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Posts tagged ‘feng shui consultant’

Celebrating Life During the Holidays, After Loss

Autumn leaves

November is the beginning of the holiday season when we make more of an effort to be with family and friends. We reminisce about past family gatherings, and even joke about events that didn’t seem so funny back when they happened.  New memories are made while old ones are shared with the next generation. Traditions continue and new ones begin.

For some, however, these upcoming holidays may be sad or bittersweet.   Those of you who have lost a family member, or close friend recently, may not feel like celebrating or may even feel guilty about being happy during this time.

My husband and I have lost both of our parents, my mom being the most recent three years ago.  During the holiday season, I do feel sad that our two kids no longer have grandparents to send ‘Merry Christmas’ cards to, or to call them up on Christmas morning to hear their voices and tell them how much they love them.  As I put up our tree and pull out stockings and special handmade decorations each year, I am reminded of past holidays with both of my parents.

For several years, my husband, our two kids and I would pack up our minivan and drive ten hours to spend a few days with my parents for Christmas.  On Christmas Eve, we would all pile into the van and drive around neighborhoods looking at the lights and decorations, then come home and drink hot chocolate topped with lots of whipped cream! Another tradition, I vividly remember, was my dad banging on all of our bedroom doors early in the morning yelling “Merry Christmas!  I’m Up…Everybody Up!!”   Recalling these memories now still cause me to tear up, because I know they will never happen again.  But, then I remind myself that I’d rather have those happy memories than to never have had them at all.  These are the memories that shaped the traditions we now share in our own home.  We still drive around on Christmas Eve, looking at holiday lights, and come home to hot chocolate topped with lots of whipped cream. And, when we can wake up before our kids do, we bang on their bedroom doors too!

Grieving is a necessary and natural process, and I am not at all suggesting that this be done quickly.  I just wanted to offer a few suggestions, that helped me through the first Christmas after my mom passed, that may help lighten your heart a bit during these upcoming holidays.

I believe that celebrating life is the best way to honor our departed loved ones. And, knowing my parents the way I did,  I feel they would want to see me happy and smiling when I think of them, especially during this time of the year.  I still shed a few tears, especially on my November birthday, but the happy feelings I have when I remember them now outweigh the heavy heart I used to have.

Display feel good photos of your loved ones.  These represent the best of who they were in the physical, and what a wonderful way to include them in your current life happenings.  As time passes, children often worry that they will forget what their loved ones looked like.  Keeping their positive energy in a photo, displayed in the family or main living area, is a perfect way to have all of you still feel connected. Keep stoic or stern looking photos packed away (or even toss them).  I believe that only happy expressions are worth honoring.

I love this picture of my parents, sitting in front of our Christmas tree, from back in the 1970’s.  This is how I think of them every Christmas.  I smile whenever I look at this photo, and feel them close to me as our family celebrates together.

Howard & Clem Humphrey 1970's 001

My parents, Howard & Clem Humphrey

Honor the family traditions that you loved doing together.  If your family had a tradition of going to the movies on Christmas Day, then go to the movies on Christmas Day.  If you used to drive around looking at Christmas lights on Christmas Eve, drive around and look at Christmas lights on Christmas Eve. Traditions give a sense of continuity and offer comfort.  They honor what was important to you in the past.  You will feel a stronger connection during the holidays by celebrating those traditions you enjoyed together.  You may even find a new tradition to honor their memory.

Bring more light into your space.  The inward Yin energy of Winter can increase feelings of lethargy and depression.  We spend more time indoors and lose the benefit of sunlight to boost our Vitamin D levels, which contribute to our sense of well-being.   Expose yourself to brighter Yang energy by allowing as much light into your house as possible each day, or bundle up and go outside, even if for only 20-30 minutes.  If neither of these options work, invest in a light box or lamp for your home, which simulates sunlight.  These have been used successfully to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) as well.

Keep clutter to a minimum to allow for more breathing space for you and your home, and deep breathing is one of the best ways I know to relax your mind and body.  If you need an energy boost, try removing at least 9 things from your home.  I modified an old feng shui cure for shifting energy (which recommends moving 27 things) because I didn’t want to just move things, I wanted to release some stuff. By starting with just 9 items, I felt better and was inspired to release more unwanted energy out of my personal space, which helped me feel not only physically, but emotionally lighter.  

