Changing standpoint

Change‘Is it OK to throw the box away?’ she asked me, in a way that made it clear the thought had never occurred to her before. This lovely woman, drowning in clutter, had apparently been taught by her mother that you always have to keep the box an item comes in. And she didn’t just keep the boxes in her attic or basement. She kept each one near the item it came with, presumably so that she could quickly put it back in its box if ever the sudden need arose.

Telling her that it really was OK to throw the box away was like a huge revelation to her. ‘Is that what other people do?’ she asked, incredulously.

I urged her not to take my word for it but to inquire among her friends. Which prompted me to ask another question: ‘Do you have any friends who don’t have clutter?’

She thought for a minute and recalled someone she has known since childhood who, as she put it, ‘doesn’t mind slumming it to come and visit me sometimes.’ Her friend lives in a beautiful clean house and has no clutter at all.

‘Excellent,’ I said. ‘With her permission, I suggest you study her as a biologist would study a new species they have discovered. Find out what makes her tick? Go shopping with her and discover how she makes decisions about purchases. Visit her home and ask her about the things she keeps. See the world through her eyes instead of through your own.’

This conversation became the inspiration for the new Changing Standpoint chapter I included in the 2011 and 2013 editions of my Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui book. In a nutshell, this simple strategy can free a person from the limitations of their own standpoint, and save them many years of experimenting on their own.

When it comes down to it, the motivation for clutter clearing comes from making a change in standpoint, such as realizing you don’t really need to keep so many things “just in case” you might need them some day. And a fast-track way to learn this is to spend time with someone who already has a clutter-free standpoint and whose life is working better than your own.

Copyright © Karen Kingston, 2011 & updated 2014


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How many new notebooks are enough?

notebooksThere’s a moment in most of the online clutter clearing courses I teach where someone in the group mentions how many new notebooks they have in their home that have never been used. Then others chime in to say they have the same situation.

We’re not talking 2 or 3 notebooks here, as this photo might suggest. It’s often double figures. The record so far is 40.

Empty notebooks belong in the “just-in-case-you-need-them-some-day” category of clutter. With most clutter of this type, if a person has had them for years and they have never come in useful, they are usually willing to let them go. Not so with empty notebooks. Here are some of the excuses I hear:

I use a lot of notebooks so they are all sure to be needed at some time…
I’m saving this one for a project I’m planning to do…
I can’t throw this one away – it’s so beautiful…
Notebooks never go out of date…
And so on.

Of course the marketing of notebooks is done very cleverly these days, targetting impulse buyers rather than just those who need new stationery. They’re now in gift shops, department stores, and supermarkets as well as regular stationery stores, making them even easier to find. Ah, the sweet smell of new paper! It’s pure nectar to the dedicated paperphile.

So what can you do if you suspect you may have a few notebooks too many?

Well, the first thing is to go around your home and gather them all into one place. Create a notebook shelf somewhere. Then count them.

Next, figure out how many notebooks you actually use in one year. Divide the first number by the second, and you will know how many years of notebooks you have in stock. This is called a reality check.

Suppose you discover you have 10 notebooks and you use, on average, two per year. This means you won’t need to buy any more for another five years. And if you do fall prey to a pretty cover one day while out shopping, make a deal with yourself that if a new notebook comes into your life, then an old one must leave, so at least the number won’t be increasing.

And what if you find you have more notebooks than you can possibily use in your lifetime, as some people reading this will certainly do? My advice is to keep the best and donate the rest so that someone else can have the pleasure of using them.

Copyright © Karen Kingston, 2014

Related articles
Notice board clutter
Paper clutter


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Why Balinese bells are the best kind to use for space clearing

Balinese bellFrom time to time I receive an email that says: ‘Much though I would love to, I cannot afford to buy a Balinese bell. Can I use a different type of bell to do space clearing instead?’

I really do appreciate that Balinese bells are more expensive than mass-produced bells. That’s because of the purity of the metals used to create them, the skill involved in making them, and the time it takes to produce them. Handcrafted items are always more expensive than mass-produced, but they are totally worth it. I’m just thankful they exist in the world. I would never have started teaching space clearing publicly if I hadn’t discovered them. It takes a full month to create a space clearing bell, and there are only a handful of Balinese craftsmen and women skilled enough to make them. That’s why they cost a bit more.

