina Devi.


I never believed in taking my husband’s name, but I did it anyway because I had thoughts like…

“People will call me Mrs. Hislastname anyway”…

…”What if we run into problems at school because my child and I don’t share the same last name?”…

And, a part of me really liked the ring of a family unit with the same last name. The Joneses, The Smiths, etc. There was some part of my dream of Family wrapped up in sharing a name.

While I never regretted changing my name when I got married, it wasn’t long before I realized that I missed having my own. Comments like “oh, you’re so and so’s wife” irked me like no other and my inner raging feminist would fill her throat with shouts that were never shared.

I strongly desired a name that was mine.

But change it to what? Mead, my maiden name, no longer resonated. It belonged to my past self, the one who lived in the dark, whose mind was an antagonistic place, and who had all those attachments to dysfunctional family.

I decided to choose something new, and the first thing that popped into mind was Devi. If Harrison had been a girl, I would have strongly advocated for my daughter to be named this.  It means “shining one” and is also the root word for goddess in Sanskrit.

At the time, I was in the habit of staying small. Devi felt like a bold name to take, and out of fear of standing out or embodying anything resembling power, I continued to search the Sanskrit glossaries of my favorite books.

I always came back to Devi. I began to try it on once news of the divorce was public, and first debuted it at an Eclipse festival in Unity, Oregon, where I was teaching yoga.

Just before the final class and two hours before the great solar eclipse, a robust Indian man walked up to me, and asked, in his beautiful accent, “You are Carina Devi?”

Something settled so deep in my being upon hearing that – it’s correct pronunciation (like thay-vee) was such a beautiful sound, and to be able to proudly say “Yes I am!” felt like solidifying the Self I was reclaiming through the process of divorcing my husband.

It was that class where I finally gave myself permission to embody all parts of me, and not censor myself for fear of being stereotyped as “the hippie yoga teacher”, or being seen as full of myself. I let my heart speak in every moment of that class, infusing the astrology of the eclipse, and ending in a circle, facing each other in tree pose, as we shared three Om’s. I shared that after the eclipse, the first star we’ll see is Regulus, the Heart of the Lion. Leo asks us to walk in courage, and to lead with an open heart – this was precisely my lesson through that eclipse season – leading from the heart for myself, my child, and my community, and remembering how to be the Queen of my own life.

After we finished a delicious, long savasana, a woman walked up to me and shared that it was the best yoga class she had ever taken!!! Talk about confirmation! I thanked her profusely, and walked away feeling like I had stepped onto the path of my personal power completely.

No more fear. No more doubts.

Trusting every drop of my inner knowing, and letting the intuition that had directed me to that place in life to continue to steer me forward.

Since then, life has opened up in the most astounding, beautiful ways, and I continue to explore the path of what it means to fully embody myself, my values, and to own my power as a sovereign woman.

DeviDefinition copy

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