At the end of the day, we all want to rest in the comfort of our homes. However, the comfort level a place can provide depends on the overall level of the home environment and design. Laili Gonzalez is known for helping clients achieve their dream home, which inspires and brings joy to them while being practical and functional. In this episode, she shares how it all started. First, she was intrigued and wondered how her designs affect the energy of the places she works on. That’s where she came across Feng Shui. As she learned more about it, she was captivated, which led her to get certified as a Feng Shui consultant. Now, she is helping people transform their homes into better living spaces.
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Feng Shui Your Space And Event For Energetic Shift With Laili Gonzalez
Laili Gonzalez is an interior designer who uses feng shui to transform spaces by creating harmonious energy that attracts abundance. When I heard that, I thought, “Can she do this for retreats?”
Thank you so much for having me, Catherine.
I’ve always been intrigued by the practice of feng shui. Not that I know too much about it, but I’ve read about it here and there. I’m far from being any type of expert, that’s for sure, but I do always want to know and I’m curious a little bit about it. You’re in the interior design space. What came first? Was it your love for feng shui or did you go into interior design and said, “Why don’t I add this to my services?”
It was much more of the latter. I’ve been in design for many years. I’ve always, throughout this time, loved feng shui and read about it. Like you, I was like, “It’s interesting. I’m curious.” I read articles here and there, but then it was a couple of years ago when I was designing someone else’s space and coming home to my own that I wondered, “What’s going on with the energy of these spaces?” Particularly for a client, we were using a lot of bold colors and I was like, “What if I’m doing something to the energy here?” I started to learn more and more about feng shui and then I was sold. I was like, “I have to figure out how this works.” I enrolled to get certified as soon as I could.
Do you find a lot of your clients are attracted to you and your business because of that?
For my clients, it’s fairly new. Some of my longstanding clients are like, “I want to talk to you about that.” A lot of people who know me especially locally in Zurich where I’m involved in a lot of entrepreneurial groups are super curious. It has been interesting seeing people come out of their shells and ask you all these questions that they might not normally have asked had I just been an interior designer.
When I reached out to you, from what I saw, I thought, “I’m wondering if she teaches this to people and has done this for retreat spaces.” A lot of it is about energy in retreats depending on what type of retreat, but especially anything spiritual or transformational, a perfect thing to do to your venue is to create the energy that you’re looking for. When we were discussing it, I was like, “Can you do it for an event?” When you said yes, I was like, “Let’s talk.”
Some venues are going to have better energy than others. And you can use it as a tool to analyze a peripheral view.
There’s so much you can do. One of the important things is that there are different types of feng shui and different levels of what you can do. For a venue, it doesn’t change, so it’s easy to harmonize the energies and get it ready for retreats, but with events, it’s about choosing the right venue. Some venues are going to have better energy than others and you can use feng shui as a tool to analyze from a peripheral view, “Is this energy going to be better for me?”
The type of feng shui that I practice is called Flying Star. It’s a traditional feng shui. It relies on a lot of detailed information about the building and space itself so it’s less about where your furniture is placed or what colors go and where. It’s much more about almost alchemizing the actual energy of a space using real items like metal, wood and water to represent the elements that we’re trying to balance in a space.
When you’re talking about a venue, it’s no problem. When you’re talking about an event, then you can go into a space, look at it and say, “I can’t cart in however many kilos of metal that I need. What are the things that we can do? How are we going to look at the space and see if it does have a good flow of energy? Is there anything that we might want to stop the flow with? If stores are facing each other, can we bring something in to cover that path so that the energy doesn’t flow in and out?” There are things like that that we can do that can help. Retreats are about transformation and so is Feng shui. It works so well together, especially if you’re talking about spiritual retreats where people are going there for some sort of emotional or transformative experience.
Even before you would do anything like this, anybody who goes into a space, there’s an energy that they feel right away. There’s a vibe. You go in there and automatically feel peaceful or something creates some type of agitation or mistrust. We often feel these emotions and don’t even realize we’re feeling them, but we feel uncomfortable. Some sensations happen in our bodies. I wonder, has it ever happened to you where you had a client where they felt one way after you did it? Did they feel different? What are the testimonials when it comes to that?
