simple shui | incense 101

a couple months ago, Well + Good reached out to me for an interview and we talked all things incense. the conversation was a treat because it combined two of my favorite things: an understanding of every room’s power + purpose AND my daily use of scents (via incense, essential oils, and plants) to curate + cultivate nutritive vibes around us.

so, how about we open that vault and i give you all the things we discussed so you can grab yourself a few sticks or scents to keep the air clear and energy in high gear as we wrap 2017?

Kitchen: when we fill our kitchen with food and conversation, the universe delights in our irrepressible dance of resources. and our intentions to feed ourselves and others literally shapes what we manifest – which translates into the convergence of more wealth in our lives. so, to keep the company coming back, a few good sticks to keep handy include: Frankincense, Pine, Cedar, Sage, Palo Santo, or Bergamot.

 

Living Room: this space is a gathering spot — and when it’s garnished with love notes of our personalities, life has a tendency to go well and feel good for all. however, if the room is energetically cluttered, those low vibes have a plucky tendency to show up in our conversations + interactions with our loved ones. so, keep the air quality clear with these scents: Cedar, Sage, Vetiver, Rosemary, or Eucalyptus.

 

Bedroom: we spend a third of our lives in bed, so if any room deserves our whole-heartedness, this is it. as a guide, let these three words shapeshift your sacred space: sleep, sensuality, and stillness. everything else – work, exercise, even the TV – is a torrent interfering with our reservoir for rejuvenation. to put self-care back in the air, grab a stash of any of these sticks: Vetiver, Sandalwood, Lavender, Juniper, or Palo Santo.

 

Bathroom: even though bathrooms often get bad press when it comes to feng shui, they play an essential role in our well-being. and since they both begin and end our days, they deserve to be cared for like a sanctuary, too. so whether you wield your daily intentions as you get ready for the day here OR you settle into the evening with a long soak and silence, any of these scents are ready to take you to higher ground: Pine, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Juniper, or Yerba Santa.

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Frankincense: Frankincense is a personal favorite. it is a spiritual warrior, kin to prayer and protection. whether you burn its resin or spritz the essential oil through your house, frankincense beautifully penetrates the air and encourages intense energies to move along. Bottom line: when in doubt, use frank.

Pine: Pine is a pro at eradicating unwanted odors; it also is a very protective and nurturing scent. Use it to feel empowered and invigorated.

Cedar: Cedar is nature’s signature scent – it’s both rich and woody. Its notes root us to the earth’s grounding energy, making it an excellent choice when bringing people together. Use it to revive you mind, body, and spirit.

Sage: Sage has the dynamic ability to make quick changes – an excellent choice for removing unwanted vibes. Use it to transform energy and invite change.

Palo Santo: Palo Santo – or holy wood – has been used since ancient times to purify space. Use it as part of a daily ritual to get energy moving and bring good fortune your way.

Bergamot: Bergamot creates a feeling of freshness, joy, and energy. It is powerfully pervasive and can eliminate many unwanted odors. Use it to relieve stress or anxiety; or use it to simply lift your aura.

Vetiver: Vetiver eases tensions because it is a grounding, calming scent. It helps us stay calm, cool, collected. Use it to enhance concentration or gain clarity.

Rosemary: Rosemary is both healing and clarifying, and it is a great aroma to stimulate recall and memory. Use it to re-establish healthy energy and restore well-being.

Eucalyptus: Eucalyptus is a purifying and delightful mix of sweet and camphorous – an ideal remedy when our well-being requires a little TLC. Use it to lessen tension and breathe easier.

Sandalwood: Sandalwood helps us feel calm and mentally focused. Use it to claim a moment of peace and harmony.

Lavender: Lavender will always reign as the tranquil peace-maker, day or night. Use it to promote relaxation +/or drowsiness.

Juniper: Juniper is both purifying and curates sacred space in its wake. Use it to disinfect unwanted energies +/or clear your mind of worry.

Yerba Santa: Yerba Santa purifies and protects our space, both physically and energetically. Use it to hold better boundaries.

