Update: I first wrote and published this post 13 June 2017, shortly after I had asked for and received my soul name.
The other day I came across a YouTube-Video with Eckhart Tolle, where he shares the story of how he changed his name to „Eckhart“. So I remembered my own story and updated this blog (I didn’t change the text, it still speaks to me, but I added some images).
In his video, Eckhart Tolle also speaks about spiritual names in general, and I found his perspective on what they are about very interesting. You’ll find a link to the video at the end of this post, if you’d like to see it for yourself.
So without further ado, here is the original text about soul names and my process with it:
I received my soul name this past weekend. It is Sarine, and it means „She who feeds the flowers of God“. I made the decision to ask for my soul name earlier this spring. Although I felt I was clear about what this meant to me, and why I wanted to do this, it is only now that I have taken this step that the full extent of my choice is becoming clear to me. I am very happy about this, and very grateful for all the insights that are coming, and I am also very excited that you are asking me about it. So here is my take on the whole thing:
What is a soul name?
The concept of soul names is based on the idea that we are more than the human being we perceive ourselves as in our everyday life. Just to be clear: this does not mean that the human being aspect is an illusion. On the contrary, it is very real, and the whole point of having a physical body is to experience ourselves in this form. But if you believe that you are also something/someone beyond that, too, then the next question is, who/what are we beyond this physical form? To stay focused on the soul name question, let’s just say that if you are among those who believe that we have a soul, and that this soul is an individual, just like our human form, then the question is: who is that soul, what are her qualities? The soul name is obviously not THE answer but it’s a part of the process of getting to know/ remembering yourself.
Why did you decide to ask for your soul name? Your name seemed right, and you seemed happy with it?
True, when I first learned about the concept of soul names, I thought it was cool but it was nothing I considered for myself. I was very happy with the name my parents had given me. I felt that Solveig (meaning „way of the sun“) was very me. I became interested in asking for my soul name some time this spring. I realized that if the whole point is to ask for the name that represents me at a deeper level, there was no way I could be getting anything that would be less me. Since I am always interested in getting to know myself better, taking on my soul name felt like the right next step in that quest for myself.
How did it feel to take on your soul name?
Remember that weekend in Stockholm I wrote about? Well, it was kind of like that. I went into the whole thing without doubt or fear, convinced I could only be happy with the outcome. And then it turned out that I wasn’t. I mean, I did like Sarine, and I did like the meaning very much. I just also felt That Other Thing: „Oh, but I liked Solveig so much, what about that now? What was I thinking to let go of her?!“ And, like that weekend in Stockholm, and like so many other times in my life, I just hadn’t factored That Other Thing in. Fortunately, I was able to articulate my feelings right away. I know that always helps but I am not always good at it, since I also have this part of me that doesn’t want to show weakness, that doesn’t want to admit that I can’t handle something. This part is often very quick to say „I’m fine!“ before any other feelings get a chance to make themselves heard. But somehow I managed to say that I was a little surprised to find that I wasn’t as thrilled as I had expected to be, that I was in fact feeling regret. Can San, who was present at the naming, gave a very good explanation for how my two names were connected, and how they were related to me. And that somehow led to a different conversation, and when I looked at the clock I noticed how an hour and a half had passed. My name hadn’t been the subject of the conversation at all, but somehow I was at peace with it all of a sudden. Thank you, Can San!
Does that mean your are a different person now?
On the contrary! I was very happy that a friend asked me this question because it helped me see even more clearly what this soul name business meant to me. To be more accurate, my friend didn’t ask that question, she was brave to tell me that she felt a sort of loss. She explained that I had always been Solveig to her, and that the name change felt like that person I was to her would be gone. Frankly, I think when I made the decision to go for the soul name earlier this year, I probably had ideas like that, too. That this would be something that would change me (for the better, of course!).
I always have this yearning to „be better“ but I am seeing now that it’s a misconception. I don’t want to be a different person, someone „better“. I want to see the good in myself clearly and be that. For instance, I remember that I was not really happy with my blog anymore at some point earlier this year. I thought „Maybe it’s because this isn’t you anymore, maybe when you get your soul name, you’ll open a new blog with that name as the title, start on a blank page“. When my friend voiced her concerns, I could suddenly see that it’s the other way around: that the new name is not a renouncement of who I used to be. It is an affirmation of who I really am.
I have many friends from different periods of my life. Whenever my interests changed, I made new friends who shared those new interests with me. Some friendships were built on common experiences. Some friendships dissolved when our interests were not the same any more, or when the experiences we shared had come to an end. But: most of my friends are still my friends despite all those changes. Sometimes this has surprised me. Now I know that those interests or experiences may have been the external reason why we found each other but they were never the reason why we were friends. No matter what changes we go through, whatever is happening in our everyday lives, I always have a certain image of each friend. That never changes, no matter what they do, and no matter what I think of what they do. That is who they are to me, and that is why I cherish them. I believe that is how it works for all of us. That is why those who are surprised by the external events in my life, by the choices I am making, are still around – even if that surprises them, too.
My change of name may cause a brief moment of irritation, but that’s all. It will not change how you see me. This change is more important for me than for anyone else. It is a lot easier for others to see who we truly are than it is for ourselves. By calling me Sarine, you are helping me to see/be myself more clearly. You will always see me the way you see me. I will never be able to change that. If the way you see me changes, you have changed, not me.
Here is the link to the YouTube video by Eckhart Tolle on spiritual names (and why he named himself „Eckhart“).
