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Posts tagged ‘Yin Yang’

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!

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In the Heat of the Summer

Summer has officially arrived!

Most of us here in The States will have extremely hot weather to deal with sometime during the next few months.

Being outside gives you freedom, fun, and connection to community and to nature…….all of which improve the quality of our lives.  We also get more natural Vitamin D from the sun, which decreases feelings of depression.

We are a ‘Goldilocks’ species.  We want things just right…..not too hot, not too cold, not too bright, not too dark, not too hard, not too soft, etc.  So, when we get too much of a good thing, in this case very yang sun and heat, we naturally follow the Feng Shui principle of balancing those with the following yin energies:

1.  Cool It Down –  How great does an ice-cold drink taste when you’ve been out in the sun!  It cools the body down quickly, without causing cramping.  Add a cold compress on the back of the neck and you have another quick way to cool off.  Other avenues of using the yin quality of cold…..fans & air conditioning.  Right now, it is 104 degrees here in metro Atlanta, GA, and believe me….those two  are lifesavers!  And let’s not forget the popsicle.  Yes, ice cream works well too, but popsicles are the ultimate traditional summer cooler.

2.  Get Wet –  Swimming or relaxing in a cool body of water, or at least having the spray of water on you, is the most fun way to cool off.  Did you have a Slip ‘N Slide growing up or remember running through the sprinklers?  What a quick & inexpensive way to cool off a bunch of hot kids (OK, adults too)!

3.  Go to the Dark Side – Shade is a welcoming yin element, whether poolside, on the deck or front porch, or with an umbrella strolling down the street.  Were you ever told to close the drapes and keep the lights turned off to keep the house cool?  Growing up in a house without A/C, this was a mantra used by my parents.  Darker areas are a welcomed relief from the brightness and heat outside.

4.  Nap Time –  This is my favorite yin remedy and encompasses a whole lot of yin for your buck – a quiet location, soft chair, bed or hammock, more horizontally positioned, in a shaded area with a cool breeze, and maybe a cold drink at the ready…sheer perfection!

So, the next time the heat of Summer gets to be a bit too yang for you, decide what yin qualities you want to add to your spaces to keep you balanced and happy.  I think I’m going to go take a nap!

A Romantic, Restful Bedroom

To honor Valentine’s Day, I thought it would be a great time to talk about the importance of Feng Shuing your bedroom to promote not only romantic love, but also to love and honor yourself.  Whether you are looking for that one perfect partner, re-vitalizing an existing relationship, or creating an oasis of serenity & support for yourself, having a calm and inviting bedroom is the first step.  Of course, using Feng Shui is only part of the equation – you need to set your intention on what it is you want in a relationship, then do your part to develop that relationship.  I can, at least, help you set the stage!

For your bedroom to support a secure and intimate relationship, everything you see, feel, smell and touch in the room should promote relaxation, security and intimacy.  Yin energy should be dominant in the room to create the coziness and comfort, while the addition of yang energy (see yin/yang for more info) adds the heat for amorous activities.   If it is too bright with too much to capture your attention (TV, computer, work desk or exercise equipment), you will have too many distractions to focus on intimacy or sleep.  Below are some Feng Shui suggestions to create balance and harmony for both to co-exist in the bedroom.

♥ Remove all clutter in the room.   This includes under the bed and in the closets.  It all counts because clutter causes stress in the form of confusion, irritation, overwhelm and frustration, which does not bode well for romance or a good night’s sleep.  Ignoring clutter does not mean it doesn’t affect you.  If you absolutely have to use your bedroom for storage, keep things neat and protected in containers made for storage.  Cardboard boxes and laundry baskets don’t count!  Keeping items under the bed should be the last resort, because beneficial energy (ch’i) cannot circulate freely around the bed.  It is difficult to get a good night’s sleep with stagnant energy around you!

♥ Use flesh-toned colors on your bedroom walls.   There is a wide-range of skin colors from people around the world including cream, pink, peach, yellow, lavender, beige, caramel, coral, raspberry, gold, terra-cotta and brown.  The general response to these colors is friendly, which is important in a room where you let your guard down.   Blue or green walls have more yang energy, since they represent the Wood element (the element for growth and activity).  White, gray, or even black walls tend to make the room feel cooler and less cozy.  If you do have white walls and cannot repaint, balance them with flesh tones in bed covers & linens, art, pillows, area rugs, and other decor.

♥ Keep the bed as the focal point of the room.   Giving the TV a commanding position in your bedroom can cause a definite drop in intimacy.  If you absolutely must have a TV in the room, put it behind closed doors at night, or cover it with a beautiful piece of cloth before going to bed – you don’t need this big black eye watching you while you sleep, or are otherwise engaged.  This also applies to computers, work desks, exercise equipment and all forms of paperwork and laundry.  These are all constant reminders of work, not rest, and do not belong in the bedroom at all!

