Finding the Comfort in Discomfort

 

There is always an opportunity for growth where we least expect it. image: corozontintero.blogspot.com

Folks, the Summer is coming to an end.

The Fall Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere falls on September 23rd and many people find the seasonal shift from warm to cooler weather to be very challenging. Days are shorter, flowers and trees lose their colorful vibrancy and you need to start piling on more layers. This change of season is a bummer right? Not necessarily.

Change can be a wonderful thing even if it’s uncomfortable.

This recurring theme has been a hot topic for myself and many of my clients recently. You just lost your job. You had to relocate with little warning. Your childhood pet passes away. Circumstances you can’t control arise that create fear within you. All change agents.

How can we take comfort in the discomfort of change?

I know, your impulse is to run the other way when things get tough. Who the heck wants to feel challenged, annoyed, icky? But here’s the thing.

Discomfort is the key to transformation. It’s like water for plants or basil for pesto. (I love food almost as much as I love Feng Shui).

The key to true transformation is to stay in the discomfort.

I know it sounds counter-intuitive but when they say the only way through something is “through” something, it’s the truth. Being in your discomfort is not an easy place to be but it’s inarguably the only way. Once you embrace it, beautiful transformation will greet you in its arms on the other side.

Here are some Feng Shui tips to practice while you are staying in your discomfort:

1) Musical vibration - Everyday for 9 days – in Feng Shui, 9 is a very auspicious number – play your favorite song, artist, mantra. The healing energy of sound is very profound. And all you have to do is listen. Currently, this is my favorite mantra promoting love and tenderness (translation here). Self-love is the biggest healer of all.

2) Get to know yourself - When life circumstances challenge us, Feng Shui recommends activating your Knowledge/Self-Knowledge section of your home since usually the best way to help a situation is looking at what’s going on inside. We cannot control our outer circumstances and in any case, 99.9% of the time, the answers are within us. Put helpful books you are reading here, light a candle with the intention of getting inner guidance, or place a plant to represent growth. And if this area is cluttered, clear it out!

image: Feng Shui Creative

To find your Knowledge/Self-Reflection area of your space, align this bagua with your front door. image: Feng Shui Creative

3) Find the Silence - Oy, the world has become such a noisy place. Hours after we turn off our smartphones, computers, gadgets (do they actually turn off?), we can still hear the humming of the electrical currents. Be sure to not have any of these gadgets in your bedroom during this time of transformation as it can deplete our already challenged energy levels. Take it one step further - sit twice a day, 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes before you go to bed, in silence. Close your eyes and connect to your inner healer. Look inside, not out. And pul-ease, don’t use your smartphone to time yourself.

4) Find your support - There must always be a balance. After you come out of silence, seek out friends, family or professionals who can support you in your transformational process. You are not alone and will soon realize you are not the only one going through discomfort. Sharing your story with others will not only help you, but those around you. Open your heart and allow comfort to find its way in.

5) Gratitude - When we are in that place where everything seems bleak, it feels impossible that things will ever get better. But it will. When you’re in that dark place, my experience is the more gratitude you show for what you already have, the faster and greater the transformation process. Recite what you are grateful for everyday or keep a gratitude journal.

Use this seasonal transformation as a beautiful example to what is possible. Winter may be long and dreary but remember what Spring brings forth. Adopt this message. Embrace discomfort because it’s the precursor to huge change. You can do it. I’ve got your back.

Dude, where’s the Sofa?

Think design and function. image: hgtv.com

Think design and function. image: hgtv.com

I live in New York City. Aside from Japan where I hear people get help squashing into subway cars and slumber in sleep pods, I think we may be the city with the least amount of square footage per person.

Due to this space challenge, many feel that they would like to follow my suggestions of putting their desk or sofa in the “Command Position,” but first need to figure out how to fit a desk or a sofa into their living space. 

Or you may be or have a college student in your life who is decorating their dorm room and want to figure out the best configuration for eating, sleeping and of course, ahem, studying.

In my experience, when designing small spaces, the best results are achieved by combining classic design concepts with Feng Shui philosophies. 

