Knowing When To Move On

Knowing When To Move On

We cannot fix everything; I think this is the collective acknowledgement of 2020. The year of the Metal Rat is directly opposed to me, the Fire Horse. I was told it would be a year of struggle. Yes. I’ve been fighting this tub for well over 2 weeks trying to get it to the cast iron color I love. I’ve changed course. The legs went to a sand blaster for refinishing, and the tub is going to be color matched to my favorite Hinkley finish, Aged Zinc and painted. Done.

In life, and in Feng Shui, you must pick you battles. I’ve learned it is the big picture, the land location, the forms, the safety of the space and the health of the Property’s earth, not the color of the tub that matters. Don’t waste time on things you don’t want to do if you don’t have to. It’s been a hell of a year so far. As the late great Winston Churchill said “if you’re going through hell, keep going” there is no other option. 

Make your place feel safe; it has been your refuge more often than not in the last couple of months. Don’t waste time or money on things you do not need. In this case, I’m letting my perfect version of this tub…accept, adapt, repeat.

Feng Shui Floyd

As some of you have seen, my neighbor and I have been hitting the cast iron tub in Floyd’s upstairs bath with a vengeance, and a lot of power tools.

The tub is cast iron, metal element without a doubt. Last night, we were watching ATOM, (yes, it’s a science documentary and yes, I love these). The narrator reminded me that iron is the most stable element of all the elements and this is why it is common on earth and elsewhere. Iron is stable, for sure, and tough as well. We’ve hit it with everything we’ve got and still, it’s pretty unyielding. One day, I’ll get to the actual cast iron, and it will be sealed and it will be stunning. 

Metal is a crucial element in Feng Shui, and brings stability and clarity to the occupants of a home. I’m learning in my latest Feng Shui course with Dato Joey Yap, that it’s not about the metal statue, the metal accessories or even the metal tub, but that metal is represented in the West and Northwest as a necessary balance to your property. It is strength, continuity and stability. 

Ensconced By Floyd

Yesterday,  I caught up with my good friend and mentor, Martha Graham. She said something very interesting about my house, Floyd, she said that he has “ensconced us and protected us.”

We have been living in Floyd, a 108 year old hunting lodge, while renovating him since Christmas 2019, and 2020 has been a strange year. 

My partner, Tom, was hospitalized at Stanford for what we thought was COVID, but turned out to be an extremely rare autoimmune disease that was suddenly killing his heart. He had a successful heart transplant at Stanford, all the while with me at home, in Floyd, with our cat, Licorice, unable to leave or visit him because of COVID. 

Our neighbors were wonderful, and watched out for me the entire time Tom was at Stanford. I felt safe in Floyd, even though he’s a bit of a renovation wreck. Even so, Floyd has good bones and good Feng Shui.

We have been spending a lot more times in our homes than we ever remember. Take stock before you venture back out into the new normal and ask yourself how you feel in your home, on your property, about your neighbors, in your neighborhood?  These are all issues that Feng Shui can help support. 

Luo Pan

Many of you know I’ve been studying Feng Shui since 1992, where I was introduced to it while living in Japan. 

As with all knowledge, it is a lifetime of learning. I used to have a Luo Pan (Feng Shui Compass), and over the course of all of the moving we’ve done before landing in Floyd (our current home), that Luo Pan is officially MIA. 

I’ve been searching and finally found a massive Luo Pan with some English translation as well! Now I can see it and I can read it. 

My return to classical Feng Shui and exploration into Ba Zi (Chinese Astrology) and deepening knowledge of Flying Star Feng Shui will introduce some new thoughts and ideas to FSF…stay tuned!

Luo Pan

”Abandon hope, all ye who enter here”

Rodin’s famous sculpture, “The Three Phases,” snapped by me on my walk on the Stanford campus while Tom was getting a routine post heart transplant test. 

If you are an art history aficionado like me, you know that these three are meant to stand at the “Gates of Hell” in Dante’s inferno.

This got me thinking about where we are in the world now. Are we at the gates? Are we already there? Does it matter? 

As we try to hold our center through the waves of effects of this crisis, we can acknowledge that our connection to the world, to nature, and to all external elements has been disrupted, turned upside down and shaken, actually. My message to you; Do not abandon hope; that is what keeps us alive. 

Rodin’s The Three Phases