It has been quiet around here, I know. I think our slow internet connection at home is the main reason, but also I went through a rough patch where I didn’t feel like I had anything to share here. Things have turned around faster than I could have imagined, and I am feeling inspired and determined to breathe some life back into this blog.
We finally finished building our greenhouse last week (no pix yet), and sowed a bunch of vegetables on the patch of land Peter has been preparing – with more help from his family than from me, ehem. I blame the long office days due to the commute … so, thanks Birgitta, Stefan and Felix! The patch shrank somewhat from our original megalomaniac outline when we had to face the reality of the hard physical labor involved when preparing the soil … Pix soon to come.
Also, I seem to have found the holy grail (yup, once again) when it comes to health/nutrition. It comes in the form of two books (by the same genius authors, Dr. Mary Enig and Sally Fallon), namely Nourishing Traditions and Eat Fat, Lose Fat. I know, the latter sounds like it’s just another dieting book but it is really more about health in general than (just) weight loss. Hopefully I can keep the momentum, and write an entry just about those (which is the least they deserve).
I spent the entire day in a car, which is not really how I had planned it but the important part is: I was at our new home before the end of the day.
This sunrise greeted me when I got up that morning:
Quite the appropriate start, don’t you think?
Something really strange and amazing happened to me on the way: There are several ways to choose to our new place for the last few miles. I ended up choosing the one that felt most familiar, which turned out to lead me into driving through complete darkness in the woods. I barely saw the dirt road ahead of me, the view in the rear mirror: pitch black. I felt like I was in a David Lynch movie. I got a little scared, and then a thought popped into my head: what if I was in the middle of some sort of real life metaphor? My old life was clearly behind me, no point in looking back but my new life was still something unknown. I was completely in the dark as to where I was in my life at that moment. All I could do was have faith that I am protected and that everything would be ok.
The clock in the car showed 9.11 pm – I was born at 9.17 pm. I was a little disappointed because I so baldy wanted to be at the house before I turned 30, and I clearly wasn’t going to make it that far in eight minutes. Then I got distracted by contemplating the birth (metaphor – was it really a metaphor, or was I actually going through some sort of real birthing process?) I found myself in. Suddenly the road was lit again, I was out of the dark. After a few moments I thought of looking at the time. It was 9.22, and I just couldn’t help but think (or wish to believe) that I probably must have driven out of the darkness into the light at the exact moment of my birth thirty years ago.
From now on, that’s a date worth remembering. It’s the day we bought the house. Yay! We are still determined to move in before September 1, so from here on out we’ll be busy packing and cleaning like maniacs.
The deal with the house has felt so right and so real the whole time to me that making the down-payment (this past Monday) doesn’t even seem like that big of a milestone. The house has felt like ours the whole time.
Not even the fact that we’re still waiting for an appointment with a chimney sweeper (who, we hope, will tell us that everything is OK because otherwise things could suddenly take a turn towards pretty pricey …) can change that. Like I’ve been saying: I have come to the conclusion that I’d rather be excited about things than worried even if not everything is settled yet. If everything works out, then great – I did not waste any time worrying. If things don’t work out – then at least I had those moments of excitement and happiness. Anything can change at any time anyway, so.
The plants in our apartment, which we once again abandoned for a trip up north, remind me how powerful and amazing life is. If these little guys can bounce back like that, so can I if for some reason things with this house don’t turn out as I imagine …
… I think that’s what this thing I am in is. Here is the current state of affairs:
I now have an indefinite residence permit for Sweden – yay!
We’ll be able to have a phone at the house – yay!
We’ll be able to have internet at the house – yay!
The internet will be old school, very slow, no looking at pictures, only text – meh!
The bank is willing to give us a loan for the house – yay! I mean, scary – loaning money – but yay!
