Name changing is a process that’s been taking me months. I’ve come from dreading it, worrying sick about what people might think of me, being afraid of being judged for it, to now feeling like it’s the most simple, obvious, natural thing in the world. It’s pure alignment for me. And when it’s true for my soul and it’s pure alignment, resisting it is so much more hard work than allowing its most natural expression.
Perhaps you might not know, Emily is not my given name. Instead, “Nature” is the direct translation of my given name in Vietnamese – “Nhien” as it is written. It’s a very dear name, one that my Soul had whispered to my mom when she was pregnant with me. It sums up in one word the entirety of my essence. However, ever since I went overseas at age 17, all my foreign teachers and friends have had trouble pronouncing it. To have this name be mispronounced over and over again has become annoyance and deep pain to my heart.
So, in 2007, after enduring 3 years of being called someone I’m not, I decided to take on an English name. At this point in time, it had not occurred to me to just call myself Nature. This idea only came to me much later on in 2012 (more on that later). The English name that came to me was Emily, one that I loved for its sound, its feeling and vibe, how it resonated with me, and how it reminded me of Emily Dickinson, the greatly admired mystic, poet, recluse and lover of nature. From then on, Emily became my name. I reveled in the ease of introducing myself, of getting to the heart of the conversation right away without wasting time telling people how to pronounce my name.
In 2012 (and only then), it occurred to me to have “Nature” be added to the back of Emily, making that my pen name: “Emily Nature”.
Anyway, fast forward many years… In 2020, I self-published my first book “Songs of the Rose: Mystical, Medicinal Poetry of the Feminine Heart” and fulfilled this very dear dream of becoming a published author, being a very prolific writer myself. Not only that, I then stepped into being a writing coach and a book doula, helping others express their souls through the art of writing and birthing their books into the world.
The name Emily has truly fulfilled its mission and purpose. I want to acknowledge and honor it for all of its gifts and blessings.
It was about almost 2 years ago that I started to have an inkling that I’d outgrown and evolved out of the name Emily. It started to feel a bit strange, like a pair of shoes that no longer fit well, for my feet have grown. It felt a bit uncomfortable to wear them and walk in them.
The thing to note is that, while it might be really weird for others who’ve known me as “Emily” for the whole time I’m in their life, for me, there is a whole 20 years of life before “Emily” existed, and it feels natural and obvious that there is a life after “Emily.”
The name “Elora” came to me 10 months ago and instantly sent shivers throughout my body. There’s this radiance, this halo, this quality of shimmering light around the word “Elora” itself that enveloped me. Interestingly the name came to me about two months after I did my reiki attunement, whose message “Follow the light” was so clear and resonating. “Elo” is from “Elohim” – God, the All-That-Is. “Ra” is the sun, the light. Every time I meditate and experience a state of pure, exquisite alignment with my soul, I feel the vibration of the name “Elora”, its luminosity, radiance and light.
I’ve sat on this decision for months, feeling so much discomfort and restlessness as I didn’t take the action, while experiencing a block that’s choking my fullest expression and stagnating the flow of life coming through. It felt as if my whole life is coming to a standstill, everything is on pause, eagerly waiting for me to say YES to being in full alignment with my soul. Finally I realize that I don’t need anyone to give me the nod of approval or permission to change my name.
So I’m taking on this new name Elora, both as my spiritual name and name for calling. From now on, when asked who I am, I’ll introduce myself as Elora. My website has been rebranded and my social media names/handles will soon be updated.
But what about you, and the people who’ve always known me and called me by the name “Emily”?
What you want to call me is up to you. Call me by my new name “Elora”, or continue to call me as “Emily” as you wish. I really don’t mind either way. Whatever works for you. If you’re introducing me to someone else, please let them know of my new name though. This is what I mean when I say it’s just simple, obvious and natural. It’s nothing complicated.
Lastly, I’m restoring and honoring my connection with the last name “Diep”, my father lineage’s true last name that had been stolen and swapped through a case of identity theft in the 1930s, when they migrated to Vietnam as Chinese immigrants from Guangzhou. This family name means “Leaf” (pronounced as [Yip]), and in combination with my given name “Nature”, they always remind me of what my essence and gravitation is in this lifetime.
When I put the name together:
Elora carries the vibration of alignment with my Soul, of the true version of me, the real me that I’ve been hiding from myself and from others. It is brilliance, greatness and luminosity. It feels like me at the core of my being: I am the Soul of the Sun
Nature is what my Soul has chosen even before birth.
Diep (Leaf) reflects my affinity with the plant kingdom and reminds me that I am a leaf that’s plugged into the branches, trunk and roots of the family tree.
As my birthday is coming up in about two weeks time, sharing my name change is one of the greatest gifts I’m giving myself: to share with the world, this is who I am.
Thank you for reading my share of this huge milestone of my life. I am grateful for your generous listening, witnessing, and celebrating my name change, a return to my True Self.