Friday, April 3, 2020

Inspiring Shelter in Place Feng Shui Ideas

Are you wondering what to do during these constricted shelter in place times? Look at this as an opportunity  to slow down, take care of yourself, enjoy the family you live with, and adopt many Feng Shui practices of clearing, enhancing and beautifying.


I read  a beautiful article by Cynthia Brian, author of best-selling books, including, Chicken Soup for the Gardener's Soul, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, and Be the Star You Are! Millenials to Boomers"   Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com www.GoddessGardener.com.
Her list of ideas for enhancing yourself, your garden and your home is inspiring:


Cynthia Brian's Gardening Guide for April

 SOW seeds that will attract birds to your garden. Suggestions include coneflower, anise hyssop,   bachelor's button, Mexican sunflower, cosmos and black-eyed Susan.

 SHOOT photos of the abundant flowering trees including tulip magnolia, crabapple, peach,       plum,  prune, cherry, pear and apple.

 CLEAN debris from berms and drainage ditches to prevent flooding. The soil and leaves can be     added to your compost pile.

 PULL weeds while the ground is soft.

 PLAN your vegetable garden for the foods you love the most.

 PLANT seeds of greens, beets, carrots and turnips now.

 CUT a branch or two from your favorite flowering trees or shrubs. Redbuds, crabapple, plum,
         peach are glorious in vases.                                               

 INTRODUCE plants that will make you smile. I planted sunflowers, sweet peas, nasturtiums and       purple hyacinth bean.

 TAKE a garden class online or watch YouTube videos with gardening tips.

 MAKE teas and cocktails from herbs you grow including mint, rosemary, sage and fennel.

 REPOT houseplants.

 BOOST your immune system with a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, nuts and fatty fish.Adopt a Mediterranean style of eating.
 
 WALK around your garden to admire the spring growth.

 BUILD a planter box.

 ORDER gardening books. to read. Be inspired and motivated by "Chicken Soup for the Gardener's Soul,""Growing With the Goddess Gardener," and "Be the Star You Are!
Millenials to Boomers"available at www.cynthiabrian.com/online.store

 INHALE the perfume of fragrant plants. Roses are blooming and fruit blossoms are delightful.

 LOWER your stress by strolling alone in the outdoors among trees and on trails.

 MEDITATE in your garden, or on your balcony, patio or porch.

 LISTEN to the birds, frogs and insects as they begin their spring songs.

 NOURISH your spirit by sitting by a fountain or pond.

 EAT plenty of fresh citruses, especially homegrown, to increase your vitamin C intake. Oranges,          tangelos, tangerines, grapefruit and lemons are ripe and ready for picking

 EXERCISE includes all gardening chores: raking sweeping, weeding, lifting, pruning, planting,         digging, fertilizing, and chopping wood. Workout outside.

 TAKE a nap and on a warm day, get your z's outside in the fresh air.

 SHARE your garden skills with your children. Let them plant seeds of vegetables and herbs they       want to eat.

 FERTILIZE lawns. Lawn food is available at your local hardware store.

 GROW your own bouquets. Create a stunning floral art with a variety of roses, stock, tulips, iris,        calla lilies and mock orange



 BEE friendly by planting three or four types of native wildflowers to attract the honey gatherers as well as pest-resistant varieties of flowers, shrubs, trees and vegetables, thus eliminating          pesticides. I've sown California poppies, lupines, bee balm, and morning glories.

 WATCH the blossoms in the breeze float to the ground like snowflakes.

 PREPARE your garden patches to sow seeds of potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant by   rotating these crops. For best production, do not plant these in the same place every year.

 ENJOY a peaceful Passover and Easter without an in-person gathering.

 STAY informed about Covid-19 depending only on reliable information. Visit Centers for Disease       Control and Prevention at https://www.cdc.gov;

                                                                          Blessings


Wednesday, March 11, 2020

In Feng Shui it's Important to Remove and Replenish

Two key words in Feng Shui are “remove” and “replenish”.

First take time to remove any items from your home that clutter your and a stress to your life. For instance, remove from your bedroom all books, equipment, projects and materials that relate to other areas of your life. If you keep objects and equipment that remind you of work or other areas of your life in your bedroom, they can distract you from your intention of enjoying a fulfilling love relationship and relaxing in a nurturing calming environment. Move them to other more appropriate locations in your home. Take time to also remove piles and objects in the rest of your home that you no longer need. Create a decluttered, peaceful environment which nurtures you.