Add pops of a favorite bright color to your Winter decor.  Earth colors such as brown, tan and rust, tend to be the general choice for creating a cocooning effect, but if overused can significantly drop the energy of the home’s residents.  Brighter colors, such as orange and yellow, can do wonders to lift spirits.  Consider using these friendly colors in small doses with candles, a throw or toss pillows.  Adding metallics such as silver or gold, will also do the same to boost your energy quotient. 

Bring nature inside. This is a simple and inexpensive way to feel connected to the outside world.  Special rocks, interesting looking bare branches, sprigs of greenery and pinecones all work, just make sure they are clean and bug free before bringing them indoors.  Artificial also counts if you cannot readily find the real deal. 

Spend some private time with your feelings.  This can be during prayer, meditation, a visit to a memorial site or favorite place, or just a walk out in nature. However you feel connected with your loved one and God, Universal Spirit, or another name you may use to address the eternal life energy, spend time with your feelings.  Talk with your loved one, in your thoughts or out loud, and say what is in your heart.  Be honest and don’t judge how you respond.  Sometimes, we need to sob, vent, curse or apologize to express how we feel, and get it out into the light of day so healing can begin.  Afterwards, take a very deep breath (or two or five), and continue on with your day.  This will allow you to release some of the pain and remember more of the joy and love.

Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving!  ♥

Fall Cleaning And A Lesson From My Dyson

front door photo 1

It’s the first week of October and time for my Fall Cleaning ritual.  As we head into the mostly yin (colder, darker, cocooning, inward energy) part of the year (Fall and Winter), I find that giving our home a good dose of yang (brighter, active, expanding) energy gets me better prepared to face less daylight hours and more time spent indoors.  

Whenever we give our home a thorough cleaning, there is an automatic lifting of our spirits.  I feel more at ease and relaxed.  It is as if my home is smiling and saying Thank You!  This is not to say that I look forward to the tasks, and I even procrastinate starting cleaning projects.  But today, I discovered that there is one chore I now enjoy as a meditative activity.

This morning, while vacuuming our family room, moving forward and back, forward and back, forward and back, I looked down at the clear canister of my Dyson and saw an amazing amount of dirt, fur and debris swirling around.  How could this be? I made only three passes at a section of the room, and the carpet didn’t look that dirty!  After completing the room, I had the urge to re-vacuum and see if there was anything left to pick up.   I did and…There was!  From this seemingly boring act of vacuuming, I fully realized how much debris we become clueless to in our homes. Even seasoned Feng Shui consultants cannot always see what is lurking in their own spaces!  

My Teacher

My Teacher

In Feng Shui, what you don’t see still affects you. Most of the time, the reason we feel stuck in our lives is because we have this residual gunk hanging around.  It needs to be cleaned up to continue moving forward. If it hangs around too long, it will likely cause dis-ease in the forms of anxiety, frustration, depression, weight gain, and general malaise.  After having our carpets professionally deep cleaned today, I felt lighter and happier. This has given me the inspiration to get to the rest of my projects!

Doing a deep Fall cleaning of your home gives you a fresh perspective on life and renews your energy for the upcoming months.  From a Feng Shui perspective, I have listed the priority areas that I focus on first.  

The Front Entrance.  This is where ch’i (or life energy) enters your home. Welcome it in with a clean and clear pathway (leaves and weeds be-gone). Make sure all windows are sparkling, inside and out.  Clear all cobwebs, dead bugs and clutter from the front door.  Have a beautiful Welcome mat out.  Make sure the door handle and doorbell are in good working order and that the address numbers are visible for ch’i (and visitors) to find you.  The door needs to open fully with no obstructions.

The Kitchen.  The stove is the most important appliance in your home.  It represents wealth and abundance in Feng Shui.  Keep it clean at all times.  Have all burners in good working order and use all of them regularly. This sets the intention that prosperity and abundance continuously flows and won’t become stagnant. Treat the refrigerator with the same respect.  After all, this is where a large portion of your abundance is stored!  Toss outdated food, wash down the shelves and drawers and organize what is left.  Only purchase what you know will be consumed in a short period of time.  Bulk purchasing of perishables often wastes more of your money than it saves.

Clean the kitchen floors and wiped down cabinets.  Give your countertops a thorough cleaning and simplify what you have on display.  Cull the excess appliances and gadgets in your cabinets as well.  Only keep what you regularly use and love.  If you don’t use the waffle maker, now that you’re on a gluten-free diet, donate it.   If you still have the cookie press you received as a gift, but have never used it, donate or give it away.  A clean kitchen gives you room to breathe in a place that is meant to nourish and revitalize the body and spirit. 

