In episode #120, Dr. Jill interviews Donna Stellhorn, Feng Shui expert about how to use space and energy to improve your health. Donna shares tips on everything from decluttering your living space to using colors and crystals for better physical health.
- How color in the home affects your physical body.
- The emotional effects of clutter.
- How to use your environment to support your goals.
The Guest – Donna Stellhorn
Donna Stellhorn is an Feng Shui expert, and has written 18 books including Feng Shui Form and the best-selling booklet Sage & Smudge. She sees clients for both Western and Chinese Astrology. Her latest book is Chinese Astrology 2022 Year of the Water Tiger. Donna writes weekly and monthly predictions for Astrology.com, Horoscope.com and Conscious Community Magazine. For fun, Donna makes YouTube videos and when she wants to be terrified, she does stand-up comedy. She lives in Oceanside, California, with the magical cat, LaRue.
Dr. Jill Carnahan is Your Functional Medicine Expert® dually board certified in Family Medicine for ten years and in Integrative Holistic Medicine since 2015. She is the Medical Director of Flatiron Functional Medicine, a widely sought-after practice with a broad range of clinical services including functional medical protocols, nutritional consultations, chiropractic therapy, naturopathic medicine, acupuncture, and massage therapy. As a survivor of breast cancer, Crohn’s disease, and toxic mold illness she brings a unique perspective to treating patients in the midst of complex and chronic illness. Her clinic specializes in searching for the underlying triggers that contribute to illness through cutting-edge lab testing and tailoring the intervention to specific needs.
Featured in Shape Magazine, Parade, Forbes, MindBodyGreen, First for Women, Townsend Newsletter, and The Huffington Post as well as seen on NBC News and Health segments with Joan Lunden, Dr. Jill is a media must-have. Her YouTube channel and podcast features live interviews with the healthcare world’s most respected names.
A popular inspirational speaker and prolific writer, she shares her knowledge of hope, health, and healing live on stage and through newsletters, articles, books, and social media posts! People relate to Dr. Jill’s science-backed opinions delivered with authenticity, love and humor. She is known for inspiring her audience to thrive even in the midst of difficulties.
Dr. Jill (00:13):
Well, good afternoon, everyone. You’re in for a really special treat today. I say that a lot, but today is going to be really, really fun. I’m here with Donna Stellhorn, an astrologer and Feng Shui expert, and we’re going to dive into how your environment—you all know me with mold toxicity and environmental toxicity—and how the chemicals and the perfumes and all those things can affect us. Today, though, we’re going to talk about a whole different aspect of environment, and I’m super excited to introduce our guests. As you know, we have Facebook Lives over on Facebook, and then, of course, on my YouTube channel. If you have missed any episodes, we’re on into the hundreds. You can find them all there on my YouTube channel, and anywhere you listen to the podcast. And please, wherever you are listening on YouTube or on iTunes or Stitcher, please leave a review and a rating, and you can feel free to contact me if you have any ideas for other guests.
Dr. Jill (01:02):
So Donna is here with me from California. She’s an astrologer, a Feng Shui expert, and has written 18 books, including Feng Shui Form, and the best-selling book, Sage and Smudge. She sees clients for both Western and Chinese astrology. Her latest book in Chinese astrology, 2022 Year of the Water Tiger. And I want to ask you about that, Donna. Donna writes weekly and monthly predictions and content for astrology.com, horoscope.com, and Conscious Community Magazine. For fun, Donna makes YouTube videos, and when she wants to be terrified, she does stand-up comedy. She lives in Oceanside, California with her magical cat LaRue. Welcome, Donna. So glad to have you.
Donna Stellhorn (01:42):
Thank you, Dr. Jill. I am so excited to be here.
Dr. Jill (01:45):
Yeah, me too. And I’m so excited because, again, like I frame it often, I have a lot of patients who are environmentally sensitive, chemical sensitive. And I learned myself, several years ago, first through the book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. And I realized, oh, this like, and it’s funny is I don’t know that I’m really an introvert. I’m just highly sensitive in my environment. And I thought for years and years I thought I was this introvert because I need to recharge alone and I like space matters, and my home is like my sanctuary and my, it’s like plug in the battery, right? And then I realized like, I don’t think I’m even an introvert. I’m kind of an extrovert, but I’m so sensitive to my environment and the energy of others.
Dr. Jill (02:25):
I’m really porous in good ways and bad ways. And so my environment and whether it’s people or energy—or even say I go to a small talk in a big mixer that will overwhelm me within an hour, I’m like, I’m out—so all these things I learned about myself and I thought, oh, as I really did the studies, I wasn’t really an introvert, I was an extrovert, I was just highly sensitive. And I think a lot of our people listening will relate to that because the people that I see in my clinic tend to be the canaries, like myself, that have been affected physically by their environments. And we’ve talked many episodes about mold and Lyme and infections and toxins and COVID. And today though, I’m so excited, and I’ll just give you a little story, and then I’ll let you jump in.
