Your birth name. It was bestowed upon you, and some people believe that it says a lot about you and who you will become. Others believe it is something completely out of your control and, therefore, cannot define you beyond certain things that people may infer about you (right or wrong) such as gender, race, etc.
My name is unique in the U.S. It originates from Ghana, and my mom found it in a book of African names. In the book she had, Afi meant spiritual and that’s the meaning she intended when naming me. Later in life, I’ve come to learn that it’s a unisex name that means spiritual for a boy and girl born on Friday for a girl (by the way, I was born on a Tuesday). In any case, I have grown to be very spiritual which could be a testament to the intention my mom had behind the name and meaning.
Like my mother, I was very intentional when naming my kids and also my business. I named my boys Kalonji and Amari. Kalonji means he will be victorious and Amari means strength. I hope that both of their name meanings hold true for them in their lives. My company name (AKEA) is the combination of the first initials of me, my husband, and our two sons. I recognize both the sacrifices and rewards my family takes on with my business ownership. In naming my business, I honor my family involvement and desire to leave a legacy.
Outside of the birth name given to us, we also attach other names and identities to ourselves often without even being aware. Every time you use the phrase ‘I am’ you are affirming something about yourself. Unlike our birth names, we are responsible for this — we have a choice. If you say or think ‘I am not good enough’ or ‘I am not worthy,’ you are affirming that in your life. Do you really want to do that? Why not affirm that you are enough and you are worthy! Instead of ‘I am behind’ affirm ‘I am right where I should be.’ Instead of ‘I am weak’ affirm ‘I am strong.’
Don’t affirm something that you don’t want. Take back your ‘I am’ and the power that goes with it. You had no say in your birth name, but you are free to choose the identities you attach to yourself now. Don’t choose broken, scared, and useless…instead choose whole, fearless, and valuable. Affirm the good and be open to receive it.