Chapter 1: Prologue to the Journey

I went on an incredible journey, with an incredible couple! The journey, like the birthing of a beautiful butterfly, from its chrysalis stage to full maturity, took some time…and indeed, may still be continuing.

The following is my real-life story of the cathartic and metamorphic Feng Shui journey of Dan and Helena Sanderson (not their real names), to whom I owe so much.


“I found that a distance of a thousand miles, abyss and discovery, and … metamorphosis, separated me from the day before.”  ~ Noces

The Prologue to the Journey 

Prologue 2My first “consultation” with Dan and Helena Sanderson was anything but formal. I did not do my typical Feng Shui “thing”. In fact, we were just talking as friends. There was no official appointment, no red envelopes being exchanged, just a lot of open heart and friendly suggestions. And little did we know that on that beautiful, sun drenched, late summer day in September of 2003 that our Feng Shui journey together had just begun! Nor could any of us have imagined then the bumps and turns that our journey would take.

It all began when my son went to play with the Sanderson’s younger son, Cash. On that fateful, September day, while standing in a very cluttered, unorganized kitchen, Helena Sanderson began telling me in very graphic detail of her frustrations. First, it was with her home, which she considered to be too small, and second, she was upset with her schedule at work, which didn’t allow her to keep her house the way she would wish to, and it was the lack of money from the two jobs she and husband were working.

The Sandersons worked hard, but on opposite shifts, so that one or the other could be home to watch the kids. Their daily routine was just that—a daily routine. They felt stuck, unmotivated, and in conflict with each other over how to proceed to change their circumstances. She wanted to move—he didn’t even want to think about it!

This was a great segway for me to suggest the opening up of the energy flow in their home by the cleaning and clearing of just one small area. I told Helena that I thought that if she tried to de-clutter just a wee, little area, she’d be amazed at the results. It would free up more energy to eventually tackle more. This was something she felt she could do. She told me she had read a book on Feng Shui, and how it talked about the need to clear the clutter. This was another segway for me, for up until that moment, she did not know that I was a practicing Feng Shui consultant.

We talked a little bit more about energy flow and I mentioned something about just taking one room and making it special. Both she and Dan wanted to start immediately with the living room, the easiest room to clean. They wanted opinions about what to do, where to move this, where to place that—any aesthetic suggestion I could make. I made a few, pointing out some placements for some of their most beautiful items that were not being effectively displayed, and they took it from there.

A few hours after I left, they called me to tell me, that at my suggestion, they had moved the sofa, lowered a picture to raise the appearance of the ceiling, placed it over the sofa for better aesthetic enhancements, moved the lounge chair away from the door and the entry walkway, put a bureau on an angle for aesthetic interest and highlighting, rearranged the display of miscellaneous items over the fireplace, replacing them with some elegant fine china and crystal pieces, and moved a large piece of furniture that had blocked the window over to another wall.

“The living room has been totally transformed,” they said when they called me. They were excited. They loved the new look. They wanted more information about what to do next. It was at this point that I asked them if they would like for me to “Feng Shui” their entire house. My question was met with a resounding, “yes”!

We agreed to get back in touch within the week with times and days that worked for all of us. However, before I could set the appointment for a formal consultation, I received another phone call. Helena told me that her folks had just come to visit. She said that they usually only stay a short while, but this time they stayed for hours. She attributed this to the fact that the living room was inviting, comfortable, and flowed well. She said that she and Dan couldn’t wait for our appointment together.

Sanderson's Piano Area - Organized, Beautiful, and says, "We are a family."

Sanderson’s Piano Area – Organized, Beautiful, and says, “We are a family.”

The Metamorphosis continuesThe Background

PDF (no pictures): The Metamorphosis – The Entire Story
PDF (no captions): The Metamorphosis – Photos

Chapter 2: Background

I went on an incredible journey, with an incredible couple! The journey, like the birthing of a beautiful butterfly, from its chrysalis stage to full maturity, took some time…and indeed, may still be continuing.

The following is my real-life story of the cathartic and metamorphic Feng Shui journey of Dan and Helena Sanderson (not their real names), to whom I owe so much.


“Be the change you want to see in the world.” ~ Mohandas Gandhi


Dan and Helena Sanderson are two very friendly, upstanding, moral people. They are hard workers, great parents, and very religious. They devote a lot of time to working, parenting, carpooling their kids from here to there, and spending time together as a family. They have no time, or presumably interest, in keeping a “clean” house. Just not their priority.

Their home was one big pile of clutter. Literally! It was everywhere: kitchen, dining room, piano top, computer station, hallways, bedrooms, bathrooms, closets, back yard, and probably drawers. In some cases, you literally had to walk on top of clutter to get from one area to another. Yet, amidst this clutter were two seemingly happy, joyful people. However, it was obvious that this clutter was probably symptomatic of the chaos in their lives. It had to go, but were they ready to remove it?