Dr. Jill (03:07):
With my room here, now if you can see, I’ve got this beautiful teal color. When I painted this room, literally my heart was like, oh, this is my color, and I want to…you can tell me maybe why that is because I don’t know. And then I painted my bedroom the same color, and there’s these two rooms in my house where if I want to just go and feel like I don’t know what it is, I just know it really changes my…and I study here, and I work here, and I get great visions and ideas here. And there’s something about this color, right?
Donna Stellhorn (03:34):
Yes, exactly right.
Dr. Jill (03:36):
So tell us, let’s talk about color first. Like why would that be that I feel so changed in this room with this teal? And I love the color.
Donna Stellhorn (03:44):
Well, if we want to start out kind of science-y, you know, color is both a wave and a particle and so—or I should say light is—and so what happens is your body is being hit by that particle. And so there have been studies in the past that have shown that the color blues and different tones of blue can actually lower your blood pressure. Also, when you get around dark colors, you can feel more protected in general. And so here’s your nest, your cave. And so, therefore, you know, you feel like, okay, I know where the door is, I know where I am. And so you can then go, ah, I can breathe.
Dr. Jill (04:29):
Donna, my jaw’s dropping. I’m like amazed already because I’m thinking about my—I have a little thing, this is a secret I probably never said aloud on air—if I go to a lecture or a movie theater, I can’t stand being in the center of a row. Like if I can’t get out quickly. And, of course, this is somehow past trauma or something, and I’ve dealt with it. It’s not that big a deal, but I really like to be on the end. Or if I’m watching a lecture, I get the back row on the end. I need an escape route. And what you just said makes so much sense; that’s all about safety, right? And environment?
Donna Stellhorn (04:58):
It is, it is, it is.
Dr. Jill (04:59):
And seeing the people around me and being able to observe. And that’s no wonder I feel [that way]. And when I described it, it’s not that—I mean I love this color, granted—but there’s something else in my being that feels like, ah, and what you just described makes so much sense.
Donna Stellhorn (05:12):
Yes. So going back to color, you might be very drawn to a color, or you might be really repulsed by a color, and that tells you something that you might have to work on. And so one of the things is that you might really be drawn to yellow, which is a sense of memory and the past, but also about love and friendship. Or you might say, nope, I don’t want to deal with yellow, I don’t want to wear it, I don’t want it in my house. And therefore you may be wanting to break with the past. Now it also is that color can affect how we consume food. And so, if you want to eat everything off your plate, choose white plates because everything looks good off of a white plate, but if you want to reduce how much you eat, eat off of a dark blue plate because nothing looks good on this blue plate. And so what happens is that for some reason, you just shift and you say, you know what, I don’t want as much. And it might be because there’s really no blue food, blue in food is a signal that it’s gone off. And so when you—and there’s so many lovely blue plates out there, especially that blue glass, and I see those, and I say, yay—you’re going to eat less.
Dr. Jill (06:33):
Oh, this is amazing. So let’s go through some of the colors because I’m sure people have painted their houses or their offices. And it’s interesting, I have a lot of this in my office too, and it’s very soothing. It’s greens and blues. Let’s kind of go through the spectrum because that’s interesting. People might relate to why they’ve chosen. And is it mostly rooms versus like a car you drive or something else? Or does it affect all things?
Donna Stellhorn (06:54):
Even your clothing that you choose or what you have on your desk. And we know these things so much that when we think of back to yellow and memory, well what is yellow? Like yellow pads, yellow school bus. And so we associate it with this remembering something or having to memorize something. So if you want to remember things, you might want to get yellow on your desk versus say red. Now red’s a very interesting color that has gone through some shifts over the last hundred years because I don’t know if you know this, but the original stop signs were not red, they were green. And then two competing companies got after, and one of them won out. But generally, red means go, red means do something. So when you add red into your life, it gets your attention and that causes you to move forward.
Donna Stellhorn (07:49):
So let’s say you’re in a store, you know, like a jewelry store or something and you look down in the case and there’s little pops of red, that’s to help you make a decision. And so recognize you could be quite influenced by those pops of color. Now the blue, blue is about this expansive thinking. I mean the things that are blue out there is going to be sky or ocean. So it’s travel and wisdom and understanding, and it gives the sense that you are trustworthy. So if you’re going into a court case, you want to seem trustworthy, wear all blue.
