Sunday, October 12, 2014

Feng Shui and the Lucky Bamboo

Lucky Bamboo makes the perfect house or office plant. It needs little care - only about an inch of water and little direct sunlight to keep it happy and thriving.

Known for centuries as Lucky Bamboo, the plant is not a bamboo at all. The botanical name is "Dracaena sanderiana." It is a resilient member of the lily family that grows in the dark, tropical rain forests of Southeast Asia and Africa. Lucky Bamboo has long been associated with the Eastern practice of Feng Shui - or the bringing of natural elements of water, fire, earth, wood and metal into balance within the environment.

The Chinese Legend says a gift of Lucky Bamboo can bring good luck, prosperity, wealth, and happiness. This little indoor bamboo plant is considered lucky in Feng Shui when it combines and represents all five elements of Feng Shui.

Wood  (the bamboo itself)
Earth  (the rocks the bamboo grows in)
Water  (the water the bamboo grows with or a glass pot)
Fire  (most pots usually have a red ribbon tied to them)
Metal  If the bamboo is planted in a pot other than glass, such as clay or ceramics, it will usually be round in shape - as this represents the metal element.

To enhance the intentional use of Lucky Bamboo, use a specific number of bamboo stalks:

Two (2)  for Love & Marriage
Three (3)  for Happiness
Five (5)  for Health
Seven (7)  for Wealth
Eight (8)  for Abundance
Nine (9)  considered a lucky number and is an overall good number for Good Fortune and Happiness.

Bamboo, since Confucian times, has been identified with strength and fortitude. Though bamboo may be blown down in the storms of life, after they pass, the resilient plant rights itself and goes on, just as we must do when faced with adversity. Lucky bamboo fits right into the Feng Shui system because of the old association with bamboo and the fact that green is a lucky color. It's a kind of lightning rod attracting positive chi your way.  "It teaches the ultimate wisdom: how to be flexible and hollow (open) on the inside, so that the spirit can freely flow and heal your being."

Lucky bamboo enjoys indoor environment, and dislikes direct sunlight. Air exposure comforts its green leaves. All you need to do is to put it in clean water and change the water once a week. Tap water is fine but put the water in a glass or a bowl and let it sit for 24 hours before adding it to your lucky bamboo. The chlorine and fluoride in tap water will evaporate or neutralize during that time. Only use enough water to cover the bamboo roots. High water level may induce excessive roots.

Two problems occur on this dracaena. Spider mites can become a serious problem; sometimes building up to such high populations they cause webbing. Washing the leaves off can control them. The second problem is a leaf tip burn caused by either high salts or high fluoride concentrations in the water. Using rainwater to fill the container is a good way of avoiding these problems.

If your plant is yellow, change the water immediately, and do not give it plant food for a month. Once the stalk turns yellow, it is very difficult to reverse the damage; if it is clear that you cannot save that stalk, remove it immediately to prevent any plant diseased from spreading to the other stalks.

With proper care lucky bamboo plants can grow two or three feet tall, and last for years.

www.balancedlivinginc.com


Saturday, October 4, 2014

Feng Shui Chi Enhancers

Chi (qi) is an ancient concept which teaches us of the existence of an invisible force or energy that is constantly flowing everywhere. Our quality of life can be diminished or improved depending on the way it flows in our environment. Whenever chi finds obstacles for circulating we will notice it since it will directly affect our lives.

Chi is the natural energy exchange which exists among everything on earth, and it shouldn't be blocked. In the practice of Feng Shui, chi should always be able to flow freely through any space in order to help us remain in balance with the elements surrounding us. Chi is what brings us positive energy and allows us to be prosperous in our lives.

Feng Shui Chi enhancements are objects that you can place in an area in your home to stimulate chi and provide an opportunity to "shift" or move the energy in your home. There are a number of different items you can use to "stir up the energy", depending on your preferred decor.  Our goal is to manipulate the energy in your home so that it nourishes and supports you in manifesting your intentions.

Wind chimes

Wind Chimes should be hung where they can naturally catch the movement of chi.  Wind Chimes made of high quality metal for the most pleasant sounds. They can be used to correct an element imbalance of metal when having 6 rods. Pictured is the Feng Shui Prosperity Wind Chime by Local Artist Jeff Hinkley Click here for more information on Jeff and his wind chime designs. Click to hear the wind chimes.



Mirrors

Mirrors are called "the aspirin of Feng Shui" because they are useful for so many different purposes, but how and when to use them can be a source of uncertainty and confusion.
In Feng Shui applications, mirrors serve three basic purposes:
Expansion
Reflection
Deflection (Outside of the home only)


A few guidelines for mirrors: Not facing your front door, reflecting a cluttered area or in the bedroom.


