Sunday, November 23, 2008

Feng Shui your Kitchen




The Kitchen


The kitchen is sometimes called "the heart of the home," and with good reason; in ancient cultures the hearth was a sacred place representing the life-giving sustenance of Earth's bounty. Feng Shui recognizes the kitchen as one of the most important rooms in the house because it is where we connect with the energies that nourish us physically (food), financially (money), and emotionally (family). It reminds us to see the kitchen not just as where we put the groceries away and dish up dinner, but also as a place where we receive blessings and express gratitude for the gifts of life, health, and prosperity.The kitchen is a source of nourishment for you and your family. 

Because of the close connection between health and finances - financial stress may contribute to or aggravate health problems, and poor health can seriously harm your financial wellbeing - the kitchen is associated in Feng Shui with both money and health issues.



The Stove

Feng Shui reminds us that in order to prosper, we need to be healthy. The Feng Shui of your kitchen - especially the stove can have a big influence on your financial situation, even if you rarely or never cook. In Feng Shui, the stove is your "wealth generator". It is the most important symbolic factor in your ability to prosper financially, so make sure it works the way it should.

Any problems with the stove can indicate problems with money or limitations to your ability to bring home a good income. A burner that doesn't heat could be a sign of fruitless effort, and an oven that runs too hot could be burning up your money. Dirt and grime are also signs of negative energy, so be sure to keep your stovetop and oven clean.
One easy way to activate money chi is to use your stovetop at least once a day, rather than always relying on the microwave to boil water for tea or heat up a cup of soup. Because the stove represents health and wealth, you want to use the burners on the stove top equally, rotating their use rather than habitually using a particular burner -- this represents getting money from multiple sources. If you don't use your stove, or use the same one burner all the time, symbolically you are limiting your ability to benefit from financial resources.When the stovetop is not in use, put all pots and pans away. Unused pots stored on top of the stove can squash prosperity chi, especially when they cover the rear left burner; if you visualize the Bagua over the stovetop, with career in the center front, the rear left burner is in the Wealth position.

The stove is symbolic of wealth, so it is important to keep its fire energy strong. Wood feeds fire, so plants or plant imagery (or again, the color green) are all good to have around and near the stove. The old-fashioned stove, as opposed to a microwave, is often preferred because it is more in keeping with the way that Feng Shui encourages one to slow down, to become more conscious of each activity, and to do activities with intention. Heating a quick meal in the microwave is certainly convenient, but it may not lead to the most serene state of mind. Obviously, each home and family will have to find their own balance between modern conveniences and optimal Feng Shui practice.



The Kitchen Elements

The kitchen is dominated by the fire element (the cooktop/oven) and the water element (the sink and refrigerator), which clash with each other. Use the wood element in your d├ęcor to link the two. You can incorporate wood in cabinets, furniture, accessories or flooring. Cork, a stylish new flooring option, also works.Feng Shui principles require that stoves and sinks and refrigerators should be at diagonals from each other, forming a triangle with the corners at least six to eight feet apart, to prevent conflict between the elements of fire and water.

Such conflicts are quick to inhabit the home, spreading discord among family members. To cure an unlucky placement of fire-producing and water-producing appliances in your kitchen, try placing a green rug or something representative of wood, such as a plant or a painting of a plant between the offending appliances to form a conflict barrier.

Of the five elements -- Earth, Metal, Wood, Fire and Water, the kitchen is both a Fire and Water room. In considering the Five Element Cycle, white mediates between the water and fire found in the kitchen.
The colors of the paint, cabinetry, flooring, countertops and other fixed surfaces in the kitchen should not be anything in the range of red, pink or purple. These are "fire" colors, and can portend arguments, so if you and your spouse tend to fight in the kitchen, see if the wall or floor color might have something to do with this. Good colors to use instead are cooling white, light green and blue. These colors also fit in with popular trends in kitchen appliances, as stainless steel appliances and hardware are very popular, and that doesn't show any signs of changing. Luckily, stainless is very easy to match with the lighter colors. In any room, fluorescent lights do not promote good health; they are constantly flickering, affecting the eyes and nervous system, and can cause hypertension, eyestrain and headaches. However, they do serve a purpose, as they provide bright light at low cost. If you decide that you do need fluorescent lights in your kitchen, use full-spectrum bulbs.

