Birthday Presents

I believe that names and what others call us are important. Our names should fit us. We should feel “right” when we are called by them. And if, by chance, we don’t feel connected to them, I do believe that we should change them.

When I first started practicing yoga, I remember learning that spiritual aspirants were given new names by their gurus. This seems to happen on most spiritual paths, whether it from the east, west, north or south. It’s almost like creation mythology. Everyone seems to have a reason and time that a person changes their name. Sometimes it happens at puberty or when married. Or when we achieve some important challenge. Or when it just feels right.

Back in 2010, I was told by my then acupuncturist that I should really consider changing my name.

My name from birth was Healey Lee. In English, I found it perfectly acceptable. I love having the word “heal” in my name. It is appropriate, considering my life path.

In Hebrew, my name means something else. It is actually two words. ‘He’ and ‘Li’. These words literally mean ‘she belongs to me’. I believe it speaks to the love and devotion my parents have always had and given to me.

The acupuncturist pointed something out that I had never noticed. He asked me who is the she? Where are you? Who do you belong to? Why are you separated from yourself?

Huh. That’s a good question.

In Hebrew, my name looks like this,

היאלי לי


היא-לי לי

A while back, I decided that to take out the aleph. It seemed like an unnecessary letter that confused my Hebrew-speaking brethren. So, it looked like this.

הילי לי

It also changed the meaning of my name. It took out the possessive feel and left me with something that seemed more fitting.

A month or so ago, my father went to a numerologist who also had something to say about my name. I’m not going to discuss her logic or the details of the session, because a) I’m not 100% convinced and b) I don’t think it’s important.

This is the important part. She said that my middle name ‘Lee’ is not only unnecessary, it is also damaging to my health. Her suggestion was to change it to something else. Something more positive. Like Or.

Or means Light in Hebrew.

When my father told me this, tears welled up in my eyes. Yes! That’s perfect!

Flashback to last summer. I was working with a curandero in Peru. During one of the healing ceremonies, I realized some very important aspects of myself and my purpose here on Earth. I realized my religion, my spirituality, my path. And it was defined by ‘Light’.

So, changing my middle name to light is like finishing a puzzle I have been working on for a long time. It is relieving. It makes me feel empowered. It gives me the strength I need for what lies ahead.

That is my birthday present to myself this year. And yesterday, I made it official. My name is now Healey Or.

Happy birthday to me!

(This year, my wonderful day of birth will be dampened by a chemo treatment, so I’m giving myself extra presents before and after. )

Sending love and light on this beautiful, sunny day.

Healey Or

הילי אור




One response to this post.

  1. Posted by gillian on July 4, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    LOVE the name change! a long time coming and i love “or”-perfect for you!


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