Thursday, December 15, 2016

Don't Forget to Add Feng Shui Tools to Your Toolbox

We have all built up a toolbox of unique tools to help us navigate life; we just need to use them.

Every crafts person has a toolbox full of tools and a number of techniques to help them bring inspiration into form. In the same way, throughout our lives, we have discovered our own life tools and techniques—the ways and means that have helped us create our lives up to this point. Sometimes we forget about the tools and skills we’ve acquired, and we wonder why we aren’t moving forward. At times like these, it might just be a matter of remembering what we already know, and learning about new tools we can have at our disposal.    

Feng Shui is a wonderful way to add more tools to your toolbox in order to enhance your environment and your life. Begin by reading books such as, “The Western Guide to Feng Shui” by Terah Collins and look  at your environment  through Feng Shui eyes. The best way to begin selecting these tools is to set up a home or business consultation. In just a few hours you will gain the tools you need to begin your transformation.

Another great idea is to give your friends and family the gift of enhancement tools by buying them a Feng Shui Consultation Gift Certificate. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. To purchase one contact me on the number on this website.

Taking a Feng Shui class is also  a wonderful way to learn about Feng Shui tools. I offer a fun and informative series of classes in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Using our tools is a very personal action, one we must take on behalf of ourselves. Like artists, we are each unique and no two of us will receive the same inspiration, nor will we bring it into form in the same two ways. To discover the truth of our own vision, we must take action by gathering new tools and putting them to use.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Three Easy Feng Shui Cures for Common Problems

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. 

Stairways and Hallways – Raging Rivers
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.
Corrections: The key here is to bring out balance of peaceful waters.  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 stirs, or hand a round faceted crystal above the bottom step 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. 

Just like stairs, halls and long corridors in your home or office can act as raging rivers, moving the energy through too fast. Long halls speed people up. 
Corrections:  To balance these hallways need to be broken up into human friendly parts. To slow down a hallway, arrange art, mirrors, lights, furniture and carpets to suggest a series of niches to slow down the Ch'i. You can create points of interest but placing plants, furniture, art and statuary. Avoid placing a mirror at the end of a long corridor, as this doubles the size of the hallway, rather place mirrors on the side of hallways across from doors to rooms which widen the appearance of the hall.  

Windows – Pathway for Escaping Ch'i
Windows are considered the eyes of the house. They bring beautiful natural light and nourish you with the energy form beautiful views.  But as with stairways, when places directly in front of the front door a pathway is created  which pulls the Ch'i too quickly across and out of the room. Attractive as this may be, especially with expansive water views, this can leave the home “undernourished.  Remember that ideally, we want the Ch'i to meander slowly through the house. 
Corrections:   When you have a large window and a door lined up directly across from each other, place something between them, such as an aquarium, a sculpture, plants, flowers or a piece of furniture. You can also soften the window with curtains or blinds. When there is no space for these things, hang around faceted crystal between window and door, or hang a small mirror above or beside the window to redirect the energy back into the room.

Beams – Channels for Ch'i
Exposed beams are a popular structural feature in Western Architecture, and are often thought to add character to a room. The downside is that they can also add a troublesome sense of heaviness over people’s heads. Since they usually are meant to hold considerable weight as part of the structure they can create strong lines of Ch'i as hallways do. The bigger and darker they are, the more they require Feng Shui balancing.

Corrections:  To bring beams into balance you can do a few things:1) Paint the beam a light color, as well as the ceiling to lift up its visual presence, 2) symbolically break the line of force by placing two pieces of bamboo at angles pointing up along each beam. This breaks up the Ch'i and recirculates it, 3) literally lighten up a beam by stringing white tiny lights along them, or place up-lighting directly beneath to lift them from below  4) balance and soften the beam by hanging swags, textiles ribbons, or banners. Remember that most beam are made of wood and to balance the wood you need to introduce the metal element through light colors or curves, circular shapes -  See column on balancing the elements - - September 2011

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Beauty and Power of Flowers in Feng Shui

"Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul."

In March 2016,  I posted a blog about the healing aspects of flowers - especially when in the Health, Family and Friends Areas of your home or business (Left center wall area). I also specified which colors would be most auspicious for each area of your home.

As I continue to take flower arranging classes and bring beautiful, healthy fresh arrangements into my home one a weekly basis, I can feel first hand their energizing and healing qualities.

