I’ve learned a new term in rock climbing called ‘scend. It is “when a climber must not just work with the rock, but must also become absorbed by it.” Reading one of my favorite magazine’s Spirituality & Health the term is coined in an article entitled, “Understanding the Rush to Connect.” The author speaks of how people who are thrill seekers are often misunderstood and unfairly labeled by those who don’t imbibe in extreme sports. They are often spoken of as the aggressive jock who must conquer at all cost. When actually the writer states that most participants are people who “feel empowered, more by humbling emotions than by dominant ones. Instead of feeling larger than life, they feel small and vulnerable… As these athletes work in unity with the natural environment, humanity’s dependence on and responsibility to the earth becomes markedly clear.
I, for one, love extreme sports. But alas, I’m a spectator, not a participant. It’s not that I don’t want to but certain physical challenges limit my ability to do so. Yet, even as a spectator, I feel the rush with the participant. I allow my body to feel the exhilaration, the near misses, and the misplaced step that invites a loss.
This term, though peaked my interest to see if I ‘scend in my own way. Do I become one and connect with activities that I do partake in. Off the bat, I knew writing was a ‘scend for me. When I’m into a story my imagination soars. Creating worlds, people, places and things are my crack addiction. I see these creatures in my mind. I try to be descriptive as I can breathing life into their character. Watching anime, or children’s movies are the simplest wisdom and answers to questions I’ve posed to the Universe. The other night I saw the Disney/Pixar movie Inside/Out. I laughed because at that moment I was battling with how I’ve been seen through the lens of other people. Labels such as “you are too emotional,” or, “your emotions are unstable.” I will agree at times they are but watching this movie allowed me to see how certain emotions, i.e., sadness, is needed in order to unearth the root of what you’re feeling. Any emotion can be “too emotional.” As in the movie the emotion Joy had to learn balance and when it was her turn to just follow. Every emotion has its place, time, and exact moment to realize what is needed for a person to fully connect with self. I have more area’s but for the use of time and you are not pressing the browser button to go to another article I’ll stop here. But I’ve learned three points from ‘scend.
It’s not a one time ascension to conquer a problem.
You may not make it to the top, but each time you attempt to climb again you will have small victories.
Each problem has several peaks within itself that will need to be addressed strategically, methodically, and sometimes painfully slow.
This means there are lessons to be learned that possibly will take longer to reach the goal. It doesn’t mean that you’ve failed. It means that what you’re scaling is monumental and must be defeated brick by brick. No, it’s not fun or easy, but break it down into bite sizes so you can celebrate the small victories along the way. And yes, celebrate! This is forgotten along the way. I know I have because I concentrated on the pain of the climb and was too tired or angry to see how far I had come. I’ll be transparent. I haven’t celebrated my journey as much I should have because it was too daunting. And yes, sometimes it didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to be. I concentrated on my way versus the Universe’s way of defining the victory. I know, the entities Pride and Control yeah, I tussle with them too… lol! But at least I can admit it. Victory!
Okay, I’ve run over my word limit, but I thought this word important to share with you. Think about how you connect with your activities and people. How do you ‘scend?
“The fight-or-flight response (also called the fight, flight, freeze, or fawn response [in PTSD], hyperarousal, or the acute stress response) is a physiological reaction that occurs in response to a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat to survival.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fight-or-flight_response_%28in_humans%29)
Refer to this definition as often as needed during this blog. I’m sure you will 😉
I grew up in the era of names like Michelle, Rochelle, Bianca, Denise, Trina, Karen, Tayren, and here I was Lana. It is pronounced “Lah-nuh,” or “Lan-nuh.” Either one is fine with me but when one pronounces it like “Lane-nuh,” or “Line-nuh,” I see red! Suffice it to say I hated my name.
Have you ever visited bookstores and on a carousel were name cards and their meanings? Did you vigorously look for your name but never found it? Me too.
It wasn’t until I was in my late twenty’s that I was given a card for my birthday by a very good friend. She had a special gift to give people cards that said exactly what they needed to hear. When I saw what my name meant I cried. The card said, “Light,” and the picture on the front was that of an eagle. The scripture attached was Isaiah 40:31, “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint,” (English Standard Version).
Everywhere I went that card was with me. It reminded me that I was “Light,” even though I’d existed and operated in darkness, beginning in the womb of my mother. My life was dark, dank, and it stunk. I hid most of the time from the light. I hid in the background blending in with the scenery, or underneath the basement stairwell as a child to block out the verbal trash thrown at me. But my favorite place to hide was in television shows, romance novels, or a pornographic tale. Yep! Darkness was my friend, confidant and my secret keeper. It allowed me to unleash my anger, rage, bitterness, jealousy, hate and murder against those who verbally or at times physically abused me. This was my light and I was in both modes. I was fighting to be left alone and in flight to get emotionally and physically away from family, religious circles and academic halls. The words that I was called and the statements I was told like, “fat, dysfunctional, stupid, average, and no man will marry me because I was fat,” I was far away from being light. I was darkness personified and I believed that I was with my whole heart.
