I spent all of yesterday feng shui-ing this lovely girl’s lovely home.
Feng shui, which literally translates to “wind” and “water” in Chinese, is the ancient art of arranging spaces to encourage the optimal flow of energy (qi). Lately, through the process of domestication (and nesting like crazy in preparation for Baby), I’ve become obsessed with studying this life-changing practice. I’ve been reading and re-arranging my entire home, and developing an awakened relationship with my immediate environment.
There is nothing within our home that is not wanted and beloved — no clutter, no old books, no unworn clothing, no unnecessary maybe-I’ll-use-that-one-day items. As Bear and I are both fairly minimalist (thank goodness), him having few belongings and me almost none, we both value space and openness a great deal.
This is the very first home that has really felt like a home-home to me, a real place to root down and settle into. I wanted our home to be an outward expression of who we are, and investing the time and care to do so has been such a wonderful learning journey for me. Cleaning, clearing, placing, decorating – this has all been a luxuriously joyous act for me.
So when Casey came to our home for a song circle the other day, loved our space, and asked me for a feng shui consultation, I laughed and jumped at the opportunity! I had to say yes – sharing what I love with people I love is always a win.
Back to yesterday. We spent a solid five hours unpacking and re-purposing the contents of her space to more accurately reflect her vibe. I really wish we took “before” pictures so you could see the full transformation, but I didn’t even think of that before getting to work! I’ll try to describe what I can to you though, and hopefully it’ll be helpful for your own space.
We started by pulling everything off the bookshelf. This was a FULL shelf of books, magazines, old journals, training manuals, photo albums, stuffed animals, crystals, the works. A totally normal bookshelf, in other words. This was located in the Career and Life Journey sector of her space, and while it was packed with many relevant things, it was packed. Knowing how busy she’s been with her work schedule, I knew this was a great place to begin.
“Do you read all these books?” I asked her. And, like most of us, the answer is usually no.
We sorted through all her books and magazines, and created three piles: keep, donate, and trash. We saved a few of her more artsy mags for future scrapbooking crafts and tossed the rest of them. Old school notebooks and broken picture frames were out. Pictures of people she didn’t keep in touch with and unused cat toys were out. Only the things that she really loved were kept and featured in a cherished way.
We arranged all her books by colour (I can’t help it! I like things to look nice), and placed a few select items to balance out the space. Her two beloved teddy bears – one from her University, and one she’s had since a little girl. Her vintage film camera. A buddha. A squash to represent autumn. Two joyful elephants. Her Tibetan sound bowl. An arts and craft section. And a family heirloom teapot.
We carted away two boxes of things – one for storage, one to give away.
Next, we moved to the closet. A similar process – keeping only the really important things – and removing the rest. We managed to carefully store a few more things that she wanted to keep but didn’t often use, things that were taking up precious real estate!
In her Creativity and Joy sector, we took down a few paintings that were gifted to her (mostly to fill the space) and arranged a temporary wall until she could create her own. She was living a home filled with too much external energy, without enough of her own work – she’s an incredibly talented artist and photographer, and her space needed to showcase her own creativity. She showed me a few gorgeous black and white prints she had developed, and her homework is to get them framed and up. I can’t wait to see more of her art on these walls!
Her Love and Relationship sector started off as a pile of old music equipment on top of an old wooden table, framed by a three-prong light. Loose wires and extension cords sprawled across the floor, unsure of what to do with themselves. We set about creating a more intentional space for her and her beloved, to properly honour their bond.
We removed all unnecessary cords, and taped the rest down to the floorboard. The little table was given a makeover with two beautiful tapestries her mother had brought her from Mexico. We topped off this corner with one wood-framed picture of Casey and her man, and two pairs of white and pink crystals.
To activate her Wealth and Abundance sector, we re-arranged her plants and tidied up her selection of musical instruments to kept it high-energy. We made a few other minor adjustments within the room – re-placing her yoga mat and block, placing her song book on the drum, etc – but after all that, the major work was done.
We sat and admired our handiwork and revelled in the difference. We talked a lot about her personal and professional life and how much her space both reflected and amplified the challenges she had gone through. I won’t share much more than that, but I will say: it is always humbling to me how intricately our internal/ external environments are linked, and how much we can learn about ourselves through the way we interact with our space.
At the end of the day, we parted ways with a hug, both of us relieved after a satisfying day of good, hard work. I’m excited to see the shifts that will inevitably happen in both our lives after clearing our spaces – this story might have a Part Two someday!
All in all, I feel very happy to be invited into this beautiful sacred space.
May all homes be blessed and bright in all ways! ❤