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 | happy halloween

if you haven’t joined the simple shui™ party happening on alexa + amazon, it’s time to moonwalk over and join me! i am sharing shui tricks + treats + truths you want! you need!! you can’t live without – haha!!! so, how about a whiff of the shui being served daily  – and just in time for Halloween!

this ditty i found in my notes from a call years ago with my mentor and friend, ellen. once upon a time, my lovelies would be so scared to go out on Halloween night, so she told me to send them trick-or-treating with a favorite piece of clothing underneath their costumes. simple and it reinforces feeling safe from all the things going bump in the night! if you want to mom-ify this a little more, encourage yours to choose something in a light color to balance out the dark palette and gestures of this holiday.

salt is one of nature’s most yang elements – and it offers protection from unwanted energy. so, whether it is at a festive party or on Halloween night, salt is a good thing to have on hand when good and questionable energies collide. instead of simply leaving bowls of salt out, however, let’s make this more glamorous. use himalayan salt candle holders to set the mood and keep negative ions (nature’s feel good vibes!) floating through the air! #winwinwin

wealth begins with a consciousness of abundance. you have to see it to receive it, so use the excuse of candy season to stock up on + hand out gold covered chocolate coins! how’s that for delicious and auspicious?

yang energy creates movement and action – so, it can speed up what we are seeking to manifest in our lives. and if you’re a destination spot for trick-or-treaters, your house will be the lucky recipient of super duper yang energy. however, if there is clutter in your space, it will absorb that reinvigorated energy that knows how to move you in new directions – opportunities + adventures + LOVE. what to do? give your house a quick clean before the doorbell rings and the good energy bling will be all yours!

finally, this simple shui™ tip has mileage all year long, lovies! after any holiday travel or vacation, you want to yank up (yang up) energy in your house. when we are away, the energy in our space gets quiet, settled, and a little too still because nothing is happening. upon your return, make like a gust of wind and turn the faucets on; open the windows; tune into some music; and stoke the stove or oven to get energy back on her feet and moving on your behalf. a quick on + off is all you need to wake the space up! remember, moving energy equals prosperous energy, so this shui guarantees high fives + smiles 8 days a week!

xo

simple shui | 9 strokes of shui for every apartment

when i refer to ‘home’ or ‘house’, it is always prescribed in the broadest sense possible. whether you have a house, an apartment, a room, or a bed, it is incredibly potent space that wants to do more than flirt with your transformation—it’s there to seductively narrate your story and watch you breathe in your power.

so, no matter the square footage, every space will revel if you give it a wink of shui.

most of my suggestions are nimble enough to work in any space; however, today’s post was inspired by my high risers and apartment dwellers because there are a few shui improvisations that belong in your repertoire!

  1. i don’t adhere to many rules, but here is one i am a stickler for: you can’t control anyone else’s space, only what is yours. which means that the door to your apartment unit is the one you shui!

 

  1. make certain that anything around your door is in working order. if you have a doorbell, it better ring! is there a light overhead outside your door? replace the bulbs when they burn out. if your door squeaks or the knob is loose or any part of the door needs fixing, get a handle on it quickly! shui is metaphor, and you don’t deserve these topsy turvy hassles.

 

  1. give your door prominence from all the others. install a door knocker. put out a colorful welcome mat. hang some twinkling lights. or just shine the door up like you mean it. anything that clearly says this is YOUR space is gold star worthy!

 

  1. if you can’t do anything to the exterior of your door, behold the power of your entry. and it only requires a few ingredients to go from drab to FAB! when an entry is both attractive and functional, it reveals a hunch of the scenery ahead – and that pulls auspicious opportunities your way. have one beautiful thing in the entry, and you will cast your space under a spell. the eye prowls for beauty, so whatever you choose, if you LOVE it, the message is you belong to this place – and that finesses energy onto the runway straight to you!
  1. if your apartment door opens up to a wall, find an image of open space – it could be a horizon, a field, a winding road, or the ocean. this will “open up” the entry and entice something good way. when you choose an image, find something that “points” and directs the flow of energy. so, if you LOVE a good horizon, look for clouds that drift into your space. if you LOVE a vast field, have the sun pull you into the room. if you LOVE a winding road, pick a road that winds toward the next room. and if you LOVE the ocean, go for waves flowing into the space, not out. a few other “pointers”: cursive writing that leads you in; pops of color that defy being ignored; or anything that ushers energy in (like a galloping horse!).