Next surround yourself with items, people and/or activities which you relish will help replenish you. Flowers, for instance, are a fantastic vehicle to self care. They represent life, love, beauty, joy, possibility, abundance and transformation. In Feng Shui they represent good health and are particularly enhancing in the Health, Friends and Family area (middle left) of your home.



During these stressful social times, when you feel life is out of your control, removing clutter to free yourself from stress and surrounding yourself with experiences you relish, will keep your spirits up, sustain you, and replenish you.

Free yourself from clutter, surround yourself with beauty and feel a shift in how you view life. 


Blessings

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Quieting Your Environment Through Feng Shui


With so much chaos all around us in the world, it is imperative that we have a “quiet” home as a refuge to nurture us. Feng Shui defines a quiet home as one without clutter, offering us beauty and a balance of the elements. Feng Shui which has been practiced for over 3,000 years in China, is the enhancement of health, prosperity, and happiness. The belief is that that your vitality, resources, and loving connections flourish and grow best in harmonious, uncluttered environments that intentionally meet your unique needs and express your personal preferences.

An organized home can have a calming effect on you, your family and guests. Chaos in a home can be defined in two ways:

Active Chaos: The kind of chaos we see in creative efforts; cooking, decorating, cleaning, crafting, painting, building etc.  It is the kind of chaos which leads to something positive and will be cleaned up in the end. We all go through this and it nurtures us.  


The mess in a wallpapering project.

                                       

The finished product.

Passive Chaos: This is a mess left for a long time; cluttered garages, closets stuffed with junk, piles left all over the house. These kinds of messes will drain you on a daily basis. This does not lend to a quiet home. 



Creating a quiet home does not have to be difficult; in just minutes you can begin to make changes that can turn your home into a comfortable, peaceful haven.

What works is balance. You can begin to transform your home from chaos to paradise with the “few minutes a day technique”. I call it the “Salami Method of Time Management”, taking one slice at a time.  Organizing possessions and eliminating clutter can be viewed as an adventurous mission that opens portals to your personal paradise.  By getting rid of the things you no longer want or need, you revitalize your home and make room for what you really DO want to flow into your life; you enhance your happiness, clarity and peace of mind. In Feng Shui everything counts, so your storage areas are as important as the most lived-in areas. In other words, if your room is orderly because everything is stuffed into a closet, you are not practicing Feng Shui. 

Clutter is defined as any items that are disliked, unused, in excess and/or unorganized.  To begin choose a space you consider cluttered, such as a closet, storeroom, cabinet, desk drawer, table top, or kitchen cupboard, then follow these simple steps:


As you’re organizing and decluttering, ask yourself these questions:

“Do I love it? Do I need it? Does it represent or support who I am now? What pleasant or unpleasant memories does it hold? Does it need repair, and am I willing to restore it right now? If I’m letting go, will I sell, lend, or give it away, and when?”

Label 3 boxes or bags:  Throwaway, Giveaway, and Stowaway. When you have separated all items into 3 categories, put the throwaways in the trash immediately, prepare and label the giveaways to go to their new homes (family, friends, and charities) and make sure you remove them from the space and give them away within a week. Stowaway the items you are keeping to their proper places with love and gratitude.

Give yourself the gift of shelves and containers for your storage areas. Your environment displays your consciousness, and there’s no more revealing place to look than behind closet doors. You’ll know that you’ve succeeded in reinstating balance when you respond positively to every part of your home, and can easily put your hand on everything you need at any time. Congratulations!  Now watch for the helpful people, opportunities, and things that flow into your life because you have let go of the old and made room for the new.

The New Year is upon us!  What better time to commit to more positive energy and a more peaceful quiet environment. 


Thursday, January 30, 2020

Learning From the Principles of Feng Shui

The teachings of Feng Shui are based on three principles:

1) Everything in Your Environment is Alive

Along with being molecularly alive, everything in your environment is alive with the feelings they create, the associations they make and the thoughts they bring up. I say that everything in your home or office is constantly “talking at you.” It’s important to listen to what is being said. Do you look at an object or an area and feel happy, or do you see piles and feel anxious because of the work you need to do, or the negative reminders you receive?  It’s time to get rid of anything in your home that does not bring you joy.  Begin now!


2) Everything is Connected

The feelings that are evoked by your surroundings are connected to your emotions, your relationships, your successes, your health and much more. When your surroundings stress you, you end up carrying that stress with you to your workplace, to others in your home, and internally to your own well being.  A peaceful, happy, stress free environment will allow you to be aware of the opportunities surrounding you. Create a peaceful, uncluttered home and relish in the positive connections.  