However, without doubt, the most important piece of equipment needed to conduct a space clearing is a high quality bell, and this is even more important if you’re doing it for the first time. If you use a lesser quality bell, the results you’ll get will hardly be likely to inspire you to do space clearing again. Your first time will probably be your only time.

Balinese bells are the only type I have ever found that can be used to willfully shatter energies embedded in buildings. I’ve tested hundreds of other kinds of bells in my travels around the world and none have even come close. The level of craftsmanship in Bali is extraordinary.

In writing my Creating Sacred Space with Feng Shui book, I did everything possible to give people guidelines to avoid picking up perverse energies while doing space clearing, and I would not have written it at all if I had not discovered Balinese bells. I really cannot put my hand over my heart and say ‘save some money and have a go with just any old bell’. I have a responsibility to make sure that people have the right equipment to do the job safely, and Balinese bells have special qualities that make them exceptionally effective for space clearing. Bali is, after all, the purification centre of the planet. And the family of master bell-makers I work with produces the highest quality bells in Bali, and has done for hundreds of years. I’ve really done my homework on this.

Copyright © Karen Kingston, 2010 & 2014

Related articles
What’s so special about Balinese bells?
How space clearing bells came to be in the world
Caring for Balinese bells


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It’s all just stuff

Sleeping catI once witnessed a very poignant moment during a clutter clearing consultation when the woman I was working with took a much needed break from sorting through her mounds of stuff. Her gaze caught upon her cat, sprawled out asleep as only cats can sprawl, with not a care in the world.

‘My cat owns nothing at all,’ she mused, ‘and look how peacefully he sleeps.’

She looked at the piles of clutter she still needed to sort through, and saw how different her life was to her cat’s, who owns nothing at all and never will.

Humans are markedly different to animals in this respect. Some animals such as squirrels collect stashes of food, it’s true, but the concept of personal possessions is believed to be unique to humans. In children brought up in the west, it’s already apparent by about the age of 21 months, when the word “mine” starts to appear in a child’s vocabulary.

Fast forward to adult life, and up to 5% of westerners now have a problem with hoarding. That’s 1 in every 20 people who identify so strongly with the items they own that they don’t want to let them go. It’s becoming a huge problem, and one that most social services are not equipped to deal with.

I’ve worked with hoarders, and it’s a long, slow process that requires immense patience. It’s wonderful that there are some professionals who are dedicated to working with such people but I made the decision some time ago that I can make the greatest contribution by helping the other 95% of the population not to get to that stage. Once full-blown hoarding has set in, it’s very difficult to change.

And what’s one of the most important things I teach people? It’s how to change their standpoint, so that they see their stuff for what it truly is – just stuff. George Carlin captures this perspective so beautifully in his famous sketch on this topic.

Copyright © Karen Kingston, 2014


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At last – an affordable electromagnetic radiation detector!

SherlockIf you knew that there was an invisible gas circulating in your home or workplace that could have serious health-threatening consequences if you were exposed to too much of it or for too long, would you be interested to know about an inexpensive way to check how safe you are? Most people would surely say yes. Prevention is always better than cure.

Well it’s not a gas, but just about everyone these days is being exposed to levels of electromagnetic radiation that far exceed what many scientific studies have concluded to be safe. Laptops, computers, tablets, smartphones, DECT phones, and many other kinds of devices that use WiFi are in such common use now that it is almost impossible to avoid the signals they emit.

Experts have been warning for years that electromagnetic radiation is the new tobacco, and now governments are starting to take action, with France banning all WiFi in schools, the Council of Europe calling for a ban on WiFi in the classrooms of its 47 member countries, and the European Parliament recently issuing a directive that ‘employers should be required to ensure that risks arising from electromagnetic fields at work are eliminated or reduced to a minimum’.