Through personal experiences an numerous consultations I have found that flowers can:

1) Shift the Negative Energy to Positive - Using colors and attributes from the 5 Feng Shui
Elements you can easily create a flower arrangement engaging each element. If you have a space with negative energy, or one which you don't like at all, begin to shift the energy by placing a 5 Element display in the middle of the room. The energy will shift immediately. I did this 3 years ago when I was having our kitchen remodeled. It was in our Love and Marriage Area and I was worried about the 2 months of active chaos. I created a 5 element display and would place it in the center of the demolished kitchen each night after the contractors left. It calmed the energy, gave us something beautiful to look at and helped the project move along quickly.

Water - black vase
Wood - orchid plant
Frire - birds and red color on flower
Metal - white color on flower, natural stones and round vase
Earth - yellow, rectangular cloth
(also since this was the love area I added a pair of love birds) 

2) Block Negative Energy - A client of mine works at a large table in a lab and feels drained by the door to the room being constantly opened, with people walking in unexpectedly. I suggested she place a 5 element display on her work table between her work space and the door. That way not only would she have something beautiful to look at as she entered, but it would block the draining, unexpected energy from the door.  Simple solutions!!

3) Evoke Healing Energy - When you or a family member is ill, or undergoing medical procedures, create a vision board collage with pictures of yourself  or family member in a healthy state, affirmations such as, "I am healthy and thriving," and of course beautiful, fresh flowers.  I buy a huge flowering plant which I plant in the garden after the healing is complete.

Look at flowers and much more that a colorful plant - they are powerful Ch'i enhancers.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Feng Shui Angles and Corners

One of the three focuses of Feng Shui is Safety and Comfort. Therefore, poor designs such as protruding angles and corners are considered dangerous. They are known to produce “cutting Ch’i, or poison arrow energy"   which can make people irritable, uncomfortable and feel unsafe. The Feng Shui Ch’i (vital life force energy) needs to circulate freely throughout your house and not get stuck in angular corners.

If you do have an angular home there are a number of easy fixes to help you achieve comfort, peace and harmony:

1) Choose architectural designs and furniture with rounded corners and more organic lines

2) If existing furniture has sharp corners, merely drape fabric or a vining plant over the
        corners to soften them, or turn the furniture at a diagonal to minimize the corner’s effect

3) Balance the protruding angles with the softening influence of plants, screens, textiles
        and  lighting                


4) Fill in room corners with items to soften and round them such as plants, lamps, screens
        baskets  etc…

Filling and softening sharp corners in your home will work to soften the sharp edges and dark corners in your life and within you as well. No more feeling edgy…go with the flow instead.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Get into the Feng Shui Zone

In my classes, and consultations I ask students and clients to think of the area they most love in their homes,  and then discus why. The answers usually consist of  descriptors such as  ample light, beautiful view, comfort, coziness etc... These people are using intuitive Feng Shui by describing the elements that create their Human Comfort Zones. The purpose of Feng Shui is to create an environment which constantly surrounds you with the Ch'i (vital energy) which supports and nourishes your life.  This Ch'i is constantly striking a balance between two opposites - Yin and Yang.

Yin relates to qualities such as dark, cool, soft, cozy etc.. Yang associated with qualities such as light, hot, expansive, hard etc..

Use this chart to help identify your preferences:

Yin Yang Home Balance Analysis
                                                            Yin                                                      Yang

Room size
Location in House
Room’s View
Room’s View
Natural Light
Electrical Light
Open  Floor Space
Small Amounts
Large Expanses
Wall Colors
Many Pieces
Few Pieces
Furniture Colors
Furniture and Décor
Furniture and Décor
Furniture Shapes
Display Collections
Many Pieces
Storage Areas/Closets

Most people choose to love the middle of the road - The Human Comfort Zone.

My clients and students described a room which has the right amount of Yin and Yang for them. Once they identified what worked for this room, they began applying the ideas to all the rest.

Remember in Feng Shui its important to LIVE WITH WHAT YOU LOVE!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Yearn for Sunlight for Speedier Recoveries

The importance of natural light (sunlight) in Feng Shui can’t me minimized. The power of the sun creates a healthful, healing energy. In 1860, Florence Nightingale said that “darkened rooms were harmful and sunlit rooms healthful.” She developed a modern theory about the environment that is in use to this day which addressed not only the benefits of direct sunlight, but clean air, cleanliness, and pure water as well. Eventually her theories were called the Nightingale Canons.

In her book Healing Spaces, Esther Sternberg pointed out that in the past hospitals were built with large windows and skylights. Solariums were part of the institutions where patients could sit and get direct sunlight, intended to help patients heal.  In Feng Shui sunlight certainly makes a difference in recovery but add to that a beautiful view and fresh flowers and the healing increases even more. In modern hospitals the fluorescent lights and darkness do not support healing. 