Yes, these two ideas can and do work together nicely, I promise.

How to create the illusion of space and encourage flow in your home using classic design and ancient Feng Shui principles (without making your place looking like a Chinese Opera movie set - unless you want it to):

1) Go on a color diet - I am often asked what colors are best in Feng Shui for certain areas of a space. For the sake of time and space, let me just say that a small space benefits most with one neutral palette. Too many colors in a small space creates visual clutter and can adversely affect one’s chi or energy. Instead, use colors such as beige, greys and lighter colors as an overall base color then add accent colors with accessories (pillows, artwork, ceramics) to energize the room. For an added bonus, paint everything the same color (including baseboards and ceilings) to give your space a streamlined look.

2) Reflect outward - Mirrors are often used in Feng Shui due to its powerful ability to enhance or correct Feng Shui issues. To make a space feel larger, you can also use mirrors on walls opposite windows to bring light into spaces that normally would be dark or stagnant. Mirrors naturally open up a space and give the allusion of more room. Just be sure not to put too many mirrors in your bedroom as it can disrupt sleep patterns.

3) Look around and up - In Feng Shui, we often look around us but forget to look up. There is so much valuable vertical real estate you can take advantage of for shelving, hooks and even for picture frames. The only Feng Shui exception is to make sure you don’t hang anything heavy over where you sleep, cook or sit often. Having something hanging over you is not positive symbolism and over time can affect the health of your chi.

Take advantage of all your real estate, even upward. image: refinery29

Take advantage of all your real estate, even upward. image: refinery29

4) Be in Command - So, you may not have room for a sofa or desk. Got it. But be sure where you do sit the majority of the time -whether it be on a stool, beanbag or a cushion, that you are still “in command.” Place your seating where you can easily see the door so you won’t be caught off guard and you’ll keep your chi in optimal health.

5) Kitchen confidential - Chances are, if you are in a small space, your cooking facility consists of a hot plate or an open concept stovetop. Hooray for you if you actually do have these amenities in a small space! One thing to keep in mind though is it is important to keep your kitchen area out of sight when you are not using it since constantly seeing your kitchen area can be distracting for your chi and can potentially cause health issues over time. Counter this by hanging up a stylish noren or curtain. If you own a hot plate, unplug it when not in use and store it in a cupboard. If space is an issue, get creative and find ways to cover it up. I found this cool box that is normally used to hide electrical wires but could very easy be used to put your hot plate in (unplugged) and maybe even serve as a side table when not in use!

Not having enough room is no longer an excuse to be disorganized or Feng Shui lazy. Feng Shui design concepts can be applied to any space, regardless of size. Use your ingenuity and creativity and always make sure to have fun!

Activating your Career Path

YourPath_FengShuiCreative

See this as an empty path or the path to your career opportunities. image: feng shui creative

There are no jobs out there.
Nobody is hiring.
The economy is really bad.
I feel sorry for recent graduates or anyone looking for a job.
I’m lucky to have the job I have, so why would I look anywhere else?

Here’s what I say to all of this chatter:

Bull-crap.
(sorry for my French, mom)

Don’t believe the hype. Those of us who are accustomed to living and in the alternate world (read: metaphysical world), know that there is more than enough opportunities, abundance and success to go around.

Society and the media drill into us that success is hard to come by and even if you’re one of the lucky ones, it’s not guaranteed. This creates fear. This creates lack.

Here’s how not to get sucked in.

Have you ever gotten a raise when you knew the company you worked for was not doing well? Or how about signing on a new client when “nobody is spending any money?”  This happens all the time, even in a bad economy.

Help create more work opportunities by using the following Feng Shui remedies and rituals to activate the “career”  part of your space and your brain:

1) Water your Career section - The Career section of the bagua is related to the Water element so put things in this area that has qualities of water. It can be as literal as a water fountain or a photo of your favorite lake or waterfall. Figurative representations of water work well too. Mirrors in Feng Shui represent water due to its moving and reflective qualities. Hang a fun mirror in this section and watch your opportunities flow in.