Dr. Jill (08:31):
Oh, I love these little pearls. And it makes so much sense. Years ago, I still have a red motorcycle. I love the color, I rode it, but I had a lot of red in my house. And probably seven years ago I did a lot of inner work and a lot of growth and a lot of more awakening consciousness and some wonderful healing. And I got rid of most of my red, and now the blue tones. And it makes sense in that sense of like openness, expansion, enlightenment, more than the red. And the red I think can be again, because of the stop sign and stuff, a little harsh or a little bit more aggressive. Would that be true?
Donna Stellhorn (08:59):
Most definitely. Too much red and we get angry. Too much yellow and we can feel like we’re ill, you know, that color of jaundice. Or if we’re looking at green, now green has some very positive attributes of growth and abundance. So, you know, doing some green in your office to add more money or green in the bedroom so that you have this be a sanctuary of health and wellness, but too much green and we can become envious. So we do want to balance that energy. And then, you know, if we look at things like brown, brown is very grounding. So let’s say you feel very flighty and you’re just, you know, ping-ponging around the room, a little bit more brown. Although most of us have, you know, brown floors or wood furniture or something that is grounding us.
Dr. Jill (09:54):
Oh, so, so interesting. And I always, I have these, all these great thoughts in my head as you’re talking about the colors. One of the red things too, I wonder, I was very driven, much more masculine energy before and I feel like I embodied the feminine a lot more in that the, with the red and the blues. Would that make more sense too, with the red being a little bit more aggressive masculine energy versus a blue in that sense
Donna Stellhorn (10:15):
Yeah. It’s so interesting how colors have shifted over time too. So you have the fuschia in your hair, which does say, look at me, but it has a little bit of softness that says, I’m not going to bite you, which is nice. Because the red is more aggressive. But when we get into the soft pinks, then we get more meditation and sleep. Now, this color got kind of overtaken by the, I don’t know, marketing arm of whatever. And so they started to make pink associated with love, but it’s a very passive color. And so the woman puts on pink and then is going to be more passive. In fact, they notice that when they dressed babies in pink or blue, blue being this travel and expansion, those babies talked earlier. They moved around more, and the ones in pink were more quiet, more passive. And some cities in this country went to the point of painting the inside of prisons pink to sedate the prisoners. And so if you have this pretty pink bedroom that you’re trying to attract love, you do better off with some pops of red, you know, to liven it up because all you’re going to do there is sleep.
Dr. Jill (11:37):
This is amazing. What about purple and orange? I hear you mentioned that.
Donna Stellhorn (11:40):
Very interesting colors. So purple, being a combination of red or blue, has this sense of superiority like this, you know, I know what I’m talking about. And so we, recognize purple as being an authority. And so this was taken often by religious leaders to say, or royalty to say, this is it, I’m the epiphany or the epitome. And then orange is about assimilation, that process of changing something into something useful, but too much orange when we start to signify caution, you know, that’s why all of the little roadside signs are in orange. But I love orange. I think it’s a great color. I use it for creativity work. Anything I want to understand, I put a little orange on my desk.
Dr. Jill (12:37):
Wow, love it. So we’ve covered quite the spectrum. Is there anything black seems black and white seem more neutral, but clearly their absence in light wise color. Any thoughts on black or white? Where did they fit in?
Donna Stellhorn (12:49):
Yeah, it’s quite interesting. So black has had such a popularity increase. And because black is the color of protection, and this is why so many people wear so much black, is because it gives this layer of don’t touch me, I’m safe. And so that’s why, I mean, good grief. 10, well not 10, but 50 years ago, nobody wore black unless they were in mourning. Right? So, and then white is about clarity, not necessarily purity, clarity. Like if you have a white wall and there’s one little black spider on it, you can see it right away. So this is where you can see what needs to be changed. Now when we talk about Feng Shui, it’s interesting because in China people wear whites to funerals. They don’t wear black. We wear black because we’re kind of scared of dead people. So we put them in the cemetery and we leave them there. But in China, the tradition is to bring representations home and continue to interact with your relatives who have passed. And so they want the clarity, we want the protection.
Dr. Jill (14:00):
Interesting because there’s so much culture. So let’s talk real quickly about clutter and then go right into Feng Shui. Cause I think that’ll be a good segue because I’m one of those people that I know this about myself. Everything’s very neat and tidy. And if it’s not, my brain doesn’t work. So again, like you said in our email, it’s such a big deal. But talk about clutter and emotions and your clarity and ability to perform and what people might do with their environment to get more productive with clutter or lack of.
