Home away from home

By on April 1, 2011

Photo © Elena Derevtsova


The recent tragedy in Japan has shaken not only this country, quite literally, but the world. Everyone with access to the media has stared in awe and horror at the powerful forces of Nature and how manmade structures can be of little consequence in such a path of unbridled fury. And yet what has been evident throughout this still-unfolding story is the strength and warmth of the human spirit – the same spirit that turns empty, man-made houses into homes. 


To have a safe place to rest at night is a blessing anywhere on this planet. The possibility of not having a home raises the question of what truly is important to us. When our everyday routine is disrupted and survival becomes less something to be taken for granted and more of a conscious consideration, our definition of what is important starts to shift. Do we need to have a certain piece of furniture or object? Can we not live without a treasured photograph or family heirloom? What is the value of what we possess?


Just because we can survive with less doesn’t mean that we should live in minimalism. However, it is healthy to re-evaluate our attachment to our possessions and to consider what truly brings us pleasure. Professional organizers and clutter consultants speak to how emotional ties keep us bound to possessions as though those objects are the emotion that we feel, when they are not. As important as those emotions are, the objects that stimulate them are in fact only part of the equation – the real power is the importance we give those objects as providing those emotions. It is in fact the emotion that exists within us that provides us with what we are looking for.


When some people are considering picking up and leaving, when some people have been forced to abandon their homes, or when their homes have been swept away and they have nothing left, we can begin to see more accurately how what is truly important is what we have inside of us. The turtle is the symbolic animal of Feng Shui because it carries its home with it everywhere it goes. Since everything in your home is a reflection of who you are, you too carry it with you wherever you go; furthermore, substance is more powerful than a reflection, so the substance of who you are is what is truly of the greatest value. To be able to create a home that reflects your unique individuality is of great importance; to have a working relationship with that unique individual within is even more so. 


So let every object that you possess be appreciated. Allow each picture to speak to a positive memory. Permit every family heirloom to remind you of your rich heritage. Treasure all that you have, remembering that all that we possess in this life is on loan. Express appreciation for your blessings. Create a home that speaks to who you are, but remember that who you are is more expansive than the space in which you live. The grandeur of your consciousness and the depth of your being can transcend any hardship – it is this innate brilliance that makes the things in your home glisten with more than just a superficial twinkle. 


May you and your loved ones experience peace, appreciation, and connection in this time of change.


Mark Ainley is a Contemporary Feng Shui Consultant based in Vancouver. A former resident of Tokyo, he consults internationally for home and business owners.


Contact him at markainley@gmail.com or visit www.markainley.com

About Mark Ainley

Mark Ainley is a Contemporary Feng Shui Consultant and Emotional Stress Consultant living in Vancouver. A former 5-year resident of Tokyo, Mark consults with clients internationally to help them design living and work spaces in alignment with their goals. He also provides consulting in emotional stress management, as well as in the connection between facial structure and innate behavioural and communication patterns. He can be reached through his website: www.senseofspace.com and www.markainley.com.