We have definitely reached the stage where everyone needs to be able to accurately measure the level of electromagnetic radiation in their environment, and soon there will be a very inexpensive device you can buy that will allow you to do just that. It’s called a Sherlock, and as you can see in the photo, it’s about the length of a pencil and the width of a small cigar so you can easily carry it in your pocket or bag. It weighs a mere 80g (3 ounces) including battery, and uses the same sophisticated technology of meters that cost many times more.

Lloyd Burrell of Electric Sense says ‘Sherlock will revolutionize personal EMF protection, as nothing currently on the market comes anywhere near it in offering such a high quality product at such a low price’. It will cost less than £30 (+ 20% UK VAT for EU residents), so will be affordable to all.

I say ‘it will cost less’ because the company that has developed this unique product still needs to raise some of the capital required to start manufacturing. It has therefore partnered with Crowdcube, the world’s leading equity investment crowdfunding platform, and is the first company in the electromagnetic radiation health sector to go out to the public and sell its shares.

The impressive and very experienced management team includes Nicholas Clough, who has 28 years experience in the nuclear and electromagnetic radiation detection business, Chris Deering, ex-CEO of Sony Computers and Entertainment Europe (who sold 46 million PlayStations on his watch), Sandra Lawrence, ex-Vice President of Johnson & Johnson USA, Brian Stein CBE, ex-CEO of Samworth Brothers, and Technical Director Alaisdair Philips of Powerwatch, who has been advising governments and authorities on EMR issues since 1989.

If you are interested to be involved in this venture, which launches on Sep 1, 2014, you can watch an informative 9-minute video by Sensory Perspective Ltd, register as an “Everyday Investor”, and invest in shares if you choose to (the minimum amount is just £10). Due to tax regulations, this is not open to residents of the US, Canada or Japan, but it is available to everyone else in the world.

And if you have no interest in investing, do please watch this shorter 6-minute video anyway that contains some essential information for everyone who lives in the modern world: Facts about the electromagnetic radiation health issue

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New French edition of ‘Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui’

Simplify votre interieur grace au feng shui - Karen KingstonClear Your Clutter with Feng Shui has been published in 25 languages and has sold well over a million copies worldwide. But for many years there was one major European language that it was not available in. French. For some inexplicable reason French publishers felt the book would not appeal to French readers.

Finally, in 2009, Leduc.s Éditions decided to give it a go (yay!), and published the second edition of the book. It’s sold so well that they have now translated and published the third edition of the book too, and are the first country in the world ever to do so in both paperback and ebook formats. This actually happened last year, but I only just found out about it (authors are often the last to know!).

I have four copies of the new edition available to send to the first four people to request this. It is free of charge, including the cost of shipping to France.

For everyone else, here’s the info you need to be able to buy the new French edition of the book:

Simplifiez votre intérieur grâce au Feng Shui: Libérez-vous du désordre!
Translation of 3rd edition of Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui
Published by Leduc.s Éditions in 2013
ISBN: 978-2-84899-646-2
Buy the paperback edition
Buy the Kindle ebook edition
Buy the iTunes ebook edition

Update: There are no more free copies of this book available. All four free copies of the books were claimed very quickly.

Copyright © Karen Kingston, 2014


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Dispelling the myth of magic bullet clutter clearing

Moving houseA woman once called me in desperation to book a clutter clearing consultation. She had lived for 20 years surrounded by boxes of personal belongings she had never unpacked, and she urgently needed to move from her 4-bedroom house to a place that was half the size. Could I help?

Well, yes. But as we talked it soon became apparent that she had totally unrealistic expectations. Because she was hiring a professional, she thought the whole task could somehow be accomplished in a day, including personally opening and checking the contents of each box to decide what to keep and what to throw away. She seriously believed I would be able to wave some sort of magic wand and single-handedly make 20 years of clutter painlessly disappear.

With a team of people to help and the client out of the way, I can clutter clear any space very quickly, but not in a way most people would thank me for or be able to live with afterwards. If someone has kept so many boxes for so many years, it is usually because the contents have some perceived value, and to ruthlessly dispose of them in a matter of hours is the stuff that traumas are made of.

