Monday, December 7, 2009
Did you know that the pineapple is a univeral symbol of welcome and hospitality? I just learned that last week while traveling.
We've talked about symbolism a lot over the last few months, and I was thinking that ending the year on that note would work well.
Placing a pineapple, real or decorative, where it can be seen when guest arrive is a warm symbols of welcome, particularly during this busy holiday season. Bowls of peaches symbolize health and longveity and bowls of oranges bring prosperity. Both of these can be placed on the dining room table.
All cultures have symbolism that is significant and can be incorporated into the decor of your home. If there is something meaningful to you, use it. If you're interested in learning more about specific placement of a symbolic item, leave me a comment and I'm happy to help.
Wishing you a safe, warm, loving, healthy and prosperous season.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
There's what's recommended, and there's what works. Sometimes they're the same, sometimes, they're really NOT.
So my tip of the month for November, to keep it simple since the holidays are approaching and my life is overfull at the moment, is just this.....
Keep it Real
And by that I mean, despite what is recommended, it still has to work for you, your space, your life, the intricate little things that make you, well YOU, and influence how you interact with your space.
In my April Tip Post, I talked about how to handle the bathroom in your home, and one of the key things with the bathroom is to keep the door shut.
When I first began using Feng Shui, keeping the bathroom door shut was a bit of an adjustment, but something that was fairly easy to do, and it's become enough of a habit that I tend to do it wherever I go now and have for about 6 years.
Enter, Luna Flowers....my daughter's Christmas kitten from 2008.
Luna will only drink fresh water. Period. Water sitting in a bowl for even a short period of time just won't do. In order to break her of the habit of jumping onto the counters to help herself to the sink, we comprimised. Luna drinks from the tub.
As a result of this, we no longer keep the bathroom door closed at all times. We fill the tub a bit and Luna drinks for several minutes. So we leave her in the bathroom, with the door open, to finish her refreshment.
I was so used to shutting the bathroom door behind me that I locked her in a number of times before readjusting my routine and leaving it open, at least when she's around. Her loud meowing to be freed, sometimes in the middle of the night, quickly broke me again of the habit of shutting the door.
This is NOT good Feng Shui, and I could tell you all the reasons why it's not. But it works for our family, so we don't sweat it.
That's the way I believe Feng Shui needs to be approached. You do the best you can to apply what you can, and you'll get good results. Where it doesn't work, skip it and move on to the things you can work with.
Have a Happy November, and a very Happy Thanksgiving. I have many blessings to be grateful for this year, and I hope you do as well.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
A short while later Helena, our little one, wanted to know where her duck was. I immediately thought of the extra ducks, and here is Helena's, nesting on mommy and daddy duck's backs. Not traditional, but very much our family!
It's worth mentioning, since I didn't before, that the male duck is the duck with the raised wings, and the female duck has the folded wings. For same sex couples, of course, you would want to get a set of 2 male or 2 female ducks.
Also important to mention, is that to super charge these ducks, you can activate them by tying a piece of red string around each one. Be sure not to tie them together, as our paths in life can be parallel, but are ultimately still our own. Also, be sure to tie the around the waist, and never around the neck, as love can leave us feel rather breathless :-) but should never be strangling or suffocating. Another option is to place glue small red bows onto them.
Friday, October 16, 2009
I don't think I'll have time in the next few weeks to photograph and describe what I have, but here's one piece which hangs in my own home that I already have photos of:
Chinese "Love" Character Wall Hanging:
This is a good sized piece, measuring 20.5" wide x 41" long, not including hanging ribbon. It's a parchment style roll with a thin layer of cloth over the paper. Colors are metallic gold and taupe, and are great where Earth and Metal elements are beneficial.
The meaning of this is lovely, as it symbolizes Love of family, marital partner, and friends.
The character's upper strokes represent marriage and the family. The center of the character symbolizes the heart. The lower strokes represent friends. Love of family and friends, along with a romantic heart, are combined into a single character.This wall hanging can enhance any part of your home and can be used in the bedroom or Southwest segment of the home to enhance romance.
