It’s indisputable that we are living longer and have more choices in how we live than previous generations ever imagined. As a coach, I’ve observed how more of my clients are specifically seeking assistance in exploring issues related to planning and thriving in the years after ages 50, 60, or 70.
For example, Sue wanted a holistic life plan for the foreseeable decades ahead. She knew that called for more than a basic financial plan and general wishes of traveling and spending time with her grandchildren. As we explored who she was and what approaches would work best for her, she shared a list of things that were meaningful to her. One of those was Feng Shui.
My normal approach in coaching is to use powerful questions. These will take a client to new places where she or he can experience “aha” moments. As someone who has had some Feng Shui experience in the past few years, I realized how many of my core powerful questions related beautifully to the areas used in Feng Shui.
Feng Shui divides a space up into 9 equal areas that reflect various aspects of life: Career, Family, Wealth, Fame/Reputation, Partnership, Children/Creativity, Helpful People, and Health. A basic principle is that your space reflects your life. (Imagine this laid over your main floor with your front door orienting the layout from any of the bottom three areas.) By using these areas in conjunction with your questions about retirement, unique and personal insights may unfold. Your space can “speak” with you.
Why do you think you are still here? This addresses your sense of purpose and passion at this new transition in life. I asked Sue to take some time to journal about this question in the Fame and Reputation area of her home. Since this area correlates with fire, she lit a candle to draw that energy into her meditation.
What important issues of this life stage are you avoiding? I suggested Sue spend some time in her Knowledge area since it relates to self-knowledge. It takes deep work to see what we don’t want to see. Sue wrote her journaling results on blue paper since blue is the color linked to the Knowledge area. She realized she was avoiding things that made her emotionally “blue” such as the prospect of illness and death.
What is my Financial Guidance System? I suggested Sue use the power of the Wealth area in two ways. What were the enduring values that represent the wealth of her character? And what were the changeable variables in her financial condition? Then she could integrate the intangible and tangibles of wealth issues. She already had a perfect purple African Violet in the room capturing the purple of the wealth area. In addition, she was thrilled to know one of the symbolic meanings of violets is wisdom.
Eventually, Sue and I held the coaching sessions in her home so we could move from area to area, selecting the most supportive place for our conversations. Sometimes the same question had different insights when asked in a different area.
Try making a list of your powerful questions. Look at any life area for inspiration. Here are a couple more examples: What is called for in my relationships if this is my last chance? What legacy do I want to leave for future generations? Decide what area(s) of the Bagua would help you answer each question in new ways. You might be surprised. Sometimes we need a coach to help us get unblocked or inspired, just like we need a financial planner.
Margaret Lulic is a consulting philosopher, author, and coach. She is currently writing an e-book about her coaching process and the powerful questions that will lead to a productive and joy filled retirement. For a short video on Power Questions, go to www.mlulic.com. Margaret can be reached at email@example.com, 612-920-0637.
On one of our walks last week, my friend Julie and I were discussing big picture outcomes in many facets of our lives. It’s good to have someone who doesn’t confine you to parameters but let’s you soar into near oblivion with ideas, what-ifs, why-nots, so-whats. She provides the net so I can do some daring trapeze leaps without getting hurt. I trust I do the same for her.
Along the way as we were reaching up pretty high with our dreams, she paraphrased a quote that Steve Jobs said at the Stanford Commencement address. I went home, looked it up, and found it to be at the basis of effective and powerful Feng Shui.
You can’t connect the dots looking forward you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something: your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well-worn path.
Steve Jobs, Stanford Commencement Adress, 2005
Feng Shui is not only about helping people thrive where they are and be fulfilled in their present situation, but it’s also, and perhaps more importantly, about helping people set up their space so that it pulls them into the future—into the life they’ve always wanted. The hard part here is to be able to access the dream about their ultimate life experience, not just concentrate on the next step, out of context with the big picture.
Here are some ways to help you dream bigger so you can change your home into the life you’ve always wanted. . . . .
I doubt Steve Jobs knew about Feng Shui (but who knows?), however, he did know about dreaming big. He started with the end in mind and worked backwards—-so did Edison—so did Ford. Working backwards is different than going backwards. Get your dream out there—make it even bigger—and then work backwards as you move forward.
Brian’s Journey to Tuscon