Re-Defining Feng Shui Travel

Tomorrow I leave for China (Saturday, October 11th). This will be the fifth time my husband and I have taken students to the land of Feng Shui. Every year we condense our lives into one suitcase per person. You’d think I’d be used to the procedure by now. But, no. Each year I decide two days before we leave that the clothes I was intending to take aren’t going to work—they’ll be too warm, they won’t be warm enough, they won’t hold up in rain, they won’t hold up to multiple use.

But it isn’t just the clothes. We have people live at our home while we’re gone to tend to our precious cats. So I’ve been cleaning. This is not my favorite activity and it takes way too much time. Of course, I have to stock up on two weeks’ worth of cat food. After all the times we’ve made this trip, you’d think I’d know exactly how many cans of food I should buy, but I stand in the pet food store, imagining my little cherubs pining with loneliness—-will they then eat less food? Or will they bury their distress by eating more? It would help if I counted the cans before I left on each of these trips and then counted them when I returned.

I thought about making a time-line for this process, but as I was putting it together in my mind, there are many circumstances peculiar to this trip that wouldn’t apply to any of the others. Which requires being in the moment. Which is the reason packing is such a challenge for me. Which brings me back to my clothes.

You see, as a good Feng Shui consultant who tries to walk her talk, I have learned that each day I should “tune in” to not only the upcoming events of the day, but the weather, my mood, my energy level, and my preferences. According to these factors, I would then select the right outfit to help me get through the day with utmost harmony and balance. If I needed a little more fire, I could select something red to wear; if I was feeling a little under the weather, I might choose something yellow.

Unfortunately I don’t have the luxury of bringing all the clothing options which that kind of consideration requires. So I have to anticipate and hope for the best, which is why packing takes me so long. I watch my husband take shirts out of the closet, two pairs of pants, two pairs of shoes, his toiletry bag and in 30 seconds he’s done. He never seems to have a wardrobe meltdown where he’s standing in the hotel trying to decide what shirt to wear and realizing his shoes don’t match the one belt he brought and people are on the bus waiting for him to make up his mind which is hard to do because he’s also having a bad hair day and is still looking for something that expresses the element of earth. No, he just grabs an outfit and feels fine about it. He maintains equanimity with Feng Shui grace and style throughout the whole day and late into the night. There’s a lesson here for me. Maybe the Feng Shui flow isn’t about wardrobe perfection but perfection with what is, no matter what the outfit. Oh brother, I need to re-pack (again).