Wabi Sabi…what?


wabi sabi

Wabi Sabi took the interior design community by storm in 2020, and endures in 2021. But what is it and does it even relate to Feng Shui? Wabi Sabi is a Japanese concept, roughly translated as seeing beauty in imperfection. When I lived there, I saw effortless examples of this in pottery, furniture, tea ceremony and flower arranging.


It’s a concept that really can’t be forced, and I think, in that way, it relates to Feng Shui. Wabi Sabi is not cluttered, or austere- it’s real and you can see the human touch. I think in Feng Shui, there is almost always imbalance and constant change and there really is no such thing as perfect Feng Shui or perfect chi. 


There’s a transience to Wabi Sabi as there is in a Feng Shui; it does not sit still. Both Wabi Sabi and Feng Shui are intrinsic to Japanese life. Japanese do not talk about things being Wabi Sabi, and don’t try to make things Wabi Sabi- it just is. It is the same for Feng Shui; it is practiced when choosing a home, remodeling, and location, but it is so woven into their lives, they don’t recognize either concept as things.


If you want the Wabi Sabi design aesthetic and you want that as an example of good Feng Shui, here you go…

Image Credit: VanSeo Design
Crab Plate from Japan

Rainbows and Butterflies….and Feng Shui


After my dad passed away, every time I saw a double rainbow, I decided that was him saying “hi.” Rainbows evoke feelings of positivity-the storm’s over, sun coming out and butterflies.


2020 was a year of tremendous loss, so, recently,  anytime I’ve seen a rainbow, I’m hopeful.


Rain, of course is water, and the water element is very powerful in Feng Shui. Water is akin to stimulation of ides, communication, business and the flow of currency. 


Rain water is also cleansing, ridding of negative chi, new beginnings. Too big a storm, or a destructive storm,  is not good, nor is a little spritz helpful.


We probably all need a good storm now to quite literally clear the air and offer a chance for better communication.

Here Comes the Metal Ox


2021 ushers in the year of the Metal Ox and we bid adieu to that Metal Rat that literally plagued us in 2020!

metal ox
Metal Ox


The Metal Ox year should be one of recovery and renewal. Things will not change overnight, but it should be less volatile than the Metal Rat of 2020. The Metal of this year is not as sharp or as antagonistic as the Metal element of 2020, but the events of this year have already put into motion change for the coming year.


To prepare, sage your home and workspace on Dec 21, the Winter Solstice. Sage is an antibacterial (yay! but better for you than hand sanitizer) and you should use white sage-they are often sold in bundles and there are even sage kits in abalone. Open your doors and windows-hit every corner of every room. Keep it lit, but embers burning only, which creates a strong smoke.

white sage
White Sage

A Year of Restoration


2021 ushers in the year of the Metal Ox. This year is supposed to be a year of restoration. Phew! We all need that after 2020. 


Pantone has chosen the colors for 2021; a neutral gray, Ultimate Gray, and a bold yellow, illuminating yellow-2 colors! The gray I immediately get-it represents metal, precision, yielding. 

via Pantone


The bold yellow is less obvious. Yellow is usually about communication; this yellow, however, is bold and may not set the stage for communication. To me, it evokes getting up and going, fast…illuminating, like the sun, it may help reveal some ideas that we can only see after living through 2020. 

by Intexure Architects
Hinkley was ahead of the curve using yellow.

What do you think? Do you like both? One or the other? Where would you put this in your home? 

Floyd and Stove Position


We have a kitchen!!!!!

Yes, a rough stage, but we can cook, wash dishes and we have counters… plywood until the soapstone gets put in, but it’s such progress.

The centerpiece of our kitchen is a fully refurbished O’Keefe and Merritt range, who I’ve not named yet… Ursula, Loretta…

Anyway, stove placement is one of the majors for the inside of the home. Ours faces North – Northwest, which is a very auspicious direction for me and Tom, who are western Gua 8s. It’s complicated, but one universal no-no for stoves is if they are directly opposite the sink. Noooooo-that’s exactly our setup. The cure for this is to place wood between the two-in our case a really, really, really narrow island or something that. 

kitchen before
kitchen wideshot
Stove
dishwasher

Destiny and the art of learning something new


This is my first book on the list for my course-there are at least a dozen books in my course list, but I’m chomping at the bit to tackle them. 


