Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Inner Feng Shui - The Power of Walking

"Walking meditation is a simple way to connect with your spirit and mother earth in a very grounded way."      Madisyn Taylor

Feng Shui is all about the connection with your home and work environments, which is why so much focus is placed on creating harmony where we live and work. Harmony can also be created in your body through mindful exercise. In her article, "Mindful Walking" Madisyn Taylor explains the importance of mindful walking for your inner Feng Shui. 

"Many of us take the benefits of walking for granted. Each day we limit the steps we take by driving or sitting for long periods of time. But walking even a few blocks a day has unlimited benefits not only for our health, but our spirit as well, for as we walk, we connect with the earth. 

Even when walking on concrete, the earth is still beneath us, supporting us. Walking lets our body remember simpler times, when life was less complicated. This helps us slow down to the speed of our body and take the time to integrate the natural flow of life into our cellular tissue. Instead of running from place to place or thinking about how much more we can fit into our day, walking allows us to exist in the moment.  

Each step we take can lead us to becoming more mindful of ourselves and our feelings. Walking slows us down enough not only to pay attention to where we are in our body, but also to our breath. Taking time to simply notice our breath while we walk, through the length of our inhales and exhales, and becoming attuned to the way in which we breathe is taking a step towards mindfulness. When we become more mindful, we gradually increase our awareness of the environment around us and start to recognize that the normal flow of our thoughts and feelings are not always related to where we are in the present moment. Gradually we realize that the connection we have with the earth and the ground beneath our feet is all that is. By walking and practicing breathing mindfully we gain a sense of calm and tranquility -- the problems and troubles of the day slowly fade away because we are in the 'now'. 

The simplicity and ease of a walking practice allows us to create time, space and awareness of our surroundings and of the wonders that lie within. Taking a few moments to walk each day and become more aware of our breath will in turn open the door for the beauty of the world around us to filter in."

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Feng Shui Your Office for Success

Home or business offices are crucial to your business success. Originally our home office broke many of the Feng Shui rules. The desk was in a corner facing away from the door with our back to it.  It was cluttered and dark, located in the Career Area but with no windows. My husband, who had been working from home, had just left his job after 30 years and was struggling with his early retirement. I decided to apply Feng Shui principles to this depressing space to see if it could make a difference in his career. 

Knowing that the home office is a place of power, the location of ours in the front of the house was in a perfect location and just needed a Feng Shui tune up.

1) With the help of a decorator we purchased a strong oak desk and placed it  it the power
        position; back, facing the door with a large high back chair.
2) Being organized is critical, so we purchased new cabinets, culled and organized.
3) We chose to hang all our awards and certificates on the Fame Wall and purchased                         better lighting.
4) Because so much of the room represented the Wood Element we brought in the Metal                   Element to control the wood through  a curved desk, carpet, white walls and a picture of                       mountain.
5) We enhanced the lighting by adding a light tube in the ceiling. This alone made a huge                  difference in the light created throughout the day.

Soon after my husband received a lucrative job offer and has been very happy ever since.  I also feel empowered doing my Feng Shui work in this enhanced, energizing space.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Important Feng Shui Tip - Let Nature Nourish You

One of the Feng Shui principles is that “Everything is Alive”; everything in your home is alive and either nourishing or draining you. The Feng Shui masters first looked at nature for harmonious spaces, therefore bringing a bit of nature into your home can help to uplift the energy, thereby nurturing you. Healthy plants and fresh flowers are an instant way of creating a beautiful, harmonious space. 

Another Feng Shui principle is that “Everything is Connected.” Objects from nature can also enhance the Ch’i in your home when they connect you to the special experiences you’ve had outdoors. Shells, rocks, stones, dried pods can bring back many memories, especially if you gathered them yourselves with your loved ones. These memories associated with your objects of nature help you keep connected to the natural world, even when living in a city without a garden. 

I’ve been taking a flower arranging class for a few years now. Every week I create, bring home, and display a beautiful arrangement.  The feeling evoked by these arrangements is pure joy as I am continuously being nourished by their beauty and combination of Feng Shui elements. The pumpkins, created by my sister in-law, help remind me of connections to family.  A win win!!!

