Wednesday, May 12, 2021

New Beginnings with Feng Shui – Finding the Perfect Home

New beginnings can start with the joy of finding a new home.    

                                                             

Are you looking to buy or rent a new place?  After moving in, would you rather hear this, “This house has been so lucky for us! Since we moved in all good things have been happening,” or, “Since we moved here it’s been just one bad thing after another”? Obviously, you want to feel that moving into a new place has enhanced your life. Feng Shui can help!

Buying a house can be an exciting experience, even if at times filled with fear and doubts. Applying Feng Shui to the process of buying a house is a wise investment on many levels; it will give you peace of mind, as well as assure that your house is a good financial investment.  Good Feng Shui means good energy, and people are always attracted to it! This will sure help with the house sale in the future. 


Use the following recommendations when looking for homes or apartments, whether buying or renting:                   

What to Look for Outside of the House:

1. Location, and Lot Placement

Be sure your house receives good energy from its surroundings; a clean street, neighbors with well-kept up homes, and nice front and back yard.  You also want to try to have a pleasant view from the front of the house.  Even if the house does not have an actual view, are the others homes well-kept and are there trees or flowers to enhance the view?

What to  Avoid 

Preferably no downward sloping land behind the house. You want the house to have a good backing. In Feng Shui this classical armchair design with trees or a slope/hill to your back, and trees/shrubs on either side, keeping you grounded and protected. 

Houses close to a power generator, utility pole transformer, or high-tension wires:  An electro-magnetic field within twenty-five to fifty yards of your home can be highly detrimental to the health and nervous system.

Houses close to excessive noise: The presence of loud noises will disturb rest, distract from work, and effect intimacy. 

2. Doors

The front door is especially important in Feng Shui, as this is the entrance of Ch’i or positive energy. Good colors for front doors are any shade or red, which signifies protection and prosperity (and is easy to see), or black which signifies water and the flowing in of Ch’i, the life force energy. Other color choices will also work as long as the door is clean and beautiful.  Doors should be sized proportionally to the house. Ideally there would be a curved path leading to the front door. Even if the path is not curved, be sure that it can be lined with healthy flowers or plants, lights, or additional elements to create positive energy as you walk to your front door.



 What to Avoid 

Front doors that are blocked by trees, shrubs, walls, etc.:  The energy needs to enter freely. If the entry does have blockages, consider how much work it would take to these have removed. 

A front door that is directly aligned with a back door or large picture window: When you open the front door, can you see straight out the back of the house through a large window or sliding glass door? This may sound like a good thing, but in Feng Shui it is considered negative as it allows the energy to rush straight though the house resulting in a loss of “good energy.” There are corrections for this, ways to slow down the energy, but the ideal house would have some walls in-between.  

 What to Look for Inside of the House:

1. Main Entrance and Foyer

The entrance foyer is one of the most important areas of your home. How well the house can maintain and nourish good energy is much determined by what is happening in the main entryway. What do you see as soon as you come into the house? Ideally you would want to see a pleasantly designed living room or hallway. If the first thing you see is a wall place a beautiful piece of art (waterscape or natures cape) and an arrangement that would lead the eye in the direction of the energy flow into the home. Avoid placing a mirror facing the entrance, as that would send the energy back out. 

What to Avoid

Stairs directly pointing to your entrance:   Stairs leading immediately up or down directly from your front door create a “river of Ch’i,” flowing the energy away too fast. This is a particularly negative design in Feng Shui, and although there are corrections. It is best to avoid it all together. 

                                                

A bathroom or a closet door as the first thing you see: Bathrooms are known to be drains on your Chi.  They are not conducive to good energy if they are the first thing you see as you enter. Closet doors indicate blockages. Remember that you want the Ch’i to enter slowly and meander through every aspect of your home, thereby nourishing you. 

2. Room Positioning and Shape of the House

 The floor plan is especially important when buying a new home.  In Feng  Shui the ideal shape for a home is rectangular with no missing areas.  This way the energy remains in the house and each area of your life is nurtured. These areas, when missing from your home create an impact on your life and therefore it is important to use the Feng Shui Bagua map to analyze the shape or location of rooms of the home you are considering. 

Using the Feng Shui Bagua

In the Feng Shui  Bagua (Ba-gua) Map, 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 area being for grounding.  Missing any of these areas in the layout of the floor plan will create a void of energy in that area. 

