My stronger pull, that is.
Before I reveal it to you, I want to reiterate my intention for this blog and website: to help you find your stronger pull. And the reason why I’d started it was because I’d not found mine. Or rather, I’d had one and lost it.
In terms of vocation, I’ve described myself as three things: a writer, a teacher, and a healer. These have all taken on different incarnations, but they’ve also overlapped. When I was a college freshman composition instructor, I confidently say that I was all three at once. I’m also a certified Reiki Master and Teacher, and even though I’ve not done it professionally, I have, in fact, practiced Reiki on a fairly regular basis. And I’ve written and published eleven novels, a memoir, and a sourcebook for writers. I’d suggest that some of those novels were therapeutic for me.
When my writing career disappeared, however, I’d had a bit of an existential crisis. I’d never wanted it to go away. If I wasn’t going to be a writer anymore, and I had no desire to go back into academia (or even teach privately), then what was next? Had it meant that I’d stopped being all of those things? Had they disappeared?
Most of this past year was about not only finding those answers, but also searching for the stronger pull—and perhaps even more important, allowing it, as the Rumi quote says. Because now that my vision is clearer on this matter, I can see that it had been there all along.
My love of feng shui and space clearing goes as far back as 1996, when a counselor had put Denise Linn’s book Sacred Space into my hands. At the time, it was only the second book on the subject written and published in the United States. I was fascinated by the idea of home not only as a reflection or metaphor for our life (and vice versa), but discovering that our home, like everything else around us, is energy in motion. That meant we could change it, and thus change our lives as well.
Since then, I’ve considered myself a “dabbler.” In 2004 I’d taken a class with a local practitioner in southeastern Massachusetts and learned the basics, mostly a reinforcement of what I learned in Sacred Space. In every apartment or house I lived, I did my best to balance the elements, enhance the chi, and make design and placement choices based on what would best support the space as well as my intentions. Some places I’d lived proved to be more challenging than others. What’s more, I’d never given enough (if any) consideration to the role of clutter—that is, when the feng shui didn’t seem to be “working,” so to speak, it never occurred to me that maybe an excess of stuff could be the culprit. And yet, when I clutter-cleared, sometimes life moved in a big way.
In 2016, I wrote a novel called Big Skye Littleton about a woman who gives up her life in Rhode Island and moves to Montana to be with her long-distance lover, only to discover that he’s ghosted her. She must then decide whether to return to Rhode Island (and her old life) with her tail between her legs, or bravely begin a new one in a place where she knows no one and has no prospects. Although my life had mirrored hers in that I too moved to Montana to take the distance out of my long-distance relationship, my similarities with Skye stopped there. But I can’t help but wonder if the book was a kind of unconscious foreshadowing for the way life did play out for me two years later. My husband never ghosted me—we made the move to Maine together—but I found myself unable to return to an old life and staring into the unknown of a new one.
Last summer, I had decided to follow The Life-Changing Magic Art of Tidying guru Marie Kondo and de-clutter my entire house, category by category rather than room by room. I had thought doing so would unblock my creativity and perhaps even give my dead writing career a little spark; or perhaps it would make us feel more at home in our new state. Instead, it led us to the difficult and disappointing realization that Maine was not the place for us, and we made the decision to move back to Montana. To assist me in this effort, I also took a course—yes, there’s a course—for people who want to become “clutter coaches”; put another way, be Marie Kondo for someone else. At first I was interested in applying what I learned in the course for my home only. But the further I progressed in the course, the more I wondered if this was something I could be good at. What’s more, everywhere I turned, people seemed to need help with their own spaces, and not just for the purposes of clearing out the clutter.
It took the confluence of events of 2020—moving back to Montana, a pandemic that resulted in people confined to their homes, and a redefining of the concept of “home”—for me to realize that what I truly love, what I’m meant to be doing right now, is space clearing. Not just the de-cluttering part, but also feng shui. It’s time to stop dabbling.
My new business is called Room Remedy Space Clearing. Two clients in, and my heart is already singing. Even in the midst of fear and uncertainty. Even when so many are struggling. Perhaps it’s because I believe I can be of service. Perhaps it’s because I believe it’s needed now more than ever. Or perhaps it’s because I’m still a writer, a teacher, and a healer. It wasn’t that what I had found had been lost; it’s that I hadn’t realized it had been hiding in plain sight.
I am holding you in love and light.