It’s interesting because for a lot of people, when things start to happen, their first reaction is like, “I’m not sure if that’s a coincidence.” A client of mine told me that her husband had been looking for a job for a long time. She started to put in her remedies and in one week, he got three calls for interviews, which he hadn’t gotten in ages. Her reaction was like, “I wanted to tell you, I’m not sure if it’s a coincidence.” Part of it is these synchronicities and little things that start to happen. It’s not a big, “I put my remedies in,” your fingers snapped and everything’s better. You start to see that the challenges that you were having before start to disappear.
Even in my experience, it was the same thing. When I put the remedies in my house for the first time, it wasn’t immediate but shortly after, I started to see that those extra bills that kept popping up weren’t coming anymore. Kids fight but my kids were fighting a lot but things calmed down and they started playing together more. You could feel that there was a breath of fresh air in the house.
How would you do this with somebody online? Retreats are international. Events can be at any place at any time. It’s very diverse from one venue to another. How would you do this online with a retreat leader?
Thankfully, technology has made everything so accessible. I have two clients that are based in the US that I’ve never been to their homes. We’re right at the Feng shui New Year. The Chinese New Year is lunar and the Feng shui New Year is solar. It’s in three days. It’s on the 5th of February 2022, so they have to get ready to change their remedies because with traditional feng shui, it’s an annual thing. Every year, the energy and stars shift, affecting some of the remedies in your home.
I thought it was a one-time deal.
There is an ongoing process to it. Certain things will, more often than not, year-after-year stay the same because you have permanent numbers that belong to a space, but then you have these annual stars and they can disrupt energies or bring in better energies depending on where they fall. I haven’t seen these clients’ homes. Thankfully, I can get a good sense of their house between Zoom, sending photos, Google Maps and Google Earth.
We take their compass directions. I do the calculations from here and then provide them with the blueprint that says, “This is how we’re going to do it.” By using Zoom, I’m there to help them walk through the process to understand what they need to do to help them with ideas of how and where to put their remedies. Being a designer, I want things to be pretty. It matters to me that it looks nice as well. Part of it is also helping them to find aesthetic solutions that work with their home and decor.
Does it go beyond the home? Can it be in office spaces?
It can be any building. You can do feng shui for businesses or locations whereas for retreats, often the people who own the space aren’t working in it. They have the space ready for other people to come and use. You can feng shui the space itself even if there’s no one working or living there. It’s more about the actual physical building itself.
What about outside the building?
There are things that you can do for spaces, and one of the schools of feng shui looks a lot at landform. You take a look at the building, the home or the site, its physical geography and what’s going on around it. Are there busy streets, rivers or forests? You can even get super in-depth and look at what happened on the land in the past because that too can affect the energy of the land if you build a retreat not knowing that used to be a graveyard and then you’re wondering, “Why am I not doing so well with this space? No one loves it. It’s beautiful but it feels cold.” These are the things that you can investigate with different levels of feng shui.
Technology has made everything so accessible.
With the outside, a lot of times there are remedies that you would use that stay exterior to your home. When I was saying you can calculate whether one building might be better for your feng shui than others, you also have external remedies. If a building has a fountain outside, that’s often associated with prosperity or if there’s some sort of moving water or if it’s right on the ocean, all these things will factor into that.
I’ll tell you a story. At my retreat center, when I first bought it, it needed a lot of TLC. It wasn’t taken care of by the previous owners, so I invested a lot of time. I felt like she was broken. I say she because we had this relationship.
You were there to heal her.
During that healing, I did a lot of work. There was a retaining wall that fell after a storm. It was almost like a mudslide. The tree came onto the building. I was like, “My goodness.” I had a neighbor of mine come over and we were talking after I had done all this work. It was one of the last things I did. We go in the back and look at the wall that hasn’t collapsed because it was an 80-feet wall and 40-feet of it fell. He looks up and he’s like, “Look at that.” I look up and there was a shape of a heart made out of the moss on the stone. I was like, “She’s saying thank you.”
I wanted to add that because we’re talking about energy and I felt there was this energy about this place. I felt like there was something there. I don’t know what it was or who but it gave me this sign. It wasn’t me that noticed it. It wasn’t me going, “It’s all in your head.” It was my neighbor and I was in shock when I saw it.
