Mon. Aug. 19, 2019: Feng Shui for Inspiration — #UpbeatAuthors

image by silviarita via

Monday, August 19, 2019
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde

We’ve talked about using paintings to inspire us when we’re stuck. So many other art forms can also be used: any of the fine arts (sculpture, textiles, mixed media) or music or dance or anything else.

But sometimes nothing works.

That’s when applying the principles of Feng Shui to our creativity is useful.

There are two parts to this: applying it to the space in which you work, and applying it to the project itself. It might sound weird to Feng Shui a project, but I’ll explain how I do it.

There are multiple schools of Feng Shui. I like the Black Hat School, which Karen Rauch Carter details in her book MOVE YOUR STUFF, CHANGE YOUR LIFE. In my opinion, this is the best Feng Shui book out there, and makes the most sense to my life.

Feng Shui for Space
Draw a bagua, writing in the nine life areas: career, skills & knowledge, family, prosperity, fame & reputation, relationships & love, creativity & children, helpful people & travel, and health in the appropriate points, per the typical bagua. In this piece, the techniques I talk about are from the Black Hat School. If you use Compass School, or a different technique, you might have to adjust where you stand with your bagua to survey the space.

Holding the bagua in your hand, stand in the doorway of your workspace and look around the room. Look at the placement of furniture, decorations, windows, mirrors, etc., and see what falls into each area of the bagua.

Using advice from the Feng Shui School of choice, start moving around objects so that they fit into the correct area of the bagua. If there’s something that can’t be moved, or something missing, look up the “cures” to balance it out. Even more important, clean your workspace. Tidy things up. Dust. Vacuum. Wash the windows. Water the plants. Rearrange furniture if you can or want to. Change the curtains or tablecloths or throw pillows or pictures. Remove anything that is dead or broken. Remove anything that doesn’t serve you any more.

Look through the rest of the house or things you have packed away to see if you already own something that serves as a “cure.”

You don’t have to throw out items with sentimental value just because they don’t fit the space anymore. Pack them away, with gentleness and compassion. A time will come when you want to freshen your space again, and then it might fit. In lean times and sad times, items I packed away ages ago have come in handy on multiple physical and emotional levels.

I genuinely believe that all these organizers who try to get you to throw out perfectly good “stuff” are just trying to get you to buy more stuff. If it’s still useful and purposeful, even if it isn’t needed right this second, pack it gently away and save it for the future.

Take another look at the space. If something still doesn’t feel quite right, keep tweaking it. But I bet you feel happier just being in the space.

Often cleaning up my writing room helps get me out of the “stuck” place, or the uninspired place.

Additionally, looking at the areas in both my writing room and the overall house, and making adjustments in the relevant areas will help get my creativity moving again.

Stand at your front door, looking at your entire space. Where does your writing space fall within the bagua? Mine is in the Helpful People & Travel sector in this house. So I have power tools in the writing room that serve Helpful People & Travel in respect to the overall house, while also looking at the room itself and seeing where the room itself falls into the bagua. It can get a little confusing sometimes, and I find myself adjusting and readjusting after most big projects. I’m a nester, which means wherever I work — the desk, the reading/writing chair, etc. — I tend to pile up what I’m using.

Feng Shui for Projects
How the heck do you Feng Shui a project?

I bet there’s advice on that out there somewhere. At the time of this writing, I haven’t read any, but writing this piece makes me want to hunt it down, if it exists.

However, I’ve come up with a couple of techniques on my own.

Have Your Character Do Some Feng Shui
See what happens if you write a scene or sequence where your character does some Feng Shui on their own space. Sometimes rearranging the character’s space helps the writer push through. That doesn’t mean you have to leave the sequence in the piece, unless it works. You can always cut it.

Remember that nothing written is ever wasted, even if it’s cut from the final draft. You needed to write it to GET to the final draft.

Use the Bagua on Your Plot
Take a look at the nine areas of the bagua. How do they relate to your protagonist’s journey? What pieces are missing, and how do they serve as a catalyst to the protagonist’s journey? Are any of them healed during the course of the book?

Conversely, when you look at the bagua, is there any area you can think of making more difficult for your character, and upping the stakes on the story? Is anything going a little too well in the character’s life, and needs more complications for a more engaging plot?

