A New Way of Looking at Things
While Jane is on vacation, I'm stepping in to write the blog post and talk about how I have gained a new way of looking at things after I hired Jane to help me and from all the work we've done with clients.
I've been working with Jane for two years now. I first met her at one of her talks at the Dreambank. I DEFINITELY didn't want to hire her for organizing, because that was something that I was good at and could take care of on my own, even though I rarely got to it! (more on that in my next newsletter). So, I loved what I heard and hired her to help look at my tired, brown living room. No one had ever been able to help me much with the decorating and no one had a clue as to what to do with our monstrosity of a (ugly) brick fireplace.
In comes Jane! After talking to us about our goals and Feng shui, she immediately starts moving things - the big sunburst mirror down to the foyer, move the couches to different locations, etc. And the fireplace that no one could ever figure out - a beautiful upgrade!
Jane's help breathed new life into our home. After doing the upgrades in the living room, it didn't take long for us to want Jane to help us redo our 40 year old kitchen. Things were so out of balance with a beautiful living room and this old kitchen that really needed a lot of work.
It was Jane's help with the kitchen that really got me looking at things in a new way. She suggested new, bigger windows for our dark kitchen. And to help with the light even more, to not put in any upper cabinets on the window wall. But where would I put all my stuff??? Not to mention that the cabinet guys thought we were crazy - why NOT put cabinets everywhere? :) By then, I had been working with Jane with our organizing clients. I realized that although I loved to organize, at home it mostly consisted of just moving things around and putting them in a new place. The big piece I was missing was doing a meaningful edit of my things.
With the new kitchen design, I had to take a good look at what I was holding on to and why. It turns out there were a lot of things that were old and tired or things that I didn't really need anymore. I was also storing a lot of things that were used infrequently - like specialty pans, fondue pots, a big crock pot, etc. I realized that those things did not need to live in the kitchen, so I did some editing on my shelves in the utility room and moved them there. It has worked really well, and not anything I would have thought of before because it had fit (stuffed) in my original kitchen. The result is that it is easier to get to the things in my new kitchen and the overflow things are still really easy to get to the few times a year I need them. And I've realized that there's a few things I've never used since they've been downstairs. Those will be going soon!
After putting all my things back into the new kitchen, I had a new revelation of thought. I realized that I had become okay with less stuff in my kitchen. I liked being able to open drawers and doors and easily see what I had. I liked being able to easily take out what I needed without having to move 10 things just to get to it. I also loved that with less stuff, I was able to put all like stuff with like stuff, instead of having categories spread all over the kitchen.
After working with more clients and looking at the situation in my own home (still need to get to some of that organizing! ), I started to think differently on my buying habits too. That really surprised me. It was a huge shift in thought that has stayed with me. I'll write about that in another newsletter. In the meantime, here are some before and after shots of my kitchen. These are not professional photos, but I think you can at least get an idea.
The window wall and the back wall that was removed. This is in the packing phase :)
The back wall was removed, bigger windows were put in and an additional window was put in the dining room. And no upper cabinets on the window wall!
Jane (and Bob behind the camera) exploring Cape Town
Greetings from Cape Town, South Africa! We are having a blast and seeing many of the local sights.
BTW, Cape Town is in the perfect Feng Shui position...
With Table mountain in the Phoenix (red bird) position directly behind me, Devil's peak to my right in the Dragon position and Lions Head Mountain in the white tiger position, Cape town is sitting perfectly in the middle of the Bagua.
If that isn't enough, the bay (water--career) is in the front with Robben Island acting as the turtle and slowing the chi down as it comes to land.
This predicts great power and wonderful health for the people of Cape Town!
Enjoy this post, Closing the Circle, a favorite post from the archives...
Lots of love,
I had a teensy internal struggle this week with my neighbor’s garbage being left in the apartment hallway for a couple of days, (near our door, too). Ahem, it was interfering with the energy!!! :) And then, another neighbor thought it was a good idea...really???? What if everyone left their garbage in the hallway? I was fuming and it was only getting worse.
And then in a PLOT TWIST, I was Grateful! And Inspired! because I needed the reminder, for myself, my clients, and to get the word out to anyone who will listen!