Kitchen Clutter

An excess of stored food in the pantry or freezer can become clutter if it far exceeds a reasonable amount for your family. Old, stale food has old, stale energy, even if the expiration date is still months (or even years) away. Clean out your food cupboards and refrigerator regularly. Keep your kitchen shiny and clean for the best possible energy. A cluttered, dirty kitchen will have stagnant, dirty energy, which interferes with your ability to cook and enjoy healthy, nourishing food. When you are poorly nourished, your ability to work hard and earn a good income will suffer. Another good Feng Shui tactic is to keep kitchen canisters and other containers more than half-full as much as possible. Every time you see these containers, your subconscious mind will register plenty rather than the implied lack created by an almost empty jar. Get in the habit of restocking your food supplies before you run low, and you will fill your kitchen with the energy of abundance.

The Trash Can

Kitchen garbage is a constant in every home. According to the Feng Shui principles, garbage is lifeless energy that robs the room of fresh uplifting energy. Take action in recycling even though it takes a little longer. Invest in a garbage disposal which should reduce your garbage by at least 25%.Place the kitchen garbage container under a cupboard or have a lid on the container to keep the chi from flowing throughout the home. Perfect for keeping trash out of site, there are many options including pull-out trash bins. As well, clean the garbage center thoroughly weekly and wipe down daily. Drop a few essential oils into the container to minimize the scent of the garbage.Garbage is a part of our lives, we need to minimize the impact it makes in our lives.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Feng Shui Bathroom

The bathroom has a bad reputation in Feng Shui, and in some ways this is deserved, as you will discover. But it's not all negative. Comfort, cleanliness, and convenience are key ingredients to good Feng Shui, and our modern bathrooms provide them all. 

One of the challenges posed by the modern bathroom is that there's no good place for it in the Bagua, which long predates indoor plumbing. We can look at the Bagua and see at a glance that the Family area would be a good place for the living room, that a home office is well-placed in the Knowledge, Wealth, or Career sectors, and that the Marriage corner of the house is a great place for the master bedroom. But where does the bathroom go? The bathroom is a little out of place anywhere, although some locations are more troublesome than others. The thing to keep in mind is that bathroom plumbing has a draining effect wherever it is located.

THE BATHROOM

As most of the Feng Shui practices have strong scientific basis, there are two important rules of thumb that you need to remember when it comes to the location of a bathroom. First you need to know that , the bathroom and toilet are primarily governed by and driven by the element Water. 

In Feng Shui, Water is associated with wealth, prosperity, career and good cash flow. Secondly, you should keep in mind that bathrooms are associated with elimination and waste. With these two considerations in mind, it is easier to understand the main rules that apply to the layout and location of this space.

Bathrooms are places for purification and cleansing, so a clean, sanitary bathroom strengthens and supports important energy. A dirty bathroom, on the other hand, emphasizes the negative qualities of this room. If your bathroom occupies any of the more challenging locations , it is essential to keep it sparkling clean, tidy, and well-lit.


For both the bathroom itself and the toilet, always make sure that the plumbing fixtures are spotlessly clean and work. Dripping taps encourages you to waste money, plus noisy plumbing are disturbing on a subliminal level. Keep the area light, airy and well lit. 

Since it is where you begin and end the active part of each day, you should try to make it more attractive and inviting using the Bagua, which treats bathroom as a separate space. In general a bathroom has more faucets, sprayers, water jets and other things that emit water in other directions than the downward direction; it helps with flow and bringing wealth in your house. Also consider strategically placing mirrors so that these faucets are reflected. Be careful not to situate mirrors in places where the toilet is reflected.


