simple shui | what’s new, alexa?

back in july, an email hit my inbox:

“we’re excited to announce that we just launched the first FENG SHUI tips for Amazon Echo — Alexa Skill. our intuition is you are likely to become the MARTHA STEWART of feng shui given your mainstream approach to what is a complicated learning process, and we have a passion to share your message!”

[cue me happy dancing and all-the-teeth grinning.]

a couple conversations + a few months later, and it’s FINALLY official. simple shui™ is now featured over on amazon’s echo via alexa!

SQUEEEE!!!

if you want to check it out, go to your Amazon Echo Alexa app –> enable AYRIAL news –> ask Alexa for your flash briefing –> VOILA!

and if you want even more (and i hope you do!), go to AYRIAL on iTunes to hear yours truly on their latest featured podcast!


in the coming weeks + months, you’ll hear simple shui holiday tips + articles + more podcasts, so get your Alexa ready and simple shui will stream your way like magic! 

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

simple shui | gimme some new moon shui

it’s a new moon Monday, and with school starting for some + eclipse energy in the air + the world right now, how about a head start on ways to use this energy for you + your home’s highest good?

if you’re ready to re-connect to your inner wild child and let your creative genius loose…

if you want to invite more happiness + humor into your home…

if you’ve been plotting ideas + sowing inspo for the fall forecast, and you’re eager to make something outta nothing…

the CHILDREN + CREATIVITY area of your house is THE space to spruce for the LEO new moon. {i shared a shui map a few days ago here, so grab yourself a quick looksie + HOW TO!}

CHILDREN + CREATIVITY relates to our offspring + their well-being; it represents our creative reservoir + projects; it speaks to our soul’s joy; and it is home to *future* endeavors. when we use this space, the energy we engage helps us metabolize that real strength + beauty comes from within. and when we LOVE up on this space, it has a profound impact on ALL our relationships. so, let’s chat a few ideas for spreading your wings in this space with the new moon, yes?

:: place original artwork or imagery here to encourage you to dip into your imagination more.

:: keep a few toys/games in this space as a reminder to not take yourself so seriously.

:: buy white flowers or an orchid OR place something white here as an offering to this space — white is a LOVE light for creative energy.

:: play music + stimulate those creative juices.

:: gather a few books on creativity and let them live here.

:: display poetry magnets to prompt spontaneous self-expression.

:: keep a bowl of crayons or art supplies out.

:: light a white tea light candle daily, with the intention of nurturing your energy — and prepare yourself for creative bursts of energy + insights!

:: clear space (this ditty will always be on my simple shui™ lists!). whenever we clear out space, we clear our head. and a clear mind is creative catnip!

don’t rush to do it all; instead, choose one idea that resonates. let that idea get you on the dance floor, and remember, this new moon shui should feel drenched in pleasure + fun. xo

simple shui | 5 ways to create more space

what if hoarding and minimalism aren’t the only two options, and there’s actually a shui-inspired balance between the two?

open space is symbolic of having more, being more and living more fully. when we give up the clutter of materialism, we gain the invisible – peace of mind, free time and breathing space.

i like pretty things and adore designing their arrangement, so i’m not advocating pure minimalism – instead, a careful balance. our spirits revel when we have things we love around us, while our souls are also easily charmed by airy gaps. both curated design details and emptier pockets can invigorate a room, concocting a visual feast for our eyes, mind and spirit.

the key is discernment, which is necessary in every home. when we edit away the superfluous chatter in our living spaces, everything else gets a second wind. without suffocating competition, what remains around us blossoms into an invitation and opportunity to see beauty – and the old becomes new again.

if you’d like to make room in your house with these feel-good vibes, here are a few simple shui ways i recently shared with the lady brigade over at clementine daily to bring energy back to life.

1. walk your house every day.

when we honor morning routines – like turning on lamps, opening the shades and waking up our house – we mindfully replenish the energy around us. and by patiently tucking our home in at night, we once again carry our appreciation for the things we have into every corner. this daily conversation and beautiful practice cultivates gratitude, room by room, reminding us to love the things we’ve got instead of the things we want.

2. consider pleasure a necessity.

by making pleasure a necessity in every room, we arouse our personal energy. and aroused energy is sublime fuel for the future. so, intercept anything that provokes frustration or interrupts your sensory pleasures. by releasing what doesn’t add soul and stories to our surroundings, we open ourselves up to a force field of support from the things we really love.

read the rest of the article here.

xo

p.s. love shui love, it’s time for some Q & A! send me your Qs before this thursday, june 8th at 1 pm CST!

p.p.s. three new simple shui workbooks are coming mid-summer! 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, if you haven’t yet, shimmy over and buy the starter kit + follow its thread so you can boogie into the sheer velocity of these new workbooks! and for those of you who already have your simple shui bundle, a thousand thanks! YOU are the reason these new ones are taking flight!

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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