As a human being, mother, grandmother, Feng Shui practitioner, etc., I find myself often frustrated when I can see things in someone’s environment that may be contributing to various problems, but the person is unaware of the power of Feng Shui and is resistant to advice.
Feng Shui is a practice of awareness and people are attracted to it based on their own level of awareness. If I suggest a Feng Shui cure to someone who is unaware of the power of Feng Shui, they usually just slough the suggestion off and the problem continues until they eventually change something in their environment through trial and error.
Resistant people in my environment are very challenging for me, personally, because I can see how life would be improved with particular adjustments, but I am powerless to assist those who do not request or want assistance.
It is common knowledge at this point that some of the easiest and most powerful Feng Shui cures have to do with removing clutter on a regular basis and keeping things clean. Dust is a big chi stopper and can contribute to illness and the feeling of being stuck in particular situations.
In Black Hat Tibetan Feng Shui tradition, the front door signifies the mouth of chi, and if located in the center of the home, affects career . . . a door that sticks contributes to a career that is stuck . . . I frequently encounter people who are complaining about various career challenges, and if the front door has an obvious problem, I might mention it . . . it is amazing to me that such advice is often ignored and the problems continue . . . my personal work is to remind myself that everyone is on their own path, at their own pace, and that my advice is not wanted or needed unless specifically requested. This is a huge piece of work for me because I don’t like to see people suffer needlessly.
Another problem I frequently see is the misuse of paint in a home. Color has profound impact on mood and behavior and even the Western science of color is well documented, but I find that people are often resistant to advice on this matter, as well.
For instance, a red bedroom is asking for trouble . . . and too much red paint, in general, will contribute to an atmosphere of argument and general aggression. Color theory suggests that soothing colors result in harmonious living . . . and the people who need this advice most are the most resistant to receiving it. It is quite ironic.
When someone complains to me about persistent problems and simple solutions have been suggested and routinely ignored, it is maddening.
There are so many subjects that could be taught at home and in school that would actually help people lead harmonious lives. In ancient times, tribes taught basic skills and truths from day one – there was not the time or space for personal discovery. I wish, as a collective, we could revamp society to prioritize harmonious living practices.
I survived another holiday and lived to tell about it! I bet I am in very good company. I don’t know who invented holidays (formerly holy days), but I would like to revise the rules to change the focus from “How do I feel and what can I get?” to “What can I positively contribute?” and “How can I do no harm?”
I wish “loving kindness” was a value that was cherished and taught in homes and schools. Think what the world might be like if everyone practiced this value.
I have been fascinated with light for a very long time. As a small child, I recall the beauty of light falling on garden ponds in my neighborhood (strangely, I felt free to walk into whomever’s back yard I wanted to, whether I knew the people or not, but that is another blog). I was always aware of the pleasing aesthetic of the effect of light and was also interested in color, which I explored with my mother’s beautiful silk scarves (transformed into “rooms” for my dolls).
As an adult, I became fascinated with crystals and collected many, most of which were stolen in a home break-in (I figured the thief must have been kind of stupid about Karma, stealing crystals, a Reiki massage table, and a Buddha of good fortune . . . )
I celebrate Christmas with my family, mostly to honor familial tradition. I am attracted to the seasonal celebrations, particularly the Winter Solstice. During the winter season, I am in touch with the need to withdraw and hibernate to rejuvenate.
I enjoy the shorter, darker days, and especially love lighting up the darkness with little sparkly white lights.
That image reminds me of a favorite childhood memory. The church of my childhood was a small, old, beautiful medieval chapel. I can still recall the midnight mass and the absolute feeling of awe it inspired. I will be eternally grateful for the mysteries the Catholic Church imbued in my consciousness. I carry those images deep within my psyche and they are activated every winter. I can never reproduce the magic of the first imagery, but I do so appreciate the components (the darkness, the light, the mystery).
