Years ago, I decided to change my last name. It felt empowering to choose my own name, but I frustrated myself for a few weeks trying to use my logical mind to figure out a name that would remind me of my spiritual path and carry me into my future. As a student of numerology, I knew the vibrations I wanted my new name to carry, but I couldn’t find the right letter combination. Finally, I surrendered to my dreams since I knew from experience that dreams tend to bring gifts from my intuition.
The naming dream arrived during the early hours of the morning, telling me my new name: Rosalie Deer Heart. I awoke excited and committed myself to live into the dynamic truth of my new name. Deer Heart resonates with love and compassion for myself as well as others. The name also feels aligned with self-honoring, integrity and service. But the naming story does not end here.
Fast forward to my day in court when a judge would decide whether I could legally use my new name. I thought I was prepared for the judge’s questions because my lawyer carefully rehearsed me before my court appearance. Listen in on the conversation:
Lawyer: The judge will ask you, “Have you ever used the name you are petitioning for?”
Rosie: Does that include past lifetimes?
Lawyer: Please answer, “Yes, Your Honor.” Then the judge might ask, “Has anyone addressed you by this name?”
Rosie: Do my dream guardians count?
Lawyer: The proper response is, “Yes, Your Honor, my professional colleagues are already using my new name.”
As the time approached, I was nervous that one man held my future name in his hands. The judge called me down to the front of the courtroom and looked down at me from the bench.
Judge: “The name you are proposing is an unusual name.
I gulped and said, “Yes, Your honor.”
Judge: Has anyone addressed you by this proposed name?
I breathed fast, delighted that I knew the right answer, and replied, “Yes, Your Honor, my professional colleagues are addressing me as Rosalie Deer Heart.”
Judge: I have one last question.
I gasped before he elaborated, not knowing what the correct response was supposed to be and nervous that I was so close to having my spiritual name. Yet there were no guarantees.
Judge: Why this name?
He looked directly into my eyes. Without a pause, I returned his gaze and said, “Your Honor, this name honors my spirit and reminds me to stay awake on my spiritual journey.”
I watched as the judge stood up and hammered his gavel. Then he intoned, “Never let it be said that I stood between a woman and her soul. Your petition for a name change is granted.”
Without a pause, I clasped my hands in front of my heart and bowed to him. To my amazement, he returned the bow. Then my lawyer hurried me out of the courtroom.
Later that day, after celebrating with friends, I sent the judge a bouquet of flowers and signed my new name for the first time. The next day I received a thank you note from him reading, “Rosalie Deer Heart is a perfect name for you. In my 26 years as a judge, this is my first bouquet of flowers.” Yes!
Excerpted from Awaken by Rosalie Deer Heart