Today I want to share with you the story of a woman who did not understand love. Let’s call her Willow.
Willow hired me to do a Nine Steps to Feng Shui® Consultation because she believed everything was right in her life, except for relationships.
Everything but the Groom
She was successful at work, healthy, happy, had lots of friends.
It had been long time since she had a worthwhile love relationship, though, and she could feel the biological clock ticking.
Willow was very beautiful, smart, loyal, a great person by all accounts. Her beauty, however, made every other qualities pale in comparison.
Willow had this fear that men went after her based on her looks alone. She did not want to become anyone’s trophy.
Her last relationship ended, after she asked the guy what was the thing he loved most about her. His answer: “Your looks.” When Willow, insisted, asking “other than the looks?” he took a while to reply, and when he did, he didn’t have much to say. Willow was devastated.
Bold Choices at Home
Like many chic women, Willow had made some bold choices at home. She had purchased several pieces of artwork from an artist she admired, which had mirror mosaics on them. This made me wonder if Willow had self-esteem issues. (Problems with mirrors often indicate self esteem issues.)
Willow had spent a lot of money in these pieces, so it was hard to ask her to let them go. We found a compromise in hanging the artwork high enough on the walls so that Willow could not see her fragmented reflection in them. I suggested a couple more small changes so she could let the Universe know she truly was ready for love.
A Sign of Hope, Then None
Shortly after, Willow called me to let me know she was giving it another try with a former boyfriend, Todd. This was the most significant relationship she’d had. She was very hopeful.
I gave her some more Feng Shui advice, to create the conditions for love to flourish, now that it had arrived.
As you may imagine, I was surprised when a few weeks later Willow told me that she was thinking of breaking it up with Todd.
I asked her why. Willow said that 2 weeks earlier she had told Todd that she needed to get a new car. Todd replied that he needed to get a new car too. Then Todd asked her what kind of car she was thinking of getting. Willow replied, “A four door, for sure, because it makes it easy to carry a car seat.” Then they both laughed.
“Well,” Willow told me, “today he shows up at my work to pick me up for lunch, driving a brand new convertible! Where is he going to fit a car seat in a convertible? He knows I want to have kids. He clearly is not the right guy for me!”
Wow! I couldn’t see the connection there, but it seemed very real to Willow. Todd was very successful, and by no means limited to just being able to afford one car. He had already told Willow that, with her, he would consider having children, even though he had never wanted to have kids before. I did not think at all that this was a deal-breaker.
I advised Willow to not make any big decisions for the moment, but to keep working on her Feng Shui.
The more I interacted with Willow, the more I realized that she was constantly testing Todd with hints here and there, to see how he would reply or react.
The Princess in the Tower
One day, while I was giving her advice on rearranging her family room, I asked her why she felt like she had to test Todd.
Her reply, “To figure out if he really deserves me — if he’s the one for me.”
This idea that a man has to prove to a woman that he is deserving is not one that is particular only to Willow. I have met many clients who felt like this. These were women who had been raised to think they were princesses, special, different, or who grew up to think that they were special or different because they never felt they fit in with their families of origin.
The Sofa Is Key
Every time I have encountered this belief, I also have found that the women who hold this belief tend to do things at home that are different, unique, and sometimes bizarre. The room in the home where this is most noticeable, is the family room — they refuse to have proper family rooms.
Willow refused to get a sofa, or a sectional. She had arranged her family room with unique ottomans, cushions, and chaise lounges. There was also a gong, and a drum, and a collection of healing crystal bowls.
There wasn’t a single spot in Willow’s family room where a couple could sit down comfortably to enjoy conversation and a cup of coffee. No spot where they could cuddle to watch a movie.
Willow said she couldn’t stand conventional things. Now, that was a problem, because, as an acquaintance of mine pointed out very sharply, if there is one area of life that really benefits from things conventional, that is the family area. A woman seeking a relationship with the intent to start a family would be wise to add a conventional feeling to her family room. A good way to start is to get a comfortable sofa or love seat.