The floors, window coverings and furniture.  These take the most abuse throughout the year and fabric holds in more dust, grime and negative energy than hard surfaces.  Clean carpets and window coverings make a significant shift in a room’s feel.  This is especially true if it has been closed up or the occupants have recently gone through a hardship.  You can actually feel how much happier the space feels!  If professional upholstery cleaning is not feasible, a good vacuuming will also do wonders.

The Bedrooms.  You function better in your life when you sleep well, especially during the potentially stressful holiday season. Open the windows and bring fresh air in.  Give the bed a good airing as well.  I won’t get into the details that most of us have heard, about the importance of having a good quality mattress, but make sure it is clean and in good condition.  Refresh your decor by changing out anything that you no longer absolutely love.  Resist the urge to decorate your bedroom for the holidays.  Too many add-ins, especially greenery (real or artificial), Santas or other figurines, increases the activity energy in the room and most likely will affect your sleep.   It is better to keep the holiday decor in more active areas of your home.  

Keep the holiday decorations in active areas of your home

Keep the holiday decorations in active areas of your home, such as the front entry.

Well, it’s time to give my kitchen some love and well deserved re-energizing.  What area in your home will be first on your Fall Cleaning list?

Happy October!

Feng Shui and Your Vehicle Part II

So many cars - so many colors!

So many cars – so many color choices!Here,

Color Does Matter!  

I can’t speak for the rest of the world, but here, in the United States, we tend to identify strongly with the vehicles we drive.  They have become an extension of our own personalities,or personalities we wish to show others.  The color of your vehicle does have an impact on the way you drive and the energy you project on the road.  Are you driving the best reflection of who you are?

RedOrange and  Bright Yellow are FIRE colors and reflect high energy, passion, assertiveness and aggression – very yang traits.  Fire wants to be noticed! Being a Sagittarius, I am already a Fire sign, and for some reason, whenever I drive a red vehicle, it always drives way over the speed limit.  Go figure!  If you tend to be a highly ‘driven’ individual, a red car may make you more so.  If you are wanting to be more noticed in the world, a FIRE color will definitely help you do that.  Just watch for a shift in your driving energy and attitude!  These colors would be fun for Earth energies, who usually play it safe, but would like to be more noticed in their field of work, or life, in general!

As an aside, I have a confession to make.  Although I absolutely LOVE Bumblebee Yellow Camaros, I probably will never own one.   In my early adulthood, I owned a bright yellow 1976 VW Rabbit, which I enjoyed so much!   I was stopped several times for going over the speed limit and, without getting into the details, I went a bit airborne once while driving too fast getting onto the Coronado Bridge in San Diego (I hope my kids don’t read this)!  Fortunately, my outcomes were uneventful, but I learned that fire-colored cars and I are not a good match.  I prefer the focus and concentration I get when driving a white vehicle.

Blue and Green are WOOD energy colors and represent a flexible and strong energy.   Green has dropped considerably in popularity,  but blue is a color on the rise again.  Blue would be a great color choice if you are wanting to express yourself more, but not flamboyantly.  But, be aware that the brighter the color, the higher the energy level.  Neon green and bright blue have much stronger vibes and therefore stronger driving energy!

Browns, Tans and Pale Yellow represent the grounded EARTH element, which make them some of the safest energy colors to have on the road.  They also happen to be considered the most sedate and are the least purchased – how often do you see tan cars in traffic?   An EARTH energy color would definitely be most attractive to people’s whose first considerations are dependability and reliability – very yin traits.  Earth also represents a feeling of  calmness.  Brown, tan & yellow vehicles were very popular in the 60′s & 70′s – a time when our society was in upheaval and the older generation wanted to keep the status quo.  My mom drove a light yellow 1970 Mercury Montego and my dad a 1965 light yellow Chevy Truck (I forgot to mention that my dad was a California State Driver License Examiner too).  There is definitely a benefit to having these colors on the road – you just might not be able to find as many available for purchase.  The desire today is to drive something with more energy & personality!

White, Gray, Silver, Gold and other metallic colored cars represent METAL energy, which help with concentration and staying on task while driving. These colors also promote a feeling of being in control and are considered by many to be classic, elegant vehicle colors.  I am on my second white vehicle, and I really love white cars.  I confess that I tend to daydream while driving  and having the focused energy of a METAL color around me keeps me paying attention, and calmer than those Fire colors do!