The rock shaped like a heart was picked up while on a walk on Pismo Beach. One of my favorite places to stay with loved ones.

Bring nature inside your home and surround yourself with its healing energy. 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Mirrors - The "Aspirin" of Feng Shui

In Feng Shui mirrors have a myriad of uses, and are therefore called the “aspirin” of Feng Shui. They are used to cure many  architectural challenges; activating, expanding and circulating the Ch'i throughout interior spaces. When properly chosen and installed, they can visually enlarge small rooms, double beautiful views, make walls disappear, send energy back in uncomfortable situations and keep the energy flowing in the house.

Mirrors represent the Water Element which is related to the Career area of the Bagua. When they are places in the front center area of your home or business they help the career energy flow.

In this Career  entrance even the wall hangings represent a flow of water.

They are wonderful for opening up small spaces that would otherwise feel confining. Hung directly across from hall doors, they make the wall disappear and give the impression of more space. Mirrors hung across from windows will increase light, as well as the perceived size of small foyers, dens and home offices. If a Bagua area in missing a mirror on the adjacent wall will push the wall back and fill in the area. Also mirrors can be used to reflect what’s behind you when your back is to the door – when you’re sitting at your computer for example.

This mirror helps to open up this small foyer and the water element it represents feeds the wood element of the Bagua area

Beware though that mirrors make rooms active. They are great for lively rooms such as living rooms, family rooms, offices, bathrooms and kitchens – in fact, the bigger the better, but they are not meant for relaxation rooms such as bedrooms. The rule for bedrooms is one or fewer.  Many bedrooms have large wall to wall mirror closet doors that can impede restful sleep. If this is the case, you can screen, curtain, or remove them altogether. Mirrors are also not recommended for dining rooms because they activate the peaceful dining experience; better a beautiful piece of artwork representing the Bagua area.

When hanging mirrors, ensure that the people using them are not cut off in any way, and avoid fragmented mirrors as they create confusing energy.

In Feng Shui mirrors are also used to push the energy back from where it came. Of you have an unsightly view of power lines, a neighbor’s yard or negative energy from an impossible neighbor; you can hang a small mirror that faces in that direction. It can be places on a fence, a door, window or tree and can be hidden by bushes so that it’s not readily visible. Hang it in the spirit of goodwill, with the intention that the energy will shift and create good Chi. 

Mirrors are your friends - let them help you achieve harmony in your life!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Feng Shui Helps You Live With What You Love

There are three focuses in Feng Shui:
1) Put comfort and safety first
2) Express and organize yourself
3) Live with what you love

Since Feng Shui is all about the feeling that your environment evokes, it’s very important that you surround yourself with beauty and items that you love. One of the Feng Shui principles is that “everything in your house is alive and talking to you all the time.” What are the items in your house telling you? Do they contain bad memories? Do they remind you of work you need to do, or do they add beauty to your life? Make sure the art, furnishings and accessories in your home give you a positive message and evoke warm, positive feelings; that way you can ensure your home is nourishing you. 

Beautiful  hand blown Nourot lamps add beauty to a kitchen.

If a client tells me that there is nothing about their home they like, I encourage them to place an item they absolutely love in the room; a vase, a painting a pillow etc.  This item alone will begin changing the energy flow and soon start leading to more beauty. 

A client added beauty to her dining room in her wealth area. 

Feel the difference when you surround yourself with what you love!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Keep Feng Shui in Mind for a Successful Bathroom Remodel

Are you entertaining the exciting possibility of a bathroom remodel? So many of my friends are!  We’re also looking at the potential for a bathroom  remodel ourselves in the future due to our unexpected water leak; whatever your reason, you’ll experience greater success during the remodel process using the Feng Shui principles.

Bathrooms are classically considered potential threats in Feng Shui because more often than not they are unadorned places with open plumbing that pulls your energy, your Ch’i, down the drain.  The bathroom and your home’s plumbing correspond to your elimination system.  It is here that personal cleansing rituals take place and where wastes are flushed away. However Ch’i can also be flushed out of your home via toilets and bathroom drains. Although there are no ideal places for a bathroom to reside, some locations are worse than others. If possible avoid homes with bathrooms in the back left (wealth) or back right (love and marriage) as these can cause drains in prosperity and relationships.

