Tuesday, November 7, 2017

A Soulful Conference as a Catalyst for the Soul

I’m on the way back from a conference where I had the honor and privilege to speak about a topic I love, be surrounded by the energy of healers, modern-day mystics and change makers, and perform ceremony. So to say my heart, head and spirit are full would be an understatement.

The Home for Your Soul conference, sponsored by the schools of Interior Alignment® and Soul Coaching®, focused on the many “homes” for our soul – from the physical structures we live in each day to our physical bodies.

There was so much great information so I wanted to share a few great insights that really resonated with me that I thought would be valuable to anyone unable to attend. Unfortunately, I can’t share everything as there isn’t enough space in the blog (but pay attention to future blogs for more 😊).

A new way to create balance
I’ve always thought that balancing my life between the corporate world (I work for a marketing company as a VP of Project Management) and the unconventional world of feng shui, space clearing and energy work, was about dividing my time equally between the two.
What if that isn’t the case though? What if instead it’s a much more dynamic existence? One in which I can focus on both as part of a whole of who I am and what I do? It’s not about dividing my focus between the two but bringing the two together, allowing me to pull from both when focusing on either.

For instance, as I focus on feng shui, allow my corporate mindset to help drive results; and while I focus on my corporate job, consider the energy in a situation and how I can either support the energy or help to adjust it to align better with the intention of the situation. Powerful stuff.  

A state of rediscovery
There are so many of us going through changes in our lives – some big, some small – and what I realized as part of one of the presentations is that often we find ourselves in a state of rediscovery: rediscovering what it is we want, what it is we are able to do and perhaps most profoundly, who we are.

It can be a daunting task, and we could all use some support through these changes. Feng Shui, Space Clearing and energy work as a whole are great tools by which to do this.

In Feng Shui, it’s important to assess our physical space – identifying what in it supports us with connections to great people, places and events in our lives (e.g., the picture of that great trip with friends you love) to remind us of what we want and don’t want in our lives (e.g., like that chair that once sat in your childhood home but reminds you of childhood punishments). In Space Clearing, we work to shift the actual energy – changing how it feels to you by removing stagnant energy and replacing it with lighter energy charged with your intentions to better support you through times of change.

Rediscovery does not have to be a solitary journey, and there are ways we can help one another through them.

Be a leader for my tribe
Stepping into our power, no matter our line of work, can be a challenge. We often pay more attention to our doubts, worthiness and obstacles than we do on the things we want to achieve, our successes along the way and our larger than life dreams.

This recipe of negative thinking distracts us daily, making it difficult to see the possibilities and opportunities right in front of us. Or worse, telling us not to even try because there’s no real way something like – insert new idea here – could turn into your dream.

The thing is, though, it’s not just us who are affected. There is a tribe of people out there who are of like mind, like spirit, who are struggling just like we are, to feel empowered to make positive powerful change in the world. And if we focus more on what you can’t do than what we can, we become just another anchor in the old ways and limit our ability to help create a new, more vibrant and powerful perspective.

What next?
I admit, I feel like I’ve heard similar messages before, and yet, here I still am – balancing worlds, trying to rediscover myself and not truly stepping up to be a strong leader for my tribe. I also recognize the repeating cycles in life, and it’s not worth beating myself up over my perceived “delay.” 

The next step is actually fairly simple: take action. Feel free to join me.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Using Nature as Your Guide

Our homes represent a reflection of who we are. We can look around us and see colors and style that we selected, family and friends among the pictures and gifts, tokens from adventures we’ve taken, and rooms that help us relax and rejuvenate.

When we feel out of balance, want a change in our life of some sort, we look at our homes as a place to shift the feel or energy in our lives, seeking some additional level of support for that change. This is at the core of what we do in Feng Shui, and when we do, we turn to nature as a guide, incorporating aspects of nature into our home through color, pattern, texture, energetic flow and the like.

Why do we do this?

Consider that when we walk through nature, multiple scientific studies have shown, our bodies and minds receive great benefit – reduced blood pressure, improved immune systems, greater clarity in our thoughts. We in essence reset ourselves to be in alignment with the natural rhythms all around us. It creates greater balance for us mentally and physically.

This should come as no surprise, as at the core of Nature is the need to create balance as represented by The Tao. Comprised of the divine masculine and the divine feminine, it shows how without light there is no dark, without action there is no stillness. So if the nature of our universe is to find balance, then it is within our nature to find balance as well. Hold that thought.

I define being in balance as being at one with our soul’s purpose. So the better we understand our true selves, our souls, the closer we are to being in balance and a state of contentment. And while in Feng Shui, we try to do this by bringing more of nature into our homes, what happens when we leave our home? Where do we find balance then?

