My Journey = My Name


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I know that having a hyphenated first name can be a bit of a head-scratcher, so I wanted to make space for an explanation. Names tell us so much about a person -  clues to their family’s heritage or their parents’ sense of imagination; a layering of names due to marriage; or as in my case, aspects of a name that are chosen.

The ones involving choice can be complex; maybe you chose your name – maybe it feels more like the name chose YOU. In my case, my middle name was whispered through the trees to me when I was 15. I’ll explain…

I'll begin with my birth name, which is Lauren. My parents chose it, and it does feel, in part, like me. It feels like the name of my social self, my earth plane name. I do like that the name means from the place of the laurel leaves, which is a lovely synchronistic match to the name that came later.

During my teen years, in addition to the usual angst, I was taken through a time of spiritual initiation. It began with a series of spontaneous past-life recollections, which were triggered by meeting someone who was deeply familiar to me.  While I was initially frightened and unnerved by this, the upside was that it created an opening of soul-remembrance for me. I gradually began to feel a sense that my life has some greater purpose and meaning.  This evolved into a feeling of being guided, quietly directed by some larger, loving force.

At the time, I regularly took my journal to a grassy area in front of a majestic eucalyptus tree. I sat and wrote, and inhaled the tree’s fragrant beauty. After a time, as I approached this area I began to have a sense of something sacred. I felt the urge to bow in greeting to the tree. This led me to feel a kinship with trees, and all of nature, everywhere.

Having no particular religious background, I was definitely feeling my way in the dark. Looking back, I can say clearly that I was simply experiencing the Divine for the first time, and the connection came through the trees. This little acorn was growing.

So, guidance and a sense of loving envelopment came from this source. And after a time, I heard in my head the name, Miranda, and knew instantly that this is my soul’s name.

For many years I thought of myself as Lauren-Miranda - although only a few dear friends knew of my experiences, and no one called me by this name.

And yet, this is the truth of who I am:  a spirit (Miranda) having a human experience (Lauren).

Having shed my maiden name to marry at 27, I prepared to shed that married name when I divorced ten years later. I knew then that I was ready to come out of the spiritual closet and legally claim that I am Lauren-Miranda (though the hyphen took me another 15 years to add).

Since Miranda is really part of my first name, I still wanted a last name to anchor it. Somehow returning to my maiden name – Levine – didn’t feel quite right, though I do warmly identify with the family connection of the name. No, I was ripe for reinvention. Yet I wanted to choose something that didn’t scream “I changed my name” – like Starbright or Rainbow. Not really my style. I may be a mystic, but I am a grounded mystic.

So, I looked at the meanings of names. And I chose Gilbert, because it means bright pledge. This reflects the feeling that my soul has a deep intention to be here at this time, and that I believe I have pledged to be a light for others.

So, this is how my journey equals my name:

I am Lauren (given name, earth plane name)

Miranda (the name that chose me, my soul’s name)

Gilbert (the name I chose, the name that connects me to the spirit world through my actions on this plane).

 Thank you for bearing witness… and now I want to ask you: what does your name mean to you?

With love,