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Joyful Life Experiences: Shifting from Things to Meaning
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Wherever You Go, There You Are: Being Willing to do the Essential Internal Work


“If we hope to go anywhere or develop ourselves in any way, we can only step from where we are standing. If we don’t really know where we are standing… We may only go in circles…” –Jon Kabat-Zinn

Have you noticed that wherever you go, you meet yourself?

Yesterday a man shared with me that he feels worse than abandoned, lonely, and suffocated by the apartment he currently occupies. He moved to Black Mountain, NC from New York City. With tears welling up in his eyes, he admitted that he doesn’t feel safe in his core. He knew it probably connected to “inner child” challenges of long ago. I continued to listen and ask questions as he shared about “moving through molasses” experiences he has in his home. He shared that he has lots of physical clutter. This did not surprise me.

As I held compassionate space and continued the conversation to gently encourage him to build that bridge to a space that would feel safe and welcoming, that could feel like a haven for him, his energy began to slightly shift. I let him know it was possible to feel safe, empowered, and liberated in his life. He shared that he’s a musician and creates beautiful songs for children. Of course, he does! This talented, yet struggling, artist is not alone in dragging his internal past around with him and choosing spaces that reinforce his past experiences of living life.

We can easily and unconsciously drag our past experiences around no matter where we live in the world. That’s why a deeper transformation takes place when we do the inner clearing of patterns that no longer serve us. The real deliciousness of feng shui practice remains inside the dance of the internal “clearing” with the outer clearing of space to create the enduring results we desire. The practice is dynamic and evolving.  

Sometimes when you live through intensely challenging experiences that continue for a period of time, you simply must place some of them in a box inside your heart for later unpacking. You must be safe to look inside those boxes and come to terms with your grief, loss, experiences of abandonment, betrayal, and worthlessness. Safety comes in layers of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. This work takes great courage and often much support from compassionate others who are further up the trail on this bold journey.

Transformations must begin somewhere. Sometimes you begin them in your space. You might relocate and allow the rest of you to catch up to the new feng shui reality. There may be lag time as your inner selves work to catch up, accept, and receive the abundance, beauty, and goodness of your outer realities. Healing and retrieving parts of your own sense of goodness, worth, belonging, and trust that may have gotten broken or battered along the way remains essential. For enduring results, the inner shifts must happen all along the way as you discern and create from those sacred places of wishes, dreams, yearnings, longings, prayers, and feelings of optimism or hopefulness.

Like the musician, who yearns for an experience of internal and external freedom, you, too, can begin to take gentle steps to build a life that honors your dignity, all your inner children, and you as an amazing, resilient, and audacious adult person. You are here. You are bigger and braver than anything that’s ever happened to you. You get to live in a space that supports the life you create and live. Your broken open heart, still strong inner loving voice, and wise, beloved others are your greatest guides.

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