Color

The use of color is the most powerful and easiest enhancement that you can make to your home. Placing an object or picture in a specific color in an area of your home can help to stimulate chi and attract good energy. Additionally, the color that represents the Bagua area in the home will be equally beneficial. As always, surround yourself with your favorite colors. 

Lighting

If you are looking to add energy to a specific area of your life "light it up"! Add lighting to dark or neglected spaces to attract positive energy. Add a timer to a bedside lamp to bring romance energy to the Love and Romance corner of your bedroom.

Crystals

Besides their dramatic beauty, using crystals is one of the most powerful methods for improving the flow of healthy "chi" or deflecting unwanted energy in an environment. With so much to say about crystals, I've attached  additional information. More info on Crystals. 

Living Things


Living enhancements include plants and flowers and should always be well cared for and nurtured. The dead or ill leaves of plants and flowers should be removed immediately. I'm not a big fan of potpourri, although good quality silk flowers can also work as an enhancement. If it looks real to you, then you will feel that energy. Your pets fall into this category, as a wonderful addition of fire energy as well as keeping the chi "stirred up" with their movement.

Movement

Movement is a very powerful Feng Shui enhancement for stimulating and harmonizing chi. All water features need to have clean, flowing water in order to be effective. It's best to have the water flowing towards your home. Excellent enhancers for the Career (North) and Abundance (Southeast) area of your home according to the Bagua, but not in the bedroom, even if this room falls into one of the above mentioned Bagua areas. This includes aquariums, waterfalls, ponds and birdbaths. 

Artwork

When you surround yourself with beauty and harmony, life seems more enjoyable. Utilizing the Feng Shui principles with intention and placement, you realize your close relationship between your outer and inner worlds. Strategically placed and displayed images of abundance, relationships and auspicious symbolisms in your surroundings will enhance specific areas of your life. Carefully examine your artwork, posters and pictures that are in your environment. They are powerful manifestation tools to attract into your life your all of your hopes and wishes.

Personal Chi

The Tai Chi Symbol, also known as Yin Yang is familiar to almost everyone, although most don't know what it is or represents.The symbol illustrates the concept of yin yang - a reminder that the best results are obtained when in perfect harmony. Everything is composed of two opposite, yet complimentary energies, called yin and yang. Together these two energies form chi. Chi is a part of everything in the world, and because it is a living, moving force, we can influence how it moves, and thus, how we are affected by it. In Chinese lore, some minerals have the power to affect energy in positive and negative ways. Feng Shui Practitioners believe that mother of pearl (nacre) symbolizes good luck and prosperity, meaning that it has the power to attract wealth to the person wearing it. Black Onyx is considered as one of the powerful protection stones as it absorbs negative energy and promotes emotional well-being. In Indian traditions it is said to help people forego their past relationships bringing the person in harmony with the present. For More Information  

Laughing Buddha

Laughing Buddha is also known as the Buddha of Happiness. Legend has it that nothing would make this Buddha happier then to see people's problems, worries and sadness transform into happiness. The Laughing Buddha is a well known symbol of wealth, happiness, innocent and contended joy. It is believed by rubbing his belly, which is said to contain much wealth, it will bring good luck and prosperity to all in the home and the bigger his round tummy, the more auspicious the image. This jolly deity is one of the most beloved of Buddha images. He can be seen in almost every Chinese households and restaurants throughout the world. The Laughing Buddha is also known as the Buddha of Wealth, usually depicted carrying wealth symbols such as pots of gold, large ingots and a sack believed to contain treasures.  

Fu Dogs

These puppies sit right outside my front door!
These Chinese mythical guards are part dog and part lion. The male has his left paw resting on a sphere while the female has her right paw resting on a pup. They have fear-inspiring faces are believed to be protectors that ward off evil influences and spirits. It is their task to probe the mind and intentions of visitor entering your home. 

It is said that people with good thoughts can pass by the Fu Dogs unhindered, but they see through bad people and refuse them entry. The Fu Dogs also nourishes Chi that enters the home or business premises and thus bring in good fortune.

