"OMbrella" - The Story of the Word
Wondering where the word “Ombrella” came from and what it means? You’re not alone!
The short answer is that the word “Ombrella” combines the sound OM, the sound of the universe, the sound which gets closest to our experiencing the ineffable mystery of God, with the layers of meaning found within the shape and function of an umbrella.
Interested in a more in-depth explanation? Read on…
In 2012, I stopped teaching in a traditional elementary classroom and created “Story and Stretch: Narrative Yoga for Kids.” Within a few years I earned certifications in Yoga, Mindfulness, Reiki, and Labyrinth work.
Needless to say, I quickly outgrew the name “Story and Stretch.”
Discerning a new business name for my broader mission began with the following in mind…
- it would be a single word
- it would be a co-creation with God that didn't conjure up any specific images
- it would symbolize sacred space
- it would convey a variety of services
Almost instantly, the image of an umbrella came up.
And I got REAL giddy!
As you know umbrellas are a circular shape. As you probably didn’t know I love circles! I love that they represent creation and eternity and God’s love. I love that the natural world is filled with them and that they are infinitely symmetrical. I love that they are the shape of my wedding band, the labyrinth, and the halo we paint over saint’s heads.
When I considered the symbolism of the circle along with the qualities of an umbrella an overwhelming feeling of flow came up from deep within me.
I was in the steady and continuously creative stream that is God.
In that moment I saw the umbrella not simply as a piece of cloth held up by individual pieces of metal, but as a sanctuary of protection…
like a business which helps people remember their connection with God and in doing so provides opportunities for authentic safety and security.
And then it struck me that not only is an umbrella shelter, it is something which includes a number of similar things…
like a business which helps people remember their connection with God not only through yoga classes, but other spiritual practices as well.
Remember Your Connection.
The sound of the universe, meaning the sound that everything in the entirety of existence makes all at once.
OM stands for everything that is and that which is beyond, as God is in everything and beyond everything.
Simply put, OM stands for God.
And yet while it comes closest to expressing the presence of the mystery of God, it has no particular meaning. Which for my purpose is perfect because in Christianity there are no words which fully capture who and what God is.
Not to mention the obvious, though still powerful, and also fun, fact that OM seamlessly replaces the first syllable in the word umbrella.
And so there you have it.
A single word.
A word I created in the flow of God that is unlikely to bring up any specific images, experiences, opinions, or beliefs for you.
A word which could easily symbolize sanctuary.
A word which suggests a multitude of spiritual practices all under one umbrella, or rather, OMbrella.