In my line of work my medium is ‘spaces’. Rooms, fields, backyards, terraces, hallways, courtyards, and all. You are never not in a space. These containers and openings define our experiences in subtle or overt ways, and they are the backdrop for our stories. I consider all the details of a place to be so important that each object or lack of can have a meaning…or better yet, a feeling that contributes to the whole. Is it a meaning or a feeling that your favorite heirloom provides to complete your home?
There is a difference between a space that is beautiful, and one that feels good.
An aunt of mine once told me of a pearl bracelet she picked up from the ground and took home. She said, ‘Despite its’ value, I had to give it away. It contained too much bad energy.’ The science that things vibrate is not new, but it is not mainstream. That’s probably because we cannot see vibrations (most of us can’t) and our culture is not very attuned to the unseen. Truth is, the physical world is only part of the story, and many ancient cultures knew this. Having studied and created spaces I always wondered what made them really pleasant to be in. It was obvious that this was very important, and I started thinking it had to do with much more than quality design and specifics of furniture and finishes. Bitten by curiosity, I had to dig deeper than my college training to prove this.
In search of a language that might help me describe the ‘feeling’ of a space and how to shift, connect with, or play with that realm I found a man locally who opened up several fascinating doors for me on this topic. Kenn Day, who calls himself a Post Tribal Shaman, had invited me to his workshop series ‘Opening Inner Doorways’ after several one-on-one sessions. I had sought his services for personal counsel and physical healing. This invitation was exciting, as Kenn’s sessions were successful but hard to explain in words. I had done several alternative forms of healing, but this was different.
Now that I have nearly completed the series, and read both of Kenn’s books, Dance of Stones: A Shamanic Road Trip and Post-Tribal Shaminism: A New Look at Old Ways, I have expanded my desire to understand the meaning vs. feeling aspect of spaces and places. What I have learned is that there is so much to share by exploring my questions and trying out the results as a designer.
A highlight from the workshop has been understanding that people benefit from having ‘roots’ somewhere. This has emerged from my fascination with having a ‘home’ which can actually be described as ‘the feeling of home’ rather than an actual structure. Going beyond what Martha Stewart has inspired – living well and living beautifully – I believe that living in alignment with our spaces, and cultivating good energy is like having a rudder in the ground for our life. Connecting with your home is grounding. We actually have a word for this and I find it apropos, which is nesting.
I am excited to continue the theme of nesting, as well as other themes of place and seeing where it takes me. If you have specific questions, or if this struck a cord, I encourage you to reach out. There are many people who study and partake in these topics, and what I have found is that at the end of the day the application of this thinking is grounding and practical.