A pictureless post for obvious reasons about a Feng Shui Consultation in New York City...with a MESSAGE.
I have read enough and learned enough about some people that are glued to almost every single item they own. They have clothes for years because it might "some day" fit them again, stacks and stacks of paperwork they no longer need, items of every sort that they have accumulated over the years and have never been able to part with.
I can see through clutter and give my clients specific ideas on how to begin to tackle it; for those that truly "hoard" I know the issues run much deeper then the objects all around them. I always ask my clients not to do anything differently on the day we are having a Feng Shui Consultation. I want to see the home the way they actually LIVE in it, not when it has been cleaned for company.
In this case this lovely woman no longer had company. In fact, her bed was so filled with clothes and other items that she could no longer sleep on it; she had dragged a couch into another room and although it, too, was filled with things was sleeping there. I have successfully reached through to two "hoarders." And failed miserably with one that I still think of today. A wonderful, accomplished young woman who had been told that she would "never be successful in anything" in her home. Those are pretty powerful and pretty devastating words and she literally gave up trying.
I offered to work with her for no charge on subsequent visits in an effort to try and help her clean her space and separate HER from her THINGS. But I wasn't able to change her thinking; such is the damage that some Feng Shui Consultants unknowing do.
This woman, however, I felt was different. As she was listening to me she kept believed me and she understood what I was saying--and WHY. There was a time, long ago, when her home had been CLEAN; when she'd had people over and there was light and laughter in there. She didn't feel "safe" she said, calling in an Organizer that she didn't know and it would have been difficult for me to be able to travel there often for all the work it would entail.
I asked her to reach out to someone who could speak to her professionally about her issues of ‘letting go.' I also gave her small, simple ways she could begin on her own. I've found that when some people look at a whole room they are already so discouraged they just close the door. I give them time increments. A set time of day or night when they will be home and a set time limit to work on it.
One client I had could handle an hour on the days she was home. For two hours each week on the weekends she began to clear up. She donated books that she would never read again, threw out food that had been stored there and was no longer good and gave away many articles of clothing to her local Goodwill. And felt better and better every time something left her home.
It had such an impact on her that the hour turned into two or three. Every time I spoke with her she sounded better and better and some wonderful new things had come into her life. She was motivated, she was able to change her thinking and just needed a kick start.
Not so easy with this particular client. As I spoke I saw tears forming in her eyes and after speaking with her for a long time, asked her if she would try ONE thing. Fifteen minutes a day of cleaning. Three boxes, one to keep, one to donate or sell and one to think about. Instead of looking at the whole room I gave her ONE area at a time. The bed, to start. At the end of speaking to her for a long time, she promised me she would do it---and if she didn't feel comfortable with anyone in her home to at least obtain the services of someone professional, who would help her SEE the reasons behind it.
I wish I could call this a Success Story but I don't know the outcome yet. While I believe my words to her got through I don't know if they'll stay there. We both wished I were closer, she would have allowed me into her space and allowed me to help her. What a sad way to live I thought to myself on the way home. She is afraid to have someone come and help her because she is afraid of judgment-and disapproval. I hope she finds a warm, compassionate person and I sincerely hope she will keep in touch with me for reinforcement-and remember my words to her. I hope she can find someone with compassion and understanding to help her work through all her issues and I KNOW she will life a better life. There IS help out there.
*Carole Provenzale has been a Certified Feng Shui Practitioner since 1997 and is the Founder of Feng Shui Long Island, New York providing on site Feng Shui Consultations for all of New York City and Long Island and to those at a distance by phone. Feng Shui Consultations available for Homes, Apartments, Businesses, Offices, Corporations, Apartments, Studios, Condos and small spaces as well as Renovations, Pre Purchase and New Construction. Please visit http://www.FengShuiLI.com ALL Consultations are Personalized and Affordable.