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From a Shower Curtain to the Pacific Ocean: My Story

view of Waikiki Beach from my bedroom window 

 (As a side note: this story first appeared on my website and seemed relevant to include here. Of course I’m now on to new exciting dreams, see footnote.*)

I became a feng shui consultant because I wanted a life of natural beauty and spiritual harmony. But when I first started on this path, my life was anything but.

I lived in a dingy, tiny, walk-up apartment in New York City; an apartment which got its one moment of direct sunlight between 2:03 – 2.18 pm each afternoon, when a shaft of light would squeeze between the buildings and pierce my bathroom window.

I always imagined having a view of the ocean in my dream home, so I decorated my bathroom in an ocean theme. A translucent blue shower curtain caught the light and hinted at Caribbean waters. Hand towels with tropical fish, some seashell bath soaps, and a vase filled with fake sea grass completed the look.

I had a vision of living at the beach, but all I had was the vision. I couldn’t see how, when, or where this beach life would manifest. Yet studying feng shui started to open my mind to a radical new vision about physical space. It was a theory that would be proven again and again in my work with hundreds of clients over the years:

You have to tell your home what you want.

To me, the best way to do that was to turn my home into a reflection of the life that I envisioned. My boyfriend (now husband) and I had just moved into the tiny apartment together and wanted to redecorate our bedroom (which also doubled as our dining room, living room, and office!). I shared my beach vision with him and found that he too had a passion to live on the water. So we decided to decorate our bedroom in a tropical “South Pacific” theme. We papered the walls in grass cloth, carpeted the floor in sisal, installed a ceiling fan and hung billowy white curtains on the windows. Even when it was snowing outside on the gray streets of the city, in our home it was perpetually 80 degrees and sunny (and not just because of the forced heat in our tenement building!).

When we create a home that in some way mirrors the life we want to live, we attract that life to us. By contrast, when we unconsciously surround ourselves with furniture, images, and clutter that we don’t need, or don’t want, or items that are associated with bad memories or past relationships, we simply keep attracting those situations into our life.

As we turn our home into the former, and shed the latter, our home starts attracting our vision. Try it, it works!

Sure enough, my life started to move in better and better directions. My feng shui business became a full time job, I then went to school for interior design which increased my business further. My husband’s new career in finance became more successful and allowed him to work online, from home.

As our incomes increased, we were able to start taking vacations and traveling to real tropical locations. We began exploring the idea of living on an island.

We grew to love our tiny home, but needed more room. So we started to visualize having the apartment next door. Sure enough, it soon became available! We grabbed it and combined the two apartments into a very sweet, livable space.

I continued the beach house theme in the new apartment, but more grown up this time. The newly acquired apartment would have a sleeker urban sophistication, but with a lot of tropical warmth. It was like the luxury resorts I envisioned staying in when vacationing in St. Barts or Bora Bora. Having visited some of the islands I had dreamed about, it now became easier to imagine living in these places. As we got a clearer sense of what we wanted, I began decorating the house more deliberately. We could viscerally feel that we were moving closer to our dream life.

A few years later, I think it is fair to say that our dreams have manifested. As I look out my window at the Pacific Ocean, the turquoise water and sandy beach lie 23 floors below my luxury high rise apartment in Hawaii. My husband is working in the next room, and we are about to go swim with sea turtles.

As great as this life is, we have more dreams ahead. We hope to eventually buy a home on an island not quite so crowded as this one – so we are decorating our current home in order to attract our next one.

But in essence we have done it. We took a silly blue shower curtain and turned it into the Pacific Ocean. We live our dream. This stuff works…try it.

(*As a footnote: I did eventually buy my dream beach house, and it turned out to be in the Hamptons – I know, I said a tropical island, not Long Island!  I will share that story in a future post.)

What have you experienced around manifesting your dreams, be it big or small? I’d love to hear what’s worked for you, or the current dream you are working on now…


1 Andy { 08.06.10 at 8:00 pm }

What a wonderful story!!!!! I am soooooo inspired. I want to do this too. I'm starting this weekend on my bedroom and office!

2 Stephanie { 12.22.10 at 6:46 pm }

Several months ago, when I was very depressed and wanted desperately to leave my job of four years, I visited an empath (similar to a psychic) who advised me to feng shui my apartment if I wanted to bring wealth and a new job into my life. I began reading about the principles of feng shui on the internet, and spent a weekend re-arranging my living room, which had never felt quite right. While I’m not exactly clear on many of the specifics if feng shui, I continued to re-arrange to room until it felt good to me. I also attended a seminar about interview techniques, so I would be ready for the opportunity when it presented itself. After a month or so, I applied for a job that had appeared in my inbox one day, and received a reply the same day. I felt an immediate connection with the woman I interviewed with, and was offered the job within a month of my first email. I accepted the position shortly before my 30th birthday, with an almost 50% pay raise.

Prior to this, I had always looked for new jobs with a feeling of obligation- as an unpleasant task. This time, I went into the process knowing that I was going to get what I wanted, because I was qualified and ready for a positive change. I believe that feng shui played a part in changing my attitude and ‘making room’ for success in my life.

3 Reiko Gomez { 12.24.10 at 4:53 pm }

Stephanie, thank you for sharing your wonderful experience! I really appreciated what you said, especially “I went into the process knowing that I was going to get what I wanted, because I was qualified and ready for a positive change.” That has my experience as well. When I “know” I am going to get what I want, it comes quickly. For me, that knowing is greatly aided by aligning the feng shui of my space with my goals. I would love to hear how things continue to unfold for you. Happy holidays and best wishes for the New Year!

4 Double Glazing Gloucester { 05.30.11 at 11:26 am }

Nice view! Good window direction! It’s very entertaining reading your post. I hope to read more of your story.

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