3)     Everything is Constantly Changing

The universe is based on change; nothing is constant. Every person, place and thing is subject to change. There is nothing we can do about it except to embrace it. Life is filled with the joy of new experiences as well as the sadness of loss. That’s why Feng Shui is a constant process of new items in your home, locations, friendships and family members. As we evolve so does the needs to practice Feng Shui. The act of moving things on your home brings positive energy to your life. There is a Chinese saying, “If you want change in your life, move 27 things in your home.” Don’t resist change, instead move with it and allow it to enrich your life. 


Wednesday, December 11, 2019

One Way to Lighten Your Load for the New Year - Begin With Feng Shui


A new year...a new beginning! What has been holding you back, dragging you down or causing conflict in your life? What are you willing to let go of as the New Year begins?

When bringing in the New Year, be sure not to bring all your baggage with you; whether clutter in your home, your personal habits, behaviors and attitudes that have annoyed you, or toxic individuals that bring you down. Choose something in your home to pass on, some behavior you want to change and/or some people that no longer nurture your well-being; you'll feel much lighter, allowing you to get a great running start on the year to come.



We all need change from time to time. It keeps us alive and vital. It keeps us engaged and on our toes. This is true for us as well as our homes. The three Feng Shui principles are: Everything is alive, everything is connected and everything is constantly changing. Embrace this change process for the New Year and watch as the energy shifts and wonderful new opportunities come your way.

Feng Shui, which has been practiced for over 3,000 years in China, is the enhancement of health, prosperity, and happiness through a connection with your environment; your vitality, resources, and loving connections flourish and grow best in harmonious, uncluttered environments that intentionally meet your unique needs and express your personal preferences.


Lightening your household load:
Organizing possessions and eliminating clutter can be viewed as an exciting mission that opens the way to harmony.  By getting rid of the things you no longer want or need, you revitalize your home and make room for what you really DO want to flow into your life; you enhance your happiness,  clarity and peace of mind. In Feng Shui everything counts, so your storage areas are as important as the most lived-in areas. In other words, if your room is orderly because everything is stuffed into a closet, you are not practicing Feng Shui.
  
                                              

Clutter is defined as any items that are disliked, unused, in excess and/or unorganized. To begin choose a space you consider cluttered, such as a closet, storeroom, cabinet, desk drawer, table top, or kitchen cupboard, and as you’re organizing and decluttering, ask yourself these questions:
“Do I love it? Do I need it? Does it represent or support who I am now? What pleasant or unpleasant memories does it hold? Does it need repair, and am I willing to restore it right now? If I’m letting go, will I sell, lend, or give it away, and when?”

                                     


It is helpful to have three bags or boxes labeled, Keep, Throw Away and Donate or Sell. As you sort through each item you put it in its respective box or bag. As soon as you are done, immediately throw away the Trash box, replace the Keep box in an organized place and quickly drop off the donate box, and/or list the items you wish to sell. 

    

In Feng Shui there is a saying, “That if you want a change in your life move 27 items in your home.” 3 and 9 are auspicious numbers in Chinese numerology. My husband and I do this at the end of every year to welcome in positive change for the new year.

   

Happy New Year and many Feng Shui Blessings to You!

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Feng Shui Holiday Decorating Nurtures Your Home



The holidays are upon us. It’s time to surround yourself with energizing holiday decorations. Whether you decorate with a Menorah or Christmas Tree, the objects you bring into your home for the holidays will represent positive energy. Menorahs add fire to any room, Christmas trees represent growth, and all the bright colors, lights, garlands, and traditional objects make the home’s energy flow easily and create an environment for family gatherings.  As you decorate think about using the Feng Shui Bagua to help guide you in placement. You can use the Bagua on the whole house, or for the main room where you will be entertaining. Place the Bagua over the entry of the room and use the attributes of each area to guide you in  altering  that room’s energy  by selecting the areas where you place your decorations: Green for family growth, red for action, pink for relationship, white or metal for intuition, purple for abundance, blue for knowledge and yellow for centering and florals for  good health.


The Feng Shui Bagua
The Feng Shui  Bagua (Ba-gua) Map, is represented  as a grid of nine sectors, which comes from the Chinese philosophy, “The I Ching,” and literally means “eight trigrams” with the center for grounding. Wherever you place your holiday decorations, consider the following enhancements for each area.             