2) Fire up your Fame section - The Fame/Reputation section of your space is symbolized by the Fire element so light it up! Place objects here that are red, or put candles that you burn regularly. As this is your reputation area, you can also put things that you are recognized for such as diplomas and licenses. If you want to be known for your artwork, hang up your artwork and put some fiery red into it!

To find your Career, Fame/Reputation sections of your space, align this bagua with your front door. image: Feng Shui Creative

To find your Career, Fame/Reputation sections of your space, align this bagua with your front door. image: Feng Shui Creative

3) Make sure you are in Command - You have heard me drone on and on about this one. I will continue. Because it’s that important. When sitting at your desk, dining table or couch, make sure that you can comfortably see the door. If not, life will always keep you feeling a bit “on edge.” Feeling empowered when putting yourself out to the world makes all the difference, so go move your stuff!

4) Clear the Channels - Another repeat hit. Make sure that both Career and Fame/Reputation areas are free of clutter and allow you to move around easily and effortlessly. Opportunities will not like having to worm their way through.

5) Converse with the Universe - Here’s the woo-woo element but it’s so darn powerful. Tell the World what you want. You want an office overlooking 5th Avenue? Write it, say it, mean it. You want a job that you don’t think you can get? Write it, say it, mean it. The Universe is actually clamoring to send success your way, you just need tell it exactly what you want, then get out of the way.

Just remember, when doing any of the tips, the most important thing is to set your intention and have the feeling like you already have the job/opportunity or the job/opportunity is already on the way, because it is!

AirBnB Feng Shui

Some things to consider before you hand over those keys. Image: happyinspector.com

Some things to consider before you hand over those keys. Image: happyinspector.com

Your ticket is booked and you’re all packed. Last week, we discussed how to incorporate Feng Shui when you’re a traveling’ fool.

Now you’re ready to rent your place because your space is awesome, it has kick-butt Feng Shui and a natural je ne sais quoi. Why wouldn’t you want to share it with lucky guests who want to feel at home in your hometown?

Enter interesting options like AirBnB.

It goes something like this: “Happy traveller rents place to willing and budget conscious tourist.” This is all great until someone loses their flow by a nasty vibe left behind by some unenlightened earthly being.

I’m not knocking vacation rental services like craigslist or the like as I’ve been known to rent a cot or two in my day. But while you are surfing in Hawaii, you may want to use Feng Shui to keep your space from absorbing energies that may not be in sync with yours.

How on earth do you do that? I have some ideas for you.

How to prep your home to receive graciously while deflecting inharmonious energies:

1) Clear out your clutter – Energy gets trapped in clutter. Avoid stagnant chi by keeping your space pared down and organized. Avoid grumbling and angry energy by visitors annoyed by your clutter. It’s a win-win situation.

2) Orange scent - Citrus scents lift moods. Keep your visitors feeling good by keeping some natural citrus room sprays handy.

3) Green it up - One word: plants! Plants are so powerful in absorbing negative energy. Make sure you get hardy, easy to care for plants with rounded leaves. This natural air purifier will work its magic while you’re gone. When you return, just take them outdoors for a few hours to clear and release any energy they may have absorbed.

Plants - natural air and energy purifiers. Image: designlovefest.com

Plants – natural air and energy purifiers. Image: designlovefest.com

4) Get a bed bug mattress/box spring protector - At first glance, this doesn’t seem like a Feng Shui tip, but listen up, because it is. Feng Shui is all about keeping your energy calm and balanced. If you are constantly worrying about critters like bedbugs invading your home (and they LOVE mattresses and box springs), take precautionary action and protect yourself from them. Invest the 100 bucks and stay calm and grounded.

The last tip is for when you get home:

5) Open all your windows - For at least 15 minutes, open every one of your windows. Energy needs to be changed and circulated and this is the easiest way to do it.

If you’re not the squeamish type, there are good reasons to rent your home while you’re away. Just follow these tips and keep your home’s energy sparkling clean!

Feng Shui for your Summer Travels

Taking Feng Shui on the Road. image: glassduffle.com

Taking Feng Shui on the Road. image: glassduffle.com

It’s officially the last month of Summer in the Northern Hemisphere.

