Doi Suthep Temple, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Unleash Your Truth – How my Thai name centered me

When I was in Thailand, my brother told me that I must be given a Thai name. He had received one from Ma, the lovely woman who, with her husband, runs the private bungalows on the island of Koh Chang after she saw him swimming all the time.

Nam, his Thai name, means “water.”

He only introduces himself as Nam to Thai people. They smile and immediately call him Nam, thrilled he’s taken such an interest in their culture, as he speaks Thai as well.

Nam, Kikie, Sang Dao – Chiang Mai

When we arrived in Chiang Mai, we stayed in a lovely guesthouse owned by Kikie. Nice doesn’t even begin to describe the generosity and thoughtfulness of Kikie. She acts like your mother – making sure you have bottled water, bus tickets, know where the market is, and even cooks for you occasionally for a guest dinner on the roof. She made my stay in Chiang Mai feel like I was home.

One night, Nam asked Kikie to give me a Thai name. She looked at me, smiled, and said “Sang Dao.”

And continued in English, “Bright star.”

Flattered, I thanked her and smiled to myself. The more I thought about this nickname, the more I realized how special it was. I had only known this woman for a few days, yet she saw something in me that made her think of a bright star.

Of course my brother tried to call me this the rest of the time we were in Thailand but I never answered because it was still too foreign to my ears.

Now, I use it a few times when signing emails to Nam, but otherwise, it is not an active part of my life.

Until Tuesday morning.

The night before I had actually given myself a pity party right after I sent out the Monday Mantra talking about how we all needed to stop showing up to the pity parties we were throwing ourselves. Ironic.

As laid in bed Tuesday morning, recalling my ironic pity party, I heard the words “sang dao” in my mind.

I smiled and immediately felt centered and balanced.

Sang Dao.

Bright Star.

No matter what is going through your head, remember your truth.

Shine on, bright stars.