Acroname: Using your Name like a Mantra & Metaphor

Aneesah Wilhelmstätter


Acroname: Using your Name like a Mantra and Metaphor, is a self-valuing and self-validating tool that helps you tap into your personality, upgrade your character and strengthen your sense of identity so that you can show up as the best version of yourself. This creative exercise, by helping you invest meaning in your name in such a way that your name reflects your intentions, your identity and your values, can help you live up to your potential.

How hard is it to be equal to the tasks and challenges of being an artist, if you do not identify as being an artist? How conflicted do you feel about getting to your work, when there are personality and identity pieces getting in the way of meeting the blank canvas or page? How difficult is it to be authentic and create freely when you need the approval and/or fear the judgment of others? How hard is it to complete a work, for example, if you do not identify as a person who is a finisher? What can you do to meet any and even all of these challenges and come out all the stronger for it? If you recognize yourself and your experience in any of these scenarios, I believe this exercise can really be of help. What’s more, you can activate its power at whichever point of your creative process you find yourself in.

Through my own personal experiments and work with my creativity coaching clients, I have identified 5 steps one can take to power up one’s name to make light work of carrying one’s intentions, one’s identity and even one’s life purpose from one task or challenge to the next. Here are the 5 steps you need:

The first step is to select a name. You can use your name, surname or one of your names (if you have several) – perhaps you have a pet name or even feel inclined to create an alter-ego or harness the potential of an Avatar you have created. You may choose one of these names that resonate with you in a positive way already, or you may rise to the challenge and choose a name that needs some beneficial self-healing. Begin with some deep soul searching, to identify what your name has represented to others and to yourself, in valuing and devaluing ways. Take a deep centering breath, then on the exhale, focus your attention on the sound of your name as you call on your name, mentally or out loud, for three repetitions. If Picasso were your name, it would sound like: “Picasso … Picasso … Picasso.” Move towards a tone that sounds and feels pleasing to you.

Why not give it a go right now, using your own name instead of Picasso’s? Wherever you are right now, call upon your name and as you allow yourself to relax into a sense of its meditative mantra-like quality, exhale to a count of five. Now shift your focus to the actual letters of your name and take another deep centering breath.

The second step is to write the letters of your name down vertically, in upper or lower case (as you wish), with one letter per line.

Thirdly, explore a link. On each line, write down a belief, value, principle or character quality that each letter of your name might represent, paying attention to what can help you counter unhelpful beliefs, roles, habits and challenges of your own personality. You are creating a manifesto and a declaration of the heroically authentic you. For example, if you tend to put too much weight in the opinion and approval of others, focus on values such as self-referral, self-validation, not taking things personally and choosing to feed your faith to counter self-doubt.

Fourthly, pick a resonant value. Going down your list, pick the one value on each line that truly resonates with you and create a new list with one ‘value’ per letter, leaving two to three lines spacing between your value items.

The final step is to craft an affirmative self-statement that references the value directly. The beauty of this step is that you are creating powerful self-referenced and meaningful mantras in addition to the mantra that is your name.

After several rounds of introspective play, this is what I came up with as a means to repurpose my own name:

A = I awaken to freedom
N = I nominate myself to make meaning
E = I am exceptional and prove the exception
E = I embrace this moment
S = I step into a resourceful state
A = Appreciation rules!
H = I return home to self-compassion and strength

When faced with a task or a challenge, how do you harness the potential and the power of your name? I simply ask myself: WWAD? What would Aneesah do? Calling on your own name in this way centers you, connects you to your creative core, and places you in a better position to meet the challenge. Right beliefs, thoughts and actions, congruent with your intentions, become available to you. Proceeding in this self-reliant, self-referencing way has the bonus consequence of building self-trust and countering self-doubt.

Victor, a creativity coaching client of mine, reported: “Now that I call on my name like a mantra, I feel more authentically connected to my work and instead of feeling drained and disturbed, I am filled with a sense of pride and power.” You too can invest in yourself by powering up your name. Every time you call on yourself, you are choosing to act on your own behalf and saying “yes” to yourself, “yes” to your life and “yes” to your potential!

About Aneesah Wilhelmstätter
Aneesah Wilhelmstätter identifies herself as a Miracle and Dream Whisperer, Painter, Graphic Artist, Creativity and Life Purpose Coach, Writer and Workshop designer and facilitator. She has continued to live the expat life since leaving her country of origin in 1998, making a living in the Netherlands, Paris and London. Due to her travels and constantly being called to reinvent herself, she is particularly passionate about change, transition, transformation and The Hero’s Journey. She is the author of several books including Passion to Performance, The Expat’s Way and The Thankful Way Journal. She has also designed the Tarot of Experience. Aneesah originally graduated in Social Sciences, working in the fields of mental health and in a general hospital, before founding Creative Change Coaching in 2001.
You can connect with her on facebook at Creative Change Coaching
View some of Aneesah’s work online here
Or follow her latest blog challenge focusing on MIRACLE Routines and Rituals

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