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What is in a Name?

We can all agree your name influences your sense of self to some degree. For example, it can signify your gender or ancestral lineage. But I believe that a name has a greater impact than many of us realize.

Nominative determinism is a theory that a person’s name can have a significant role in his or her character development and life choices, such as selecting a career path. The term was coined in 1994 when editors of New Scientist noticed instances of scientists who gravitated toward research areas that had some relation to their last names. The editors cited two studies: the first titled, “The Polar Regions and the Future of the Planet,” by Daniel Snowman and, the second, “London under London: A Subterranean Guide,” by Richard Trench, who was among other authors.

Society is replete with examples of nominative determinism: Bob Diamond, President and CEO of Barclays; Rick Wagoner, former head of General Motors; Scott Speed, former formula one racing driver; Larry Speaker, former White House spokesman.

Additional studies have found interesting results on how names relate to our life decisions. Professor of psychology at University of Buffalo in New York, Brett Pelham, conducted a study stating that women who had names resembling states were 44 percent more likely to move to that state. On the whole, men were about 26 percent more likely to live in states that resemble their names. Although a weaker correlation, it still holds some weight! Georgia watch out for the Georges, Georgias and Georginas heading your way!

Another study led by professors Leif Nelson of the University of California, Berkeley, and Joseph Simmons of Yale University analyzed names and grade point averages to find that students with names that began with a C or D earned lower grade point averages than those with names that started with an A or B. It’s an interesting correlation that provokes reconsidering naming your child Amber or Bernard as opposed to Caitlyn or Donovan.

Considering the remarkable correlation between names and life choices, I can’t help but to wonder if a name has any influence on our spiritual progress?

Healthy, Happy, Holy Organization ( definitely thinks so.

3HO believes adopting a spiritual name can form your spiritual identity, allow for you to leave behind the past and live consciously in order to achieve your highest destiny.

Making the choice to take on a spiritual name is a rebirth of consciousness and a gesture that can be life-changing. There is power behind a spiritual name. The more you say it or hear it being said, the more it permeates your being. It can be a guiding force, a personal prayer. It can be your Mantra, your reminder to live mindfully.

I like to think of the mind as child who needs protection from the negativity. By distracting it with a more purposeful focus, you can ease your minds’ impulsiveness to take on negative chatter. A spiritual name is a great way to keep yourself focused and moving in the right direct, harmoniously with your spiritual self.

I recently found the courage to adopt a spiritual name that I was given. Hence forth, my spiritual name will be Guru Mitar Kaur. The translation that was given to me is “Princess/Lioness who is the beloved friend of the Guru, who teaches other with wisdom, and who walks with grace and courage throughout her life.

Kaur and Singh are names that are given to all women and men in the Kundalini tradition. Kaur means the Princess/Lioness who walks with grace and courage throughout her life. Singh means a prince or lion that walk with grace and courage. It is taught that everyone has the potential to attain a true state of grace and courage as sons and daughter of the Universe and it is encouraged each individual manifest that potential and to act with honor and dignity at all times.

As I fully commit to my new spiritual name, I think back to a time when I was young and once rejected the opportunity to walk the path of being a teacher. Now that I am turning 45, my life has come full circle. The decision to take on teaching has allowed me to take the first step in fulfilling my destiny.

To learn more about receiving a spiritual name,

May light guide you as you leave behind your old patterns and embrace your new spiritual life’s purpose.

Much Love - Guru Mitar

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