I have read many fantasy novels over the years. (Don't gasp, you knew I was a nerd already!) In these stories, there is often an allusion to the power a person or being can have over another when they learn someone's true name. While this may hail from a silly and entertaining pass time, it nonetheless reflects a concept that resonates with me deeply - that our names, like harmonic vibrations, unlock something true and deep within us. It is as if we must claim our true names as a part of claiming our true selves.
Who is Varya and what happened to Barbara?
So, on that note, allow me to introduce myself - my name is Varya. Born Varvara, and then named Barbara (the English translation) when I immigrated to Canada from Russia at 3 years old. As a newcomer, this neutral name served as a protective blanket as I struggled to adjust to my new environment. Over the years, Varya (my preferred short form for Varvara) became a beloved name that was used only by those very close to me. The rest of the world knew me as Barbara. Professional, approachable, practical, Barbara. I hid and kept Varya, the passionate, earthy, magical side of me for years under wraps. I felt too vulnerable to share it openly with the world, too exposed. As if by knowing my true name, someone would learn my secrets or discover the key to my heart.
As the years went by, and I experienced everything that I have experienced, I began to come into my own and discovered my inner light. An strength that shines, and cannot be put out, no matter the circumstance, that radiates love and does not fear being snuffed, because once revealed - it simply cannot be. Varya began to meld more and more into my daily life as I yearned and worked towards transparency, and Barbara soon became a cumbersome but familiar title.
There is nothing wrong with protective instincts, and to some extent there are sides of us (usually the quirky nit picky eccentricities) that are reserved for those really close to us (lucky them!). Barbara however is a great example of a larger protection that when no longer needed, eclipsed my true self. It was necessary at the beginning, but no longer so. These days, it is my goal to live each day more transparently and honestly that the last. To speak my truth, to let my emotions, strengths, and weaknesses show - because they are part of what makes me special.
I realized long ago that the darkness that I have lived through prompted to consciously choose my path and my calling, just as the light in my life guided me in the right direction.
Don't take this to mean that I don't get days when I would rather curl up under a blanket and hide out from everything. We all have those days. In some ways they are healing, allowing us to be introspective and to delve deep into whatever other hidden places within we have not dared to explore yet. These dark places, these flaws, your difficulties, the demons you've faced, they are all a part of your journey. But they do not define you in any way. Once you have faced and overcome them, and come into your own, there is no longer anything to fear. Being open about your experiences, both positive and negative, should not be threatening, but rather empowering. It is tantamount to walking out into the world, arms extended and heart open, saying - I. Am. Here.
Yes, such a state takes time to reach. Honestly, I am still in the process. If you can believe it, I used to be the most shy, closed, secretive person you could ever imagine. In those days, I hid my vulnerabilities behind a protective wall of a neutral English name (among other things) in an effort to not get hurt.
Sometimes our demons or fears are too much to handle - we can't possibly get the transparency thing right every time. But I feel that by beginning to slowly dismantle the protective barriers we have built for ourselves, we let our inner light shine, which allows us to genuinely connect with others. The moment I realized that nothing and no one could truly hurt me other than being untrue to myself, I was free.
... That's what this new website and branding is all about.
It's me being ready to fully claim a name that was once reserved for those close to me, and thereby fully claim myself and my path. I am coming out to the world as Varya, and setting Barbara gratefully aside as a familiar and well used blanket that I no longer need. It is time.
New colours. New logo. New feel.
A new name required new branding, a new logo (which represents the divine feminine) and a whole new site! I hope you like the fresh new look, and it is easy for you to navigate and enjoy - as that was the intention. This website is also the platform for my upcoming books, and newly launched online coaching services.
As always, I am here to serve as a resource for your wellness needs - to support you in any way I can and to answer your questions.
Things to look forward to
I have so much in the works! Spring is truly an exciting time of change and growth. This new site, branding, and the online coaching launch is just the first step. Next, there is a FREE ebook coming your way, and after that, a jump start to wellness program. And of course, you can count on regular articles, and recipes, as well as weekly update emails if you are subscribed to the Varya.ca Newsletter.
I want to thank you to each and every one of you for your continued interest and support, and I hope you are as excited for all these changes as I am!