I am sorry to depress you with this reminder and for those of you who have kids, I’m sure you’re already feeling it. If you haven’t gone away already, it’s not too late! There are still plenty of August days clamoring for last minute getaways and day trips. And it’s weird (and sad) to say that with global warming, Indian Summers may become more a norm than an anomaly.

You may ask, “But Susan, I’m working on Feng Shui-ing my space. How can I stop right in the middle?” 

Yes, you may be using this free time to tackle organizing and decorating projects. But know that your home is always a work in progress and this is what I say about it - forget your projects for now! The lazy days of Summer are quickly fading away, so you need to take advantage of it. You’ll thank me for it later.

So pack your sunblock and your comfy shoes and find out what you need to know about using Feng Shui during your travels.

To make your trip as Feng Shui friendly as possible, be sure to:

1. Set an intention – Before you leave your home, set an intention for your time away. It can be for yourself, for someone else (remember the Travel section of the bagua is also your Helpful People section – see image below for reference) or even for greater good. You set intentions for your yoga practice, meditation and specific Feng Shui remedies, so why not set one before you hit the road? Dedicate your time away to a specific intention and remind yourself of it throughout your trip.

2. Pack more than just your swimsuit - Bring small items that you absolutely love and remind you of home. Things such as stones (grounding element in Feng Shui) or crystals are great travel items and put them in the Travel/Helpful People section of your room when you arrive at your destination.

Align this with the door to the room to find your Benefactors area. Image: Feng Shui Creative

Align this with the door to the room to find your Benefactors area. Image: Feng Shui Creative

3. Make it sweet – Pack scents that can address various situations. Lavender is known for its lovely scent and also for its protective properties. Citrus scents such as orange can help uplift the feeling of a space in a jiffy.

4. See Red – In the Chinese tradition, the color red is very auspicious. It symbolizes luck, safety and prosperity. Incorporate this vibrant color in your wardrobe or bring a red beach towel. Not only will it bring you all the qualities of the color, you will probably be easy to spot on the beach or on a crowded boardwalk!

5. Pillow talk – Instead of using a hotel pillowcase, pack your own. Your bed is very important and symbolic in Feng Shui since you spend so much time in a open and receptive state when you are sleeping. Pillowcases absorb your chi (or personal energy) while you sleep which makes taking your home with you is easier than you thought.

If you just can’t seem to find the time from your busy work schedule to travel, you can still incorporate some of these elements into your daily routine as you leave your home to go to the office or business meeting. You may just want to leave your pillowcase at home.

Treating your Clutter Affliction with Feng Shui

Finding organization and peace in your home. image:

Finding organization and peace in your home. image:

Gotta organize. Gotta get rid of stuff. Gotta make the time to clear my pantry, garage, basement, paperwork. Stuff. Things. Clutter. And more clutter.

Does this scenario sound familiar to you?

I’ve been working with many clients recently who tell me that they are drowning in their stuff. 

They can’t seem to get ahead. Piles get bigger, to-do lists get longer. 

This “Clutter Affliction” can sometimes result in not being able to pay bills or even something more serious like physical health issues.
 

And don’t be fooled - Clutter Affliction can be caught by anyone, regardless of your financial situation or the size of your home.

I’ve been trying to think back to the days of my parents and grandparents. Did they have Clutter Affliction? I don’t remember Grandma saying to Gramps, “I can’t go out today. I am just overwhelmed with paperwork and I gotta stay in to deal with it.” 

The big clutter culprits I see in our society today are lack of time and overabundance of shiny things that we want to possess. With a shortage of hours, it’s challenging to find time to dedicate to ourselves, our families as well as for decluttering. I mean, we need time to play with our new shiny things, right?

If you are trying to get your Clutter Affliction in check, here are 5 Feng Shui steps for releasing clutter:

Step 1: Set your intention before you buy – Nip it in the butt before it even happens. When you’re at the store thinking about a purchase, ask yourself, what do I need to let go of to make room for this new object?

Step 2: One in, one out – If you decided to bring the object home, go directly to the object you decided to get rid of and GET RID OF IT. I’m serious. Put it in the trash, put in the “give away” pile but just get rid of it. Honor your word, honor your time, honor your home.

