My Surprising Discovery of Feng Shui

I recently began studying the art of feng shui. I have to say that, until now, feng shui was not a concept that I gave much thought to. The only exposure I had to feng shui was through a lovely feng shui consultant named Sabine who participated in a women’s group I led some 15 years ago.

Feng Shui and Environmental Energy

I had been single for 10 years at the time when Sabine pointed out that the small vase on my fireplace mantle contained only one flower. She told me that I needed to display flowers and other objects in pairs to attract a happy relationship. I admit to having been skeptical, but I saw the rationale in Sabine’s advice and followed it. The next year I met the wonderful man who is now my husband.

My recent interest in feng shui came as I began to explore how I might be able to turn my passion for plants and flowers into the beginnings of a new career. With so many of us sheltering at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, I suspect that there is much that many of us can do to create personal and work spaces that better support our goals.

I’ve started on my journey of learning with a wonderfully practical book called Feng Shui that Makes Sense by Cathleen McCandless. It’s early pages led me to become more aware about how I feel in a particular space.

My First Feng Shui Experiments

My first effort to improve the energy in my home was a cleanup in my office. After months of working at home, my desk had become a disaster area with a dirty dusty desktop peaking out of multiple piles of paper and randomly thrown unorganized stuff. My first task was organizing the paper into one pile, putting the stuff in a drawer, and cleaning the desktop. The result was refreshing!

I next went on to add a couple of simple touches to warm up the room. I upgraded the frame holding a photo of my parents and moved it to the corner of my desk. I put a decorative pillow on the folding “guest” chair across from my desk. It’s amazing how these little improvements have made such a big difference in my enjoyment in being in that room.

The second effort was my bedroom. I moved a couple of large plants to sit at the foot of the bed. With a couple of other plants in the room it was beginning to give a bit of a jungle look which I love. I also angled the electronics that were placed on my dresser as well as the decorative pillows on the bed. The room now feels more warm and inviting.

My third effort was our guest room whose biggest focal point is a large bookcase. First I took all the books off the shelves and dusted the shelves. Then I stacked the books on the floor, sorting them by size before putting them back on the bookcase. Small books are on the top shelves while the larger books are on the bottom. The result is a sense of order which has produced a new feeling of calmness and peace whenever I walk into that room.

Feng Shui Energy

I have a lot to learn about feng shui but already I recognize that tending to the energy of a room can reap results, not only in how I feel about being in that room at the time, but also how the energy of the room inspires me beyond the present moment.

I love being in my home office now. It inspires me with a desire to create. My bedroom now is inspiring a sense of introspection that invites me to think about who I want to become.It’s now a space that I want to return to do the work of my soul. I feel more comfortable now in the guest room which has great late afternoon sun and hosts many phone calls with family and friends.

I will share more as I learn more. In the meantime, I’d love to hear your experiences of your spaces.

Another Wondrous Coincidence in Life 

About 15 years ago I enrolled in a program through which I earned the accreditation of Ordained Ministerial Counselor. Although I felt drawn to spiritual counseling work, my primary motivator was to be legally recognized as a minister who could preside over weddings, which I did for a few years after I left corporate life.

The program curriculum was based on the teachings of A Course in Miracles, a self-study book which sought to assist its readers in spiritual transformation. Initially published in 1976, I was first introduced to the Course in the late 1980’s when I was working at Mother Jones magazine, which was a magnet for publishers seeking book reviews. There were always stacks of books piled high on a wooden bench on the edge of the editorial department that were offered for the taking to the staff. The Course was only one of an assortment of new age books that I was more than happy to snag during my tenure there, although the book sat on my bookshelf for nearly two decades without my attention.

As I was doing my research for ministerial accreditation, I found it interesting that I already owned the book that was aligned with the coursework that spoke to me the most. When I was ready to get into the work, I totally resonated with what I see as the main premise of the book. In very simplified terms, the Course teaches that all of life is connected through the divine energy from which we were all created. The Course teaches that although from our human minds we see ourselves as separate entities from everyone and everything else, the truth is that we are all spiritually connected by the energy that created us. We are each connected to that creative energy as well as to each other.

A Compelling Coincidence in Life 

I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I consistently believe there is a higher creative power. While I have certainly gone through periods of falling off the spiritual wagon, I happen to be riding on it right now, and it can make for a wondrous view of everyday life.

This afternoon I was sitting at my desk at work, analyzing the performance of a client’s advertising campaign. My eyes have been bothering me lately, a combination of allergies and needing to graduate from cheap readers to real prescription glasses, which I finally gave in to and ordered last weekend from Costco. As I was staring at my computer screen with watery eyes, my mind jumped for a moment from my campaign analysis to the thought that my new glasses should be ready soon. Within seconds my cell phone rang. I can’t explain why, but I suspected the call was related to my glasses. I get so many junk calls that I typically don’t accept calls unless the caller is on my contact list. This call was coming from my nearest Costco location so I picked it up. Sure enough, it was a recording telling me that my glasses were ready for pickup.

What is a Coincidence in Life?