At the same time bathrooms are a necessary part of your home.  Therefore it is important to minimize opportunities for Ch’i to flow out of your home too quickly, taking with it your prosperity, health or relationships. All is not lost!  It is easy to correct a bathroom’s pull on your energy and enhance your life; and when remodeling, by using this guide you will end up with a bathroom that nourishes your energy rather than drains it.

Bathrooms and the Bagua
The Feng Shui  Bagua (Ba-gua) Map, is represented  as a grid of  nine sectors.  The Bagua comes from the Chinese philosophy, “The I Ching,” and literally means “eight trigrams,” with the Center being for grounding.

When remodeling, consider your bathroom as a vital, vibrant part of your home. Make all bathrooms beautiful! You will quickly lift the Ch’i with a fresh coat of paint, new bathroom linens, candles, art, plants and inviting scents, or a total remodel with new tile, flooring and fixtures.  Here are some examples of using the Bagua attributes to enhance your bathrooms:

Bathrooms in Knowledge and Self Cultivation Area
* Items in wood, the colors of blues, greens, or black and in the shape of columns or stripes
* Healthy plants with rounded soft leaves
*Art depicting nature scenes

Bathrooms in Friends/Family/Health Area
* Healthy floral arrangements or art depicting vibrant flowers
* Photos of family, friends or representing perfect health
* Items in wood and the colors of blues, greens, or black

Bathrooms in Wealth Area
* Opulent items in the purple color spectrum
* Art representing wealth
* Healthy, round leaf plants


Bathrooms in Fame Area
* Photos or art representing achievements or inspiration
* Items in the colors red
* Items representing the fire element with candles and lighting

Bathrooms in Love and Marriage Area
* Pairs of items (candles, love birds, soaps, etc.)
* Art or photos depicting romance
* Colors of reds, pinks and white

Bathrooms in Children and Creativity Area
* Photos of children or items made by children
* Items in metal and the colors of white and pastels
* Whimsical art

Bathrooms in Helpful People and Travel Area
* Art or figures pertaining to spiritual guides, mentors, or of  places you want to travel                  
* Items that have a powerful personal association with your spiritual beliefs                                 *Items in metal and colors of white, black or grey                                                                                                                                                                      
Bathrooms in Center Area
* Ceramic, and rectangle shapes
* Colors of yellow earth tones
* Art depicting earth tone scenes such as fields, deserts, sunflowers etc.

You can review any of the areas of the Bagua in greater detail in past columns on my website:

We want our bathroom remodel working with us. We can design our bathrooms so that the Ch’i remains buoyant; and our health, wealth and happiness flourish!

Other Important Bathroom Recommendations:
* Keep your bathroom clean, neat and orderly.
* Close toilet lids, sink stoppers and shower curtains or cover the drains with small rubber mats.
* Repair leaky faucets, shower heads, and toilets to prevent waste.
* Install adequate lighting and replace burned out bulbs to  balance the watery energy .
* When all else fails, at least keep the door closed.
* If your bedroom leads to a bathroom without a door, make it a priority to install a door, curtain, or screen to visually separate the bathroom from the bedroom.

Feng Shui at Work  - A sample of a remodel plan
Our master bathroom is located in the Health, Family and Friends area of our house. It currently has outdated peach and black tile, white cabinets and is painted a light Mauve with a burgundy accent wall. The Health and Family area is a Wood element area and should be enhanced with decorations that promote healing qualities. Our current design is much too fiery.  Using the Feng Shui guide we plan to bring in shades of green and more floral art. I found a beautiful tan tile with light sage veins for the countertop, shower and around tub, and plan to paint the walls a soft sage color accentuating the new rich wooden cabinets. My favorite part will be the subtle bamboo design wallpaper, further accentuating wood. The four other elements will be represented by the large mirrors (water), tan tiles, tub and toilet (earth), art representing red flowers and/or people (fire), the marble and stone tiles (metal). I feel the energy shifting just in the planning and can't wait to get started!