Step 3:  Reconsider your storage – When things are in plain view, the visual “noise” can be unsettling and drain your energy. Add a curtain to your home office if it’s out in the open or instead of things sitting out on shelves, consider putting them in storage boxes so it’s outta sight. In this case, outta sight, outta mind is a good thing!

Step 4: Box Step - Have a box (a nice one of course!) in each room so you can put things in there that live in another room. Less thinking, less energy drain. When you are leaving that room, take the box with you and put the stuff away. Badda bing!

Storage Boxes _FengShuiCreative

Not only are these boxes cute, clutter doesn’t stand a chance. image: www.brit.co

Step 5: Ring my (your) Bell – Everything is energy, people as well as things. When you are dealing with a pile of things to declutter, organize or release, take a bell (something you love to hear) and ring it above the clutter. This action will help you prep for what’s next by breaking up the stagnant energy with an energetic vibration.

And always remember, don’t beat yourself up about your clutter. It’s a fact of modern life. But be sure to follow these directions: Set your intention, use the 5 Feng Shui steps for releasing clutter, receive boundless Abundance. Repeat.

Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot!

It's time to have fun, but not too much. Read more to see what I mean. image: nakedfeetyoga.com

It’s time to have fun, but ration it out. Read more to see what I mean. image: nakedfeetyoga.com

Gosh darn it NYC, it’s hot outside. Summer is definitely here in its full and beautiful glory. It’s beach / watermelon eating / dancing under the stars weather and all I hear from those around me is, “I’m exhausted.” So what’s up?

This feeling of exhaustion makes sense not only because the warmer weather makes us more active but also because it’s due to other forces in action. In Feng Shui, the summer season is associated with the Fire element and the color is red, just like the hot flame. 

Think about what Fire represents – intense heat, yang or powerful, active energy that is fast moving and if not attended, can either scorch everything in its path or burn out quickly. Doesn’t this already sound exhausting? If you’re not careful, this volatile energy can really have a big effect on your life and your mental and physical health. 

So how can you keep from burning out during this red hot summer season?

Here are a few tips for keeping your energy balanced during a season that could easily be very draining:

1) SloMo - Repeat after me, “slomo, slomo, slomo.” Make it your slogan this summer. It’s not going to be easy, but ya gotta slow down. You know how cars overheat and they stop running? Well, it happens with people too. You may feel invincible and light but if you push yourself too hard, you run the risk of burning yourself out. Pay attention to signals – heated arguments, heated moods or getting that summer cold. Surefire (pun intended) signs you gotta shift gears into slomo.

2) Ice, ice baby - In the Feng Shui Bagua, Summer is represented in the section of Fame and Reputation located at the top middle area of your space when you walk through the door. If you are feeling the heat at your job or in any situation where you are visible, cool it down. Literally and figuratively. Put something “cool” in your Fame/Reputation area to dampen the fire. Try some flowers (not red!) in a vase of cool water. Been to Iceland or somewhere especially frosty? Hang up a photo of the snowy landscape and watch the heated temperatures in your life instantly cool down.

Your Fame/Reputation, the season of Summer, the element of Fire, and the color red all reside here. image: Feng Shui Creative

Your Fame/Reputation (Recognition), the season of Summer, the element of Fire, and the color red all reside here. image: Feng Shui Creative

3) The Eyes have it - Since the eyes are also associated with the section of the Bagua related to the summer, you want to take special care of your eyes this season. Make sure you always wear sunglasses to protect them from harmful rays. On another level, be mindful of how you see or perceive certain things. Remember what I mentioned how hot weather = hot tempers and moods? Play it safe. Act in Slomo, keep your cool and let things simmer down because things may not always be how they appear in the heat of the Summertime. 

If you are already feeling burnt-out, take refuge in self care. I get acupuncture as much as I can to recharge and re-energize. My friends at Olo Acupuncture have a great post about taking care of yourself this Summer.

I leave you with a quote, “Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” ― John LubbockThe Use Of Life

Now go get into Slomo.