Black and Dark Shades of most other colors represent the mystery and intrigue of the WATER element. It is no wonder that black is a popular choice for people who want to remain anonymous, secretive, or project an air of mystery.  This is the popular choice for limousines, police cars and government transport vehicles. Add to that blacked out windows, and you have the ultimate fortress from prying eyes.  High profile people, continuously surrounded by active FIRE energy, will appreciate the peace and calm they get riding in a blacked out car.  There’s nothing like a large dose of WATER to cool off the intense heat of Fame!  Black has become one of the most popular car colors.  Perhaps it’s the desire to feel mysterious and cool that attracts so many to drive this color vehicle.

No matter how new or old your vehicle is, respect and appreciate it by keeping its interior and exterior a positive reflection of you.  Not only will you feel better, you will tend to have a better driving experience.  And that is always Good Feng Shui!

Safe Travels Everyone!  

Feng Shui And Your Vehicle Part I

License plate brackets can be good Feng Shui!

License plate brackets can be good Feng Shui!

You can improve the energy flow of any space using Feng Shui principles, and that includes the vehicles you drive.  

Now that summertime travel is upon us, I thought it would be appropriate to address a space where we spend a lot of time  – our motor vehicles.  I have lived, and driven, in two of the most auto populated areas in the US:  Los Angeles and Atlanta.  I can honestly say that having good Feng Shui in and around my cars has kept me safe and (mostly) calm in both areas as I drive!  Hopefully my suggestions will be helpful to you as well.

1.  Keep it Clean!  What applies to your home applies to your car.   Empty water bottles or coffee cups, fast food bags, dried french fries, loose Cheerios on the floor, or papers strewn across the back seat does nothing to help you feel confident and in control of your driving (or your life).  If you unexpectedly need to drive a friend, relative or co-worker somewhere, you won’t need to fumble around to clean a place off for them to sit, let alone have to apologize for the mess.  I’ve been there, done that, and it is embarrassing!  

In addition, keeping a messy car sends a signal to the Universe that you do not appreciate and respect what you have.  You may collect more dings and dents, have more technical problems or even tend to drive more disrespectfully around others.  You won’t have the tendency to feel envious of others if you keep your vehicle clean inside and out.  This does not mean you cannot admire newer, sexier vehicles –  just remember who you are driving home at the end of the day! 

2.  Have a positive reminder in view.  This can be a guardian angel charm, a small item given to you by someone special, a written affirmation posted on the dashboard, a window decal or photo.  I always get a kick out of the dash vase the newer VW bugs have.  OK, it’s a bit too cutesy for most, but I love the idea!  It’s about having something uplifting in a space where you spend a lot of time.  I have clear window clings with the words JOY and GRATITUDE on the bottom of each side of my windshield.  It is my reminder to be thankful for having a great vehicle to take me where I want and need to go.  Our son’s car has one that says PROTECTION.  Our daughter has a Guardian Angel medallion on her dash.  It doesn’t need to be big –  just a visual reminder to start your drive on a positive note. 

3.  Send out a Blessing before you drive.  Yes, I believe in angels and especially my driving angels!  I ask them to watch over me, my car, and everyone else I am around every time I get behind the wheel.  I visualize a protective white light surrounding me and whatever vehicle I am driving.  If I’m running late, which occurs much less now, I ask that I arrive at my destination safely and on time.  I then take a deep breath, relax and trust the traffic will cooperate.  I can honestly say that I find I do arrive in time or there were delays on the other end which kept me from being the late one.  I drive in the faster moving lane, get mostly green lights, and avoid erratic drivers the majority of the time.  

I don’t leave home without sending my blessing out!  On long trips, I repeat my blessing every time I stop for food or fuel.  I do the same for friends and family members that I know are driving home late or long distances.  

4.  Utilize the Fame/Reputation and Career areas of your vehicle.

The front license plate bracket is in the Fame/Reputation and the back bracket is in the Career guas of the Bagua.  These are great locations to advertise your business contact information or something else that represents you!  On the front of my minivan, I have the Yin/Yang symbol and my rear license bracket has a reference to Feng Shui.  I have energized both of these brackets with the intention that they send out positive energy while I drive.  The rear window and back of the vehicle work well too, so long as it doesn’t look cluttered or obstruct your view.  

Be conscious about displaying anything that may irritate or cause another driver to be distracted around you, such as highly reflective finishes or derogatory stickers. If that is your intent, however, be prepared to attract drivers around you that are irritated or distracted.  

