When I decided to change my name to include my heritage, I thought that no one would take much notice. People started asking about Coros, and I found that many women face the same issues that led me to undertake the name change. Here’s the story of my transition to integrate my Greek heritage with the name Heather Coros.

I was 25 at the time. I didn’t know who I was yet. I was happy to discard my birth name and I was willing to follow the tradition of assuming my partner’s name.

Now, over five years later, I know more fully who I am and how my heritage has shaped so much of my identity.

Ever since I had given my name away, I felt like I was being misrepresented when I would say my name was Heather Choye. Part of the struggle came from the desire to have a “family name” for our household to (potentially) pass down to children.

Yet I couldn’t get over this feeling that there was a missing piece.

Heather’s Grandma Helen Coros

My Mother’s side was the one who contributed most to my upbringing; like many, my maiden name didn’t come from her family. My maiden name wasn’t the right choice for me, but I wanted to stay connected to my core heritage.

While discussing this challenge with my friend Frankie, she suggested I look back to my mother’s lineage.

That’s when I came upon my Grandmother’s maiden name: Coros. My Grandmother Helen was one of the most influential women in my upbringing; she was the rock in my tumultuous childhood. It warmed my heart and soul to think of integrating a piece of her back into my life.

The last name Coros came, as you might guess, from my Great Grandmother and Great Grandfather.

These two ancestors collectively shared my entrepreneurial spirit & my spiritual practice, two aspects I hold close to my heart.   

Great Grandmother and Grandpa Coros

 

I find it quite magical that my Great Grandmother’s spiritual practice has unintentionally evolved in my own life.

In her 50s my Great Grandmother Lalla decided to take bold action in her life and became a yogi and moved to a temple. She went on to become a brahmacharini (a female who pursues sacred religious knowledge). As a Brahmacharini she meet Yogananda on several occasions and studied with Daya Mata.

Great Grandmother Lalla in her Sari

My Great Grandmother was a deeply spiritual person. From every account I have heard she was a remarkably kind and loving woman. Thinking of her courage to live boldly lights my heart up!

My Great Grandfather Angelo came as an immigrant from Megara Greece in 1906. He grew his business as a baker with only the few dollars he possessed. The resilience he demonstrated inspires my entrepreneurial spirit!

Also,I have always identified the most with my Greek heritage, a culture filled with passion for inquiry,celebration and delicious food! I am excited to be going back to visit Greece for the first time next year.

Through this process of discovering my name, I have connected with a lineage I had lost.

It is with great pleasure that I will be lovingly using the name Heather Coros.

What (undiscovered) inspiration does your last name hold for you?

Great Grandfather Coros