Meditation chair, master bedroom, ranch style home, Lamorinda

A meditation corner in the master bedroom, for our practicing-Buddhist client.

In a life by design, we choose what we make sacred.

How we live, the way we arrange our things, the beauty we invite in, all of this impacts us. As an Interior Designer, I see my role as creating spaces that support people in being their best selves, and continuing to expand into the next self they are becoming.

There are many tools we can avail ourselves of in creating and adorning space. Furnishings, fixtures, fabrics, colors, textures, shapes, objects, works of art; these are the implements of my industry.

And, as I have discussed in other blog posts here, systems like Feng Shui and professional organizing bring attention to the spiritual, energetic, and spatial components, and how these impact each other and our lives.

Culturally, most of us are aware by now of these techniques. What is less commonly accessed, though growing in popular consciousness, is Shamanic Clearing. One of my dearest friends is Kelley Kessler, a professional Shaman. I have been engaging her to do Shamanic work for myself and my family for years, and more recently, for my clients.

Shaman Kelley Kessler at The Shine Center for Wellbeing

Shaman KK, captured as she was leading a group journey at The Shine Center for Wellbeing, across the hall from my office!

Shamanic work can be accessed on behalf of individuals, the environments we inhabit, and our communities. This ancient healing practice can be applied to clearing space energetically with Spirit to remove blocks, create fertile ground for new growth, and invite balance.

Twenty years ago, talking about energy was so fringe, so weird for people; even today this may be a stretch!

However, I see people starting to acknowledge more than ever the power of intuition and meditation and all these self-care practices that are meant to bring us home to our Selves — and Shamanism is one of the most ancient pathways there is.

Shamanism, organizing, and Feng Shui are among the tools that enhance what I do as an interior designer, to energetically prepare the space for the new way people want to live, set the tone for who is coming in, and clear the old energy out.

What ritual does is that it gives us a tangible way to engage with this transition. Likely a more familiar tradition, which comes from Judaism, is bringing bread and salt as a housewarming gift. These items literally and figuratively represent nourishment and adding flavor — this is a kind of Shamanism. We are surrounded by these practices that combine the tangible and the ineffable, but we forget their roots.

(Pause for a moment of gratitude here: to Jane Karsh, who, as my therapist many years ago, first introduced me to the concept of bread-and-salt for housewarming, and also was the first person in my life to ever ask me the question, “Have you ever thought about being an Interior Designer?“) 

It is not a far reach to consider everything, all physical objects, and all of the memories created in a home, good or bad, as holding energy. When we start anew, when we redo, when we want to make things fresh, we look to rituals to facilitate these transitions.

Kelley says:

“A new home, business, or office often represents endings, beginnings, and big changes. This is an ideal time to clear, heal, and begin a new chapter in our lives. Although my services for individual healings and space clearings are separate, in general, when I clear people’s homes, businesses and/or offices, the person or people who requested the healing are included, as Spirit provides what is relevant in the moment.

“Using ancient Shamanic techniques in contemporary times, I commune with the space and with Spirit and my celestial helpers. I receive information clairvoyantly, intuitively, and with all of my senses, and I work in unison to remove and transmute energies from my client’s living and work spaces to restore vitality, ease, grace, flow, and growth in their lives and businesses.

“My clients report feeling more grounded, bright, renewed, and magnetic; experiencing more harmonious energies in their homes, as well as growth, flow, and synchronicities in their businesses.”

Clodagh Design Bathroom, connecting spiritual energy and design

A spa-like bathroom by one of my favorite designers to follow; Clodagh uses energetic and spiritual principles of balance and healing in all of her designs and creative endeavors.

Kelley’s process:

“About 24 hours before our in-person appointment, the work begins. I open sacred space and commune with the Energies and with Spirit to receive what is needed. I ask for information on my client’s highest behalf and in relation to their space.

“When we meet in person, I rattle and sage the home, office, or building. I open sacred space and journey — meaning, I go into a mild trance state — to the Spirit world or ‘non-physical reality.’ Then, I ask for healing and clearing of the space, removal of what is not in the highest good. I ask that whatever is needed for the highest purpose for all that live and/or work or visit there be brought through.

“After I return from my journeying, I share with my client as much information as they are interested in hearing about, and listen to what came up for them if they would like to share.

“When a client is moving from one home/business to another, many desire to do a clearing in each of those spaces. Unknowingly, and sometimes knowingly, we leave pieces of our Self or soul in a space we leave behind. We want to bring all of our vitality with us; ideally, we want to be intentional about leaving experiences and ‘finished energies’ behind. I co-create blessings for each new home and business with my clients, so that they may manifest all their hearts’ desires for themselves and their communities.”

Kelley Kessler,, is a Healer, Shamanic Practitioner, and LCSW. Originally from the East Coast and long-time Bay Area resident, Kelley has been practicing energy work since 2002, and received her Shamanic Practices certification in 2012. Since that time, Kelley has been growing a part-time practice and continuing her work with Master Healers, Angelic Divine Channels and Ancient Wisdom Lineage Keepers. In 2019, after 21 years with Child Protective Services and 17 years as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Kelley dove fully into her private practice. A lifelong spiritual warrior and nurturer of souls, Kelley offers in-person, in-home, remote, and phone sessions with a specialized focus on individuals and families, infant, child and adolescent health/development/wellness, trauma, loss, generational patterns, end of life transitions, space clearings and blessings.

***NOTE: Spiritual/Shamanic healings are not to replace licensed medical, mental health and/or psychological care.***

A version of this article appeared in the Piedmont Post