A client living in a small apartment has her only bathroom in the Knowledge and Self-Cultivation area to the left as you enter her home. Since she’s renting, she is unable to do a total remodel, therefore she turned it into a lovely meditation area by using the color sage green, art depicting cool forest scenes, a shower curtain with brocade leaves, a wooden table holding a small Buddha, bamboo plant, inspirational sayings and books. Her harmony has allowed her to focus on her art. Since then her art business has blossomed showing in galleries in New Orleans and Milan Fashion week.

Years ago, my daughter was diagnosed with a medical condition that required a rather invasive surgery. At the time, she had her bathroom in her Health and Family area also. We immediately set to work adding adorning her bathroom with the Feng Shui principles. Her bathroom was painted a light sage green. We hung art depicting beautiful healthy flowers with a hummingbird. She bought a lovely green rugs and a shower curtain with silhouettes of leaves. She worked hard to keep her toilet lids down, her sinks plugged when not in use and her shower curtain closed. Her surgery went without a hitch and she actually recovered faster than all of her doctors anticipated.

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 move harmonious life. This particular inner work is about draining and cleansing forces in your life. Cleanse yourself of anyone or anything that is pulling you down and “close the drains” on those relationships.

Feng Shui on a Shoestring:
Feng Shui enhancements do not have to cost a great deal. If a total remodel is not in your budget, just by closing all drains in your bathroom you can enact an important Feng Shui cure. You can also set a small live plant on the tank of your toilet. The plant draws Ch’i upward, away from the toilet keeping it and your energy from being flushed away.  If the area is too dark, a healthy looking silk plant will suffice.

For questions or home consultations email at  and put “Feng Shui” on the subject line, or visit my website at, (where you can read past columns),   or Facebook “Feng Shui by Maria”, where I post pictures as examples to enhancements.

Learn more about the Bagua and the 5 Elements in my next series of 3 classes through Acalanes Adult Ed:
Thurs. afternoons 1:00-3:00 p.m., Sept. 14, 21, 28  Go to to register.
 (Participants will receive $40 off a home consultation.)

Until then…Blessings!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Turn Your Junk Into Joy

“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!

View your house as a metaphor for your life. Keep your house in order…your spiritual house, mental, physical and emotional; as they said in the movie The Field of Dreams, “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.
A very cluttered garage

We just had a water leak in one of our downstairs rooms which caused us to remove everything from the closet and entertainment bookcase. This unexpected hassle was a blessing in disguise, the truth was that I’ve wanted to declutter those areas for years and now the universe provided me the opportunity. I will only replace half of what was stored and purchase a lovely new entertainment center. We’re turning our junk into joy.

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.

The junk has been turned to a joyful, organized garage

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.

Wonderfully organized closet with shelves and containers

Summer is a time of renewal, rebirth and moving forward.  This is a perfect time to revitalize your home environment by decluttering the stagnant energy.  Get started now removing the junk and enjoy the flow of prosperity and opportunities!

Overall, decluttering is the foundation in beginning Feng Shui; clearing the path for positive energy to flow in.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Impact of Feng Shui Connections

The three Feng Shui principles are: 1) Everything is alive, 2) Everything is connected,  and
3) Everything is constantly changing.

Everything we do makes a connection with people and/or nature. Being aware of the connection between all things can help you in terms of the broader effect you may be creating.

Over 20 years ago I had my first Feng Shui consultation. That one practitioner, Michelle Cox, changed the course of my life, without knowing it. Years later she read my website and marveled at the impact she'd had. We constantly connect and make a difference.

In a Daily OM message, Madisyn Taylor wrote, "There are times when we may feel disconnected from the world. Our actions can seem like they are of no major consequence, and we may feel like we exist in our own vacuum. Yet, the truth is that our simplest thought or action - the decisions we make each day, and how we see and relate to the world - can be incredibly significant and have a profound impact on the lives of those around us, as well as the world at large.

