Why I Changed My Name
(And How You Can Activate The Power Of Your Own Name)
by Evangeline Hemrick
I’m sure a lot of you are wondering what’s up with my name change. Let me start by saying that if you’ve known me as Angela for a long time, you can still call me that and many people still do!
Evangeline (ee-VAN-juh-LEEN) has been my pen name for a while and the short answer to why I changed my name is that I just really like the name Evangeline and I married a guy with the last name Hemrick. Launching my blog and podcast felt like the right time to make a big change.
I feel like the long story is worth telling because I was never someone who wanted to change my name. I want to share this experience because I feel like the name each one of us represents ourselves with is a big deal. Here’s the story of what happened to me.
I Never Thought I Would Change My Name and Here’s Why I Did…
I have always loved the name I was given at birth, but I was never crazy about the shortened version of my name which everyone called me in the small mountain town where I grew up. When I was born, I was named Angela Monique, which means heavenly messenger. What’s not to love about a first name that spells out Angel?
But I was called Angie until I left home and created my own identity. It wasn’t that I disliked the shortened version of my name, it was that I just REALLY loved the name I was given and I’d never been able to use it. Little did I know that years later, my brother would marry an Angie and that was all the more reason for me to go by my given name instead of a nickname.
When I moved away from that tiny mountain town, started massage therapy school and got a job, I claimed the power of my name and my birthright. I finally stepped into the being named Angela and it felt good. I didn’t realize that I was claiming my identity at that time. I only knew that I felt all grown up using my real name. Since the day I moved away from home, the name Angela has served me well personally and professionally. That is why my recent change comes as such a shock to me and it makes me realize that everything changes, even when we are perfectly happy with the way things are! Sometimes, transformation calls for big life changes and that’s what’s happened to me. Having spent the last several years of my life doing deep self realization work and focusing primarily on my relationships, I committed myself to cultivating my relationship with:
- myself on every level (physical, emotional, mental and spiritual)
- my inner circle of friends and family
- my clients in my private practice.
I’ve spent a lot of time simplifying my life in order to be more effective at the few things I wanted to do really well. Taking time to get clear has brought profound changes in how I communicate with the world and what I’m passionate about accomplishing while I’m here. These changes in me are the reason for my new name and the catalyst for writing this blog, producing my podcast and creating my e-courses. I have realized that success in life is all about nurturing relationships and that’s why I am reaching out and sharing information. I want to have a relationships and build community with people who are interested in making their lives better. The things I like to write about and discuss on my podcast are all related to living more intentionally and getting the most out of life.
Another reason I changed my name is that I fell in love and married a man who had already adopted a young boy before we met. Now this child is my son, too. This unexpected and joyful turn of events in my life brought up a lot of questions for me regarding my name and how I wanted to identify myself in this new family. I wondered if I would take my new husband’s name (even though I swore I’d never do that again)? I had vowed that I would never take anyone’s name again and I’ve had a pretty strong stance on the issue until now. This situation felt different, like a unifying experience for all three of us to come together as a family all at once. And for some reason, I just really liked my husband’s last name (Hemrick). This was unusual for me because I had never wanted to take someone’s name before, although I had reluctantly hyphenated in a past marriage. The most surprising part was that everytime I would think about taking his name, I would suddenly think of changing my first name to Evangeline. It just felt right to me.
I’d never given much thought to the meaning of names until 2006 when I was introduced to Numerology, the ancient study of the numerical value in words and names. Since ancient times, civilizations including the Chaldeans, Babylonians, Egyptians and Persians had teachings and disciplines in Numerology. Every number has a spiritual significance. The spiritual aspect of names and numbers are highlighted many times throughout the Bible.
Evangeline has always been my favorite name to give a little girl and I had hopes that I would give that name to a daughter one day. But the name Evangeline Hemrick kept calling me and one day it hit me that it was MY pen name. After coming to this decision intuitively, I decided to check out the numerology on my new name. Sure enough, a huge numerological upgrade was happening for me! My new name has the vibration of 8 which is a very spiritual number (symbol of infinity) along with abundance, prosperity and recognition. My birth name holds the vibration of 1, which is all about leadership, action, independence and identity. But changing the name that I go by does not mean that I get a pass on all the life lessons that a “1 person” is here to learn, no way! I will carry all the gifts and challenges of being a 1 with me for the rest of my life. But what changing my name can do is enhance and add qualities to my life that were not there before. I can utilize these new gifts and take advantage of the enhanced vibration.