Fish

The fish is a symbol of wealth, one that is widely used to attract wealth luck for its owners. Chinese word Yu, which means fish, phonetically matches the word for abundance, - therefore, the fish is an auspicious item to have since it enhances your Wealth and Career luck as well. The Arowana is a tropical fish reputed to be the world's most expensive freshwater aquarium fish. A decent size of certain varieties may cost up to tens of thousands of dollars. Because of its close resemblance of the oriental dragon - with its two 'whiskers', scales and the way it glides through the water, the Chinese character for fish, 'yu' means abundance and coupled with the dragon being the ultimate good luck symbol. The Arowana is a very powerful Feng Shui enhancer associated with wealth, luck, strength and power.   

Cranes

An image or symbol of two cranes has great influence and impact on your love life according to many ancient Eastern philosophies. The Bird of Immortality, the crane is a very popular symbol that heralds longevity, marital harmony and wisdom and is believed to live a thousand years. The crane is the most favored of all bird symbols of good fortune in Feng Shui next to the phoenix. Place a image of two cranes in the Romance and Relationship area of the main floor of your living space or in that same space of the bedroom you sleep in. This symbol is particularly useful and effective in overcoming any problems surrounding your love life but most especially if those problems stem from differing backgrounds. Click here to read the Chinese Legend of Cranes.  









Friday, September 26, 2014

The Power of Crystals


Faceted crystals come in many different shapes, and even different colors. For use in Feng Shui, however, a clear, colorless faceted ball is the best choice. A faceted Crystal ball tied with red string is potent enough to maneuver and enhance chi wherever it is placed. Red is the most auspicious and powerful color in Feng Shui, as it represents the activation energy of the fire  element. The string should also be cut in increments of nine inches, since nine is a potent number in Feng Shui, and  it represents maximum power. Completely round crystals are better than prism-shaped or geometric crystals, since they allow the chi to travel equally around the sphere and into the entire room.      

About

Crystals are used to add new energy to a space and to redirect energy in a more beneficial direction. They possess healing qualities and harness the positive energy of nature,  protecting you from chaotic and negative energy. They also harmonize flows of energy, protect you by diffusing poison arrows and attract good energy to a location. It uses the principle of light  deflection in a simple, practical and effective manner to create big changes in energy. When light sources hit the "leaded" faceted spheres, prismatic rainbows scatter beautifully through your space to add new energy to your space, filter off bad energy, harmonize chaotic flows of energy, protect you from poison arrows by   diffusing such energy flow, empower visualization practices and attract good energy to a location.

Care

It is best to cleanse the crystals when you first buy or receive them as a gift. Cleansing your crystals resets their vibration to be receptive to their new owner and the new home. 

There are many methods for cleansing crystals, some more elaborate than others. Hold your crystal under a stream of warm, clear running water.  Submerge them in an earthen container with several teaspoons of sea salt. Rinse and wipe with a soft cloth. Crystals should be cleansed regularly. 

Placement

Hang a crystal from the ceiling midway in long narrow hallways, especially those with many doors. 

Hang a crystal over the bottom step of a staircase that ends directly in front of a doorway. This will keep the positive chi from flowing directly upstairs. 

When a door is directly in line with a bed, desk, chair, or a place you spend a lot of time, hang the crystal between the door and, bed or chair so chi will slow down. 

Hang a faceted crystal over the toilet of the  bathroom, if it is situated over your front door or over the kitchen. 

If you have a clear  pathway from your front door to your back door, hang a crystal from the ceiling midway between the two doors. 

To create a greater and smoother energy flow place a crystal in a   window allowing sunlight to pass through, activating the chi in a gentle, yet powerful way. 

Beneath a ceiling fan over your bed (or other key location, such as the dining table), hang a crystal to protect against "cutting" chi from the fans blades. 

Since crystals are wonderful symbols of the earth element, hang the faceted crystal ball in the Southwest corner to energize your romance luck or in the Northeast to enhance education and knowledge energy. Use two faceted crystals in the Love & Marriage Gua of the Bagua to enhance the “couple”   energy with a pair. They provide a great enhancement for the 8 Earth  Prosperity star when applying Flying Star Feng Shui.

Are you curious what crystal colors mean?

Amber

The Happy stone. Helps you relieve depression. 

Blue

A mentally and emotionally calming stone which helps you to release worry. It also brings your beliefs to the surface for release.

Clear

Mirror of your soul, representing your uniqueness and your journey towards clarity. In combination with other colors, it   enhances their  energy. 

Gray

Helps you to separate your emotions from those of others. A grounding color which helps with your   self-esteem.

Green

Considered to be the best all-purpose color, it is especially good for soothing your heart and emotions and for creating a feeling of balance and well-being.

Light Blue

Helps  you to experience peace and serenity,   especially in your communications.

Olive 

Has a balancing and stabilizing effect. Helps your home to discover the roots of time and preservation.

