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 | gift well #4

i am a reader. i love being swallowed whole into the pages of a good story.

so, what makes a good book in my world?

one ::  i don’t want to put it down. which is to say, i often find myself muttering, “one more chapter and then i’ll go to sleep…” only to still be awake while the world around me slumbers because the story is worth sinking into like that.

two :: i am wooed by the sentences + phrases + beautiful language, making my soul drool…

three :: i am compelled within only a few pages to text someone and say “GET THIS BOOK. NOW!” {you know who you are!}

four :: pages are dog-eared. i’m writing in the margins. and i’ve highlighted a pathway of passages.

five :: there is always a before and after demarcation with a good book.

finally :: a good book lingers. like, the voices and story and experience stay with me in a way that years might pass, but when i pick up the book again and inhale its scent and flip through the pages, it all comes back.

so, what made my good book list this year?

here are a few to get you started. . .

 

MY GRANDMOTHER ASKED ME TO TELL YOU SHE’S SORRY | fredrik backman

this book gave me life over the summer. i can’t remember why i picked up this book, because i knew nothing about it.

it took over the rest of my day.

since reading it, i peruse the pages often, trying to memorize the universal wisdom woven into this unforgettable story.

these pages house so many of my favorite sentences to ever read — ones that caught my breath and made me pause  — but this. THIS sentiment was a revelation.

‘we want to be loved. failing that, admired; failing that, feared. failing that, hated and despised. at all costs we want to stir up some sort of feeling in others. the soul abhors a vacuum. at all costs it longs for contact.’

remember this. because i suspect it will be a faithful servant in the years ahead. . .

 

WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR | paul kalanithi

there’s a conversation from this book that hitched itself to me as i read it:

“will having a newborn distract from the time we have together?” she asked. “don’t you think saying good-bye to your child will make your death more painful?”

“wouldn’t it be great if it did?” i said.

i often remind myself that adversity shows true character, and this book rattled me to my core. the best teacher for life is death, because in its grasp, we become authentic + real + vulnerable – which is to say, fully alive. paul’s story is both beautiful and painful, and i believe a necessary read for everyone. making it one of my favorite reads ever.

 

MY LIFE ON THE ROAD | gloria steinem

i know the word FEMINISM gets in the way for so many, but here’s the thing about people’s stories + migrations: lives lived deeply + widely give us a chance to see the world twice. once, from our familiar perspective and comfortable, orderly understanding. and secondly, they tinder new insights because we can’t possibly see + know + breathe into every life possibility out there. we will always find ourselves in good company of the collective experience if we pay attention. and learning something new is the only way our brains grow, people, so stay open.

her journeys + conversations + lifelong loyalty to making the world a better place for women and men is reassuring and inspiring. and if nothing else, it rallies to life a universal truth: one person can make a mighty difference.

‘if you want people to listen to you, you have to listen to them. if you hope people will change how they live, you have to know how they live. if you want people to see you, you have to sit down with them eye to eye.’

a one-size-fits-all piece of advice, yes?

whether you grab the stash for yourself or bundle a few as a gift, these stories share one star-worthy quality — they open up our capacity to accept + LOVE. and that is a gift in itself.

xo

p.s. if you want a few other good reads, check out my best design books gift guide here!

p.p.s. if you want to read my previous gift well guides, look here and here and here. all the ideas are still guaranteed happy makers!

p.p.p.s. feeling the pull to sift through your things and finally arrive back in the zone? i couldn’t think of a better way to shimmy into twenty-seventeen! consider one, two, or the bundle of simple shui workbooks for yourself — because a little work now, and your year will bode of beautiful things. when we keep things simple, life opens up! and these workbooks are your map to living out loud in the new year!

 

 

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simple shui | how metaphors mark the spot

i keep beads all around our house. rosary. tibetan. mala.

but not for religious reasons or rites.

yet when people come into our home or see pics on my blog, the beads say something to them.

specifically, these necklaces represent the meanings they associate with beads.

you know, prayer. meditation. religion.

however, it’s usually one remark or question later, and they understand what the beads represent to me.

most of my strands have 108 beads. some more; others less.

and most days, it feels like i have 108 things to do. some more; others less. add in my lovelies and their 108 things EACH, and that breathless climb threatens to wear me out on the daily.

the beads are mindfully woven throughout our home to remind me i can only do one thing well at a time.

much like a ritual where a prayer bead is held one at a time, until the entire strand is circumvented.