This new name change feels like a graduation, a rebirthing of some sort, but I will always be Ang, Angie or Angela to those who know me and love me. When you can totally embrace the name you were given at birth, there’s nothing to run from; there’s only expansion and growth opportunities up ahead, which makes life exciting!
There’s A Lot More To Your Own Name Than You Might Think
Your name is a big deal and the impact on your life might surprise you. Your given name is a possession that’s solely YOURS and it’s been with you from day one, affecting everything you do. Did you know that you carry power and potential in the numerical vibration of your own name? You have a certain destiny and life path number that was given to you when you acquired your name at birth. And you also have the choice of how you are represented in the world by the energy and intention you carry with the name you choose to use. The ancient science that explains all of this is called Numerology.
“A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches.”
-Proverbs 22:1 (English Standard Version)
Does The Name You Use “Fit” You?
Do you like the sound and the feel of the name you use? There’s a certain power in holding out your hand and saying to someone, “I am ____”. How are you utilizing that power when you identify yourself? You may have never even thought about it but your name is something worth considering and putting intention into how it’s used by you and others.
In this article we will discuss:
- What Numerology is and Why It’s Useful to You
- How To Find Out The Numerology of Your Own Name
- How to Be Intentional and Strategic With The Use Of Your Name
- Things To Consider If You’re Thinking About Changing Your Name
What is Numerology And How Does It Work?
Numerology is the universal language of numbers. By breaking down the patterns of the universe into numbers, we are able to uncover information about the world as a whole, as well as useful information about every individual. Our name has a specific vibration and numerological meaning. Parents deliberate on the weighty responsibility of what name to give their child. One concept of Numerology is that our name has deeper meaning for our life purpose rather than a random decision our parents made. Ancient wisdom teaches that our names were spiritually destined and transferred to the consciousness of our parents. Whether you believe this is possible or not, it’s easy to see that our names have the power to influence our lives.
“The mother has known the child since long before she even became pregnant. The father ditto, of course. The connection has always been there. And when the baby is named, the intuitive connection is powerful. Even when I hear stories about misspellings, last minute changes and so forth, I consider those to be the final touches to make sure the child receives the proper name. Some people don’t like their names. Some people hate them and never use them. Still, the magic works. A careful analysis (of numerology) will probably reveal the source of this dislike.”
-Hans Decoz, Numerologist
If you aren’t an esoteric wisdom geek like me and you don’t enjoy researching ancient teachings that are still relevant, let me sum this up for you in a nutshell: your name has a specific numerical vibration that affects you, whether you believe it does or not. Everything in the universe has a numeric value and life is very mathematical, which I think is really cool. But even if you aren’t into woo and you’re totally skeptical about the whole thing, it will serve you well to at least know what you have to work with in the numeric value of your name. You can learn what strengths and challenges that come with the vibration of your name, which will make you more effective in every area of life. Your name is a vibration. It has power in it and it means something.
Reasons You Might Want to Check Out Your Name Numerology:
- For curiosity’s sake, to see what energetic blueprint you came in with-what challenges, strengths, traits does this name have for you?
- To do an internal check-in/assessment of how aligned you are with your life path and if you feel like you are living your soul purpose.
- To make a strategic career move or big life change-to see what you’ve accomplished with the name you’ve been using and be clear on where you want to go and who you want to be.
How To Calculate The Numerology Of Your Own Name
If you’re not into math or you want to save time, check out “What Your Name Means” at PaulSadowski.com. This is a quick and easy way to discover your destiny number and it’s one of my favorite resources. I’m also a huge fan of Dutch numerologist Hans Decoz and you can check out his work at www.worldnumerology.com Here’s how you can calculate your own name numerology and you don’t even need a computer, all you need is a pencil and paper!
Write your full name as it is written on your birth certificate. Find the corresponding value for each letter of your name. Add all of your numbers up digit by digit. When you have the total of all the letters in your full name, keep adding until you have a single digit number.
You can find the numerical value of each letter by going through the alphabet and grouping the letters with 1 through 9 and then start again. It will look like this:
A = 1, B = 2, C = 3, D = 4, E = 5, F = 6, G = 7, H = 8, I = 9,
J = 1, K = 2, L = 3, M = 4, N = 5, O = 6, P = 7, Q = 8, R = 9,
S = 1, T = 2, U = 3, V =4, W = 5, X = 6, Y = 7, Z = 8
Write each numeric value under each letter of your name.