It doesn’t have to take as many years to clear clutter as it did to accumulate it but, like weight loss, it usually takes longer than most people would like or expect. And that’s actually a good thing. In the same way that rapid weight loss is usually unsustainable, rapid clutter clearing can cause a rebound effect that causes the person to start accumulating again. Ideally, each person needs to clear their clutter at a pace that is right for them, that will allow them to move through any emotions it may bring up. Leaving it until the last minute can be very painful experience indeed.

It’s not surprising, therefore, that some people end up moving home with their clutter instead of first sorting through and discarding things they no longer need or want. It may make it possible to meet the moving day deadline, but in the long run it involves more time, more effort, and more expense, not to mention the stagnating effects of continuing to live with clutter in the new home.

So if you know you have a move coming up, don’t delay. Start clutter clearing now. And if you need professional help to do it, don’t wait until days before the deadline to make the call. I have special methods I use with clients that help many of them clear more clutter in a day than they’ve been able to clear by themselves in a year. With the right approach, any amount of clutter can be cleared, but there’s no magic bullet solution.

Copyright © Karen Kingston, 2014


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Children learn better without visual clutter

ClassroomA study published in May 2014 in Psychological Science has confirmed what many teachers have told me for years – that an uncluttered classroom makes a much better learning environment for children.

Anna V. Fisher, Karrie E. Godwin and Howard Seltman of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania conducted a series of experiments to find out what effect visual clutter has on children’s ability to stay focused. They discovered that ‘children were more distracted by the visual environment, spent more time off task, and demonstrated smaller learning gains when the walls were highly decorated than when the decorations were removed’.

But if you search for “kindergarten classroom” on Google images, you’ll immediately see that this knowledge is not common practice. Not by a long way! Photo after photo shows that the the brighter and busier the better seems to be the motto in most schools.

The rationale for this seems to be based in the fact that babies’ eyesight at birth is in the range of 20/600 to 20/400, which means they are legally blind. For the first few years of life everything looks foggy and dull, so manufacturers create toys in primary colours to attract a child’s attention. However after full sight has developed, which happens some time between the ages of 3 and 5, too many bright colours can be distracting and over-stimulating.

Teachers who have taken the initiative to declutter their classrooms have told me that the children become calmer, better behaved, and much easier to work with. And I have seen similar effects in clients’ homes after I have recommended during a feng shui consultation toning down brightly decorated children’s bedrooms and reducing visual clutter by storing toys in closed cupboards rather than on open shelves. I’m not saying this is a cure-all. Kids will still bounce off the walls if you feed them too much sugar, and simply changing the decor won’t resolve emotional issues underlying behavioural problems, but it’s an aspect that ‘s often overlooked and can certainly help.

Copyright © Karen Kingston, 2014


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The art of conscious unpacking when you arrive in a new home

Duck & toothbrushA home is not just a place where you live and store your possessions. Whether you realize it or not, it is also the place where you anchor your energy and rest your consciousness. When things are disorganized, there is a corresponding scrambling of consciousness too.

Choosing a new home with awareness involves finding land energies, a location, and a house design that is compatible with who will be living in it, and what each person wants to do in their life at that time. What may be very good for one person will not work at all for another, and what may be good at one time in a person’s life may not work as well in the next phase. There is way more to house hunting than just looking for “good feng shui”.

Having made the choice of property, the next step is landing there. On an energetic level, space clearing is the most effective way to do this, but before this comes the practical task of unpacking boxes and organizing the space. This requires deciding as quickly as possible where all your things belong, and letting go of anything you no longer need, use, or have room for.

With each item that is pulled out of a box, there is a self-interrogation process to go through:

1) Do I still need or want this?
2) Will I actually use it?
3) Do I have room for it?

And if you get a YES to all three questions, then:

4) Where is the best place to keep it?

Of course it’s best to do as much of this as possible before you move home so that you don’t have to haul it all to the new location, only to have the extra work and expense of getting rid of it when you get there.

Deciding the destiny of each item you unpack is closely aligned with the process of fine-tuning the direction of your life at the present time. Keep the things you are sure will be of use and let go of any items that no longer fit with who you are or where you are headed.