I have 6-7 of these, and would love to discount them to $14.99 (USA shipping included). If you know anyone who may be interested, email me and I can invoice you through paypal.
Happy Weekend! First snowfall here!
Thursday, October 8, 2009
To attract a new relationship, or enhance an existing one:
Place a pair of mandarin ducks on a small table or alter in your bedroom. Ideally, place them in the southwest corner of the bedroom. If this is impractical, at least place them on the southwest corner of the table. Have their tails pointing toward your Nien Yen direction. Rose Quartz ducks are my favorite. The stone carries a very pure energy. It is said to resonate with the heart chakra, and to clear negative energy.
You may ask, what the heck is a Nien Yen direction, and how do I know what mine is? The Nien Yen direction is that which is associated with good fortune in Love, Marriage and Family relationships. This and other positive and directions to be avoided for an individual are associated with the year of your birth. Google "Kua Number Calculator" and you can easily find sites where you can enter your birthdate and sex and they will determine your personal Kua number and the directions considered most positive for you.
Mandarin ducks mate for life, hence their use as a relationship symbol. There is lovely Japanese folktale about the mandarin ducks that is fun to read. Katherine Paterson has written a lovely version which we were able to get at our local library.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
The approach of Autumn seems a good time to revisit de-cluttering your space. How have you done with that task?
For me, it's still a work in progress. I have pared things down a bit, more can be done on that front. We'll be moving in a few weeks, so that will give me another opportunity to re-evaluate my possessions and determine what still fits, and what needs to go.
This can be a very sensitive subject. The stuff of our lives carry memories. I had a recent conversation with an acquaintance about something he was selling, something that no longer fit, but had sat around for quite awhile before he was ready to part with it. One of the comments he made, which was really poignant for me, was that he was concerned that the memories associated with the item would go with it. That the visual stimulus of seeing it triggered those memories, and without it, the memories might fade.
In my March 2009 Part A post, I touched on the idea of letting the things in your space be those the evoke positive feelings. I'd like to talk a little more about that this month.
Several years ago we received a gift from some friends, some artwork. It didn't resonate with me. There was nothing especially wrong with it, I just didn't like looking at it. I even had it framed and hung it for awhile, but it bothered me when I saw it. I finally got around to asking my husband how he felt, and as he was indifferent, we agreed to let it go. I'm happier when I walk into the room now (our home office) and the artwork I see is pleasing to me.
As we move into the fall season, and for some of us, that means a lot more indoor time, I invite you to talk a slow walk through your house and notice how you feel about the things you see. Do it when you have some time to relax and look with fresher eyes upon the things that you see every day. Are they pleasing, do you like the arrangement, the contrast? Is there anything that causes you any distress when you see it?
Sentimental items, though emotionally valuable, can sometimes carry heavy emotional energy with them. If you encounter anything like this on your journey through your home space, take some time to consider whether you could let it go. Or perhaps, just pack it away, so that you can take it out occasionally when you're feeling strong and need to revisit that time, place or person. Be gentle with yourself as you think about the memories and feelings that an item may evoke, and consider carefully what would feel best.
The goal of Feng Shui is to optimize the lives of the occupants of the home or other space. This is a very simple, but powerful thing that you can do to create better energy in your dwelling. I want my home to be a place to rest, to play, to be inspired, to join with friends and family, to create. I want to same for you.
Happy Autumn 2009.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
The Tribute Horse is associated with the rapid achievement of goals. It can also be used to promote career success and legal success. The Tribute Horse carries strong yang energy, bringing with it strength, authority, energy, movement and perseverance.
To use the either the Tribute Horse or the Running Horses statue for educational success, place it in the North East portion of the room. If you can, place the desk or other seating arrangement in the North East segment of the room. If this is impractical, don't worry about it. Just place the horse statue on your desk or other area used for studying. Place the statue on North East portion of your desk or table. You can also set up a small table in the room used to study, and place the statue on the North East portion of that table, or place it on a shelf.