Donna Stellhorn (14:30):
Yeah, so clutter is relative, and that means that one house may be decorated in a Victorian style where there’s a lot of stuff may not be cluttered to one person but be quite cluttered to another. And so first, you have to determine what clutter is to you. And generally, it’s where you look at something and you go, I don’t know where to put you. And so, we know something is not placed well in Feng Shui if you’re constantly tripping over it or strapping on the floor or you have to move it to get to something else. That’s all the clutter. Now what clutter does is it takes the energy. And we talk a lot about chi energy and chi energy moves, it moves through towns and cities, and it comes into our house, and it moves through the house. And when it hits the clutter, it becomes like white water.
Donna Stellhorn (15:20):
It becomes like static. And so that bounces off of ourselves, and we feel more irritated. We feel just antsy or stressed about it. Now there are some people who will take this though clutter and shift it to an idea of nesting. And this we see very common with adult children who won’t leave the house. They will put their bed on the floor so that they’re very grounded and then clutter up the room so that the parent goes in and says, I don’t even know where the kid is. And the kid then is staying because they’re nesting in the clutter. But for most of us, clutter is a problem.
Dr. Jill (16:05):
Yeah. Yes. I love that. And it sounds like, so that can, that energetic even subconsciously can affect our ability to focus. Would you say most people focus better in a clutter-free environment? Or is there differences in the person?
Donna Stellhorn (16:19):
There’s real differences in the person, and I would base it in their elements of their Chinese astrology chart. And so, for example, people who are metal are going to be more organized, but people who are fire, who are very creative, fire destroys metal. And so what happens is they take your organization and they go, well I need this and this and this. And suddenly there’s chaos. So, that’s why we get a conflict of the elements. You feel it very keenly when there’s a conflict. Some people don’t.
Dr. Jill (16:58):
That’s interesting because like traditionally, I’m an air sign, Gemini, but I’m a fire dragon from…
Donna Stellhorn (17:08):
One pillar of your chart is the fire.
Dr. Jill (17:11):
Donna Stellhorn (17:12):
By the way, congratulations. Everybody wants to be a dragon. Yeah. Even people who say, I don’t believe in astrology at all, but I’m a dragon.
Dr. Jill (17:24):
Donna Stellhorn (17:26):
Oh, interesting. The level that our environment affects us is huge, and science is really catching up with this. And I think that marketing people figured it out first. And so there is so much marketing done just by the placement of objects and colors that, and we are very, very affected by it. Everything from the candy and gum at the register to the fact that the organic stuff is really on that high shelf and the stuff they want you to buy is at eye level. The fact that in the restaurant there’s a lot of tables in the center that nobody wants to sit at. So they sit and they eat really fast and they get out. And why everybody who goes in the restaurant says, can I have a booth? Because it’s all protected, and then they can stay.
Dr. Jill (18:15):
Oh, Donna. And this makes some sense. Just a week or so ago, on 9/11, the history, of course we all went through 9/11 in New York City, but on that same day was the first day of my chemo 21 years ago for my breast cancer. So me personally, it was very traumatic dealing. Nine years ago to that day was a massive flood in Boulder that affected the whole city of where you live now. And affected my office, caused mold. And then my dog, Mario, who passed away last year was born on that day. So there was a lot of things on that day and I wasn’t really aware. I was having a good day. There wasn’t anything weird, but I went to a coffee shop that day and I sat with my back to the counter in the center of the room.
Dr. Jill (18:52):
Because that was the only place. And I’m not usually an anxious person, and I never have had panic attacks, and I didn’t that day. But I had this very high level of anxiety. Like, this is not okay. And you can probably explain more, but it was very interesting cause I was in the center of the room with my back to a lot of people and on this day where there was a lot of history for me and for my community and for the world. And I thought how interesting, I bet it was related to that in some way.
Donna Stellhorn (19:16):
Yes. You know, our bodies are made up of cells that really want to stay alive. And so we might understand that we’re eternal beings and that we’re going to be fine, but our body’s like, no, I have to be okay. And so when your back is to something, your body’s thinking, well last time I did this, the Huns came over the hill and I was kaput. So this is what we need to pay attention to because this secret stress lowers your immune system. It makes you vulnerable and causes you not to sleep. And that’s why you at least need the sanctuary to come home to.
Dr. Jill (19:54):
Yeah. Oh, that makes so much sense. I’m assuming, and let’s go into Feng Shui and rooms and things, because I’m assuming like the bedroom, like you mentioned before, that’s one place because you need to sleep and relax that you want to make sure that you feel safe. What are some, let’s talk just briefly because you could probably talk two hours or more, but Feng shui, what are some basic things about when you come in the house, what do you want to feel? Where would you want things? Let’s talk about bedroom, maybe a place of rest or study. Just go through a little bit of like tricks or tips or things for a beginner, what they would think about.