There is such a beautiful clarity and alignment of purpose that can take place if this is done in a considered way in the first few weeks of arriving in a new place, and conversely, there is the possibility of considerable stagnation and going off track if it is done unconsciously or is delayed. Stuffing unopened boxes indefinitely in the attic, garage or a junk room is not a recommended option for anyone who values their quality of life!

Copyright © Karen Kingston, 2014


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Numerology curio

Here’s an interesting discovery that was sent to me by a numerologist who decided to analyze the words SPACE CLEARING and KAREN KINGSTON, using the standard numerology system of A=1, B=2, C=3, etc. Here’s what he found:

Numerology
The term “space clearing” has passed into the English language as a generic term for all kinds of energy clearing techniques, but originally it was the name I coined to describe the specific ceremony I have pioneered and developed since 1976.

I don’t use numerology much myself but do find it fascinating that both names happen to total 5, and even more remarkable that the vowels of both total 21 and the consonants of both total 38.

Copyright © Karen Kingston, 2014


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How healthy is your home?

Connected cityA theme that runs through all my work is bringing more consciousness to people’s lives. I feel I’ve succeeded quite well in spreading more awareness about the benefits of space clearing and clutter clearing, but there still seems to be a long way to go in the area of creating a healthy home.

I am regularly shocked, for example, by how many people have little or no awareness of the level of electromagnetic radiation they are subjecting themselves to on a daily basis, and the impact this can have on their health and vitality.

A recent example that comes to mind is a woman I met whose computer was set up on a small table in one corner of her kitchen, where she would spend up to 4 hours per day. The computer monitor itself was fine, but she had placed the computer tower on the floor next to her knees. When I asked her if she had any problem with her legs, she rolled her eyes and began a long story about how stiff and achy they were. My electromagnetic field meter revealed that she was sitting with her lower limbs in an electric field of 40 V/m, which is about 8 times higher than many experts would consider to be safe. She followed my advice and fitted a USB cable extender so that she could move the tower away from her desk, and after a few weeks all her aches and pains were gone.

But it didn’t stop there. She also had on her desk a WiFi printer, a broadband router, and a cordless phone. These types of devices emit electromagnetic fields and also microwave radiation when the WiFi is turned on. Checking them with my meters, I discovered the combined electric field of all these devices was 180 V/m (the ideal level is no more than 5 V/m), and more worrying still, the microwave radiation was off the scale, measuring more than 6 V/m (the ideal level is no more than 0.02 V/m).

‘Do you feel tired after working at your computer for a while?’ I asked, to be met with more eye rolling and a long catalogue of woes.

Again, simple solutions could be found, such as connecting an extended cable to the printer so that it could be moved off her desk, installing home plugs so that the router could be moved to another location in the home, and changing the cordless phone to a regular landline or an Eco DECT phone that only emits microwave radiation when in use rather than 24/7 as most models do. After making these changes, she reported an immediate and very tangible improvement in the quality of her sleep and levels of vitality.

Electromagnetic fields
EMFields Pro meterAll electrical appliances emit electric and magnetic fields when plugged into the mains. This generally is not a problem unless you spend long periods of time in close proximity to the equipment, as you do when using a computer, or if you use a laptop, tablet, or smartphone while they are plugged in and recharging. The different makes and models have widely varying levels of electromagnetic fields (EMFs), so the only sure way to measure the level you are being exposed to is with a meter that is designed to do this.   I always take one with me when buying a new computer or laptop.

Electric fields are measured in volts per meter (V/m), and magnetic fields in microtesla. Ideally you are looking for a reading of less than 5 V/m and 0.025 microtesla, and definitely no more than 10 V/m and 0.5 microtesla. However some computers and laptops have electric fields that are 50 or more times in excess of these recommended levels. In one store recently I measured a laptop that gave a reading of 7 V/m when plugged into the mains, and right next to it was a similar looking model that gave a reading of a whopping 740 V/m. Manufacturers are not required to declare levels of electromagnetic radiation. The only way to check is to measure it yourself with a reliable meter. The best I have found is the EMfields Pro, which I’m happy to announce has recently come down in price quite substantially.