Every day, many, many times, we are given an opportunity to complete a task. And when I say complete a task, I mean ALL THE WAY, Close the Circle.
It’s a habit and a practice. And it is powerful.
This type of “circle” applies to ANYTHING and EVERYTHING in our lives!
Here are a few examples:
(There are many, many more to add to the list, these are just a few to get you thinking…)
Usually it is the last step (Put Away) that is left undone.
And then ALL of the undone circles in your space start to multiply; they take on a life of their own!
And that’s when we begin to feel any or all of these consequences:
(I probably don’t need to continue...get the picture?)
NOT closing the circles in your life causes the stagnant energy in your home to grow.
If the things you own do not have a home, then there will be overflow.
Overflow ALWAYS interferes with the final “put away” step. How can you put things away if there is no room for them?
Things are left out, projects are not completed, AND there is a cost to your health, wealth, and happiness.
Here’s where ruthless editing and organizing comes in...
The benefits are many! I see it ALL of the time.
We would love to help you create a home that matches your beautiful, sparkling self! Please let me know how we can help. And as always, I LOVE hearing from you!
Lots of hugs,
(And Closed Circles)
I was lucky enough to hang out with happy grandson, Jude, over the weekend--we were getting the house and closets ready for his new baby sister (?) to arrive in December! He’s perfect, isn’t he? Swim goggles, runny nose, stickers, wet shirt and tiny little teeth--GAH! How’d we get so lucky?
September’s question comes from Matt (Hi, Matt!), who asks...
Q: The house I am renting right now has a funky layout – essentially it has four separate levels or five if you include the garage! Does the bagua map then apply to each of the separate floors instead of the footprint of the house or for each individual room? What is the school of thought on that?
A: That’s an awesome question, Matt--I’ve worked in many split-level homes and there are challenges, but it is totally possible to create a home in a split-level space that feels beautifully balanced and has good flow.
The Bagua Map is an important Feng Shui tool--it can be applied directly and used for information about how to proceed with placement of mirrors, furniture, art and color. It also let’s us know where clutter in our homes is impacting our lives. It’s a GUIDE and it takes practice to get the hang of it!
Very few homes are perfectly square like the bagua suggests--so, even in a one-story home, we ALSO have to start feeling into the energy of the home. Even though it seems very straightforward, there are nuances and subtleties to consider...
We wouldn’t chop up a house into nine perfectly spaced sections and apply “the rules” for maximum results. It feels too forced and rigid. And that’s NOT how energy works!
There are places where we overlap the “guas” (smaller sections of the bigger map), blur the lines and fingerpaint a bit (this is where it gets really fun!!!!!) according to the energy of the actual home and the clients we are working with.
So, there are many layers to consider (literally(!) and figuratively)--using the map will give you tons of insight into how your home and life relate.
Enjoy your Bagua experience, Matt, and let me know how it goes. I hope this helps and thank you very much for sharing your question--almost every home, split-level or not, has a hint of funkiness SOMEWHERE! Feng Shui is a wonderful tool to correct those places that seem stuck--it’s totally possible.
If any of you (lovely readers) have Feng Shui Questions, please forward them by hitting reply--we will add them to the list!
Lots of Love,
SUCCESS STORY: “I didn’t even know where we would start and after 3 sessions, the attic looks a hundred times better! I know you said one or two more sessions would take care of it, I just can’t believe it’s finally happening. We’ve been paralyzed for years. Thank you, Jane and Kelly SO MUCH!”
Liz T. Madison, WI
I got a little story-time in with Harper last weekend--she definitely has her favorites--basically any book involving puppies or trucks :)
Back to business, though, with our year to clear--last month we talked about how the basement always holds the MOST STAGNANT CHI in anyone’s space. It’s dark, often damp, and usually unappealing. Things don’t get taken out, handled, loved and cared for--they are mostly boxed up, smelly, maybe even mousey or falling apart.
***FENG SHUI TIP--the stagnancy of the basement is in direct correlation with your health. So, if you want a health boost--let’s get crackin’!
BTW, Mice had found their way into an antique trunk we opened in a client’s basement a few months ago…
(If you don’t handle your clutter, Mother Nature will send her army in and take care of it for you! Whether it’s mice, insects, water or mold, there is usually a way to have the decision to let go made FOR you!)
