Thursday, April 11, 2019

Let Your Front Entrance Improve Your Feng Shui

Spring is here! My flowers are blooming and I’ve just had my front door and walkway repainted. I’m ready for the positive energy to flow my way. Why was this such an important step?  I went out of my way to spruce up the front because in Feng Shui the Entrance Foyer is one of the two most important areas of a home; the other being the master bedroom.




The Entrance Foyer is more than just the entry way inside your home or business. The area leadingupto your front door, the actual threshold itself, and the area immediately inside your home orbusiness(the foyer) are all considered part of your front entrance. This area is critical – this is the place of your guests’ first impressions and where the vital energy, called Ch’i, enters your home.  The word “entrance” means to “en – trance” your guests and welcome them with beauty. By making your entrance fabulous you also attract and nourish the Chi entering your home.



 Your entrance can be located in one of the three areas of the Bagua’s entrance quadrant.

Entrances and the Bagua
The Feng Shui  Bagua (Ba-gua) Map, is represented  as a grid of nine sectors.  The Bagua comes from the Chinese philosophy, “The I Ching,” and literally means “eight trigrams,” with the center being for grounding.  Entrances should take on the qualities of the Bagua area they reside in. 

In each of the three areas it is important to remember that traditionally in Feng Shui the best art in the household is displayed by the front door. This is to honor everyone who enters your home. When you have space, consider setting up a welcoming arrangement that may include a table appointed with a flower arrangement.  When your foyer is small, hang an attractive mirror on the side walls. Do not hang a mirror directly facing the front door as it will send the energy back out.  Create a token place of welcome even when there’s no foyer. Do whatever you can to present your guests, and yourself, with a warm and welcoming first impression. 



Entering from the Center – Career Area
This area is especially important if you desire to energize your career:
* As always, ensure that this area is clutter free.
* Hang art depicting water, such as streams, ponds, rivers or oceans 
* This is a great location for a small fountain or aquarium
* Display items, such as statues, accessories, or furniture in black or very dark colors or in                asymmetrical shapes.
*Hang mirrors, and/or display glass/crystal items, such as a crystal vase or a glass table. A      round faceted crystal hanging from the ceiling helps the energy flow in small more confined spaces. 

Entering from the Left – Knowledge and Self Cultivation Area
* Keep this area clutter free, since clutter does not act to soothe the mind.
* Items in the colors of blues, greens, or black
* Items in the shape of columns or stripes
* Hang art representing mountains, woods, or anything that depicts a quiet outdoor space or   
   meditation gardens
* Wooden tables or bookcases
* Healthy plants with rounded soft leaves

Entering from the Right – Helpful People and Travel Area
* Art or figures pertaining to spiritual guides, and/or mentors, helpful people or of  places where            you  have traveled or want to travel                                                                                           * Items that have a powerful personal association with your spiritual beliefs                                    * Items in the colors white, black or grey                                                                                           * Things made of metal – brass, steel, pewter, silver, gold, aluminum, copper etc. such as furniture, lamps, candle holders, frames, figurines                                                                                                                                                  
                


Outside of your Entrance:
This is the first thing your guests see. It is imperative that it is kept clean and clutter free. Here are some other fun decorating ideas to create an auspicious first impression in your entrance:

Landscaping: Make the landscaping around your front entrance especially inviting, with only healthy lush colorful plants. 

Pathways: If possible, design a curved, meandering path to your front door. Place seating or interesting garden art by your front door. 



Ornaments: Hang wind chimes to call in the Ch’i, and especially in the Career area place a bubbling fountain that flows toward the home, or 360 degrees.  A beautiful wreath and/or doormat also act to welcome guests. By placing a pot with a beautiful plant on either side of the door, or two like sculptures you create “greeters” to welcome your guests.  

Lighting: Good lighting is very important for safety as well as beauty.  

The Color Red: In Feng Shui, the color red is often suggested to attract prosperity and joy into the home. You can paint your door any shade of red, or place red objects or flowers near the door.  The choices are endless!

Entrances and Staircases: 
When staircases point directly at the front entrance they create rivers of Ch'i flowing out of your home, along with health, vitality, and good fortune. You can stop this flow by installing an aesthetic barrier between door and stairs such as a screen, plant, furniture, or art. When there is no room for this, the easiest fix is to hang a mirror directly facing the stairs, or hanging a round faceted crystal above the bottom step to recirculate and send the Ch’i back into the home.

Feng Shui at Work: 
When I visit a client’s home for a consult, I stand at the front entrance for a few minutes before ringing the bell. I like to see what the entrance is telling me. Does the Ch’i know where to go? Is it welcoming me or does is not want me to enter? My last consultation in Napa had the most amazing entrance with a curved pathway, two huge double doors painted a rich red. As I stood in the doorway, on one side was a red framed mirror and the other had a lovely bench with comfortable pillows, and pots with healthy inviting plants. I knew this was going to be a good consult!