Light Green

A mental color which helps you to release persistent and unwanted patterns of thought. It is particularly helpful with your thought patterns which have lodged in your emotional body, such as anxiety and worry.

Light Purple

The perfect choice if you feel over-stressed,  overworked, or overwhelmed. It helps calm your home and bring forward a peaceful feeling.

Peach

If you feel overwhelmed by emotions, it helps to create emotional balance by harmonizing feelings with the higher self. If you feel out of touch with your feelings, it brings them into awareness.

Pink

Teaches us to love ourselves, thus opening you up to universal love; heals emotional wounds and gives comfort; helps you to overcome grief.

Purple

Helps you release your anger, guilt, and resentment; puts you in touch with your inner source of strength and light. 

Red

Helps you to stabilize all aspects of your being; a stress-reliever which connects you and your home to a inner strength and flow.

Topaz

This color helps you to balance your energies and also lends a quality of inspiration and confidence to your live.





Saturday, August 30, 2014

Feng Shui: Windows and Doors

Windows and doors are the gateway for positive qi and opportunities to enter and circulate our environments. Doors are symbolic of an invitation to enter a space. The width and height and number of doors at the entrance are indicators of the occupants intention.




Windows

They say that the "eyes" are the window to the soul. In Feng Shui, windows are regarded as the "eyes" of the home and they bridge your inner environment with the outer world. They need to be large enough to allow enough light to infuse qi, but not too small leaving you feeling closed in. The condition, location and scale of the windows can impact how clearly you can see your life, opportunities, or obstacle and possible challenges.
  • When we enter a room, our intention is to be inside that space. If a window is directly opposite a door, our energy is pulled straight through the space and out the window. 
  • The top of the window should be higher than the tallest person in the house or it will depress his or her qi.

Avoid slit-like windows, as they suppress the qi and "narrows" the residents perspectives or opportunities.
A house with too many window may be leaking vital qi, thus causing headaches to flared tempers.
Ceiling to floor windows draw our attention & the qi upward, thus not nourishing the living area of the room.



The Mouth of Chi (qi)


The main entry door is by far the most important gateway to your home or business. This is where all the positive energy (qi) enters. The quality of qi entering is dependent upon the entrance or doorway area.

I am asked this question time and time again. The main entrance is the door that was designed by the architect as the entrance to the building. Even if you enter through an alternative entrance such as a garage or back door. The main entrance is still the "Mouth of Chi".


Front Door: To do list

  • Entry pathway is clear & unobstructed.
  • Walkway is wide enough for two adults to fit across.
  • Is there a tree, telephone pole or other obstruction within 6 feet in line with your front door?
  • Beautiful, healthy foliage, plants and trees.
  • Is your house number clear, visible and easily identifiable? 
  • Clean, wash or paint the front door every year.
  • Get a new doormat every year. 
  • Does the door open easily & smoothly? Or does it drag on the ground.
  • Do the door hinges squeak?
  • Is the doorknob loose?
  • Does the doorbell work?
  • Does the outdoor light work? Light Bulb blown out? 
  • Does the door clear an area rug in the foyer, or does it drag on the floor.
  • Do you store items behind the door or hanging on the doorknob on the interior?
  • When entering your front door, is here a straight pathway to your back doors?
All of these issues could have an affect on the quality of qi entering your environment. They could be creating a barrier to new opportunities, not having a "handle" on your finances or money leaving you as fast as it came in.

Front Door Colors

I cannot tell you how many times I am asked about painting the front door RED. 

With regards to the color of your front door, many of us are guided by our homeowners association or standards with our community, but for those of you who have flexibility, you have many options. A color which enhances the house color, a color which appeals to you, or you can follow the corresponding elemental color associated with the compass directions. If using the compass directions, it is the direction your front door faces. (standing at your front door looking out)

South: (Fire) Red, Pink, Purple
Southwest: (Earth) Yellow, beige or brown
West : (Metal) White, silver, copper, gold or gray.
Northwest: (Metal) White, silver, copper, gold or gray.
North: (Water) Black or dark blue
Northeast: (Earth) Yellow, beige or brown.
East: (Wood) Green
Southeast: (Wood) Green


Double Doors

As a general rule, double doors at the main entrance convey the message that all are welcomed. To complicate matters, one of the two doors is often locked, even though there are two door handles. More often than not, a visitor will reach for the locked door - thus feeling rejected. Both doors should remain accessible.


