How to Change Your Life

I’m sure you’ve heard the old adage: the only thing you can count on is change. There was, in fact, a whole publishing frenzy around this realization about ten years back. There was “Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life”, “Who Made my Cheese?”, “Who Stole My Cheese” and even “Nobody Moved Your Cheese” (How to Ignore the Experts and Trust Your own Gut). It was a real cheese movement.

Most people get that change happens. The funny thing is that few folks seem able to affect it. The hardest part about changing, it seems, is where to start. Several years back, when everyone was moving their cheese, I was moving my stuff.

While I learned to be super organized and neat as a way to combat the chaos of my upbringing, I had never given much thought to my living environment until I moved to San Francisco. To commemorate the move, a friend gave me a book entitled, Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life : How to Use Feng Shui to Get Love, Money, Respect and Happiness.

From the title you might guess that it is not a great literary work. What it is, essentially, is a fun guide for using the principles of feng shui in your home. What is feng shui? It is the thoughtful placement of objects in your environment to get positive results. As much as your living environment affects you, you can affect your environment. In the book, Barry Gordon, a physicist, describes feng shui as “the intelligent use of intention through environmental metaphor.” I didn’t say it wasn’t deep.

Anyway, the idea is to take a look around and see what you are unconsciously saying in your life. Who or what are you letting in? Who or what are you keeping out? Your things, what you do with them, how you treat them and even where you place them are a physical manifestation of your conscious and often, sub-conscious.

Without getting too much into feng shui parlance, I’ll just say this: different parts of your home equate to different aspects of life, like relationships and love, career, prosperity, etc. The book recommends looking at each corner of your home to understand what areas of your life might be blocked – literally. For example, that treadmill in your bedroom just might be an outward manifestation of the treadmill your relationship is on. The cure is to move your things so that your environment begins to feel right. When you move your things you stir up energy and a change in energy, leads to a change in life.

So when I feel stuck, I get moving. I move my body: I try new routes to work in my car; I sleep on the “wrong” side of the bed. I move my clothes: I donate clothes I haven’t worn in over a year; I organize my sweaters by color. I move paper: I figure out which of my books have gone too long without being read and create a pile to work my way through; I clean out my office of old papers. You get the idea.

It all may sound silly but I am learning to believe that if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. That being said, because I just went through a major life change, I didn’t realize what else needed changing. That is until I recently took another look around my house. Here’s what I noticed: several framed Mexican movie posters. I like collecting them but for the first time I really looked at one of them.

Exhibit A:

Alicia Morga Mi Marido

Do you see it? The trouble with this picture is visible but I decided to look up the movie and understand its plot. I found this synopsis of the movie: a wealthy widow hires a marriage agency to find a man to pretend to be her husband so that suitors do not bother her. Oh, dear. Is it any wonder my love life has been in such a state? I’ve literally been keeping Mi Marido (my husband) out.

I can only guess at what you might be thinking. Maybe something along the lines of “Does she really believe this stuff?” Yes. I do. Energy can be harnessed through intention and I have been hopelessly unintentional. I decided to take action. I took down that Mexican movie poster and put this up instead.

Let’s see what kind of change that brings.