The Name Game And Our Independence of Expression

Photo credit Álvaro Serrano

"Some day we’ll be able to measure the power of words. I think they are things. They get on the walls. They get in your wallpaper. They get in your rugs, in your upholstery, and your clothes, and finally in to you."
- Maya Angelou
By Cameron Harrington

Recently, “names” has been the topic of conversation in our home: the meaning of a name, the vibration of the words, and how the words themselves tell a story. Patrick and I were brainstorming names for the new expression of our passion within the business world, and what I thought would be a simple conversation led me to self-reflect on identity and independence.

As a woman, I feel torn in choosing between my connection to time-honored traditions and my connection to myself as a sovereign being. I love the deep roots of tradition, the history, and frankly, how it reminds me of home and the romance of old southern ways. I love the camaraderie of a shared name and how that feels in my body.

Following in tradition, I took my first husband’s name without a thought other than, “yikes, I hope I can learn to roll my R’s so that I can honor the name Ferrerya”. When it was time to hand back that name and come home to Dabney, it felt like taking off a mask of inauthenticity. This act was a reclaiming of myself, my lineage, my cellular makeup, and the history of the Dabney name. These things are the building blocks of who I am today. Dabney is me, the good and the bad. The people and events my surname traveled with throughout decades and centuries are my history; these stories make me, ME. I recently learned that I share my family roots with a Pamunkey Native American princess from Virginia, a poet from France, and apparently, my DNA is mainly Irish! This intelligence and wisdom have been sewn into the cells of my being.

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We are each so uniquely ourselves because of our unique makeup, our core DNA, and the many people, places, and events from the past coursing through our veins.

And, like the words we tell ourselves, our names have specific vibrations. When we speak, sign, type, or respond to our name, this vibration increases and eventually transitions into form. This is a belief I hold so deeply that both of our daughters’ names remained “baby girl” Harrington for 3 days after they were born. It was important to Patrick and me to meet them and experience their uniqueness before offering them a name that we felt resonated with their spirits. I am so glad we did!

The birth of our daughters sparked feelings inside me about changing my name again. I wanted so desperately to be “TEAM Harrington”. I wanted our family unit of four to breathe, vibrate, and share the same alphabetical signature. I wanted to know intimately what it felt like to interact with the world through the vibration of Harrington. This time around, I took my husband’s name consciously, intentionally, and with pride. Now when I sign my name, I feel it, and it resonates most of the time…

You might wonder about the moments when I am not feeling connected to Patrick Harrington: the days when I yearn for my independence, my name, my lineage, and myself as a sovereign being, and my adopted name does not feel as fun to write. The days when the deep work of partnership feels incredibly challenging, and my small self wants to run away.

When it comes to choosing a name, I don’t have an answer as to the best option. What I can say with certainty is that when we consider taking on any name, whether it be our partner’s, a brand, or even the words we use to describe ourselves, it is vital to take great care in choosing.

In the next couple of weeks, Patrick and I will introduce our new brand. It is the first new brand we have created in over a decade. Our last brand was Kindness; it is now time for us to let that identity go. To step into our offering, just us.

We want you to know that this name is a piece of history—for me, for Patrick, and for our shared community. Our name represents us, our hearts, and our minds.

Below is a practice for re-creating the authentic vibration of your name.

Cameron and Patrick help clients create powerful breakthroughs and embody their authentic selves with their combined 40 years of experience in business, wellness, and personal development.

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Practice for Re-Creating the Authentic Vibration of Your Name

In the process of offering a name for our new brand, I saw how font type, size, and colors affect the name’s vibration.

  • In a journal, clarify the feeling, or feelings, that you would like to bring into the world.
  • Now embody that feeling and write your name in a way that expresses the feeling.
  • You can play with different fonts, font sizes, and colors a computer, tablet, or mobile phone.
  • Observe how each individual change feels within yourself.
  • Once you find something that resonates, print it so that you can see it.
  • In the future when you sign, hear, or speak your name, recall that image. Remember the details of how it is written, the curves, or the thickness of the lines.

Remember, you can change the vibration of things by simply looking at them through a different lens.