Donna Stellhorn (20:23):
Yeah, yeah. So beyond color, you want to look at the decor you’re choosing for your bedroom. And so one time when I was living in New Mexico, you know, this woman called me, she said, “my relationship is dead.” And I walked in and there’s a giant cow’s skull over her bed. And so, I know that’s the thing there, but it’s every time she walked in she went, went well the cow is dead. My relationship is dead. And so what happens is like attracts like, and so I see it, I go into rooms where they say, oh I really want to love relationship. But there’s that one painting of the woman on the hill with her hat in her hand, and she’s all by herself. It just feels so lonely. And so looking at those symbols that you have. When somebody tells me, I want to finish work and go home and write my novel, but I open their front door and all I see is a giant tv, I’m going to figure not writing your novel, that TV’s going to be the main thing. So it’s to look at, as you walk through your house, what are the symbols that you see?
Dr. Jill (21:31):
Wow. So that’s neat. Because again, I’ll be personal here. I walk in my door, I have a local artist that I just love and the first thing I see is this beautiful painting, and it’s called Be Happy and an amazing confetti of color. And it just gives me such joy. And then I was just thinking in the bedroom, this is interesting, I don’t know what to make of this, but a friend who gave me a, it was like a, one of those arts where you take the letters from actual objects and make a word and it says jump, like live life. And I think that’s interesting. I don’t know what that has to do with it…It just feels like a funny little things.
Donna Stellhorn (22:06):
That’s interesting. So do you jump out of bed?
Dr. Jill (22:08):
I do like, no, Yeah. Yeah, I do, actually. I do.
Donna Stellhorn (22:14):
Dr. Jill (22:15):
I jump into bed too, because I love to sleep. Like I sleep well and I like when I sleep. I sleep there and sleep well. But then I do, yeah. And I love to jump out and embrace life. So that might be appropriate.
Donna Stellhorn (22:27):
Yeah. So, it’s generally possible to have all of the pieces that you love, even the cow skull. But it may not be right in that particular room. So when I go into somebody’s kitchen who says they want to lose weight and there’s a big sign that says eat on there, you’re getting that command over and over. So you might want to switch it out and move the letters and write tea or ate, like you’ve already ate.
Dr. Jill (22:56):
I love this. Yeah. What about like fridge placement or kitchen, let’s talk about the kitchen real quickly, because a lot of people struggle with weight loss, and what subconscious thing could people be missing there? Or are there any color things? Like you said the plate thing. I love that. Any other tips from the kitchen?
Donna Stellhorn (23:10):
Yeah. So yellow stimulates the appetite. And so if you are a person who does need to eat, then that yellow kitchen that you have is fine. But if you do more greens or, and this one’s really fun, if you can’t seem to eat vegetables, actually get a little poster of vegetables and stick it on the fridge. So that when you look at the fridge, you’re seeing vegetables, and in a week you’ll have vegetables in your fridge.
Dr. Jill (23:37):
Wow. I love that.
Donna Stellhorn (23:39):
Yeah. The other thing is that we like no sort of resistance whatsoever. I mean, the reason that the store makes the things that we want hard to reach is to see if it’ll work at it. And that is again, if you want to eat more fruits and vegetables, take them out of those drawers, put the cake and the soda pop in those drawers, and put the fruit and vegetables in a bowl on the top shelf. You will reach for those instead.
Dr. Jill (24:08):
Oh, I love this. So practical. And you’re so right because I’ve read a lot of the books on tips for changing habits and stuff, and it’s all about, we actually are very weak when it comes to discipline and decision. And we get decision fatigue. So the things that are easy, I always heard some of the books on like say you want to start doing pushups, don’t make yourself do 20 pushups. You know, at the end of a hard day, do like, okay, I brush my teeth and I do one pushup because who can resist? Like that’s your rule, and you just tag that and you’re like, okay, one pushup, come on. And then all of a sudden you’re doing five because it’s like this easy and you’ve made no resistance or whatever. And I love the vegetable idea and the fruits. And that makes sense.
Donna Stellhorn (24:44):
And so even people who tell me, and a lot of men tell me, “I ignore my environment entirely.” And I would say that makes you more susceptible to it. You who are highly sensitive, you walk in and you are studying the environment and figuring out if you’re safe. So you are less affected by it because you notice it and you move away from things that are a problem. But just think about two institutions that have money in it, a bank and a casino. You know that in a bank people whisper because what does it look like? You know, it’s like velvet ropes and that plexiglass, and everything feels very rigid and we all stand up straight. But we go into a casino and there’s lights and dazzling and we don’t know what time it is or what day it is. And so this is all done through a type of Feng Shui, by the environment.
