That healing and support helps us to be who we really are internally and/or who we wish to be on the inside. Typically without even realizing it, we are attracted to spaces that reflect our current inner state of being. When I see a client’s space, it’s as if I’ve been given a window to look deep inside, beyond the mask worn for the external world.
Often when I meet with clients, perhaps it’s a couple or business partners, they’ll smile and tell me “everything is wonderful...there are no problems in our lives.” But, when I look at their space or at the floor plans for their space, I can see that’s not the case. Occasionally, the layout of the space will show me signs of relationship issues. If that happens, I’ll smile in response to the couple and advise that we discuss making changes to ensure the relationship stays intact. Not everyone is prepared to handle my response. I’ve literally had instances where one of the partners leaves in the middle of our appointment only for me to learn from the remaining partner that the relationship is in shreds!
Sometimes, it's not easy to be honest about who we really are. We live in a world filled with expectations and we get caught up in perpetuating those identities. They begin in childhood: “be a good girl”; and expand while we’re in elementary and high school: “make the honor roll” “be the star football player” “you must be first chair in band”. They continue throughout college and career: “finish in the top ten percent” “get promoted” “get that raise”; Expectations even find their way into our communities and families: “keep your lawn perfect” “drive a new car” “be the strict parent” “be the cool parent.” The list goes on and on. We’re expected to wear many hats and be different people all at the same time. How can we be true to our inner being when we’re trying to live up to so many expectations? Who doesn't long to remove 'the mask' and be authentic?
Of course, we all have responsibilities. Where would our society be if we didn’t each follow the rules and laws to keep some order? I’m not suggesting we throw all caution to the wind and ignore our responsibilities. I believe we can be a parent, a daughter/son, an employee, a homeowner, a spouse, etc. and meet our “external” responsibilities while still being true to ourselves and meeting our “internal” responsibilities.
George I. Gurdjieff, an Eastern mystic, noted that many of us lead our lives as if we were in jail! We get so caught up in doing the “right thing”, putting on the “right” face, and living up to others' expectations, that many of us may come to a point where we know we’re uncomfortable, unsettled, and unsatisfied, but truly don't know who we are or how to fix things! I was introduced to this concept 25 years ago, when I first hired a life coach. The coach had me draw a small circle inside a big circle, labeling the center "ME". I then was instructed to write roles I played in life, inside the circle, and even outside. Some examples included that I was: a child, a spouse, an employee, a yoga practitioner, a President of a non-profit business organization, a volunteer, a synagogue member, an exercise enthusiast, a sibling, etc. I then drew circles around each, to see which 'took over' being just me. A light-bulb went off when I realized that "I" was very small, almost non-existent, outside of these self imposed personalities that "I" had become!
So, it was 25 years ago that I began to learn how to remove the masks of expectation...the masks that had become so ingrained, so a part of my every day life, that they had taken over my authentic self. During a visit to another country, I met a mystic who said, upon meeting me, "You are not the one you think you are." I pondered that statement for a very long time, as truly, I wondered: Who am I really? It's not an easy road to take to peel away the layers of expectation. In fact, in many ways it's much easier to keep all the masks on, continue to meet expectations and play roles without giving any thought to how all of that busy-ness feeds our soul and allows our true essence to shine. We can ignore our authentic selves; ignore the desire of our essence to be expressed; ignore our true being...but, when we do that we frequently become ill in the “jail” we’ve created for ourselves
Synchronicity played out in my life when I discovered yoga and meditation, and later, Feng Shui, (Bau) Building Biology, and the Himalayan Singing Bowls. Soon after I graduated high school, I discovered yoga and meditation. As I advanced in my career, the practice of yoga and mediation helped me survive the years as a VP at a major NYC bank when I frequently suffered from severe headaches and migraines. When I left the bank, I “fell” into my yoga and meditation practice! It was a saving grace of respite and a reminder that life is more than the fast pace that I’d been immersed in. Not long after I left the bank, I discovered Feng Shui and Building Biology and I learned how the built environment can negatively affect human health, especially if we’re not using healthy, organic materials. I learned that it was possible to “heal” my surroundings, which led to my own improved health. Later in life, I discovered the Himalayan Singing Bowls and learned that they, too, are a tool that enables me to go deeper in meditations and helps me and others feel a deeper sense of calm. That deep resonating calm is when I learn more about myself and nurture my true inner being. Each of these tools have helped me remove the masks, peel away the layers of expectation, and allow the true light of my being to be expressed.
As a Feng Shui Consultant, I have found that the Universe often speaks to me about me through my clients' surroundings! When there’s something that I need to take a look at in my own life, I might find that two or three clients in a row will have the same Feng Shui anomalies. For instance, I’ve experienced visiting two homes for Feng Shui consultations and finding a bathroom in the center of the home, which is the health area of the bagua. Then, I’ve gone on to my next consultation and found, once again, that there’s a bathroom in the center of the home. A bathroom in this area of the bagua indicates a drain on health because of the toilet in the room. When I see a bathroom in this location, I advise adding cures to the area to support the health of the occupants. When I see specific issues in a repetitive pattern like this, I definitely go home and take a look at the health area of my own home. I also spend time considering where there might be an imbalance in my life. I’m human...sometimes the Universe has to provide insights several times for me to “get it” and this is something that my fellow Feng Shui consultants have also experienced. As I believe that we are all part of the greater One, it is not a surprise that I receive this type of feedback. It may be something to begin looking at in your own life. What are the repetitive patterns or synchronicities that show up in numerous places?
Take a moment to consider what masks you wear. Are you really who you think you are? Are you allowing your true essence to be expressed? Just as I often advise people to remove the physical clutter from their lives, I am suggesting that we each have a plethora of “cluttering” personalities that we present to the world and there’s a good chance that at least some of those personalities don’t represent the true you. This month (the month that ends with Halloween and costume celebrations) I'll share some ideas about removing the masks and allowing our true inner beings to shine. Not everyone is attracted to this journey, but it can be quite liberating. Removing some of those masks will lighten up your life! Our homes are perfect metaphors for us to find clues to changes lying in wait for us to put into action. Fasten your seatbelt - this month we'll be diving into some new territories!