I love to travel, and when I do, I enjoy photographing the variety of doors I happen upon. A door is like a book—you don’t know what lies within until you open it. Something pleasant? Something scary? An adventure? Something that lulls you to sleep?
Remember the story of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves? All Baba used the magical phrase — Open Sesame — to open the mouth of a cave in which forty thieves had hidden a treasure.
And while there have been times I’ve not felt welcome, I’ve never had a door not open to me—regardless of my age, gender, skin color, politics, or spiritual tradition. I’m aware that’s sadly not the case for everyone.
Feng Shui is the art of harmonious living. It involves the intentional placement of items to direct the circulation and flow of energy in a space. The desired outcome is unique by individual. For instance, some people want to create balance and harmony, while others wish to boost their productivity, attract wealth, heighten creativity, advance their career, enhance good luck, and so on.
According to Feng Shui principles, the broom symbolizes insight and wisdom and is believed to have the power to sweep away negative energy, worry, and trouble. This ancient Chinese art counsels that the broom be hung by the door, symbolically sweeping out energy that no longer serves us well, making room for positive energy, abundance, and prosperity.
At our home, we use our brooms daily; they aren’t just for looks. They also serve as a visible reminder of our intent to maintain a positive, respectful, and healthy emotional environment in our space.
Many of you know that I’m an advocate for fair trade. As such, on the weekends when I’m not traveling, I invest my time at Dunia Marketplace in the Hyde Park historic district of Boise. It’s a charming, nonprofit store that carries handcrafted items from fair trade artisans around the globe.
FAIR TRADE is about ensuring good wages and safe conditions for artisans. Equally important, it’s about practicing responsibility. Sometimes referred to as “360-degree fair trade,” it’s also about building more in-depth, longer-term partnerships that empower artisans to grow their businesses and strengthen their communities.
Last week I traveled to Filer, Idaho, to help with Dunia’s annual, fair trade INTERNATIONAL GIFT SALE at the Filer Mennonite Church. All of the proceeds from this huge event are used to support fair trade artisans around the globe.
While helping with the event, I was hosted by a church family — Shirley and Gary Eichelberger — who went way above and beyond to make me feel welcome.
I live a somewhat Dr. Doolittle life. It seems that no matter where I go, I encounter all types of critters doing interesting things. The most recent example occurred just before the trip we’re currently on.
No sooner had I stepped into the driveway, then two geese landed on the pitch of the garage.
Immediately followed by two more geese landing on the pitch of the house next door.
This two-roofed-goose-incident immediately brought to mind the phrase, “As above, so below.” I have to admit that a quick bit of research was necessary. It revealed:
“As above, so below” is a phrase used most appropriately to discuss the principle of correspondence. This principle embodies the truth that there always exists a correspondence between laws and phenomena on every plane of existence.”
Most recently, my law and corresponding phenomena have been:
Law—Laurie goes outside
Corresponding Phenomena—A rooster in a tree crows at me, ducks line up in a row, and now geese act out the “As above” part of an old adage.
I’m currently traveling home from a speaking engagement at the Write on the Sound writing conference in Edmonds, WA, so I’ve turned comments off for this post. But if I were available to interact, this week’s internal inventory question would be:
We’re fortunate to live within a stone’s throw of the Morrison Knudsen Nature Center. We walk through their peaceful grounds at least once a week. This week I photographed a few ducks lined up on a tree branch in the water. I love the way it turned out. To me it looks like a watercolor painting.
When researching the saying, “Ducks in a row,” I learned something new. I learned that it comes from from ship building. Who knew?!
It turns out that a “duck” is a device that holds the keel in place while building a ship. The first step in building a ship is to get the ducks in straight row thus ensuring a straight keel.
Conversationally speaking, getting one’s ducks in a row means to ensure that all of the small details or elements are accounted for and in their proper positions before embarking on a new project.
I’m a fan of semi-precious gemstones. I wear citrine on my left hand and turquoise on my right hand and in pendant form. I enjoy the symbolism of both:
CITRINE Also known as the “Light Maker,” the citrine gemstone has a bright yellow hue, which reflects its equally vibrant energy. Like Vitamin C for the soul, the citrine crystal emanates positivity and joy. Its name is derived from the French word for lemon (citron), which carries a sense of sunny and optimistic joie de vivre.
TURQUOISE Turquoise is a French term meaning “Turkish Stone.” It comes from the French phrase pierre turquoise, where “pierre” translates as “stone.” The sea-to-sky energy of turquoise has been prized for centuries in various cultures — from Persian and Egyptian royalty to indigenous people in the Americas (North, Central, and South America) — for its protection from negativity and connection to the purity of natural elements, especially water and air.
I’m currently preparing to present a skill-builder session at the sold-out Women and Leadership conference at Boise State University, so I’ve turned comments off for this post. But if I were available to interact, this week’s internal inventory question would be…