Thursday, March 29, 2018

The Feng Shui Bagua - A Treasure Map to Enhancement

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, March 16, 2018

Use Flowers to Uplift Your Feng Shui Ch'i

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

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

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

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

Here are but a few examples:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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