Why the pronunciation of a name matters. Why I decided to change my name from Diana to Dhyana, and how this simple change means integration to me and is bringing equanimity into my life.
I can feel I am at a time of deep change within, and my intuition tells me that I am not alone. Some psychological changes can be organic and effortless, others painful and necessary. They can last shorter or longer periods of time, sometimes they require a little push and sometimes a deep committed or intention to really make them happen. For me this human process - organic or intentional, fast or slow, pleasant or not - is called "integration", and I find it fascinating.
Changing my name has been a long organic-integrative-internal process that finally required COVID-19 pandemic to make it possible. It may sound silly to some, but changing our name even for phonetically reasons may not be as easy as one thinks. There are so many intellectual, cultural and emotional attachments to the name our parents chose for us. One of my main given names is Diana (phonetically Dee-Anna) like Diana de Roman deity and Lady D. Princess of Wales. And my middle is Victoria, victory in Spanish.
The story goes that my mom named me after my aunt Diana Patricia, and combined it with her own name; Victoria. In Mexico it is common to have combined names. So my complete name Diana Victoria García Cesar and later Garcia - Snyder has been providing me with strong energy and enough Western history/mythology to grow to become who I am today, which I appreciate very much. Thank you mom, dad and dear Howard my husband. But now is time to integrate who I truly am "now". At least the Dhyana part, because the García deserves a whole other story.
Overall the need to "change" started as discomfort or annoyance. At OnixBloom, we call this the "onix" - When I moved from Mexico, my place of birth, to the US in 1999, people started calling me Die-Anna. This sounded strange and not me at all. I shortly realize that I was not going to die if people kept calling me with a strange sounding name, so I let this issue rest in the background of my unconsciousness for 18 years. In 2017 when I met Master Mohanthi Ji, my dear yoga teacher in Bangalore India, who I am still in contact with today, he unknowingly helped guide me to this wholeness I feel today.
After I introduced myself, he said “Oh! Diana (Dee-Anna) like Dhyana!” and continue reminding me that it was the penultimate stage of yoga and the Hindu and Buddhist practice of profound meditation. I knew this from my yoga training, but I have never connected it directly with the phonetics of my own name. It was at that precise moment that I felt a pleasant certainty (a bloom!) that I have never felt before, coming just from the sound of my own name. This was the beginning of an “integrative process” (an onixbloom) or at least this is what I decide to call it today- A moment where the simple sound of my own name meant more than just a name given to a little baby girl by her mother in a hospital in Mexico City.
Back in 2017, I hesitated to change my name because I was and still am fully aware of the stereotype of going to India to find yourself, and changing your name just for the fancy of it. So I waited and have been struggling to officially change it because of the fear of being judged even from those close to me. But there are times that change becomes inevitable.
During the pandemic, after one of my morning meditation sessions with Master Mohanthi Ji and four years of thinking about it, I said, "Why not! I am just going to do it! It is my name, it is my life and I do have the agency for making it as empowering and as meaningful as I want and deserve!" So I gently set my mind to do so on social media and as my artistic name (not yet official on my legal documents), trusting that the world and those around me also have the ability to adapt and transform to it sooner or later.
Now I can say that I feel and accept that the name Dhyana represents integration of my outer life and my inner world (my ONIX and my BLOOM together) something I have been looking for a very long time. Now I want to invite the essence of Diana, the Roman/Greek goddess of the moon to intertwined with dhyāna (in Sanskrit) which has become my daily practice for quieting, cleansing and educating my mind to cope with stress and anxiety. I want these Western and Eastern concepts to dance together, honoring my mom’s decision of naming me after her dear cousin, and the simple and humble life events that have been making the 47 year human that I am today. Most importantly I have discovered a level of equanimity or mental calmness and composure because of this decision. It feels like being born again, and I am ready for the next stage in my life :)
My work at OnixBloom as co-founder and mindful-movement specialist is deeply rooted in designing integrated tools and experiences for those who are looking for equanimity and true meaning in their lives. Doing this with a sense of joy and creativity, I am interested in working with those who feel that change in their lives is constant, inevitable and necessary! Together we can support the continuous trust in our capacity for inner healing, act independently and make our own free choices.
Photo by Howard Snyder at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in 2014
The motto I came up with for 2021 is CFBS, which stands for Celebrate the F*cking Baby Steps. For me, this isn’t just a silly acronym, it’s currently the strongest tool in my healing toolbox. Last year, one of my best friends sent me a beautiful postcard with an image of a curvy rainbow 🌈and the text, “Healing is not linear.” It hangs on my fridge, and I make sure to glance at it daily. When rocked by ongoing complex trauma and grief, I’ve stayed grounded through this practice of CFBS. Some days, especially the super tough ones, this is all about going back to the basics. Drink water? 🥛 Eat? 🌮 Remember to breathe? 🌬 Lay down under my weighted blanket? 🛌 CFBS!
I’ve also used it as a way to fall deeply back in love with my movement practice. This has been reborn into a self love 💗, nervous system support, integration exploration. It looks different every day, sometimes having very little structure, and I love it that way. Those who know me as a Pilates teacher know this is an evolution. While it may sometimes look like a “workout”, it’s held in the context of radical self love and completing my stress cycles. Important sidebar: Huge THANK YOU 🙏🏼 to the authors of two books that have had a serious positive impact on my life, @thebodyisnotanapology and Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycles @burnoutbookclub Thanks to this context, I’m now in the habit of literally clocking-in for myself, just like I do with work, and categorizing this sacred time as “Stress cycle movement session” with a tag of self love. Before I begin to move I ask myself the question, “What do I need right now?” I honor whatever messages I receive from my mind, body, emotional state, and nervous system, and lean into their subtle clues throughout the experience. I finish it off with acknowledgment, texting my OnixBloom sisters @ericasciarretta and @dhyanagarcia with a CFBS. They respond with our OnixBloom emoji 🖤 🌱, and at least for that moment, I am standing firm on that topsy-turvy rainbow. 🌈
I’m really looking forward to integrating these practices into everything we do at OnixBloom. For those going through it, I know you’re taking steps every day, and I invite you to celebrate TF out of them. I see you, and I stand with you 🖤🌱
While we were away, I took on my mental and physical health. I had some internal work to do so that I could better support others. I found an incredible company @mindlight and started healing my own trauma while learning techniques to help others. I was recently signed off to start offering EFT Integrative Healing Sessions. I look forward to bringing this work into everything we do at OnixBloom. 🖤🌱
What is an EFT Integrative Healing Session you might be asking? EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Technique and uses tapping and talking to support people on their healing journey integrating both mind and body.
I will be sharing a lot more about these different techniques and why they work. Sessions will be available on our website shortly. Stay tuned!