5.  Regular Maintenance = A Happier Car  

My dad always told me that if I keep my car looking good and running well, I will keep it longer and enjoy it more, plus save money and headaches.  How right he was!  We currently own 4 vehicles and three of them have over 135k miles each.   They all receive regular oil changes, and get the necessary repairs which have been minor given their use.  Our mechanic shared with me that most people do not keep up with regular oil changes and check-ups, which cause most of the mechanical problems he sees.  If something breaks, do what you can to repair it as soon as possible.  As with your home, so with your vehicle – a grateful heart for what you have is always good Feng Shui!

6.  Motorcycles need good Feng Shui too!

My husband is back riding a motorcycle after a 25 year hiatus while raising our kids. As with most bikers, I know there is no problem with keeping them clean and in good repair – I wish my car was babied as much as his bike is!  

Because motorcycles can get easily lost in a blind spot, Wes also visualizes a protective white light around him every time he rides.  His bike has the traditional Guardian Bell attached to the bottom of the bike chassis, to protect against road ‘gremlins’ (aka hazards).  He also keeps a piece of Hematite, a wonderful grounding stone, in his front bike pouch to help him stay grounded and focused while riding.  As with all Feng Shui enhancements, the intention behind them gives them energy and power.  Medallions, crosses and the like can do the same thing.

To some, all of this may sound Hokey or too ritualistic, which is OK by me.  I know I am calmer and more relaxed when I drive and worry less about others.  I keep sending my blessings out to all the drivers around me and hope they will feel as calm and relaxed as I am. 

Look for Part II of Feng Shui and Your Vehicle, where I will share my insights on car colors.

Safe Travels Everyone!

Your Vibration Does Matter

logomancer_Atom_Model

When I first began studying Feng Shui, one of the first basic rules I learned was:  Everything is energy.   

This rule brought me back to my college days in Chemistry class, many, many moons ago.  The condensed version of what I learned:  Everything surrounding us, seen and unseen, is a combination of molecules made up of vibrating atom particles.  These molecules vibrate at certain frequencies – the slower the vibration of  molecules, the more solid and heavy the mass – the higher the vibration, the lighter the mass.  This includes light and sound waves (what we see and hear), and even our thoughts.   

What does this mean to us in terms of improving the quality of life?  Plenty! It means that everything around us is alive with energy, and therefore sends out a vibration that we can see, hear, smell, taste or feel.  The challenge for us is to pay attention to how we are responding to that vibration.  Does it make us feel good, bad or indifferent?  What was pleasant a few months, or even years, ago may not be true now.   What is a positive affirmation for one person may bring feelings of unhappiness to another.  It is all about personal choices, which is a good thing.  Can you imagine how boring life would be if all we saw were the same colored houses with identical cars parked in every driveway?

Feng Shui’s goal is to create balance and harmony in our spaces so we can live better.  Balancing the energy of a space means changing its vibration to support you.  

Clutter creates a very low vibration.  The energy of clutter feels heavy and stagnant.  Spending too much time in a cluttered space will cause your own vibration to drop and become lethargic, even to the point of depression.   That is why Feng Shui practitioners talk so much about de-cluttering spaces before changing anything else. You will be amazed at the energy shift just from performing this one activity!

Change your thoughts to improve the energy surrounding you.   Negative thoughts = lower vibration, Positive thoughts = higher vibration!

Changing your focus from what isn’t working in your life to what you appreciate about your life raises your vibration and improves your outlook.  Imagine if you did this right before your clutter cleared or re-decorated a room.  Your positive vibration will be imbued into that space and raise the overall feel of that room.  Creating vision or dream boards, or decorating with photos and artwork that send you positive vibrations are quick ways to raise the vibration of a space as well.

The energy you surround yourself with is what you tend to vibrate back into the world. The point is to live with what you love and love what you live with.  This also applies to people, but that’s a whole other topic for another day!

 

 

2013, The Year of the Water Snake

HAPPY NEW YEAR (Again)!  

February 10th marks the official beginning of the Chinese New Year (the second new moon after the Winter Solstice).  We are getting ready to enter the Year of the Water Snake – another year of changes and transitions.

Year of the Snake 2013 clip art 003

In the Chinese culture, the snake represents wisdom and knowledge – not quite the same frame of reference we have for the snake in our Western society.  The snake is all about shedding its skin and starting fresh.  What a great focus to have this year as a lot of us continue to shed old habits, attitudes, situations and beliefs that no longer serve us.  

What have you decided to release from your life this year?  What new choices are you making?   Consider all areas of your life – financial, health, relationships, business/career, spiritual.  This is the year to finally clear things up and let things go.

