Find your project’s True Name :: yes, it matters

It is no secret.
All power is one in source and end, I think.
Years and distances, stars and candles,
water and wind and wizardry,
the craft in a man’s hand and the wisdom in a tree’s root:
they all arise together.
My name, and yours,
and the true name of the sun,
or a spring of water,
or an unborn child,
all are syllables of the great word
that is very slowly spoken by the shining of the stars.
There is no other power.
No other name.

~ Ursula K Le Guin

Naming is a passion of mine.

This is not a kind of labeling thing, or a way of classifying stuff, but a deep longing for harmony with all things.  Whether naming a business, a baby, a piece of art or a ceremony, naming is a spiritual practice. It is a soul-craft, a part of establishing connection with Source, with goodness, with everything that lives and breaths and sits with stillness upon this earth and throughout this universe and beyond.

I have seen it many times…

landing on the true name of a project can shift everything. It can set the stage for everything that comes next. It can literally call the stuff out of you.

Taking time at the outset to find the right name is more than important. It is essential to your project being connected and of service both to you and to the world.

That is why I spend so much time on this step when working with clients… and the truth is I have a knack for it.

Here are a few things I’ve discovered to get you started on the path to finding your project’s true name:

  1. Brainstorm a list of all the words that describe your project, who it serves and what its stands for.
  2. Choose your favorite 3 words and favorite 3 meanings (even if you’d never use that word)
  3. Look in the thesaurus for other words that mean the same thing as the 3 words whose meanings you love. Add them to your list.
  4. List your top 3 favorite ceremonies, mentors or businesses that you look up to and make a list of words that describe what you love about them.
  5. Again make a trip to the thesaurus and add your new words.
  6. Make a short list of the words that you love (don’t think to hard about it just pick your faves). Choose no more than 5.
  7. Take your list and make a talisman of it – paint it, add color or symbols, type it up, or use a fountain pen or crayon or just write down your words and fold up the paper.
  8. Put your talisman under your pillow and sleep on it.
  9. Write down any new words or epiphanies.
  10. Try different combinations and related words.
  11. Rinse and Repeat the process until it comes to you.
  12. Tell one of your ideal participants or clients (heck email it to me) and see what they think.

Sometimes we can get stuck on a really wrong name and think it’s the most amazing thing in the world. That’s where getting objective help comes in. Try it out on others and see what it means to them, notice how they respond. Are they being nice or are they truly inspired.

If you’re not sure, it’s probably the former. If the answer isn’t yes, then it’s no. Don’t kid yourself. Trust that the name will come, but you must honor its timing. As my mother used to say,

“The wheels of the Gods grind slowly, but they grind exceeding fine.”

Once you find your true name the next step is to google it and see if it’s already being used and then letting it blossom, serve the world and carry you through.


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  1. Linda

    March 31st, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    I couldn’t agree more! I have struggled for several years to come up with the right business name. Naming lists, dictionary, thesaurus, etc, etc. Still no name. Perhaps it has been a struggle since naming your own business is so personal and a reflection of yourself. Your post has inspired me to try again! Keep your fingers crossed 🙂

  2. Krista

    March 31st, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    The talisman and dreaming part, the softening of the search, and allowing it to arise rather than chase it down is what always helps me… at least in combination with the more linear attempt to “pin it down”. Keep us posted on your process Linda! I am here to help.


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