What’s blocking your feng shui? What’s keeping your qi from flowing and making you happier and more positive? Change, clutter, and disruption keep your energy from flowing — and they are built into our modern world.

Throw out your old one because here’s a new one — and it’s improved!

If there is an operating manual for modern civilization, I’m sure there’s a whole chapter titled New and Improved. No matter how good a device or product is, it can always be better. That’s why any day now they’re gonna replace a gadget you like with one that’s new and improved. You just got used to the old one when poof! It’s gone. That means change, so there goes the positive energy that should be flowing around you and supporting your qi. Your feng shui is blocked again.

You complain I don’t want the new one. I like the old one. It’s comfortable. Besides, I bought it, so it belongs to me. I can keep it if I want. No. You have to throw it out because here’s a new one — and it’s improved. Besides, you won’t be able to use your old one for long because we’re not going to support it or make parts for it anymore.

Improved — more complicated, more commands, more to learn, more to remember!

I didn’t grow up with technology, but I’ve adapted. Years ago, who’d have thought I’d be writing on a laptop computer? But here I am and I’m proud as punch.

It took hours of frustrating work to master even the most basic tasks — like saving documents. I lost a few chapters before I learned. Unhappy trial and error taught me other lessons — like what the insert key does. I hit it by mistake once when I was inserting new text. I deleted half a page before I caught it.

Now I’ve got it. I can even program commands to make writing faster for me. It’s great — until they force an upgrade. With modern technology you don’t have to go out and buy the new and improved version. The computer does it for you — with upgrades. A signal, mystically sent to your computer, tells it to change everything you’re used to — and delete all the programming you worked so hard to do. The next day, nothing looks the same. You have to start learning and adapting all over again.

My feng shui has a migraine and I can’t open the child-proof package.

Updates to technology aren’t the only feng-shui-blocking improvements. Have you had to tangle with improved tamper-proof packaging? Did you come through uninjured?

I have migraines. There’s a new medication that is no less than miraculous. When I feel a headache coming on, I don’t panic. I reach for my pills. But now they’ve improved the packaging. They’ve encased my pills in bubbles made of industrial-strength plastic — as inaccessible as though they didn’t exist. The instructions said to bend the plastic and scratch up a corner to peel back the panel. It didn’t work and I broke a nail. Of course, I couldn’t find scissors. I tried opening it with my teeth, then with my car key. No luck. I took a knife to it and managed to get out a pill. Luckily, I had Band-Aids.

They improved medicine bottles too — child-proof caps. I don’t have children. I told my druggist. She doesn’t believe me, so she keeps safeguarding my prescriptions in child-proof bottles — actually with my arthritis, a child would be more likely to get the bottle open.

Is revolutionary new clutter blocking your feng shui?  

What’s cluttering your kitchen? Every week there seems to be another new gadget on the market. It’s revolutionary, they tell us. Just think! This machine will take all the work out of boiling eggs. You never need to buy yogurt again when you own this super yogurt maker. And you will make the kids in your family smile with this snow-cone machine.

I bought the snow-cone machine and they did love it — once. Now it sits on the counter, unused and in the way. I don’t have anywhere to store it because the pantry is full of Tupperware bowls (sans lids), Chinese soup takeout containers, and a shoebox full of chargers and cords that don’t fit the newest and most improved devices — but maybe they’ll fit something someday.

What did you buy that’s blocking the feng shui in your kitchen? A pineapple-shaped ceramic jar holding a dozen wooden spoons? Or a metal basket with an attached banana tree for fruit you keep forgetting to buy?

Why do we keep junk that’s in our way and blocking our feng shui?

Why is it so hard for us to throw stuff away?

Maybe it’s the hope that they say springs eternal. Could be fear that we will need it as soon as it’s gone. Or we think it was too expensive to just throw away. So, we dedicate a drawer to stuff we don’t use. The iPod, Fitbit, DVDs, and remotes from long-gone TVs share space with jar lids, rubber bands, old grocery coupons, and a fork that got mashed in the garbage disposal.

The bent fork is another problem. Feng shui doesn’t like broken things hanging around. But I know that fork can be fixed. And they want me to get rid of my red vintage sugar bowl? I don’t think so. It’s Spode! When I fix the chip and glue the handle back on it will be good as new. And I’ll get around to it. When? Sometime.

Speaking of storing stuff —

Those revolutionary appliances — more complicated, more parts, and more to store. If you look way in the back corner of your basement, what ground-breaking invention will you find?

Mine is a vacuum cleaner. It was new. It was improved. It had five settings just for floor type! And a tool to clean everything from ceiling to doorknobs. They didn’t say you might have to take out a loan to get it. But never mind. It was an investment. I bought it.

I was like a kid with a new toy.

When I opened the box I was like a kid with a new toy — so many shiny new attachments. There was even a special tool for cleaning tiny crevices. I tried them all — cleaned my floors, walls, chairs, and my tiny crevices. Then, I cleared a place in the downstairs closet where I arranged the machine and its parts. With my home spanking clean and the equipment neatly organized, my energy flowed.

What I hate about cleaning is that it’s not permanent. You clean the house top to bottom. Then the next week you have to do it all over again. So, the next week I brought up the machine and cleaned again — but not the crevices. How often do you really have to clean crevices? And I only used one of the five settings for floor type because I only have one kind of floor.

After lugging the vacuum around a few times, it wasn’t so much fun. I bought a simpler, less revolutionary machine. The amazing cleaner went to the basement with the other gadgets I don’t use — the electric can opener, microwave egg cooker, deluxe foot spa, automatic wine bottle opener, four umbrellas, and a box of boxes. Today, the snow-cone machine is joining them.

What’s blocking your feng shui?

What’s blocking your feng shui? What’s keeping your qi from flowing and making you happier and more positive? We can get that good energy flowing again. We start by getting rid of the clutter and managing the changes that are under our control. As for the disruptions and changes that are built into our modern world, we just have to take deep breaths and let the frustration go. (I have to stop writing now because my Xfinity is buffering and my laptop is threatening to update so it can delete all of my programming — but I’m taking a deep breath.)





February 1, 2023