Here are a few suggestions to implement before February 10th, in order to fully enjoy this second New Year:

Take time to get focused and develop a plan.  Be cautious and deliberate, rather than impulsive, about your choices this year.  Water Snake energy brings with it deep, personal reflection and transformation.  It is time to be still and really listen to your intuition, and then follow it.

Get your house in order.  Wash, dust and vacuum old, stale energy away (or any bad luck energy from the prior year), so you can welcome in fresh, new vibrant energy.  Pay particular attention to your kitchen, which is the heart of your home’s prosperity, and where your family receives its nourishment.   Make sure all burners are clean, working well, and ALL are used regularly.  Keep counter tops clean and uncluttered.  Check your refrigerator and toss or use up all leftovers (including the last bits of condiments and salad dressings), then  give it a good cleaning.  

All areas of your home count in the organizing process. True, it may not be seen often, but clutter is clutter and closets, garages, attics and basements do affect your energy flow.  Release the excess or it will continue to drag you down in 2013!

Energize your front entrance and kitchen.  Place a new colorful WELCOME mat outside the front door.  Put out a bowl of fresh oranges or tangerines on your kitchen table or counter – these hold the energy of  prosperity since the Chinese words for orange and tangerine sound like wealth and luck, respectively.  Place a fresh bouquet of a combination of white, orange and yellow flowers on your dining table, a living display of all 5 elements in Feng Shui.  Keep them only as long as they look fresh and healthy.

Energize your personal finances.  Every New Year, I change out my old wallet for a new red or purple one.  A fresh, new wallet re-energizes the thought of financial prosperity.  This is a wonderful tradition I have shared with clients and friends with positive results!  This year, you can add gold to the choices – a color that always represents wealth – and the Metal element supports Water!  As an additional affirmation of abundance – keep a $20, $50 or $100 bill tucked away in your new wallet, as a reminder that you always have extra funds.  Use the highest denomination possible and if it happens to get used, replace it quickly. 

Consider the Chinese New Year a do-over bonus!   If you’re frustrated because you’ve already fallen down on your January 1st New Year’s resolution(s), re-focus, re-energize and consider this your second chance.  You still have a whole new year ahead of you! 

 

Gung Hey Fat Choy!       “Wishing you Prosperity and Wealth!”

 

New Year, New Energy, New Life!

What I love about celebrating a New Year is that we can celebrate it twice!  There is January 1st, from the Gregorian calendar, which we use here in the West.  Then there is the Chinese New Year, the first New Moon of the year, which will be February 10th in 2013.  I especially love celebrating the Chinese New Year because, energetically, it connects us to our physical surroundings.  Since we focus on changes we want to make in our lives in the coming year, it is important we also clean up our personal spaces to support these changes.

If your goal is to eat healthier, then your kitchen should support those choices.  After giving the kitchen a good cleaning, remove what does not support your goals, such as the deep fryer and the highly processed snacks, and replace them with maybe a juicer and fresh fruits and vegetables.  If you want to improve the success of your home business, create a successful and organized office area with a desk facing the door so you can see opportunities coming.   Although these seem like small changes to make, the positive shift you will feel in your home will inspire you to keep your focus.

What changes do you want to make in your life for 2013?  What improvements can you make in your home to support those changes?

Happy New Year!!

Preparing for Thanksgiving Guests

Can it be the middle of November already?  It seems like yesterday when we were enjoying the hot Summer weather.  The temperature outside has dropped into the 40’s and the trees are showing off their last bold colors before going to sleep for the Winter.  It is now time to plan for Thanksgiving.

While many of us are doing major house cleaning, food planning and decorating in anticipation of big family gatherings, I’d like to share some Feng Shui tips to help fill your home with more gratitude and balanced energy and less frustration and drama.

Set your intention for everyone to have a wonderful time.  True, you can’t control how anyone else acts or reacts while visiting, but you can set the tone for your own energy and attitude.  Write down a blessing or affirmation on a piece of paper, such as: “May all who dine here be blessed with good health, happy and loving hearts and prosperity in all areas of their lives.”  Place this blessing in the room where you will be dining, either under a beloved piece of china in the hutch or on the buffet, or under the tablecloth or runner.  No one else needs to know it’s there.  Remembering this blessing will lighten your energy and spread out to the others.  You could also choose to place this blessing in your entryway and re-word it to ‘all who enter’.   

