Cherish Your World with Laura Staley
Enjoy these inspirational words from alumna Laura Staley, and visit Cherish Your World to learn more about the Feng Shui, Artful Home Staging, Bagua Map, and educational services Laura offers!
Read more of Laura’s juicy blog posts here!
photo credit: ©2015 Dennis Harris
February 2016 Blog
Our Homes as Metaphors for Our Journeys
Reflecting on the Past Sixteen Years
Sixteen years ago, a flood of a finished basement on Valentine’s Day gave birth to my passion for feng shui. It continues to be a journey of growth and transformation for me, and a joy to share these ideas with clients, students, and people who are curious. Each home I have lived in and been invited into has served as a metaphor for our life journeys. We could celebrate the beauty in these homes while also acting upon the challenges. In many cases, as we chatted, clients also shared some of the similar challenges they were handling in their lives. By observing the ways our homes and our lives reflect each other, we could make connections between the physical spaces we occupy and our thoughts, feelings, dreams, and desires.
In my case, the flood forced me to stare at the ocean of grief I had buried inside myself over a lost childhood and years of living with hand-me-downs I loathed. I hadn’t been willing to admit to myself how much I hated these possessions, some of which were lost in the flood and some of which remained, until I had that aha moment of realizing I could actually live with belongings I loved. Suddenly I saw the truth of what I had created in my outer world: I had made myself invisible. I realized I could change this, and I purged disliked belongings. In the experience of letting go, I found my voice and heart. I began an adventure that continues to take me to surprising places.
My clients, too, are often inspired to take actions in their homes and in their lives to transform both and to live true to who they are. They begin to take actions to relocate, to find a job they love, to begin dating, to break free of a troubled past, or to simply feel good in their homes and lives. The train leaves the station and there’s no turning back. At every juncture, we can deepen and widen our experience of living true to who we are, or continue the painful but familiar patterns and broken toilets of the past. We can begin distinguishing what we actually love about ourselves and what belongings inspire us.
How did my clients and I take steps to live with love? First, we had to purge. We needed to have the courage to let go of all those unloved hand-me-downs or belongings we did not use or need. Some clients felt comfortable sharing that this also helped them let go of thoughts about how ugly, stupid, disorganized, lazy, unaccomplished, and small they felt. I listened with compassion and self-recognition. Some of us realized we hadn’t felt worthy of loving our lives or of having beloved belongings.
With each item that we gave away or threw away we freed up space to discover who we are and what we could love having in our physical space. This line of thought helped us consider what opportunities we wanted in our lives. Today my home is filled with colors I love, a small number of meaningful belongings I cherish, a dog I adore, and clothes that suit me in my life now. At the same time, I—like my clients—continue to purge toxic thoughts, relationships that don’t work, and belongings I no longer need.
Some of us have lived through a flood, the discovery of mold, power outages, home improvements, a sewage back-up, blown-out appliances, disliked wall colors, toilet back-ups, and burned-out light bulbs, to name just a few crises in our homes. These experiences can be disruptive, and often difficult and expensive. They also have provided opportunities to get rid of what doesn’t work. We could then create what we want instead.
By understanding our stories about our homes and our lives, we can live wholeheartedly. That is, we can embrace the sorrows and the joys, and allow room for all of our experiences, knowing they do not define us even though they shape who we are. It takes open-mindedness to look at one’s home as a mirror of one’s life journey. There’s purpose and meaning beyond the home repairs, our broken hearts, and the loved ones who have left our lives. Many of us have cleaned up the crud thoroughly, and now can move forward with clearer heads and braver hearts.
Our physical spaces can be seen as a reflection of our beautiful and sometimes difficult lives, our courage and flaws, our hidden stories, and our amazing creations. The ancient wisdom of feng shui can guide us to see our physical spaces as pictures we’ve created about our stories. Whether steadily or in bursts, we can transform these spaces to feel safe, comfortable, and inviting. Let the evolution of our homes and lives continue!
If your home could speak, what story would it share about you and your life? What story would you like it to share?
Cherish Your World
Helping People Thrive in the spaces they live and work!