While I can’t explain it, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that my mind took a momentary segue from ad campaign analytics to my new glasses at the very same time my Costco call was in the works.

The dictionary defines coincidence as “a remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection.”

Does the “remarkable” suggest the events are attached to a higher power?

What My Cat Taught Me About Prayer

A couple of weeks ago I reconnected with a friend I hadn’t seen or talked to in 17 years. I met Ed when I was participating in a local Church of Religious Science, a New Thought movement whose teachings are called Science of Mind. The church community broke up when the minister moved away and I lost touch with Ed and my involvement with Science of Mind ended.

Reconnecting with Ed inspired me to dust off one of my Science of Mind books and get reacquainted with the teachings. I was reminded that Science of Mind teaches a specific format for affirmative prayer that is called Spiritual Mind Treatment. I remembered that I never quite felt fully comfortable with the treatment process. At the time it felt so structured and formal. I was used to praying in a conversational style. The particular book I picked up didn’t outline the treatment process so I grabbed my iPad and Googled it. Somehow the steps outlined in the search result I clicked on suddenly made a lot of sense.

Summarizing the 5 Steps to Spiritual Mind Treatment

  1.  Acknowledge that there is one force that is the creative power behind everything that exists.  I call this power God yet there are other names you might better resonate with.
  2.  Recognize that this same intelligence that created everything is also within you.
  3.  Name your desire with the feeling that  it is already yours. This is moving away from the feeling of ‘wanting’ to the feeling of ‘having’ already received.
  4.  Focus on the feeling of gratitude.
  5.  Release the process with trust that what you desire is manifesting.

How I Put Spiritual Mind Treatment to Work in my Life

A condition I desired to change recently was the health of my 17-year old cat Janie, who is challenged by a kidney condition, not uncommon in older cats. Over the last couple of months Janie had not been eating much and consequently lost a lot of weight. It pained me to feel her bones when I petted her and saddened me to recognize she was spending most of her time under the bed.

Over the course of the past couple of months I had done a fair amount of online research on the care of kidney cats and followed the advice of Janie’s homeopathic vet. I had experimented with different foods. Some she didn’t like and others made her throw up. I felt some relief when I started her on a prescription diet, yet her appetite remained almost non-existent and the weight loss continued.

Last week in a Spiritual Mind Treatment I set my desire for Janie’s body to be revitalized with muscle and weight gain. I didn’t anticipate that I would play a role in this. I just wanted it to happen.

Within a day I sat again at my computer looking for answers on how to help her. I came across a website of a woman who shared extensive information about the care of a kidney cat, wisdom she developed from her own experience.  I dived deep into the section about what to look for in a food, where I discovered tables containing the protein and phosphorus levels for commercial cat food. I printed out the tables for both canned and dry food and drove to the closest pet store. I picked up a couple of different cans along with a bag of dry food that fit the low protein and phosphorus needs.

That evening I served Janie one of the canned foods, which she did not like. I then mixed some of the new dry food with her dry prescription food and put that down for her. A little while later she began munching. I was so happy to discover when I woke up the next morning that she had practically wiped out all the food! Her appetite has been good and her body has filled out a bit since we started the new food.

What I Learned from the Process

Looking back on my mindset during the treatment, I wondered how Janie’s healing would come about. I just left it in God’s hands, not even thinking that God would work through me to do the research which led me to buy the right food.

This is an important understanding as I think about other treatments I want to do involving new things I want to accomplish in my life. In particular, Step #3 above. By feeling that I already am that thing I want to accomplish, doing the necessary practical work to succeed seems natural.

 

 

Be Careful What You Ask For

Be careful what you ask forI spent this past weekend celebrating my fiancé’s belated birthday in San Francisco. Living within 10 miles of the city it’s not unusual for us to spend a night in town. Yet what was lusciously different for us this time was that we chose a completely different neighborhood in which to hang out. This time we stayed in Japantown.

I’m a native San Franciscan and have lived a majority of my life in the Bay Area, yet I’m embarrassed to say that I have never stepped foot in Japantown until this weekend. It reminded me of how getting out of my ruts always leads me to look at life with a fresh pair of eyes.

This weekend I realized how important it is to focus on what I have been able to create in my life instead of where I am lagging behind in where I want to be. It’s so easy for me to fall into the trap of thinking that my business isn’t doing this or that while totally losing sight of how blessed I am to have a business that enables me to spend every day working with my fiance and very best friend. My instincts tell me this will be far more important as I reflect back on my life at its end than my client list and annual revenues.

Thoughts Taking Form

Be careful what you ask for. I went to Maui for the first time in the summer of 2002 for a retreat with best-selling inspirational author Alan Cohen. One of the memorable exercises for me was describing to a partner what an ideal day would look like. I found myself sharing something that I’d never given deep thought to yet it felt right at the time. I shared that I’d love to have a business that my significant other was a part of. I was single at the time working in a corporate job and partnership had eluded me for several years. So this idea seemed like a pipe-dream that I never expected would come to fruition.

I met Dean five years later and when his business came to a fork I seized the opportunity to ask him to join me in mine.

