simple shui | pre-party shui with plenty of sway!

if you haven’t been following the simple shui tips + news flashes over on Alexa + Amazon, i would definitely put that on my New Year resolution list because the getting is good and getting even better! this week, i shared a process to de-clutter the living room relatively quickly. in the season of high-spirited celebrations + merrymaking, this simple pre-party shui sweep leaves you plenty of time to put on that sparkly dress! so, you ready, party people?
  1. divide your living space into 4 quadrants. does one look more cluttered or out of balance than the others? if so, begin there.
  2. grab a box, and remove every other thing (not holiday related, if the house is festively dressed) from the shelves and tables. side note: if you’re struggling with fatigue and overwhelm on the daily, keep that little box of goods tucked away for a week. too much stuff in a room can be a slow but steady juice drain. after one week’s reprieve, only return what you would buy again.
  3. sift through those piles of books + magazines. if it unleashes high octane happiness, keep it. but if it barely registers a pulse, get rid of it. when we hoard other people’s thoughts and ideas, we have a murky time discerning our own inner wisdom. so, let it go and your voice will flow!
  4. finally, quickly dust the area.
  5. go back to step 1, and repeat through the remaining 3 quadrants.
  6. BONUS TIP: simmer some orange rinds + cloves + cinnamon while you shimmy around — it’s the motivation brew that keeps our energy percolating!

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 | how it all began + a BIG announcement

because my current home is what got me into all of this in the first place, how about we begin there?

up until a few weeks past my 32nd birthday, i leaned into decisions cerebrally. i had a thing for hard proof – it furnished me a sense of control. so when we stepped into our new home and nothing felt right, i heaped blame on the recent move. months later, though, those swishy whispers were screaming. our home catered well to our needs, but i couldn’t get comfortable. even worse, i felt stuck. and as a stay-at-home mama to full-throttle 3-year-olds, i couldn’t muster the energy to combat crawl my way onto higher ground.

like so many others, i had read The Secret and wanted to believe i could change my life with a few, well-rounded affirmations. but in this particular moment of need, i was coming up short. on the edge of a really bad day, i grabbed my copy and treated it like an oracle – superstitiously summoning an answer.

letting the book fall open, i saw two words: FENG SHUI.

i’d heard those words before, although i’d never put my fingerprints on them. the whole idea sounded too good to be true and totally woo. i required logic and solid facts. but i sensed something was different about us in this new house. since the move, our financial obligations had increased, leaving our resources without any elasticity. the stress was strangling all hope, and our marriage bore the marks.

so, in that precise moment, i paused, “what could it hurt if i tried feng shui?”

with a healthy skepticism, i began a search online.

my house is already in a state of feng shui? what the. . .i don’t even *do* feng shui. this makes no sense.

my utter lack of understanding delivered a curious surge of energy, and with it, i read my first feng shui book. and with our financial “cushion” threadbare, my focus was easy: money, money, money.

first on my feng shui list: buy fresh flowers. it felt incredibly self-indulgent, so i bought the cheapest blooms i could find. a few weeks later, i purchased a water fountain. i had steep reservations about the cost, but this feng shui “cure” promised quick results. my final touch was adding purple – the color feng shui associates with wealth – in our kitchen. i put purple Sharpies in a drawer; i kept African violets on the dining table (still do); and i taped purple construction paper on the underneath side of our kitchen table.

(yes, i am totally serious about the construction paper.)

i continued making home improvements. i replaced burned out lightbulbs, pruned our front yard, and threw away incriminating clutter. feng shui was an addictive distraction – there was always something to do. within a few months, my husband had accepted a new job with a reassuring raise, and we found a preschool with openings for the girls. best of all – our home was feeling less like a stranger in our lives.

full stop.

was this a lucky coincidence or. . .

was feng shui actually working?

success leaves clues. and every shui suggestion i followed was acknowledged with synchronicity – like love winks from the Universe. the kind of woo-woo that left me wondering if i was maybe interpreting everything as a sign. good vibes were hatching in our nest, but we still had an overhaul of fixes. so, i threw myself into reading more and forecasting another round of changes.

we painted walls.

we hung photos and artwork on those freshly lacquered walls.

and, we finally agreed on a plan for our still unpacked office. as we were putting those affairs in order, my attention was still tangled up in our finances. sitting at my new desk, i sent three “cold” emails to local PR companies. within a week, those three responses blossomed into three interviews. a few weeks later, i had a part-time freelance gig i could do from home.

feng shui appeared bulletproof, and i wanted in.

