Every place I’ve lived in (25 for nine months or more plus a handful of 1-3 month sojourns) has been purposeful in ways I could only see in retrospect after a particular chapter or act in the play was through.
Into the Mystery
I arrived at this viewpoint almost 20 years ago as I was beginning the study of feng shui. It came from the experience of a house I lived in starting in early 1998 for just a year, beginning approximately a year after I first trained in Compass School Feng Shui.
I moved into this house, after a long and tedious process of searching amongst different rentals for some place that would feel like a balanced home. This is an unpredictable thing to try to do whether one is renting or buying, because only certain properties are available at any point in time and there’s no control over what the selection is. Finally, a beautiful home became available with a large yard, filled with delightful landscaping. All seemed well. Of course I viewed this home and every home I looked at through the analysis of a Compass School assessment to make sure that the place was advantageous and this one looked quite good on paper as well as to the eye.
That year was not an ordinary nor an easy year in my life. I had just changed much of my work life, moved from So. California to No. California, finished a five-year relationship and began another two months later, and experienced significant changes in my family life – and those are just some of the outer changes. Inwardly, I felt like I was experiencing a sea change in the sense of who I was as a being. Changes were broad, uprooting, deep and constant. If you’re a Calvin & Hobbes fan, I felt like I’d been thrown into a transmogrifier and couldn’t sort out how to get out again or what I would be exactly when I did.
In the summer of that year, my beloved grandmother whose house was a couple of miles away, finally exited the stage of life at the grand old age of 93. Though I had seen it coming, and had been steeling myself for a life without her for almost 20 years, I couldn’t find a way to feel normal for a very long time after she left. She had been my rock, the safe haven with the welcoming open door and full refrigerator, the non-judging friend I could always count on. There’s nothing tragic about a life well-lived coming to an end and I was happy for her, but deeply disoriented in my own world.
That was in July. Somewhere in August I had a startling dream about my house, a house that looked so nice and felt so tranquil, but had been very challenging to live in for the first half year. I dreamed that I had done the assessment incorrectly, and that there was a fundamental energy in the house that I had missed when I had done the original overview before moving in. At first when I tried to extract a meaning from the dream, I thought it was metaphorical, or, only metaphorical and not literal in any way. But then I began to wonder if it might be literally true as well. I reviewed what I had done based on the information I had but it seemed correct. I was in the middle of a mystery.
Compass School considers time, the year a building is built, to be one of the factors governing the energies that are anchored into a house. Every 20 year period changes the arrangement of the energies. Two phenomena can “redate” a house: putting on a whole new roof where the house interior is exposed to the sun after the old roof is removed, or picking the building up and relocating it. A few weeks before the dream I had been in a nearby park and chanced to meet a neighbor who, it turned out, had been part of remodeling the house a few years before I had moved in. A day or so after I had this dream, I was sitting on the front steps pondering what it was all about, and lo and behold, I see this same neighbor walking by (and these are the only two times I ever encountered him)! I stopped him and asked him if during the house remodel the roof had been removed. He said it had. This meant that the house should have been considered as being built in the 1990’s rather than the late 1940’s which is what I had been told before moving in. I felt as though I were living in the dream at this point. I took this new information and refigured the assessment, and when I was done, what I saw before me exactly matched what I had seen in the dream. Exactly. The perfection of the late appearance of this new information was that, had I seen this in the first place I would never have moved into the house – which doesn’t sound like perfection, right – but the experiences I had were essential to the whole transformation occurring at that time in my life.
There are certain energetics that Compass School Feng Shui considers to be the most serious, and certainly not what one wants at the center of a home, which is where they were in this house. They can portend serious illness, accidents or even death. Sorry to sound dark because this is not a dark story; it’s more a story about being dislodged from the familiar in such a deep way that deeper transformation can occur. It seemed dark at the time because I was so disoriented and challenged in a core way, but that wasn’t the nature of it. For the caterpillar who is at the neither-worm-nor-butterfly stage of its transformation, the view from inside the chrysalis would be a dark one.
I was experiencing the ending or the death of a lot of my old identities, expectations and associations I’d been living with for a very long time – who I thought I was. If I’d lived in an easier place, a place revolving energetically around a different theme, it’s possible I wouldn’t have been so thoroughly dislodged from these old views of myself, and the greater view wouldn’t have been available. The poor health, or other possible physical manifestations did not come to pass; it was really all about an internal shift in the center of my being. It’s important to say that this house did not “cause” this experience, rather it was resonant with it. This resonance helped to bring to the forefront what was already going on in me.
As you can imagine, I reflected on this remarkable experience for a long time. It certainly gave me a deep appreciation for some of the uncanny accuracy of feng shui. What it mainly accomplished, and this is the real point of my writing this piece, is that it gave me a very different perspective on how to regard feng shui and to apply it.
Every life is sacred. Everything about it is sacred, no matter how mundane or chaotic it may seem at times. The places we inhabit support these sacred lives we are given, and support them in ways one would never guess as it is so far beyond the usual context of our daily life and how we attribute meaning to things. They form the stage for our particular play of expanding consciousness. We’re drawn to different specific locations when they support what is unfolding within us at that time, whether we know that’s what we’re doing or not. This is true whether one rents, owns, or camps in a teepee; whether you’re a student, new parent, business tycoon, or traveling on through with only a backpack.
Feng Shui is usually applied outwardly. By that I mean that it is primarily used to help secure and hold onto the “big three” of feng shui: wealth, health, and to have and maintain happy relationships. It helps work to be more focused and productive, study to be more successful, neighborhoods to be more harmonious, conflicts to ease, sleep to be more restoring, and more. Balancing the outer life is of great importance and feng shui is a profound tool for every aspect of outer life.
Moving inwardly, those with spiritual practices balance their environments to help to provide the background peace and tranquility to facilitate a deeper inner connection. If outer sensory stimulation is reduced and one feels more peace in the resonance of the outer environment, then it is much easier to let go of outer concerns and then to focus on the inner centering and life of spirit. Again, applying feng shui principles with the understanding of what creates balanced harmony is an asset.