Practice Makes Perfect: 7 Lessons Learned From My First Year as a Certified Feng Shui Consultant
What a difference a year makes!
Last fall I became a certified feng shui consultant through the Earth Home School of Feng Shui, a Silver level program under the International Feng Shui Guild.
The 12 months since then have been such an eye-opening learning experience, not only as I began to work with clients, but also as I started to transform and optimize my own home using this new-found knowledge and ancient wisdom.
When I decided to become certified I had no idea how valuable this would soon become- just months before from a global pandemic which mandated that we all stay home, forcing us to really examine our spaces up close: what they mean to us, how they shape us, and how they make us feel. The quarantine also brought to light the importance of nature and earth connection in our lives, which is the foundation of all feng shui principles.
Below are some of my biggest takeaways from my first year as a feng shui consultant. These are universal principles and foundations which I will carry with me to every space I serve in the future:
Be Your Own 'Space Advocate'. Take ownership and control of your home in the same way that you would your physical health. They are, after all, one and the same. Of course, it is wise to enlist a professional to make recommendations, but at the end of the day you have to remember that no one else can go on this journey for you. Getting your home in order is an arduous, sometimes overwhelming task but at the end of the day/week/month/year "the only way out is through". It's your space, your life and YOUR energy, so ultimately whatever you put in, you'll get out.
Do the 'Inside Work'. It may seem counterintuitive - that you must change the outside (your home) before the inside (your thoughts, feelings etc) can change, but there is actually a lot of psychological growth and spiritual development that has to happen BEFORE feng shui can make its mark in you life. We all have limiting beliefs and subconscious barriers, particularly surrounding our belongings. These are what prevent us from moving forward- either creating stagnant clutter or self-sabotaging behaviors. This is what makes the decluttering process so pivotal. Once you make a commitment to seek change (or at least open yourself to new opportunities finding you) then you are one step closer to meeting your full potential.
Let Go of Perfectionism. Our homes are energetic representations of ourselves, so there is no perfect home because there is no perfect person! Feng Shui speaks in the language of energy, which is 'perfectly imperfect' - just like nature is. While it's important to break up the whole of a space into it's smaller parts it's also important not to "obsess" about the details because in reality our Chi "sees" our homes more holistically. The five elements are always interacting with each other across the bagua map, not existing separately or siphoned.
"The greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation."
Trust in the Source. Implementing feng shui is a process that takes time and patience- and every home, and person - will have a different timeline and experience. Like life itself, you can expect (and plan) for lots of trial and error, set backs, ups and downs, and ideas and inspiration to come and go. Most likely you WON'T 'get it right' the first time, but not to fret- nothing is an accident in feng shui. Every solution will be delivered in perfect divine timing. The best part about feng shui is there there is a remedy for just about everything and for situations when there is not it simply mean that it's there for a higher reason - to teach or enlighten. So, whatever you do - just keep going., while taking however much time you need to rest along the way. You'll know it's ok to stop when something feels completely aligned.
Look Deeper. My favorite part of feng shui is that everything is a metaphor for something greater. With a bit of practice you can see the "hidden meaning" in everyday household objects, directions, colors, numbers and more. That's why being intentional in every decor or functional choice is so important. That being said, not everything is so 'below the surface' in Feng Shui. In fact, most of feng shui is so straightforward that it's hard for us to see because we're simply not used to thinking or living in such simplicity. At the end of the day, our home's loudest and most basic request is for us to open up and bring the light in. That's why the decluttering process is so invaluable - because it strips away the excess 'noise' and widdles our spaces down to whatever holds the most truth and clarity.
Clarity Is Power. Use Google, Pinterest, Instagram and other tools to find, follow and save visual inspiration for your home or office. Keep a "mood board" of your personal design aesthetic and style - whether you picture a zen-like sanctuary or a yang-inspired studio. Look at it daily, and before you know it those images will be ingrained in your subconscious mind and manifesting in your reality. Also don't forget to tweak your vision! It's completely normal for it to evolve and change over time.
Nothing Is Permanent. This is one of the fundamental Laws of Energy (in addition to 'Everything is Energy' and 'Like attracts Like'.) The harsh reality: Feng shui is never fully complete. Your home and priorities will change across the seasons, over a year and of course, over a lifetime. New children, roommates, pets, jobs, health, lifestyle, life and death all have the power to completely overhaul the energy of spaces in an instant. Feng Shui teaches us the way of Tao- unattachment, flexibility, adaptability, patience.
While not without its challenges, I have found the attunement process this year to be so fulfilling - from the dreaming, to the discovering to the doing. By implementing feng shui changes and remedies to my own space I know now first-hand what the client's emotional and mental experience will be like.
With my new feng shui "glasses" I can never see a space the same way again, and I am so grateful for that gift. It has been a blessing my family, friend and others change their lives through the energy of their surroundings. I am looking forward to seeing what transformations and enlightenment the next year will bring.
Love, Light (and LESS)
Erin Bowers is a certified feng shui consultant, energy healer, wellness coach and holistic growth strategist.
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