***

this is an excerpt from my workbook LIVE WITH WHAT YOU LOVE. a year later, i am still celebrating it along with CLUTTER IS NOT LOVE and CREATING SACRED SPACE. i wrote them for me. for you. and for our homes. they’re progressive. practical. and pitch perfect for wherever you are in life because simple shui is an everyday way of being. and the curated ideas + suggestions are *the* starter kit for anyone looking to confidently shui.

as for that BIG announcement. . .

three new workbooks are swirling, and i can barely contain the details + delights that await! these workbooks delve deeper into shui, but their magic will be most potent when you have an understanding of the LOVE, CLUTTER, and SPACE CLEARING fundamentals. so, get your starter kit + follow its thread so you can step into the sheer velocity of these new workbooks! and for those of you who already have your bundle, thank you! it makes me light up like a thousand suns having your support + feeling that LOVE!

xo

 

simple shui | it’s not my clutter!

i hear it often. “i’m not the problem; it’s my spouse//my kids//my parents//my roommates. they’re the hoarders, not me.”

it usually continues with, “i have systems. i keep things clean. i try, but she/he/they won’t listen.”

which leads to this question: “can feng shui help?”

listen, i hear you + i feel you. i live with 3 other people who all have their own systems + ideas of what tidy looks and feels like. and it doesn’t always jive with my preferences.

so, my answer comes from personal experience + errors. i’ve both earned and learned (the hard way many times) to trust the shui and get outta its way.

and here’s what i know for sure:

you cannot ‘shui’ other people without their permission, even your kids if they older than 10. this is why shui and organizing are very different practices. shui is an intentional + intuitive process, and you can’t set intentions for someone else. capice?

if you live with a clutter bug, shui your own personal spaces – again, this isn’t about organizing. it is about mindfully upgrading the energy around you, so clear the clutter + work your shui + set intentions + give gratitude. it feels like a small practice, but it’s crazy powerful for improving the energy around us and the experiences we attract. and that one undeniable change is highly contagious and influential to those watching you. and believe me, you are being watched.

 

clutter is about boundaries. and sometimes the neatest people can be emotionally cluttered. so, if you are well-organized but live with a clutter bug, my suggestion is honestly explore if the ‘mess’ is a reflection of something cluttered within you – disappointment, weak boundaries, indecisiveness, or lingering issues. when we resolve our own emotional clutter, the ‘outside’ begins to match how we now feel on the ‘inside’.

not all clutter is created equally – which is why there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. our things represent emotions + thoughts + memories. women tend to explore and expunge emotions more frequently – let’s call it familiar curriculum for us. men, however, hold those same emotions in their things. this is why men sometimes resist letting things go. how do we help? talk about your expectations as you purge your excess, and then patiently let the results speak for themselves. meanwhile, ask him about the things he holds onto. listen to the stories, if he opens up. oftentimes, that emotional release is a turning point so he, too, can edit his things comfortably.

xo

 

p.s. if you’d like the gab + guidance to get your life clutter free, check out my workbooks. you are what you see, so if you want to see change inside twenty-seventeen, don’t wait a single second longer!

also, i am thinking about offering a course or online group mid-year for those who’d like to incorporate shui into what they already do — kind of a shui 101 for coaches, teachers, leaders, and all other supernovas who put LOVE into the world. i have NO details yet, so tell me: does this tickle your brain? if YESSS, send me a quick note!

finally, my simple shui road tour trips to North Carolina in April and the Big Apple in May are stretching at the seams — and love beams, i am SO excited! thank you for inviting me into your communities + homes, and i can hardly wait to make shui magic with you. if you are in either city and would like to have a consult or schedule a meet-up, let me know ASAP and i’ll get you the details!

 

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