Thursday, July 12, 2018

Want Better Communication? Let the Feng Shui Water Element Flow Into Your Home.

The 5 Feng Shui elements are considered the building blocks of everything physical on earth: Water, Wood, Fire, Earth, and Metal. Each is associated with an area in your home related to the Bagua. The front center of your home is the Career area, which is referred to as the “Mouth of Ch’i,” and symbolizes the flow of energy into the home. The FLOW comes from the connection of the Career Area to the Water Element. 

This element is represented by a body of water, and when in balance it enhances communication, inspiration, calm, ease. Without the nourishing water element we can experience stress, lack of communication and connections, and lack of a satisfying career.

The Water Element:
Feng Shui relies on the power of symbolism. While we do recommend positioning water features of all kinds (fountains and aquariums), there are many other symbols of water you can use such as: a reflective surface such as glass, cut crystal and mirrors, flowing asymmetrical shapes, the black and dark tones color spectrum, art depicting water scenes. These are all represented in the Career area enhancements.

Enhancements for energizing the water element and career inside your home or business:
  • Ensure that this area is clutter free. If your Career area is your front door make sure that when you open your door you are greeted with a clean inviting space, and that there is nothing blocking the door from opening fully.
  • Hang art depicting water (such as streams, ponds, rivers or oceans) or career images and symbols (books or logos from your business or one that you aspire to). 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.

Enhancements for energizing  the water element and career outside your home or business:
  • Water features, such as fountains, waterfalls, and/or ponds work well here. It is important that the energy flow toward your home or business, so the fountain should either be a 360 degree bubbler or facing so the water flows towards your building.

  • If your career area is your front entrance (the Mouth of Ch’i) use wind chimes to invite the Ch’i to enter, plant colorful healthy flowers along the path (curved if possible) to your door, and have two greeters in the form of plants or statuary on either side.
  • The front door is very important in Feng Shui; therefore anything you can do to emphasize it will encourage new opportunities to come your way. Painting it a shade of red, not only highlights it, but invites wealth and positive energy.

Enjoy the FLOW of positive energy that water brings to your life! 

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Feng Shui Cures for Stopping Vital Energy from Flowing Out Your Home

In Feng Shui there are not many hard and fast rules, but rather recommendations. The most important thing is that you live with you love. The exceptions are areas that can specifically drain your Ch’i, or vital life energy. For these areas there are a few rules that when followed create a more balanced environment, and hence a more balanced life.  In an ideal environment the Ch’i enters through the threshold (Mouth of Ch’i) and meanders happily and slowly through the house, moving in a circular direction through each of the Bagua areas back to the center and continuously around. It does not get trapped in closets, stumbles over clutter, or shoots through windows, down toilets or rushes down stairways. 

Recently, a number of my clients are experiencing the dilemma of staircases coming out their front doors, or even more problematic a split stairway at the front door; one leading up and another going down. Each of these clients was experiencing unsettled feelings, lack of energy and trouble moving forward in life. 

We call stairs raging rapids and rivers because they can become powerful waterfalls of Ch’i, especially if they point out the front entrance. In this case the nourishing Ch’i pours right out the door, often taking health and good fortune with it.  Rooms at the top of a staircase are continually pulled with the force of the decent, while rooms at the bottom are flooded with too much energy.

In Feng Shui there are usually corrections for every trouble spot and for stairs something that stops the flow or repels the energy going out is the key. When you’re working with stairways that face doorways you need to do your best to stop the flow of Ch’i from rolling out the door by installing some kind of aesthetic barrier between door and stairs, such as a screen, plant, furniture or art.  When this is not possible, hang a mirror above or next to the door facing the stairs, or hang a round faceted crystal somewhere in the middle above the stairs to catch and recirculate the Ch’i.  Be careful not to accentuate the waterfall design by hanging art in a descending order. Use your art to uplift the energy by hanging it in a straight line. 