In Chinese Metaphysics, your birthdate, time and place plays approximately 1/3 of your destiny. Feng Shui of your home is another 1/3, and the last is your own luck, which is basically your will to succeed in the things that are important to you. 


They do go together, and though I’ve been mastering the Feng Shui piece for almost 30 years now, I finally realized the birth chart is an integral component to achieve real success. 


There is always something more to know. I think my message this week is clearly that there is always more to learn. I heard stories from many of my customers this week as I’ve been back on the road in earnest. There is always more, and if we listen… I mean really listen, there is something to learn from each interaction. 

When the Consultant Consults the Master


2020 has been a year for injuries in our household. Finding myself unable to Feng Shui Floyd, because life is just like that, I consulted a master. Richard Ashworth is a published master who is one of the only world renowned Classic Feng Shui/Bazi masters whose native language is English.

He advised us to move our bed so our heads are facing Southwest. This is to counter the opposing Metal Rat year to Tom’s yin Fire Day Stem.

I know this sounds like Greek…he also said to enter through our true Front door, which is in the Northwest, and much less convenient than our porch doors. Hopefully, this will help curtail the rate of physical injury sustained in 2020.

doors


I’m excited to be studying with Richard to formally learn about Bazi (birth charts) and synthesize this with the classical Feng Shui in his dual mastery program. 

Meanwhile, hold tight for a wild end of 2020, with Mercury Retrograde in full force-it promises to be volatile. 

Autumnal Equinox and Feng Shui


Sept 21 or 22 marks the change to Fall 🍁! Fall is my favorite season of the year. It’s warm in the day but cold at night. The earth’s ecliptic is at a lower angle so the light is not as intense, and the colors are beautiful. The earth is crispy. 


Fall is represented in Feng Shui by the Metal element, by the West and Northwest direction, and offers a sense of completion of a cycle with the traditional harvest. 


Because we are entering a Mercury Retrograde next week, this is a great time to complete things you’ve been meaning to and to do repairs. 


We are in a Metal Rat year too so this season comes with a particular intensity as it is metal year, metal season. It is important to get sleep and remain balanced without getting too ground into ones principles or routines. This is a volatile and changing time, it’s important to be adaptable. 


It’s also getting darker earlier. Make sure your house or surroundings have enough light to safely move around. Invest in outdoor and landscape lighting if you are able and enjoy the good weather and crisp, fresh air into the evening! 

Balancing Elements


Tom and I both grew up in Palos Verdes. We are back, staying with Tom’s parents as we were evacuated from our house in Mount Hermon in the Santa Cruz Mountains. 


It’s scary to leave your home not knowing if you’ll see it again, having to choose what to take and what to leave behind. 


In the Santa Cruz Mountains we have a lot earth and wood, some water and some metal. Right now we are heavy in wood, fire obviously, and earth. Wood produces fire, fire feeds earth and eventually, earth creates metal. 


In Palos Verdes, we have a better distribution of all the elements. It’s by the ocean, so lots of yang water, earth, some wood and some metal. Physical fire is weaker here, but Palos Verdes is in the south, which, in Feng Shui, is the direction of fire.


Though we love living in the forest, we are mindful that, with this imbalance, comes a cost. We are happy for the reprieve from the fires and smoke, and know that when the earth is out of balance, so goes nature. 

Floyd’s Floors


So, yesterday the guys finished laying the floors and we moved back upstairs last night! Finally, a bathroom 10 feet away!!! 

The floors are reclaimed tobacco barn pine and they do not disappoint! 4”, 5” and 6” random widths, lengths and variegated and fit Floyd’s personality to a T.

Moving upstairs from the basement is good Feng Shui. Anytime you move up in the level of a building, you’re getting further away from the bottom. This is not to say it’s bad Feng Shui to hang out in your finished basement, it’s just better not to live in it 24/7. 

Moving furniture and the room in which you do different activities does disrupt the chi in your home. The basement was pretty yin, the secret room is more yang, so we will see how that affects our sleep. 

Stay tuned…