Thursday, May 19, 2022

Creating a Gateway to Your Feng Shui Paradise

In Feng Shui one of the most important areas of your home is your front entrance. This is called “The Mouth of Ch’i” or where the positive life force energy enters your home. From the outside realtors refer to this as “curb appeal.”  It is recommended to somehow create a “gateway” for people to enter, using an inexpensive arbor and colorful flowers. This can also be a gated area, or just a border of healthy flowers. It gives people the illusion that they are entering into a special place, setting the tone for a special coming experience. In Feng Shui the flow of energy is very important, and the gateway establishes how the flow of energy or Ch'i enters the garden.

                                   

Create an entrance or gateway that is enticing, with views of a comfortable path leading inside, with hints of warmth, protection, and enjoyment ahead. Remember that every structure within the garden creates its own energy, therefore it needs to be structurally sound, inviting, and beautiful. 


                                      

This size of the gateway should be proportional to the house. Gates should open inward and be symmetrical, friendly, and inviting.  If using vines on your gateway, keep them trimmed to keep them from engulfing and blocking. Finally, as in everything in Feng Shui, always keep your gateways in good condition, to avoid negative energy from entering. 


                                        

                                       

Some sort of accent, such as a small water feature, a statue, a bird bath, or interesting plants should be a part of the entry experience.  There should be a nice flow to the entry without sharp turns.  Another suggestion is to put something that moves in front of your house: a flag, windsock, whirligig, and or fountain. Movement attracts attention and draws people in.  Look at your home from various angles to ensure that the first thing you see is uncluttered, engaging and beautiful.


                


Welcome to your Feng Shui paradise!








Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Strengthening Inner Feng Shui Through the Hawaiian Ritual of Forgiveness

Having just returned from the Zen of the Hawaiian Islands, I was exposed to the ancient Hawaiian philosophy of Ho’oponopono, causing things to move back into balance. This Zen concept means that when you are in balance, nothing is off. This is perfectly tied into Inner Feng Shui. 




In Feng Shui you strengthen your center when you connect with your inner self, creating a harmonious environment to live and work.

Your life unfolds based on how you think. If you think the positive thoughts, then life unfolds accordingly. If you think negative thoughts, then life unfolds accordingly. Controlling your thoughts is one of the most difficult things you can do, because the mind, left to its own devices can randomly jump from one thought to the next. One thought makes you happy; another makes you sad, another thought starts you worrying about something that only “might happen”. 


                                   


Whenever you are having difficult thoughts that are non-productive and stressing you out, it is time to take control of  them and focus on happier ones, expressing gratitude. The practice of Ho’oponopono will do just that,  and you can do it in just four easy steps. 

Just stop to take a few deep breaths, find something of beauty as a focus, and repeat this mantra to yourself: 

                                                            I am sorry.

                                                            Please forgive me.

                                                            I love you.

                                                            Thank you.


Let your light shine, with calmness and peace. 

Blessings

                                          

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

En-trance Your Ch’i and Your Guests with 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 leading up to your front door, the actual threshold itself, and the area immediately inside your home or business (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 Ch’i entering your home.

 Most of the time, your entrance can be in one of the three areas of the Bagua’s entrance quadrant.

Entrances and the Bagua

The Feng Shui Bagua , 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 Front Middle – 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 Front  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 Front  Right –  Helpful People and Travel Area

* Art or figures representing spiritual guides, mentors, or places you have traveled to or would like to visit

 *Items that have a personal association to your spiritual beliefs 

* Items in the colors white and/or grey 

* Items made of any form of metal 

* Circular or arch shapes                                                             


                                                                                                                        

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.

                                      

Enjoy the many blessings of Spring and welcome the Ch'i into your home!



Thursday, February 17, 2022

Inner Feng Shui - Decluttering Your Mind


Feng Shui, which has been practiced for over 3,000 years in China, is the enhancement of health, prosperity, and happiness through your environment. 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 is also true about your mind. Inner Feng Shui is about decluttering your mind through meditation, breathing, self-reflection and expressions of gratitude, which allow the calmer you to be more open to positive life opportunities.

 


Lately I have been reading the teachings of the Zen Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh. In his book “The Pocket Thich Nhat Hanh” he stresses that staying in the moment, through mindfulness, will help you create that calming state you need to declutter your mind.  He states that, “Life is too precious for us to lose ourselves in our ideas, concepts, anger and despair. We must begin to live fully and truly, every moment of our daily lives. Joy and happiness are born of concentration and staying in the here and now.”

                                 

He suggests beginning with breathing and meditation. “One deep in breath, one gentle out breath, and the body and mind come together. You are truly there, alive, fully present.”