The bed itself is important.  A good mattress is critical because if it doesn’t support your back, you will not feel supported in your life.  And as much as we think bigger beds are better, king size beds can leave too much space between people and reduce closeness for most couples.

Bed positioning is important to creating a safe haven for the most vulnerable time you spend in this room – during sleep.  Good quality sleep is critical for a good quality of life and great relationships. You should have the largest view of the room and see the entrance door from where you lie in bed, without being in direct line with the door.  If this is not possible, place a mirror on the opposite wall from the door to see it better from the bed. If the head of your bed is under a window, add a headboard or window treatments.  If the foot of the bed can only be positioned to face the door, add a footboard or chest there for a feeling of protection from the incoming energy of the hallway.

If your desire is to have a long-term relationship:  Be able to get out of bed on both sides and avoid having just one night stand next to the bed – use two.  Keep some closet space open, and remove stuffed animals and excess pillows.  All of these signal the universe that there is no room for another in your space – your space is already filled!

♥ Remove or cover all mirrors at night.   In Feng Shui, mirrors reflect yang activity.  The bigger and the closer a mirror is to the bed, the more it will disturb your sleep.  It is better to have no mirrors, or one that is not facing the bed (such as mentioned above).  The other option is to cover them with a beautiful cloth at night.  Our home in California had mirrored closet doors that reflected the entire length of the bed on my side.  Not long after we installed a curtain rod and curtains to cover them (which we opened during the day and closed at night),  the quality of my sleep improved and I fell back asleep quicker if I awoke during the night.  Eventually, we replaced the mirrored doors with louvered ones and eliminated the situation altogether.

♥ Use good quality bed linens.  Splurge on the best you can afford.  Considering how much of your time is spent in bed, a higher thread count and luxurious fabrics really do make a difference.  Textures, patterns and darker colors  promote more yin energy.  There are new fabrics out there that have an amazing sensual feel to them and are reasonably priced.

♥ Display photos and decor that honor your personal relationship.   You, as a couple, are the focus, rather than you as parents or part of a community.  Religious, family & group photos serve you better in other areas of the house.  Just remember…all eyes are on you while you sleep and enjoy other activities – do you really want everyone watching?!  Place your happy couple photos throughout the bedroom, especially in the Love & Relationship Bagua area of the room (far right corner from the door).  Items that you received as gifts from your loved one, or to honor your relationship, are wonderful to display anywhere in the room.  On our dresser, we have our framed wedding announcement (which was given to us as a gift) next to a wedding photo and a vacation photo we took in Hawaii.   I pass by the dresser each morning and am reminded of how lucky I am to have such a wonderful relationship!

If you are not yet in a relationship, in lieu of photos, use any objects that represent an equal pair – two flowers, two candles (red or pink are great color choices), statues of 2 birds (preferably facing each other or relating positively) or even 2 crystals or stones of equal size (to represent a rock solid pairing).  Equal proportion supports the idea of a balanced relationship.  Choosing 2 items that are disproportionate to each other can bring you a relationship where one person is dominant over the other.  Having photos or other artwork depicting a single person creates the energy of ‘one’, which is counterproductive to a couple status so watch what you display in your bedroom.  The Universe tends to take things literally!

Treat your sense of smell.  Years ago, I read that the scent of vanilla is a sensual scent for men (I guess it relates to: “A way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”).  Vanilla is used in a lot of desserts, and desserts are the epitome of decadence and comfort.  If vanilla doesn’t do it for you or your partner, find a scent that does and use it in subtle ways with candles or essential oils.  Lavender creates a relaxing atmosphere condusive for sleep and general well-being.  Keeping bowls of potpourri around does not promote positive energy.  Potpourri is made out of dried, dead items.

♥  Spark Passion with Red and Pink.    Red and pink are the colors that represent love & marriage, so feel free to accessorize with whatever shades you love.  Be careful not to go crazy with red everything in the bedroom though, because too much Fire can trigger arguments or cause restless sleep.  When you walk into the room, your eyes should be able to quickly pick out those pops of Fire, not be burned by it.

♥  Strengthen all of the Love & Relationship areas of your home.  If your master bedroom is located in the far right corner of your home, then you’re off to a great start!  If not, focus on cleaning up this area of all rooms in the house (all floors).  You can add paired items in these rooms to support the couple vibe.  The important thing is to get rid of clutter and unnecessary items!

Wishing you a Happy and Romantic Valentine’s Day!

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