Q & A with Jayme Barrett: How to Feng Shui Your Life
Jayme Barrett's book Feng Shui Your Life hit the Los Angeles Times best-seller list in August 2003 and is still among the most popular books on feng shui in the country. Barrett has appeared nationally on E!, NBC, HGTV, and Soapnet, and her work has been featured in national newspapers and magazines including Self, Elle UK, Woman's World, First for Women, Parents, Healing Lifestyles and Spas, Delicious Living, Yogi Times, and Healthy Living.
Barrett specializes in techniques for personal fulfillment, prosperity, and integrated health. Many of her clients come from Hollywood, including actors Mary Steenburgen, Ted Danson, Alexis Denisof, and Alyson Hannigan, as well as TV directors, successful fashion designers, and movie executives.
For more than 15 years, she has studied Eastern and Western healing traditions, life coaching, and spiritual practices with teachers around the world. As a certified feng shui consultant, Barrett's inspiring and transformational work with individuals, businesses, and corporations has made her a sought-after speaker on inspired living.
MindBodyGreen: How do you start your day?
Jayme Barrett: My daily intention is to be of service and to help people live happier, more inspired lives. So, when I wake up, I always say a prayer asking for guidance for my day ahead. This prayer allows me to feel confident that I'm not doing everything myself. I feel calm and divinely supported. Then I sit down to enjoy my favorite tea (Casablanca from Mariage Frères) and head down to the beach for a brisk walk.
MBG: When did you first discover feng shui?
JB: In 1995, I received a feng shui consultation from my sweet mom as a birthday gift. I felt positive results immediately. I had been studying and practicing Eastern philosophy since I was young, but hadn't discovered feng shui. It made sense to me that healthy energy is moving energy. Like water, it needs to flow and circulate to be beneficial. In addition, positive images in our space impact our psyche in a positive way. When we are happier, we are healthier and more successful. Everything affects the other. We live in a holistic world.
MBG: In Feng Shui Your Life, you talk about the principles of meditation and breathing to create inner peace. How does mind/body wellness fit into your daily routine?
JB: I always feel better when my breath is deep and flowing. That is why I like to start my day with a vigorous walk by the sea. It clears my head, and I become more grounded in my body. I always have great creative ideas when I'm walking. As for meditation, I like doing Twin Hearts Meditation, which I outline in chapter two of my book. It connects the crown and heart energy centers, as well as allowing me to send positive energy and prayers out to the world. As we send blessings, we receive them. It's all about flow in body, mind, spirit, and our surroundings.
MBG: In the book, you also discuss goals, dreams, and aspirations. Can you explain the connection between creating a feng shui lifestyle and goal-setting?
JB: Creating a strong intention for what you want in your life is essential to manifesting your desires. The more we focus on what we want and take action that aligns with our goal, the more the universe supports us in amazing ways. When I decided I wanted to write my book, I wrote an intentional statement defining it and placed it on my "manifestation board." Three months later, I met a man on the beach in Malibu who happened to be a book publisher from London. He was sitting with a client of mine, so I went over to speak with them. I told him about my desire to write a book on feng shui and shared my lifestyle vision with him. Amazingly, that night he was taking the red-eye flight to New York City to meet with Sterling Publishing, who published other books on feng shui. This man told Sterling about me and recommended that I write a book proposal. Three months later, I turned in my proposal, flew to New York to meet with Sterling Publishing, and got a book deal! It's important to create a strong relationship with your dreams and then take massive action to make them happen. A feng shui lifestyle is a purposeful one. You can decide to make positive choices in everything from relationships to work to your health -- and of course, your living spaces.
MBG: You discuss the importance of decluttering your life. How can this process help people improve spiritually and financially?
JB: Clutter affects every aspect of your life and deters you from your life path. Clearing clutter is the number one ingredient to creating good feng shui in your space and life. Chapter three in my book is dedicated to clearing clutter. From a feng shui standpoint, clutter stops the flow of positive energy in your space and ultimately in your life. It creates depression, confusion, fear, and frustration, and distracts you from your goals. Everything is energy -- and clutter happens to be "stuck" energy. If you have massive clutter in your space, your clarity is obstructed. When your stuff is weighing you down, it's almost impossible to sit for meditation or focus on making money.
The sky is truly the limit, but when you are surrounded by clutter, you panic and stop breathing, burdened by all the things you have accumulated. When you clear clutter and energy begins to flow in your surroundings, money shows up in wonderful and unexpected ways. In addition, on a practical level, clutter stops you from making money when you can't find things you need in your house. Perhaps you are losing money because your stock portfolio is hidden under stacks of papers on your desk. You completely neglect checking in with your financial planner to see what's going on. Why? You forgot that the statement was under that particular pile! Clear your clutter and you open up the space for new opportunities to come flooding into your life.
MBG: You have been a feng shui consultant for more than 12 years. What is the most consistent opportunity people have to create a more energizing lifestyle at home and at work?
JB: People can create a more energizing lifestyle in any environment by clearing clutter; energizing the space with live plants, natural light, and cheerful colors; arranging furniture in welcoming arrangements; removing objects that negatively affect your psyche; and placing positive symbolism in daily view.
MBG: Please tell us about your favorite room in your home.
JB: I love our living room with its eclectic style and purposeful feng shui decor. There is a mixture of old and new styles-including Asian, contemporary, antique, and English countryside-that makes me happy. From the dining table, where I do a lot of writing, I have a view of our cozy chocolate-brown sofa, Chinese lantern floor lamp, floral-upholstered chair, a Moroccan tea set atop a painted antique coffee table, and my grandfather's oil painting of a beautiful lake scene. In feng shui, nature elements draw positive energy, so I adore our pink anthurium plant with heart-shaped flowers, bird-bath water fountain, and the series of botanical prints that hang above the couch. Since our home is a 1906 California Craftsman, there are wonderful built-in shelves that hold our favorite photos, books, and mementos from around the world. It's a perfect place for my husband and I to relax, entertain, and manifest our dreams.
MBG: What is your favorite guilty indulgence?
JB: Dark chocolate anything. Love the dark-chocolate-covered peanut butter balls at Whole Foods! Also, my husband's Moroccan chicken tagine, eggplant, and red pepper dishes are absolutely delicious.
MBG: Favorite quote?
JB: Henry David Thoreau: "If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them."
MBG: Tell us about the process of consulting with a feng shui client. How can our L.A. readers get in touch with you?
JB: Feng shui consultations for homes and businesses are available in Los Angeles and by phone worldwide. In a home consultation, I give my client the most powerful and harmonious directions for furniture, locate your energy centers (the bagua/feng shui map), and offer recommendations to boost each energy center for the client's unique goals and desires. We discuss organization, color, living energy sources (like plants and water features), and positive symbolism. I also suggest manifestation techniques for their personal goals. It's important to have prosperity, success, balance, and love circulating within the home.
For office, business, and retail consultations, we focus on creating a space that increases productivity, teamwork, office harmony, success, sales, and prosperity.
For more on Jayme Barrett and Feng Shui Your Life:
Feng Shui Your Life on Amazon.com