5 simple shui ways to own your ambition

our surroundings are a sensory rich narrative of our lives, punctuated with details and belongings that hold our intentions in place. And because our life story intersects with our work world, creative spaces are equally worthy of mindful design. Consider what words first percolate when you ponder your work space. Are you comfortable inviting people into your busy hive? When we “match” our intentions with our environments, it springboards productivity and well-being – an excellent tonic for keeping our energy up. So, if your working hours feel like a rummaging maze, here are a few shui tips to guide you onto a wide-open path:

GET FRESH.

Been working in the same space and exact spot for over a year? Roll up your sleeves and take everything out of your work zone. Wipe down the entire space. Your elbow-deep efforts cleaning shelves, vacuuming corners, or wiping down baseboards will feel like coming out of a long hibernation. This quality of attention to any space jolts awake our senses and energy, priming us for a satisfying stretch into new territories!

LEAVE OPEN SPACE.

Post-purge, only bring back what is useful, necessary, and presently applicable in your space. This is a ripe chance to recycle ruthlessly. Be mindful with every single thing; otherwise, standstill energy and attention vampires will hinge themselves right back into place. Choose a couple places to leave empty – 20% open space is a good goal. When we allow room to breathe, it welcomes new possibilities. Think of something you’d like to see shift in your life – be specific – and watch how accommodating those opportunities become!

SHOW UP FULLY.

A desk is a representation of how well we support our own success. If a desk is too small, it hampers our efficiency. When a desk is too large, it can make opportunities feel out of reach. Consider it a worthy transaction to find a desk that delights you. Remember, even necessity deserves to feel beautiful.

FACE YOUR LIFE.

If your desk currently rests against the wall, does it ever feel like you ‘hit the wall’ on projects or opportunities? In shui, the ideal placement for a desk is to face the doorway – a little off to the side instead of directly in front of the door. However, this arrangement isn’t economical in all spaces. So, to mitigate any work roadblocks, an open landscape print on the facing wall can be liberating. Not only does this bring in nature – a symbol of growth and nourishment – it provides plenty of room to embody and pursue all your big ideas!

MIX WITH THE LIVING.

Living energy is the yin to technology’s yang. Our interior worlds often consist of hard edges and straight lines. Mama nature has all the right curves – she’s supple with flowy lines, textured surfaces, and asymmetrical angles. To soften our man-made interpretations of the environment, incorporate plants, swirling prints, natural elements, and colors to bring balance into your surroundings. Because when your space feels vital, so will you!

simple shui | a new year + new YOU

a closet is about authenticity; when cluttered, self-doubts linger. so, a purge is a perfect gesture for clearing emotional residue + stepping confidently into the real YOU. first, clear everything out so the space is bare + wipe down every corner/shelf/baseboard. vacuum or sweep. once it’s minty fresh, howl your intentions like a wolf! before anything goes back, pay attention to what you LOVE – which is a feeling, not a thought. if something no longer represents/resonates with you, resist the mental negotiation. our creative life flourishes when we honor who we are becoming. align your energy with who you FEEL you are + let go of what isn’t YOU.

and then. . .

if your new year YOU fancies CAREER opportunities, give your closet a VP sweep: what is the attire for the job you desire? keep that or make space for its arrival. what doesn’t match your coveted role? consider donating it. spruce up your VP lounge with wooden hangers. not only will this turn your closet into a well-suited space, the WOOD element is the epitome of branching out + sprouting new growth!

if your new year YOU will be networking like a BOSS, take quick inventory of colors hanging around. black (a staple in many wardrobes) suggests we aren’t as open to connecting. don’t ditch the black; rather, make an effort (in tandem with your intention) to wear brighter colors, like buzzworthy blues, can’t-stop-won’t-stop reds, check-me-out yellows, plucky oranges, or blaze-me-up pinks — anything that fires up yo’ soul! as for shoes, do they all face the same way, or are they shelved haphazardly? get a consistent look — all toes facing the door OR the wall, and your migratory pattern will change, taking you new directions!

if your new year YOU is pursuing better HEALTH, yang (yank) up the energy. hang a crystal in the closet to reflect + radiate whatever light it catches. if you have the wall space, display metaphors of thriving health — whatever that *looks* like to you. it could be photography of lush landscapes; a favorite sport’s equipment in a dedicated space, ready for action at any moment; or a fresh coat of paint on the walls in a color you LOVE.

