What’s in a Name?

Lately I’ve been addressing a lot of issues in my appointments with people who find themselves living in a space that has no meaning for them. This comes about in many ways. Sometimes a person was drawn to move into a house years ago and now they no longer like the house, yet are not in a position to move financially. Sometimes a person has been left behind as the result of a divorce, living with constant reminders of the battle-field the space often became. Sometimes a person just moved into a home based on a great first impression, only to find that the house is requiring a lot of them, energetically and financially.

In all cases, someone is living in a space that doesn’t seem to be working in their best interests and moving is out of the question. They call me looking for a way to “make the best” of a tough situation.

The first thing I tell them to do is to “name “their house. Eyes usually widen at this suggestion, they may even roll a bit. But my point is to get some personal bond with this space and alleviate some of the alienation. A name will help personalize the association. Since we’re not accustomed to naming houses, it initially sounds like a strange exercise. But actually the process can bring about amazing changes.

Naming something enables a person to claim it. A person will take on more ownership with something’s that they’ve named, whether it’s a house, a car, a dog or a favorite chair. More importantly, once something becomes personal, a person is more apt to hold compassion and patience around any trouble that might come up. It’s less likely that someone would cut corners when doing repairs or cleaning if the space has become personal.

The first question I have people ask themselves is what changes they would like to initiate in their lives. Most will readily say “More money” so they can move out! Our discussion will lead us to talk about names that would reflect that potential. One of my clients who wanted additional prosperity, not only to be able to move but for other reasons as well, decided to name his space Prospero. A woman who wanted to increase her wealth named her home Lira (hoping to get a trip to Italy out of the deal). A more obscure association with money was a young couple who named their small house Ben with the intention of attracting lots of one-hundred dollar bills (Benjamin Franklin is on a one-hundred dollar bill).

Certain individuals want to express a theme such as Joy, Hope or Friendship. The elderly woman who did in fact name her house Friendship found that shortly after doing so her space became the meeting place for her friends. They cooked meals at her house, and gathered for birthdays, celebrations, etc. When looking for a space in which to hold meetings for their book club, it was unanimous that the Friendship house was the perfect spot. Naming a house may require a gender determination before calling it Rose.

I also suggest that when a person comes into the house they announce their arrival and greet the house by name. This can be done silently if there’s concern about reactions from other family members. Likewise, when leaving, let the space know when you’ll be returning. Address it by name. In a space that’s been difficult for a person, calling it by name shifts the association completely. The space has now become special because it’s been named.

Another client realized she got what she asked for when she named her apartment.

Clare, a name with no special association, just one she liked. She hadn’t lived there four months before she received “clare”-ity around her job (which she quit for one in another state) and a relationship (which she dumped). Be careful what you do select for a name or title. Naming their lake home Heaven’s Haven, a retired couple was over-run with guests who loved their home so much they didn’t want to leave.

I don’t always suggest naming a house. But when I see an owner and their home struggling to be together, this is an energetic way to change their association. I discourage naming it something like Stupid or Moldy, not to mention other names I can’t print here. The intention is to try to ease a challenging and difficult situation.

Long before I knew about Feng Shui, I lived in a small cottage in the English countryside for a couple of years. In England, many people name their homes. Practically speaking, it’s often the only way of identifying where the mail should go. The name of my cottage was Linden Lea because it was sited on a field of linden trees. I never forgot that experience of getting mail to this address and to have people know me by my house rather than by my name. I had to go to “the Post” one day to sort out some confusion about forwarding my mail. Giving them my name didn’t seem to help, but when I told them I lived at Linden Lea the problem was readily solved.

Whether or not you’re enjoying the experience of the house you’re living in, I suggest you give some thought to naming it. If you already enjoy its energy and have found it to be a blessing in your life, naming it may be an appropriate gift you give to both of you. If the struggle seems interminable, naming it may be a way to ease some of the difficulties.