Want to free up your flow?
Can a feng shui makeover in her home help writer Monica Cafferky get her motivational mojo back?
Writer Monica Cafferky tries a feng shui home makeover to help her find her missing mojo
It’s Monday morning and I feel like I’m wading through treacle as I plough through my emails. I know many people will be having the same experience but it’s not normally how I start my day. Usually, I’m full of energy and raring to go, but over the past four months I’ve felt drained and jaded.
I’ve been a busy freelance writer for 20 years but as my motivation has dropped, I’ve thought about doing something completely different like dog grooming or interior design. I love journalism, though, and I know no other work will make me as happy. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do since I was 11-years-old. But something is definitely wrong. As well as losing my work mojo, I’m also bickering with my husband, John, about silly little things like doing the washing up and whose turn it is to take out the rubbish.
I suspect the energies in my home have somehow become off-kilter so I decide to hire the services of a feng shui expert to see if they can restore balance to my space.
I find a practitioner via The Feng Shui Society’s website, and a few days later I’m sitting in my kitchen with Tracy Longdon. She explains that feng shui originated in China and has been practiced for at least 3,000 years.
‘The words feng shui mean wind and water,’ says Tracy. ‘Feng shui works on the principle that when chi, the life force, is flowing properly around your home you will be supported in life, moving with the tide instead of against it.’
Tracy adds that how you feel about your home is how you feel about your life. ‘I love my home, it just needs sprucing up a bit,’ I reply with a laugh. Tracy nods and tells me that feng shui can improve not just my motivation but health, relationships and wealth ‘to name a few areas’.
I’m impressed, although I do feel nervous about what she’s going to discover in my home. Tracy tells me not to worry and opens her silver case. I spot the tools of her trade including dowsing rods, my house plans (which I emailed earlier), a compass and a chart called a ‘bagua’.
The bagua is one of the main tools of feng shui and is divided into eight life areas. In essence, it’s a feng shui template of the home’s energies and shows what element, like fire and metal, should be in each particular area to create harmony.
TRACY USES her compass to check my home’s direction, and concludes it’s south facing. Using this direction as a guide, she draws the bagua template onto the plans of each floor of my house to show her where the eight life areas are. The areas are: Helpful Friends, Career, Quiet Contemplation, Elders, Wealth, Fame, Relationships, Creativity and Health.
Each life area corresponds to an element, for example Fame corresponds with fire and Career with water. You need objects that represent these elements in each life area to help chi flow.
‘If someone is experiencing a problem often an element, like water or metal, is lacking in that part of the bagua,’ Tina explains. ‘I also look for clutter which is blocking the area you want to improve.’
I’m ruthless about clutter and very organised, I even have colour-blocked wardrobes, so Tracy decides to concentrate on bringing in the elements. I ask her to focus on Career (water) Health (earth) and Relationships (earth) because I feel the other life areas are in balance.
‘To boost the elements in different life areas we can move objects like mirrors and photographs around and bring in crystals,’ says Tracy. ‘Afterwards, your home won’t look like it’s been feng shui’d, it will just feel different.
‘The bagua’s most important life area is Health,’ explains Tracy. ‘If Health is in balance it supports every other area.’
Using the bagua, Tracy locates Health on my ground floor. It’s in my kitchen, right where a pin-board hangs on the wall.
Creating a positive atmosphere
‘Use the pin board to display objects that represent health, peace, happiness – things that are important in your life,’ she advises. ‘I love the photos of you and John but
I’d ditch the “Secret Lemonade Drinker” postcard as it could encourage you to consume too much sugar,’ advises Tracie.
She suggests moving the recycling bin from this area because ‘you don’t want your life to revolve around it.’ I don’t tell her that I’m a bit obsessed by recycling and move the bin to the hallway – the area of Quiet Contemplation.
‘Recycling is all about the earth,’ Tracy says, ‘So the bin works well here.’
In the living room Tracy identifies my Relationship area where a wooden box sits. She says this a great place to create a small arrangement of objects to bring in the earth element.
‘Pink and white flowers will work well here as will a rose quartz crystal, the stone of love, and a pink candle. Fire is crucial to nourish the earth,’ she adds.
Having done the Health area downstairs, we head upstairs to locate the Health area on the first floor. It’s just outside my office. John’s guitar sits here and she agrees this is ideal because he's happy when he plays.
‘I’d leave the rest of the landing blank. Space can manifest unexpected things, let the universe work its magic,’ she adds.
In my office, Tracy locates my Career area near my desk – the perfect spot. However, she opens my filing cabinet and discovers years of magazine cuttings.
‘This clutter is like an anchor, it's what’s blocking your work,’ says Tracy triumphantly. ‘It’s dragging you down.’
I’m shocked and admit that I’ve been meaning to sort out the paperwork for eons. 'Do it soon,' Tracy tells me. 'And it will create space for new opportunities.'
In the bedroom, Tracy locates the Relationship area by the chest of drawers. She suggests we display a photo of John and myself plus a candle and crystal, to create a focal spot about us.
‘The bed’s in the wrong place, you should be able to see the door,’ adds
Tracy. She explains that to relax we need to feel safe and seeing the door provides that feeling. If I can’t move the bed, she suggests positioning a mirror so we can see it’s reflection instead.
We drag the mirror from the hallway into the bedroom and
I have to admit it looks good.
Elements such as water or fire can help create harmony
in each space
Did you know?
of manifestation ultimate
Nature is the decorating
so and wealth, will abundance happy plants
with lush, your home
Tracy checks my house plans to identify the areas I want to work on
This group of objects will give my relationship
area a boost