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  • Writer's pictureOni

What's in a Name?

*A post from Jan 2019 on my personal Facebook page*

I am Oni.

“Beneath my likes and dislikes, wants and don’t wants, lies the truth of who I am.” Inner truths by Oni.

In the weeks leading up to Winter Solstice, I could feel an initiation approaching.

This last year marked more change than I have ever experienced in such a short time.

My mother and my grandmother both suddenly crossed over to the spirit realm. I was called to move away from my home, my community, and my work. I stepped out of a 4 year long apprenticeship with beloved mentors and friends. I even had to change my phone number of 14 years.

I no longer feel like the Olivia that many of you have known. Over the last decade, I have changed so much that I hardly recognize myself, and in the last year that change exponentialized and amounted to what feels like an entirely new body and mind, a whole new being altogether.

In Buddhism, shaving one’s head is said to give a new life of freedom from previous worldly attachments. I have been so attached to the story of my life, and where I came from and how far I’ve come only to realize that my past is not important in defining who I am. What is important is how I show up in this very moment.

Throughout history, shaving one’s head has been a symbol of religious devotion, humility or renunciation. Indeed, I am living a life of devotion. I am devoted to presence, love and fierce open heartedness. I have become more humble, and I am committed to allowing space for creative possibility.

While in the jungle this last summer, I was offered a saying that has been my anchor for the last 6 months:

“I am willing, at any moment, to give up all that I am thinking, all that I am doing, all that I am in the name of opening to all that is possible.” Plant wisdom, Peruvian jungle 2018

I sat with the notion of giving up my hair for some time, and loving ceremony as I do, I realized that this was a right of passage for me. A stepping out of the old, and opening up to all that is possible for the new. I recalled witnessing some of the amazing women in my community, who had boldly partaken in this ritual. I offer my gratitude to Runa Zarka, Sophia, and Faith, for demonstrating the clearing that is possible through shaving one’s head. I realized that shaving my head was one way -a rather big way- for me to make room for versions of myself that I have never known possible.

Right after I shaved my head, I looked in the mirror and had a strong sense that the outer me finally matched the amount of change I experienced on the inside. I no longer feel like Olivia used to feel. I am no longer run by her stories, her fears, her pain, her motivations.

This brings me to the name Oni (Ah-nee). Perhaps you have noticed that I changed my name here on Facebook. In shaving my head I fully released the name Olivia and will be going by Oni from now on.

It used to seem such an odd thing, to change ones name. It is something I had always had a strong aversion to. Why do people change their names? Are they running from something? Trying to change who they are from the outside in?

And then I went to the Amazon where I had a vision of my 2 year old niece, who called me "Ah-nee" because she couldn’t pronounce my name. In the vision, she told me that she calls me that name for a reason, that it was an important name for me, and I am meant to use it.

A bit surprised, I decided to use the rest of my time in the jungle to explore the name Oni. I tried on the phrase “I am Oni,” and each time I said that name, I noticed a shift in my energy. I felt stronger, wiser, more ancient, grounded, and present.

Science shows that sound is vibration, and the sound of the name spoken to us everyday sends that vibration, that energy, into our bodies. Over the last 6 months I have come to resonate more and more with the energy frequency of Oni, and have felt less and less connected to Olivia. Olivia carries the vibrations of my past, and while there are many amazing experiences there, that vibration is no longer something that rings true for me.

Oni is true for me. It is true to all of the growth and change that I have experienced in this lifetime.

Through the act of shaving my head, I have been gifted a rebirth, and have entered back into a newborn state. Oni is in many ways a mystery to me. She is spacious, and open to possibility. She is playing with a fresh start, with being re-born, only unlike a fragile newborn, Oni is stronger, wiser and carrying all the tools she needs to navigate life with a playful and open heart and mind.

In the words of Richard Rudd: “Our primary purpose is to live well, to live with passion, to learn from our mistakes and to continually expand beyond the parameters set by our minds or the minds of others.”

I am grateful to be alive to have the opportunity to continuously outgrow old versions of myself, to expand beyond the parameters set by my mind.

All this being said, the bonds and relationships that Olivia formed are still very much alive in me, and that is why I share this message. I love you all and I hope you’ll join me as I venture on into the unknown.

For those of you out there who do not understand my ways of being, I offer my deepest gratitude for your willingness to continue loving me and supporting me despite our differences. I am here for you as well, and I would be honored to connect to learn more about your way of being.

From my heart to yours, blessings and thanks to all of my friends and family.

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