Without a clearly marked out space in Bagua, the bathroom is a little out of place anywhere, but thanks to the time tested Feng Shui wisdom, you can easily identify problems with your bathroom.


FENG SHUI YOUR BATHROOM

Many people feel that because the bathroom is usually the smallest room in the house, it is not necessary to take the trouble to apply the principles of Feng Shui, but this is not so. The bathroom is an important room, because its main function is to cleanse the body inside and out. Often the bathroom is seen to create financial problems as this space drains away vital energy and resources. Here are some simple guidelines that can be followed to minimize this risk.


· Ideally the bathroom and should not be seen immediately on entering the house, as the incoming Chi exits before the whole of the house is energized. Where such a location is unavoidable, there are solutions.

· If the bathroom is in the North of the house, place a wind chime made from porcelain, clay or terracotta in the window recess and this will prevent a business or career going down the drain. Introducing a color scheme based on natural earth and desert colors will also balance the energy by using the interaction of the elements earth and water.


  • The bathroom is associated with water, and therefore it needs to be balanced by the earth element. This can be achieved by using materials such as ceramic tiles and earthenware accessories. Earth controls water, and so it prevents the energy and good fortune being drained away.

  • When considering the color scheme, use colors particularly associated with the earth element. Think desert, think beach, all the natural earth colors from pale sand to taupes, including terracotta, burnt orange, ochre and the sunshine yellows. The element of wood also helps to balance the excess water association of the bathroom by absorbing its effects.

  • Introduce soft leafed green plants, but avoid cacti that could be a surprise when backing out of the shower. Introducing wood as a material for decorative finishes in the bathroom can be useful. Avoid excessive use of black or blue in the bathroom as these are colors directly symbolic of the water element and will upset the balance.

  • Another, perhaps surprising element that is useful to introduce to the bathroom is fire. Spotlights, of course, introduce the fire element, but do not forget to plan the bath ledges and shelves that can safely hold burning candles in a variety of soothing and healing essences. The bathroom can run the whole gamut from providing get up and go in the morning to seductively romantic interludes before bed.

The elements need to be balanced, but a bathroom should not be overemphasized. A bedroom holds more importance and should always be larger than the bathroom.

The bathroom is often the first place we sit 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. 


Do place a large mirror behind the sink used for washing. This helps you to start the day with a big clear, bright vision. A small round cracked mirror is going to limit your possibilities! In the same way, being greeted by a mirror that is split in 2 - very fashionable with bathroom cabinets, can also get you off to a difficult start. You are not seeing the whole picture. If a sink or a bath drain sits in the South Eastern sector, keep the plug in when you are not using it to prevent loss of money.

THE TOILET

One of the most important elements of concern in the Feng Shui Bathroom is the toilet. Centuries ago, toilets were outside of the walls of a home in out houses. Nowadays, no one would want a home that didn't have a toilet and indoor plumbing. In and of themselves, toilets press down chi. Depending on where they are located, they can impact your health, your wealth, your standing in the community -- even your romance. 

Because cleanliness is considered good luck in Feng Shui, it is important that you don't compound their negative energy by not keeping toilets meticulously clean.

All toilets should be enclosed in their own rooms or hidden from view as you enter the room. Feng Shui principles teach that toilets can actually harm your health, wealth, and well-being if they are situated in the wrong places. Below is an explanation on how the toilets can impact your health -- and what you can do about it.


BEDROOMS: 


Toilets should never share the same wall as a 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.


KITCHENS & DINING ROOMS: 


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 to "control the water".


FRONT DOORS: 


Toilets and bathrooms that can be seen from the front door rob the occupants of career opportunities - or worse yet - put the career you-know-where: in the toilet. Always close the door and make sure the toilet cannot be seen from the front door.

If you have a toilet OVER the front door (such as on a second floor), always be sure to keep a bright light on in the foyer or entrance way. This will help burn up the negative energy. Toilets over or close to the front door create problems for the sector where they are located, such as the wealth, romance, or health sector.









www.balancedlivinginc.com
www.eastcoastfengshui.org

Saturday, July 19, 2008

What is a BaGua?

