What's In MY Name?


A name is your identity. It is the name you identify with. All my life, I identified with "Carol" until now. I am blessed to have a name I identify with that is already my birth name. I completely understand why people change their names. It is something that they once were but, as life goes, people change. Avani wrote a beautiful piece on the PYC website about this that I truly connected with that encouraged me to reflect on my own name. 

Since I started school when I was 5, I introduced myself as "Carol". So all my life, I went as this common pronunciation. I always knew that "Carol" is not how you actually say my name but I just went with it because I figured I might as well make it easier for the people around me.

It wasn't until Thanksgiving when I was playing Monopoly with my cousins that I realized they called me "Karel" as in "kah-rel". It is exactly how it sounds. If my entire family calls me that and very few select friends, why don't I go by that? I made a decision that when I left for yoga teacher training, I would go by my real name "Karel".

It is so much easier when you go into a group setting and introduce yourself. It is the first time they ever met you, so they only know you by that name. So my entire time at teacher training, I went by my real name. I truly embodied and embraced my new name even though it was mine since the beginning. It is strange because it wasn't until now that I truly connected with my name.

After much research about my name, I found out that "Karel" is a common male name (thanks, mom). But in 1939, less than .006% females were named that. I have honestly have never met another person with my name, and as I got older, the more I liked having a unique name. I always that "Oh, Carol, it means happy, joyful song." But researching what "Karel" means meant so much more to me. Strong and Free. I like that. Especially in the past three years, I feel like I have truly embodied the meaning of my name. 

So I ask, with the kindness of your heart, to please call me "Karel". I am already shocked with how open some of you have been and understand how important it is to me. But going into a fit of giggles and not even trying is hurtful. I see how it is difficult to make the change but I only ask for you to make a conscious effort.

Courtesy of Pavones Yoga Center Blog.
The Meaning of Karel
The Meaning of Karel 2

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  1. this was really interesting to read :) and great to hear how connected you have become to your name. Interesting, as I have only ever read your name, in my head I always pronounce it as Kah-rel - never Carol.