Clear Space Feng Shui Brings Personalized Energy Flows to Austin Spaces
Susan Domelsmith Cabral on how to keep the chi flowing in a home, office or retail space
By Darcie Duttweiler
Photos by Dustin Cohen
As certified Feng Shui consultant Susan Domelsmith Cabral explains, water, wood, fire, earth and metal are recognized as being the basis of everything that exists.
“Humans are a combination of all of the elements, so we need a presence of these elements all working in balance with each other in order to thrive and feel healthy in our spaces,” she says.
That’s where feng shui – and Domelsmith Cabral – comes in. She approaches each area in her clients’ homes, offices or retail spaces to analyze the balance of these elements to make sure they are helping to increase clients’ stability and luck.
“The five feng shui elements theory, when applied correctly, can bring enormous improvement to any space,” she explains.
Classical feng shui has existed for thousands of years, and, at its essence, it means the study of movements of wind and water in nature. The study examines how we can replicate that movement throughout our lives – especially in our homes – to feel balanced. It’s all about not cutting off the flow of chi, which is the energy life force.
Domelsmith Cabral, who practices through her company Clear Space Feng Shui, describes the practice as the “acupuncture of your home. It’s all about finding the different energy flows and removing blockages.”
The feng shui practitioner admits she accidentally found feng shui, but knew it was her calling right away. Domelsmith Cabral was originally a jewelry designer who moved to New York City and utilized an interior designer to help decorate her studio. She wanted to learn more, so she headed to the bookstore for some inspiration. After accidentally pulling William Spear’s “Feng Shui Made Easy” from the shelves, Domelsmith Cabral read it cover to cover in the park before signing up for one of Spear’s seminars a few weeks later. The author suggested she practice intuition training for a few years before seriously pursuing the study. During that time she worked at a retail store in SoHo and saw firsthand how feng shui affected customers and how they would react with the products.
Nowadays, Domelsmith Cabral, who has studied both classical and Western feng shui for more than 10 years, helps her clients connect with their homes, whether they’re moving into a new space, building a home from scratch, or simply redecorating. She is also called in when there’s some sort of blockage in her clients’ personal lives.
“A lot of people call me when they’re stuck or stagnant and they feel like something is holding them back,” she describes. “I can help remove any blocks.”
Domelsmith Cabral recounts stories of previous clients who have had big changes after feng shui-ing their homes. One artist client whose career was stagnating was using her wealth space as a storage, and after she decluttered that area she won a big grant for a large solo show at the Brooklyn Museum. At the very least, Domelsmith Cabral says that people notice they feel better and healthier.
So what exactly does she do when she steps into a client’s home? Domelsmith Cabral first sits down with them to see what their goals are. Then she leads them through a meditation to connect them to their home.
“People forget to communicate with their house and be grateful for the house being there for them,” she explains.
She looks for anything stuck, sticking or broken as she tours the space. Floor plans are drafted over Bagua maps from luo pan compass readings to locate lucky sectors. Then, the surroundings are assessed to ensure optimal chi energy flow, and problem areas are identified and cleared.
While Domelsmith Cabral says no two homes are alike when it comes to energy flow, there are some simple and easy first steps she recommends to anyone who may be interested in feng shui.
The entrance of your home is the most important area. It sets the tone of how you feel inside your home, so make sure it’s warm and inviting and easy to access – Domelsmith Cabral hates when people use a cluttered garage to enter their space instead of a front door. Other easy tips are to open your windows to invite the fresh air and natural elements in. Make sure your windows are clean. Remove any clutter that’s sitting around, but also make sure your drawers, cabinets and closets are easy to open and not stuffed to the gills. You should never fight to open a door, she says. If that’s not possible, she suggests “deciding to open doors with love instead of anger.”
Above all else, the energy of your home must be flowing well according to the elements, but at the end of the day Domelsmith Cabral also wants to make sure it’s beautiful and functional.
“It’s all about making subtle changes that support the people who are living in the house and their ideals,” she says.