Today we welcome Katie Rogers, a certified feng shui consultant and Reiki Master (a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation). She also created Color Readings, a form of divination using color theory, psychology, and the feng shui ba gua. Katie is also an artist, creating works that are in line with the principles of feng shui, a writer and she is currently completing a documentary she filmed that explores urban planning and the impact cars have on society and the environment.
Where did you grow up? And what brought you to Birmingham?
I grew up in Mobile, Alabama, but I spent most of my 20s and early 30s traveling and living in different places (Jackson Hole, the Bahamas, Sun Valley, Austin, Hawaii, and eventually Los Angeles). I moved to Birmingham because I wanted to raise my daughter in my home state, close to my family and with the values that hold true here.
What exactly is feng shui?
Everyone has experienced feng shui is some form of another, like when you walk into someone’s home and feel immediately comfortable. The notion behind feng shui is that your home is a reflection of your life. My job is to promote a harmonious feeling in the home (or office) in order to promote harmony and goodness in the occupants’ lives. Although feng shui originated in China thousands of years ago, I practice a Westernized version of it, using interior decorating concepts, modern psychology, de-cluttering, organization, and intention-setting. Sometimes implementing feng shui can be as simple as adding some candles and plants, sometimes it’s a little more in depth. But even simple “cures” (or changes) can have deeply powerful effects on one’s psyche and life.
How did you end up in the feng shui business?
It started with an insatiable curiosity that I still possess. But more specifically, after graduating college, I did not have a set career in mind, and I was exploring. While in Austin, I worked at a publishing company that had a horrible feel to it: gray cubicles, fluorescent lighting, and very few windows. Talk about depressing! It was so obvious to me that it was affecting the employees there, so I imagined up a job where I would go into offices and make it feel better so that employees would be happier and therefore more productive, creating a win-win for all—the company and its workers. Little did I know that the art form of feng shui already existed. I read every book I could on the topic (there weren’t that many in those days) and started playing with it in my own home and office and in my friends’ homes. I started seeing amazing results (i.e. I experienced a a quick and unexpected promotion at the publishing company), and I was hooked! I eventually sought teachers and was certified in 2003.
What’s the number one feng shui issue you see in homes and offices today?
That’s easy. Hands down it is clutter! A large part of feng shui is clearing out items that are “holding them back;” it’s definitely the first step in improving the energy of a space! It’s amazing the negative impact that clutter can have on our psyche. It truly affects us in deep ways and can cause all sorts of problems from weight gain to anxiety to relationship issues to depression to feeling stuck in a rut, you name it! We humans have a very real energetic ties to our stuff which is why it is sometimes hard to get rid of things on our own. I ask the client to step back objectively from each and every item in their home and ask the three questions: Do you love it? Do you use it? Does it raise your energy? If they answer yes to two of those, then we find it a “home” within their home. And that’s step 2: organizing according to your lifestyle.
What did your bedroom look like as a teenage girl?
Ha! My parents were smart enough to let me experiment, so I was totally in charge of the look. Remember, this was the early 90s. I painted the paneled walls all white. On my bed, I had a turquoise and white striped duvet cover custom-made by my mom, and the pillow shams and dust ruffle were all a dainty flower print of aquas and pinks, to match the valances. And I had a pink polka-dotted papasan chair. AND my BFF and I sponge-painted the bathroom turquoise and pink to match. It was teenage girl heaven.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
What advice would you give to others?
Live and let live. (But try to lessen your impact on the earth so our species won’t go extinct. Please.)
What is your favorite thing to do to relax?
Reading fiction (a luxury these days). And watching movies. I am a huge movie buff, and I still get giddy about seeing movies on the big screen in cushy theaters.
What’s your favorite thing to do on a Saturday night?
Chill. Go out. Hear good, live music. Hang with cool people that I love.
Favorite local restaurant?
Oh, it has to be a tie between Chez FonFon and GianMarco’s. I’m a seafood-eating vegetarian, and they both have good options that are ridiculously amazing. And I just discovered Pacific Rim for sushi. Yum.
What are you listening to these days?
Um, besides the Disney princess songs and Katy Perry that my 3-year-old requests? Actually, a chant called So Purkh by Ninjaran Kaur. So pretty.
What books are you currently reading?
Face”book” and the blogs within. Also a book called E2 (E-squared) by Pam Grout.
What celebrity’s closet would you most like to have?
As far as organization, size, etc.? I don’t keep up. But as far as style, I’ll take Gwyneth’s.
What fashion item would you never be caught dead wearing?
There’s not much I wouldn’t wear. I can work with pretty much anything. I guess if I had to answer: heavy bulky jewelry, just because for years I didn’t wear any jewelry at all, but, hey, I could probably be talked into it with the right outfit for the right occasion.
What is your must-purchase for spring 2014?
Shorts. In color or prints. To wear with boots. And loose shirts.
Do you have any personality quirks or irrational fears?
Yes. My name is Katie, and I’m a yoga addict. I also can’t stand when people throw cigarette butts on the ground, and I have been known to pick the nasty thing up and present it to the offender, saying, “Sir, you dropped this back there.” That’s always fun.
If your house was on fire what’s the one non-living thing you would grab?
My Mac computer. Hey I’m practical sometimes, OK? Actually, it has sentimental value to me because it has my documentary on it, plus all the photos I have yet to print out.
Name three things you can’t live without, excluding friends, family and God.
I’m kind of a minimalist, and I’m literal so this is almost impossible to answer. Foregoing that: lipstick/lipgloss; my iPhone (I know, I know); and either my running/hiking shoes or yoga mat. Actually, forget the phone. I’ll take my shoes and mat over that any day.
Thanks for sharing, Katie! To learn more about Katie and all the ways she can help bring feng shui into your life, visit her website at www.katierogersfengshui.com and be sure and check out her blog at www.thesparklit.blogspot.com!
And a huge thank you to Catherine Mayo for today’s fabulous photos! Learn more about Catherine by visiting her website at www.catherinemayo.com.