Chapter 6: Metamorphosis Unveiled!

I went on an incredible journey, with an incredible couple! The journey, like the birthing of a beautiful butterfly, from its chrysalis stage to full maturity, took some time…and indeed, may still be continuing.

The following is my real-life story of the cathartic and metamorphic Feng Shui journey of Dan and Helena Sanderson (not their real names), to whom I owe so much.


“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” ~ Maya Angelou

Metamorphosis Unveiled!

On April 12, 2004, I picked up the phone to talk to the Sanderson’s. I was in the middle of documenting their journey in my files, and felt that I needed follow-up information on our last appointment. I was not looking forward to the feedback. I feared the worse, thinking that they had done nothing since our last appointment, that they may have been alienated in some way. That overall sense of uncomfortability that I had felt at the end of the last appointment returned. I hymned and hawed before placing that call. I entertained the thought of not having a follow-up. I’m glad I didn’t succumb to my fears. I placed the call—I’m so glad I did!

Metamorphosis Unveiled

Dan greeted me warmly on the phone and proceeded to thank me over and over for entering their lives in the way that I had. While admitting the difficulty of the last appointment, his synopsis was that we were dealing pretty honestly with each other, and they had felt vulnerable unveiling so much of themselves. They also felt that it was sobering to hear about what their children needed to feel safe and protected, but they had taken the information to heart.

Dan listed all the changes he and Helena had made since our last appointment. He was so enthusiastic, and they had done so much! I was stunned! For weeks, I had thought that perhaps I had gone too far, penetrated too deeply. I was uncomfortable with their uncomfortability. Now Dan was explaining to me what had happened.

During our very first appointment, it was Dan who had to make the psychological changes. He had to confront his lack of resolution over his former marriage. This time, however, it was Helena’s turn to confront some difficult issues. These had to do with her children. Both Helena and Dan said that the last appointment was difficult because the discussions hit upon truths they had brushed under the rug before, did not have time to look at, or were not willing to look at.

I was concerned about whether or not I had presented the information in the most effective, compassionate way possible. I asked if I should have said things differently, or what I could have done differently to have made the last appointment less uncomfortable. They both denied that I had been careless or thoughtless in my approach. Helena said, “The truth hurts.”, and then she reminded me that I had explained to them how sometimes as you work on things, other issues come to the fore. She said I had adequately warned them that issues sometimes get worse before working themselves out.

After experiencing the pain, and yet the catharsis, of the first appointment, they both knew what to expect. Their resistance, they explained, came from the surprise that so much more needed to be done. Dan was “mad”, he said, after the last appointment. They had worked so hard, putting their hearts into the changes. They did not expect that there was so much more to do. After finally acknowledging that problems remained to be fixed, they moved on. It was the acknowledgement that took a while.

Helena realized that it was time for her to spend more time doing things “for” her children, rather than just being “with” them. She decided to tackle the problem of the children’s rooms, their disorganization and clutter. She went shopping with Cash for curtains for the boy’s rooms, curtains to cover the windows, and curtains to provide make-shift walls.

She shared that just this one act of spending time trying to improve the boys’ space, and having the boys see that their comfort was important to her, created a huge metamorphic change in them. James, the older boy, was the first to take ownership of his own newly created space. He cleaned it up himself—and it remained clean! Cash took a little longer to decide to do this, but finally he tackled the difficult job of creating order out of the chaos that had existed. He too kept it clean.

Helena was still working on the girls’ rooms. However, the girls’ beds were changed to create their best positions. They were now sleeping better, and Helena says that she had more de-cluttering to do in Candice’s room, recognizing that she had far too much ‘stuff’.

Dan and Helena also made other changes to their home. Dan placed a small table by the front door on which to place some earthenware objects, a correction for Helena and her West Life family group. (The house faces north, not their best direction.) He moved the sofa from the center of the room, back under the picture on the wall, and he created a conversation group with the furniture. They’ve entertained since doing this and found the results very conversation-friendly. They’ve also received compliments on the very welcoming front door area, with pots of Tulips. Together, they tackled the cleaning of the back yard tool shed. And so it went!

Helena stated that she loved her house! She thought it the perfect fit for her and Dan, whereas before she wanted to move. She had always wanted a rambler in the suburbs, got it, but didn’t appreciate it. She now loved the house and the space that had been created, and it no longer felt too small. She and Dan were making their home into a retreat and haven for themselves, a little piece of paradise. They built themselves an outside sitting area on the part of their deck that was next to their master bedroom. They planted flowers, placed flowerpots around, and bought a patio set. Helena said it felt like a resort. They played cards and talked. And it was so private. They also planned to plant shrubs and trees along the perimeter of their huge back yard.

All of these changes in the space of a few weeks. What a metamorphosis! And…the unexpected upshot of these energetic changes was incredible:

1) Cash’s biological dad asked to see Cash. This is major! Heretofore, he resented having ‘his’ obligatory weekend with Cash.

2) Helena went to counseling to resolve her issues with ‘fear’. She stated, “I really grew this time! There was a new paradigm and I saw things with a new set of glasses.”

3) Rhys’s mom (Dan’s former wife), who had been a problem for the new family, made a recipe holder for Helena and made some cupcakes for Cash’s birthday party (he’s not even her son!). She had never been this good-natured before.

4) Helena made two matching Easter dresses for her daughters, some how finding the time to do this, where there was never time before.

Dan’s parting comments to me as we ended our phone conversation were, “You’re awesome; we appreciate you! Thanks for coming into our lives. Feng Shui is so accurate.”

Well, we knew that all along, didn’t we? Well, maybe not quite! This project, and the interaction with the Sanderson’s, was the most affirming experience of the power of Feng Shui I had had to date. I didn’t expect our time together to be quite so emotive—or cathartic.

Thank you, Dan and Helena Sanderson for allowing me to take this Feng Shui journey with you! It was a growing experience for me as well!

The End

PDF (no pictures)The Metamorphosis – The Entire Story

PDF (no captions)The Metamorphosis – Before and After Photos All In One Place

The Metamorphosis ExtrasAddendum of Floorplan and Ming Gua Number Charts