My name is Teresa…

29 Jul

This isn’t any sort of formal announcement or anything… no large declaration to the world.  Just my meanderings on my blog you know… while I am living in Germany… when just three months ago I was selling shiitake mushrooms in New Orleans.  You see, for some time now, some thing has been creeping inside of me… maybe creeping isn’t the right word… but it is there nonetheless….  that…I feel like my name is…Teresa.  For those of you not in the “feeling” world this may sound a little odd, but for some time now… perhaps the last few years, every time I say my name is Nancie, I almost feel like I am lying.  And somewhere beneath the surface I hear and feel… my name is Teresa.

Teresa, if you have read the “about me” section is not a strange name to me… not some cryptic renaming… but in fact my middle name… and my confirmation name… and also my sister’s middle name.  For years we have heard and told the story of how my mom was told by doctors that she was not going to be able to have children and she prayed to St. Teresa the little flower telling her if she could have children she would name us after her… and voila… here we are!… over the years St. Teresa has always been a friend to me… she has made her way to me through prayer cards mysteriously showing up in a book at the public library and coffee table at a friend’s house.  I even went to visit her when Pope John Paul sent her ruins on a world tour and she made her way to New Orleans.  Visiting her remains in New Orleans was more like going to a mardi gras parade than a “holy” ceremony.  I got knocked out-of-the-way more than once and people’s hands were up in the air as if expecting beads to be flung from the casket.  But at any rate, Teresa, there she was…

When I first started feeling this name emerge from… ya know… within me… I started playing with using the name as my own in New Orleans.  At the time I was assisting in seminars through an organization called Landmark Education, and they were playful enough to give me three nametags to use during the seminar… Nancie, Nancie Teresa, and Teresa… of which I could interchange and shift as I chose… A friend who I dated for a little bit in New Orleans called me Teresa and I don’t know… it was just nice.  It just felt like in being called that he saw something in me.  Something in me that needed to be seen and was convoluted with all of the “whatever” of being Nancie, nothing personal to Nancie… And so since then I have been using my first and middle name… kind of bringing Teresa into the picture so that if someday I decided to go by that name, perhaps it would not be so … unexpected.

But I put this idea away… somewhere in a drawer labeled “normal people don’t change their names…” and moved on with my life (which as you know included putting my closet full of belongings in storage, buying a ticket to Europe, and moving to Wettenbostel, Germany to live and work with Reiki Masters… sounds pretty normal to me…).

And then recently I made a new friend.  We will call him Fred.  Fred was attending a workshop here in Wettenbostel at the Seminar Haus.  During the seminar I helped out as staff, assisting with dinner, cleaning up… but other than that I was locked up in my shyness or protectiveness or something. I would do my best to smile and be friendly to folks, but mostly kept myself separate.  Then one night while I was at the end of the night washing dishes… Fred came in the kitchen and started a conversation…and I was sort of like… why is this guy talking to me… but he was nice and so… we chatted for a little bit.  I was leaving in the next few days to go to Berlin and then on to Hamburg, so I gave Fred a business card so he could email and keep in touch.  He read the name on the card outloud  “Nancie Teresa…” and I loved the way that Teresa rang in my body as he said it… “Teresa…”

As it turned out Fred lived very close to where I was staying in Hamburg so we connected and spent a little time together.  And one day he asked me, “which name do you like better… Nancie or Teresa…”.  Funny you should ask I thought… so I said, “Teresa”… and from then on to him I was Teresa.  How fun!  It was so great to get the messages pop up on facebook… “hello Teresa!…” You get the picture.

I played with it a little while in Hamburg, trying to keep track of who I told my name was Nancie already, so as not to confuse them and who I hadn’t.  When strangers I met asked me what my name was I said,… “Teresa”… and there it was, like a seed growing curiously…

A little about St. Teresa.  I can’t say that I am an expert on her, know everything about her, but I can tell you she was connected to flowers and said that after she died she would send a shower of roses to the earth.  She was a nun and lived in a convent when she was very young and was a mystic… had visions and intense connections and experiences with God.   She was also known as the saint of the little things… showing her love and dedication not through large great acts, but through the intimacy and intricacy of the little things, the daily things.

And here I am in Wettenbostel, trying to learn to get out of my way to find the joy in the little things… the flowers, the weeding of the garden, cleaning the rooms, doing the dishes.  Remembering the message from my Reiki Teacher Elizabeth to be really present and to put all of my love into the work that I do while I am here.  “Wax on wax off…” she said.

Again this is not some big declaration, but an inquiry… a curiosity, an expansion… Teresa.  And hoping my sister does not mind if I use the name in case she too one day wants to use it and then we would both be Teresa, talking about my sister Teresa… anyway, I digress…

As you may have guessed, I have returned to Wettenbostel beginning my journey back into the world of the little things.  Seeing if I can give myself permission to actually just relax and enjoy myself being here.  In some way it feels so indulgent.  I let it go for just a moment today, sitting on the porch of the “big house” watching the willow tree sway in the wind surrounded by the gardens of flowers.

We have a new visitor right now who is a Reiki Master from Holland and other guests will begin to arrive in the next days as we prepare for our next event… Friends and Reiki.  A collection of Friends in Europe who all practice Reiki will be coming next week for a few days of spending time together and sharing Reiki.  Some will arrive early to take in the sometimes slow and leisurely pace of the country and the seminar haus.

And I, well right now I am dabbling in a book called “the soulmate secret” by Arielle Ford that my American friend here lent to me.  And I had to laugh when as I was reading it a band practicing nextdoor at the village outdoor theater struck up the song “here comes the bride”… anyway… another day.  Another day back in Wettenbostel. And the little things.

One Response to “My name is Teresa…”


  1. Unburdening « - 08/02/2011

    […] Woman (also known as Nancie, I mean Teresa… or… […]

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