Getting Hurt Easily
Another hint: if you arrange your home with lots of things that could be easily broken by a running toddler, you are telling the Universe that you are not ready for kids. This is one reason in Feng Shui we say that every home should be child-proofed, even if there are no kids. Another reason is that filling up the home with easily breakable things also shows a tendency to get your feelings hurt easily.
What Love Really Is
Willow saw love as a relationship where one partner (the man) needs to be in constant pursuit of the other (the woman). In this, she showed that she did not understand love.
Love is the coming together of two souls, both leaving their safe energetic ports, willingly reaching towards each other, taking the risk to see if it works out, with no guarantees.
In a way, to love is to jump into the void. And that is what feels scary. That is why women like Willow set up conscious or unconscious tests for their partners.
At the bottom of all this, is a fear to love, and the fear to make a mistake in the choice of partner.
Everyone Has Blind Spots
When Willow got to step 8 in her consultation, Enhancing the Life Areas, she answered a questionnaire for me. The questionnaire showed that even though Willow believed her life was perfect except for Marriage, Relationships and Partnerships, other life areas showed problems. Life area 8: Wisdom, Self Knowledge and Rest was weak.
Life Area 3, Health, Family and Community was also deficient. This was surprising, because Willow seemed to be healthy as a horse. I prodded a little bit, and Willow confessed she suffered from a chronic, very painful, condition.
By the way, it happens often that clients’ perceptions of what is right and what is off in their lives differs from reality. Sometimes reality is wildly different from how they see it. This is because everyone has blind spots in their lives. Those blind spots are clearly visible to a Feng Shui Consultant trained in the Nine Steps to Feng Shui® System.
I have been very surprised, when hired to do a consultation after another Feng Shui consultant had done their thing, to see all the important things they missed! The Nine Steps to Feng Shui® System is like no other training. What’s wonderful about it, is that it is rooted in the philosophy of thought that gave rise to ancient Chinese medicine, but it also respects the rules of Western architectural design.
The last time Willow consulted me, she had agreed to make some changes to her family room. I also gave her cures for the life areas that showed problems in her life areas, especially for self-knowledge.
Shortly after, Willow told me that Feng Shui had done for her what it needed to do, which was to show her the truth about herself: She was never meant to marry or have kids. She was different from other people, she didn’t have the same needs as other people. She was taught as a child that she should strive for marriage and kids, but that had never been a true desire of hers.
I asked Willow if she had tried a new arrangement for her family room. She hadn’t.
Refusing to Follow Feng Shui Advice
When a client refuses to follow the advice of her Feng Shui consultant, there is little a Feng Shui Consultant can do.
The Feng Shui Consultant does not “know better” than the client, but the ancestral knowledge of Feng Shui does know better. Feng Shui is based on the observation of human nature for thousands of years.
People’s basic needs and desires do not change. It may feel really good for a person to think of themselves as different or special, or more important than others, on account of their accomplishments, spiritual enlightenment or the transformation that they have experienced in their lives. Yet, when it comes down to what makes us human, and what makes us happy, we are all pretty much the same.
We all crave the same things: love, connection, loyalty, security.
Listening to Feng Shui
It is always better to listen to Feng Shui, or to give Feng Shui a try, before trying something else.
The changes we suggest in the Nine Steps to Feng Shui® System are very simple: moving one piece of furniture, swapping 2 pieces of artwork, adding a throw in a different color. It is rare that we ask a client to do something drastic, like buying a new piece of furniture (like in the case of Willow, advising that she get a sofa or a sectional), or painting a wall.
We ask clients to make small changes at home, that will create significant changes in the way they see life, and this will in turn influence the way they make decisions.
Doing Very Little
There is a principle in healing, used by masters of ancient Chinese medicine, called the “principle of very little.” It is the idea that if you find the exact right thing that needs to change, the exact right thing that needs to be healed, that is the only thing that needs to be moved, in order to produce the desired transformation in a person’s life.
The Nine Steps to Feng Shui® System follows a process that evaluates the most important needs in a person first, to see what is missing. That way we can detect the most important Feng Shui issues to address.