Piggy-backing on my last blog post, I want to tie my recent exhaustion in not only with the chaos of my office renovation, but with a problem I recently encountered related to “energy exchange.” In addition to being a Feng Shui Consultant, I also sell real estate. It has come to my attention that I need to implement the theory of “energy exchange” into my real estate business. When I explain the theory to my Feng Shui clients, they seem to understand instantaneously, no problem, but because real estate agents are commissioned sales people, with the corresponding image baggage, as well as Western market mentality (ideas such as “take what you can get,” “let the best man win,” “get it while you can,” “sales people are a dime a dozen, no-good swindlers,” or what have you), I am often left holding the bag. The empty bag where money should be, as in Scrooge McDuck and his money bags (1950′s reference for those of you who missed the amazing comic books of that time)!
I explain to my Feng Shui clients that it is very important to be aware of “energy exchange.” If someone does something nice for you, it is appropriate to compensate them – “tit for tat” in terms of intention, which is another important concept in Feng Shui. The belief about energy exchange is related to the idea of karma – which I perceive as simply an energetic balancing. The concept is perhaps most easily understood from the negative perspective . . . if a person takes and takes from someone, they might feel like they have gotten away with something in the short term, but there really is no “free lunch.” Sooner or later the person’s luck or fortune or life will somehow reflect the imbalance that has been created.
I had the following situations in the last twelve months or so:
A young couple who owned some investment properties was in search of an additional property. I wrote two low-ball offers for them (a real estate agent can suggest to their client that the amount they wish to offer will probably not result in an accepted offer, but we are ethically obligated to submit the client’s offer, no matter what our feelings (if we wish to continue to represent the client). The offers, predictably were not accepted. Both properties elicited multiple offers, and the prices were driven higher than asking price. The couple “took a break” from the market, and then the husband’s job became less secure. I put in many, many hours of work on the couple’s behalf, researching the market, touring properties on multiple occasions, writing offers, and my pay check was zero. What would have made this more equitable? If the couple had recognized my efforts in terms of simple appreciation, that would have been a start. If they had referred me to friends, that would have been great. But none of those things happened, and I honestly do not know why. But the energy exchange was imbalanced. That is not a good position to be in, for either one of us. For me, there is an energy deficit. For them, there is an energy surplus that they did not earn. It’s not ethically correct (what a concept in these uncivil times!) to allow this to happen.
I had another client living out of the area who had been looking for a second home for around five years, and was finally ready to make the purchase. I had been sending property information to this client for all of these years and following up with personal emails. Finally, we began a serious property search. I identified several properties and we set out to see them on several occasions. The client found the dream property and I wrote an offer, which was accepted (not a simple feat). Congratulations were in order. The next phase began: Coordination with the lender, scheduling inspections and appraisal, etc. At this point, the client’s partner, who had seen the property online and had signed the offer to purchase (several days of faxing multiple pages and coordinating signatures). When the partner came out to view the property, the escrow was promptly cancelled. The reason: It was too much of a place for the money and too much money for a place. Hours, and days and weeks of work down the drain. In this case, what could have happened differently is no offer would have been made without the partner’s physical presence, so “my bad” for interpreting that the client I was working with had the authority and perspective to choose a property of which the partner would approve. I think presented with a similar situation in the future, I might conduct an in-depth survey of the partner’s real estate wishes instead of relying on the person I was working with to have done that.
Then there was the couple who live out-of-the-area who had me running ragged for months on end. (Turns out they had major entitlement issues.) I wrote two offers for them – one on a short sale and then another one on a bank-owned property. The latter offer was accepted. As soon as it was accepted, they backed out – turns out they “hadn’t counted on it being accepted” (then why did they make an offer? . . . ) But that was not the worst of it. The straw that broke the camel’s back is when they called me from a property on a Saturday and wanted to get into the property right then. They had not had the courtesy to tell me they were coming into town (this was their M.O. – to come to town on a whim and expect me to drop everything, which I had done, like an idiot, up until that point). I texted them that I required more loyalty and communication from my clients and suggested they find another agent. This last experience cost me a ton of time, energy, and money, none of which they even attempted to reimburse. In this case, I believe the clients “should have” offered to pay me something for all of the time and effort, and actual expense I incurred on their behalf. But nothing was offered. I got the strong feeling that these people were users, out strictly for themselves, in life. Sad really.
The way real estate is structured, the only way to have prevented any of these outcomes would have been to have had a contract in place requiring me to be paid for services rendered. In real estate sales, it is very uncommon for people to collect fees for work associated with deals that do not close. The sellers of a property pay commissions, so real estate agents don’t get paid unless and until escrow closes.
It is easy to see that my good nature was taken advantage of by these people (and there were others too . . . it all happened within a particular time frame), but there are lessons for me. One of them is the reminder that while I sell real estate – a business which operates on a mundane, worldly plane, I also understand metaphysics and Feng Shui, and I know about energy exchange. I know that if I am not compensated for my energy outlay that I will become literally depleted. So it is up to me to see that this does not happen. It is difficult because you never know what is going to happen next and I have a habit of thinking that people’s good nature will prevail. But all people are not kind, all people are not fair, all people do not have the same beliefs I have (that is an understatement!).
It is difficult to live in both worlds: The world of commerce and Western market mentality, and the world of metaphysics . . . to be continued . . .
I have been living in chaos, amidst boxes and boxes of books for months now. I can attest to the fact living in a messy environment can wreak havoc with every single aspect of your life! My health has suffered drastically, and I have faced multiple obstacles during this time. There are other variables, of course . . . Mercury is Retrograde at the moment – there have been some significant transits and two major eclipses . . . it is a very trying time for many people on the planet, to say the very least.
My project is turning a bedroom into a fully functional office. I got tired of working in other people’s offices (I also do work as a Realtor and found I much prefer to work from home and go into the office only to meet with clients). A couple of friends are assisting me with the work . . . (My designer, Hedi Label is fantastic if you ever need a creative eye) and the guy who is doing the carpentry is giving me a deal, so the work is going very slowly. So far, I have these wonderful Ikea butcher block counters on three sides of the room (for office projects, artwork, etc.) and the carpenter is building custom bookcases, even as I type. Once the bookcases are done, then I can get the boxes of books off my floor and turn my dining room from a storage facility back into a dining room.
But in the meantime, my little cottage is a complete mess . . . I am not a particularly patient person (to say the least!), but I decided I had to let go of any stress around worrying about when the project might get done – I had to give into the momentum of the project or go insane (well, I have gone a little insane anyway, but probably didn’t need an excuse).
The Feng Shui implications to me have been enormous and I hope I can assist future clients from the perspective of direct experience now, living in absolute chaos and disorder from a more conscious realm where I can talk about it and process it (I have lived in disorder before but before I had formally studied Feng Shui I didn’t have any real perspective on how it was affecting me). Now I have direct, hands-on experience of what it is like to live in an unorganized environment. There is stress related to the fact it is difficult to find things, there is the unhappiness I feel when I look around me (aesthetics are extremely important to me – I am very sensitive to my environment and it displeases me that it is so trashed looking). The physical impact of the junk is exhausting. Stuff that is unorganized literally drains energy. I am living (barely living at the moment) proof. I have never been so tired in my life, and I am convinced that it is because of the way I have been living amidst this clutter for months on end.