See your home as a guest would.  Is the path leading up to your front door well lit and free of all dried leaves and debris?  Is your front door welcoming?  I love keeping things simple.  A brightly colored Welcome mat and colorful wreath on the door, decorated with Fire and Earth colors (reds, oranges, yellows) invites not only visitors, but vital Ch’i energy into your home.   Another excellent choice is to flank pots of cheerful chrysanthemums on either side of the door.  If your front door is already painted red, decorate with greenery and yellows, browns and dark tones to balance all of the Fire energy.  Make sure your doorbell is working, the door handles are tight, and squeaky hinges are oiled.  You want your front door to be strong, secure and ready to greet your guests!

During the Fall season, I love welcoming guests with sunflowers on the door!

When you enter your home, is it clear of any clutter, especially on the floor?  If you can smell food cooking when you enter, you have included a wonderful sense of smell to the atmosphere, or you can light a mildly scented, seasonal candle near the entrance.  This is where I love to use the small votive or tealite candles rather than larger scented pillars or jar candles, which can be overwhelming to guests with sensitive noses.  I also burn one in each bathroom as well.  Tealites add more ambiance than using plug-in fresheners.   Festive music, playing quietly in the background, will add a pleasant sound without being a distraction to conversation. 

Set the stage for dining.  Although a round or oval dining room table is the ideal shape for equal conversation, most of us probably have either a square or rectangular table that gets extended for large gatherings.  The preferred, command position is the chair that is farthest from the entrance of the room yet facing it, usually with a solid wall behind it.  The weakest energy position is the chair with its back to the room’s entrance.  We can talk about power positioning (the host usually sits in the command position) , but I’d rather talk about making everyone feel as comfortable as possible.  A tablecloth that drapes over all corners of a square or rectangular table reduces the sharpness of the edges and softens the overall feel of the room.  You can soften edges of a hutch or sideboard, that may be  pointing towards someone, by draping greenery over the corners.  Find this out, in advance, by sitting in each dining chair.       

Mirrors multiply the abundance of food, which represents wealth and abundance in Feng Shui.  Prop a large mirror up behind the buffet, place them under serving dishes or use as a runner down the center of the table.  

If your dining room is painted red or burgundy (which is common here in the South), hold back from adding too much fire, which will  increase the chance of heated arguments.  Also be sparing with wood elements, since most rooms already have a lot of wood furniture and Wood feeds the Fire energy.  Instead, put the focus on glassware, light colored plates and metallics.  

Thanksgiving reminds us to express gratitude and appreciation for what we have and who we have in our lives.  Decorate your home with gratitude, prepare your meals with love and welcome all who enter with appreciation, and this holiday will bring you joy and peace.    

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!   

The Lucky Bamboo

Bamboo is being used more and more in our western society in building products, such as flooring and cabinets.  We are also seeing sheets and clothing made out of this readily renewable resource.  To welcome in Spring,  I wanted to talk about the benefits of using Lucky Bamboo in your home, as a way of energizing growth and abundance into your spaces.  Imagine my surprise when I did my research on the plant and found out that it is not actually in the bamboo family.

The Lucky Bamboo is a Dracaena sanderiana, and is a species of the genus Dracaena.  It is a member of the lily family that grows in the dark, tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia and Africa.  It has become popular as a household plant because it can survive in many indoor conditions and requires little regular maintenance.  Keeping it in indirect light is best as direct sunlight can cause the leaves to turn yellow and burn.  Lucky Bamboo also does very well when its roots are kept in clean, de-chlorinated water.  For more information on the care of lucky bamboo, check out this article: http://www.flowershopnetwork.com/blog/newsletter-july-2003/

Although not a true bamboo, in Feng Shui, the resilient Lucky Bamboo  represents the Wood and Water elements, which relate to growth, success and prosperity, yet also demonstrate flexibility.  If you add a red ribbon tied around the stalks, you have added the Fire element, and further increase the positive flow of energy or chi in the room. Other ways to add Fire is to use a red pot or one with an animal motif.  You can find many Asian stores selling Lucky Bamboo in pots decorated with frogs, turtles, elephants and dragons.  When planted in a round (Metal), ceramic (Earth) pot, you have incorporated all five Feng Shui elements – a perfect addition to any space for elemental balance.

Lucky Bamboo is a wonderful addition in most areas of a home, particularly in the Health & Family and Wealth & Prosperity guas.  I have several Lucky Bamboo plants throughout my home.  The plant, pictured below, is in the Health & Family area of our dining room.  It is in a place of honor, along with two beloved family heirlooms – the hand-carved wooden bar it is sitting on, which my mother won playing Bingo when we were stationed in the Philippines, and the porcelain Buddha on the right, which was a gift to my dad that symbolized our family (my dad was bald and there are five kids in our family). The other Buddha was a gift to me from my mother.  Having the Lucky Bamboo there brings a wonderful balanced energy to those memories, now that both of my parents have passed.

