Dangerously Daydreaming

"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible." ~ T. E. Lawrence

A Rose Named Lily

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

Mr. Shakespeare, I’d like to respectfully contest.  I’ve mulled this one over for a few months and I don’t think that if you called a rose a lily it would be the same.  Mind you, lilies are my favorite flower.  Names, by their very nature, have an energy about them.  Most of us on here are writers, we understand the power of words already.  So grasping the energy of names doesn’t seem like a stretch.

That power of names is something that historians, writers, and storytellers have captured for centuries.  They were lent supernatural characteristics.  Names could inspire hope or terror.  History and even mythology have shown countless people being renamed to signify a turning point in their lives.  And names could even have prophetic significance, a kind of mark for life.

Some people hope to name a new baby something unique, different, and special.  But there are whole cultures focused on the idea that the meaning of the name is most important.  My parents were of that mind and I’m grateful for that.  I feel like it immediately inspires a sense of legacy.

Audrey is an Anglo-Saxon name that means Noble Strength.  My mom named me for Audrey Hepburn, her favorite actress.  I love that she’s my namesake, it already lends a sense of beauty and awe just in having such an iconic woman carry my name before me.  But ever since I was 3, I remember my parents telling me what my name meant, as though ardently wishing that I could live out that meaning fully.  My grandmother gave me a bookmark before I could even read that had my name and it’s meaning on it.  I would ask her to read it to me periodically and she would explain the power of those words.  Even then, my toddler mind could understand there was something important about my name.  It was the first word I learned to write when I was three.

Here I am, nearly 22 years later and you know what?  My name has become my mantra for life, my inspiration when things are difficult.  I ended up boiling it down to “Grace and Strength”.  It’s what I gasp chant when I run and the hills are kicking my butt.  It’s what I whisper to myself in a crowded room of strangers when I want to bolt for the door be an introvert.  It’s the call to action when I feel battered and helpless through the daily storms of life.  And it drives me and fills my heart with hope for the present and future.  Knowing what my name means makes me want to fully embody it.  I truly believe that through life we don’t find ourselves, we choose ourselves.  And I choose to embrace Audrey.

Grace and Strength.

I whisper it and can feel my spirit rise up within me instantly.

So what’s in a name?  Plenty.  I always want to see others inspired to live fully and richly.  And sometimes it takes something like the meaning of a name or a mantra to help keep that at the forefront of the mind.

So what’s your name mean?

And what’s your mantra?

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14 comments on “A Rose Named Lily

  1. Stuff I Can't Post
    May 23, 2012

    I totally agree! First of all, I ADORE Audrey Hepburn. I’ve aspired to be her since I was 5 and I saw the iconic photo of her from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I walked around in mom’s heels, my pop-bead necklace (do you remember those?) and a black leotard.

    My name, though not revealed to the world, has a nice meaning. However, it is not what I chant in my hour of need. I chat Grace. Why? A zillion reasons….this will be the name of my kid should I have one. I hope its a girl. Grace as a boy just wouldn’t sound right. 🙂

    • Audrey
      May 25, 2012

      I know what you mean, she was flat-out inspiring, something about the poise and elegance. Haha, oh my gosh I do remember pop bead necklaces! Too funny, I can imagine it all.

      Your name is beautiful, though I’m not sure what it means. Grace is a good one. Again, seems like something the just inspires a natural beauty and classiness. I like it! 🙂 Yeah, I hope it’s a girl too! Otherwise it’ll be “A Boy Named Sue” all over again!

  2. Robyn Burke
    May 23, 2012

    Oh, Audrey, you don’t know how much I needed this powerful reminder today of all days. My mantra is most of the time from 2 Corinthians 12:9, “MY grace is sufficient for you.”

    • Audrey
      May 25, 2012

      I’m so so glad that this could be helpful! Your mantra is great, so powerful and really puts it all into perspective. Beautiful. 🙂 Hugs to you, my friend!

  3. whatimeant2say
    May 23, 2012

    I don’t think Mrs Cap’n Firepants has a meaning. But I do have a mantra. “Count your blessings, not the number of holes in your couch.”

    • Audrey
      May 25, 2012

      Mrs. Cap’n Firepants is pretty much the best name ever so maybe you don’t even need a meaning for it! Bahaha, oh the joys of having Wonderbutt… Your mantra rocks!

  4. ethelthedean
    May 23, 2012

    Brilliant post! I love the history surrounding your name. It is an incredibly touching story – there is much love there. 🙂

    Names are fabulous and I love learning about the etymology of different monikers. My name means Butterfly, which I’ve always gotten a kick out of. My last name means Leader, so I am the butterfly leader.

    My mantra is very much the little engine that could “you can do it, you can do it” – nothing special, but hey, it works!

    • Audrey
      May 25, 2012

      Thank you! It’s pretty cool to have family who want so much for you and instill a sense of legacy like that.

      The butterfly leader, that’s awesome! Your mantra get’s it done, that’s for sure! I love how it really can be something simple and easy to bring to mind but it just works.

  5. storiesbywilliams
    May 23, 2012

    Oy, this reminds me of a debate we had in History class, Theory and Method to be specific. In that case, it was the definition of things like “city” or “mental illness”. Man, that got mind-bending!

    • Audrey
      May 25, 2012

      It can get pretty wild looking at definitions, connotations and all of that. The perception of the human mind isn’t an easy thing to grasp when everyone is so different. Mindbending is a great word to describe it.

  6. Worrywart
    May 25, 2012

    I love the names Rose, Lily, Audrey, and Grace. Coincidentally, two of the most important people in my life are named Grace and Audrey so I guess I have unknowingly gone through life with “Grace and Strength.” My mantra as you know is, “It’s April – I mean May – damn it, Crush. This. Goal.”

    • Audrey
      June 7, 2012

      Your mantra rocks! I love it, that one inspires me too! You are totally crushing it!

  7. Kitt Crescendo
    March 4, 2013

    Noble Strength suits you! As for Audrey Hepburn…she’s a classic. As far as I can tell, so are you. 🙂

    • Audrey
      March 5, 2013

      Thank you! I got so excited when I saw your post. Anything on name meanings is so cool! And it’s awesome to me that you can really see some people really embrace their name and take that on as a part of themselves – much like you have! Audrey Hepburn made me proud to share her name. 🙂

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