01/07/2017 | eaglespi | 4 Comments I wasn’t always called EagleSpirit. Not all the names I have been called have held such deep meaning, although they have been felt deeply. And today, on the 19th anniversary of being given my name, I need to tell you about a dirty secret about an earlier ‘naming ceremony’ that left me heartbroken. Do we call it a ‘Cruel School Prank’ or was Spirit somehow working through those 13 year old boys when they grabbed my Grade 7 yearbook that I was carrying home at the end of the school year? All through the winter I had been teased and called names as I walked home from Junior Highschool. My patchwork coat that I was extremely proud of apparently was not cool. In Ireland (and indeed today here on the east coast of Canada with its celtic influence) they say that if you are teased that you are actually appreciated and can claim a sense of belonging. I am not so sure that this was the case in the blue collar town of Oshawa, Ontario in the 70s. I am going to tell you today… gulp… about the most dramatic experience and reveal the picture that haunted me for years! (Sometimes we need to tell our stories so we can let them go.) I was new in the area and didn’t really fit in with many of the very white, very middle class kids who had gone to grade school together and now had crossed the right of passage to middle school. I didn’t have the preppy clothes like they did and, as the oldest child in the family, I worked part time jobs to get what I had so there were very few extras. My family didn’t belong to a church or any other type of social group and we didn’t have a car so it was ‘2 feet and a heartbeat’ or the bus to get round. That warm May day as the taunts began and the boys grabbed my yearbook as I was just about to turn onto the street where I lived, I had no idea that what would happen next would stay with me forever. I did not know that I would speak of it during a university course, called the Anthropology of Racism, almost 30 years later. I had no idea that I would reveal to you my most embarrassing TBT (Throw Back Thursday) picture here today. But it is July 1, the 19th anniversary of the second name change and it feels important now. The favourite name the boys at school taunted me with? Chief Cherokee. The little middle school gang of boys took my yearbook that I had saved up to buy, scratched out my name, penned in ‘war paint’ in blue ink on my picture and scrawled the words, Chief Cherokee, beneath it. My long hair. My patchwork coat. My dark skin. Clearly I was an ‘injun’ to them. I mean they never asked and I never said because even I didn’t know what or who I was at the time. And it seems rather ironic to me now. Twenty-one years later, being given a new name during the 1998 Journey of the Heart and told I needed to carry it to be of service to others was a very different experience. The name EagleSpirit was not meant as a shaming taunt, but as an honour and a duty to live up to. I agreed to carry the name and after a year of prayer and legal hoop jumping, it became legal. At the time it was honouring a deal I had made with God when I had first realized I had Cancer and was desperate not to die – ‘you let me live and I will be of service for the rest of my life.’ I had no idea how that bargain and the name change would alter everything for me. One of the things these two very different ‘naming ceremonies’ has taught me is this… the more I accept who I am here and now, the easier it is to look at what was once one of my most embarrassing moments and say from my heart to yours, do not worry what name you are called. Be more concerned with how you speak to yourself. Be kind. Be loving. Be compassionate. Once you can do it with yourself, you can do it with the bullies. Once you know who you truly are, you can walk your path without so much worry about what others think. A peace comes. And it comes from within. Many blessings, EagleSpirit Invitation to reflect… Have you overcome bullying or name calling? What inspired you? How do you feel now about this experience? Is there anything you would recommend to others who are needing courage to be their most Authentic Selves now? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments below. You never know how your story could inspire another to feel safe enough to BE. EagleSpirit, a Contemporary Shaman, has worked for over 20 years to help clients relax their bodies, release limiting beliefs and radiate their most authentic se lves. As the creator of Empath 101 Empowerment program she speaks to groups internationally, facilitates the month-long course that has changed lives and is often featured in the media for her grounded approach to spirituality. Visit here for more details about Empath 101 and contact us if you would like to sponsor the program in your area. Email to find our about personalized Soul Journeys, Spirit Quest Tours or private sessions. You deserve to feel Soul Good!