In the beginning of the new millennial I was compelled to further research the meaning of my name. With the swiftness of the internet and a push of a button several meanings flew across the screen. Still killing trees (didn’t have recycled paper) I wrote them down in my journal to look at the meanings from other cultures.
In Latin, it means, “wooly and appealing to the eye.” Don’t judge but I had too much testosterone in my body and yes, I had to shave quite frequently. I operated in both modes. This further proved, in my mind, that I wasn’t feminine enough. This was another negative strike against me of not being able to have a boyfriend.
In Hawaiian, it means, “calm as still waters; afloat.” Well, I appeared calm to people on the outside, but inside I was a raging bull, which happens to be my birth sign – Taurus. And I can’t swim to save my life. Flight.
In Ireland, it means, “little rock.” My heart had been hardened over time just like a rock, and had built a mountain. Fight.
In Gaelic, it means, “child.” This one touches me the most because of the verbal abuse as a child and the trauma it left in its wake. As an adult I’ve had to listen to my child express her voice – something she couldn’t do at the appropriate age.
Just as of late, the Urban Dictionary’s definition of my name agrees with in my being. It is, “sweet, melodious, soft voice, sensuous, caring, sultry, loyal friend and protective mother, smoldering hottie under the angelic appearance, a lady in every way, intelligent, educated and a fine specimen of womanhood who is peace loving and will work to make things right in the world, a true lover of all people who also makes a good teacher, nurse or healer. She is a born leader but humble about it, and will always encourage you to do your best. She has high standards and loves her men to be intelligent, kind, responsible and healthy. Once you have her heart, she will do anything for you. Once you betray her, she will forgive you but never trust you again. She is a good hearted woman, but not a fool.” This definition partially sums my personality, character, beliefs, gifts and occupations in a nutshell.
Now it’s your turn. Write down your name in your journal. Look it up on the internet and write down every definition you find. If your name is more modern like Alize’, Subaru, Tanisha, Tanqueray or a combination of a family or friend’s name look their names up and you will find your meaning. This research will be life changing because you will see the scenes of your life play right before your eyes. You will discern your behavior and/or action of flight, fight or both in existing or hopefully living your life.
As I gave you the examples of the meanings of my name you can see the fight, flight or both. The revelations of these definitions will explain why you were treated as such and this will also give you the courage to reclaim the positivity of your name. Now if your name means something belittling, demeaning or offensive this is where you will have to view the opposite of its meaning and embrace those words. Another way to embrace the positive nature of your name is to research the origins of your name. It may be embedded in another name. For example, Alize’ has its origins in French and English but it also sounds like several other variations in African, Greek, and Hebrew. The meaning of it is, “Trade-winds.” Choose the definition that resonates within your gut. Your gut response will be the true meaning of your name as it relates to your journey. There is another spelling and definition of Alize, which is the wine and it means “Clouds of Heaven.” If you can’t choose right now take some time and pray and/or meditate over the definitions and wait until you get an answer that brings peace to your soul.
Lastly, if you’ve never liked your name ask yourself why? What made you not like your name? Was an unkind word said about your name? Were you named after a relative that maybe your family didn’t like but they liked their name? I know. They why name you after a person they didn’t like? [Sigh] The story surrounding your name will reveal why your life has taken emotional, mental and sometimes physical twists and turns.
In spite of how and why you were given a name, you have the power to change the meaning of your name. My name means “Light,” even though I experienced darkness. I decided, I chose to turn my back on the darkness and see the light in me and around me. It wasn’t as easy as saying it because darkness didn’t want to let go so easy and truthfully I was afraid to let go of my familiar friend as well. Daily I stumbled, but got back up to seek the “Light” in me. In each cultural meaning of my name I took the positive and made it my own. I’m still doing this process, daily. I refuse to agree with the critic of my present and the abuser’s voice of my past. I, with my Creator, determine the trajectory of my emotions, behavior, and beliefs.
Some people have changed their names to a name that they believe fits who they are. This is there way of taking back their power over the ones who abused them. Renaming yourself to your liking is perfectly alright. But your name, chosen, by your parents speaks volumes to the building of your foundations of your belief systems and if you change your name then those systems must be changed as well.
I want you to spend some time in this area because:
These will more than likely dredge up memories whether good, bad, ugly, or indifferent. Write them down. Ask the Universe why…? And only you can finish the ending of that question.
Going forward you will never view yourself the same again. You will analyze your belief systems to see how your name has affected your emotions and behaviors.
This sets the tone for our gatherings and journey back to your authenticity.
As you are researching your name email me your questions and please leave a comment below about this blog. I do want to hear from you and see how your journey is going.
Also when you have come to terms with your name say it aloud several times to hear your voice! YOUR VOICE! Keep repeating it for as long as you want. Why?
Pay attention to its impact and frequency in your soul! It will “feel” quite different than before you chose to be at peace with your name.
Feel the confidence you exude to yourself and others.
And from this point on nicely correct those who may mispronounce your name or incorrectly spell it.
Your name is not just your name it is by whom you are addressed and its meanings carry your past, present and future. Take back your power, your energy, and your name – in love!