Microwave radiation
Acoustimeter & Acousticom2A completely different type of meter is needed to check the level of microwave radiation you are being exposed to when using computers, laptops, tablets, cell phones, and other devices that operate using WiFi. For this, I recommend the Acoustimeter, or the smaller and more affordable version known as the Acousticom 2.

Jaw-dropping astonishment is a common reaction among my clients when I use one of these meters to show them the levels of radiation being emitted by the devices they are using each day, or the WiFi they are exposed to from external sources such as neighbours’ WiFi or nearby phone masts. Most tell me they wish they had known about this sooner.

We really have reached such a level of WiFi saturation now that, in my opinion, EMF and microwave meters are no longer a luxury items but “must-haves” for anyone who values their health and quality of life. When my husband and I were looking for a new home a few years ago, we took them with us to every home we viewed, and we still use them to test any new piece of equipment that we buy.

Recommended meters
To measure electric and magnetic fields: EMFields Pro meter (£198.25)
To measure microwave radiation: Acoustimeter (£254.74) or Acousticom 2 (£125.00)
(plus 20% UK VAT for EU residents)

Related posts
Is your WiFi keeping you wired?
How to buy a new laptop that won’t fry you

Copyright © Karen Kingston, 2014


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How to survive home renovations

RenovationsHome renovations can really wear you down. It’s not just the noise and dust and intrusion of having builders in the space of your home. What many people don’t realize is that we rest part of our consciousness on the physical structure of the home we live in, and the process of having it dismantled and changed can be very disorientating and destabilizing. Even if you do the work yourself, it can be remarkably unsettling.

The reason for this is that you are energetically connected to your home, and the longer you have lived there, the more connected you are likely to be. So you may think you are simply renovating or remodeling your kitchen, but the disruption it causes in your life goes far deeper than the inconvenience of not having access to a stove. When a part of your home is being deconstructed and rebuilt, a corresponding part of you is being altered too. This can be a good thing in the long run, but if the work drags on, it can feel like your life is in limbo until it is finished, waiting for the parts of yourself and your life to come back together. It can also make you feel very scattered, vulnerable, and exposed while the work is in progress.

During the 20 years I lived in Bali I was delighted to discover that Balinese builders are very aware of this, and take steps to alleviate it. The Balinese have devised highly effective consecration rituals to consciously presence the buildings they occupy and bring the materials they are made of “back to life”, as they put it. So before doing major repairs or renovations, a specific ritual is done to remove the presencing in that area of the building to a temporary shrine, and another type of ritual is done when the building work is complete to restore it. They liken this to the way that a human is given anaesthesia before surgery to numb them to the pain, and I have personally experienced that the practice has the effect of isolating that part of the building and minimizing the disturbance.

This level of spiritual technology is not readily available in the West, so what can you do to minimize the turmoil if you decide to renovate your home?

The best approach is to have it all done before you move in. You will have no energetic connection to the property at this stage, and can continue to live a normal life well away from the building work. The next best option is to hire a caravan, park it in the garden, and live in that rather than the house. If that is not possible, then find a room in the property where you can create a personal sanctuary. Keep the doors closed as much as possible to keep dust levels down, and create as much of a home environment in that space as you can.

Another good tip is that if you have a number of projects to do, fully complete one and have a short break before beginning the next. This will give you welcome periods of sanity that will allow you to rest and re-gather before the next onslaught. However when you first move into a home, a speedier approach is best, while the motivation and momentum is still fresh. Aim to have any renovations done during the first year, so that you can fully land there. I’ve met people who still have half-finished rooms a decade or two after moving in, and not surprisingly, their life feels similarly disjointed.

There is one more piece of advice I can offer that is an adaptation of the Balinese way of handling this situation. Before the building work begins, do my 21-step space clearing ceremony in the areas of a home that are not going to be renovated, and deliberated exclude those that are. This will have the effect of energetically separating your living space from the building areas. Then after the building work has been finished, do another space clearing ceremony to integrate those areas and reset the space at a higher level. When doing the ceremony for this purpose, the key aspects to focus on are the offerings and harmony ball frequencing, as described in my book.