Interior Doors

Conflicting or Fighting Doors

Conflicting or fighting doors exists when two doors hit one another if they are opened at the same time. This can create conflicts for the occupants in the house. If one of the doors in question happens to be a closet door, the conflict may not immediately be apparent.  Also called clashing or bickering doors, they collide with one another which can cause conflicts and arguments within the household. Of course, where the doors are located will have an affect on that part of their life - consult the Bagua.


Piercing Heart, Centered or Off-Centered Doors

Piercing Heart 

Piercing heart doors is illustrated when three or more doors centered in front of you as you walk forward. Similar to a long hallway, the qi rushes too fast through all of the doorways, which could result with some health issues.Hang wind chimes or faceted crystals to encourage the qi to pause and circulate.

Centered Doors

Centered doors are directly opposite one another. Be careful of the function of the rooms behind these doors, as the persons energy will be pulled towards the opposite doorway.
(Remember when you were a kid & your brother or sister wouldn't stay out of your room - thus the "Keep Out" sign on your bedroom door?)


Off Centered Doors

With off-centered doors the qi is interrupted or blocked. It's as if the person is being drawn into the opposite room, but also being blocked by the wall. Watch out for headaches or central nervous system issues. Hang a mirror on the wall directly opposite the open doorway.







www.balancedlivinginc.com
www.eastcoastfengshui.org

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Feng Shui Bathroom - Do's and Don'ts

Courtesy of stebnitzbuilder.net

Do's

A toilet should be installed so it cannot be seen from the bathroom doorway, ideally it should be in its own alcove, or hidden by a screen or wall. 
Mirrors should be as large as possible in the bathroom, without any visible joints. Mirrors must not face each other, or a door, as this increases the energy and speed of qi, which should be slow and calm.  Avoid tiled or smoky mirrors. A mirror should not reflect the toilet as it duplicates the draining affect.


  • Windows should be opened on a daily basis, to allow the fresh air to circulate, this ensures that the qi remains buoyant, and that healthy so wealth and happiness flourish.
  • Doors and drawers to cabinets must be kept closed, so the energy does not move into the dark and stagnate. These cupboard areas must themselves be regularly refreshed.

  • The bathroom is often the first room we visit in in the morning. When we wash and prepare ourselves for the day, you need to have the biggest possible view of yourself at that time. Clean the mirrors as it reflects your self image. You don't need to have low self esteem, so clean your mirrors.
  • Clean out your medicine cabinet. Old, outdated medications are subtle reminders of unhealthy times. Rid your shelves of any expired pills, powders and potions. Keep only the ones you need, and stow those where they won't be the first things you see each time you open the cabinet. 
  • Get rid of magazines and periodicals that you won't read, so that you don't clutter the our bathroom. Rid the space of fashion magazines or tabloids that make you feel that you'll never be rich, thin or beautiful enough. Replace them with books and journals that make you laugh, dream and rejoice.
  • Hide the bathroom scale, no need to constantly "judge" yourself.

Don'ts

Bathrooms and toilets that are off of the kitchen are another health concern. Always keep the door to the toilet closed so that someone in the kitchen cannot see the bathroom, and definitely not the toilet, from the kitchen. Even the visual thought of mixing wastes with food is distasteful and can have a negative health impact. 

If the toilet can be seen from the dining room, this creates another health hazard. Block the view with a curtain or partition of some kind. If a toilet upstairs is over the kitchen or dining room, try to move the table or add lots of earth elements in the bathroom to "control the water".
  • Toilets should never share the same wall as the head of the bed. If a bed is against the wall and the toilet is against that same wall on the other side, then move the bed. This is very unhealthy. Likewise, you should never see or hear a toilet or bathroom from your bed. This can lead to respiratory problems and loss of wealth. Block the view some way and you will help your health and wealth.
  • Plumbing can be a threat to the vital qi energy, as it is the digestive system of the house. Keeping on top of the plumbing maintenance is important, dripping taps represent money being trickling down the drain, blockages (clogs) can represent income being cut off. 
  • The toilet seat should always be closed, this is important partly because of its large opening, but also because of the association with a deliberate act of flushing substance away from the house.
  • Avoid sharp points and edges, as these represent a cutting knife or a disapproving finger.
  • Photographs of loved ones should not be placed in the bathroom. The energy in that space could weaken those relationships.
  • Ideally the bathroom and should not be seen immediately on entering the house, as the incoming qi exits before the whole of the house is energized. Where such a location is unavoidable, there are solutions

Would you like to learn more about your home? Join me for my ever popular "Feng Shui in a Day Workshop" or my Feng Shui Practitioner Certification Training Program.