I love our entrance! During a consultation I always ask clients what they like best and least about their homes.  For me, the answer always is the entrance foyer.  The walkway leading to our house had a sharp 90 angle which I softened by creating a wavy line with black river rocks and curved stones right at the corner. I placed a fish statue in the center. It represents a black pond and helps create a meandering path. Colorful flowers such as Dahlias and Impatiens greet me along the path. As I walk up the stone steps the sound of a bubbling 360-degree fountain, and wind chime call to me. Two large Azalea trees act as greeters at the bottom step, while two Christmas cactus plants (soft, not prickly) in black pots are on either side of the burgundy door with beveled glass.  The door opens into the center of my home which is painted a warm yellow tone, with large mirror on one side reflecting one of my father’s favorite oil paintings of an Italian seascape. I’m home! 

Affirmations:
Remember that in Feng Shui, intent plays a significant role in enhancing any area of your home or business. That’s why all enhancements need to be made with intentionality; written or stated affirmations expressed as if they are already happening are very important.  Examples or affirmations for entrances:  “I attract many positive opportunities and circumstances”, “I am peaceful, calm, and share knowledge with others”,” I constantly attract helpful, generous, loving people into my life.” 

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

EVERYDAY FENG SHUI Newspaper Articles


As I sit to write my April column on Fame and Reputation, it occurs to me that I have now written over 90 articles for various newspapers in the past 8 years.



All these can be found on my website www.fengshuibymaria.com  click on “Articles”

They are listed under a table of contents under the headings:

Feng Shui Basics
The 9 Bagua Areas
Feng Shui in the Home
Lunar New Years
Also by date

Feel free to browse and download any that will help you enhance your home to benefit your life.
You can contact me with questions, or to request a home or business consultation, whether physically or virtually depending on where you live.



Blessings

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Doors - The Feng Shui Mouth of Ch'i


Doors are very important in Feng Shui as they are considered “The mouth of Ch’i” to your home or a room. The life force energy (Ch’i) enters through the front door and meanders slowly breathing life into every room.

The front entrance is one of the most important areas of your home because it is meant to “En-trance” your guests and the Ch’i therefore keeping it uncluttered and beautiful is imperative to your well being.

Below are a few suggestions for making your doors enhance your space:

Painting a front door a shade of red is considered to attract prosperity.



Avoid having doors lined up directly across from other doors or large windows. If that is 
        the case, if you can’t place something substantial in-between you can hang a round faceted
        crystal from the ceiling midway between them to help circulate the Ch’i.


Make sure all doors open smoothly and that nothing is stored behind them.

Repair any door that is broken in some way.

Ensure that areas around doors (especially the front door) are well lit.

Hang an attractive piece of art directly in front of a door so you see something
        beautiful  when you walk in.




Keep doors to bathrooms closed, if you can see the bathroom from your bed.

Enjoy the circulation of nurturing, revitalizing Ch'i in your home.
Blessings

Friday, January 25, 2019

In Feng Shui Choose Love When Creating a Harmonious Home

In times of stress always choose LOVE! By loving your home, and working to make it a place of harmony you allow love's energy to expand in  the lives of all who live there.



In a recent article, Madisyn Taylor stated that,  "At their best, our homes act as our sanctuaries. They are the nests we return to for rest and nourishment before we venture out once again to spread our wings and fly. But there are times that we may feel quite differently about our homes--times when we feel surrounded by turmoil rather than harmony, or mired in chaos rather than immersed in peace. It is at these times that we have the power to decide to bring more love into our homes. 


 When we choose love, we are choosing to begin within. With a deep breath, we close our eyes and ask that when we open them again, we will see where we can make shifts to create greater harmony. These may be inner shifts, such as accepting others' personality traits and working with them rather than against them. Or they may be changes we can make with items around the house--removing the ones that cause frustration and displaying things that make us feel good. Then, we reach out to the people with whom we share our homes--whether they are family members or another combination of people who share our space. We can help to shift their perceptions toward the positive by asking each person to think about their ideal living situation. After allowing some time for reflection, gathering to discuss each person's ideas may lead to the discovery that there are conflicting concepts about what your shared home should provide. Once this information is out in the open, we have a road map for creating balance and harmony from seemingly disparate desires. Together, agreements can be made to enable all to take the steps needed to create a unified vision. 


When we have consciously chosen to make our home a place of harmony, then love's energy can expand throughout the lives of all who live there. Each person will be nurtured, allowing them to take that peace and serenity with them into the world, sharing it with whomever they may encounter; and making every space they enter a warmer and more loving place for everyone."


This philosophy reflects that of Feng Shui. Surround yourself with love and beauty and life will return in kind.
Blessings

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Begin the New Year With the 31 Day Feng Shui Decluttering Challenge

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. 

An organized home can have a calming effect on you, your family and guests. This 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 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. 

       
                                     

With the New year upon us, what better time to commit to more positive energy and a decluttered environment.

I encourage you to take the 31-day decluttering challenge from a magazine article I found by Jennifer Lifford:

Spend just 15 minutes a day (you can even set a timer) in each of the 31 days in January following the recommended guidelines. You will feel the difference as space clears for renewed energy and positive opportunities to come your way.

