One of the elements that is covered in the beginnings of a psychotherapy training module, when undertaking preparation to assist others in self examination, is a thorough process of self awareness and life evaluation. An observation, and penetration, into the deeper meaning aspects of the therapist in training, so that the rigours of self knowledge clarifies patterns and unresolved expectations.

A theme that I explored in my original training, was the meaning of naming. And the impact that infers, on the person, their surroundings, and their real or perceived life mission, and patterns. This is a traditional concept familiar in spirituality and psychotherapy. It forms a natural process of self awareness and learning.

I have had three names in my lifetime, that coincidently, quite neatly, fit into the three phase feminine journey of maiden, mother and wise woman.

I was named at birth Marija Vesela Dusevic. A labelling from my European cultural Heritage. Taken quite literally, each in turn means Divine Mother, Happy, and Of the Soul. My fate, if you will, was sealed in those three words. Feminine. Happiness. Soul Essence. The aspects of this life to fulfil. Born and bred in Sydney, I was known as Marie, and started my leadership love journey at school, being voted in as School Captain in my senior year.

My name changed when I married, creating a second phase of my emerging, as I was building a professional identity. As Marie Bonney I finished a degree and post graduate qualifications, and became, at the time, one of the youngest NSW Public Sector Executives. Achieving and influencing many significant service offerings, it was rewarding, and exciting. Full of purpose, people focus, and importance.

When I became a mother, that started to change things. And how I perceived leading. Leading, it became evident to me, was a whole of life activity, not just a workplace imperative. An added dimension to dharma purpose, and importance, as a new life was beginning.

I started to accommodate this new valuing and version of leading, a whole, complete life, and became more cognisant that everything that lives must pass through different deaths, as Carl Jung said.

My Executive position became redundant. I started a business. I became a qualified psychotherapist. My marriage ended.

I was catapulted into a transition of circumstances that sent me into a life of discovery that was rich, relevant, and ultimately life affirming. I was readying for emerging into the next life stage. I embarked on learnings in many religious, mystical and spiritual traditions. I invested in deep knowledge of the psyche, and wellbeing practices in wholeness. I coached clients. I participated in heart based development communities. And raising my son was my number 1 priority.

And during that time, my name changed again. I received the name SaraSwati Shakti in a spiritual community setting as part of a blessing ceremony. It was unexpected. A gifted acknowledgement of a new unfolding. Defining a new stage. Essentially SaraSwati means Essence (Sar) of Self (Swa) as well as the qualities of Knowledge and Arts, and Shakti means Feminine Empowerment or Spirit. I embraced it. Made it legal. And began anew. I was already developing Loving Psyche and the Mandala of Wholeness in the background, and launched it softly, with a book of mandala art, bringing it all together, wholly.

The circle completed, I integrated each part of my identity, creational energy, and diversity. Appreciating all aspects of my journey, and what I learned, and know, from every delivery. Even in the naming category!

And I continue my personal and professional purpose, of assisting people to achieve self awareness, happiness, wisdom and wholeness. For humanity’s vibrance. In Transition.

Because Whole Leaders Create a Whole World.

SaraSwati Shakti

SaraSwati Shakti


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