Here's the key detail: Make sure to position the statue so that the horse appears to be entering the room. This is the critical piece. Once you've located the horse on the table, desk or shelf, the tail of the horse should be pointing toward the door, so that the horse is entering the room, not leaving it.
Other symbols which can be used for this purpose include the Cicada, an Abacus (specifically for studies in math or computing), Carp on Waves statue, Books, Globes, Diplomas, pictures of the school or university, and anything else related to the field of study.
Here's to a successful 2009-2010 school year for us all!
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
After last month's introduction to the topic of Feng Shui Symbolism, I thought Health was a great place to further expand the discussion. Many of us dream of increased prosperity, of finding the right partner to share our lives with, but without health, we can't properly enjoy anything else.
In general, the bedroom is where we focus our attention when looking at enhancing health with symbols. The bedroom is where we rest, recharge our batteries and generally spend the largest amount of time in one single place (hopefully we're all getting our 8ish hours in each night).
One of the more popular symbols for Health is the Chinese Bottle Gourd, or Wu Lu.
This can be set on your nightstand, or hung on the wall near the side of the bed where you sleep.
The peach tree or the peach is also a symbol of health and longevity. A photo or painting of a peach tree could be hung on the bedroom wall to bring in this energy. Place a bowl full of peaches on the dining room table to signify health for the family.
East is the direction associated with health and longevity. Locating your health symbols either in the east section of a room or of the house can increase their potency.
Until next month (only days away!), to your health!
Monday, June 22, 2009
Use Symbolism to Bring Specific Kinds of Energy and Luck into your Life
Symbolism works on multiple levels. Symbolic items carry energy or chi, which can charge your environment with the type of energy you want to bring into your life. Placing symbolic items in your environment can also work on the subconscious level, helping you subtly focus on that which you desire.
For these reasons the strategic placement of symbolic items are an important part of the practice of Feng Shui. This is a simple, and at times very powerful way to bring about changes in your life.
A very popular symbol is the 3 Coin Prosperity Energizer.
These are used to attract money, and can be placed in many locations. Carry them in your wallet or checkbook, attach them to your cash register, computer, phone, fax machine, or to anything associated with how you generate income.
The coins used here are old style Chinese reproduction coins and the color red signifies life giving energy.
They can be found in Chinatowns and through many online sources. The wonderful instructor I trained with has them in his online shop.
I'll get more into symbolism for the home over the next few months, but until then, enjoy the last few days of June!
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Tip: Avoid poison arrows in places where you sleep or sit often.
First of all, what the heck is a poison arrow?
Poison arrows in Feng Shui, are simply defined as sharp edges that point at sitting or sleeping places. The reason to be concerned about these are that energy, or chi, which moves everywhere in your space, tends to gather along edges and then shoot in the direction of that edge. This energy is much too sharp and direct, and can be destructive when pointed at you.
Some examples of where you'll find these are: where you have two walls coming together in a point, and along the edges of furniture where to pieces are joined and create a 90 degree angle.
Poison arrows are common throughout your home and work space, and in most cases do not present a significant problem. They are, however, an issue when they point directly at your bed or regular sitting place. To determine where the energy is pointing, follow the point from a 45 degree angle out. If it intersects your bed or chair, you'll want to take steps to break up that flow of energy.
Some simple cures are:
1) In the case of a sharp point where two walls join, hang a faceted crystal or windchime from the ceiling in front of the corner. This will difuse the energy that is pointing at your place of work or rest.
2) Place a large vase or plant stand in front of the corner to block the flow
3) Tack a piece of fabric from the ceiling down to the floor in front of the corner to block the flow of energy.
4) Drap fabric over sharp edges of furniture that point toward your bed or chair. In bedrooms especially, using furniture with softer, more rounded edges is ideal. Round nightstand tables are highly recommended.
Enjoy the last few days of May, I'll be back in June!