 

 

  1. let’s talk about the back door – especially if you don’t have one. shui is about optimizing energy circulation and when a back door is missing, you might feel stuck. “create” a back door with a mirror or hang art that depicts a door where the back door might be. simple, quick, and just like that, energy is going to show you moves you thought she forgot!

 

  1. if you have a sliding glass door with a small patio, it might feel energy is sneaking out on you. “contain the energy” by hanging a crystal in a nearby window to capture and reflect it back into your space. or, arrange a few potted plants or furniture (if you have the space) out there so it holds onto energy for you.

 

  1. if you are in a building with an intercom or your name is listed in the lobby, make sure it is visible. if you have a mailbox and your name isn’t on it, claim it! and if you are on the list? next time you are in that space, set the intention that frisky fresh opportunities are sauntering your way!

 

  1. if you’re dealing with noise or any problematic disruptions, a small mirror can “bounce back” confrontational energy. using a small mirror (easily found at a craft store), locate somewhere to put it where the reflective side faces the “offender.” this will “return” any negative energy; create the feel of better boundaries; and make the shared space feel less invasive. one simple shui™ note: do this out of compassion and a sincere heart; otherwise, you will mega-dose the situation, and it will go from bad to worse.

 

hopefully you’ve heard me say it enough, but if things are going swell, YAY! please don’t shui simply for the sake of good shui. take what you need today and leave the rest for a rainy day, m’kay?

xo

simple shui | your creative genius starts here

let’s talk creativity. specifically, how to craft space for it; how to curate a ritual around it; and how to commit to the work that creativity inspires + requires. lucky for me (and you!), i work with many writers + creative artists, so i know these shifts + suggestions make magic sizzle and spark! don’t feel the need to hustle + do all of these – this list is for you to graze on, pick a few to get you started, and come back to as you need the shui LOVE!

+ when we begin any new endeavor, it is mission critical to create open space for inspiration + flow. so, clean your desk completely. take everything off + out. wipe it down, top to bottom, and hold the vision of your creative intentions steady while you clean. only put back what you need, use, +/or LOVE. secondly, clear a small space {if possible} and leave it empty. it could be a shelf or drawer or a section of work space. intention here is key — you are leaving open room to receive. resist the pull to skip this step, okay?

+ if you like to pile things, give yourself ample horizontal space. if you like to file things, allow yourself plenty of vertical space. this will help feed your creative flow + momentum early in the process.

+ what inspires your creativity? find one way to anchor a talisman as you begin — personalizing your work space is like working from the inside out, and it will help pull out the stories you are ready to tell +/or the work you’re here to create. when we honor our space, we are also honoring ourselves.

+ bright yellow flowers invite clarity while writing, and orange flowers inspire + connect us with new ideas. and if fresh flora aren’t a possibility, print a small picture of some blooms you LOVE + place it in a white frame on your desk or wall.

+ the sound of water playing softly in the background creates a nourishing + ‘in the flow’ feeling. {most important, though, is that you LOVE the sound.}

+ hang up any letters, notes, or words of encouragement to boost + corral energies for future recognition of your work.

+ light a candle at the beginning of your creative session. set the intention that you will hold focus until you blow out the candle. it is more ritual than magic, but it sets the tone and quickly communicates to our subconscious that we are ready to craft + curate + create. and getting our conscious + subconscious aligned makes the process so much easier.

+ quartz crystals improve our luck with creativity and helpful people {think: connections, networking, timing, word of mouth, etc.}. the pyramid shape is representative of the fire element, specifically helping us reach for something that feels beyond us + encourages us to joyfully accept and acknowledge what is. on a quick side note: triangles, pyramids, and diamonds send energy out + up and keep things moving. so, if you come across a quartz pyramid serendipitously, take that as a sign + bring it home with you!

+ use a mirror in the decor. mirrors expand space, bringing it to life. and the more active a space is, the more stimulated we feel. a simple prescription for lassoing creative vibes.

+ finally, as a writer myself, i can’t possibly emphasize this enough: show up somehow every damn day. for me, this clears the cobwebs + makes me more relaxed, which strengthens my voice. our best stuff will come to the surface if we get all those tight spots inside us open, so write. make lists. journal. commit to the craft, and your creativity will follow. xo