The act of cleaning and rearranging gets you out of torpor and into motion. As your body moves, your brain starts to re-engage, and that helps get your creativity flowing. Plus, a beautiful space is a much more welcoming space for your work!

Change Where You Work on the Project
Where does your workspace fall into the bagua of your home? Is there another place that would work better? Perhaps the Creativity & Children sector, or the Career Sector? The Prosperity or the Fame and Reputation Sector? Trying working in a different spot, and see if that rattles the creativity loose again.

This Week’s Task
Read a book on Feng Shui (libraries usually have several). Compare different styles. Pick one area of your home to Feng Shui and work on it.

Have you used Feng Shui in your home or your work? What style do you use? What were the results? Let me know in the comments.

Also, in the comments, talk about your Artist Date, and what kind of paintings or other art you experienced, and how it helped.

Published in: on August 19, 2019 at 6:04 am  Comments Off on Mon. Aug. 19, 2019: Feng Shui for Inspiration — #UpbeatAuthors  
Tags: , , , , ,

Mon. Sept. 24, 2018: Upbeat Authors — Self Tolerance

Monday, September 24, 2018
Full Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde

We’re still on the topic of tolerance for this month’s Upbeat Authors.

So I’m going to talk about Self Tolerance.

We all have habits and things about ourselves that we don’t like, or that don’t suit our vision of the life we want to build. The only way to change them is to take action and make the changes.

However, don’t hate yourself for needing to make changes, and don’t hate yourself during the process.

As human beings, we’re not perfect. We’re also all unique, which is part of our beauty.

Although there are far too many factions, both in life and, sadly, in some fiction, that are trying to get people to conform rather than celebrate and, yes, tolerate differences, our differences should be celebrated, and they are part of what makes us stronger.

When we take the time to get to know and understand differences, we can see how the different pieces fit into the larger puzzle. That is a strength.

Instead of looking in the mirror, hating what we see, and berating ourselves about it, how about saying, “Hmm. I think it’s time to try a new look.”

Then figure out what that new look is and go for it!

Changing hairstyles or colors, deciding you want to put on or lose weight, deciding that you want to try a different color palette, or style range is fun. It is something that can be maintained as long as it works for your life and makes you feel good. It can be changed when it no longer works.

If you have a habit you want to break, or something else about how you respond to situations or something about your being that gives you difficulty or makes you unhappy, don’t be afraid or ashamed to reach out for help and support. Make informed decisions to make positive changes in your life.

You can rearrange your furniture or try a new paint color or drape lively fabrics on furniture. None of it has to be expensive. Get a feng-shui book out of the library and try a few suggestions (MOVE YOUR STUFF, CHANGE YOUR LIFE by Karen Rauch Carter is my favorite). Buy a new plant. Change the curtains (I have summer curtains, winter curtains, and spider web curtains for the month of October). All of it can be creative. It keeps my living energy and my personal energy from getting stale.

If your organizational system isn’t working, experiment with new ones. Most organizational books by so-called ‘gurus’ make me roll my eyes, but there’s one that I found useful. It’s called ORGANIZING FROM THE INSIDE OUT by Julie Morgenstern (an ex-theatre person, by the way).

I am NOT a proponent of “if you haven’t used it/worn it for a year, get rid of it” or “for every item you bring in to the house, get rid of one.” That is CRAP, in my opinion, and it’s a scheme to get you to run out of stuff and have to BUY more. In lean times, I’ve been saved by stuff I hadn’t used for years, found, and found useful. My life has too many elements in it for every item to be used all the time. They rotate around every few years, and I can shop in my closets, for both clothes and household items.

I was exhausted when I moved here. In 2010. I am only now unpacking and purging a lot of the boxes I brought along that I hadn’t had time to sort before moving. I moved my childhood home and mother, and my storage unit where I’d tossed stuff for years, and my own stuff, in less than a month. So, no, there wasn’t time to sort it all.

But I’m doing it now. I kept trying, but I kept berating myself for not doing it right away or fast enough or whatever.

You know what’s making it possible? When I shut the hell up from yelling at myself and just started to deal with it. It takes as long as it takes. I’m making a decision on each item in each box.

So be kind to yourself. Tolerate your imperfections, even while you’re working toward becoming the person you want and creating the life you envision. Celebrate the journey!