Friday, April 3, 2009
While etiquette is not really in the realm of Feng Shui, dealing with our bathrooms appropriately is an important Feng Shui topic.
Because the drains in the bathroom deal with waste and are therefore, of necessity, strong, they can become culprits for the escape of good energy from your dwelling as well.
To avoid this, keep your bathrooms doors closed and toilot seats down when not in use.
Because energy drains quickly in the bathroom, it's not an appropriate place to locate good luck symbols or other important decorative items. Bathroom decor should be kept simple.
Ideally, bathrooms should not be above bedrooms, kitchens, or front doors, and should also should not face the front door.
Happy April....Spring is coming, really!
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful. ~ William Morris
Happy last days of March~
PS....this is my new logo, in the works for the last several months.
Monday, March 9, 2009
Have you finished clearing out your clutter yet? I haven't, it's an ongoing process, but I'm making progress. Once you've cleared the physical clutter, at least to a point,
2) Do a thorough Space Clearing
Space clearing is a way of cleaning out the energetic cobwebs. Space clearing is a technique used within many spiritual traditions to clean out old, stagnant energy and make way for new beginnings and desired outcomes. My husband and I included a space clearing as part of our marriage ceremony, clearing the way for a beautiful life for us together.
There are many techniques for space clearing. It can be as simple as opening the windows and burning some sage or incense in each area of the house, or as complex as using sage, salt and rice and leaving it overnight before vacuuming up.
If you subscribe to a specific religion or spiritual practice, you might research and incorporate a method used in that tradition. Below are some links to articles that give some good information on space clearing techniques.
Space clearing can be done anytime you feel the energy in your space or life needs some freshening up. Here are some specific times when it's recommended:
- After an illness (like that nasty stomach flu that went around this winter)
- When moving into a new home
- When someone moves into or out of the household
- With each new season
- During any difficult time in life
- Before making significant Feng Shui changes
If your having a hard time getting through the decluttering process, it can be helpful to do a space clearing first. Sometimes when subtle blocks to change are occuring within us, something as simple and beautiful as setting the intention to clear the space and performing the steps to do so can help get things moving again in a postive direction.
I've requested some books from the library on the Feng Shui of clearing clutter....I'll be back to review them as I have the chance to read them.
Until next time, enjoy March, fickle beginning of Spring!
Friday, March 6, 2009
1) Declutter your space
The Feng Shui rationale for this is fairly simple. A very cluttered space inhibits the flow of Chi, creating a stagnation of energy which can, in turn, cause stagnation in various areas of life.
- Clutter in the bedroom can cause health and relationship stagnation
- Clutter in dining room can create financial stagnation
- Clutter in the living room can create stagnation in friendships and family relationships
- Clutter in the office (home or outside work space) can cause financial or career stagnation(this is an area I need to put some attention to)
Early Spring is a good time to clear out and take stock of what's really needed. I'm absolutely itching to get outside right now, but, at least in this climate, the weather is iffy at best, and cold and uninviting at worst. So it's a great time to take a final look at our indoor spaces before the warm weather calls our attention outside for awhile.
The goal, with Feng Shui, is always balance, and this applies here too. While we do want to avoid clutter, having an extremely stark space gives the energy of the space nothing to meander around, therefore sometimes causing rushing Chi, or Chi that moves to quickly and can cause as many problems as stagnation.
But for the purpose of this month's topic, we're focusing on the over abundance of items in our living and working spaces.
The things in your space should, ideally, uniquely reflect the occupants living there, and bring pleasure to them. Have things in your space that are beautiful and useful, and if sentimental, then let them be items that evoke positive sentiments. Anything else should be either packed away or let go of.
My daughter and I are working with the concept of letting things go. At 4, she gets the reason behind parting with clothing that no longer fits, but letting go of toys and other items is still difficult, and I choose not to push it, but let her find her own way around this. But I do like to remind her of another reason why we do this....
