Feng shui is my favorite lover. The longer we stay together, the better it gets… the alignment, the intuition, the communication between object and woman, the magic, the flow, the energy. As I peel back the layers, new intimacies are revealed – treasures that come from a daily practice of keeping temple, loving on my space / in my space. I believe that our home is a phenomenal portal for physical manifestation when we allow the energy to flow freely and beautifully. So what’s my ‘meet cute’ story with feng shui?
I amicably divorced the father of my children two years back. He kept our freshly renovated 1920’s Spanish in Beverly Hills, while I rented a sexy, yet tiny cottage. He wanted to keep everything and I wanted nada — no divorce juju, thank you very much. I had been pre-paving eccentric minimalism for years, and the Universe had delivered a bold opportunity. I had $5,000 to furnish the place and made each purchase thoughtfully yet with a light spirit. The result: a handmade Japanese futon with 70’s psychedelic brocade tatami trim, crisp white linens, Turkish bath towels, houseplants in glazed terra-cotta urns, a Shun chef’s knife, an Alessi French press, Heath dinnerware and a brand new vibrator (priorities). No carpets, no curtains, no art… I wanted to do it right or not do it at all. The few items from the old place furnished my boys’ zone, providing continuity during a major lifestyle transition. I sold or donated most of my clothing and books, keeping the favorites. Ahhhhhhhh, space to feel. Can you feel it? I believe we all intuitively understand energetics of space, and with my first major feng shui foray, I was high on the results. Once I got my bearings, I sought out two master teachers: one Western and one Eastern, to create a unique, sensual blend that I now share with clients.
Okay, okay — but how to get started sans drastic life change or big budget, you say? Let us begin our feng shui journey together with six fundamental steps:
- Create an eye catching, welcoming entrance. Step outside and look at your entrance. Stand there for a bit. Use all of your senses and make an honest assessment: Would good vibes want to enter your space? Energy has to get in before it can circulate. Beautify that entrance, and your front door in particular — studio apartment, mcMansion — it honestly does not matter. You should be able to open and close the door clearly. No piles of stuff, no creaking hinges, no cobwebs. Go bold and lacquer your front door Chinese Red to activate the energy. Curate fresh planters. Or simply sweep your walk. Bonus points for a doormat and a mailbox that look receptive of abundance. Make sure porch lights are in working order, change the bulb for ambiance and set timers for nightfall – alight the path home for good fortune.
- Go shoe-free indoors. If you are not already, become a ‘shoe-free’ home. Right before or after crossing the threshold, take those puppies off. Encourage family members, roommates and guests to follow suite with a shoe tray or bench. To understand feng shui is to communicate in the language of metaphors… think of everywhere those shoes go… do you really want all of that energy in your sacred space? Not to mention basic hygiene; chic slipper game, yes please.
3. Designate a home for every possession. Clear the clutter. Yep. This is the most obvious feng shui ‘cure’ and the most taxing process for many. Energetically, clutter is a series of unmade decisions, so take charge of your life and make those decisions. Pace yourself and do this cathartic work when you are in alignment, operating with positive energy, trusting that with every item you purge (sell, donate, trash) you are inviting in fresh energy. A gold standard is to aim for 50% volume: every closet, shelf, drawer, counter, surface should have half of the space free. Get artsy and arrange everyday objects into inspiring vignettes. You will feel a difference, I promise.
4. Bathroom shui at bay… close the toilet lid and keep the bathroom door shut. This will quickly become second nature and will do wonders for the flow of your home. Side note: fix any leaks in your space ASAP; leaking water indicates leaking weath.
5. Keep it clear down there: nothing under the bed. Not a thing. You deserve clean and clear dreaming, direct messaging from the collective unconscious, untarnished by dusty crap. I have pulled the wildest objects out from underneath client’s beds, including a signed edition of Taschen’s “The Rolling Stones.” This client was dealing with multiple bad boy rock stars and mending a broken heart; apply the language of metaphor please.
6. Design a weekly life-affirming ritual. Start a weekly ritual to clear stagnant energy and add life to your home. It can be as simple as dusting and saging, or opening all the windows and buying yourself flowers at the market. Escort out the old and welcome in the fresh regularly, and your life will start to bloom.
Meghan Wallace James is a mother, manufacturing engineer, Parsons-trained fashion designer, stylist, and healer. She recently launched her feng shui consultancy and would be honored to partner with Vérité Woman readers.