The Process Continues: Another Visit

As a quick review from last month’s column, I began relating the story of a client of mine (“Ned”) who invited me to his home in a small town not far from Minneapolis. Although open to the idea of energy and it’s potential impact on a person, “Ned” was relatively new to the concept of working with the environment. Feng Shui sounded like the solution to his problem of feeling overwhelmed, tired and in need of a direction.

crystalI returned to “Ned’s” home a month after my initial visit. On the prior visit I had suggested that he hand a round faceted crystal in the center of his extremely cluttered house. I also suggested that he occupy a back bedroom instead of the front one he was currently using. My motive was that if “Ned” could start sleeping well and renewing his energy, he may not feel so overwhelmed and so desperate.

When I arrived, “Ned” immediately showed me the crystal he had hung in the center. He wasn’t sure he had done it right and explained in great detail how hard it was to find a crystal and how long it took to find the right little nail from which to hang it. But he seemed quite proud of a job well done.

He was anxious to show me his new bedroom. I couldn’t help but notice on the way to the back of the house that not much of the clutter had changed and that the boxes and bags hadn’t been moved. Nevertheless, “Ned” had managed to clear the back bedroom and had moved his bed into the back corner furthest from the door (the command position). He had indeed moved only one dresser in there as well. In cleaning the carpet, he realized it wasn’t tacked down very securely and underneath were beautiful, pristine hardwood floors. So the carpet was removed. The walls had a lovely coat of green paint and the window was sparkling clean. He showed me how it now easily opened up and down due to his efforts to repair a stuck window. “Ned” seemed tentatively proud of his accomplishments, again not sure if he had done it right.

When asked, “Ned” did admit he may be sleeping a little better in this room. Of course, he was quick to add that the tenants’ stereo was no longer directly above his bedroom so naturally it would be quieter. I let it go at that.

I made a couple of additional suggestions for the bedroom—-like bringing in a chair so he could sit by the window. I also recommended he move his bed away from the wall so he could get in and out of bed on either side. Doing that brought the bed out into the room a little more than “Ned” thought was practical. He was willing to consider leaving it out in the room when I explained the importance of having options in life—-even when getting in and out of bed.

I initiated a conversation about the fact that his new bedroom was in the Partnership area of his home. “Ned” seemed guarded about the possibility of bringing someone new into his life. As long as he was beginning to sleep better, that was enough for now.

The next area of concern was where “Ned” eats his meals. He made it clear that it was a stupid question since the kitchen table was buried with stuff as well as the chairs. He ate on a recliner in the living room in front of the television. I explained that, whether he ate there much at all or not, he still needed to have a special place designated for eating food. He realized that meant cleaning off the kitchen table. I encouraged him to not just move the stuff to another part of the house, but to make some decisions about these things with regard to keeping them or not. He reluctantly agreed with me that it would be a good project, but I could tell it seemed daunting to him. I suggested he deal with nine items on the table—-either move them, throw them, give them away or file them. Doing this for nine days could make an incredible impact on his space. Nine items didn’t seem so bad he assured me. Even the nine days didn’t seem like too much to ask.

While still in the kitchen, I also relayed the story about the Chinese belief that if the burners on the stove are working and clean, he can expect more money and better health. Additionally, cooking good and nutritious food enabled a person to be healthy. Therefore, it is important for the stove-top burners to be in good working order. From the looks of the stove, I could assume that the possibility of having all four burners in working condition, even if they were scrubbed clean, was slim. Dealing with that stove was going to be a major project.

Along with the kitchen table and chairs, I could see “Ned” had had enough. I figured if I made too many suggestions as to what to change and what to move, he would fall back into the sense of overwhelm he was already experiencing in other parts of his life. Before I left, “Ned” was anxious to schedule another time for me to return. Was that a little enthusiasm behind his quiet demeanor?

As I drove back to Minneapolis, I recalled the obstacles I had encountered on my way to “Ned’s” place the first time I went—a stalled semi, a closed ramp and confused directions. Returning to the metro area, I drove by a field of wild flowers and remarked on their beauty—-the first sign of spring and new beginnings. What a contrast to my first visit.