Dr. Jill (25:42):
Wow. So, let’s talk about, because myself and many of our listeners are highly sensitive people. For example, if I travel, the airport, the planes, the hotel rooms, everything affects me. And I know that. But what would you…If you walk into a hotel room, there’s been some I walk in, I’m like, oh this is not right, and I can’t tell what it is. I just know. Is there anything that you would say is clearly like, for most people, like the organization of the bedroom or color of things? Because I’ve felt that before and I just walk out and get a new room. And I think inside I’m probably crazy, but I know I’m not because it’s that feeling that’s wordless of my environment that I notice. But what about hotels or Airbnb, or what kinds of things would you maybe recommend for someone who is sensitive, who’s traveling?
Donna Stellhorn (26:26):
It is really difficult because you have so little control over your environment. So by you going down and requesting another room, you are saying, I’m going to control this situation. Of course, the problem is all of their rooms could be the same. Like a hotel room, generally, things are bolted down. So, that’s where you, through intention could clear the room also. And that is before you even open it up, you say, all right, my angels, my guides, everybody, let’s clear out this room. Then if you walk in and still feel it, then we know it’s something physically in the room, not the leftover energy of other people.
Dr. Jill (27:08):
So that’s interesting cause what you just said, I bet it’s a lot of times the energy of other people. Because I clearly am sensitive to that, and many people are. And that’s, would you say that’s an easier thing to control because you can have good boundaries and you can have a divine protection, whatever that you, for me, that’s how I would go in there.
Donna Stellhorn (27:23):
Yeah. And wear a lot of black.
Dr. Jill (27:26):
Interesting. This is a funny story. I remember, I don’t know, maybe five years ago, I went to upstate New York, where it’s very rural, outside of the big cities, and we stayed for a little conference and I stayed in this hotel. And I remember walking in the first room, smelled like a dead body. I’m like, ugh. And then I was pulling this luggage cart and I kept like tripping and falling and all this weird stuff happened. And it was just this very energetically weird experience. And I always joke that was the hotel with the ghost and who knows, right? But it was so weird of all the things that happened, I’m like, there was something strange going on there.
Donna Stellhorn (28:02):
Well, I think some of this is to recognize that you can feel it. And because we know that, because it affects everybody. Some people just brush it aside and then they wonder why they’re sick all the time, or they wonder why they can’t make a decision. And so this is, you are feeling it. So first acknowledge that it is there. And that will help your alarm system, your personal alarm system to calm down. So you say to yourself, this feels terrible, and I know that I’m feeling it correctly. And then you can deal with either getting another room or doing what you can energetically to clear the space.
Dr. Jill (28:45):
So I love what you just said because that’s so empowering to me or anyone listening. And the truth is gaslighting is when someone makes you think you’re crazy for believing or feeling something. Right. That’s the opposite. That’s what you don’t want. And sadly, even in medicine, I call it medical gaslighting, it happens to a lot of patients where they are bringing in, I’m feeling this way, I’m feeling this stuff. Everything looks normal, you’re fine. What are you talking about? That is so… I think it’s evil. But on this side, I love that you’re saying this because it’s empowerment. For those of you listening and for myself included, is just acknowledging what you’re feeling. Because for me, what I usually do, is judge and say, oh, you’re crazy, or that’s not real. Or I’ll have that conversation in my mind with myself about how silly that is to think that or feel bad or whatever. And I love what you just said, you were on such a core issue because part of our feeling, safety and integration, and even being able to trust ourselves is actually acknowledging, yeah, this may sound crazy, but this is real. I feel this. I don’t feel safe in here or this doesn’t feel good. I need a new room. And actually then ask for what we need. So I love when you brought that up, right?
Donna Stellhorn (29:46):
Yes. So there’s this funny story of this author who wrote an entire book on this, not from a Feng Shui standpoint, but actual scientific experiments where he showed that people’s environment affected him. So he writes this entire book and he’s there shopping and he’s at the check stand loading up the conveyor belt with sugar. And his wife says, “why are you buying that?” And he goes, “it’s 10 for one.” And she said, “didn’t you write about susceptible?” And he goes, “I thought I was not susceptible.” And so even people who think they’re not affected by this, they are. So yes, unfortunately, you get to be the canary.
Dr. Jill (30:28):
Yeah. Yeah. I’m learning. So another thing I’ve seen with the Covid pandemic or you know, coming out of that, but a lot of people, one of the biggest complaints surprisingly was lack of motivation. And probably because environments were changed or they were stuck inside. Or, and again this is a couple of years ago, but what would you say to someone who’s like feeling either their office or their home a total lack of motivation? Because I think that’s more common lately. At least I keep hearing patients. What would you say to them or what would you maybe advise for their home environment or their work environment?