The earth and everything on it is bound by an invisible connection between people, animals, plants, the air, the water, and the soil. Insignificant actions on your part, whether positive or negative, can have an impact on people and the environment that seem entirely separate from your personal realm of existence. Staying conscious of the interconnection between all things can help you think of your choices and your life in terms of the broader effect you may be creating.

Staying conscious of your connection to all things can help you think of your choices in terms of their impact. We are powerful enough that what we do and say can reverberate through the lives of people we may never meet. Understanding that you are intimately connected with all things and understanding your power to affect our world can be the first step on the road to living more consciously."

The impact of your decisions and your connections is extremely powerful.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Happiness is a Feng Shui Choice

Happiness is a Choice

“A Sufi mystic who had always remained happy was asked…. For seventy years people had watched him, he had never been found sad. One day they asked him, ‘What is the secret of your happiness?’ He said, ‘There is no secret. Every morning when I wake up, I meditate for five minutes and I say to myself, “Listen, now there are two possibilities: you can be miserable, or you can be blissful. Choose.” And I always choose to be blissful.’"

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Garbage Can Effect Your Feng Shui

In Feng Shui EVERYTHING COUNTS, including garbage.
Which leaves us with a real conundrum…where is the best location for garbage receptacles in your home?

This subject came up on  last week's  Western School of Feng Shui conference call.   A practitioner asked the question, “Where can garbage bins be placed so that they will be most effective?  Could it be the Helpful People sector because the purpose of garage bins is to efficiently move waste out of the house?

Garbage receptacles are necessary in a home, as are toilets because they act to remove the waste thus keeping the home clean.  The participants in the conference call, led by Terah Collins, the creator of the Western School of Feng Shui, agreed that the key for garbage receptacles was:  Functionality, Efficiency and Cleanliness.

Tips for placement of garbage receptacles:
1) Place them where they will be used most efficiently for removing waste.
2) Place enhancements around them based on the Bagua Area where they reside.
3) Most importantly, keep them clean and orderly at all times.

 As in everything else in your home, they will either nourish your energy or drain it.

                               Trash Receptacles Nourishing Energy - Enclosed and Clean

Trash Receptacles Draining Your Energy - Overfilled and Messy

Let your garbage be a useful tool in your home.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Fireplaces and Feng Shui

With all the recent winter rain and snow many have turned to the warmth of their fireplaces for relaxation, comfort and coziness.

Those lucky enough to have a fireplace in their house, also enjoy the Feng Shui benefits of the  powerful symbol of the Fire Element.  Fireplaces can be strong enhancements particularly in any of the three fire element areas to the back of the house: Wealth and Prosperity, Fame, and Love and Relationship.

To avoid having an overabundance of fire, I always recommend balancing it by adding representation of the Water Element close by; for example, placing a mirror above the fireplace, or art representing water such as  oceans, lakes, streams, or black, crystal or glass items.

These pictures display round mirrors representing the shape of the Metal Element which helps to hold water, even further balancing the elements.

Avoid hanging a large red picture over a fireplace, or have vases of dried flowers close by; too much of the Wood Element feeding the fire. As you can see in this Western School of Feng Shui slide. The room in uncomfortably "hot."

Keep fireplaces clean and attractive when not in use; consider placing a flower display or large decorative fan in front. When fireplaces are not used for flowers they can be turned into decorative spaces for candle arrangements, statues or flowers.

However you use your fireplace, enjoy the energizing benefits of the Fire Element!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Everyday Feng Shui

"Everyday Feng Shui" is the name of my newspaper column which I  began writing in June of 2011.These informative, practical columns have been published monthly in two local papers: The Benicia Herald, and The Martinez News Gazette, and quarterly in the Community Focus, serving the Walnut Creek, Lafayette and Pleasant Hill areas. All in all 68 columns have been written so far on numerous topics all pertaining to learning about the ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui, and the positive changes it can create in your life.

You can enjoy all 68 columns dealing with each Bagua area, each room of your house, your garden, selling and buying, problem areas and  their corrections and Lunar New Years.


These are all also posted on my website with an easy to locate Table of Contents.

Click on the link and read a few pertaining to your life - then treat yourself to the enjoyment of  Feng Shui!