How & Why I became The Feng Shui Lady…
My personal journey and relationship to space and the idea that every place is Narrative Space.
Long before I was a Feng Shui consultant, I had a fascination with the art of placement. I was drawn to Eastern practices from an early age. It started with Astrology, then Numerology and eventually Feng Shui. These were my interests and passions. I was intrigued with Feng Shui and had been reading about and informally studying it for many years prior to my formal training in it. I couldn’t fathom how one could make a career out of it, but I secretly longed to. I fastidiously experimented with my environment by using my home as a Feng Shui lab of sorts.
It wasn’t until I first moved to LA in 2007, that I hired a professional Feng Shui practitioner for the first time. I was finally able to experience the life-changing insights of a personal consultation with an expert. Prior to this, I was just winging it with information I was getting from various books and contradicting sources. I realize now that many of my followers on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and even my Newsletter are going about Feng Shui the same way. I liken this to getting your medical information online without seeing an actual doctor. I totally get it and I did the same thing until I had a real Feng Shui emergency! You can certainly get helpful tips from videos, stories and books; but not an accurate examination or prognosis of your space. Feng Shui isn’t just the art of placement, it is actually one of the 5 branches of Chinese medicine. A real consultation is the only way to get a proper diagnosis.
I moved to LA for a job. It was a fully paid relocation from San Francisco to Los Angeles and it happened very quickly. I moved into an apartment sight unseen based on an impressive Craigslist post. Big Mistake!!! While the neighborhood was idyllic and the building exceptionally beautiful, the home itself had very bad Feng Shui. You’re probably wondering how that is possible. Well here’s the thing, aesthetics are only one aspect of good Feng Shui. Your floor-plan is the biggest indicator of your homes narrative and energetic potential. The numerology also has a big influence and in the case of my first LA home, both factors were compromised.
My new home was in this gorgeous 1920’s Spanish building, however it was an L shaped space. The Career gua was completely missing as well as the Travel & Helpful People gua. Bear in mind, guas are individual energetic centers that represent different life themes in what is essentially an energetic map called the Bagua. The Bagua maps out 9 different guas or Life Themes in Feng Shui. All nine are equally important. The idea is to have all of these areas balanced and well appointed. Having a missing Career gua poses obvious problems… Having a missing Travel & Helpful People gua is just as important. It’s the gua of synchronicity and help from both mundane and divine sources. It’s also significant if traveling is your thing. In my first LA home, the Career and Travel & Helpful People guas where literally outside of the home.
For some reason, I have consistently lived in homes where my Prosperity gua is in the bedroom and the Relationship gua in my living-room and work space. Perhaps this is part of my life’s lesson plan, to find harmony between love and career. The Bagua is arranged sort of like a tic-tac-toe board as seen above. Before, I became The Feng Shui Lady, I typically worked in outside sales jobs with a home office. The home office was inevitably in my Relationship gua. I didn’t know what a Feng Shui faux pas this was until I had a professional Feng Shui consultation. That said, the theme of work being my major relationship was certainly true for me and played itself out in all of my homes.
In addition to the 2 missing guas, the numerology of the place was a 4. This number represents death in Feng Shui or Chinese. I had an “uh, oh” moment when I realized all of the challenges my new home posed. Four is a grounding number in numerology, so it wasn’t all bad news. Symbolically, the four in Feng Shui doesn’t have to literally mean “death” but rather the end of a chapter or the completion of a certain way of life. It was still alarming to me though. That home was like a Feng Shui worst case scenario. I would describe it as a Feng Shui emergency! Anything can be cured or at least balanced with Feng Shui, but these kinds of challenges where beyond my novice understanding of Feng Shui at the time.
I did a little research online and I found and hired Tess Whitehurst, a professional Essential Feng Shui consultant and author. She was a credentialed professional and she practiced a very organic and non-dogmatic school of Feng Shui. It’s really important to do your homework and learn about your Feng Shui practitioners training, credentials and school of Feng Shui. There are many approaches to Feng Shui and some are more extreme than others. The International Feng Shui Guild is probably your best resource for selecting a credentialed practitioner in your area and learning about their specific approach and training. You can only become a member if you have been certified by a credentialed school of Feng Shui. The Guild has 2 tiers of professionals. The first tier are professionals credentialed through Guild approved schools. The second tier are called Red Ribbon Professionals who in addition to their Guild approved school certifications, have been credentialed through the Guild in all modalities of Feng Shui (of which there are many) to assure a comprehensive perspective of Feng Shui through a recognized international professional body.