A beautiful environment of sunlight and flowers can also help the dying through their passage. When my mother was in a hospital hospice room I noticed that they kept the shades drawn and a dirty clothes hamper was situated in the health area. Using my Feng Shui knowledge, I moved the hamper and loaded the area with all the fresh flowers she had been given. I opened the shades to let in the sun. The change in the environment became palpable. She had been hanging on for a number of days, and soon after relaxed and passed peacefully. The channels were opened. 

If you or a loved one is in a healthcare facility, or recuperating at home, consider these environmental options:
Positioning the bed facing a window viewing a garden area.

If possible, find a way for the patient to walk out to the garden; further extending their 
        experience in the sun.
Create a solarium for patients and visitors. 
Add skylights and/or solar tubes in hallways, rooms or waiting areas.
If none are available at least bring in healthy flowers to the room.


All of the above would provide patients with greater access to healing sunlight and healthful energy.
Give yourself or ailing family members some moments of enjoyment in the sun while recovering. It is guaranteed to improve the Ch’i and could very well help speed up recovery.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Detoxing Your Home and Yourself Through Feng Shui

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.

View your house as a metaphor for your life. Keep your house in order…your spiritual house, mental, physical and emotional. In the movie The Field of Dreams, they said “If you build it, they will come.” In Feng Shui, we say, “If you clear it, it will come.”  When practicing Feng Shui, the first step to take is decluttering or detoxing your home of things and feelings that are holding you back.

Feng Shui is also about loving yourself, therefore detoxing your body and mind, putting you in a healthy and calm place is also important.

An organized home can have a calming effect on you, your family and guests. This does not have to be difficult; begin small – one area or closet at a time. In just minutes you can begin to make changes that can turn your home into a comfortable, peaceful haven. Go to   to learn the decluttering steps.

As you begin the process of cleansing your home it is important to also detox our bodies of unhealthy practices as we go through our inner work of letting go.  During this time of physical and emotional detoxing it’s important to honor and love yourself. Make an effort to get extra sleep, whether by going to bed earlier than usual or working naps into your routine. You can also support your body by eating as healthy as possible, drinking plenty of water and herbal teas, and taking vitamins. Vitamin C is especially galvanizing to the immune system. Homeopathic remedies can also aid you in assisting your body in its time of rest and recovery; talking lovingly to yourself, and your body, will also help. Beyond that, simply letting go of thinking and resting in the deep silence of your true self will create a healthier you.

As you detox and declutter your home and your mind of needless “stuff”, feel free to let go of worry and rest peacefully in the knowledge that this too shall pass, leaving you stronger, healthier, and further along in your journey. Good things happen when you let go!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Feng Shui and the Wonder of Flowers

I've been taking a Flower Arranging class now for 30 weeks,  and have discovered that working with these beautiful flowers on a regular basis allows me to reflect on their wonder and power.

In Feng Shui 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.
Flowers are naturally connected to good health. That's why people bring you flowers when you're ill.

In the Feng Shui Bagua,  flowers are a natural enhancer for the Health/Family/Friends area, in the left middle area of your home and business. I always put fresh flowers there when I, or anyone I know, is experiencing a health challenge.

The colors of flowers and the makeup of their vases can be used to enhance all the other Bagua areas:

The Wealth area -  purple flowers

The Fame  area - red flowers

The Love and Marriage area - pinks or red flowers (preferably a plant like an orchid with 2 stems) or with a representation of love, like this heart

The Children and Creativity Area  and Helpful People areas- white flowers in round, oval, grey, white or metal vases

The Center area - earth tone flowers in ceramic vases

The Career areas - red flowers as greeters at an entrance in black shiny vases

Use the beauty of nature to paint a palette of colorful enhancements in your home.

You can also create beautiful 5 element displays with flowers using their colors, shapes and vase attributes. For example:

In this arrangement Metal is represented by the round shape of the vase, Earth by the color yellow, Fire by the candles and by the color red, Water by the water in the vase and the dark centers of the flowers and Wood is obviously represented by the flowers themselves. There you have it! A perfectly enhancing arrangement to uplift your Ch'i and your spirit.

Remember that an alternative to fresh flowers is artificial flowers which have the same uplifting effect; but 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 need to be kept clean and dust free at all times to have the same uplifting effect.