Several years ago, after visiting with some friends who had a great little climbing cube with a slide, Helena mentioned to me that she had "nothing fun to play on outside." Knowing what she was referring to, I said, "do you mean like the slide?" "Yes," she said. "Well," I said, "we don't have one right now, but I'm sure, if it's important, we can find one." She was satisfied with this.
Not even a week later, I was driving home from my Feng Shui course and happened to have my husband's pickup truck, since he and Helena were out and about in my car. Several blocks from home, beside a neighbor's driveway, was the very same slide with some other items, and a big sign stating "free." I quickly backed up and loaded it and brought it home, much to Helena's joy. I'm perhaps revealing my bent for the Law of Attraction, but that's a topic for another time.
The moral of this story, is that letting go of clutter can free up things in many ways, and allow the flow of abundance of the things you want into your life. And maybe, just maybe, that item you're tripping over and no longer using, will make someone else's dream come true.
Stay tuned...this month's topic has a part B.....
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
But today, I'd like to look at this topic in a different way. I'd to invite you, this year, starting this moment, to begin to fall in love with..........(drumroll please!).....Yourself!
When I began my Feng Shui training in 2007, one of the early classes covered the concept of Inner Feng Shui. I was unprepared for this topic, and it was a moving and enlightening experience to look at personal growth and self love as an aspect of Feng Shui.
Having good Feng Shui is very important, but Chinese culture also considers your Virtue (the good that comes to you from the life you lead) and Knowledge (the luck you create by learning and increasing your knowledge) to also be very important to a abundant and healthy life. Although others may argue to the contrary, I would venture to state that I, at least, believe there can be no greater virtue than truly loving oneself, because that kind of love can only spread and grace others as well.
Self love has been a process for me, and one that became vitally important in my life following the birth of my tiny daughter. I became aware very quickly that, at least for now, I'm possibly the role model in her life who will influence her most strongly. She looks to me for information on many topics, but most importantly on how to treat herself. If I didn't learn to truly love and honor myself, than how could I teach her to love her little self?
And so began in earnest, my quest to truly love and take good care of me. I have faltered at times, and forgotten the importance of this, and at other times I'm just not sure how to do it properly or how to fit it into my busy schedule.
But now that I have a constant reminder of the importance of this, my goal is to love myself with the depth and slow buring fire of a life long love affair, to care gently for myself, push myself forward when needed but always kindly. I invite you to find your own definition of self love and pursue it steadily. And know that there isn't anything more attractive than a confident person who loves her(him)self, so if you're hoping to find that special someone, now is the time to realize how very special you are.
Happy Valentine's Day!
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
I had intended to do a Valentine theme tip this month (and may still), but while traveling I was inspired in a different direction.
We're staying with some good friends who have generously given us there bedroom and are sleeping in the smaller guest room. The bed we're sleeping in is positioned directly below a large window, and I have not slept soundly since arriving. So here's the tip:
Have your bed located against a solid wall
There are several reasons for this.
First, which probably explains what I'm experiencing, is that chi or life energy, enters your home through doors and windows. Sleeping beneath a window places you much to close to that stimulating energy, which can interfere with quality sleep.
Second, it's important to sleep with the support of a solid wall behind you, because energetically that support is transferrred to you, possibly manifesting in ways such as supportive people in your life, and a feeling of support from the source, God, or universe, if you will.
To increase this feeling of support, having a solid headboard is wonderful. If resources or space won't allow for this, you can acheive the same energetic affect by tacking a heavy piece of cloth or a tapestry behind your bed.
When considering Feng Shui, particular attention is always given to any place you spend a significant amount of time, so the bedroom is of vital importance.
If, due to layout you have to place your bed under a window, keeping that window always curtained or shuttered can minimize the stimulating energy entering there and add a feeling of support. The heavier the fabric the better.
Here's to your good rest. I'm looking forward to sleeping in my own bed soon!