                                      

Room positioning is also especially important to consider when relocating. For instance, the ideal location for a master bedroom is in the back right corner (the Love and Marriage area), kitchens work well in the center (the Grounding area of the home), children’s rooms or craft rooms are auspiciously placed in the middle right area (Children and Creativity), home offices activate the Ch’i in the Fame (Back middle) or Career areas (Front middle). These are not hard and fast, because in Feng Shui all areas can be enhanced, but if you can begin with a house that already has a good structure you are that far ahead of the game.

What to Avoid

Extremely odd-shaped homes:  The overall problem with odd-shaped houses is that they have no easily defined center and are therefore fragmented. They will also tend to have many missing areas. 

A garage under the bedroom, or in the Love and Marriage Area:  Garages are very active spaces therefore a bedroom situated over a garage also experiences the same level of activity and tends to disturb to one's sleep. Garages tend to also be harder to keep clean, uncluttered and organized. If you are single, looking for love, or are struggling with a current relationship, the garage’s chaotic energy will add to the problem.     

A bathroom in the Wealth, or Relationship Area of the home:  Bathroom in your Wealth or Partnership corners tend to act as drains, and you may see both prosperity and relationships "go down" the toilet or down the drain. As with any Feng Shui corrections, the appropriate use of colors, shapes and symbols can be used to strengthen these corners to overcome the bathroom's draining influence; but given the importance of prosperity and the fragility of relationships, why not avoid these if you have a choice.                                                                                                                                                    

Your new beginnings are right around the corner! Choose the perfect house with good Feng Shui.         If you have the choice, why not begin with the best? 



Thursday, April 22, 2021

Gardens Make for Good Feng Shui


“Gardening is how I relax. It’s another form of creating and playing with colors.” Oscar de la Renta

What aspects of your life would you like to see blossom? What dreams do you need to plant in fertile soil? Do you need to weed or dig out anything that is stifling your growth?

This year I have learned the importance of having a space that is calm and healing, your garden can be just that space. The rains, and following sunshine have blessed my garden with lush, shiny leaves and a multitude of buds. I am being swept away into a land of beautiful flowers, intoxicating fragrance, and an explosion of color. It is important to have an outlet where the brain can breathe, and your garden can be this natural outlet. After a long day at work or just taking a break from your home routines, a walk through our garden can relax you and help you defuse any stress you may have been dealing with.

           

If your home is considered the "heart" of your property, the garden is considered the "aura". Your garden is your personal passport into nature. It keeps you connected to the rhythms of life, while replenishing and sustaining the Ch’i that meanders throughout, whether a flower or vegetable garden, vibrant nature in your yard attracts vibrant Ch’i into your home.

                                  

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. Flowers, with their various shapes and colors represent all the five Feng Shui Elements. When in balance, these five element displays help to calm and energized you at the same time.  

                                       

Some examples of the elements in your garden:

Water: Water features of any kind

Wood: Blue, green, plants of any kind

Fire: Red flowers

Earth: Yellow flowers

Metal: White flowers

                                               

Gardens have many other purposes. When applicable, use gardens and landscaping to complete the shape of your home. If your home is not a complete square or rectangle anchor the missing areas with a pleasing combination of trees, flowerbeds, garden sculptures, large rocks, decks, patios, fencing, lighting, specialty gardens and/or water features. There is no end to what you can do, and the missing area becomes an enhancing outdoor area. Make sure you have an attractive view from every window and door. Be nourished by a lovely view each time you look out; camouflage or screen unsightly views with trees, trellises with climbing vines, and hanging gardens. An inspirational place to rest the eye is a gift you give yourself every day. Basic Feng Shui principles can help you nurture and strengthen your energy and yourself in all aspects of your life. 

                                             

Here are some Feng Shui basics for nurturing gardens:

1) Make your  entry beautiful and clutter free

2) Place water features in the Career and Wealth areas 

3) Remove dead plants quickly

4) Balance the Yin/Yang of your garden with opposites (short/tall plants, hot/soft colors, etc.)

5) Keep all systems working (i.e., watering, lighting – nothing should be broken) 

Your gardens are living, breathing entities offering us the balance of nature. Flowers are amongst the strongest of the Feng Shui enhancements because they are 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 that area. 

                                        

Whether you have a garden, a patio or beautiful pots and vases at home you can use the power of plants and flowers to enhance your life. Sow flower seeds to attract bees and beautiful birds, plant a vegetable garden, pull weeds, clean, organize and refresh your yard, or patio. If you have children, you can use this home time to teach them gardening skills and love for nature. Cut your own beautiful fresh flowers and arrange them in stunning floral art, then take pictures of your beautiful arrangements. Finally, just enjoy your garden by strolling through it, taking a nap, meditating, or sitting on a favorite bench. Inhale the fragrance and breathe the stress away. 