That’s amazing. That’s exactly what it is. Something my mentor always taught us is that your home is your best friend. You don’t think about your home as your friend. You don’t think about a home that it’s there to support you but it is, aside from the obvious of it providing shelter, heat or keeping you cool when it’s hot outside. The way feng shui looks at it is the space around you whether it’s your home, office or a room in a space. That’s all there to support you. The idea is you want to make it happy and care for it so that it can give back to you.
What if I had a specific goal? Does that make a difference? Can you change the energy for that goal? For example, an office, a business or home would be like, “I want money,” or the person’s goal is about healing because maybe they’re sick that year and they want a healing space. Can you tweak the energy? Is it general harmonious energy that is created?
It’s a little bit of both. You can’t change what’s there. The energy is like a blueprint set in the stars. It’s celestial and you can’t decide, “I’m going to shift this over here.” What you can do is take a look at the numbers because they’re a blueprint. They’re a map to tell you what areas in your home need TLC and what areas are doing well. Sometimes, when you look at the numbers, the things that they tell you can be that one area of your home and this happened with a client. You divide the floorplan of any space into a grid of 9 so you have your 9 Guas or areas. The Guas don’t take into account the walls of space, so it doesn’t matter if you have a wall going right through it or not. The Gua is the Gua, and it’s based on the outer shell of your home.
She had 3 Guas growing across where her bedroom was one part of her bedroom, part of her office was another and then her office was the third one. She had set up her desk in the part that was overlapping between the Gua that was in between. I took a look at the numbers. They were not at all supportive of work. It was a lot about discord and difficulty. I was like, “Can you please move your desk over to the other side of the room?” She goes, “I’ll lose the ocean view.” I’m like, “I know. It’s not ideal sometimes but try it.”
At first, she was a little skeptical but within a few weeks, she decided to move it. She always had her office sitting with boxes forever. It is set up. The couch is in. She’s got art and doing stuff. She made a transition in her career and got her first paying client. These are the success stories. You can’t pinpoint them exactly. It’s getting that energy flowing. When you’re single and looking for love, feng shui is a great way to bring it in because there are certain stars in certain areas that you can activate to bring people into your life or to bring romantic interest into your life.
Often, people come to feng shui for love or money. There’s an area of your home that is dedicated to wealth and prosperity, so it’s looking at that space and what’s in it. Sometimes, people don’t realize that that guest bedroom that they use as a storage room is, for example, their prosperity Gua. How can you be prosperous if all you’re doing is shoving crap into it, letting it sit there and not doing anything about it? You look at your business and realize it has been stagnant, lots of things are piling up, it’s a lot of admin and you’re not able to get to the good stuff, get out there and get in front of people.
Looking at your home can help you understand what’s going on in your business. When you start to clear that up, you can activate that area as well by not only putting in the remedy but taking it a little further and looking at more alternative things like space clearing and crystals. Affirmations are a big part of what I teach. The way I learned it is intention and mindset have so much power. It’s such a big thing but it’s such an important part of this as well.
You can balance the remedies in your house but if you want things to change, you also have to take steps so it’s also about the intention. When you are clearing out that prosperity Gua, for example, what are you trying to clear out of your business? What are you trying to get to? What are the things that you want to see? How can you make that space more reflective of where you want to go? This is also where I like to bring in the design because if there’s an opportunity to upgrade or change things, it doesn’t have to be super expensive. It has to visually also align with where you want to go in your life. That’s important.
I’m glad that you brought up other stuff like crystals that you use or these forms of energy, along with the feng shui. It’s important to create that space with all the tools that you have. What if somebody buys a home that has had some kind of tragedy in it, it was a sad home or there’s bad energy in the home? Can this be something that can help? I know it’s about energy. What if it’s bad like suicide or something tragic?
Sometimes, looking at the numbers can tell that story too because the home might have been predisposed to suicide, illness or money problems. Certain homes have that that’s in their energetic blueprint. Introducing feng shui neutralizes that but in cases like that, it’s important to do what you did with the space that you bought. It’s to help that space heal. You can use feng shui to understand if those things are on the cards of this home. Is there something that I can do to change that?
Every year the energy shifts, the stars shift, and that affects some of the remedies in your home.