Dan and Helena had been married for four years at the time this story takes place. It was a second marriage for each of them that combined two families. Dan brought his two children to the marriage: a boy and a girl, and Helena brought her two children, also a boy and a girl. My son was a friend of Helena’s son, Cash.

I knew when I first met Cash that there were problems. He was sullen, withdrawn, ADD. These manifestations began upon Helena’s remarriage. When I took on their home as my project, I knew that there was probably something going on in Cash’s space (bedroom) that needed adjusting. And so it was, as we shall see!

BEFORE - Cluttered Bedroom

BEFORE – Cluttered Bedroom with Teddy Bears in Master Bedroom

BEFORE - Cluttered Kitchen (Yes, really!)

BEFORE – Cluttered Kitchen (Yes, really!) and Computer Station

BEFORE - Cluttered Bedoom

BEFORE – Cluttered Bedroom, Floor Covered with Toys

BEFORE - Cluttered Dining Room Table

BEFORE – Cluttered Dining Room Table and A Another Computer Station

THE METAMORPHOSIS continues – Weaving the Chrysalis

PDF (no pictures): The Metamorphosis – The Entire Story
PDF (no captions): The Metamorphosis – Photos

Chapter 3: Weaving the Chrysalis

I went on an incredible journey, with an incredible couple! The journey, like the birthing of a beautiful butterfly, from its chrysalis stage to full maturity, took some time…and indeed, may still be continuing.

The following is my real-life story of the cathartic and metamorphic Feng Shui journey of Dan and Helena Sanderson (not their real names), to whom I owe so much.


“Can I just ask for an outline –”
“Doesn’t work like that. You need a leap of faith to leave your old life behind. True metamorphosis doesn’t come with flowcharts.” ~ David Mitchell

Weaving the Chrysalis

Weaving the Chrysalis 3On November 15, 2003, the official process began. I began with my usual spiel about Feng Shui, using Masaru Emoto’s books, “The Hidden Power of Water” and  “The True Power of Water” to explain about energy and its affects on our environment. I talked also to them about transcendental cures (cures relating to the spiritual or the nonphysical realm) for their ailing environment. I proceeded lightly and cautiously here, because these two were traditional Christians, without a metaphysical background, as far as I knew. However, they appeared to be very open to every thing I had to say. I think our “unofficial” beginning, with its spectacular results, was enough to convince them that maybe, just maybe, there really was something to “Feng Shui.”

I began the process by implementing changes at their front entryway. This area was a huge energy drain, being blocked by shoes, coats, umbrellas, toys, and other paraphernalia which prevented the full opening of their front door. I made some suggestions for the removal of these items to other locations within the home.

Additionally, due to a wall that is only about three feet from the doorway as you enter, I suggested a mirror to open up the space and to energetically push back the wall. They took this advice, but unfortunately, they ended up placing a very tiny mirror on this empty wall. Oh well — the intention to push back the wall was met, even if the small mirror in no way added to the aesthetics of their foyer.

I also explained about the ‘mouth of chi’, indicating that the flow to their front entry was important. As per many modern homes nowadays, their driveway led to the house and then you had to make a 90º angle to turn onto the porch. Since they both are gardeners and have a beautiful front yard, I suggested that they try to find a way to create a more meandering path to their home. They loved this idea, and though there were some flaws in their first attempts to create this path, it was a start. They promised to try to find ways to make this pathway more functional, as well as attractive.

The next phase of our journey was in their master bedroom. Clutter, clutter, everywhere, and practically nowhere to sleep. In addition to the clutter, there were children’s toys in their bedroom, pictures over the bed that Dan had never liked, pictures of their kids everywhere, a picture on another wall that was too tiny for the space, a TV facing the bed, tons of clothes on the floor, and a closet that was extremely cluttered, so cluttered you could hardly access it.

After the obvious advice to clear the clutter, such as moving the toys out of the room, removing the items under the bed, putting another picture over their bed, keeping the bathroom door shut at night, and putting pictures of themselves in the bedroom—and not the kids, I suggested they create a wealth corner from their seashells, their model ship, and from a picture of a harbor that they had elsewhere in the home. They implemented this idea so quickly, that I failed to take pictures of the ‘pre-wealth corner’ state. I think it was the metaphor of having their “ship come in” that they really liked, putting a fire under them to act swiftly.

BEFORE - Clutter on the Master Bed

BEFORE – Clutter on the Master Bed

BEFORE - With Teddy Bear and Clutter

BEFORE – With Teddy Bear and Clutter

BEFORE - With Cluttered Closet, No Door

BEFORE – With Cluttered Closet, No Door

AFTER GALLERY – Pull Up on the Bottom of Each Photo to Read the Captions

Neither of them had slept very well in this room, even though it is a deep blue soothing color. There was just too much energy. The gauss meter readings I took measured 10+ in this room. Energetically, there was an additional problem, Helena had a dresser in the bedroom that belonged to her ex-husband. Red flag!