There are many good locations for a Lucky Bamboo because it brings in nature and a balance to most spaces. Living and family rooms are great locations.  Consider placing one on your office desk – in the Wealth & Prosperity area (the far left corner), with the intent to bring in more financial success to your business, or in the Health & Family area (left side in the center), to bring in new growth and opportunities.  Just be careful not to go crazy and place them everywhere, or you may become overwhelmed with too much new activity all at once!  Intentionally place one and see how the energy responds.  The one room I wouldn’t suggest putting a plant in is a bedroom.  It could produce more yang energy than you want for sleep, especially when near the bed or in a small size bedroom.

A Lucky Bamboo plant makes a great gift.  Offer it with the intention of it bringing wonderful new energy, growth and success to the recipient’s life – perfect for a housewarming or birthday!  You can also give one to someone who is recovering from an illness, surgery or accident, with the intention that it represents healing and new strength.  Be sure the one you purchase is healthy, has room for water in the pot, and that the roots aren’t dry.  I recently went to a large home improvement store and found that the pot was too small and the rocks on top were actually glued together so you couldn’t water the plant – not good Feng Shui for the poor plant!  Just because they sell Lucky Bamboo does not mean that they are treated well.  A florist shop or grocery store may have the healthiest ones around.

If you don’t own a Lucky Bamboo yet, buy one.  If you honor it by treating it well, you will be blessed with many years of beauty and wonderful energy!

2012 – The Year of The Dragon

2012 - The Year of The Dragon

January 23, 2012 begins the Year of The Dragon (more specifically the Year of The Water Dragon).  The dragon is the mightiest of all the Chinese zodiac signs and the only mythical one.  Originally, the dragon represented the emperor & power.  In modern times, it is the ultimate auspicious symbol signifying success & happiness!   This year holds the potential to breathe life-shaping fire into it – a year full of energy & vitality, which may prove to invigorate some and be a bit exhausting to others.  Lots of continued changes are in store!  Have you made room in your home to welcome in this auspicious energy yet?   Yes, we are getting back to the discussion of getting rid of clutter – the unnecessary stuff in your life right now!

Clutter is the biggest obstacle to achieving ANYTHING positive in a person’s life.  I love Feng Shui guru & Soul Coach, Denise Linn‘s description of clutter as being ‘an accumulation of things that impede the flow of energy in your home’.   Positive intention is also an important part of achieving what you want, so be aware of your mental and emotional clutter as well.  Negative self-talk, feelings of scarcity, living in the past, or holding onto resentment toward someone all count!

You can use the Bagua map to find out where stuck or stagnant energy may be in your home (thereby affecting you) by choosing an area in your life you would like to improve and checking for clutter in the corresponding area of the bagua.  For example, the wealth/prosperity area of your home footprint is located in the rear left corner as you walk in the front door.  If this area is cluttered or dirty, it is a good bet that you are having financial challenges as well.  By clearing out and cleaning up those spaces, you should have a clearer vision of your finances. You may even get ideas flowing to you of how to improve them!  Another suggestions is to also check each room individually (line each room’s door up to the bottom of the bagua map).  Do you see any clutter claiming the far left corners?  If you do…..clear it out and clean it up.  Everything counts in Feng Shui – every nook & cranny!

After  clutter clearing, you can decorate your home with symbols of good fortune to usher in the Chinese New Year such as:

– Adding bright colors such as red (happiness) or gold/orange (wealth/happiness).     Note: Chinese brides wear red.

– Putting fruit out such as oranges and tangerines (good health/long life); tangerines with attached leaves (long lasting friendships that are fruitful and multiply as in having children); and persimmons (happiness/wealth)

– Displaying a circular candy tray (candy is the sweet and circular signifies togetherness)

– Putting out a bouquet of flowers (tradition states that if the flowers bloom on New Year’s Day, it will be a prosperous year!  Just make sure you dispose of them as soon as they start losing their freshness.

Starting the Year of The Dragon off with clean and clear spaces decorated with happiness and prosperity in mind will allow wonderful new opportunities and things (such as money) into your life this year!

Gung Hey Fat Choy!     translation:   “Wishing You Prosperity and Wealth”

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