Take time to slow down an smell the flowers; the nourishing effect will amaze you.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Valentine Feng Shui

Many of my clients ask me the same questions – “How can I find love?  How can I strengthen and reenergize the romance in my life?”  I answer them by explaining the direct correlation between home and the quality of their relationships. The energy in your home can help you achieve your loving relationship goals.

Love and Marriage and the Feng Shui  Bagua: 
 In the Bagua the Love and Marriage area is located in the back right corner of your home or office, and is particularly associated with “adaptability, devotion and unconditional support.” This area of your home or business is called “Receptive Earth” meaning that to truly love another person you must love yourself, opening your heart to be totally receptive to your partner.
In 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.

The Love and Marriage area is located in the right back corner of your home/office/business. Enhancements in this area are particularly helpful if: You want to attract a love relationship, you want to improve a relationship you are currently in, or you want to develop or improve a nurturing, healthy, happy relationship with yourself.

Applying Love and Marriage Enhancements to Other Rooms:
If creating a healthy loving relationship with yourself and another is important to you, you can further energize your home for romance by enhancing the Love and Marriage corner of every room in your home. Remember to start with the Love and Marriage area of your home first and then you can make similar enhancements in every room. This is especially important if you are missing the Love corner from your home.
Regardless of the room the actual enhancements for Love and Marriage are the same. The element for this area is Fire, and the colors are red, pink or white. Representations of this element can be used inside and outside of your home or business, as well as in the right back corner of every room. Enhancements include:
* 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)

To add supplementary enhancements to other rooms, pick a room and  stand at  the entrance to the room facing in.  This may not necessarily be in the same direction as the front door of your home.  Locate the back right corner and place one or more enhancement mentioned above in the space.  For example a picture of you and your partner, red/pink orchid with two stems, red/pink candles, a pair of love birds, and romantic art.

Examples of Love Enhancements for Various Rooms:
Kitchen – If the right back corner is by the sink you can add two romantic figurines. If its’ by the stove you can hang a small romantic picture near it. For fun, I also have a red toaster and blender in the corner.
Dining Room – Add a set of romantic salt and pepper shakes, two rose colored candles in beautiful candlesticks or a picture of you and your significant other.
Bathroom – Hang pictures of romantic vacations, a pair of matching candles, or a beautiful flower arrangement in the red spectrum.
Office – Display a picture of you and your significant other, or two paperweights.
Just remember that the choices are endless. Have fun with it!

I’m setting this room apart because it’s one of most important rooms to add Feng Shui Love and Marriage enhancements regardless of the location of this room in your house. The ideal location for a master bedroom is the far back right corner; unfortunately not all homes are built this way. As you decorate your bedroom it is always important to incorporate some of the red spectrum to bring in fire, pairs of items and romantic representations.
If you are single and looking for a relationship, you should design the room as if two people are already living there. For example, make sure to use two nightstands, two lamps, and leave room in the closet. This signifies the intent that you want to share your life with your soul mate.  Walls should be any of the colors of natural skin tones; from light cream, pinks, peaches, to warm reds and dark browns. Because the feeling should evoke warmth, coziness and fire, blues, greens, whites, grey and black are too cool for bedroom walls.

A Missing Love and Marriage Area:
If your Love and Marriage area is missing from your home floor plan, you can anchor the area by doing one or a combination of the following cures: structurally close off the corner by building a deck, arbor or overhand, planting a pair of large red flowering plants at the spot of the missing corner, planting a tree and hanging a wind chime representing a pair (hearts or lovebirds), placing a table and 2 chair set, or a large sculpture representing a loving pair.
If the area outside is not accessible, you can symbolically anchor from the inside by hanging a 30 mm round faceted crystal, placing a mirror, and/or a picture of a romantic representation on the wall by the missing corner. If the missing area happens to be a parking lot, you can draw a small symbol of a heart, Yin/Yang sign or the trigram for receptive earth in the exact location, closing off the corner; then enhance this area in every room.

Affirmations and Inner Work:
Remember that in Feng Shui, intent plays a significant role in enhancing any area of your home or business. Intent is the inner work that leads you to a more harmonious life. That’s why all enhancements need to be made with intentionality; written or stated affirmations are very important. It is also important for them to be expressed as if they are already happening.
Examples or affirmations for the “Love and Marriage” area:
 “I attract, joy, love and intimacy into my life”, “I love, respect and honor myself”, “My perfect love partner and I are connected in our minds, hearts and spirits, now and always.”