Saturday, August 9, 2014

If Walls could Talk: Feng Shui your Walls

The placement of artwork on the walls of our homes and businesses holds powerful real estate and operates as the focal point of entrances and rooms. How, where and what we display on our wall, can have a significant effect on us. When dressing your walls with artwork and imagery, there are a few guiding principles to follow in order to incorporate both Feng Shui and design elements.  The most important point to keep in mind is that we want create balance with the five Feng Shui elements of earth, metal, water, wood and fire, uplifting artwork that inspires and lifts our spirits. It should match your d├ęcor style and one that you resonate with on a personal level.

Entrance
The Entrance or foyer of your home is an incredibly public area of the home. Select artwork that reflects your true personality, as this is the 1st impression of your home. It sets the tone of the rest of the home and is reflective of its occupants. This is not the place for personal pictures, family portraits or personal religious beliefs – these are reserved for the more private areas of your home.
In a business, this area represents the journey of the company and is the 1st impression a potential client or customer experiences. Wall art should reflect the products or services the business offers and should be framed to reveal a sense of pride and dignity. As you move to the center of the business, hang framed art with the company’s mission statement, philosophy and values.

Hallways
Hallways are the arteries and highways of your home which should allow easy passage from one room to another.  Hallways are great locations to showcase a gallery of photographs.  If your hallway or corridors are small, narrow or dark, frame your artwork in metallic or reflective materials to give a sense of greater width and to boost energy flow.

Stairways
In Feng Shui, the main entrance is considered the “Mouth of Chi”, where all opportunities enter.  When a staircase is directly facing the main door, the energy rushes up quickly, leaving the main floor without the Feng Shui energy or chi. A popular design feature is to line the walls of the staircase with pictures. Pictures should be hung on the wall straight across the wall, not graduated or angled up the staircase. This will create a sense of balance and stability.

Kitchen
If the first room you see upon entering your home is the kitchen - all the energy coming into the home is going directly into the kitchen, as well as your appetite. Try to create an eye-catching view in another direction when entering the home. Use directional artwork at the entrance to the home to draw the energy away from the kitchen entrance. A collection of beautiful artwork which reflects the personality of the homeowner is an excellent choice.


Adult Bedroom
Our bedrooms are our sanctuaries. They are places to recharge our batteries, escape from the outside world, and even indulge ourselves. The bedroom is meant mainly for self-renewal, rest, and relationships. The wall art should inspire relationship energy, displaying a set of matching pictures supporting the “couple” energy in calming relaxing warm earth tones. Use only accents of fire element - bright colors such red, orange or purple. A key location in the bedroom is the last place you see before you go to bed and the first thing you see when you wake up in the morning. This location should have manifesting symbolism and images to support your relationship goals.

Children’s Bedrooms
Be cautious of overly active artwork such as action heroes or very angular abstract artwork. We want to tone down the yang energy in a child’s room to create an atmosphere of calm and security. Even an image of a sword or airplane can have very sharp angle which would be considered a “poison arrow” in Feng Shui. If the image is directed where the child sleeps – it could interrupt their sleep and cause agitation and over activity.  Instead, permit them to choose the artwork which allows them to bring their personality into their space with fun, creative, whimsical images.

Home Office

If you spend a large amount of time in your home office, this room will have a enormous impact on your business life. The walls of your office should be filled with inspiring images and symbolism to be reflective of your ambitions, career and business aspirations. Pay special attention to framing your awards, certification and recognitions. Give thought and consideration to framing, mounting and mattings to preserve these hard earned acknowledgements. Incorporate dark tones of black, navy blue or forest green to bring the element of water which supports us on our “life’s journey”.


Family Pictures or Portraits
Frame family artwork with wooden frames or with the wood element colors of green or blue hues. This will bring the supportive and expansive energy which will encourage family unity and harmony. Honor your ancestors and heritage with respectfully chosen frames to conserve these treasured heirlooms.


The most important aspect of imagery and artwork in our home is to ensure that we surround ourselves with life affirming, uplifting artwork which is supportive of our life’s journey. Look carefully at the powerful real estate of your wall and replace any distressing, depressing, or poverty provoking artwork with the energy that inspires, enriches and moves us forward in life.











Saturday, August 2, 2014

Lighting, Illumination and Inspiration: Feng Shui Lighting



Feng Shui is all about energy, and light is the strongest manifestation of energy. In fact, the light in your home - both natural and artificial lighting - greatly influences the quality of your home’s energy. Smart lighting and good quality air are the very basics of good Feng Shui, and should always be on top of your Feng Shui priorities for any space, be it home or business. 