One easy meditation is to sit quietly and state the following three times. 

“I know I am breathing in.

I know that I am breathing out.

My breath grows deep.

My breath goes slowly.

I feel calm.

I feel at ease.

I dwell in the present moment. I know it’s a wonderful moment. I smile.

I release.”

 I have recorded this piece and listen to it daily, finishing with one thing I am grateful for. It helps me declutter my mind and look forward to a peaceful, joyous day.

Blessings

 

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Using Feng Shui to Help Cultivate Friendships




These past few years, dealing with the isolation due to the Covid outbreak, made me very aware of the importance of friendships on one’s life. The calls, the Zoom sessions, cards, and careful gatherings have been so important. I feel blessed with friends.  I’ve spent this time keeping up with friends in various ways, and also enhancing the Health, Friend and Family area of my home.

In Feng Shui, the energy in your home can help you achieve your health and relationship goals. In the Feng Shui Bagua , represented  as a grid of nine sectors The Health/ Family/Friends area is in the middle left side of your home and is particularly associated with “strength.” The idea is that it is important to cultivate strong physical health, and loving friend and family relationships to act as supportive foundations through the periodic “shocks” and unforeseen “storms” of life. This solid foundation also provides the springboard for expansion, growth, and happiness. The healthier we are, the more options we have to enjoy life. Likewise, the healthier our relationships are with friends and family, the more we prosper from the opportunities and emotional support they provide. 

Outer Feng Shui

You can locate the area in your home, then declutter and ad a few of the following examples to help you improve your relationship with friends and family.


The element for the Health/Family/Friends area is Wood, and the colors are blues and greens, and florals.

Examples of Enhancements for the Health/Family/Friends area inside your home or business:

* Fresh cut flowers or flowering plants in all colors

* Posters, paintings, framed photos of, family and friends, figures of ideal body images in a healthy state (such as people exercising or being active), healthy plants and flowers, gardens, and landscapes. 

(A gallery of family and friend pictures is especially beneficial here.)

* Items in the colors of blues, greens

* All floral prints, such as floral linens, upholstery, and wallpaper

* All things made from wood, including furniture and decorations

*Quotes, and affirmations, pertaining to ideal health, family and friendships

                                 


Enhancements for enhancing the Health/Family/Friends area outside your home or business:

* This area is best enhanced outside with beautiful lush, flowering healthy plants. 

* If you have a window in this area, enhance the view with flowers as much as possible.


Inner Feng Shui

Feng Shui can be external and internal. I recently read an article by life coach Leah Neas, who speaks to the importance of “Cultivating friendships as you would cultivate a garden.”

                                

 She lists ten habits to live by when mindfully cultivating friendships:

1) Be loyal

2) Cultivate trust – earn your trust through your actions

3) Be vulnerable – ask for help and support

4) Be curious and appreciate your friend’s individuality – give your friends space to be themselves

5) Allow your friends to be angry, hurt, sad or scared – Be there for them

6) Be honest but kind

7) Experience the world – stretch yourself so you have more to offer

8) Laugh – the best time with friends is when you can laugh to tears

9) State your needs – be open about who you are

10) Be generous and grateful – Give of your time or small gifts to show how much you care


                               

These are great words to live by. I’m grateful for my friends in every way.  Enjoy your special times  with your friends in any way that you can. 

Blessings

Thursday, January 6, 2022

A Feng Feng Shui Garden's Beautiful Transformation



                                            


For years my husband and I walked past a sad little house, with an overgrown and unkempt garden. The entry could hardly be seen past the tangled forest of bamboo, cactus and dying plants. We often wondered what would happen to this house….and then… a Feng Shui miracle.

                                    

                                    

It was sold and purchased by a master gardener and her husband, who spent months transforming the sad mess into a flowering gem. All the bamboo and other plants were torn out, the house got a new roof, windows, interior and exterior paint. Best of all the gardener used Feng Shui principles of open spaces, high and low plants and curved lines. The entrance was now clearly visible and welcoming to the nourishing Ch’i. 

                                   

In this hectic world, I have learned the importance of having a space that is calm and healing – your garden can be just that space. The recent rains, with following sunshine have blessed this new garden with lush, shiny leaves and a multitude of buds. Shortly it will be turned into a land of beautiful flowers, intoxicating fragrance and an explosion of color.

 It’s 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.

In a garden, all the 5 Feng Shui elements are usually represented, allowing you to feel calm and at the same time energized. This is because gardens are living, breathing entities offering us the balance of nature. As your home, gardens reflect your personal energy; they can either serve to deplete your energy, or they can enhance and energize you. 

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's stifling your growth?

 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. 

                                   

       This home's missing area was anchored by the circle of stones with a heart in the center.

