I See You

Every morning, I find it melodic to say good morning to each of you using your first name. There are several of you with the same first name so it’s fun to use your first and last name during my ritual. It’s melodic because each of your names hold your special energy. By saying your name, I have the privilege of announcing I see you. I welcome you. Thank you for taking time out of your day in honor of you.

Your name holds energy. Your name transcends all other words. Your name represents you. Being recognized is special. You are important. Your presence here in this space is important. You matter in this world. You matter to everyone here and you matter to you.

Hearing your name can also be a painful experience. I hold a memory from high school where I was in a language lab amid the cubby spaces and heard my supposed friends talk about me by using my name. It hurt. Someone with authority calling my name causes me to shrink back. Hearing my name in my various graduation ceremonies lifted my energy. Changing my last name back to my birth name freed me from the bonds I felt tied to my ex’s name.

I’ve considered changing my first name and chose to retain my identity as Shirley. I was named after my Aunt Shirley, and that feels good. With painful memories, sometimes it’s healing to change our name, a new name to begin again on our terms.

Our names hold power. How different would my day begin if I met myself in the mirror every morning with a warm welcoming smile and bow Namaste – I honor you, Shirley. I love you. More than likely, I would be better at remembering my daily yoga and energy routines.

More often than not I shuffle around until I am more awake and then walk from task to activity, choice after choice forgetting the gift I can give myself by saying Good morning. I love you.

Honoring others begins by honoring myself. Pausing my thoughts long enough to say I see me. I honor me. I matter.

Blessing that Knows Your Name by Jan Richardson

Chances are there will come a day when you will forget every last word of this blessing.

It does not matter.

Let this blessing slip through your fingers. Let it roll from the smooth plane of your palm.

Let each line disappear and every syllable fall away. Let this blessing return to where all blessings begin.

Let it leave you until all that remains is the place where it pierced you— whether like fire or like breath you could not say, only that you heard your name as it entered, then heard its own as it blew away.

Participants' Reflections:

  • I normally don’t think about my name until someone new asks me what it means. It wasn’t until this reading, for the first time, that I realized my name has the greatest affirmation ever. It’s been with me all this time. I’m always looking for new affirmations to write down and how amazing that I finally realize that I have my own loving and compassionate affirmation. My name means ‘joy is mine.’

  • My family is from Greece. My name brought dismay when I was younger. But now it brings a sense of belonging. When you say that you explicitly greet everyone as they log on and you say everyone’s name, I have to say I get a little bit of a thrill with it. So thank you.

  • My name means ‘full of grace.’ I didn’t get that when I was younger because I thought grace meant not clumsy and being graceful. I certainly was a little bit clumsy, so I thought it ironic when I was younger. But now I get grace a much more wonderful concept, a gift, totally unexpected. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to think of our names. The concept that you talked about yesterday (see Dec 7 blog), you said ‘gentling myself’. I really like that, being gentle with myself as opposed to being harsh. The other thing that happened during my meditation. I saw an image of a string that went out from my heart. On the string, on each side, there were little feelers. It was like a fourth of July sparkler sending energy out on this string that was going from my heart out into the world.