Monday, July 1, 2013

Feng Shui is Not Perfection

My new friend, who had never been to my home, said to me, "Your feng shui stuff is kind of intimidating."

I was like, what?!  How?

"Well, I mean, isn't your home, like, perfect?"

This was a powerful moment for me.  I am so glad he asked me this because I got a peek into the psyche of a feng-shui-newbie, and I was determined to educate.

"Perfect?  Uh, no," I replied.  

The truth is, the apartment I live in is not my dream home.  It doesn't get enough light for my taste, I have to climb up a slight hill to get to it, and it's not in a walking-friendly neighborhood.  (i.e. The grocery store is out of walking distance.)   

And I'm "naturally messy."  I just am.  I'm a creative, right-brainer who tries so damn hard to be superbly organized, and even with all my feng shui training, I always fall a little short.  (Although, I've gotten a lot better, knowing the effect disorganization has on me!  Just sayin'.)


What it is about, is loving where you are.  It's about putting the energy into WHAT YOU HAVE NOW, rather than pining away for what you think you want.   It's about making the best of what you've got, rather than nitpicking away, waiting for the "next thing."  It's about raising the energy in the here-and-now, rather than longing for that maybe-some-day.

It's about gratitude...and showing gratitude -- in your current space.  

After all, how many people do you know that have their "dream home," but they still aren't happy.  We choose the homes we need -- you know, the ones that are going to provide the lessons and wake-up calls that are going to take us further on our path.

So, for me, my apartment serves as a little-yin-haven -- a respite for my extroverted nature in an overly-yang(active) world.  The hill has toned my thighs, and the walking distance thing...well, that's a harder one to cure.  

Here's a story:
When I first moved to Los Angeles at age 25, a feng shui-newbie myself, I moved into a nice, comfortable apartment living with a friend-of-a-friend in the Wilshire District.

The area was great in that it was central, but being a highly sensitive person (HSP) and having moved there from Kauai where nature abounds, I quickly realized that I wouldn't last long in the high-voltage city environment unless I had easy access to nature.  

In other words, the beach was calling.  

Venice Beach by Jeffrey Stanton

But try as I might, I could not find an affordable place that fit my criteria.  I was usually so lucky with that sort of stuff!  But, in this case, I was blocked, frustrated, and feeling like my move to LA may not have been such a good idea after all.

Not willing to give in so easily (I really, really wanted to be a screenwriter), I educated my open-minded roommate on what I knew of feng shui.  If I wasn't going to live at the beach, at least I could make the apartment we shared as high energy as possible.  I suggested we paint like crazy -- the kitchen, the bathroom, the front door, and the bedrooms.  

It took a couple of sleepless nights, but the two of us put on some music, chatted, laughed, and busted it out.  The kitchen went from bland cream to sunny yellow; the bathroom took on a fun turquoise hue; and the front door became -- you guessed it -- the famous red.  

It totally transformed the place.   

We absolutely loved it.

And wallah!  Not even a week later I received an out-of-the-blue email from a friend who said she knew some people who were looking for a roommate in Venice...a five-minute bike ride to the beach.  

I went to check it out, and it was happy-Venice-bungalow-awesome.  The girls and I hit it off, and within two weeks, I was in my new home by the beach!  

So what happened?  It's simple.  I surrendered.  And I took action.  By painting the apartment (a very real feng shui cure), I told the Universe:  Thank you!  I'm going to make the best of what I've got! ...and I'm committed to giving this LA thing a shot.   

And the Universe said Thank You right back.  

So, no, feng shui is not about perfection.  It's not even about obtaining your dream home.

Instead, feng shui is about creating a safe or inspiring or loving space with what you have right now.  It's about loving yourself and your life, as it is, right now!

And watching how the Universe responds, in kind...

So, no, my home is not my dream home, but it is feng shui'd... and it's imperfectly dreamy that way!


Chris said...

Thanks for this - and so true! For the longest time I kept considering our home in Winnetka as just a transition home - didn't put much energy in it because the plan was to move into the house I wanted some day. After 20+ years and continuing to not afford to move, I decided to begin changing and loving the home we are in... my garden is now a haven - birds, animals and people love to spend time there (and I added a fire pit, and water fountain -nice feng shui)... over the last years, we slowly went room by room to paint and freshen it up. There is always more to do - and will continue - but what a change in my attitude and life!

Katie Feng Shui said...

Chris -- I absolutely love your feedback on this -- perfect example of what I was talking about!!!