The word “home” has taken on a whole new meaning in these past 9 months. People are staying at home more than ever in order to social distance and stop the spread of Covid-19. Whether you live alone or are co-living with others, the dynamics of your living space have changed.
For many, home is not the place you come back to at the end of the day anymore… it’s where you are constantly. Research shows if your living space is or is not supportive of your life and your goals it can play a huge role in the way you feel and perform. With all the time you are spending home and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future, why not take advantage of the power that your living space has to offer you?
Feng shui is an ancient art based on a set of principles that help align one’s living space with who they are and what they want. Jodi Darren – feng shui expert, vision coach, real estate agent at Miami Lifestyle Team at Compass, speaker, and founder of Living in Alignment– is on a mission to help to organize people’s lives so that they are living fully in alignment with who they truly are.
After recognizing the energizing benefits of this ancient art, she learned that the principles of feng shui are not just applicable to our physical homes, but also to our internal mindscape. Feng shui has not only helped Jodi organize her living space into a place that supports and inspires her but also helped organize her life based on her life vision. Realizing that the key to fulfillment is living in alignment with the truth of who you are, Jodi wanted to help others identify their purpose and live a life they love too. She combined her experience in vision coaching, her long-time study of personal development, and her degree in psychology with her love of feng shui and real estate, and created the program: The Vision Map Experience. Based on feng shui concepts that use the ancient bagua to examine the 9 areas of life, The Vision Map Experience is a guided discovery process that allows you to map out your future by defining your path and purpose.
I had the opportunity to talk with Jodi, hear her story and learn about her journey to true fulfillment in an insightful interview that will make you rethink how you see your home. Jodi tells us what feng shui is and how it came into her life, what being alignment is and what it is not, the importance of vision, as well as tips on how to improve your living environment and much more. Here is her interview:
“Understanding and supporting the relationship we have with ourselves in our environment can be life-changing” – Jodi Darren
You recently launched your new company Living in Alignment. Can you tell us more about Living in Alignment and the work do you do there? What is the mission behind it?
My new company, Living in Alignment, is about supporting others in finding their true place in the world both mentally and physically. I offer services in Feng Shui, vision coaching, and conscious real estate. Finding alignment in yourself is a process, and it is a journey I can support you on.
“The journey to alignment is a journey bringing you home to who you really are.”
Can you tell us the story of how and why you ended up starting up Living in Alignment? How did the idea come to you?
I was ready for an evolution of my work life and I wanted a career that gave me a deeper purpose. Previously, I worked as a TV host and producer for 18 years. I also spent 3 years as an entrepreneur when I created our craft liqueur called Apple Playa, (a real fruit apple cinnamon liqueur that is perfect for the Holiday season). Though these were both exciting careers, my priorities shifted to focusing on the essence of feeling “at home” in ourselves and the world around us.
I spent a couple of years digging deep into my heart to find a career that was uniquely suited to my inner essence. With much self-insight and self-reflection, I combined my years of studying psychology, personal development, and vision coaching, with my love of Feng Shui and Real Estate.
What I learned through the process is that for true fulfillment, one must align with their inner truth and honor the special gifts they were born with. Hence, the goal is to organize your life so you are living fully in alignment with the truth of who you are.
What does being in alignment mean to you? How do you know when are in alignment versus when you are not in alignment?
To determine what alignment is, let’s first explore what alignment is NOT. Being misaligned is a general feeling that something is wrong with either you, your circumstances, your relationships or the world around you. You simply feel off-balance, uncomfortable, broken, lost, confused, unmotivated, and agitated. You often experience frustration, anxiety, depression, worry. You either can’t sleep well, or you sleep too much. It is often the reason people seek time to heal. You feel empty, absent, or uninspired.
Well, as they say, sometimes you need to get lost to find your way home.
The journey to alignment is a journey bringing you home to who you really are. It’s when your life is in a state of harmony, despite the unavoidable challenges that life brings. You feel a genuine sense that you are safe, at peace, and on the right path. You take ownership for the circumstances of your life and you feel you can make shifts if they are needed by DOING the work! You feel empowered, inspired, organized, energized, and in an overall sense that things are working in your favor. Your relationships flow with ease and you can maneuver life in a way that brings you joy.
Alignment is the result of consistent self-care and self-discipline.
“Alignment is the result of consistent self-care and self-discipline.”
One of the services you offer at Living in Alignment is feng shui consultation. How do you describe feng shui to someone with no previous knowledge?
Our internal environment is a reflection of our external environment and vice versa. Feng shui is about harmonizing ourselves with the energies of the space around us, especially our home environment where we spend the most time these days. It incorporates the elemental directions and the earth’s natural elements like wood, water, and metal into a unique horoscope for every house. It also involves the occupants of the home and the practice of intentional living, organization, systems, and mindset. By properly balancing the vital life flow, or Chi, through both the home and the mind, a space can be totally transformed by designing the flow and order of the home. The result is an overall feeling of support to the homeowner and improvement in health, relationships, prosperity, and abundance.
Can you tell us what sparked your interest in feng shui? What has feng shui done for you?
I was introduced to Fend Shui by my acupuncturist, Tisha Benoit in 1999. She taught me to create my very first Vision Board using the Bagua as my guide. The Bagua is a map incorporating colors, direction, and the 9 areas of life used in Feng Shui. Now, I have developed a guided journaling workshop based on the Bagua which incorporates the 9 areas of life into creating an overall vision map of your life purpose. The workshop is called The Vision Map Experience which will be offered again in January of 2021.