EN – Putting this past week’s inner journey into words is going to take a while. Thus, I am beginning with pictures of the outer journey. Let me just say that there seems to be a theme: paradise (and yes, that includes a kebab boat on the Main river in Frankfurt!).
DE – Die Ereignisse in meinem Inneren der vergangenen Woche in Worte zu fassen wird eine Weile dauern. Also fange ich mit der Außenansicht an. Aber so viel sei gesagt: es zeichnet sich ein Thema ab – Paradies(e) (und ja, das Dönerboot am Mainufer in Frankfurt gehört da absolut dazu!).
EN – The „Dönerboot“. As the name implies, a kebab vendor on a boat. Fish dishes are their specialty. I opted for the classic döner kebab since it’s been way too long since I had any. I was happy with my choice.
DE – Das Dönerboot. Wie der Name verrät, ein Dönerverkauf von einem Boot aus. Fischgerichte sind die Spezialität, aber da ich so lange schon keinen Döner mehr gegessen habe, habe ich mich dann doch für den Klassiker entschieden. War zufrieden mit der Entscheidung.
EN – I just loved the way the light shone down on downtown Frankfurt that moment. Also, I was surprised by how much I liked the view of the different skyscrapers. I am usually not a fan of that type of modern architecture. But then I realized that a lot of the buildings look kind of like giant crystal stalagmites to me. So maybe that’s why.
DE – Fand’s schön, wie das Licht durch die Wolkendecke brach und auf die Innenstadt fiel. Ich war ein wenig überrascht festzustellen, wie sehr mir die Hochhäuser gefallen. Bin normalerweise kein großer Fan dieses Architekturstils. Dann wurde mir klar, dass mich viele dieser Gebäude an gigantische Kristallstalagmiten erinnern. Vielleicht lag’s also daran.
EN – I was surprised in general to see how much I enjoyed Frankfurt. I didn’t think the city was any special when I grew up (in Friedberg, 30km/19 miles north of town). It seems to have grown on me over the past few years. I like it better every time I come back. And from your comments on my Instagram/facebook pictures, it seems to show as well. We’ll see where this love story is going …
DE – Ich war auch überrascht festzustellen, wie sehr es mir In Frankfurt gefällt. Als ich hier in der Nähe aufwuchs (in Friedberg, 30km nördlich von hier), fand ich die Stadt nie besonders. Aber sie ist mir wohl doch irgendwie ans Herz gewachsen. Mit jedem Besuch ein bisschen mehr. Und euren Kommentaren zu meinen Instagram/facebook-Bildern zufolge, scheint man es mir ja auch anzusehen. Mal sehen, wo das noch hinführt …
EN – When I visited my mom and sister, they took me to a new rose garden in Steinfurt. Roses are pretty big this small town, and I remember coming here often as a kid with my family for Sunday walks. Like I wrote earlier, I was not a fan of the great outdoors as a kid, so to say that I have fond memories of these outings would be flat out lying. But hey, some things do change, and I did enjoy this rose garden very much.
DE – Als ich Mama und meine Schwester besuchte, nahmen sie mich mit zu einem neuen Rosengarten nach Steinfurt. Rosen sind in diesem kleinen Örtchen ja allgegenwärtig und ich erinnere mich an viele Sonntagsspaziergänge durch die Rosenunion und bei Rosenschultheis. Wie ich schonmal erwähnte, war ich als Kind kein Draußi, weshalb es einfach glatt gelogen wäre zu behaupten, dass diese Ausflüge besondere Erinnerungen bei mir hervorrufen. Aber manche Dinge ändern sich eben doch und so habe ich diesen Ausflug sehr genossen.
EN – My parents have their own little flowery paradise, and this connects to my inner journey of this past week. I received my soul name yesterday. It is Sarine (pronounced „sah-rene“), and it means „The one who feeds the flowers of God“. For me flowers are a symbol for joy but now that I am looking back at these pictures from my parents‘ garden, I can’t help but notice the very literal aspect. I sure seem to be coming from a line of divine gardeners. (Remember the pictures from my grandparent’s garden, too! And sure, I did do my share of gardening over the past years.)
DE – Meine Eltern haben ihr eigenes kleines Blumenparadies und das bringt mich zum Thema meiner inneren Reise dieser vergangenen Woche. Ich habe gestern meinen Seelennamen erhalten. Er lautet Sarine (französische Aussprache, also mit stummem „e“) und bedeutet „Die, die die Blumen Gottes nährt“ (auf hessisch: „Die, wo die Blumen Gottes nähren tut“ 🙂 ). Für mich sind Blumen ein Symbol der Freude, aber wenn ich mir diese Bilder aus dem Garten meiner Eltern anschaue, dann entgeht mir der buchstäbliche Aspekt natürlich nicht. Ich scheine jedenfalls eindeutig aus einem Geschlecht von göttlichen Gärtnern abzustammen. (Siehe auch die Bilder aus dem Garten meiner Großeltern! Und, na klar, ich habe die letzten Jahre ja auch ein bisschen mit dem Gärtnern experimentiert.)
EN – And now I’m here. At the Château Amritabha, Ribeauvillé, Alsace/France. I haven’t taken many pictures yet, but here’s one with the full moon that greeted me on Thursday, the day I arrived.
DE – Und jetzt bin ich hier. Im Château Amritabha, in Ribeauvillé im Elsass. Habe noch nicht viele Bilder gemacht, aber hier ist eines mit Vollmond, der mich am Donnerstag zu meiner Ankunft hier begrüßt hat.