I had been living with multiple names, split identities, for several years when my one true name came to me during a profound experience with psilocybin on a permaculture farm in Costa Rica.
I shouldn’t have even been there. I was supposed to be at a friends 40th birthday party in Northern California, but spirit had clearly guided me to stay in Costa Rica and travel to this permaculture farm instead.
While I was there, I was clearly guided to a name that would reconcile the dis-integrated parts of me into one integrated whole representation of the me that I wanted to be.
But, I wasn’t ready to give up the other names, so I held this name close to my heart, not knowing if I would ever live it out in the world. Until now.
Now, I’m ready for integration, and to support the parts of me that don’t want to be lost or forgotten in that integration, I’m sharing the story of how it all came to be.
Discovering My Roots, My Lineage
I was at the Envision Festival in Costa Rica, giving a talk on our distorted relationship to money, and how we can fix it. After my talk, I was supposed to leave, but I got a very clear message from spirit that said “stay, and listen to Stephen Brooks talk. He’s got something for you.”
So I stayed. And, as I listened, Stephen spoke the dream of community that I had long held. Families living on land, growing our own food, easy access to clean water, the more beautiful world my heart knew was possible.
Then, I heard another message from Spirit. Go talk to Stephen’s parents. He had grown up in Miami, where I had grown up.
As I spoke to Norman, Stephen’s dad, I found out he had gone to Miami Beach High, the same high school as my dad. So I asked him if he had known William Martin.
“William Martin!” he said. “I didn’t know William Martin, but I knew Billy Katz! In fact, we were very, very good friends.”
Billy Katz had been my dad’s original birth name. William Samuel Katz. But, he had changed his name as a young man, to his stepfather’s last name, Martin, in an attempt at connection and love. He ended up hating his stepfather, but he kept his name.
Upon hearing that Norman was close with my dad, not only as a teenager, but also via a reconnection in the years before my father died, I knew I would change all of my plans to leave Costa Rica, so I could stay and attend the Roots Gathering, hosted by Norman and Stephen on their permaculture farm, Punta Mona.
Roots Gathering. It was as if my father was the voice of spirit speaking to me. Maybe I would go to the Roots Gathering and find my roots.
That’s exactly what happened.
While I was there, I decided to take some psilocybin mushrooms I had brought with me. As I was walking through the jungle, it occurred to me that THIS was the life I wanted. Simple. Free. Nature.
“Why aren’t I living this life?” I wondered.
Oh, right, my work, my kids, their dad, the money I needed to support them. They wouldn’t want this life and it wouldn’t be fair of me to abandon them.
My next thought was a strange one.
Part of Me Wanted to Die, But Not All of Me
“Hmmmm, maybe I should fake my death, give them the insurance money, and I can live out the rest of my life here.” I played it out in my mind for a while.
But, of course quickly discarded the possibility, realizing I’d never be able to keep quiet.
In having the thought, though, I realized that some part of me wanted to die.
Something in me wanted to die. I wanted to die.
As I confronted the parts of me that wanted to die, I connected with the part of me that wanted to live.
Yes, something in me wanted to die. But something in me also wanted to live!
I asked myself who I would be if I let the parts of me that wanted to die go, and from that day forward only lived the parts of me that wanted to live.
Who would I be if I became the woman I wanted to be?
The answer came: Alexis Katz. You would be Alexis Katz. And, you would go by Ali Katz. That’s your name. That name is the name your father was born to; it’s your inheritance and your legacy.
“Alexis, It’s time to live who you are.” But, I wasn’t actually quite ready. It would take 3 more years of living through the dis-integration to be ready for my identities to fully integrate.
My Name is Alexis Katz. But, You Can Call Me Ali. Ali Katz.
As I felt into this name, it seemed to meet all of the parts of me that I was becoming.
I didn’t know it at the time, but my work with the true meaning of inheritance and legacy would deepen significantly and make taking this name even more meaningful.
Upon learning more about the name Katz, I discovered it’s been said to be the oldest surname in the world, and all who are born to it are Priests. Perhaps this is the reason I feel so connected with the Priestess part of myself. It’s something I plan to explore more now that I’ve taken back the name of my lineage.
Three years ago, I wasn’t ready to give up my other two names, and so I decided I would hold the name Alexis Katz close to my heart, keep it for myself, and not live this name in the world.
And, over the past several months, it’s become clear that I am ready now to give up the split identities, let go of my other names, and integrate, fully.
This became ever more clear after Adam Roa, Ryan Fontana and Matthew Ayriss (the crew from the Art of Choosing Love) really saw me in our creative immersion process, and suggested that the essence piece they were creating with and for me was a tribute to my father.
So, on this day, Father’s Day, I honor my father, and my lineage, by releasing all old identities that no longer serve, and stepping into my one true name: Alexis Katz. Ali Katz, to those who know me well.
If you’ve had a journey with your own identity and your names, I’d love to hear about it. Please do share.