I’m starting to understand how the ever-elusive energy plays a bigger role in my life than I thought. In a recent post, I shared about my recent experience of moving houses. I was desperately trying to set up my next (and hopefully “forever”) workspace with positive energy, differently than I had in the past. Weeks after my husband had unpacked and organized his mountain guiding business’ space, I was still stuck in creating my ideal writing, recording, and working space. While I never considered myself a hoarder or a messy person, I thought maybe it was time to clear the clutter.
In my previous house and in my Harlem apartment (the lease to which I just let run out after 12 years), my “studio” space was part recording studio, part computer central, part writing space, part webinar-giving, book-writing, and song-pitching space. I found that in my apartment, despite being 1/3 the size of my next space, I was ready and eager to work. A yoga teacher friend referred to it as a “peaceful zen space”. When I moved outside the city and got my first taste of big rooms, I felt like I had to take advantage of the space and blow out the writing area, the recording area, the computer area and fill it with gear, couches, books. I never actually used the room for the string octets, drum circles, and choirs I had imagined myself recording. (I dream big, what can I say?) Ultimately, I felt lost in it. I found myself gazing out the windows my corner desk faced directly. I felt unproductive and underwhelmed. Yet when new visitors came into my studio I heard a lot of “wow, this is so awesome!”. When my dad first saw my new studio a few months before passing, he said “now this is what they call cool.”
The battle that ensued in my head included various voices saying things like “you brat, you have this big gorgeous space, who are you to say you don’t like it” and “a space shouldn’t define your inspiration. just write” and “you’re just not good at designing” and “maybe I just have lost my passion”.
Enter new house.
Smaller, with more charm, more sun, and more decisions for me to make. I knew I wanted to stop trying to be a recording studio and be in a space that did inspire me to work, write, and be expressed. I knew it was possible but I didn’t know how.
The one person who taught me that you can draw energy from your space, if done right, and it’s not wrong to want your space to give you something back. That to clear the clutter isn’t easy, but it’s incredibly effective.
I first met Emma when Joanna, my Harlem roommate, invited her over. Joanna had told me that she was an Empath- a highly sensitive individual with the ability to read others’ emotions and even physical states without the need to speak. When we sat down together, she said, “ooh, you have some pain in your lower left back.” Why yes, yes I do. Which turned into a conversation about me being freelance and taking on a lot of “masculine” energy responsibilities, and needing to lean into my femininity a bit more to help strike a balance (and probably an improved married life).
Emma is a gorgeous, pixie-meets-good-witch five-foot-shorter-than-me dancer. While she’s not auditioning for her next Broadway show, she’s a professional organizer who will come into your room and tell you what items need to be tossed because they are holding you down, energetically. I thought it was a bit hippy-dippy but being someone who’s open to what I don’t know, I thought it could be an interesting take on setting up my new workspace. Anyway, I was stuck, so why not?
I gave Emma a call, and she ended up coming up to my house and staying overnight. During those 28 hours together, I discovered many things about myself, about what I held on to, about what I should let go, about colors, energy, and how to make space for what I really want. Besides the energy work we did and the conversations we had that provided many insights into myself, Emma also unpacked 6 boxes of kitchen stuff, perfectly assigning each item to its proper (and simply perfect) location, helped me detach from items and filled my station wagon with Salvation Army donations.
Here’s what I learned about using and clearing energy:
- Photographs in a room bring you back to a time when you weren’t as developed as you are now. You’re bringing the energy of those moments into your current life, leaving little space to create the present moment from nothing. Photos belong in halls and stairways, where you are passing through these moments, can acknowledge them, but not allow them enough time to get a hold on you.
- Items, like paintings, vases, clothes, knick nacks, curtains, and pillows, hold energy. Some of it is positive, some neutral, and some too strong to be beneficial. I found that the items Emma reacted the most strongly to were the things I knew I had to get rid of, on a very subconscious level. It’s like when your personal trainer tells you to stop eating scones and you’re like “NOOOOO. Oh wait. Yeah, I didn’t really like them anyway”.
- Some items like plaques or awards, mix tapes made for old boyfriends, which I were SURE would be going to the trash pile, were items that held a positive energy which acted as an acknowledgment of my work and progress. They got to stay and were placed in spots that worked within the room.
- Rooms have energy. Corners have personalities. When Emma walked into my workspace, she pointed and said “that’s the prosperity corner. We need to move the desk there”. Done. And I can’t believe the difference it made. Not looking out a window, but with windows all around me. An elegant white rug (Emma made me get) and a very glamorous feel and suddenly I’m drawn to the space like I’ve never been before. It feels like a version of me that’s been hiding out for a while.
- Colors can work in your favor or against you. Purple is success and prosperity. Good thing my desk chair is purple. Blues are for communication. Good to have in a master bedroom for the marriage. Yellow is binding, not to be mixed in the master bedroom when you want open communication. But good for tieing a bow around my childhood stuffed toy, keeping the energy of my whole life bound to that item and not allowing all the memories to permeate my bedroom or marriage. Our red front door had to go, it was a source of combative energy. I promptly painted it a slate/lavender.
- Flowers need to be everywhere for me. They are nature’s vaginas. They exude sexuality and femininity. Energetically, they spread that energy to me, act as a reminder of being open, and who I am in my best moments. Flowers are now a weekly part of our shopping budget.
When Emma was done, she walked around the house burning a bundle of dried sage. I thought “hey, if I’m going to do this, may as well do this the whole way, hippy dippy as it may be.” She taught me how to “clear” the house after a guest or a fight or any energy-altering event by burning the sage. I’m doing this process 100%. What do I have to lose?
The results from my work with Emma are my own. If she came into your apartment or house, there’s a good chance you’d have completely different results, breakthroughs, and discoveries. Within four days of my weekend with Emma, I got four composing jobs, direct to client. My ideal jobs. Jobs I’ve been yearning for and haven’t had for over 8 months. I’m now working the way I want to. Not just doing work to get work. My next step is to have a consultant IT come to my space and optimize my backup systems and acoustical room treatment. Again. Why not set myself up forever and 100%? Clear the way. I’m finally ready for me.