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
The class, titled Finding or Enhancing Love with Feng Shui will focus on Feng Shui you can that may help to attract a partner if you're single or enhance existing relationship energy. We'll discuss the us of symbols and furniture and artwork placement for relationship success and harmony.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009, 7-8:15pm at the Greenstar Coop on Fulton st, Ithaca, NY. Sign up at Greenstar.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
This may sound like a no-brainer, especially to those of us living in winter climates, but I think the topic bears some discussion:
HAVE A SHOES OFF POLICY FOR YOUR HOME
Many people already do this. It saves wear and tear on flooring and cuts down on the need for cleaning. There are some other good reasons to do this.
It can be a symbolic way of leaving the rest of the day at the door, and entering your own space free from everything except that which you truly Want to bring home with you.
Energetically, it has the same effect. Removing your shoes can help you avoid bringing unwated energy into your home.
Getting out of your shoes and getting your feet on the ground can be a grounding experience, and help you feel Home.
From a practical stand point, it can require some adjustment, especially when it's cold. I have learned to drop my groceries inside the front door and other items that need to be unloaded, and I keep my slippers waiting to welcome me home near the front door as well.
So Happy January! When I have a moment, I'll post a bit of a description of classical Feng Shui, but for now, stay warm!
Monday, January 12, 2009
I originally had thought to send out a monthly newsletter to the small list of subscribers who have signed up either at the Ithaca Fest, or the course I taught at Green Star this past October.
Then, because it's my style, I hunted for some cool format for my newsletter and got bogged down in the idea of learning something new when I barely seem to keep up with what I have on my plate on any given day.
Finally, I discovered blogging, and this seems the ideal format to post monthly ideas and thoughts about Feng Shui, and list some upcoming events. I haven't had a chance to do much even with setting up this blog, so it will be a work in progress and evolve over time, but I thought it better to just finally get started then get bogged down once again:-)
But first, a little of my background with Feng Shui!
My husband and I moved from San Diego, California to the Ithaca, New York area in 2003. At that time we had been trying to conceive a child for about a year. Feng Shui practioner Aaron Lee Koch consulted with us on our home, with conceiving a child as one of our primary goals. We were in the process of renovating a room intended to be our bedroom, and Aaron asked how set we were on that room. We indicated that we were very set on it, so he made recommendations for us, using that particular room as our bedroom. Several months later I was still not pregnant, and getting frustrated and somewhat scared that there might be some serious reason why not. We called Aaron again and asked him what room he would have recommended for our bedroom had we been open to it. We made the recommended changes and 6 weeks later I was pregnant with our daughter Helena!
Following Helena's birth we purchased a rental property and again had Aaron consult. We were quite pleased with the results of that consult, and continue to apply his recommendations as we gradually make upgrades to the property.
Later in 2005 Aaron called and asked me if we felt that Feng Shui had been instrumental in helping us conceive. I said yes defintely, and he connected me with the producer of Real Moms, Real Stories, Real Savvy. They asked my family to appear in a segment on Feng Shui and flew us to Brooklyn for the day to shoot the film. It was fun and rather surreal, it all came together so quickly. I just watched it myself online tonight-it didn't air in our area and I didn't realize it was available to view online. I think this is recent, it wasn't there the last time I searched. Anyone interested can go to http://www.realsavvy.tv/ and search viedo by keyword "feng shui" to find our segment.
Fast forward to late 2006, when I decided to take Aaron's Feng Shui mastery course, only to find out that the course was canceled due to low enrollment, and I must wait until spring 2007 to complete the course. At the time I was disappointed, but in retrospect, the group I took the class with was so wonderful and amazing, I can't imagine it any other way.
I completed my certification work this past summer. Due to the fullness of my life in other areas, I've postponed actively seeking clients to work with until now, and in 2009 intended to ramp up my efforts to work with others wanting to use Feng Shui to enhance and empower their lives. This blog is intended to be a method of sharing what I know with those who will benefit and also to keep me fresh and thinking of Feng Shui all the time.
So again, welcome to my Feng Shui blog!