Here are some Feng Shui basics for nurturing gardens:

1) Make the 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) Whenever possible use curved pathways, allowing the Ch’i to meander and enjoy the beauty. 

                                  

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

A garden's transformation can definitely transform your life!

Thursday, December 9, 2021

A Feng Shui Vision Board for the Holidays

A friend just shared that her eight year old grandson created a vision board representing the gifts he wants for Christmas. We both laughed and at the same time admired his ingenuity. 

It made me think of the power of visualization in Feng Shui, and the fun of creating vision boards to help attain one's life goals.  I thought of the phrase “What you see is what you get”, and remembered that I had just told my Feng Shui students “Where the eye goes, the Ch’i flows.” I marveled at the connection. In Feng Shui there is a belief that seeing things that make you feel calm or that you regard as beautiful help to nourishes you. When you create a place where you can see those calming and beautiful things on a daily basis, you will create a place where your dreams and goals can be nourished and ultimately manifested.

What is your vision for the new year? As you navigate the holiday season picture what you want your life to look like. Are you looking for new adventures? Better health? More time with friends and family? The possibilities are endless.  It may be time for you to create your own holidays and beyond vision board to help you achieve these goals. 

Feng Shui Vision Boards can help you picture and realized your dreams. They are simply a collection of images, words and objects that represent a physical manifestation of your feelings and thoughts; creating a doorway from the unseen to the seen.  They are known to produce profound results, both those expected as well as unexpected, due perhaps to their influence on the unconscious or subconscious mind.

                                                      A vision board created for good health

Vision boards work on many levels:

A Vision Board helps you set and prioritized your goals and intentions. 

The process of creating a vision board helps to solidify these goals in your head, and sends them out to the universe.  

Seeing your vision board regularly, with images and words representing your goals, and wishes helps remind you of what you want to do, who you want to be, and what you want to have. The vision board helps to ensure that you continue to move towards those things, both consciously and unconsciously.      

Vision boards are fun to make and tap into your creativity.                                                                        

Most of all – THEY WORK! They have worked for me and for others. I can look back at past vision boards I have created and am excited to compare them against the final results.

                                          
                                                      A vision  board created for finding love

How To Create a Vision Board:

A Vision Board is a very personal, individualized representation of your hopes and dreams, so no two are alike. 

*Begin with a board (11x14 or 8 ½ by 14 are the most practical sizes, but anything goes). You can also pick up poster boards at your local Dollar Stores.  

*You can think of your life in the course of a year (what you want to have accomplished this time next year) , a season or just a single event, for example a wedding. You can even envision loftier lifetime goals such as career or family you have always wanted. Then close your eyes and visualize exactly what you want to happen. See all the details. Imagine your perfect home, office or event setting. Imagine the people in your life as part of the vision. What else do you see? Hear? How does your vision make you feel? 

*Cut out images from magazines, calendars, maps, postcards, photos that represent these goals. Or search online and download pictures from websites. 

*You can make it 3 dimensional by adding glitter, string, stickers, shells, rocks, magnets, beads etc… Remember you have freedom in creating YOUR board.

*Use a glue stick, glue gun, tacks, white glue, tape etc. to adhere items to the board. 

*Add inspirational words that are very specific to your goals. Words are very powerful, they turn ideas into action, and therefore they need to be always kept in the affirmative; positive, uplifting statements only.

*Add specific affirmations that you write yourself, as if the goal has already happened. For example: “I love my career. I excel in my position and I am given constant accolades for a job well done. I am on the right path for growth.” 

*If you want to create a board with quantitative goals, add sticker dots to each one as you achieve them. (A real estate agent had a goal of selling 10 homes that season. She placed a dot on her board each time she sold one. This way she could honor her achievements and watch her goal manifest itself. )

*If you create a vision board for a year or specific event, the key is to keep it realistic. Can you say “yes” to everything on your board, or do you need to set a more achievable benchmark for the yearly time frame?  Your board has to have substance and you should be able to check off benchmarks as they are achieved. 

 *If you create a vision board for a loftier goal remember to look at it often as a reminder to stay on track. For example if your ultimate goal is to be president of a company, as you go through daily life ask yourself, “Is this what a president of a company would do?” 

*Remember, these are guidelines; there is no right or wrong to creating a vision board. It is a personal representation of YOUR goals; therefore it has to speak to YOU. 


                                          A vision board for the positive outcome of a project

You’re done! Display your board in a location where you will see it every day. This will keep you grounded, help you grow and remind you of what you are grateful for.  It will help you create order out of chaos. Once you have achieved the goals on the board, update it or create a new one. This is not an event – it’s a journey. Enjoy the journey and the unfolding of your life!