When you have a split staircase use the mirror and or crystal technique for each one. Place a plant, art or sculpture on the wall between the two to give the eyes something to focus on besides the split energy. 

If the staircases are in the Center Bagua area, which is often the case, make sure that you bring in a great deal of the Earth Element through earth tone wall colors, art, ceramics and rectangular shapes. 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

In Feng Shui - Use it, Love it, or Pass it on!

Feng Shui, which has been practiced for over 3,000 years in China, is the enhancement of health, prosperity, and happiness. It is a dance between empowerment and environment.  Essential Feng Shui® observes 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. 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 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.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

The Feng Shui Bagua - A Treasure Map to Enhancement

You are in control!
If you’re like me, having the ability to control certain aspects of your life has always been important. I struggled with this for years until I became aware of Feng Shui, the ancient Chinese art of empowerment through environment. With Feng Shui I learned to recognize the importance of my environment, and the ability to make it work for me in my life. You too can work with your environment to empower your life.  Balancing your lifestyle and arranging your home to allow it to hold happiness in place are two vital components of Feng Shui. 

Whether you realize it or not, your home environment is constantly either supporting, or draining your life energy. Making a few simple changes within your home can have an immediate and powerful effect on your personal energy levels, as well as the physical and material aspects of your life.

The Bagua:
One of the most powerful and important tools in Feng Shui is the Bagua (Ba-gua) Map, represented as a grid of nine sectors.  I call this the “Treasure Map” to enhancements.  The Bagua comes from the Chinese Book of Changes, “The I Ching,” and literally means “eight trigrams.” These trigrams form the basic building blocks, or treasures that hold the most significance in our lives: career, knowledge/self cultivation, family/health, wealth/prosperity, fame, love/marriage, children/creativity, and helpful people/travel.  Each of these building blocks is represented in the Bagua map, and are formed around a ninth sector which is the center, or grounding element of your life.

                                                       ↑                        ↑                  ↑                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
Using the Bagua:
This grid, illustrating the nine sectors (treasures) of your life is intended to be superimposed over the floor plan of your home.  The home’s main entrance is always located at the bottom of the grid, (in the knowledge, career or helpful people sector). Once you have identified where your entrance falls in relation to the map, you can identify where the remaining areas of your environment fall.  Now your home can begin to tell the story, and shed some light on issues you may be facing in your life. 

If your life is working perfectly then you’re probably already intuitively practicing Feng Shui, and you have balance and positive energy flowing through your home. However, if any of the sectors or building block areas are stuck, and causing you stress, then personal enhancements using the Bagua Map are the way to go. The key is to activate and keep the Ch'i (vital energy) flowing through your home. 

What is Your Home Telling You? 
Is your garage cluttered? Is your bedroom piled up with clothes that need cleaning and a bed that is not made? Do you ever use your dining room? Is your guest room used for storage or unfinished projects? Think about where these rooms are in relation to the Bagua Map. Is the story unfolding? When looking at homes through a Feng Shui lens you can usually identify trouble spots fairly quickly.

A client of mine was stressed over his romantic relationship. It had stopped working for him, and he was unhappy all the time. The key for me was that his Love/Marriage area was where he kept his wastebasket and broom; throughout the day he would sweep up and leave piles of dirt in that corner – which explained why his love life was a mess. Another client’s cluttered bedroom closet was in her Wealth area, and she was having a hard time getting her finances organized. Simple enhancements made a big difference in both of their lives. He’s in a new loving relationship, and she has found the resources she needs. You do have control!

Below are samples of positive personal enhancements you can use in each sector of your home, as it falls within the Bagua:

CAREER – Front Center – Enhance this area if you are looking to make any kind of change in your career. Enhance with:  Water features, (fountains, waterfalls or aquariums), art depicting water, career images and symbols, items in black or very dark colors, mirrors, glass/crystal items. 

