the story of my name: wren, like the bird

does your name have a story? did you choose your name or did someone else give it to you?

when i think of the subject of names, i think back to reading the bible at an early age & coming to the part in revelation where it says that the rider of the white horse has a mysterious name written on him that only he knows. to this day, it beckons a sense of intimacy that this white-horsed rider has with himself. perhaps the name gives him special power, like his special word he says for strength to remember the truth about himself, the truth about his strength & power, inherent goodness & rights.

when i was making many changes in how i chose to perceive the world & interact with it, i decided to give myself a new name. my original name, lauren, gifted to me by my parents was always a beautiful name to me, but i wanted something more evocative of the way i had been feeling lately, something in close connection with the earth. i wanted to claim my name for myself, as myself. i had been living in north carolina at the time & fell in love with the mountain laurels along my path. laurel or bay tree is, after all, one of the roots of the name lauren, so in doing this i saw it as a way to birth the “new me” from within the older naming or “older me”. mountain laurel seemed like a mouthful, so i kept thinking. ren, which stands for goodness or essential kindness in Confucianism stuck for a bit, but i didn’t quite like the spelling. so i went a step further & added the w. wren, like the bird. there, that’s it!

i asked my friends to call me wren. some took to it easily, while others would still call me lauren & say, “it’ll take time for me to catch onto this!” my parents were bothered saying, “do you not like your original name?,” but it wasn’t so much about that as it was a symbol & there was strength in the re-naming of myself during a time of such transition. one woman i met in california, upon meeting me, said, “wren, Yes! that’s the perfect name for you.” regularly people will comment on my name, relating it to the bird, saying, “what a pretty name,” or otherwise acknowledging that they like my name. my parents also gave calling me wren a trial. they didn’t quite take to it, but most of the world knows me as wren now.

when i call myself wren, it feels light &, as one person, a yoga/meditation instructor/friend, related for me, it is as if i have the power of the bird, wren, inside of my name. wrens are nest-builders and strong & vocal birds. i feel this strength move through me as i go through my life. light on my feet & on the wind, but powerful, so powerful & strong when it comes to taking a stand.

i have friends who say, “i want to change my name too!,” and almost always i encourage them to try out a new name for themselves, if they feel so called. especially during times of great transition, it can be a breath of fresh air to internally/externally take that final, powerful step in re-claiming oneself in more of a self-defined way. the people in your life might not always like or “get” it, but that’s not what renaming oneself is about.


thanks to for the post inspiration!

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