If you’ve been following, we started in January with a plan for clearing your entire space…
Jan--Master Suite May--Kids Stuff
Feb--Kitchen June - The Garage
Mar--Family Room July - Office
Apr--Linen Closet Aug--Entry/Mudroom
So, after 8 months of clearing--we are warmed up, right? We’ve had practice!!!!!
Many, many people box up and drag along dozens of boxes from place to place and store them in their basement for DECADES! And that’s exactly what it is energetically-- A DRAG!
What’s in those boxes??????? If pressed, clients usually have NO CLUE what’s inside. It’s time to open and assess.
Maybe you’ve built your editing muscle and this will be easier than you think. It is very common for the items in basement boxes to just get tossed or donated.
One client said a few weeks ago, “We haven’t looked in those boxes since we moved here. What’s the point of looking now? We’ve lived here 20 years and haven’t touched them once.”
If this is YOU, then save yourself a TON of energy and just get them gone.
Categories of items usually found in basements:
Roughly sort and set aside photos, mementos and holiday items to deal with in November and December (unless you see that they could immediately GO!).
You may need to schedule a truck, (St. Vinnies will come to your house and pick larger items up for you as long as the walking path is clear :) or find some teenagers to help with bringing things up and out.
Basements are usually large and can feel overwhelming so break it down.
Try using one of these strategies:
Any of these methods can work, but one will feel the best to you...give it a try, stay focused, work in short sessions to start.
DEFINITELY get the cast-offs out of the space, not just piled up to remove “someday”. (Remember, removing the clutter from your property is where the magic happens!)
Basements can hold a lot of stagnant energy, but your efforts will definitely pay off; look for personal health benefits to follow!
Ahem...also, remember to CELEBRATE (even your small successes)! Plan a picnic, go for a hike or curl up with a good book--you deserve it--and it will keep you motivated to continue.
Reply to this email with your biggest success and your biggest challenge when it comes to working on your basement. We LOVE hearing from you!
Lots of Love,
“Jane, your attention to detail is phenomenal! The lighting upgrade in our basement alone gave us “more light on the subject”. It was much easier to get through our things! Thank you, the basement is under control which I thought would never happen. I’m not scared of the basement any more!”
~ Sandy T., Madison
What is it for you?
I had a quick trip up north this weekend to hang with my favorite one year olds--
Adorable grandbabies--walking, talking and having opinions :)
Can you feel summer winding down? Fall is a season of transition--a hustle-bustle-boogie-down season (just watch the squirrels) as preparations are made.
Do you see the fiery glow in the leaves? The radiance in the shortening sunlight?
This is the season for taking stock of all the bounty we've been afforded. A time for itemizing our blessings and recounting our joys.
If you’re blessings include the OPPORTUNITY to clear your clutter and take stock of each and every item in your home--Fall is the perfect time to begin (or continue…).
And, whether you’re just beginning, in the middle of clearing your clutter and getting organized or if you’re finished (are we ever really finished?).
Consider this--when the clutter and chaos are gone, what will you invite in?
Imagine NOW that you have space, less stress, more time...
What are your dreams? What will bring you peace and joy?
It’s worth closing your eyes for a minute to consider this--dropping in to the bigger WHY can lay the foundation and fuel you to do the nitty-gritty-clutter-clearing work.
It’s an amazing way to take care of yourself, even if it may seem daunting.
This isn’t just about clearing space in your home for the fun of it or the exercise!
(Although Peter Walsh writes about just that in his book--Clear the Clutter, Lose the Weight.)
It’s about letting go of the STUFF that is holding you back--keeping you from creating the beautiful life you imagine.
IF you have a basement that resembles this...maybe we ought to talk.
Consider it a Big, Beautiful Feng Shui Gift to yourself!
Click Reply to this email, Kelly and I would love to support you on your journey!
Lots of Love,
“WOW! I had no idea this disaster could be cleared out in a couple of hours. Every time I looked at it, I thought it would take days! Thank you SO much for holding the vision for what’s possible and supporting us to reclaim our home!”
Ben T. Madison