KNOWLEDGE/SELF CULTIVATION– Left Front Corner – Enhance this area if you are a student, in counseling, or want to develop a more peaceful mind or lifestyle. Enhance with:  Plants (either live or artificial), art depicting forests, mountains, peaceful places, images and symbols of knowledge such as books, representation of deities or inspiring people, items in colors of blue, green, black, anything else that has a personal association with knowledge and self reflection. 

FAMILY/FRIENDS/HEALTH – Left Center - Enhance this area if your health needs a boost or if you're recovering from surgery. Also enhance it if you would like your social life or your relations with your family to improve. Enhance with Healthy plants of all kinds (either live or artificial), items of colors blue and green, and art and/or photographs depicting family, friends and/or ideal healthy images.

WEALTH – Back Left Corner – Enhance this area if you need to generate more cash flow in your life, or if you want to be more aware of the flow of abundance in your life in general. Enhance with: Items that “call the Chi” such as flags, wind chimes, whirligigs, healthy plants with rounded leaves, water features, (fountains, waterfalls or aquariums), art depicting wealth or your desired possessions,  images and symbols of wealth, items in deep purple, red or blue. 

FAME – Back Center – Enhance this area if you would like more recognition at home or at work. Enhance with: Diplomas, awards and acknowledgements,   art depicting animals , people fire and the sun, personal images and symbols of fame, items in the color red, bright up lighting.

LOVE – Right Back Corner – Enhance this area if you want to attract or improve a love relationship.  Enhance with: Photos depicting your significant other, pairs of items (candles, vases, figurines etc), art with a romantic theme, items in the color of red, pink or white.

CHILDREN/CREATIVITY – Right Center – Enhance this area if you are trying to get pregnant, want to improve your relationship with children, or would like to explore your inner child and creativity. Enhance with:  Art depicting children, creative images and symbols, items in colors of white or pastels, whimsical items, toys, stuffed animals, art supplies, things made of metal.

HELPFUL PEOPLE/TRAVEL– Right Front Corner – Enhance this area if you want more mentors, clients, customers, or other helpful people in your life, or if you would like to travel. Enhance with:  Travel posters of the places you’d like to go, art depicting spiritual guides, or pictures of mentors in your life,  items in black white or grey, and items made of metal. 

CENTER – The center of the Bagua is considered neutral; a place of grounding of all the other areas – a place of balance and peace. Life flows and circles around the center. This area is associated with the element of Earth and is related to the color yellow, as well as earth tones. It is also symbolized by items in the shape of squares and rectangles and items made of ceramics. 

All enhancements need to be made intentionally, therefore affirmations, either written or stated are very important. It is also important for them to be expressed as if they have already happened. For example, “I have an abundance of wealth and prosperity flowing into my life.” 

These are but a few tools you can use to help your home achieve harmony. When overlaying the Bagua onto your home plan, you may find that certain portions of the grid are located outside the actual structure of your home.  Such “missing” areas need to be strengthened. With an in home consultation, you can learn how to “anchor” these areas through structural as well as symbolic enhancements. 

In a thank you note, another client wrote, “I love having these tools to help me be aware of all the aspects of each room. It helps me to focus my energies.”  Gain control of your life by using this Treasure Map to identify areas of concern, and begin making the necessary enhancements. Once the Ch'i begins to flow there’ll be no stopping you.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Use Flowers to Uplift Your Feng Shui Ch'i

The much needed  rains are are enabling the earth to blossom. How energizing to see spring flowers opening up their beauty for us to enjoy! Flowers are not only beautiful but they are actually one of the easiest ways to uplift the Ch'i  in our homes and in us. They help bring in the wonder and beauty of nature. Just bringing a bouquet of  fresh flowers into a home or workplace uplifts your spirit.

