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Mettamorphosis: What’s in a name?

Something strange happens when you name a being, an object, or an experience. I’m not sure if you author a destiny or recognise some promise secreted within. 

Our son was named for his Irish heritage when we lived on another continent altogether. Ironically, we now find ourselves resident on the Emerald Isle without cause to explain who the Irish giant Finn Mac Cumhail was. Our daughter was named in recognition of a favourite phrase of my mother, a much-loved lyric and what we sensed in her spirit. I feel that names can offer you a seat in your history. My cousin’s adopted daughter carries our matrilineal family name and embodies that warriorship so beautifully. 

Sometimes, a name walks around in your head until you build something for it to rest on and claim. Mettamorphosis was like that for me and is purposely spelled with two t’s. You might argue that I’ve done to my business name what was done to me. I have spelled an ordinary thing differently. My name Bronwen ends in ‘wen’ rather than a ‘wyn’. My surname Allan ends in ‘an’ rather than ‘en’. I spend a lot of time spelling my name letter by letter. 

Names have meanings, imply qualities and offer attributes. A name like Bronwen which means ‘white breasted’ was a thrilling discovery to a room of pre-teens in the 80’s. Like many similar childhood experiences, you learn to get there first. I had to know the meaning of my name before they did. The message behind ‘white breast’ signals fair- or pure-heartedness. To me, my ethics studies honour this search for what is right. Welsh mythology tells that Bronwen was the daughter of Llyr, the god of the sea. How I love the sea!

I chose to name the business Mettamorphosis to give the name that had long walked within me some solid ground. Typically, a metamorphosis describes the magical change from caterpillar to butterfly. Change that is within and inevitable, as well as change that is worthy and pursued. Metamorphosis is a fitting sentiment for a coaching practice where coaching is inevitably about change. Mettamorphosis borrows from the Pali word metta (with two t’s), often translated as loving-kindness in English. 

Metta is related to compassion and means positive energy, an active interest in, and kindness towards others. Metta is a foundation for self-compassion and compassion for others. A fitting nuance to what flavour and tone of metamorphosis / change this coaching practice looks to foster within.  Mettamorphosis life-coaching is a container that holds the personal change conversation is a way that is infused with energy, curiosity, and a belief in recognising and connecting with what is good in all of us. It is about change, honoring the instinct to do something about our discomfort, dissatisfaction and discontent. It is also about how we change, aiming for discovering what is the right and kind change. 

I’ve experienced compassion as a superpower within the coaching context and in my own life. Compassion is active, it asks us to do something about the pain or suffering we witness. Engaged self-compassion is a way to deactivate your fight or flight response and bring your ‘rest-and-digest’ system online. Being calm creates a climate in which we can investigate our life, our responses to it and keep exploring alternatives. 

If you want to change and grow, you inevitably need to build up a tolerance for failure and a “risk appetite”. Self-compassion helps by offering a foundational attitude that fortifies your courage to try.  If you want to inoculate yourself against burnout? If you want to transform the inner critic into a wiser, kinder mentor? If you want to get out of your own way? Self-compassion offers a strong, positive and sustainable response. In a growing body of research, findings agree. Check out here and here if you’d like to know more about that. 

For me, Mettamorphosis is about change. Not just why, not just what, but how. It’s about how we identify and pursue the right and kind change. 

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Lara Curtin

    Bron, a brilliant, insightful and honest read! Your compassion, vulnerability and love shines throughout your website! You have a beautiful way with words and people. You gonna make a difference in so many people’s lives through your natural warmth that you can feel through every word you express. Much love always La

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