if your new year YOU is looking for LOVE, dedicate space here for a partner. literally. bring in some hangers + leave them empty; clear out a drawer or two for his/her stuff; make room for your lover’s arrival — the universe will sniff the hint! also, sizzle it up with the FIRE element: spice up the lingerie drawer; bring in fiery colors, like reds + pinks + animal prints (purrrr); or remedy a corner or shelf with something you + your lovah-lovah will do together!

a little effort now, and your previous new years will have never looked as good as twenty eighteen!

p.s. the newsletter resumes this week, so if you want to double the shui fun, get on the list!

xo

simple shui | when clutter is actually a good thing

here’s something you don’t hear often: there are times in your life when clutter is a GOOD thing.

to understand what i mean, let’s talk yin/yang quickly. yin and yang are unseen forces that attract each other, creating movement. think of yin like a noun – it is receptive, still, and quiet; think of yang as a verb – it is creative, active, and obvious. a balance of both is the complete sentence, shifting and changing the energy around us.

because clutter often sits idly without regular use or purpose, it has a very yin quality to it. too much yin in our surroundings can make life feel sluggish, which is why clutter is often considered a sneaky saboteur in our lives.

however, when we find ourselves without the gravity of safety or reassurance, a little more yin energy might be exactly the prescription we need. sometimes, we need a minute to dissect what’s happening in our lives. so, if you’ve struggled with letting things go or wonder why clutter accumulates, this might be for you:

if you do dangerous work for a living; if you leave an abusive or toxic relationship; or if you have survived a trauma, clutter becomes a form of physical insulation. and regardless of trends or movements, this is not a good time to strip that excess away because the clutter is serving a purpose. it is part of a support system, helping to soften the edges of vulnerability and exposure. clutter isn’t meant to be a permanent coping solution; however, until the emotional bondage subsides, we aren’t making decisions from a place of power, so clearing clutter will feel like an inflammatory process.

little kids are wide-eyed from digesting information all day long because everything is a brand new experience. from their perspective, the world is very yang: it feels big, sometimes alarming, and certainly reprieve-worthy. by natural instinct, they self-soothe by creating nests of their own with stuffed animals, found treasures, and promising trinkets. while their collections might seem like clutter, it is how they nourish and nurture their systems and souls. instead of editing through their things, begin having regular conversations about their stuff and s/he will learn not to rely on his things for confidence.

yang is synonymous with independence and a desire to hurdle forward – or in a word, teenagers. if clutter is camping out around yours, resist the urge to invade! their stuff fuels a sense of security and self-expression. teenagers have little control at this point in their lives – school, money, and personal freedom are all dictated by others. allow yours this rebellion and control of her/his bedroom floor. instead, strike a balance between their creative expressions and a few house rules for structure.

cleaning up is an essential part of life – much like a really deep exhalation. however, its equally necessary counterpart is the satisfying inhalation – and that comes from play and chaos. neatniks and perfectionists, this is for you! if we obsess over the vacuuming, dusting, and all-consuming maintenance; when we are fastidious about every single detail in a room, keeping them perfectly presentable; if we spend most our time organizing and staging, we strangle our creative freedom and become rigid, disengaged, or even anxious because nothing is happening. chaos is a required part of life – it’s where self-expression happens. a little clutter here and there releases us from perfectionism’s dictatorship so we can relax into a life that is sometimes mess.

clients will sometimes do a deep purge right before an organizational or feng shui consult, sort of like finally having the house you love when you prep it to sell. so, hear me, hear me: if you decide to hire a designer, an organizer, or shui practitioner to help you eliminate what’s not working, we ask you to trust us and let us see what your house really looks like. if you do, the professional you’ve hired will provide a new way of understanding and using your space so you can release the clutter and the patterns that keep it in place.

 

so, if not now, when do you clear the clutter? when you begin to feel crammed in your space. maybe you suddenly feel like the walls are closing in on you. perhaps you’re craving a fresh change finally. when those feelings percolate, you are ready to impose momentum by letting go of what you no longer need. until then, remember this: de-cluttering advice isn’t a one-size fits all solution – you (and only you) choose when you’re ready to hit the accelerator and embrace a new beginning.

simple shui | these bedroom cures are everything

malcolm gladwell said, “anyone who has ever scanned the bookshelves of a new girlfriend or boyfriend – or peeked inside her or his medicine cabinet – understands this implicitly; you can learn as much – or more – from one glance at a private space as you can from hours of exposure to a public face.”

i find this to be exceptionally true. whether a bedroom is cluttered, reflective of only one partner’s personality + preferences, or the room with the least proof of devotion in a house, these choices are very revealing. because a bedroom tells me within a glance what you think you’re worth.

let’s talk about the trinity within this sacred space – SLEEP + STILLNESS + SENSUALITY. when we devote to these, our bedrooms feel magnificent and that transcends into the world LOVING us back, beloveds.

so, where to start?

