So clearly, when I was born, my parents did not call me “Tantra Diva”. They were not celebrities concerned with bizarre or unusual names. They were rather ordinary people, looking to create a family and establish themselves happily in the Caribbean.
Both were of Indian ancestry, primarily. (There is some Spanish and Aboriginal blood on my mum’s side) But with the Christianisation of Indians in the Caribbean, came the loss of language and a preference for Western names. My mother being called “Rosetta”, was the inspiration for my father choosing my first name “Rozanne”. I have THOROUGHLY detested the sound of this odious appellation, since I was aware of myself and it. I was instinctively repulsed by its intonation, even though, according to the internet, “Rozanne” can mean all sorts of complimentary things. It never felt like me.
Mum saved me from a calamitous existence, when she gave me my middle name, Lorraine. It is the one that I have always loved and used in my public associations. Usually, people are very respectful and call me by my preferred moniker. When they don’t, I tell them to fuck off. Very unapologetically. We all get to determine who we are and what we become. A wanton disrespect for my true self has no place in my life.
“Tantra Diva“? It came out of a necessity for a name and a website, which could represent who I was, and materialise into a domain name that wasn’t already taken.
Spiritually, I embrace Tantra. For my reasoning behind choosing a Tantric spirituality, please read “Why tantra?” If you hear that word and you automatically think about sex, please read “So you’re a tantrik, eh?” , to understand why a unidirectional focus on “sacred sex” pisses me off.
I like elements of Tantric philosophy. It is not a static religion. In fact, it is not a religion at all. It is meant to evolve as we are meant to evolve over time. It was never intended to be organised in any continuous or hierarchical fashion. It is an approach to life which acknowledges the sacred connectivity of all beings. “Good” and “bad” are value judgements which are particular to the individual. Our lives are co-created with our intentions and actions, and the circumstances within which we find ourselves. That said, I fully acknowledge that describing myself as a Tantrik has no inherent meaning. It simply denotes what I ascribe to it and nothing else.
In modern usage, the word “diva” has both positive and negative connotations. It can denote a female artist who is enormously successful. It can also refer to a selfish and materialistic woman, who is very hard to please. The original Italian means “female deity” or “goddess.” The latter is the definition that I identify with most.
If this sounds a bit self-important, then ponder upon this: Why is God automatically male in Abrahamic faiths? Why is it presumptuous to be a Goddess and channel empowered femininity? Why is this threatening, but paternalism benevolent and comforting? Once we have a knowledge of history and understand our biases, we can move towards eradicating ignorant judgements and prejudices.
I am privileged enough to hold a Bachelor’s of Public Affairs and Policy Management from Carleton University in Ottawa. I specialized in International Development, and this is why I cannot embrace religious myths too fully: I have a preference for direct observation, evidence-based truths and statistics wherever possible. I received over 90 hours of Feminist Counselling training at the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Ottawa. This reinforced my abilities to listen to people effectively, support them compassionately, and empower them with the knowledge to make decisions which they deem right for themselves. It is my firm belief that knowledge and freedom are the keys to personal elevation.
I am not a part of the 1%: The rich 1% that is. I am part of the 1-3% with an INFJ personality type. I care about people and the state of the planet. I would not want to be part of the wealthy 1%, unless I could give most of the money away.
I like who I am because I decide who I am. Since I started meditating in 2007, I have gained more mindfulness and awareness of my thoughts, body and environment. I exercise control over my actions and can access a primordial inner peace. This does not mean that I am a saint, nor do I want to be one. It does not mean that I am constantly in euphoric bliss, nor do I believe this can be attained, unless one chooses to ignore the suffering in the world. It simply means that I am aware of myself, know my proclivities and choose to be loving and kind to people. If I cannot achieve this, I stay away from them. It is not healthy to subject oneself to negativity, unnecessarily.
My blog encompasses spirituality, social justice, politics, miscellaneous topics which I find interesting and stories of inspiration. I do not believe in limiting myself to any domain, really: Curiosity is a natural and necessary human trait.
Please feel free to write in and let me know what you think of my articles. Please share them on social media if you find them of merit. For those who wish to contact me, you can email me at lorraine [at] tantradiva [dot] com.
Thank you kindly for visiting and happy reading.
Author’s photo by Sébastien-Charles Boitel