I explained the energetic and metaphorical meaning of this dresser, symbolizing the failure to really let go of her former partner. She understood and agreed to get rid of the dresser, mentioning as an afterthought that only recently had she finally thrown out photo albums of her and her former spouse. There was a look of shock on her husband’s face–but little did I understand the full reason for his look of shock. They carried on a conversation about this in my presence, which obviously was somewhat uncomfortable for me. For the moment, I remained invisible.

As a caveat to the discussion, I related to them an incident with another client of mine, in which the wife had for years displayed a picture of her ex-husband on the dresser of the master bedroom that she now shared with her new husband. Not surprisingly, this other couple had marital problems. I told them that when she finally was able to part with that picture, which wasn’t immediately, mind you!, her second marriage improved.

It was then that Dan started to tear up, and actual tears rolled down his cheeks. He asked to be excused, and he was gone for sometime. When he came back, he still seemed a little vulnerable, but he told us that he had gone to the outside garbage can to throw away the photo albums from his former marriage. There was a poignant silence! I asked how he felt about this—and he said that it was a good decision. He was ready to move on.   And so, he was.

However, we were all on the verge of tears from the emotion of the moment. It was very difficult for me to maintain a professional composure. More conversation ensued about this event, that had obviously been momentous for Dan. He said that he felt that he was really ready to get rid of them, but just needed the little shove to do so. We all sat in the living room and reflected on the meaning of the moment.

At this point, I felt it was a good time to determine the exact center of the house in order to enhance it for the sealing of the episode with the balancing and harmonizing of this new family dynamic. I also drew to their attention that those photo albums were energetically creating (or symbolizing) a threesome in their marriage. Not only were the photo albums part of this symbolic ménage à trios, but they also had a detached tool shed in the relationship area of their backyard, symbolically representing another person in the relationship. Helena promised to get a bagua mirror right away to cure this problem energetically.

There was more work to be done in their home, but we had already spent three hours together. That was enough for now! I suggested work on the kids rooms at the next appointment. I knew the tackling of those rooms would be a heavy-duty appointment, better wait for another day! I ended up being right—about the heavy duty part. But I’m getting ahead of myself!

At the end of this first appointment, we talked about prayers and affirmations to support and foster their new beginning. They both wanted to create them for more money to make ends meet, a better marital relationship, and harmony in their home. We talked about the placing of these prayers underneath their mattress.

Dan called me a few days later with beautiful, if not wordy, prayers that he had written from the depths of his heart and soul. I suggested he edit them a bit and then go ahead and place them under his mattress to let the prayers begin manifesting. A few weeks later, Dan received a testimony to the power of this Feng Shui adjustment.

It was around Christmas time, when Dan and Helena arrived home from a day’s outing with the kids. At their doorstep was an envelope. It contained $500.00, an anonymous gift, signed only: To Brother and Sister Sanderson.   This was money sorely needed for them to present nice Christmas gifts to their children, and to pay some pressing bills. They witnessed to me that Feng Shui had made this all possible!

THE METAMORPHOSIS continues – Inside the Chrysalis

PDF (no pictures): The Metamorphosis – The Entire Story
PDF (no captions): The Metamorphosis – Photos

Chapter 5: The Emergence

I went on an incredible journey, with an incredible couple! The journey, like the birthing of a beautiful butterfly, from its chrysalis stage to full maturity, took some time…and indeed, may still be continuing.

The following is my real-life story of the cathartic and metamorphic Feng Shui journey of Dan and Helena Sanderson (not their real names), to whom I owe so much.


“What the caterpillar calls the end the rest of the world calls a butterfly.” ~ Lao Tzu

The Emergence

Emergence 3On March 13, 2004, we began another phase of our Feng Shui journey. I intuitively knew this one would be difficult, as it indeed proved to be. I explained to Dan and Helena how there are layers upon layers in Feng Shui and how we would be looking at Feng Shui in a different way today. I was planning to go deeper with them, adding astrology, Ming Gua numbers, and some element work. I also planned to tackle the issue of the extreme clutter in the children’s rooms, a touchy subject, I was sure.

I eased into this appointment by re-explaining the basic Feng Shui principles. I could tell they felt this was ‘old hat’, and that they were thinking, “Get on with it, alright, already!” After all, wasn’t this the couple that had explained Feng Shui to their parents and friends after working with Feng Shui principles themselves after our last appointment?

I continued anyway, explaining how when we go deeper, sometimes it opens up things in our lives that we need to be ready for. I suggested that if anything became uncomfortable to just say so and that we could explore those areas in other ways. They were eager, however, and were not dissuaded from proceeding on the journey.