If you have an unlimited budget at your disposal and you can do a big renovation where you’re removing the roof, that will reset the year of construction for that home and it will bring in a whole new set of energy. It’s not just redoing the shingles on the roof but taking the roof off. That’s one way that a home or even an office building might change.
If you think about historic buildings where they keep the façade but then they take it down to the ground and they build everything up inside that façade, that home or office building when you’re calculating it, you wouldn’t take the number of the year it was built in 1863. You would take the 2012 date because that place was completely removed. The windows were removed. All the air, the energy, everything was completely changed. That’s one thing but that’s not available to everyone. This is where those alternative remedies come in like clearing your house, sage and sound clearings. It’s anything that you can do to get that energy clearing and moving.
My mentor does a lot of meditation work. I was watching the Marie Kondo series on Netflix. She always likes to meditate and introduce herself to the home. There is a lot of stuff that you can do like meditating and speaking to the home saying, “I’m here to change and shift this energy. We want to heal, get rid of that sad story and move towards the future.”
A lot of Marie Kondo’s philosophy is based on Shintoism, which believes that every object has a soul that you can speak to. I might be paraphrasing it not so well but the idea is that each object has its essence and spirit. That’s why she thinks things before she gives them away. It follows in the same idea that if you give these very sad homes love, and you connect with the home on whatever level is comfortable to you, that is one way of changing the energy.
When we think about these things, people talk about them but oftentimes, nobody does anything about it. They ignore it or say, “It’s in my head.” They do feel like it’s cursed and they move.
That’s the other thing. You can leave but then the next person’s going to go through that same thing. Sometimes, you see that those homes are continuously coming on the market. When I see things like that, I’m like, “I wonder what’s going on there.”
I saw a home on the market and it said that a professional came in and did the feng shui. I was like, “It’s interesting that they’re selling the property and telling people this.” For me, when I saw that, I was like, “That’s interesting.” It was attractive. In this episode, we spoke about homes in general but because we are more focused on retreat leaders and venues, I hope they use your services or learn more about the energy of their space because it can make a big difference in the transformation and enhance it. Maybe there’s something that doesn’t sit well with the owners of the venue and that also goes on to the guests. If that could be cleared up and suddenly they’re transforming and making money, why not? It’s a great tool to use to clean out the energy and create some long-term impact with a little help.
When it comes to retreat leaders whether it’s them finding a venue or working with the venue continuously, it’s having that end goal of what they want from these retreats. They want people to walk away feeling like this was an incredible experience and be like, “I want more of it.” When you harmonize the energy around you, it sets the stage. It makes it easier for people to feel comfortable and be open to having those transformations.
When you think about it, if you walk into a space physically and there are barriers, you feel uncomfortable that you have to walk around things. You’re not able to get from point A to point B easily and it’s like that with the energy. When people are coming for a retreat and they want this experience, you don’t want those physical barriers like you don’t want the energetic barriers. You don’t want things that are going to make it a little bit harder for people to let go, open up, participate and feel comfortable.
A lot of retreat leaders often count their pennies because it’s expensive. It’s a business. They might think, “Is it worth that extra expense for me?” It’s a great marketing strategy to use as well to say that the space has been cleared energetically. Sometimes, we’ve got to think out of the box. That’s why I was excited to talk to you because when we were speaking, I was like, “Everybody speaks about energy in these spaces. Did they do everything in their power to make sure that the energy is harmonious and working for the retreat events?”
By having you here, there are going to be a few people that are going to have a-ha moments like, “Maybe that’s what’s been going on. I should do that.” I want to thank you for coming. Thank you for joining me in this episode and for bringing such great value to my retreat leaders. I know that it’ll go beyond even my retreat leader space. My other followers will love to know what you had to say about this. I appreciate it.
Thank you so much for reaching out. It’s such a pleasure for me and I love talking about it so anytime.
That’s perfect. Thank you. Take care. We’ll be talking again.
Hopefully soon. Take care.
- Laili Gonzalez
About Laili Gonzalez
As an American living in Switzerland, a wife, a mother, and a total lover of “woo”, my journey in self-transformation has become a central aspect of my work. By combining Interior Design with Traditional Flying Stars Feng Shui, I help clients transform both the physical and energetic to create interiors that are uniquely tailored to their needs, lifestyle, and their highest energetic path.