I have applied for two jobs which I would be super-excited about if I got either of them. Yay! (I know „two“ doesn’t sound like a lot but I am more of a „few-but-put-a-lot-of-time-and-effort-into-them“ kind of application-writer, not the „if-I-write-200-applications-something-has-to-work-out“ type)
We are heading up to Sundsvall today (yes, this is a scheduled post), to spend some more time checking out the electrosmog situation in the area.
I am kind of freaking out right now. I think it’s the parts of me that don’t want to let go of the old, that are afraid of change, that are acting up now because they now that this is legit. It’s on! I guess I’m just gonna have to ride this one out but I am scared at the prospect of having to face this side of me. Not having any diversions like, say, the internet, will definitely do that: force me to face myself – yikes! Without ever having dared to watch Antichrist, I think it’s what I am picturing this little trip in my head right now. Only I might be both of the spouses. Although, not having any diversions like, say, the internet, will probably give Peter and I plenty room for ugly fights, too. Let’s hope these wannabe house-buyers make it till Thursday – that’s when the official safety dude that’s checking out the house is stopping by. And when we’ll set up the actual contract.
Last night we visited a former colleague of Peter’s. They don’t call him „Indian-Per“ for nothing: he’s single-handedly turned the farm he bought into a ranch. This guy really has an eye (and two hands) for details. I took some pix, check it out:
So inspiring to meet someone with a vision and so much drive. Inspiration is important, Per agreed – inspiration not to copy others but to become your own original. Well, I’d say he’s got that one down.
In this last part of my little „Feng Shui 101“ it is time for the big reveal. At least it’s big for me. However, I am going to begin with a summary of what I find to be the most important points. So, be patient – or scroll to the end of this article.
With all these personal Kua numbers, lucky and unlucky directions, and houses with back doors things can get pretty complicated: you and your partner/family members/room-mates very likely have different personal Kua numbers, plus the house has lucky and unlucky areas, which in turn might not match your personal areas of benefit/disadvantage.
And that’s not even considering that you might be living in a western house that was not built according to these Feng Shui principles, the toilet might be located in the wealth area, or the only physically possible way to have your bed facing is death … And how could knowing this be of any help?! Isn’t it just making you aware of that you’re doomed? Maybe ignorance is bliss …
Well, that’s not how I read it. From what I understand, it is important to remember that these „lucky“ and „unlucky“ areas/directions by no means equal „destiny“. With the knowledge about these directions, and the knowledge of the Feng Shui teachings, you can optimize the benefit from the „lucky“ areas – and there always seems to be a way to minimize the harm in the „unlucky“ areas.
If your personal beneficial and detrimental directions do not match the ones of your house, the personal ones seem to be more important.
And, maybe most importantly for the „worrier“ in you (that includes me, too): if your place of residence is constructed in a very un-Feng Shui manner, do not get hung up on the fact that your toilet happens to be in the wealth area. Focus on the things that you can do and let the rest go. Again, this is not determining your fate.
Now for the big reveal (for real now): Not only do Peter and I have the same Kua number (7), no – the lucky and unlucky directions of this number are also identical with those of the house (Tui)!!! Once again, I feel like the universe is waving it’s big foamy pointed finger …
At first I didn’t even realize the match between us and the house, I was too busy drawing the floor plan. Then, when I did see it, I thought that it had to be one of those math problems where it turns out that no matter which numbers you fill in, you always end up with the same result. Then I realized that, nope, if the house had been facing a different direction, we would indeed have a different result. So much for not questioning luck.
And just for fun (I really don’t know if this is interesting to anyone but me but anyway): here’s a list of the different rooms and their areas/directions in „our“ house (can’t wait for the day when i can drop the „“):
Entry hall – death: Better than it sounds, since you don’t really use this room for anything, I’ll just put in a bunch of plants, that seems to be a good remedy for most things unlucky. As are toilets, by the way, but I putting in a toilet in each of the four respective unlucky areas doesn’t seem very practical to me …
Staircase/closet – loss & scandal: Also cool with that, for the same reasons. We’ll just keep the closet shut.