Outside you can use the colors and attributes of flowers to plant them in specific areas of your garden. (For example,  white in the front right - Helpful People, purple in the back left - Wealth, red in the center back - Fame, and pinks in the back right - Romance)

To further enhance your home and your personal energy  you can you match the Feng Shui symbolism of flowers with the specific bagua areas. They can be an an effective Feng Shui cure to attract wealth, harmony, love, and so much more. The shape, color, texture, and aroma of specific flowers all speak a Feng Shui language to your home and office depending on where you place them. The attributes of a flower represent specific Ch'i.

In the book "The Language of Flowers" Vanessa Diffenbaugh outlines a specific meaning of each flower, and to take this further linking the message of the flower to the specific bagua area can lead to positive effects.

Here are but a few examples:

Chrysanthemum: The chrysanthemum is a symbol for a balanced and easy life, and is an appropriate flower to display in the center or Grounding Area of your home. With its strong yang energy, the chrysanthemum is also associated with attracting good luck.

Hydrangea: Whatever color these fragrant flowers symbolize gratitude and enlightenment, and make an excellent thank you gift to an unsung hero in your life. Display hydrangeas in the Creativity Area.

Narcissus: The energy of the narcissus flower is related to the “flowering” of talents and is therefore can boost career success. Display a white narcissus in the Career Area of your home or workplace to help reap the rewards of your hard work.

Orchid: The orchid is considered a symbol of the search for perfection, spiritual growth, and purity in life. Place an orchid in the Helpful People area of your home to attract mentors, clients, and supporters. Orchids are also considered a symbol of fertility, so grow an orchid or display an image of orchids in your bedroom if you are trying to get pregnant.

Peony: A beautiful flower with a notable scent, the peony is used in Feng Shui to represent love and romance. A classic Feng Shui cure to attract or fix a relationship is to display a pair of pink peonies or hang artwork that shows a pair of peonies in your bedroom or in the Relationship Area.

Roses: The Feng Shui symbolism of roses varies with their color: red for love, yellow for friendship, white for purity, pink for admiration. Display red roses without thorns in the Love Area to strengthen relationships or in the Wealth Area to attract prosperity. 

Tree Blossoms: Blossoming flowers are associated with freshness and new beginnings, especially cherry, dogwood, or peach tree blossoms. Display these blossoms or pictures of them in your Family Area.

It’s always preferable to surround yourself with living flowers, but when that isn’t possible you can use high quality silk flowers, which are kept clean, or pictures of flowers. Avoid surrounding yourself with dried flowers since in Feng Shui they represent dead energy.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Find Rest Through Feng Shui

The purpose of Feng Shui is to bring peace, harmony and a sense of serenity and restfulness to your home and your life. The serenity you create in your home has a great deal of influence on your outlook.

There are two areas in your home that lend themselves nicely to serenity, peace and rest:

1) The Knowledge and Self Cultivation Area:
This area located in the left front section of your home or business is particularly related to “Stillness.”  In the Feng Shui Bagua the Knowledge trigram is called “Still Mountain,” and operates under the premise that we assimilate knowledge best when we also cultivate a peaceful mind by practicing some form of regular “keeping still.” This can be accomplished through meditation, contemplation, and introspection.  Knowledge is viewed as the seed of wisdom, therefore when we spend time resting, our field of knowledge will be lush and productive. This teaching reminds us that to be brilliant, creative, and productive, we must also embrace stillness. 

Whatever room your Knowledge and Self Cultivation area resides, applying some basic Feng Shui principles can help you create a peaceful sanctuary.

The element for the Knowledge area is Wood, and the colors are blues and greens, therefore representations of this element can be used inside and outside of your home or business.

Enhancements for energizing Knowledge and Self Cultivation inside your home or business:
* Keep this area clutter free, since clutter does not act to soothe the mind.
* Items in the colors of blues, greens
* Items in the shape of columns or stripes
* Art representing mountains, woods, or anything that depicts a quiet outdoor space or 
   meditation gardens, pictures or collages of figures such as teachers and wise people in your
   life in meditation, contemplation or repose
* Wooden tables or bookcases holding books, tapes or material being studied
* Healthy plants with rounded soft leaves

This beautiful sun room is located in the knowledge and Self Cultivation of this home. Its color scheme of soft blues/greens, wicker furniture, floral carper and pillows and view of lush plants make this a serene oasis for reading and quiet introspection.