feng shui + simple shui + metaphors + house + happy home
one thing at a time reminds me that when i stay present…

take my time…

say NO to some things…

i almost always have time to say YES to the things that matter most.

the beads have never been about religion or higher powers or anything of that nature.

every single strand — and now perhaps you’ll see why i love collecting them — pulls me back into the full-strength of this moment + right now.

and that’s why metaphor is everything in shui.

because metaphors are the reminder to show up spectacularly for ourselves.

xo

p.s. on this same note, i almost always return home from my trips with a new set of beads. so, while my beads are a collection of reminders to breathe + notice + be more awake, they also hold travel energies in place so i am never more than 12 months away from an exciting new adventure!

p.p.s. in live with what you love, i share why LOVE + METAPHOR are necessary ingredients for our homes. and there are several exercises included to help get you + your house in tip-top metaphorical shape. if this sounds like the bee’s knees, check it out here!

 

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simple shui | a client story

i gifted her a copy of the feng shui map over her house sketch many, many blue moons ago.

at the time, we had a light conversation about it + ways she could play up good energy around her.

several years later, i am space clearing her house.

our conversation this time, a little more serious.

whenever we feel stuck for too long, it’s hard to muster enough energy + trust to do anything.

yet, this is when we are primed for a showstopping surprise.

i tell her it only takes 1 or 2 changes for the cosmos to step forth on our behalf. that the little things we do to show our home TLC often brew the strongest results.

last week, we see each other at a neighborhood party – and she is beaming.

“i have a new job! and you want to know the craziest part about it? i decided to really clean my china hutch out. i completely emptied it and washed every single thing. and before the week was over, i had a call from someone who had seen my resume on career builder. career builder! i wasn’t even active on their site. isn’t my hutch in the wealth section?”

i smiled BIG.

“it’s in your career area. and as crazy as it might sound to others, it doesn’t surprise me one bit.”

i LOVE stories like this. lucky me, i hear them all the time.

simple + feng shui + career feng shui + feng shui consultant

 

why?

shui works if you do.

i couldn’t do this work if i wasn’t witnessing consistently positive changes.

talk about shui, and we want to over-complicate it. out-think it. worry if we don’t understand it, shui won’t work for us.

shui isn’t a diva like that.

instead, just doing something – even as simple as really cleaning one area of our house out – can change the direction + flavor of our life in a blink. all we have to believe is making something a little better is better.

tune into how your house feels.

where do you feel pulled to give it some attention?

trust its call.

stay the course.

and watch what opens up.

because if you shui now, you will absolutely shine later.

xo

p.s. want more ideas + inspo of how to clear blocks in your life? check out my workbooks. there’s plenty to tap from each one, including daily rituals to keep you from feeling adrift + 12 ways to play with shui in your space today. because a little better anything is a little better for everything.

p.s.s. if you’ve been wanting to schedule a consult, don’t wait! my tiers + pricing are all changing this week, but i will honor the current rates through saturday! so, if you’ve been on the fence, i’d LOVE to help you get your shui swagger on!

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simple shui | be a smarty + join the shui party!

i believe in doing more of what works for you, and less of what you think is expected. i believe in dressing a home with compassion and awareness so you feel good. and i believe in aligning our intentions with our own sense of style — so we live a beautiful life.

our environment shapes our experiences, and shui is the bridge to higher ground. it’s how we co-create bounty + happiness in our lives. it’s how we draw strength from our homes. it’s how we demonstrate who we are to the world.

and it is why i wrote these workbooks.

 

WORKBOOK_1

 

i want YOU to experience shui, not intellectualize it. i want YOU to learn firsthand how a few simple changes will deliver outstanding results. i want YOU to look back and notice when you started changing your home, life became lovelier. because LOVE is the whole point of shui.

these workbooks are my everything. i poured my hot little heart into each one – and they are filled to the brim with ready-to-use rituals, karma-cally delicious inspiration, and high energy ways to play with shui everyday!

 

WORKBOOK_2

 

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.

 

WORKBOOK_3

 

this journey began in january. writing + editing + designing, oh my! i’ve been in the best company along the way – and to each of you, a thousand thanks. there is such sweetness to the victory lap and it wouldn’t be possible without you + you + you! and for everyone who has ever encouraged me to write a book, i carried your hope with me + my gratitude runs high!

buy one, buy all three, help me spread the word! because today is a celebration — and to that, i say be a smarty + join the shui party!

xo

p.s. and if you still haven’t signed up for the newsletter, whatcha whatcha waiting for? a lot can happen over there, and you don’t want to miss out, m’loves!