All around us. Think again about the nature of the universe – to create balance. Then if we look around us, among the sights, sounds and feelings we experience in Nature, we can use the outdoors as our guide. Now consider how unique each of us are – some of us are morning people, some night owls, some of us are highly driven while others prefer to observe and analyze, some of us grew up in urban environments while others in the arid deserts of the world.

When faced with this level of variety, finding balance can be a very unique endeavor – as unique as each of us. So then how does Nature do this? Help each of us find balance? It is by helping us to get grounded enough to remember who we are. It is by reminding us every day of who we are based on what we are drawn to in Nature. It is by establishing signs that speak to each of us individually based on our own life experiences.

Of course, we play a role in all of this. It is to listen and take action accordingly. When Nature tells us to pay attention, we should. When Nature reminds us that there is more to life than being a cog in the wheels of corporate enterprise, we should focus on the difference we make or want to make in the lives of the people we see every day. When Nature points us toward our soul’s yearnings, we should follow it.  

Nature guides us every day, in sometimes subtle and not so subtle ways, all in an attempt to help us find ourselves. Are you paying attention?

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Bridging Divides Using Feng Shui

Light snow is falling outside. Trying to make its presence last across a sea of green-brown grass. It feels peaceful – the slow, meandering pace of the flakes filling the air, slowing my breath and body, and almost my mind.

It’s been a tough few months. I’ve been caught up in the anger and frustration many people are feeling at the recent U.S. election, and even more so the actions being taken since President Trump took office less than two weeks ago. I went to D.C. for the Women’s March with my wife and two girls, meeting up with our closest friends, in the hopes of feeling a sense of unity with others of like mind, like emotions. We made signs. We got up at the crack of dawn. We listened to great speeches and then we marched.
My family and I (lower left corner) at the Women's March in D.C.
In one sense, I’m still processing the experience, but I’m also trying to transform the energy I felt there into actionable efforts back home – getting more involved in the local political scene and planning on attending various protests and rallies.

For many in the New Age (or whatever we’re called these days) community, getting embroiled in the issues and putting a focus on the negativity being driven by the new administration, staying atop of the resulting fallout – both peaceful and violent, isn’t the approach to take. It’s depleting. It’s overwhelming. It’s an empath’s greatest challenge to stay functional in the day to day world. I get it, and yes, I’ve had a couple days when I couldn’t look at the news; but for me I need to feel like I’m able to stay on top of what’s happening. There appears to be too much at stake here for me to turn my focus away from it.

I also know though that if change is going to happen, I’m going to have to do some uncomfortable things – like try to understand people who are so far away from my belief system that I can’t see through the fog of all the labels we have for one another to allow me to even find their hands to shake.

When I have a tough challenge like this, I look for a solution, or at least the start of one, using what I’ve learned through feng shui. So as I considered this, an idea started to form around the time of year we’re in, and specifically the holiday: Chinese New Year. In China, they follow a lunar calendar, which results in their new year starting in late January or early February. This year, it started Saturday, Jan. 28, and will be celebrated until Feb. 15th.

In Beijing, a dragon dance and red lanterns offer a glimpse
of the start of the Chinese New Year celebration. 
Considered the Spring Festival, this traditional holiday is used to honor our families, starting off with the most important meal of the year: a reunion dinner. It’s a time to connect with one another and look forward to a prosperous year together.

Seeing the images from around the world, people celebrating not only in China, but London, Sydney, San Francisco, the list goes on, makes it crystal clear that the idea of family can and perhaps should be expanded to include a more global family. From that perspective, I told myself, what’s to keep me from expanding my definition of family to people outside my home, my community, my state, even my belief system?

So, if I were to honor this much larger definition of family, considering the Chinese New Year as a guide, how could I do it? There are many traditional ways to celebrate, including sharing red envelopes for best wishes, setting off firecrackers and eating lucky food. In my feng shui and space clearing practice, I like to honor others intentions through altars.

And that’s what I have done – as you can see here. My altar’s base is a ceremonial wooden bowl and includes Epson salt for grounding, a bridge to symbolize the bridging of a gap of beliefs between me and my larger family, a red envelope under the bridge that includes the words unity, respect and love and two red candle holders (red is very auspicious in feng shui) with candles to initiate the action (fire) needed here. 

An altar with the intention of creating greater unity between
people of different beliefs and perspectives.
It’s simple but altars don’t have to be complex to be effective.

So now I have a focal point for my intention to bring my larger family together. And I’ve found a way to incorporate feng shui and space clearing practices into supporting me as I work through this latest of challenges. I suspect the road ahead will include more frustration, anger and outrage, but I also know that to get past those events to one of greater unity, I need to try to understand the ideas and perspectives of my larger family, even if I don’t agree with them.

I know this altar can help me, and perhaps it, or one you make, will help you as well.

With gratitude.