Feng Shui has helped me to organize my life based on my life vision and organize my living space into a place that supports me and inspires me. I’m so grateful for the principles of Feng Shui and the energizing benefits I feel.
“Our internal environment is a reflection of our external environment and vice versa.”
Are there any guidelines or rules in feng shui design you should always follow? If yes which ones?
Feng Shui is very personalized to every unique house and unique individual according to their energetic calculations. First I have the client fill out a questionnaire about their home and their life. Then the client must submit a floor plan of their house or office. As a consultant, I calculate the numbers, directions, and elements that give us the blueprint of the energy that is present. From here we can redirect the energy flow to better support the client. Together, we incorporate remedies like adding the element of metal to cut through negative earth or wood energies that may be present in a space. We also add enhancements like a water fountain in the right places for example can bring out Peach Blossom energies that can lead to finding love and romance. Keep in mind, that each remedy/enhancement must be put in the right place or it could have a negative effect on the client. The result is a space of harmony and flow that energizes and supports the client in creating a living meditation in their home environment.
Would you say that implementing feng shui into the home can have a direct effect on the person living there? If yes, how so?
Of course! Sometimes the natural energies of the home may need to be remedied or enhanced to best support you. It’s all about manipulation the energies of the home environment to work in your favor. It can support your health, bring abundance to your finances, heal relationships, and much more.
Does lighting play a role within feng shui design in the home? If yes, which one?
Light represents the element of fire. Light brings aliveness to the home. Whether it is the sun coming in through the windows, a lamp in a dark corner, or a flame on a candle, light is crucial to our lives and our environment. During the consult, we also go deeper into how each person shines their unique light in the world through their actions and their career.
What aspect of feng shui are you most passionate about?
I love it when people put the practices into place and really get to feel the effects of feng shui. The whole process is a form of recalibration and self-discovery like none other.
With people spending more time in their homes, I found that many of them need to transform their living space to be more supportive of their life. A feng shui consultation can do wonders. It helps each homeowner make their house into a living meditation and a reflection of their life goals and intentions. In the case a homeowner feels it is time to move to a new home, I can offer my services as a Realtor to help them find the perfect fit.
You also have a degree in psychology, how do you think your experience in feng shui and psychology affects the work you do as a real estate advisor?
Yes, my background in psychology, personal development, and feng shui is very important to my real estate practice. It ensures that each buyer or seller is making decisions aligned with their truth and that we move through the process with overall harmony. Plus, it makes the experience fun and inspiring for everyone involved.
“I love it when people put the practices into place and really get to feel the effects of feng shui.”
Can you share some quick tips on small changes you can make to improve your living environment?
Sure, first of all, Chi (or vital life energy) enters through the front door of the home. So adding bright colors, beautiful flowers, and having a clutter-free entryway is very important to raising the vibration of your home. And having a nice welcome mat does wonders too.
Also, be careful not to place plants in the bedroom. Plants represent wood energy and support active fire energy. Having plants in the bedroom can make things too active and can cause trouble getting a good night’s sleep.
You are also a Vision Coach and you recently created a program for people who want to align to their truest path called The Vision Map Experience. Can you tell us more about that? Why do you think this program is important?
In 2004-2008 I co-hosted an event called Vision Miami with Johnny Regan. We brought together people to network by sharing their personal life vision and found that it is the most powerful way to connect and collaborate with others.
Through the process, I found that many people don’t know what inspires them or makes them tick. Many people don’t even know what they want out of life. Being clear on your life vision brings a very powerful purpose and inspiration that is critical to our mental health and overall life experience.
Hence, I created a course that helps people outline their life vision so they can apply the steps needed to design a life that they love. It’s a very powerful course. I lead groups through the 4-week process regularly. I will also be teaching a class starting in January 2021.
How did the idea to launch the Vision Map Experience come to you?
The Vision map Experience is a manifesto of my life’s discoveries. It was shown to me on a plant medicine journey and I have used it to raise the frequency of my life path. Over 120 people participated in the vision map experience and learned the process to clarify their purpose and manifest their dreams.
What surprised you the most about the process of creating the program the Vision Map Experience? Were there any challenges?
What surprised me most was the results the course had on the lives of those that took the course! I had so much positive feedback and those that really work through the process see outstanding results.
“Being clear on your life vision brings a very powerful purpose and inspiration that is critical to our mental health and overall life experience.”
Yes, I have created some references for my feng shui clients.
What are two of your proudest accomplishments?
The accomplishment I am most proud of is that I feel I am truly living in alignment in my life and career. It took me a long time to gather the tools needed to live my truth, and I am so grateful to feel I am truly doing the work I am meant to do.
What advice would you give to a new Feng Shui enthusiast?
The process of feng shui takes time and patience to incorporate the principles, but stick with it! Once your home becomes your living meditation, your life will harmonize like never before.
What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?
I have had an exciting TV career the opportunity to travel the world in places like Greece, Brazil, China, St. Lucia Alaska, and more. Being part of more than 1500 TV segments, I had on-air experiences like hang-gliding, rock climbing, alligator wrestling and I even drove cattle for a Spanish TV network. That was quite a ride! My segments aired on the Travel Channel, HSN, Designing Spaces, A& E, and more.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, assuming the pandemic was over, where would you go?
Bali! It’s my dream trip to travel to the place they call the 3rd eye of the planet.
What’s next for you?
I am writing my first book on the practice of the Vision Map Experience. I hope to launch it on my birthday in March.