2) The Master Bedroom
One of the most important rooms in Feng Shui is the Master Bedroom.  Therefore what you do with your master bedroom has far reaching implications to your well being, serenity, harmony, rest and relationships.  The bedroom should be a haven of intimacy and solace.  It should be a place to unwind, shed the stress of the day, and rejuvenate the body and mind; a place for romance, and to deepen the bond of your relationship.

Your environment can nourish or weaken your intimacy. The more intimate bedrooms tend to be cozy and Yin.  The best bedroom colors are found in the warm skin tones of all races of people: from light beige and tans, creamy cocoas, blushing pinks and peaches, subtle yellows, earthy reds, copper, gold, bronze among others. The colors that are too cool and do not work in bedrooms are pure white, grey, black, blues, and greens. They may look beautiful in designer showrooms, but when they dominate 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. The bedroom is a romantic oasis, not a place to display photos of mom, dad or the kids.  It is also not a place for electronics, a work desk or exercise equipment which activate the room and keep you from totally resting. 

A very peaceful bedroom in warm earth tones and a nourishing view. 

Enjoy the peace, serenity and restfulness that these two areas bring to your home and consequently your life. If your life is chaotic begin your decluttering here.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Quiet Feng Shui - Knowledge and Self Cultivation Area

The serenity you create in your home has a great deal of influence on your outlook.
Although all areas of your home lend themselves to harmony; the left front section of the structure is particularly related to “Stillness.” 

In the Feng Shui Bagua (Ba‐gua) Map, represented as a grid of nine sectors, this area is referred to as the “Knowledge and Self Cultivation Area”. It operates under the premise that we assimilate knowledge best when we also cultivate a peaceful mind by practicing some form of regular “keeping still.” This can be accomplished through meditation, contemplation, and introspection. With the New Year upon us, now is a good time to build quietude into your daily routine, and honor the full rhythm of life. Knowledge is viewed as the seed of wisdom, therefore when we spend time keeping still, our field of knowledge will be lush and productive. This teaching reminds us that to be truly brilliant, creative, and productive, we must also embrace stillness. 

Whatever room your Knowledge and Self Cultivation area resides, applying some basic Feng Shui principles can help you create a peaceful sanctuary.

Enhancements in this area are particularly helpful if you are a student of any subject. Whether full time at a university, attending trainings or workshops to advance your career, or taking classes at your local recreation center, enhancing this area will help you achieve your goals. Not just for students, this area is also helpful to people in counseling or those engaging in any kind of self‐growth activities, or you just want to cultivate a more peaceful mind or lifestyle.

The element for the Knowledge area is Wood, and the colors are blues and greens, therefore representations of this element can be used inside and outside of your home or business.

Enhancements for energizing Knowledge and Self Cultivation inside your home or business:
* 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
* Posters, paintings, collages and/or photos of mountains, woods, or anything that depicts a
   quiet outdoor space or meditation gardens, pictures or collages of figures such as teachers
   and wise people in your life in meditation, contemplation or repose
* Wooden tables or bookcases holding books, tapes or material being studied
* Healthy plants with rounded soft leaves

Enhancements for energizing Knowledge and Self Cultivation outside your home or business: 
* This area is best enhanced outside with beautiful lush, healthy plants
* Figurines of people you consider wise, or blue/green gazing balls
* A wooden or wicker bench or seating area for quiet reflection

In both my daughter's house and my mother-in-laws's house the guest rooms are in this quiet area, and both decorated in teals and soft greens. We find harmony and peace each time we visit. My daughter calls it her personal happy place - it's no wonder!

Enjoy the serenity of this peaceful haven in your home and have a harmonious new year!