ANGELA MONIQUE WILSON
A N G E L A M O N I Q U E W I L S O N
1 5 7 5 3 1 4 6 5 9 8 3 5 5 9 3 1 6 5
Then, add them all up, keep adding until you have one number left.
My destiny number is a 1.
What To Do When You Find Your Number
Cross reference several numerology sites to get the full meaning of your number. Some information will vary from source to source, but the life lessons and basic meanings of the numbers are pretty consistent. I’ve given you a couple great resources for checking out the meaning of your number but it is up to you to go deeper and reflect on how you see those qualities manifesting in your life.
To Take a Married Name or Not?
My teacher, who introduced me to numerology in 2006, strategically kept her married name even after the marriage was over, because it was an upgrade for the vibration of her name. She liked the way the name flowed and it added qualities that she wanted to include in her professional brand. Since someone who was so knowledgeable about numerology was intentional about keeping someone else’s name, I decided to delve deeper into the whole marital name conundrum.
After studying numerology extensively, I no longer have a strong stance on either side of the “Should a wife take her husband’s name?” argument. It depends on the situation, how the numbers add up and what feels right for the individuals involved. After careful observation, I find that there’s no two situations alike when it comes to a name change for marital reasons. Each person must make their decision based on how it makes them feel to link their identity to a particular tribe.
I am all about gray areas and do not think that anyone should be judged for taking someone’s name or not. I know people who specifically do take their spouse’s name (husband or wife’s name) because of the numerical power and extra oomph they acquire with the new vibration. Sometimes the husband takes on the wife’s name for his middle name as a way of making a united front and honoring her family as well. This would be more than a nice gesture if the numerology turns out to be an upgrade for both parties- what a power couple!
I also have friends who have chosen a completely new last name that they decide on together. This is a beautiful way to begin a new family of your very own and set a powerful intention for the life you are creating together.
So here’s the thing you need to know about numerology and why I took the time to explain all of that to you:
The name you were given at birth holds lessons, strengths, challenges and blessings that do not change, even if you alter your name. However, you can add to that particular vibration, if you choose a new name. You can be strategic with how you add to your life path number. If you embrace what you are here to learn, you can enhance how your name affects you.
What If Someone Else Doesn’t Seem to “Fit” Their Name?
We all know the feeling when you meet someone and their name just totally suits them or it doesn’t. Sometimes you just can’t remember a person’s name because it just doesn’t seem to go with their personality. You might even continuously get their name wrong because you just feel like their name should be something else. Have you ever met someone and their name just didn’t resonate, just didn’t feel like the name for them, but you can’t really explain why?
Here’s some possible reasons for this…
They may not be using their actual given name, which is associated with their life path and soul purpose. Someone may have nicknamed them or they may have changed their name to get away from some part of their life lessons they did not want to deal with.
They may be in a growth period where old name associations do not match their new vibration.
And it’s also quite possible that you may have a personal association with their name that makes you unclear to assess their energy correctly.
How Is Your Name Being Used By You And Others?
I would like to invite you to look at how you allow your name to be used in all areas of your life. Many people shorten their family members’ names when they are young. If someone shortens your name, it can be endearing and familiar or disempowering and diminutive. Only you know how it makes you feel because it depends on the intention behind the action. For example, I like the way it feels when my family and friends call me Ang. It feels cozy to me because I want them close to me. However, if someone who doesn’t know me at all calls me Ang or Angie, it can feel like a power play and I am quick to correct them if I don’t like the way the energy feels . For some of us, shortening our names can jolt us back to the past, to an identity that no longer defines us or serves us. So you can enjoy the comfortable feeling of having your name shortened or you can speak up and let them know your preference to be called by your name.
Here’s an example of a power play where someone is altering other people’s names.
CLICK HERE to WATCH short segment
Netflix show: Girlfriend’s Guide To Divorce
Season 2 Episode 9
For conscious communication and energy awareness, ask those in your life that you refer to by shortened names if this is what they want to be called. When I learned about this I asked those people in my life, whose names I had habitually shortened, if they preferred to be called by their given name. This is a way of showing respect and honoring someone’s identity. This is a fascinating exercise to do with friends and family because the results will vary. Some people don’t care at all, some have a strong preference, but everyone likes it that you took the time to be thoughtful and considerate. Simply put, it is good manners to get permission before altering someone else’s name.
