I’m reading “Journey to Mastery: Feng Shui for Life”. Written by Dr. Kathryn Mickle, a Westerner. Someone, probably, like me, who has taken what works for her (and probably other people too, since she’s a practicing psychologist) from both Eastern and Western systems of thought.
So I’ve read a couple of books about Feng Shui, a Chinese philosophy and art that is primarily concerned with the flow of energy in your physical space. You want energy moving through space like water would, not too fast and not too slow. Too fast and straight and it becomes destructive, too slow and it becomes stagnant. Both are bad.
It is vastly complex. And I know the books I’ve read are even dummied down for lay-people. After flipping through the first book I got from the library on it, I said to my husband, “Jeez, this is complicated! I thought it was just gonna tell me to hang a wind chime in the southeastern window or something.”
Big picture person that I am, what I’ve mostly taken from it is an attention to energy, its quality and movement. I’ve done a llittle of the stuff in my house that has to do with the elements and changing your luck in areas of your life, but I tend to be a slow mover (read: lazy) and since the first step to Feng Shui-ing your house is to declutter, I haven’t moved far along the path. But I do at least always close the toilet lids now.
It turns out that my house is already pretty aligned with good Feng Shui, because although Bob pooh-poohs all of this, he is an extrordinarily perceptive and intuitive person and had absorbed and used a lot of Feng Shui principles just by having heard about them in the past and, I think, by being aware of energy.
He refers the the Chinese concept of energy– Chi– as “cheese”. As in, “Hey Sam, how’s your cheese doing today?”
He really helps me to not take things too seriously.
Anyway, this author has infused psychology into practicing Feng Shui in a self-helpy, examine-yourself way. I’m all about that.
There are eight symbols called trigrams which symbolize different things, including compass direction and areas of your life. They are made up of broken (yin) and unbroken (yang)The first one this book looks at is the Journey trigram, “K’an”.
It’s associated with the direction North and your career, but more than that, your life path. Its element, also what it means essentially, is deep water.
It’s all about plumbing the depths, finding your Life’s Purpose.
This has particular resonance for me right now, because I’m at a crossroads. For the last twelve years or so, I thought my calling was to teach. I mean, it was my calling. I could continue to teach, theoretically, once I recover the strength to work again (not a 100% percent sure thing, but it will probably happen). I can’t work in a place with lots of kids, like a daycare or a public school, my immune system couldn’t handle it. But I could teach at a small private Montessori school, which is what I’ve done for the last nine years anyway.
But do I want to?
I don’t know. Teaching has been an emotional ride for me and in some ways, has broken my heart. I’m very good at it and also very unconventional. I feel like maybe getting sick was a big red flag signaling me to change a lot of things, including this.
I’m almost done here. I just want to share my answers from the chapter questionnare. (Did I mention that I love quizzes?)
How would you spend your day if you could do anything that you wanted to do? List five things:
1. pet, walk and train Indi
4. do yoga
5. read books and look at pictures
List five qualities that are special about you.
The idea is to use this information to get aligned with your Life Purpose. I don’t know what my Life Purpose is right now. It’s fun to think about though. And maybe I’ll come to some kind of conclusion, although the only constant in this world is change, so it will change again (and again).
Last night, I went to an orientation to volunteer at a local animal shelter. I’m really excited. I’ve kicked around the idea of learning to train dogs for a while now; I think I did a good job with Harper and Indi. So maybe this will lead in that direction. Or, if not, it will at least allow me to give some shelter dogs and cats some loving. Either way, it will be good.