I was hired for a full Feng Shui consultation for a client who had purchased a newly constructed home. I recall going into her beautiful home which she had already begun tastefully decorating. She shared with me that she was hoping to get inspired with more ideas during our time together. As we walked from room to room, we discussed in detail how to improve, remove, re-arrange, etc....to welcome positive and supportive chi (energy). We were having a great time together. As we approached the dining room, she grabbed my arm to stop me with a "warning." She told me that the painting on the dining room wall was NOT her taste but that she had to keep it up because her mother-in-law painted it and it was a gift.
WOW!! Before even going into the dining room, the effort and energy she poured out to stop me with this explanation was a clear sign that this room and painting had to be seriously discussed.
EVERYTHING in your home should be items you love. EVERYTHING in your home should have a home. Over-stuffing closets and drawers is (while hidden) still clutter. Hanging paintings and decorating with items you dislike is also, in a sense, clutter, which results in lower and unsupportive energy, also known in Feng Shui terms as sha chi.
For the record, the painting was nice. I probably would't have picked it for my home, but hey -- we all have different tastes -- it's what makes the world go around! Because of her reaction, however, I had to gently pursue the idea of removing the painting if she didn't like it.
As our conversation continued I learned that her mother-in-law adored my client's husband and the grandchildren, but didn't really appreciate my client at all. She felt she had to keep the painting up to "keep the peace."
"Does your mother-in-law live nearby?" I asked. No. (I was told she lived about 8 hours away, but visited several times a year).
"Does your husband insist on the painting being up?" He has never really said anything about it.
After talking with her more, I learned about the dislike she felt that her mother-in-law had for her. I found out that in order to avoid awkward interactions, when her mother-in-law visited, she and her husband would travel or go out and leave the kids with Grandma. (Personally, I don't think either one of these ladies had any real bad intentions -- in fact, it was probably just a case of simple misunderstanding about each other). I had the opportunity to spend time with my client (both professionally and socially) and all I ever experienced was joy on each occasion. To me, it sounded more as though this mother-in-law loved her son and frankly, no matter what woman he chose to marry -- she wasn't going to be good enough for her boy.
In my most gentle way, I suggested removing the painting. "NO WAY," She responded firmly, "there could be big problems if I do." I could sense her anxiety over this idea. I jokingly said that I merely suggested removing it, not throwing it into a bon fire. Simply take it off the wall for a few days and see how you feel. Lean it against the wall where it is out of sight during your normal days around the house. It's just an experiment for yourself. I explained that even though she felt she was doing something positive by keeping a painting up to "keep the peace," in actuality, it may be fueling a huge argument in the future (about anything). You see, the location of the dining room and the wall in which this particular painting hung, was in direct view from where "everyday" living happened. So even if they weren't using the dining room, the painting was visible. It was visible when you came downstairs in the morning to get to the kitchen, it was visible when you came home after work and again when you were on your way upstairs for the evening. Her mother-in-law, in a sense, was "in her face" all the time whether she realized it or not. So the feelings about her mother-in-law (which weren't too positive at that time) were subconsciously being fed (and not in a good way) by this painting.
A few days after our appointment, I received a call from her. She took down the painting for the experiment. She said her daughter approached her asking why she had taken Grandma's painting down. She told her it was a little experiment. Her daughter quickly asked if she could have the painting for her bedroom. This was a perfect new location for the painting!
The Energy Shift
My client explained that while she accepted that she and her mother-in-law were not going to be best friends, she did realize there was something she truly appreciated about her. Her mother-in-law adores the children (just like she adores her son). That is a lot of love. So what if she didn't receive that same kind of love and attention -- her children did receive it and she wanted to nurture that special relationship. She was great at being a Grandma! Not only that, upon each visit her mother-in-law made to their home, she got the opportunity to go out with her husband, take short over-night trips, reconnect and enjoy the comfort that her children were perfectly loved and safe. One painting hung in the dining room with the purpose of "keeping the peace" really was not and in fact -- was doing the opposite. One simple action opened the pathway and changed her perception of this relationship toward improvement and appreciation. This painting is now hung in her daughter's room. The painting now magnifies the love and support energy her children receive from Grandma. It has a new and positive purpose.
One final note: As it turned out, my client's husband didn't care much about the painting at all! We got a good laugh out of that. So much fuss over one painting. One positive action welcomed a truer sense of peace into their home.
|This is my favorite painting in my home. It welcomes me every morning when I come down the stairs. |
It's bright and happy and lifts my spirits.