Feng shui invites us to look and listen with our open eyes and ears. What are your belongings showing or telling you about your life? What are those voices, maybe entire characters, inside of you saying and feeling?
Excerpt from Abundant Heart: Thoughts on Healing, Loving, and Living Free

During much of my adult life, I’ve been practicing the art of arranging spaces to enhance the quality of life, bravely decluttering, and inspiring others on their journeys of holistic transformations. I’ve identified different characters inside of myself who I’ve named along with several types of clutter.

One of my favorite types of clutter is what I call the Wandering Nomads. These items seem similar to the parts of yourself which don’t know where they belong. You move slowly from room to room. You yearn to remember what you were looking for, what you were doing, what you forgot to do, how you might be losing your mind. Maybe the colorful marbles did get dumped down a black hole somewhere in the house. “I’ve lost my marbles!” can feel like a literal and metaphorical truth.

To be clear, a wandering nomad is any object that doesn’t belong in a particular space. A lawnmower in your bedroom is hopefully an outlandish example of a Wondering Nomad.

Yet, I have seen workout equipment in people’s bedrooms along with several televisions. My clients often have no idea why they struggle to sleep deeply at night. Their confusion and stress feel like a mystery until I gently offer the observation that a bedroom’s purpose is for restorative rest, that the workout equipment and televisions likely distract and confuse them, and don’t support deep sleep.

Standing in the doorway of this particular bedroom, you likely would wonder, “Is it time to exercise, take a nap, or binge watch episodes of Modern Love? Mixed visual cues create a lack of clarity. Often people in this situation experience visceral confusion in mind, heart, and body.

A three-way interaction, tug of tension, begins to unfold among the belongings, and three internal characters– Exhausted Edith, Mobile Mabel, and Romantic Renee. Exhausted Edith desperately knows her body needs rest, while Mobile Mabel feels pangs of shameful guilt for not working out for days. Romantic Renee’s heart pounds with excitement at the idea of being emotionally swept up into lovely love stories.

Then You Should Yukon storms in and fiercely criticizes all three of them because Yukon knows none of them should even be in the bedroom right now because there’s work to get done in the office, where there happens to be another Wandering Nomad, a piano.

Edith, Mabel, and Renee all sulk out of the bedroom, heeding the expectations of Yukon to get to work. Yet, when they stand in the office doorway, Musical Maria emerges. She simply wants to sit down at the piano and play all the songs she memorized years ago. She wants to sing songs she happily plays. Yet, Productive Patty also shows up, sees the desk stacked with papers, the laptop waiting for her to type up a blog, and knows work tasks need to get handled immediately. Yukon and Patty have a special bond. They enjoy each other’s company immensely. You Should Yukon praises Productive Patty for lifting Musical Maria off the piano bench and guiding her outside the office door with a smile and a wink. Productive Patty whispers to Musical Maria, “I promise you’ll get to play after I have gotten all this work done.”

Our belongings seem to come to life in our interactions with them, sometimes like they have minds of their own. The television declares, “Turn Me On! I will entertain, inspire, or distract you into becoming a lazy person!” The workout equipment scolds, “Step up and sweat, so you lose those pounds, and stay in shape!” Your bed gently says, “Climb up, cuddle in, and get some sleep. I’m here for a third of your life, those nighttime dreams, and maybe other sensual activities if that’s your thing.”

Now, can you imagine if all your belongings began talking to you? Wow. Isn’t it enough you have these characters inside of you yakking away? What a cacophony of voices and probably not a harmonious symphony. And we wonder why our lives feel a bit wonky.

Now that she’s finished her blog, it is time for Productive Patty to close her laptop, which sighs, “Oh how I will miss your heavy eyes staring at me and your soft, tender, fingertip touches. You realize our love affair is the finest!”

Because Fastidious Fred knows where they are, he grabs the car keys, which begin singing, “I Wanna Hold Your Hand!”

Dancing Danika waltzes into the room dressed in her gorgeous date night outfit, takes the keys, sashays out the door, and steps into her vehicle, which serenades her, “Life is a highway, I want to ride with you all night long!”

No need to stream Spotify. Sexy Sam appears riding shotgun while playing his portable keyboard singing, “The Wanderer!” What a weekend we’re going to have!

How are you interacting with your belongings? What are your belongings saying to all the characters inside of you?


The founder of Cherish Your World, Laura Staley passionately supports people thriving by guiding them to a holistic transformation of space, heart, and life. Laura is the published author of four books including Live Inspired which reveals the brave and deep work of self-discovery and her new book of short writings and poetry Abundant Heart: Thoughts on Healing, Loving, and Living Free where with her characteristic grace and candor, Laura shares thoughtful-sometimes comical reflections on healing, loving and living free as inspirational pathways for experiencing a soul-centered, fulfilled life.