                              









Thursday, March 25, 2021

Decorating Life with Inner Feng Shui

Due to the pandemic, I have not been able to attend my weekly Flower Arranging classes, which I absolutely loved. The energy of flowers, and the community of women creating amazing arrangements, as well as the hypnotic scent as you entered the room helped me, as Madisyn Taylor states in her Daily Om columns, “to decorate my life.” I continue to make floral arrangements at home to help me stimulate my creative juices.

In Feng Shui we focus on creating serene environments, which are harmonious and balanced. These environments become filled with life force energy, which helps us achieve our life goals.  While decorating our homes, Madisyn also encourages us to decorate ourselves, by expanding our personal energies. The quarantine has been a time for self-reflection and a time for rediscovering how best to “decorate our lives.” Some of you might have chosen to write books, paint, knit, quilt, make masks, cook, redecorate, declutter, play a musical instrument, meditate, read, and garden, to name but a few. All helped expand your energy.

How do you decorate your life? 

My husband expanded his music talent by taking Zoom trumpet lessons. I choose to write, but also love to garden. At this moment, my garden is close to full bloom, and I cannot begin to tell you the love I feel as I step out to walk among the flowers, or just gaze at them from a window. 

Flowers are the quintessential Ch’i enhancers for our homes. They provide us with the beauty and wonder of nature and help us stay connected and grounded to the natural world. 

Explore what makes you happy, and the statement you make through this expanded energy. Choose to decorate your life. Remember - You are special! 

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Feng Shui Kitchens in the Love and Relationships Area

In the Feng Shui Bagua Map, represented as a grid of nine sectors, the Love and Relationships area is located in the right back corner of your home. This is a great location for a master bedroom.

   

 Yet not every home has the bedroom in that location. Whichever room this area resides, basic Feng Shui principles can help you nurture and strengthen yourself and your relationships, and even send out the energy to help you find your perfect soul mate. 

Of the 5 Feng Shui Elements this area is represented by Fire, and recommended enhancements are:

*The colors are red, pink or white 

* Photos, paintings, collages or figures depicting your significant other

* Pairs of items (lovers, doves, hearts, candles, vases, figurines etc.)

* Art with a romantic theme 

* Quotes, affirmations and sayings pertaining to love and marriage

* Items that have a personal association to love and marriage (romantic vacations/honeymoon mementos)

What if it's your kitchen?

In our house this area happens to be our kitchen. So, when we remodeled, I ensured that the Fire element was well represented, and that romantic representations were evident.

Red Italian glass tile backsplash, red tone blown glass hanging lights, red dish towels, pairs of items on display, such as two red hearts, two glass lovebirds, even  a red toaster and blender placed side by side.


I added small pictures of my husband and I, a whimsical picture of a couple dancing holding wine glasses, and a painted seashell we bought on a romantic trip.

While being utilitarian, the kitchen feels romantic and makes us both happy! Enjoy adding these enhancements in whichever room your Love and Relationships Area is located, and watch your love grow. 


Thursday, February 18, 2021

Discover the Joy in Lightening Your Load with Feng Shui

 “I can’t keep up with my work…I go from one fire to another…I feel so overwhelmed…I don’t know where to begin…I feel blocked…I have no energy…” Do you hear yourself or others around you saying such things?  Look around. Do you then see piles of unfiled papers, items stacked everywhere, blocked doors, overstuffed closets, broken items... in other words… clutter!

It’s time to begin the clearing of the clutter which holds you back. Standi n the entrance of a room and assess what you see. Is the room filled with piles of papers, broken objects, messy items or items that no longer serve you or have negative memories?  Now is the perfect time to make the changes to create the life you are longing for.

A friend recently had a wonderful suggestion. We are currently beginning the season of  Lent where people give up certain things for forty days. She thought that instead of giving up sweets why not give up clutter. Each day choose one small area to declutter and place the items to pass on in a bag. After forty days  you may end up with forty bags and a much lighter load. This is a very exciting challenge that will have life changing effects. 


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. I began writing Feng Shui columns with the concept of decluttering because overall, decluttering is the foundation in beginning Feng Shui; clearing the path for positive energy to flow in.  An organized home can have a calming effect on you, your family and guests. 

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 the life you want. 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. 