How does this relate to Feng Shui you might ask? Taoist I-Ching Cornerstone concepts of Yin (feminine, darkness) and Yang (masculine, light) are integral to Feng Shui, as are honoring the elements (water, wood, fire, earth, metal), and all of nature, of course, including the particular gifts of the seasons.
I think this is a good example of the reason many people cannot clear their clutter.This cat was recently given to me by my mother. She said it belonged to her mother and that it was a “lucky cat” full of nickels.
When I brought it home I had absolutely no idea what to do with it, so it sat on a dresser for several months. Just today I decided it has to go down to the basement (yes, some old houses in Santa Cruz have basements).
One of the reasons for my procrastination in assigning it to the basement is the fact that as unattractive as it is, it is a family heirloom of sorts. It evidently had some meaning to my grandmother and it is full of nickels she collected.
When I pass on to the next realm, I would like my children to not just toss it out like the junk it looks like it might be, but who has time to tell one’s children about every last thing they own? Not me, hence it has stayed in my house till I just can’t take it anymore.
I still don’t know how I will convey that it was my grandmother’s lucky cat without attaching some kind of note to it, which is what my mother spends a lot of time doing with her stuff. Maybe there should be a family book of semi-important notes for such things.
But the larger point is about clutter. Clutter clearing is all about making decisions in the moment regarding what to do with “stuff.” This is just an example of “semi-important stuff.” There is also “broken stuff waiting to get fixed,” “stuff I might be able to wear someday when I lose ‘x” amount of pounds,” “stuff I might read some day,” “stuff I might want to use to cook a special dish,” “stuff I need to take care of but not right now,” etc., etc.
Note: I orginally published this blog on Active Rain where someone pointed out that it was not a cat but a dog! Duh!
In addition to being a Feng Shui Practitioner, I am also a Realtor. This combination of vocations puts quite a focus on the home.
I realized recently that when most people are getting ready to make a purchase, they have a general idea what features they like in a home, but it is a rare person who has taken the time to seriously think about what would make a house their special dream home.
I like where I currently live but decided to go ahead and do the exercise of figuring out the details of my particular dream house. “The answer” was not as easy and automatic as I thought it would be. I had to really consider exactly where I would like to live, first. I initially thought I would like a beach house . . . but upon further consideration I realized the country would suit me best.
This is interesting because just last year I thought I wanted to live in the city! It seemed like it would be fun to be within walking distance of theaters, restaurants and bookstores and I love the idea of urban design (turns out that I can satisfy that whim through reading design books).
I realized that above all else, I crave peace and quiet and therefore an ideal location for me would be a country parcel of at least an acre in size, preferably larger.
I don’t want to live way out in the boonies, so something not too far from town would be ideal.
I set up a property search for myself and 105 properties came up. I went through each property and none of them fit my aesthetic requirements . . . I want something that has warmth and coziness and interesting architectural details, but the house must be on a protected, yet SUNNY lot.
My ideal floor plan consists of a great room with a chef’s kitchen, because I have this fantasy of entertaining. I like Tuscan architecture at the moment (last year it was Craftsman and Victorian, which I still admire, but I am currently craving rounded stone walls, large rooms, and even modern designs, which I never would have thought was “my style”).
The above criteria might leave you shaking your head, but I now know exactly what I like and what I would want in a dream home, so I would be in a much better position to purchase something that was going to meet my psychological and spiritual needs, and that is an often missing piece in the home buying process.
Feng Shui challenges arise when the house is not working for you in ways that you might not be aware of. In my case, clutter accumulates because of lack of adequate room and storage.
When I purchased my cottage, I didn’t realize that this would be an issue. It is only through living in the house that I have become aware of the particular Feng Shui challenges of this home.
I purchased my house in the winter, so I didn’t even consider sun exposure . . . it never even occurred to me. It turns out the house has Northern exposure, which means shady yards. Come to think of it, I like a sunny back yard . . .