Feng Shui and Emotions: Dealing with Grief and Addictions

by Carol C. Wheelock

Dear Carol,

My long-time relationship just ended and my partner has moved out. Can feng shui help alleviate my grief?

Dear Patty,

Yes, feng shui can help. Feng shui is about the inner and the outer. Your grief has an impact on your surroundings which hold old patterns of the relationship which, in turn, contribute to your grief.

Let's start with the concept that everything in your space is talking to you. Do you look around and see things or places (rooms, parts of rooms, etc.) that hold memories of a time when the relationship was good? You will also see things and spaces that remind you of more recent times when the relationship was deteriorating. A lot of pain and sadness will most likely be associated with these.

If you leave your surroundings as they are, your body, mind, and spirit will hold onto all the old memories and patterns associated with the relationship. That means you are not free to move beyond your grief and feeling of loss. You become stuck in a pattern that no longer supports who you are.

Healing has to start with a willingness to let go of the old familiar patterns and the limitations that come with them. There is often much fear associated with this initial step. Working to release old patterns in your surroundings will help you release old emotional patterns.

Start with a manageable space (a shelf, closet, corner of a room, etc.) and clear it of all objects that you associate with the painful aspects of the relationship and its ending.

Remove them from your home. Give yourself time to acknowledge your feelings and grieve as you go through this process. Counseling, energy work, and/or body work can help you work through and release these old patterns on an emotional and/or physical level.

One of the most important things you can do is buy new bedding. Give yourself the gift of a fresh start in the most intimate space in you house. If possible, a new mattress would be a wise purchase at this time.

People often want to hold onto those items that are associated with the good memories. You may have photographs from a wonderful vacation the two of you shared. You don't have to throw those out, but I do recommend that you store them somewhere other than in your bedroom or living room.

Your goal is to remove the old to make room for the new. That does not necessarily mean a new relationship. It can mean more time for you to pursue a new creative outlet, travel opportunities, time with your family, another career, etc.

An energetic clearing would be strongly advised as this time. Clear those energetic dust bunnies out of your house. (See this column from EverChanging March/April 2004). Set an intention for filling the space with love and light.

Make a few changes to a couple of rooms. Paint can do wonders to transform and brighten a space. Move art around. Hang new curtains. Rearrange the living room. If your house is different, you will feel differently in it. Allow your surroundings to support a new you.

Dear Carol,

Our son is in rehab for drug addiction. Is there anything we can do to his room to help him when he returns?
D & S

Dear D & S,

Yes, the application of feng shui principles can help support the therapy your son has and, most likely, will continue to receive.

Addictive behaviors are unhealthy patterns. Those patterns are held in the immediate environment; as well as, in the body and mind. Going back to the principle that our surroundings affect us and we reflect our surroundings, it becomes apparent that a connection develops between addictive behavior and the surroundings.

This is why it is so difficult to maintain new behaviors in an old environment. The old space is telling a person to behave in the way of the old pattern so it takes a tremendous amount of effort and strength to overcome this. The creators of the anti-smoking ads understand this concept. They encourage people to not go to those places where they habitually smoked. The old smoking pattern is associated with particular spaces (and times).

There are several levels to consider here. The first is his immediate surroundings, including both his private space and shared family space. I would involve him in any decisions regarding his own room. Painting or reorganizing may have to wait until he comes home, but planning for it could be part of the process now. Choose color carefully � a soft yellow would be uplifting and encourage study, a pleasant green would be healing and balancing. Avoid blue if depression is a component of the addiction. Very strong colors would not be appropriate either.

Look carefully at family spaces. Make sure that furniture is placed so that it is welcoming and invites conversation. If you didn't usually eat together as a family before, use the family table now. Clear clutter from all common areas. In other words, create a family home that offers support to all of its members.

The second level involves the places he will go outside your home, the places you will have less control over. Old hangouts, friends, etc. will promote the old behavioral patterns. He will need much support to meet new friends, try new activities, and go to different places. The more opportunities he has to reflect new surroundings at this time, the easier it will be for him to create a new life, free of addiction.

Carol C. Wheelock, M.Ed. of Feng Shui Vermont is a certified feng shui practitioner who has studied in the United Sates and China. She practices Black Sect or western feng shui. Carol does private consultations for homes, schools, libraries, and businesses; clutter counseling and clearing; spaces clearings; phone consultations; presentations; and teaches workshops throughout the United States. She also does personal clearings.

Copyright � 2000-2011 Feng Shui Vermont
Carol C. Wheelock