Feng Shui for the Soul

Several years ago on a dreamy trip to Portland, Oregon, I picked up a copy of Denise Linn’s “Feng Shui for the Soul” from the world’s best bookstore, Powell’s. This book has been on my ‘to read’ pile until today. I don’t normally write about books I haven’t finished, but even a few pages into the book I have received such tremendous benefit, I just had to share.

I have several Feng Shui books already, which describe the art of placement of objects in the home to enhance energy. It is a fascinating topic and I have at times tried to arrange my surroundings to match the detailed suggestions in the books. But life intervenes, as it tends to do, and my home quickly resumes it’s status as a messy work in progress.

I can honestly say that Denise Linn’s book is quite different from others I have read on this topic. Rather than setting out complicated charts and set rules to follow, she encourages you to tune into the energy within your home and the objects inside it. With a few basic tools you can powerfully transform the energy in your home. I know because I did a clutter-clearing of every room in my house today. It felt great. Of course there is more to do and more clutter to release or organize, but I was amazed at how easy it was and how much better the place looks and feels in a relatively short amount of time.

I used a pendulum to test the energy of each room or corner, as recommended in the book, and just took care of the obvious things that needed straightening or tossing. The energy shifted every time I moved something, even if I didn’t clean the area completely. This is a new concept for me, that clutter clearing could easily be done in stages without any unfinished energy in the home. When I have cleared clutter before it had always been a big production, with boxes and recycling piles and bags of half sorted things everywhere. The place always looked worse before it got better. This step is completely unnecessary. By tuning into the energy of the space, a tiny little bit of work can make a huge difference.

Mostly, what I love about this book is the humility and honesty of Denise Linn. There is no judgement for having a messy house. I felt so calm during the whole process and even more so knowing that I can tackle little parts of it at a time and still have a big effect. I think clearing out stuff is a continual process that is a necessary part of having a home, this is the first time it has been easy. I highly recommend this valuable book. 🙂


The Book that Changes Everything

Cover of "Women Who Run with the Wolves"

Cover of Women Who Run with the Wolves

I love books. My living room looks like a library, with floor to ceiling bookshelves on the available walls. I love reading fine words and funny words. Technical and emotional, spiritual and practical. But after all these pages flipped, there are some books that stay with you. They leave an imprint on your mind, like newsprint ink on your hand. There are some books that cause you to change during the course of reading them.

The book that sparked my transformation from scientist to spiritualist was “Women who Run with the Wolves” by Clarissa Pinkola Estés. Up to that point, I rejected all things spiritual because I was disillusioned by the dogma and hypocrisy I saw in organized religions. I turned away from anything mystical and clung to the solidity of scientific reason. I found this book after a break-up with my high school sweetheart. I was looking for a book to distract me from the pain and at 537 pages, including end notes and index, I was sold.

But what I found in this book was something more than I thought possible. Estés is a scholar and a storyteller, she unwinds stories to find their core of truth. She analyzes fairy tales through the lens of archetype. The book hooked something in my linear, analytical brain and pulled it in a creative direction. Before reading this book, I only read non-fiction; after I read it, I read novel after novel. She somehow gave me the tools to see into the architecture of a story.  She taught me to see the spirit and meaning of a story and to think about how to apply those lessons in my life.

This book also gave me a glimpse of how women could be both powerful and soft, nurturing and fierce. Growing up in a family with a majority of women, this rang true for me. This book also gave me a ladder to climb out of a very low point; to grab hold of the rung of self-esteem and to keep on climbing. She told me I was worth it.

Throughout the book, Estés encourages you to hear the call of your heart. It is a profound and magical ride. I picked this book up again today, and it still holds the magic it did when I first read it sixteen years ago.

This is the power of books, of words. Books create change. Words are powerful.

What book changed your life?

What book do you need to write?

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