Have you ever sold a house?
Or bought a house?
There’s this odd little game that sellers play. I call it We Don’t Live Here, But Maybe You Do.
The idea is, that despite the fact that the seller is still living in the house, they want it to feel as though it is a warm, welcoming, inviting place where you, the buyer, might come home and rest your weary head.
In real estate lingo, this is called staging.
In witchy lingo, this is simply an example of energy following intention.
I have spent the past few weeks fascinated by the process of selling my home.
What I realized is that, by following the steps as they are laid out in a kazillion real estate blogs and home magazines, you actually walk through the energetic process that allows you to not only sell your home but make the big changes in your life that home-selling signifies.
Let’s walk through it:
First is the ah-ha moment when you realize that your current life, and home that houses it, just isn’t working for you anymore.
This is a deep-breath moment. Moving is a big deal and putting this change in motion requires some intention. Simply running to the nearest real estate agency and signing a seller’s contract isn’t enough: energetically, you need to align with the idea of shedding this skin that has housed you.
Which means letting go of the bits of your past that you don’t want to pull into your future. The biggest one being the house itself.
On a practical level, this could mean an old sofa or your great aunt’s dishes that you never particularly liked. But what about on an emotional or energetic level?
This is where a lot of would-be sellers get stuck.
The house you have lived in has memories attached to it. Even if it’s not the right place for your future, it’s a known quantity; it feels safe. In today’s rocky real estate market, where you might very well walk away with less than your original down payment, there are niggling questions of value, and of what your future might look like if you walk into it with a bit less jingle in your pocket.
This intersection of hope and doubt is a well-worn cross road. We stand, undecided, trying to see down the path to our possible future, while looking back over our shoulder at what is familiar. Our brain turns into a bully, beating us with “what ifs” until the wee hours of the morning.
So what do we do? Against our realtor’s advice, we price the house to high or refuse to fix a gutter. We stop the forward movement of our lives. We get stuck.
There are many ways of getting stuck and letting our lives become stagnant. When we have made the decision to create a change, but are still sorting out the daily details, it is easy to wallow in our current discontent.
Have you ever walked into a room after a fight? You may not be able to say why, but the space will just feel off.
If you are a seething mass of unhappiness, it will pervade the walls of your home. While invisible to the naked eye, energetically this unhappiness is like a giant Do Not Enter sign.
Over and over again, I have watched clients who were deeply discontented and truly stuck in their lives come into a place of acceptance. A place where they could suddenly see the good of their present world, forgive an old boss, or make peace with a neighbor.
After months of wanting out of her current situation, a client, let’s call her Beth, came in one day and told me: I am going to plant a garden; I’m tired of being a lady-in-waiting. I need to be happy here until I’m not her anymore.
At our next meeting, Beth couldn’t wait to tell me her new-and-good: a job offer in San Francisco and an offer on her house, in the same week.
Letting go of disruptive emotions can move mountains… and shift the energy within your walls so they feel welcoming again.
My favorite herbal tools for releasing are sage (and there is a post about using it here!) and salt. A long soak with bath salts always loosens up my thoughts and then I can write them out or speak them aloud or simply recognize them and let them go. If you don’t have a bathtub, try a footbath.
But remember: energy follows intention, so you have to put a little consciousness behind this!
These acts of letting go create space — physical space, emotional space, and most importantly energetic space — for something, or someone, new to come in.
After you clear out the old, both energetically and physically, be sure to invite in the new. Sweetgrass is traditionally used (it is burned, like sage). I also like to invite with scent: polishing wood tables with lemon oil and cleaning wood floors with with a hint of orange or lemongrass. Cinnamon and clove are warm and cozy for winter, while lavender and lime feel breezy on a summer’s day.
People feel this, even if people who don’t know rosemary from rue.
So that when potential buyers come into your house, they think maybe I could live here. They might not be able to say why, but they feel like there is room for their hopes and dreams, as well as their grandmother’s collection of vintage salt-and-pepper shakers.