Feng Shui at Work:
One of my clients was in an unhappy relationship that was stuck and going nowhere.  In our consultation we focused on her bedroom, which was painted a cool green and featured many pictures of landscapes and water.  Nothing signified romance, passion or warmth.  She changes the pictures to romantic art, added candles by the bedside tables, and spruced up the room with red tome accents. Shortly after, she and her boyfriend broke up.  This may sound like a bad thing but Feng Shui works at giving you what you need in life, not necessarily what you think you want. After getting out of the relationship, she was free to meet the right man. In her new house she followed the lessons she learned in our consultation. She now has a wonderful man in her life and they are expecting their first baby. She couldn’t be happier!

Feng Shui on a Shoestring:
Feng Shui enhancements do not have to cost a great deal. Just the act of writing affirmations and placing them in the back right corner of each room will begin to energize the romance in your life.
This Valentine’s Day create a space in your home and life for a perfect relationship with your perfect mate. Enlist the energy in your environment to help you achieve your goals.
Until then…Blessings!

My Valentine Feng Shui column was published in the Contra Costa County Community Focus.
 Go to
to read the entire column.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Using Feng Shui to Unlock Your Creativity

Do you feel stuck and uncreative?  Did you know that by simply applying a few easy Feng Shui principles to your home, you can get the spark of motivation and creativity you need?

Your space can easily help you create the life that you want; all you need to do is shift the energy and visualize.

Here are 4 easy ways your home can help you energize you and your creativity:

1) Declutter:  Piles of old, forgotten, unused items cluttering your home will stifle your creativity. The more clutter, the less creative you will be.  Make decisions about your things and clear them out, with the intention that new energy, creative ideas and opportunities will come your way.

2) Redecorate a room or just rearrange some items in your home; this changes the perception of your space. When you look at things differently; your brain registers the new patterns in your environment and can set up new patterns in your thinking. I call this “shaking up the Ch’i.”

3) Get in touch with nature:  When in a creative slump seek the out of doors; go on a hike, work in your garden, enjoy a picnic, or just bring fresh flowers into your home.   By surrounding yourself with nature you relax, rejuvenate and open up channels to inspiration.

4) Visualize yourself in a creative endeavor. Write, state, or picture yourself succeeding in a creative pursuit as if it is already happening. For example, “I have completed my first novel”, or “I am thoroughly enjoying my flower arranging class.”

Think of the acronym – DRVN, (Driven) when you:
                     Declutter                                                                                                                                                    Rearrange                                                                                                                                                  Visualize                                                                                                                                                    Nature

You are DRiVeN to creativity.  Your space is being creatively used in a new way and will in turn inspire you to creativity. Embrace this renewed energy!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Traveling Feng Shui

In Feng Shui you can place visualizations and affirmations in your Helpful People and Travel Area (front right corner of your home or business) to help you achieve your travel goals. You have done this and successfully arrived arrived at your destination; but unfortunately you didn’t  have the opportunity to book the perfect room. Whatever the reason, it is smart to travel with a small Feng Shui Kit. You can put one together by selecting small, lightweight items that boost, balance and circulate the Chi in any environment. For example, use a jewelry bag containing 4 round faceted crystals on strings, 4 small angels made of thick paper, 4 tea lights in their own metal cups, cleansing incense such as pine or sandalwood. When used, these items can transform a room from grim to agreeable. Also include all the necessary items such as thumb tacks, safety pins, matches, string. Also include a multicolored scarf representing the colors of the five elements (white, black, green or blue, yellow and red hues). Using the Bagua, start at the front entrance to the room and place one crystal in front of a window, and place angels in the Health, Wealth and Love areas. If the room feels especially stagnant, hang a crystal in the center of the room. Set up a place of beauty in the area where you would see as you wake up; use a 5 element cloth, incense, candles, angels and fresh flowers when available. Choose items that are light, travel well and are available at a moment’s notice.

Years ago, as I was reading Terah Collins'  book “The Western Guide to Feng Shui”, my creative daughter took it upon herself to create a Feng Shui Kit in a blue plastic makeup case for my birthday. What an amazing and useful gift! She cut out 9 angels in the colors of the Bagua, included crystals, red string, a beautiful sheer red metallic scarf with stripes of the Bagua colors, many Bagua colored candles, incense and holder. I think of her each time I use it. When traveling by plane, I select a few of the items to place in a more transportable case. It works beautifully, and the candles make for those romantic nights.

This is the kit my daughter made, and the  two love angels I placed  in the Love and Relationship corner of a  room in an Inn we recently visited.