There is no “one size fits all” or black and white rule for the name game. My husband prefers his name shortened. He resonates with the name Steve because his son is called Stephen, the full version of his name. This creates the separation in their identities and it works for both of them.
If you or someone you know is considering a name change…
Just think of very simple, one-word names of famous people and the feeling they evoke in you when you hear them…Prince, Madonna, Cher, Pink, The Rock…you get it…you immediately get a distinct feeling when you hear even one simple name. What’s amazing about these people is that each of them put enough intention into one small word that was not originally and solely theirs and they made that word theirs; they own it and everybody knows it. They claimed those tiny little letters and made them mean something more and they took ownership of that vibration.
Many people change their name when they undergo a big change or transition in their life and they need a new vibrational representation of who they are. We all undergo mini-deaths during this one lifetime. This simply means that it’s a natural part of life for some chapters of our story to end and other chapters to begin as we transition. Look to nature to see how death and rebirth cycles happen seasonally. As personal changes occur, you may not feel as resonant with a name that you have used for a long time.We all have the potential to change and grow, constantly becoming more of our true nature and less of our conditioning.
Changing your name is not about running away from parts of your life that you haven’t dealt with; its about transformative, open hearted growth and authenticity.
Things to consider before you change your name:
Try the Name Bath exercise. A name bath, similar to Louise Hay’s affirmation bath, is a very simple exercise where you have a few friends surround you and just say your name out loud while you relax with eyes closed, taking in the sound and feel of your name, literally bathing yourself in that particular vibration. Feel the resonance of your name as you hear different voices, pitches and tones used to say the name you are currently using. This exercise is also a great way to “try on” a new name, if you are considering a new identity or taking on the name of a spouse.
Do the math and get to know yourself better through the numerology of your given name FIRST. Check out your Life Path number and see if it rings true to you. What obvious strengths and weaknesses need your attention? Numerology brings more self awareness and gives you an edge to work with what you’ve got. After working with your given name, check out the numerology for your new name. Check if the numerical meaning matches the direction you are now going in life!
Changing your name legally is not something that should be taken lightly. Give much time and thought to this important decision. Give this sacred decision time and lots of intention, meditation and prayer. Be aware that others resist your name change and this is perfectly normal because change can be hard for all of us. The energy of your name is all wrapped up in who you are and for some, change is difficult so sometimes it’s hard for those who love you to let go of the old you and make room for the new. This can be scary to family members and friends, so it takes a lot of compassion and patience on your part to help them get used to the change. Let them know that even though you are growing and changing, your love for them is always there and it’s just that much stronger, so they have nothing to fear with this change!
If you’re experiencing resistance on the issue of someone else’s name change, sit with that for a minute. What makes you uncomfortable about this person’s changes? Are you wanting to keep them inside a box of who they were in the past? This is easy for all of us to do sometimes. Just be clear on what makes you resistant to any kind of change in someone else. If they are making a clear and healthy choice and not running from things that need to be addressed in their own lives, see if you can offer them your support during their growth process.
If you take one thing away from all of this, I hope it’s this: being intentional about your name is part of living a sacred and empowered life. You are in complete control of how you wish to be represented and other people may have their own opinions about what they wish to call you, but it’s YOUR NAME and it is a special and sacred part of your life. You have the right to choose it and be who you want to be. If that means you keep your given name and cherish it until the end of time, so be it! Or if it is time for you to grow and bloom into a new identity, you are free to choose. There are lots of resources and tools to help you get the most out of your name experience.
Now it’s your turn to explore…
Take some time to reflect on your current name, whether it’s your given or chosen name. Have you ever considered whether you like your name or not? Do you feel more like you identify with your first or middle name? Do you know the story of how your family came up with the name you received? Do you feel like your given name represents who you are at this time? Did you receive a nickname or a shortened version of your name from your family early in life? And do you feel this nickname reflects who you are today? A lot of how you feel about a nickname will have to do with your family history and whether your memories are positive and affirming or not. Have you taken a new last name in marriage? How does that name feel to you compared to your given name? Some people cannot wait to get rid of their last name and get a new one and others are deeply connected and proud of their lineage.
So now I want to hear from YOU. Tell us any interesting stories about how you got your name, how you feel about your given name, if you took a name in marriage and what that was like. I know you’ve got some interesting name stories on this topic, so share them in the comment section below!