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.

*** 

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 | 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

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 | a trip like never before

you guys.

i am sitting here this morning in wide-eyed gratitude, delighting in + appreciating fully + reflecting on one of the most wonder-filled, reassuring, and powerful experiences of my life – the simple shui road tour.

and my LOVE is running deep: for the women + men who said YES and made it all fall into line like magic. for the cities + sanctuaries + homes i was graciously welcomed into with wide arms. and for the conversations and stories and delicious company around every corner.

perhaps the biggest takeaway from my road tour is that the only bad question ever is the one that goes unasked. because each trip – and the darlings i connected with along the way – happened when i plunged forward into the unknown with a mighty BIG ask: let’s meet up in your town and talk shui, shall we?

it was the boldest Q i have swung out into the world in a long while, and my little adventure turned out the most incredible invites + insights. but instead of me wrapping my words around what i experienced, here’s a sliver of what i’ve been hearing ever since…

“i had a wonderful time last week and i’m SO thankful you came to visit – i wish i could replay it all over again!”

“thanks again for taking this leap of faith! it was well worth it and the result has deeply touched many people. i hope you are feeling more certain than ever that shui does matter. it matters very much just as your beautiful unique contributions to the world matter. keep at it!”

 

“it was pure magic welcoming you into our coven! thank you again for making the trip!”

“just, wow. what an absolute joy to have you over yesterday and then to get to meet over drinks! we feel BEYOND lucky to have you in our corner and had the loveliest time with you last night. we could have gone on for hours, but instead i’ll put out big time vibes for a fall visit!”

 

 

“i had a great time, and my head is spinning with excitement – thanks again! wowed by your knowledge!”

“i just spent five days with amanda gibby peters and she BLEW MY MIND.”

i feel the same way about YOU!

your words + kindness give me all the feels. so, to each of you + the universe + all that space between, thank you. thank you for embracing the shui. thank you for opening your worlds to me. and thank you for making me feel at home wherever i was. i am grateful. i feel abundant. and every minute of this experience was always more than enough.

so, we should do this again, yes?

xo

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