SIMPLIFY. the focus of our bedroom deserves to be the bed. not the TV. or the treadmill. or the dresser. without the distractions, our bed feels welcoming and that harnesses the best energy for our exclusive benefit. simplify your space and watch your life expand.

SPLURGE. if ever there is an excuse to INDULGE, this is it! the two biggest investments i made in our bedroom were the linen headboard + bed and our linen sheets. now, i know the kneejerk response is “I don’t have the money to splurge.” truth? i didn’t either when i made the decision, but quality isn’t impulsive – it’s intentional. and sometimes that means intentionally saving money and watching for a good sale. all you have to do is make the commitment, and your hot little heart will be in pursuit of the perfect thing to set your soul on fire!

and before you hop over the whole headboard idea, if you feel at all alone. . .

or without reliable support in your life. . .

or your sense of self + inner strength is compromised. . .

BUY THE HEADBOARD. headboards are a powerful metaphor of support. and if you’re shopping for one, a solid headboard is most ideal. slatted boards can create a sense of separation from our beloved. however, if this is the headboard you’ve got, here’s a simple cure: tie a ribbon around the two middle vertical bars and you’ll unite any sense of division.

LET LOVE RULE. when confronted with i-can’t-find-my-person woes, i ask one simple Q: tell me about your room. usually something in the bedroom unwittingly anchors strong single energy. common culprits i’ve encountered: photos of a client by herself; silhouette art; a single bedside table; a bed pushed up against the wall, signifying one person’s side of the bed. you feel me, right? if you want partnership, express that all around you in the bedroom. and, top if off with a pair of rose quartz – the crystal with an affinity for LOVE energy. meow!

HOLD SPACE FOR HARMONY. round shapes promote fluid communication + healthy relationships, so i am all about curvy lamps, drum lampshades, round candles, deep button tufts on furniture, circle rugs, a bowl with a few round stones. . . whatever feels right to you.

TREASURE YOURSELF. think of wind and water – especially during a summer drought. water becomes stagnant and unsafe, eventually drying up. without wind, the air is stifling. those energy qualities are mimicked in a room where clutter convenes. in our bedrooms, this specifically translates into waking up groggy and never quite refreshed. and, when we’ve been sick, it can interfere with our ability to rebound back to good health. a good rule of thumb is if energy can’t fully circulate, our energy suffers.

a luxurious bedroom is not synonymous with expensive or spacious; rather, it is about drenching this sacred space with beauty the way you see it. when we choose to love our bedroom, it makes an irrepressible statement that we prioritize our own felicity. little by little, this kind of steady living has a cumulative effect. and in a room that nourishes sleeping deeper and waking more refreshed, we find ourselves – mind, body, and spirit – restored.

xo

simple shui | Q + A

“What feng shui advice would you suggest if someone has the following amount to spend: $10, $75, or $150?”

 

$10: wander into a local grocer and check out the fresh flower selection. there are often a variety of bouquets priced for less than $10. flowers aren’t waiting for someone who “deserves” them; they are there for whomever is willing to allow beauty in their lives. so, decide what you’re comfortable spending, and simply go look. shui loves to play this game, and there is usually a bundle priced perfectly for you!

$75: the front door is where we entice auspicious energy into our homes. and to be clear, this is the architecturally-intended front door of a house. energy goes where the eye does so it’s worth the endeavor to make the entrance entrancing. it is the simplest way to invite promising opportunities into our lives. guaranteed. 💕💕💕

easy upgrades: replace any burned out lights with brighter wattage. wipe down the door and its hardware. buy a new doormat, or shake out the one you currently use. change the doorbell! infuse the front path/porch with color and fragrance. pathways are analogous to opportunities finding their way to us, and healthy plants or bright flowers elevate beauty and suggest good health. maintain both, and it’s a magnetic invitation to whatever you desire welcoming in your life. hang a wind chime — when the wind blows, the pirouetting rods harness invisible and wildly good energy for you. and as the wind chime sings, it draws attention to the space, inviting more opportunities in your life.

$150: when we leave the same stuff on our walls for years and become numb to the feeling they generate, the walls lack that aliveness they once had – and that contributes to how you feel. take everything off the walls at least once a year, let the space breathe, and decide what you want to put back. and if your gallery is growing lackluster, it is time for change! be gutsy. make a statement. say something controversial. rethink those first impressions. there is inexhaustible magic in the joy we feel seeing something new and different – a single glance creating a visceral response that ripples positive energy around us.. xo