Donna Stellhorn (30:57):
Well, first, and is it not really Feng Shui, but the first reason you’re procrastinating, actually it’s two reasons. Either the thing is too hard, it’s too difficult, or it’s too boring. And so that’s something where you have to look at it and say, all right, which one of this is, but it is about putting out the tools that you need. Like if you do want to do painting, you need to set something up so you see it when you come in, not the TV remote. You know, try to hide that or, if necessary, take the batteries out of it. It is where, you say, all right, I don’t want to have to go into the kitchen because there it’s filled with dishes and things like that. And so then you just phone up and get a pizza. And so again, it is if your space is welcoming and so you take that extra moment to set things up and that’ll help you make the decision to do it.
Dr. Jill (31:52):
Oh, I love that. So you could get your desk all ready, like for example, if you’re a writer you might have your journal or your book open or get your computer ready. You get up and it’s a beautiful space, or you have it somewhere where it’s like comfortable or softer, you sit outside on the veranda or the lawn. And I love that idea. And the same with food or kitchen like we talked about before. You set up, it’s almost like cues for your brain, right? To tell you your brain, this is inviting, come and do this.
Donna Stellhorn (32:16):
Very much so. And yet you do want to watch out for the tricks sometimes people do, which they say, “oh I can only write with this very special pen, which is no longer available.” Now it’s gone into an excuse. But if you say no, I want a special pen, that’s great. Go get that special pen and start writing.
Dr. Jill (32:34):
Oh, I love that. Where do pets come in? Like placement types, like environment, where do you talk to people about their pets or is there anything about placement of their kennel or anything to do with [that]? I’ve got a dog and he is actually sleeping right beside me down here. But I’d love to hear if you have any comments on that because I feel like energetically, at least my little dog is a very highly…I call him HS pooch (highly sensitive pooch) because he’s very sensitive to the environment.
Donna Stellhorn (33:00):
Yes. So I’m very pro pets. And there’s a very interesting thing that happens that dogs will sleep next to the energy, cats sleep on the energy. That’s why the cat is sleeping on your keyboard. Right. So the dogs will, wherever there’s high energy, the dog will be next to it. So if you’re looking for like where’s the energy moving too quickly or where is it chaotic? The dog will be next to that. But the cat will be on top of it, especially something that you want to use because your attention is on it. And so that’s where the cat is. But you know, we have invited these animals to live in our space. So we do need to be flexible when it comes to where we put things for them. If you put something for your cat and your cat doesn’t use that, doesn’t use the box in that area, or doesn’t eat the food in that area, then you need to move it because the cat and dog are very sensitive to the energy.
Dr. Jill (33:58):
Wow. Love that. And so true. I can see how that would be a big deal. So productivity, you talked about. Environment. Are there any other just general Feng Shui tips that you would say that make for a peaceful sanctuary of a home? For me, that’s probably the most important part is somewhere where I can be safe and feel grounded and… Grounding. Let’s talk about grounding. How would you ground a place? Especially here, I am in a second-floor condo, right? So I’m not on the ground. Is there anything I can do to ground myself better here?
Donna Stellhorn (34:26):
Yeah. You know, there’s so many different ways of clearing a space, but when you are sensitive to environmental factors, the number one way I would suggest is salt, because salt doesn’t have a sense, right? And people don’t usually react to it by their skin. So taking some sea salt or you could do Himalayan salt, dissolve it in some warm water, and spritz it around. What salt does is it brings energy down to a neutral state. And so talk about grounding. And so that is when you move into a new place or when you are going off to be in a hotel room, spritz that salt and leave, come back 10 minutes later and see if it feels different.
Dr. Jill (35:13):
Interesting. Is that why I’m drawn to a bath salt bath every night?
Donna Stellhorn (35:17):
A hundred percent. We have known this clears people and so this is why people do the salt in the bath. And what I recommend if you are not a bath person is to take a quarter cup or so of the salt, put it in a washcloth, and squeeze the salty water over your neck and shoulders and that will clear your energy. So that gets rid of anything that has been attached to you.
Dr. Jill (35:43):
Yeah. Wow. Amazing. So many fun tips and tricks and things. Any last words of wisdom for those highly sensitive people that we didn’t talk about? Environment or any other things that you feel like are important to think about when you’re creating a home or a space to be in?
Donna Stellhorn (35:59):
Yeah, it’s interesting because you know, sometimes when you are really assaulted with sounds or sense or something, the universe is trying to send you a message. So first ask what the message is. So I had a client who is very much bothered by a neighbor dog that was barking incessantly, and I could hear it over the phone, and I said, “well, dogs represent friendship and so what’s going on with you and your friend?” And she said, “oh, we’re having some trouble.” So they solved that, they sat down and solved it. So she called me later and she said, “the dog has stopped barking,” but I could still hear the dog in the background. She wasn’t as aware of the dog anymore because the message wasn’t there for her anymore.