Career Area (Water Element)
 Items in items in black or very dark colors, glass/crystal items, water features

Knowledge and Self Cultivation Area (Wood Element)
 Items in wood, the colors of blues, greens, plants (great location for Christmas tree)

Friends/Family/Health Area (Wood Element)
Fresh or artificial floral arrangements or art depicting vibrant flowers, the colors blue or green, place photos of yourself or your loved one in a healthy state (great for family gatherings)

Wealth Area (Fire Element)
Opulent items in the purple color spectrum, Healthy, round leaf plants (great location for presents)

Fame Area (Fire Element)
The colors red, items representing the fire element with candles and lighting 

Love and Marriage Area (Fire Element)
Pairs of items, art or photos depicting romance, reds, and pinks

Children and Creativity Area (Metal Element)
Items in metal, colors of white and pastels, whimsical art, pictures of children

Helpful People and Travel Area (Metal Element)
Art or figures pertaining to spiritual guides, angels, metal and colors of white, black or grey                                                                                                                                                                 
Center Area
Ceramics, the colors yellow, earth tones, and rectangle shapes

As you can imagine, your holiday decorations can fit easily in all these areas. Christmas trees work well in Knowledge, Family and Health, but because of all the colors, lights, garland and ornaments can represent all of the elements and act as five element displays wherever placed. This is a win – win! Menorahs representing fire enhance any of the three fire areas, but like the Christmas tree, depending on the colors and what it is made of they can also hold all of the elements. You really can’t go wrong with holiday decorations!


Have a blessed holiday season!

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Turn Your Master Bedroom Into a Nurturing Boudoir With Feng Shui


In Feng Shui the bedroom is vitally important; it is where you get rejuvenated, therefore the location plays a vital role in your peace and harmony.  The front of your home is the most active; therefore, rooms such as offices, exercise rooms, and kitchens are the best here. Bedrooms need the more peaceful location at the back of the house. Unfortunately, we don’t always have control over this, and must do what we can to turn a front room into a peaceful haven.

Master Bedroom – Your Romantic Boudoir
One of the most important rooms in Feng Shui is the master bedroom.  Therefore, what you do with this bedroom has far reaching implications to your well being, harmony and relationships. The best master bedroom colors are found in the warm skin tones of all races of people; from light beige, tans, cocoas, pinks, peaches, subtle yellows, earthy reds, copper, gold, bronze among others. The colors that are too cool and do not work in master bedrooms are pure white, grey, black, blues, and greens because they create a chilly room versus a sensual one. 


In the master bedroom the art and pictures should represent the qualities of the Love and Marriage area of the Bagua: pairs of items such as figurines and candles, pictures and art reflecting couples and romantic representations, pictures of you and your significant other.  It is not recommended to put photographs of your children and family in your master bedrooms. Photographs of your family are better served in areas of your home where family is dominant, such as living rooms, family rooms, playrooms and hallways. The bedroom is a romantic oasis, not a place to display photos of mom, dad or the kids. 


Singles Bedrooms 
Whether male or female singles looking for love need to create a romantic boudoir to prepare your room for another; two nightstands, two lamps, two throw pillows on the bed. Remove exercise equipment, family pictures, excess dolls and stuffed animals. Enhance the room as you would the Love and Marriage area of the Bagua, with pairs of items, and romantic art depicting pairs of subjects such as people, animals, flowers, trees or sculptures. All these further energize your desire and intention to be romantically involved. 


Furnishings and D├ęcor
Televisions in bedrooms tend to activate you and do not allow for restful sleep. I like many others like watching TV in bed, but I find I get better sleep when I turn off the TV, close it up, and read for a few minutes before “lights out”.  The key is to keep the TV in a cabinet or armoire so it can be closed upon retiring.  If this can’t be done, I have recommended placing a decorative drape over the TV so that the electromagnetic screen isn’t staring at you all night.


Bedrooms should be relatively free of clutter; especially avoid accumulating clutter under the bed, as it obstructs the flow of Ch’i. Also avoid keeping exercise equipment or home office items in bedrooms as they signify work. 

The rule of thumb for mirrors in the bedroom is “one or less, and not facing the bed.” Mirrors are too active for the tranquility of bedrooms. If you or your children have the misfortune of having large closet door mirrors, and find it hard to get restful sleep, you may consider curtaining them at night or adding decorative wooden or screen like panels instead. 

Enjoy the rejuvenation powers of your bedroom. Nighty night!