In Feng Shui there are two types of chaos: Active chaos and passive chaos. Active chaos is defined as the clutter resulting from creating something, such a cooking, painting, remodeling, reorganizing etc. This clutter will soon be cleared as your project is completed. Passive chaos is the clutter that remains in piles, in closets, under beds, in garages and generally all over the house. This clutter is what blocks the flow of the life energizing Ch’i and consequently drains your life. 

If you are laden with passive chaos and are being drained, it is important to take charge and begin decluttering. But where do you begin? 

Early on in my life I felt a need to organize my belongings. I would say that everything has an “X” where it would belong, so as I was cleaning up, everything would return to its designated “X.” I recommend beginning small. Find the Bagua area of your home that is affecting you the most and first pick up what is in plain sight, the visible clutter, and either return it to it’s “X” (a closet, drawer, laundry etc.) , donate, toss, or recycle anything that needs to be disposed of. 

Once you have cleared the visible space move to a drawer, or a shelf in a closet. Avoid overwhelming yourself by doing just a little bit each day. I like to rotate in a counterclockwise direction in a room. If a dresser were directly to my right as I walked into the room, I would remove the visible clutter from the top first, another day I would declutter the first drawer, the next day the second drawer, and so on. Give yourself permission to lighten your load by removing items which you no longer use, are broken, or are holding negative memories from that area, and either passing them on, donating them or tossing.

When I retired from my career in education, I realized I did not need all those business clothes. I created a “one third” rule for myself, saying that if I had nine skirts, I needed to remove at least one third, or three of them. Once you begin with this system, you may find that you want to rid yourself of even more. Therefore, with this formula, if you open a sock drawer and find you have eighteen pairs of socks jammed in to where the drawer does not close well, allow your self to remove and pass on at least six pairs.  

I focus on that area and set a time to do declutter a little bit every day. This does not take long, and the results are evident almost immediately. You will be able to feel the impact of the positive energy  flowing through your house, and many wonderful opportunities coming your way.  


Thursday, January 28, 2021

Inviting Feng Shui Living Rooms

Feng Shui, the ancient Chinese art of harmonious placement, describes the living room as the heart of the home. Maintaining the gentle flow of Ch'i, or life energy, is important since it is the home where members of a family gather to enjoy each other's company.  A living room that is organized and enhanced in accordance to Feng Shui principles is inviting, encourages relaxation and conversation, and makes all who enter feel content.

All of this can be accomplished by simply changing the physical and aesthetic character of a room. When its flow is blocked by furniture, walls, or doorways, we tend to feel uneasy and become less satisfied with life as a result. 

First, stand in the room's main doorway to examine your living room as a whole. Look for and clear away clutter. The far back right corner  of the room can inspire stability in close personal relationships, while tidying the leftmost side will increase your prosperity potential. Release stagnant energy by orienting chairs and sofas in a ring, veiling harsh angles with plants or ornamental screens, and using other furniture to break up direct pathways. A fireplace that serves as the focal point of the room stimulates passion and openness, while sculptures absorb negativity. 


Mirrors, fountains, chimes, crystals, and aquariums all redirect the flow of Ch'i, while also attracting luck, abundance, and peace. Adding warm colors such as pinks and reds to the living room can be curative even when no other changes are feasible. It does not matter how large or small your living room is, nor how fancy or plain. Address the energy needs of the heart of your home, and you will find your home helping you achieve harmony and lead you to your personal goals. 







Thursday, January 7, 2021

A Feng Shui Home is a Blessing

 

During this time of the pandemic a Feng Shui home is a blessing. A home that has good Feng Shui is your sanctuary, your refuge from the outside world. It works to nourish you, builds your energy, surrounds you with what you love, and calms you by bringing you peace and harmony. When you are in that space, you are clear of mind to make wise decisions and be aware of opportunities coming your way.

What does a Feng Shui home look like?  Here are a few ideas – think of a” CLEAN”  home:

1.       C- No Clutter, everything clean and organized.

2.       L - Lots of natural Light throughout the house.

3.      E - A beautiful, clearly defined Entry, without clutter, with flowers, colorful pots, and windchimes.

4.       A - Surround yourself with Art, colors, and items you love. Remove anything broken or you dislike.

5.       N - Bring Nature into your home with plants and flower arrangements.

These are just a few ideas to get you started.  Remember that when you open you front door and enter your home you should feel like saying,  “Ahh,  I’m in the home I love, all is well.” 

That feeling is a Feng Shui home!