Dr. Jill (36:44):
Oh, that makes so much sense. And it’s amazing. Interesting. I went with a friend to a concert maybe a year ago and concerts are another place where I either, it’s great if it’s a classical or whatever, but if it’s the wrong music it will just jar me to the core. And this was one of those that was a really, it was just kind of a fun band and they actually walked around with their instruments through the crowd and it wasn’t anything like a heavy metal, anything that, that would definitely not be in my thing at all.
Donna Stellhorn (37:08):
Dr. Jill (37:09):
But this was enough of something that I like really was, it was very upsetting. And I think I went home and took a bath and I was okay. But it’s interesting you say that. And say that situation happened again to a listener or to myself or whatever. Would you suggest just leaving? Like is that the best situation? If you don’t, if you’re in this environment?
Donna Stellhorn (37:28):
It is. To honor yourself. You know, to recognize that we are so diverse, it makes sense. And if we sat down and looked at your astrology chart, which is actually quite unique when you do all of the factors, then we can say, oh yeah, look at the sensitivity here. But if you’re just walking around, it is time to say, you know what, this place is not right for me, and trust that. Because if you don’t trust yourself then you are putting your trust in everything else, and they probably have an agenda.
Dr. Jill (38:00):
Oh gosh, I love that. Because again, that’s part of my healing had been, I lost connection. I lived above my head, and I lost connection with myself and my trust in my ability to figure out what was good and not good for me. And I got very sick for a while. And part of my healing—and I’m sharing this for listeners too, because you might be in the same situation that I was in—if you don’t trust yourself, you cannot love and accept yourself. Then you can’t do what’s right for yourself. And when you get so dissociated from your true intuition, your heart, and that base of what feels right, the relationships or friendships or environment, it’s really hard to make good decisions. And I had to relearn that. I had to reconnect with my heart. And from the beginning, it was like, what do I want? I don’t know.
Dr. Jill (38:40):
And so it took some practice to really, and like you said, the other thing would’ve been 20 years ago, I would’ve been in a situation like that and I would’ve just stayed and it would’ve really affected me, but I would’ve been afraid to stay what I needed because I was afraid I was wrong. And now I’ve learned the same thing. If that happened again tomorrow, I’d be like, I’m sorry, I’ll see you guys later, but I’ve got to leave. This doesn’t feel good. And I’d be okay. But yes, it took a lot of work to be able to be comfortable to say what I need or to actually trust myself.
Donna Stellhorn (39:10):
Yes. And I think it’s so important, now more than ever, that we both be open but also know when to put a boundary up.
Dr. Jill (39:20):
Yeah. Love it. And especially again, relationships are big, whether it’s friendships, family, or romantic relationships. That I learned the hard way a lot of times. And a lot of that was because I didn’t trust. Like if I look back from day one, I knew there was something not quite right, but I didn’t trust myself. Now that would never happen because I do know and trust that. It really took a lot of time. So if you’re listening and you’re struggling, hang in there. But just try to check in with yourself and really trust that.
Donna Stellhorn (39:50):
Dr. Jill (39:50):
But physically or medical stuff, especially. I always listen to the patient, and they’ll sometimes even start like, “I know this sounds crazy, but,” and then I just lean forward and listen so closely. Because I know that there’s a wound there, but there’s probably a pearl that’s really important that they’re afraid of because they’ve been told they’re crazy or it doesn’t fit the diagnosis. And I often find some of the most precious pieces of information there.
Donna Stellhorn (40:10):
Yeah. That’s a wonderful thing to know that you are getting that pearl right then because of how they’re phrasing that statement. That’s fantastic.
Dr. Jill (40:20):
Yeah. Such tender places too. Wow. I could talk to you for hours.
Donna Stellhorn (40:26):
Dr. Jill (40:26):
Where can people find you, find more information about you? Tell us where we can find you.
Donna Stellhorn (40:31):
Well, I’m on YouTube under Donna Stellhorn, and I usually do at least two videos a month for the new and full moons with predictions. And then there are Feng Shui videos on there as well as Chinese astrology videos. And then my website is donnastellhorn.com. So I’m pretty easy to find.
Dr. Jill (40:51):
Fantastic. If you’re listening, we’ll make sure that there’s links to all those so you can find Donna. Donna, thank you so much for your time today. This has been a treasure and a treat.
Donna Stellhorn (41:00):
Thank you. I really enjoyed it. And thank you so much for spreading this really valuable information. You are absolutely correct. I mean, we are sensitive people, and we really need to stand up for ourselves.
Dr. Jill (41:14):
Thank you so much.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The product mentioned in this article are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information in this article is not intended to replace any recommendations or relationship with your physician. Please review references sited at end of article for scientific support of any claims made.