Jazzing up the Feng Shui Scene

Marjorie-Eliots-Parlor-Jazz-Washington-Heights-1

Marjorie sharing her passion and energy with humankind. image above: uptowncollective.com, below: flickr.com

Marjorie sharing her passion and energy with humankind. image above: uptowncollective.com, below: flickr.com

Quite often, I get prospects who come to me freaking out about the Feng Shui of their spaces. “Omg, I’m in big trouble. My bedroom is (fill adjective in here), my stuff is (fill your personal word here), and my door is facing (noun here) and I know it’s bad. Really baaaad.”

Let me tell you, I usually don’t like to prescribe to the panic. I will calm my clients by letting them know that although they can read about Feng Shui in books and learn the basics, it’s important to know that we don’t, and can’t, all fall into Feng Shui cookie-cutter categories (you knew that right?)

I just visited a home in Morningside Heights in Manhattan. The layout was far from perfect. There were actually some Feng Shui no-no’s that I saw. But taking into consideration the situation, I didn’t worry.

What I have learned living in NY is that no space is perfect but far from it and all we can do is make the best of what we have by adding and enhancing what we can and subtracting the not-so-great elements.

Take Marjorie for example. This talented, generous and beautiful spirit opens her doors to visitors every Sunday and treats them to a jazz performance that is as spirited and uplifting as the musicians. There’s even a granola bar and OJ break served with a smile. And if anyone knows Marjorie’s story, it’s not a very happy one but she consciously chooses to change the energy of her home which translated to changing the energy of her life.

And she does that with music. Marjorie shows us that the vibrational energy of music can profoundly change the energy of a space in mere seconds. With Feng Shui, we tend to think that our situation can only be changed with things we can only see with the naked eye. But the truth is, sometimes Feng Shui vibrational “other” remedies like music can pack as much of a punch as finally chucking your inherited grandma’s crochet collection.

Yes this happens every Sunday in a NYC apartment. image: bigapplejazz

Yes this happens every Sunday in a NYC apartment. image: bigapplejazz

So the next time you or your space is needing a shift, take a cue from Marjorie’s Parlor, crank up the tunes and NOT SEE but FEEL your space energetically lift and brighten. 

The Reason You’re Feeling “Off”

Sometimes it's necessary to be here but don't stay too long. image: fierceinthecity

Sometimes it’s necessary to be here but don’t stay too long. image: fierceinthecity

Keep moving, keep moving, keep moving. That’s been my mantra this past week and let me tell you, it’s hasn’t been working. I’ve had projects to complete, calls to make, places to be but I realized that the more I kept myself in action, the less I was getting done. I kept trying to tackle things on my to-do list and was experiencing paralyzing resistance, hitting walls at each turn.

Frustration was setting in. It was getting serious.

After terrorizing a few of those close to me (you know who you are), I sat down to think about what was going on and why I was feeling so “off.” The Super moon last week may have added to the drama but I knew there was more.

What was going on? I had a plan of what I needed to do but couldn’t get started. I had time in my schedule but ended the day not having completed what was important. And then it hit me. My self-care routine had broken down. To add more time in my schedule (or so I thought), I skipped yoga, shrugged off meditation and mindlessly devoured “fast” foods. When a self-care routine breaks down, the rest of your world starts slowly and quietly unraveling.

When self-care rituals don’t exist or start breaking down, you feel more tired, isolated and disconnected. Bad moods set in for no reason. Arguments ensue. You forget appointments and where you left your keys. Clutter piles up. When that connection to yourself is gone, disconnection to everything is inevitable. Adding back a self-care routine is vital and fortunately, easy enough to do.

Here are some self-care tips to start making today:

  • Agua por favor - Drink 3x more water than you are drinking now because you know you are dehydrated
  • Work those lungs - If you live alone, as soon as you wake up, scream out loud how you want your day to make you feel – happy, relaxed, supported. If you live with someone or have close quarter neighbors, you can also whisper them with conviction! In Feng Shui, your level of joy is connected to your lungs so take a deep breath and let it out!
  • Be your own cheerleader - Before you go to bed, write a happy message to yourself on a post-it note and stick it on your front door. You just made yourself smile before you leave your home the following day
  • Eat something unprocessed and/or uncooked during the day. Whole, simple foods will make your body feel like a million bucks
  • Get moving - Because physical activity resets EVERYTHING
  • Make your bed - You won’t believe the effects this small gesture will have on your bedroom and life. If you don’t believe me, download my ebook for Feng Shui Tips for a Sexy and Harmonious Bedroom.