Related articles
Space clearing for home improvement projects
Space clearing for a fresh start in a new home

Copyright © Karen Kingston, 2014


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Why singing bowls are not designed to do space clearing

Singing bowlIt is often claimed that singing bowls are made of a special alloy composed of seven metals that correspond to the seven major planets: gold for the Sun, silver for the Moon, mercury for Mercury, copper for Venus, iron for Mars, tin for Jupiter, and lead for Saturn. This mystical combination sounds very alluring, as if such an object would be imbued with the powers of the solar system.

However there is no evidence at all that this combination of metals would produce the high quality resonance or magical effect that is suggested, and extensive testing of over 100 antique singing bowls carried out by a team of scientists led by Dr Peter Northrup at Oxford University in 2010 revealed that they are not made of seven metals at all. A few bowls (less than 2%) were found to contain a small quantity of iron. The rest were made of bell metal bronze, which is an alloy of 77-78% copper and 22-23% tin. The seven metals claim is nothing more than a marketing ploy.

The idea that singing bowls can be substituted for bells to do space clearing is also a New Age myth. They are very different to bells, both in the sound they make and the effect they have.

A singing bowl consists of a metal bowl and a mallet. The bowl is held or placed on a cushion in the palm of one hand, and the mallet is held in the other hand. To produce a sound, the mallet is placed in contact with the lip of the rim of the bowl and slowly circled around it to produce a continuous melodic sound.

I’ve tried space clearing with singing bowls and the sound can certainly be very beautiful and does fill the centre of a room. However it does not amplify areas where there is stuck energy in the same that a Balinese bell does, it’s not possible to direct the sound into the walls and corners in the same way that you can with a Balinese bell, and most importantly, it cannot be used to shatter energy imprints in the same way that a Balinese bell can. Singing bowls are also quite heavy and require the continuous use of both hands, whereas a bell can be held in one hand and can easily be carried from room to room during a space clearing ceremony.

For all these reasons, I do not consider singing bowls to be a space clearing tool, and do not recommend their use. They do not clear energies. It’s not what they were designed to do.

So what are singing bowls good for? The sustained sound they can be caused to produce can be used to induce states of relaxation and well being that can assist with certain types of healing. I have heard that some people use them for meditation too, but have never figured out how this could work since complete silence and physical stillness are so essential to achieving the high states of consciousness that are the aim of meditation.

In relation to space clearing, the only possible use of singing bowls would be after a space clearing ceremony, to help set the space in a room if the person does not have the skill to do this during the ceremony with bells, as the space clearing practitioners I train are able to do. Using a singing bowl for this has a somewhat blissful, horizontal, and unconscious effect, whereas bells can be used in much more awakening ways to harmonize, verticalize, and transform the superastral space of a room. Many years of personal development work, subtle bodybuilding, and high level practitioner training and practice are required to be able do this effectively, so it is an advanced skill that you would expect from a professional space clearer but it is not required for doing basic space clearing in your own home following the 21 steps in my book.

Other space clearing myths
Why smudging is not a space clearing technique
Space clearing and salt

Related post
What’s so special about Balinese bells
How space clearing bells came to be in the world
Why Balinese bells are the best kind to use for space clearing

Copyright © Karen Kingston, 2014


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How naming things can bring more awareness into your life

TreesSomething I’ve observed many times is that being able to name things brings a much higher level of awareness to experiences.

When I lived in Bali, for example, I learned the Balinese names of all the common flowers there, and it completely changed my relationship to my own garden and to what I saw as I travelled around the island. Plants were no longer a blur of leaves and flowers but individual species that brought the landscape to life. To this day, I hardly know the English names for these flowers, so to me a hibiscus is still a bunga pucuk, and a frangipani is still a bunga jepun, and that’s absolutely fine. The important thing is to have some way of recognising the differences.