In each area create 3 piles – 1) toss, 2) give away, 3) relocate in its proper place.

Day 1 – Paperwork – Go through a pile of bills, receipts, other papers, tossing, shredding, filing.
Day 2 – Front entry and coat closet
Day 3 – Purse
Day 4 – Cleaning supplies
Day 5 - Fridge and freezer
Day 6 – Pantry and food storage
Day 7 – Free for all – Catch up day for any prior areas you didn’t complete
Day 8 –  Kitchen cabinets
Day 9 -     Medicine cabinet
Day 10 – Dining area
Day 11 – Entertainment area
Day 12 – Magazines and books
Day 13 – Junk drawer
Day 14 – Free for all – Catch up day
Day 15 – Desk
Day 16 – Bathroom cabinets
Day 17 – Linen closet
Day 18 – Make up
Day 19 – Jewelry
Day 20 – Bedroom closet
Day 21 – Free for all – Catch up day
Day 22 – Sock and underwear drawer
Day 23 – Nightstand
Day 24 – Kid’s toys
Day 25 – Kid’s closets
Day 26 – Craft space
Day 27 – Laundry room
Day 28 – Free for all – Catch up day
Day 29 – Basement or shed
Day 30 – Garage
Day 31 – Car

You’re done!!!! Welcome to February with a more organized space, more energy and opportunities!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

A Practical Feng Shui Guide for Holiday Decorating

The holiday season is upon us. This is a time when families get together to celebrate traditions passed down from generation to generation. It’s also a time of decorating, which helps to enhance your home and your life.  

Holiday Decorating Enhances Your Ch'i

Holiday decorations usually include the colors green, red, blue and bright lighting.  Whether you decorate with a Menorah or Christmas Tree, the objects you bring in to your home for the holidays will represent energy. Menorahs add fire to any room, Christmas Trees represent growth, and all the bright colors, lights, garlands, and traditional objects create 5 element displays which 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 good health. 



The conical shape of the tree and all the bright lights, which represent the Fire Element, make it a perfect location for the Fame and Reputation area of your home (Back Center) which is governed by the Feng Shui Element of Fire. 



The Fire element is represented by the hearth and when in balance enhances excitement, enthusiasm, leadership. In the Feng Shui Cycle of the elements the Wood Element feeds Fire, therefore adding representations of Wood, such as Christmas trees would feed the fire of your dreams, enhancing your opportunities and achievements.  

Sometimes your holiday decorations don’t fit exactly in the Fame sector of your home, or the Fame area of your living room or den. If that’s the case any of the other Fire sectors also work nicely; Wealth and Prosperity or Love and Marriage.  Christmas trees also 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; no matter where you place them you are activating the Ch’i (life force energy) and positive energy will come your way. 



Important Feng Shui Tip 

Clear the clutter from the room before you begin decorating, and keep it clutter free. This will help your calm, holiday energy flow and prevent your holiday communications from being “messy.”

I wish you a holiday filled with family, friends, harmony, happiness, excitement and enthusiasm!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

The Zen of Flowers in Feng Shui

Did you know that flowers bring nature into your home, enhance your health, help calm your mind and improve your attitude?  

When I work with flowers on a weekly basis in my Flower Arranging classes I immediately feel energized and more centered. Walking into the room with 15 people creating arrangements; taking in the scents and viewing the array of colors brings joy to my life. Then I have the added benefit of displaying a gorgeous flower arrangement in my home on an ongoing basis.


Flowers are among the strongest of the Feng Shui enhancements because they are directly related to the Health, Friends and Family Area of your home (left middle area). If you are dealing with health issues, you want to put fresh flowers or floral representation in art or fabrics in that area.




Flower arrangements can easily contain colors, shapes and attributes of all 5 Feng Shui elements, creating powerful 5 element displays used to uplift stuck energy.
* Wood - flowers themselves
* Water - glass or black vases, water
* Fire - The color red
* Earth - The color yellow, ceramic and rectangular vases
* Metal  - The color white, metal and round vases
The possibilities are endless!!!

                                               

They are the quintessential Ch’i enhancers for our homes; providing us with the beauty and wonder of nature and helping us stay connected and grounded to the natural world. Another alternative to fresh flowers is silk and plastic flowers which have the same uplifting effect.

Just like everything in Feng Shui flowers can uplift the Ch’i if beautiful and healthy, or deplete it if sick, dusty or depleting. If your plants begin to wilt and look sickly, move them on and replace them with vibrant healthy ones.  Artificial plants always need to be kept clean and dust free to have the same uplifting effect.

                                       

Orchids are the ultimate flower Chi enhancer; bringing positive energy to every area of the house. I always give people fresh orchids as housewarming gifts to help bless their homes. Think of the qualities of the Bagua areas you want to enhance and use flower colors to enrich the enhancement: Red flowers at an entrance for Career, white for the Helpful People or Children and Creativity areas, yellow for the Center, pinks or reds for Love, purple for Wealth. Use the beauty of nature to paint a palette of colorful enhancements in your home.