Why I changed my name from Barbara to Bracha.
The mystics used to say that if you felt stuck in your life and nothing was working, three things might help:
- Change your location
- Change your name
From as early as I can remember, I never felt comfortable with the name Barbara. As soon as I was able to read and write, I looked up the meaning of my name and was astonished to find out that it came from the word ‘barbarian’ and meant ‘stranger.’
Named after my maternal grandmother, Bianka, my parents thought that Barbara would be an easier name for a child growing up in the UK.
My strongest associations with my name were with my mother telling me off for something I’d done wrong. To this day, I can still hear her demanding: ‘Barbara, where are you?’ ‘What are you doing?’ ‘Why aren’t you answering the phone?’
Although I mulled over several possible names, nothing grabbed me.
As a result, I did nothing about it for many, many years. Now that I had built up a substantial following on YouTube, and I was known under the name Barbara, it felt like a huge risk to publicly make the change.
About a year ago, I felt very drawn to the mystical teachings of Judaism and the Kabbalah. I was brought up as a secular Jew with very little Jewish education. I attended to Chethams School of Music, a musical cathedral school, and I was very assimilated into the Christian way of life.
At no point did I ever think to explore my Jewish heritage. My mother had narrowly escaped the Holocaust, coming out as a teenager on the Kindertransport from Vienna, a few months before the outbreak of war. At just 14 years old, she left her entire family, her education, her friends, and she was sent by train and boat to Manchester in the UK.
I cannot begin to imagine what she must have gone through, leaving behind her mother and her brother, not knowing if she would ever see them again.
When I awakened to the channelling in September 2015 and the Pleiadians came through me, I also channelled some of the old testament prophets, and many Hebrew letters came through when I was writing and painting.
Gradually, I found myself being attracted to the study of Judaism from a mystical viewpoint.
I had spent a lifetime searching for something. I studied Christianity, Buddhism, Sufism, Islam, and many other religions, and for a while, I was satiated. Buddhism resonated the strongest with me, and still does on many levels.
During the past year, a huge change ensued, and I now find myself praying daily in Hebrew, enjoying every moment of it. Learning more and more prayers and psalms, bringing the holy language into my everyday life, I have found great inner peace.
The power of the Hebrew language, the numerology, the Gematria, the power of words, the magical connections, helped me to fit together various disparate pieces of my life. Answers to my deepest questions began to manifest.
The more I read, the more I wanted answers, so I searched for a mentor.
I read a book that was life-changing: Towards a Meaningful Life, by Rabbi Simon Jacobson.
To my delight, I found that he offered spiritual guidance, so I booked a session with him.
In that first consultation, I told him that I wasn’t comfortable with my name.
‘Changing your name changes your destiny,’ he said, ‘it would be a wonderful thing to do.’
I asked him if he would find out the ideal name for me. He said he would do some research into it and would get back to me. Weeks went by. No word from the rabbi.
In our next session a couple of months later, I asked him straight away, ‘did you find my new name?
‘Not yet,’ he said, ‘I still need to talk to some more people, and I’ll get back to you.’
‘You won’t forget about it will you?’ I asked.
‘No,’ he said, ‘I definitely won’t forget.’
Several more weeks went by and in the following session he told me that my new name was Bracha.
What a beautiful name! It meant blessing.
I was very conscious that in changing my name to Bracha, I was embracing my Jewish heritage. Fearful of an antisemitic backlash, I hesitated momentarily, but there was no going back.
The next challenge was how to tell people, and how to explain it?
I decided to take the plunge and to announce it on a livestream to all my viewers!
At first there was some confusion and questioning, but overall, it’s gone very smoothly. People who’ve known me for years revert back from time to time, but gradually they’re all getting used to my new name.
What has changed?
Inside, I feel different, more authentic. An old skin has been sloughed off and a new, more vulnerable, gentler, kinder person is emerging.
Perhaps there is something in your life you need to change?
Maybe it’s your name, or something else that is important to you that you’ve been afraid to do.
I hope that my story will encourage you to take that leap of faith and to follow your intuition and the higher guidance of your soul.