*In addition to my certification through The Western School of Feng Shui and training in Space Clearing with Denise Lynn, I am a member of the IFSG and I received my Red Ribbon Professional credential with them.
I was so excited when Tess came to my home. A real live Feng Shui consultant was in my house! She gave me an eye opening and life changing consultation. Tess made me feel extremely comfortable, almost like I was having therapy or house therapy. She recognized all of the deficits the home posed and offered creative solutions. Feng Shui is all about solutions and cures that balance the energy in your environment. She made all of these great suggestions and taught me a lot about Feng Shui in the process. Tess insisted that I move my desk and home office out of my relationship gua and into my family gua. She said that having my office in the Relationship gua symbolically meant my career was my primary relationship to the exclusion of others. Interesting, since I was single and work was my priority at the time. When the Family gua is well appointed, it assures you will have the care and financial support needed for your day to day expenses and positive familial relations. While the Family Gua seems a curious choice thematically for an office, this was the only non offensive available gua in that space.
I followed Tess’s instructions to a T! I was so excited to see what would happen. A week later, I was laid off from my job and my primary relationship ie job was effectively severed. It’s fair to say that the changes where transformative, immediate and dramatic. While getting laid off sounds awful, I received a substantial 6 month severance and benefits and my family was extremely supportive both financially and emotionally. I had a significant salary at the time and that money combined with unemployment and assistance from my family was enough to live on for a year, which is how long I lived there. A powerful, pivotal year.
I was in that home for a reason. I mean think about it; I had literally moved to LA for this job and within just a few weeks of doing so, I was laid off! The company was a start up and their funding got redirected to other departments. My entire retail team was abruptly laid off due to a change of direction within the company. For this reason and the fact that I relocated my whole life for the job, they where very generous in providing me with a severance package. I was in LA, in this beautiful home and a totally new environment. It all happened so quickly, it was like a whirlwind. I felt like the universe picked me and my whole life up and placed me where it wanted me. It was fate. Thank god that through Feng Shui, I was able to maximize on the energetic potential of that space. Even though I couldn’t find work while I lived there, I was financially taken care of and all my needs where met. The themes that prevailed in that space where the end of my old life, the seeds of my new life and a step back from career to focus on who I was at my core.
That was the year I began studying Buddhism, meditating, became a vegetarian and took up painting. I made some amazing friends and had a pretty good time… I don’t want to make it sound like I wasn’t looking for a job, because I was but the process was lengthy and the economy challenging. It was during this time that I started to see life more keenly through narrative and I developed a whole new relationship with my environment. My home was serving as this mirror that accurately reflected the story of my life. Feng Shui helped me manage the energies that I was working with and the cards I was dealt. The time served as an enforced and well-funded stay-cation for the purpose of self-cultivation.
When I got my next job and moved to a new apartment, I hired Tess once again. This time, I made sure my apartment had a career gua and was a complete rectangle. Ideally, you want a floor-plan that is a complete square or rectangle with no holes or jutting out. Minor gaps are no big deal as there are easy cures for that. In the case of an L Shape, it’s quite challenging to compensate for entire gua’s that may be missing. When Tess came to see me, she was so impressed with my knowledge of Feng Shui that she referred me to the Western School of Feng Shui where she had her training and encouraged me to really pursue it as a career. I eventually did and now I love what I do. For me, Feng Shui is a calling.
One of the important take-away’s you should glean from this story is that certain spaces and homes that may appear to have imbalances such as missing life themes or guas can serve a positive purpose. Feng Shui is not a way to skip your process, but rather a way to navigate it in an empowered way. We all have experiences and challenges we are meant to have, so rather than fear or avoid these challenges, we can embrace them with grace. With Feng Shui, you can manage any imbalances present and make the most of the narrative of any space. My first home in LA forced me to focus on areas of my life other than my career and ultimately inspired me to change my career. I did not find gainful employment until after I gave up that home; IMMEDIATELY after. In spite of the challenges that home posed, it came with its own set of blessings. I look back on that time with some fondness. It was a period when the areas of life that the home emphasized, such as Self-Cultivation, thrived and my trajectory was completely realigned.
What is your story? Where and how you live serves as your physical narrative. Your environment is an extension and reflection of you. Feng Shui gives you the power to read and edit that narrative and that is why I call my practice Narrative Space. My job is to help you interpret the story your space is reflecting and align it with your hopes and dreams. Feng Shui is a tangible, symbolic and alchemical practice. When it’s time to start a positive new chapter for your life, it’s time for Feng Shui. You can reach out to The Feng Shui Lady at firstname.lastname@example.org or learn more about Feng Shui by visiting Narrative Space.