Your body reacts to everything around you, and you either get nourished or drained by the energy that surrounds you. I strongly encourage you to become aware of the quality of light in your home or office and its influence on your health and well-being. 




Light is our # 1 nutrient and has been called the medicine of the future. Make a habit of paying attention to how much good quality light you actually enjoy throughout the day, as well as the quality and number of the indoor light sources in your home or office. 



YIN & YANG


Yin Lighting
Yang Lighting
Feng Shui aims to achieve a balance of the opposing characteristics in the world around you, which are known as Yin and Yang. According to the yin and yang theory, everything in the universe consists of two opposing, but interconnected, forces: yin, which is feminine, and yang, which is masculine. Yin qualities are female, soft, passive, nurturing, dark, while the yang qualities are male, hard, active, aggressive, and bright. The theory of yin and yang is one of the ways you can use Feng Shui to balance your interior surroundings. 


Lighting in the Kitchen

There are many benefits to having good light in the kitchen. As we prepare our food there and the amount of light determines how well we can see what we do. However, the quality of the light can also contribute a great deal toward how we “experience” the food and how we ultimately treat it. If you are working in a poorly lit kitchen, it is challenging to see the beautiful colors and quality of the food. The most vibrant colored meal will appear to be dull in poor lighting. What affect does that have on your mood? On the other hand, if the fruit, meat, or vegetables are glowing in a well-lit environment, they appear to smile at us and are proud to show-off. Wouldn't you rather eat a meal that looks happy instead of a meal that looks sad?


Working in a well-lit kitchen promotes healthy eating habits. It allows you to enjoy being in the kitchen, creates a positive eating environment, and therefore makes a valuable contribution to your health and increases your sense of well-being. In a poorly lit kitchen, the meals are unappetizing; we cook less, and then eat quickly and without much enjoyment. Who would have thought lighting could make such a difference to our health?

   

Lighting in the Bedroom

Lighting in the bedroom can be very influential on sleeping habits. Children may do well with overhead lighting as they can practically spring to life the moment they awake. Adults on the other hand need some time to fully adjust from the previous night's slumber. Table lamps and dimming switches have no better home than inside a sleeping chamber. Softer light is ideal for any intimate setting. Softer tones are also more relaxing and soothing making the transition from living a fast paced life to a peaceful night of rest. Soft light illuminates an idealistic venue for anybody to drift off to sleep. Bedrooms should be more yin – soft, soothing lighting.   

Lighting in the Bathroom

Have you ever used a bathroom in a rest area or train station? It probably left an impression on you, but I doubt that it was positive. These facilities usually have a bluish-cold lighting that causes us to keep our visit as short as possible. On the other hand, if you have ever had the opportunity to use the restroom in a luxury hotel, the experience was, more than likely, the complete opposite. Chances are good that you felt refreshed by the golden light and golden tones of the mirror there.

Gold tone mirrors may not allow us to see things as clearly, but the light flatters our skin and surrounds us with a shimmer of warmth and a touch of elegance. The choice of lighting we use in our homes can determine how much we enjoy our visit to the bathroom. Use warm lighting and gold tone mirrors to create an environment of relaxation, warmth, and elegance.


   

Lighting in the Corridor/Hallway

In some floor plans, the hallway runs through the middle of the home or apartment and subdivides the remaining areas into different rooms. Hall lighting fixtures are usually sad creations without any illuminating power or esthetics.
    

YIN YANG

The center of any home corresponds to health, so hall lighting should be of the utmost importance. The light in the middle of the home has the function of a sun that wants to send power into all the adjoining rooms. The more radiant the sun, the greater the energy will be. Select a hall light that is bright and reminiscent of the sun at high noon.


Lighting in the Living Areas

You must experience a sense of well-being in the living areas. The light must correspond with the needs that you want in each respective room: quality lighting for watching TV, good and bright light for reading, and warm light for snuggling. However, the light should not be blinding. If you like halogen lamps, be sure to direct them so that no one is “blinded” when looking at them. Hanging lamps with bulbs that are not covered by lamp shades can also be changed and refined through the proper choice of a bulb.
   

Dead Corners

Every home has a “dead corner” somewhere. These are areas in which dust likes to collect. The energy cannot circulate freely in a corner and this area usually becomes limp. A standard lamp will work well in these areas, but using a crystal lamp is ideal. Add a few plants and a limp corner can be transformed into a comfortable retreat.