Start integrating some of these self-care tips today to get back on track. Take that small first step and start humming at a higher, more beautiful vibration and watch your connections instantly re-appear.

Time for Some Bright Ideas

lightbulb FengShuiCreative

Bright ideas sometimes need our help to appear. image: pickthebrain.com

On a recent visit to The Container Store (yup Feng Shui consultants need to organize their stuff too), one of the employees struck up a pleasant conversation. I’ve changed her name to Linda for storytelling purposes. I encourage you to read the post to the end to find out the importance of cultivating your personal knowledge today.

Me: You really do a great job at packing (as she adeptly bags several items with astonishing ability)
Linda: You should see my deep freezer (I kid you not, these were her EXACT words)
Me: I’m envious. Everything in my home has a place, although my fridge is always a bit messy but I’m ok with it (acceptance is key)
Linda: We all have one spot, don’t we? For me it’s my shoes.
Me: Is that so? (Feng Shui ears perking up) And where do you keep your shoes?
Linda: In my closet
Me: And where is your closet?
Linda: In my bedroom (eyeing me suspiciously)
Me: I’m only asking because I’m a Feng Shui Consultant. Can you draw me a quick sketch of where that closet is in your room? (one of my fave things to do – sprinkle Feng Shui nuggets to unsuspecting yet willing bystanders….)
Linda: I would love to!

She proceeds to sketch her bedroom on the back of a receipt and hands it to me. I take a quick glance first at the line behind me – good, no grumbling customers waiting to pay – then glance at her sketch. I see where her aforementioned troubled shoes are living.

Me: In your work and/or personal life, is there something that you need to work on, study for or get more training? Is there something that you want to get more knowledge about in your life?
Linda: 
She brightens up. Yes absolutely! I’ve been wanting to take sketching classes for years. Interior design sketching, like what I just did for you but I just can’t seem to get myself to look for a class. It’s been really bugging me. For years.

Bingo. The floorplan gives it all away again. 

I tell her about an interiors sketching summer class at the local art school. She is brimming with excitement and decides to register (and clean out her shoe closet) that evening. Why am I telling this story? Because often, we don’t take the time to consider how we can improve our personal and professional situations by looking at where we need to get more training/knowledge/introspection.

On the Feng Shui Bagua, there is a section that is dedicated to “Knowledge or Spirituality/Self Reflection.” It’s located at the bottom left corner of the Feng Shui Bagua or compass. Follow the directions to find your Knowledge section in your space. Don’t be scared off by the words “Spirituality” or “Self Reflection.” This just means how well you know yourself and how much time you take to develop personal and professional skills.

How well are you doing in this area of your life? image: Feng Shui Creative

Align the bottom of this Bagua with the door of your space. The Knowledge section is the bottom left hand corner of your space. How well are you doing in this area of your life? image: Feng Shui Creative

Once you find the area, see what is physically going on. Many clients will surprisingly find that this is the area they dump alot of their “junk” and wonder why they can’t seem to focus or advance on projects. Or they have a leak that they put off fixing and it so happens that they are having a challenging time studying for an exam. Or it’s a dark corner that never gets looked at and they feel stuck and unmotivated. Do any of these scenarios resonate with you? If so, it’s time to clean out those cobwebs, get out of the dark and shine a light very brightly in your Knowledge area. And I mean literally. If that area is dark, get a lamp!

I admit, it’s a very un-Western way to achieve goals – “encouraging and allowing” as opposed to “doing.”  But you’ll see that examining your Knowledge area along with energizing your “Helpful People” area of your space will have an enormous impact on moving toward your goals. So go on, be a Know-it-All for once. You never know what surprises it will bring!