I began with their living room again. They had basically, but not intentionally, undone what we had created during the last appointment. They had moved the sofa into the middle of the room, with its back to the door, and had moved their recliner back against the window. In order for us to talk (I was sitting in the recliner), they had to turn their backs to face me. It was very awkward and uncomfortable. They quickly saw that this arrangement wasn’t working, not physically, nor energetically.

We moved on to the front entry, where we discussed the front door as the ‘mouth of chi’ and how chi likes the front door to be very inviting and welcoming, like a special guest. So they realized that they needed to make a few changes there, because they had dead plants by the entry, piles of firewood, and lots of children’s toys. We also talked about their best directions, their Ming Gua numbers, and the elements. The charts in the addendum explains what I told them.

We proceeded to the children’s bedrooms to take a look at the rooms in terms of the command positions and the children’s best directions. Candice, the youngest daughter, had her bed in the doorway. (On my first visit, this was not the case. I’m not sure why it got changed.) Not only was the bed in the doorway, it was not in the right direction for her. I suggested placing it in her most favorable direction, and on an angle to create aesthetic interest.

Candice is primarily water, astrologically speaking. Her deep, sensitive soul seemed to require more order and stillness, but her room was busy, cluttered, with far too many “things”. The floor on all three occasions was filled with ‘stuff’. We talked about her spiritual need for stillness and order.

Rhys, who is also a very sensitive child, had a better bed placement, however her room was still quite cluttered. She had tons of toys in her rooms, but nothing to stimulate her “air”, astrologically speaking. I suggested that she have some more books in her room, to appeal to her mental nature and to foster more of an interest in learning.

James and Cash’s room presented a myriad of problems. Architecturally, their bedroom was one large room, created from a garage. Not only did they sleep in this area, but they also played here in a playroom created out of the space. There were two architecturally designed entries into this space, but one of them was blocked. On the second appointment, they had unblocked it, and recreated the doorway. In addition, between our first and second appointments, the Sanderson’s rearranged the boy’s rooms, providing space for each boy to have his own individual cubicle to sleep in. Though the cubicles were not very private (due to the lack of real walls), it was a start. I suggested they provide walls for more of a sense of privacy by using curtains, or by the actual building of walls.

James Bedroom - BEFORE

BEFORE – James’ Bedroom – Cluttered, Doorway Blocked by a Board and the Bed

BEFORE - Cash's Bedroom, Cluttered

BEFORE – Cash’s Bedroom, Cluttered and Busy

BEFORE - Candice's Bedroom, Cluttered, Toys Everywhere

BEFORE – Candice’s Bedroom, Cluttered, Toys Everywhere

BEFORE - Computer and Play Room

BEFORE – Computer and Play Room, Clutter Everywhere

BEFORE - Play Room from Another Direction

BEFORE – Combined Play Room and Bedroom, Unorganized

BEFORE - Play Room, Even the Dog Looks Sad

BEFORE – Messy Play Room and Bedroom, Even the Dog Looks Sad

AFTER GALLERY – Click on a Picture for a Slideshow with Captions

In this area, the Sanderson’s also had erected a combined computer-play area for the boys. I was concerned about the computer energy (there were two), but my gauss meter did not indicate excess energy. I still felt this was too much for a sleeping area and suggested fuzz busters.

In looking at the best directions for the boys, it was necessary to move their beds, or at least the placement of their pillows. They had each assumed a position that was not the best direction for them. I also suggested moving the entry way into James’s cubicle to another side, so that he could place his head in a different direction without the bed being in the entryway.

Each of the boys had beds with drawers underneath. The beds were expensive and the drawers served a very utilitarian purpose. After ascertaining that the drawers only contained clothes, I bypassed mentioning the problem of having items under the bed. However, we did discuss the effect of clutter and disorganization on impressionable, young children growing up in their formative years, and their need for a model of organization.

During this discussion, I noticed that the Sanderson’s had painted the boy’s room “red”. Whereas, it was a beautiful, soft shade of pinkish-red, I felt it might be problematic for two already ADD boys. Because Helena really seemed disappointed and attached to the color, I suggested that they could probably get around this by painting the actual sleeping areas a more soothing, yin color.

This appointment was difficult. Though the Sanderson’s listened, this appointment did not flow as easily as had the first appointment. I felt I was hitting a lot of resistance, and was not sure whether I should continue or stop. Because they continued to ask questions about what I was saying, I answered them cautiously. When I left this appointment, I felt uneasy. It was not with the cathartic feeling of the last appointment. Something felt undone about this one, but I had given my all. I did not know at the time that we had very definitely penetrated deeper into their ‘psychological space’. This appointment had hit home, and how!

THE METAMORPHOSIS continues – Metamorphosis Unveiled!

PDF (no pictures): The Metamorphosis – The Entire Story
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