Medium bedroom – obstacles, health, harmony: One of our office/guest rooms. Looking good, face desk away from obstacles, towards harmony. Too bad that the window is facing obstacles, I always want my desk by a window, not facing a wall. We’ll see.
Bathroom – harmony: Some might say that’s a waste but, hey.
Living room – harmony, wealth, misfortune, long life (and maybe some death): I think we can work with that.
Front porch (don’t know if it counts) – loss & scandal, death, long life: plants, plants, plants
Staircase – loss & scandal: see above
Hall – death: see above
Master bedroom – obstacles, health, harmony. We should be able to have the head of the bed towards harmony, so I think we’ll be good.
Kitchen – (a little bit of) death, long life, misfortune; with a pantry towards wealth: Well, let’s keep the glass half-full and focus on the pantry in the wealth corner. Long life is where the dining table is placed, so I guess that’s pretty good, too.
Mini-bedroom – harmony: Our second office/guest room. I guess deciding who’s going to want which room will be tough – the harmonious but tiny one or the big one with the obstacle area?
Before I go into the different kinds of houses and their respective beneficial and detrimental areas (according to the compass tradition of Feng Shui), here’s a brief overview over those lucky and unlucky directions/areas:
Lucky directions – and their main benefits
Sheng Chi (Breath Of Life) – wealth/prosperity
Tien Yi (Heavenly Doctor) – health
Nien Yen – long life, also in the sense of many descendants
Fu Wei – complete harmony
Unlucky directions – and their main problems
Ho Hai – bad luck and misfortune
Wu Kwei (Five Ghosts) – obstacles
Lui Sha (Six Killings) – loss and scandal
Chueh Ming (Disaster) – death
Here’s an article, that’s great for a brief overview, if you want to know a little more about these directions: Eight Mansions in Feng Shui.
This page about the Kua number has charts for each of the nine numbers with the respective lucky and unlucky compass points, and how to optimize the benefits and how to do „damage control“ in the harmful areas.
Now for the houses and their lucky and unlucky areas. According to the compass school of Feng Shui, there are eight different types of houses, depending on which compass point the back door is facing. (It doesn’t seem to matter, whether your house actually has a back door, it’s automatically the side opposite the side with the front door.)
The eight kinds of houses and their beneficial/detrimental directions are:
Kan (back door facing north)
most important direction/direction for harmony – north
direction for health – east
direction for long life – south
direction for wealth – south-east
direction for difficulties – west
direction for loss and scandal – north-west
direction for obstacles – north-east
direction for death – south-west
Ken (back: north-east)
most important direction/direction for harmony – north-east
direction for health – north-west
direction for long life – west
direction for wealth – south-west
direction for difficulties – south
direction for loss and scandal – east
direction for obstacles – north
direction for death – south-east
Chen (back: east)
most important direction/direction for harmony – east
direction for health – north
direction for long life – south-east
direction for wealth – south
direction for difficulties – south-west
direction for loss and scandal – north-east
direction for obstacles – north-west
direction for death – west
Sun (back: south-east)
most important direction/direction for harmony – south-east
direction for health – south
direction for long life – east
direction for wealth – north
direction for difficulties – north-west
direction for loss and scandal – west
direction for obstacles – south-west
direction for death – north-east
Li (back: south)
most important direction/direction for harmony – south
direction for health – south-east
direction for long life – north
direction for wealth – east
direction for difficulties – north-east
direction for loss and scandal – south-west
direction for obstacles – west
direction for death – north-west
Kun (back: south-west)
most important direction/direction for harmony – south-west
direction for health – west
direction for long life – north-west
direction for wealth – north-east
direction for difficulties – east
direction for loss and scandal – south
direction for obstacles – south-east
direction for death – north
Tui (back: west)
most important direction/direction for harmony – west
direction for health – south-west
direction for long life – north-east
direction for wealth – north-west
direction for difficulties – north
direction for loss and scandal – south-east
direction for obstacles – south
direction for death – east
Chien (back: north-west)
most important direction/direction for harmony – north-west