What’s in a name?

Oh, Freya.

The story. The low down. Let’s start from the beginning. 

I was given an Arabic name as a baby and as far as I can remember, it’s always caused me pain. My name isn’t the easiest to pronounce when you see it written down. My birth name is Tahera. In Arabic it means pure. The proper way to pronounce it is Taa-heh-raa. Most people would say Ta-herra and it would drive me nuts. I was named Tahera after my moms little sister that died as an infant. At first I thought it was kinda cool, but the more I thought about it, I felt like it wasn’t really mine. It was ‘hers’. 

My parents aren’t really fond of nicknames, but I am. Of course, as I was growing up my friends gave me nicknames and I might have also thrown a few into the mix. I was TP, or Tazz or Toilet Paper (yeah that one wasn’t me).

Once I was full grown I started spelling my name differently to sort of accommodate easy pronouncing. So, Tahera became Tayra (I was feeling better about people saying Tie-rah) but, to my dismay people started saying Tay-rah instead. 

Enter Tyra. Shorter, easier to pronounce and hopefully would stick. So, that’s the short story of how Tahera became Tyra. Most people know me as Tyra. 

There’s been a series of name changes for me in my life.I was born Tahera Pirbhai. I married into Tahera Khaku. Then it formed into Tyra Khaku. Then divorce led me back to Tyra Pirbhai but I was feeling empowered to give myself a last name that felt good to me since I didn’t love that I was going from my former married name back to my maiden name. Something about going back to something didn’t feel right. I wanted to be moving forward. I felt like I was moving forward into a new world, a new life, a new sense of self. I felt like that needed a new name too. 

That’s where Fox came in. A friend asked me since I was leaving my married name and didn’t feel great about going back to my maiden name, what name might I choose if I could? It took 0.2 seconds for me to say Fox. I don’t know where it came from but it was bold, fun and sexy. It felt good to me.

That day, I became Tyra Fox. I didn’t change it legally, because my entire family, extended family and certain religious community members found it to be offensive. I was told I was dishonouring my family and my religion. I didn’t want to create tension and struggle in a place that already felt enough of a challenge. 

I let my friends and soul family members call me Tyra Fox. They embraced me with so much enthusiasm and love. It was great. Legally, I am Tyra Pirbhai, but in my heart, Fox felt like me.

A few years went by and I seemed content with Tyra Fox, but then more recently, this past year I felt like something wasn’t right. I realized that when people called my name (Tyra), it felt like something they were saying at me, rather than something that drew me in and felt like me. 

I chatted with a mentor and dear friend, and she heard the story of how I got my name initially and she said, no wonder it doesn’t resonate with you, because it’s not your name. It’s your aunts name. She invited me to meditate to call in my soul name on my next moon cycle, and so I did.

A few names came to me, but they didn’t feel right so I let them go. I’d share them with my partner, and he too, confirmed that they didn’t quite ‘fit’. 

A few days later, he and I took a long weekend trip away to Tofino. I’ve always found Tofino to be a favourite and magical place. It did not disappoint. On our first day there, we were walking along a beach and fell in love with a dog running around. I don’t often do this but I felt called to talk to the dogs owner to ask about the breed. The owner was such a wonderful human. She shared all the stories about this dog, and shared it’s name to us. Freya. As soon as she said Freya, I felt sparkles. Something about the name pulled at my heart strings. 

I shared that with Rick and he agreed. Something about the name felt special. I looked up the meaning of Freya, and it resonated immensely. The name represented a goddess of love, a warrior of love. Strength, grace, feminine beauty. 

When we got back to our cabin, I noticed that my google search for Freya showed a ‘people also search for’ section which said Tyra. THAT FELT SPOOKY. How did it join my name together?!

Then I looked up the life path number of Freya and it is the exact same life path number with my current name. This was too strange. What are the coincidences that both names would yield the same life path number?!

The next day in Tofino, we ventured out to experience the natural hot springs and proceeded through a forest for a 45 minute hike to get to the springs. 

This forest had a paved path, and the path has names and phrases carved into the wood all along the hike. As we walked into the forest I asked the universe for a clear cut sign that this name is the name for me. 

This is what showed up on the path, in plain sight, moments later.

Freya found me. It called to me and it resonated immediately. It sounds strong and powerful, exactly who I am stepping into today.

I’ve shared it with friends and some family, and have decided to add it as a middle name since I never had one. I’m keeping Tyra as well. I’d like to be known as Freya to those who feel good calling me that. I’m honoured when anyone refers to me as Freya, it feels oh soooo good!

Here’s to some adventures as Freya 🙂