This weekend I was reminded of how powerful it is to be aware of desires that you have that may not be a part of your daily consciousness. You have to be in touch with what you want before you can reach out to claim what you want when the opportunities present themselves.

Raising Your Vibration to Attract What You Want

Why should you know what it means to raise your vibration? Because the process of raising your vibration is all about aligning with the energy that will attract what you want in your life.

Here are some examples:

To experience abundance, act from a mindset of prosperity:

  • Eliminate the idea of lack. Acknowledge that what lies between you and abundance is your ability to claim it for yourself.
  • Recognize that opportunities to create more abundance are all around you. It’s just a matter of focusing on them and following through.
  • Give generously, expecting that what you need will be provided.

To live meaningfully, follow your passions:

  • Be driven by passion, not by money.
  • Trust your heart over your analytical mind.
  • Recognize that your unique gifts provide the clues to your purpose.

To achieve inner peace, be authentic:

  • Express your inner self in your outer world.
  • Connect with others from your heart.
  • Seek to deliver what you’ve been born to do.


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Your Home: Is it Supporting Your Visions or Holding You Back?

The other day I sat in on a presentation about the basics of Feng Shui by my charismatic French friend, Sabine Lamoureux. In a very simple way, it changed the way I think about the environment that surrounds me every day. Sabine helped me to see that the energy that we allow to surround us is as influential as the vitamins that we feed our physical bodies. It fuels our moods and acts as a mirror for how we see ourselves. Without this awareness we can sabotage our greatest desires.

Tips for aligning your home with your vision:

  1. Eliminate clutter. It keeps you bogged down with the energy of your past. To make room in your life for new opportunities, you have to make space in your physical energy field.

  2. Get rid of what doesn’t feel good in your environment. It decreases your level of positive energy.

  3. Create an environment that expresses what you want to experience. This isn’t about buying things. It is about surrounding yourself with simple things that represent what you want to achieve, create or become.

www.innerarchitect.com

The Secret to Happiness

I woke up this morning, a Saturday with no plans or commitments, and asked the question, what can I do today to feel deep happiness, to embrace the joy of summer? You see, all year I’ve been working long and hard in building my personal development firm, Inner Architect and promoting my new book, Inner Architect: How to Build the Life You Were Designed to Live. It’s work I love, but I have been neglecting efforts to schedule time for non-work fun.

The answer to happiness that came was simple and powerful:

  • Look at the events of your days and the people and pets that come into your life as gifts of love from the energy that creates our universe.
  • Experience your life as an interactive relationship with this loving creative energy.
  • Be thankful for even the simplest of moments. You never know when your moments here will end.

Peace be with you.

How to Stay Focused on Your Goal

Is there something that you wish to achieve or create in your life, yet you lack the confidence in yourself to follow through? Here are some tips for staying relentlessly focused on your goal.

  1. Break your goal into executable steps.
  2. Recognize that the key to achieving your goals is following through with the necessary steps.
  3. Assign a schedule for each step and commit it to your calendar.
  4. Use your calendar as your “to do” list. If you can’t get to a step on the scheduled date, reschedule it. Keep the step on your calendar until its completion.
  5. If you are feeling resistance to following through with a particular step, get in touch with the belief that is in your way.
  6. Replace the limiting belief with an idea that empowers you to move forward. Get inspired from someone who believes in you.
  7. Hold yourself responsible for the life you create. Don’t allow room for regrets!

What Do You Stand For?

My current task of coming up with a logo for my new personal development firm, inner architect has brought me to probe a number of questions that I don’t often think about. I’m sure I’m not the only one who spends more time thinking about what I am going to wear than reflecting on these questions that address life at the very core. I wanted to toss them out to give you something to chew on:

  1. How do you want to be remembered?
  2. What ideals do you represent?
  3. What image would you pick to represent who you are?
  4. Do your choices and actions align with that image?

12 Steps to Make Your Dream Your Life

I delivered the pdf file for my upcoming book, Inner Architect: How to Build the Life You Were Designed to Live, to the printer this past Thursday. On Friday afternoon something incredible hit me. I am in the process of bringing life to my dream! Holy cow. Why did it take me so long to see clearly what is right in front of me? What was I thinking to expect that one single event would bring my dream to life? It really is all about baby steps.

Three years ago this month, I walked away from a successful 20-year career in the corporate world to follow a dream. It hasn’t been an easy journey, that’s for sure, and I’ve got a ways to go. But I can see now that I am on my way.

Your way to your dream can be found in these steps:

  1. Recognize that you have the choice to create a different life.
  2. Believe that it is possible to successfully build your dream.
  3. Define the obstacles that are holding you back.
  4. Replace your obstacles with ideas that support you.
  5. Give credibility to the desires of your heart and learn to trust it.
  6. Outline your training and development needs.
  7. Crystallize your vision.
  8. Identify your major goals.
  9. Define the steps necessary to achieve your goals.
  10. Stay committed to doing the necessary work.
  11. Support your external work with thoughts that help to build it.
  12. See yourself now in the beginning stages of your new life.