Treasures, Pictures, and Decorative Objects

Most of us have a few treasures and decorative items in our homes. Quite frequently, these precious things simply gather dust and their auras become weaker and weaker. You can use track lighting to showcase your treasures or create a space in a bookcase for a decorative object. When you additionally illuminate the object, you are activating the energy of joy. There are special lamps to install above the frames of pictures. Some rooms are completely transformed just by illuminating the pictures on the wall.
   

Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese practice, which teaches an individual to live in harmony with one's surroundings, in order to increase the flow of positive energy and to have a positive state of mind. The followers of Feng Shui use a number of procedures to get an idea of the energy of the surroundings and then alter it to suit the people living there. This ideology can be used to ensure that energy or "chi" flows freely in the surroundings thus making the people in that place happier and more positive in their outlook. The principles of Feng Shui can be applied to lighting as well. Here are a few tips to follow to light your house based on these principles:


  • Shadows must not be cast while we read or cook food. So ensure that your study and kitchen is well lit with incandescent bulbs or halogen lights.
  • Paper and cloth lamp shades make the light appear softer and create a quiet atmosphere. 
  • Metal shades or shades that reflect light create an active atmosphere. Use these shades in different rooms according to the mood you want to create.
  • Soften sharp corners of a room using accent lighting. Softening of sharp edges increases the energy flow and crates a relaxed atmosphere.
  • Use up lighting to light up dark corners and beams so that the effect of negative energy is reduced.
  • In rooms with irregular shapes place a lamp in the area that is missing to allow positive flow of energy.

Follow these simple tips to change the lighting of your rooms and there will be an increase in the amount of happiness and harmony in your house.



The Five Elements

Another important principle of Feng Shui is based on utilizing the Five Elements with the eight directions of the Bagua. There are four main directions (North, South, East and West) and four secondary directions (NE, NW, SE and SW). Each represents a different life aspiration. By activating a particular direction in your home with bright lights, you are in fact activating the chi of that sector. 


Lighting courtesy of www.decorativecrafts.com  



Earth = Square

Earth Element:

Square
earth tones
Southwest
Northeast
Center
Relationships
Trust
Commitment
Longevity
Harmony
Openness
Stability
Balance
Unity
Centeredness



Wood =  Wooden

     Wood Element  

Tall and narrow
made from wood
Green
Health
Wellness
Elders
Opportunities
New Beginnings
Growth
Development
Movement
East
Southeast




Water = Black

Water Element

Black
Glass
Reflective surface
Mirrors
Crystal
North
East
Southeast
Career
Journey
Life Path
Wisdom
Ambition
Determination



Metal = Round

Metal Element

Metallic colors
round or oval
White or pastels
Rocks & stones
Metal items
Inspiration
Creativity
Completion
Manifestation
Synchronicity
Brillance
Self-worth
West
Northwest





Fire = Triangle

Fire Element

Lighting
Animal materials
Inspiration
Self-illumination
Achievement
Passion
Transformation
Warmth
Activity
Expansiveness
Insight
Pyramid shapes
South





1. Identifying the sectors to energize 

The North represents your career and life path. The South brings fame and recognition. The East brings good health. The West brings inspires creativity. The Northeast is for wisdom & education. The Northwest is for making friends and mentors. The Southeast represents wealth and riches. And the Southwest is for love & relationships. 


2. Working with colors 

The energies are characterized by the five elements - fire, earth, metal, water and wood. Fire is red and associated with the South. Earth is yellow and associated with the SW, NE and center. Metal is white, and associated with the West and NW. Water is blue and associated with the North. Wood is green, and is associated with the East and SE. 


 3. Hard versus soft lighting 

There is also hard (Yang) and soft lighting (Yin). Generally, direct light or fluorescent lighting can be considered hard lighting, whereas indirect and yellow lighting is softer. Hard lighting is better suited for offices and work/study areas in the home. Hallways, landings and porches are also best when brightly lit. However, when it comes to the bedroom and rest areas of the home, using lights that are too bright will infuse the room with too much harsh energy, making it difficult to relax. 


When picking the lighting for your home, it is important thus to differentiate between these two different lighting effects, which can bring two very different and opposite feels to a room or space. If you are activating a corner within a room, it is best to use soft lighting in the form of a lampshade or lava lamp. Bright lights should be reserved for just the very public areas, or when used to widen a space such as a narrow corridor. 



EXTERIOR LIGHTING

The energy of the home starts on the outside and flows indoors. If you have an imbalance outside your home, you can often use lights to remedy any issues. We have many choices of outdoor lighting from floodlights, landscaping or walkway lights, or wall sconce.