Since arriving back in the UK, I’ve embarked on similar awareness-raising projects. The first of these, because my husband and I were house hunting, was an exploration of British geology. Now that we’re happily settled in an area that we love, a new project I’ve taken on this year is learning the names of British trees. Again, as I do this, I’m finding that my world is transforming from a haze of branches, leaves and blossoms to an awareness of the rich array of different species. In the same way that when you buy a new car you suddenly start seeing that model everywhere you go, I’m now seeing trees in a way I never did before.

An even more intriguing aspect of naming things comes from venturing into the non-physical realms, such as the states that are experienced during meditation, the energy changes that occur during a space clearing ceremony, and the shifts that occur during clutter clearing. For this I was fortunate to discover many years ago the pioneering work of Samuel Sagan and the Clairvision School, who have compiled a reference book titled A Language To Map Consciousness. It contains over 400 terms and concepts that open out the exploration of consciousness in ways I had previously not considered, and has provided me with the terminology to describe and develop aspects of my work I previously had no names for. As the introduction to the book explains, ‘Words are power. If you don’t have words, you can’t identify states of consciousness. And if your words are vague, so will your experiences be.’

Some of the entries in this book are terms such as “chakra” and “ritual” that are already in common use in respected spiritual traditions, but the majority are new names that have resulted from years of rigorous mapping of consciousness by the Clairvision School. Among my all-time favourites are “combinessence”, which describes the merging of two or more spiritual presences, “superastrality”, which refers to levels of astrality that stand above ordinary mental consciousness, and “verticality”, which is a subtle body structure that can be developed to access superastrality and higher realms of consciousness. If you are interested to know more, the book is available as a free download at the clairvision.org website.

And why bother to develop awareness at all? Carl Jung explained this very succinctly when he said, ‘Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.’

Copyright © Karen Kingston, 2014


Posted in Awareness | Read 4 comments...»

Is it possible to clutter clear too much?

Sparse ornaments on shelvesMany people find it hard to get started on clutter clearing, but there are others who take it too far and find it difficult to stop. It’s very rare, but occasionally I come across someone who has become addicted to purging their possessions, and has gone totally overboard with it.

The main aim of clutter clearing is to let go of the things around you that you no longer use or love, and organize what you have left so you can find things when you need them. There are other aspects too, such as creating harmonious flows of energy in your home, reducing the quantity of belongings you have so that they fit in the space you have available, completing any unfinished projects, and so on.

At first, it can feel challenging. Where to start? How to do it? What to keep? What to let go of? But if you start small, in bite-sized manageable chunks of say, 20 minutes, and begin with an area that is easy to clear such as a small drawer or shelf, the endorphin release that you experience on completion usually inspires you to continue and do more. And it is this endorphin release that can become addictive to some people who have an addictive personality.

Endorphins are a type of neuropeptide that our bodies produce to calm us and help us tolerate pain. They also produce the feelings of euphoria and joy that can sweep through us when we achieve success in some way, or engage in certain activities such as exercise, meditation, massage, sex, laughter, and so on. The word “endorphin” is short for “endogenous morphine”, and is a form of opiate the body produces naturally that can be up to 250 times more powerful than actual morphine.

It is this quest for endorphin “highs” that is implicated in various types of addictions such as gambling, exercise addiction, internet addiction, social media addiction, pornography addiction, sex addiction, and so on. Sometimes people with an addictive personality will switch from a more health-devastating addiction such as drugs or alcohol to one of these apparently less harmful forms, but unless the underlying cause is discovered and treated, the consequences can still be serious.

If someone with addictive or obsessive-compulsive tendencies takes clutter clearing too far, they may make unbalanced decisions that they, or those they share their home with, will regret. It can leave them with too few possessions for everyday activities and a feeling of never being satisfied no matter how few items they have left.

If you are concerned you may be doing clutter clearing too intensely, and especially if you find yourself boasting about how much you have done and your level-headed clutter-free friends seem incredulous or appalled, then it’s time to stop and seek advice. The purpose of clutter clearing is to find the right balance – enough stuff to be able to live your life to the full, but not so much that it drags you down or holds you back.

Related article
Why people keep stuff

Copyright © Karen Kingston, 2014


Posted in Clutter Clearing | Read 2 comments...»

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