One of the greatest benefits of Feng Shui is self-awareness. In addition to creating home improvements, when you apply Feng Shui principles to your home, you gain a wonderful opportunity to evaluate your life's situations, state your intentions or goals and move into action. Intuition, simplicity and good taste are always in tune with Feng Shui. Personalized touches (things that are especially meaningful to you) provide an added punch to your balanced environment. Again, it's balancing your surroundings to bring about more of what you want in life. Many levels of study, choice, design, decor and application are associated with this fascinating, complex art.
Enjoy!Michelle

What is a BaGua?
BaGua, an ancient term, translated from Chinese that means "eight areas" (ba: eight; gua: area). It is traditionally shown as an octagon with eight sections surrounding a central area, the tai chi. The qualities of each outer sector are represented by a trigram. To make it easier to apply this map to your living space, we extend the corners of the bagua to form a square, then divide it into nine equal sections.The Bagua is a map or chart that relates the various areas of your life to the 8 sections of your living space. These eight main sections of a space are represented by what are known as guas. But while the word may sound foreign or unfamiliar to you, 'The Bagua' is one of the most basic and fundamental tools of Feng Shui Practitioners or anyone who wants to get initiated into practicing Feng Shui. Click the link for a printable BaGua.
http://www.balancedlivinginc.com/bagua.htm


BaGua Placement
Draw a simple floor plan of your living space. Superimpose the Bagua over your floor plan.Think of the Bagua as a transparency, which is placed over the floor plan of an entire house or a single room. To position the Bagua correctly, look for the main door used to enter the house or room. Align the bottom edge of the Bagua with the wall the FRONT (entrance) door is in. Stretch the Bagua sideways or lengthwise to cover the entire space. If there is more than one way to enter a space, orient the Bagua to the main door or entryway. Even if you usually enter your home through the garage, align the bagua of your home to the front door. Now that you know where the areas of your home or rooms fall in place on the Bagua, you're ready to apply appropriate Feng Shui techniques to each area.


The Yin & the Yang of it
The Yin Yang Theory is one of the main theories of Feng Shui. According to the Yin-Yang theory, everything in the universe consist of two opposing, but deeply interconnected forces - Yin ( feminine ) and Yang ( masculine. ) The interaction of these two forces creates the essence of life around us. The best representation of the interaction of Yin and Yang is the Tai Chi symbol: a perfect circle with two contrasting colors, black and white, creating the circle of life together, and each containing inside itself the essence of the opposite energy. Expressed in colors, Yin energy is represented by the Black color and Yang energy is represented by color White. As your home needs harmonious energy in order to support you, it is important to understand the application of the yin yang theory on a practical level. In the Western culture we tend to experience an imbalance of Feng Shui energies. We live in a constant flow of the very active, busy, Yang energy and often weak or even missing energy of Yin (the relaxed and nourishing one.) Creating a home that will reflect the Yin Yang balance is very important. There will always be one quality of energy that is stronger depending on the use of the space, but you need the represent both. The concept of Yin and Yang is one of the most fundamental and profound theories of Feng Shui. It is the Chinese perspective of balance and continual change. Without understanding the conceptual view of Yin and Yang, one cannot properly utilize five elements, since the five elements are the basis of the energetic representations and are the (only!) corrections utilized in Feng Shui.

The Five Elements

One of the main theories of Feng Shui is the Five Element Theory. These five elements are considered the main manifestations of Chi, the vital energy. According to the Chinese, everything in this world belongs to one of the five elements or energies, namely earth, water, wood, metal and fire. They are believed to affect every action and activity and produce life changing effects, when applied to daily life. It is also fortified by the fact that all the twelve horoscopes are based on the five elements. They define the characteristics of a person according to the amount of the element present. Given below is more information on the five elements in Feng Shui. Feng shui decorating is about balancing your home and creating harmony. The five elements are Wood, Water, Fire, Metal and Earth. When they are out of balance, problems may occur. These two are defined in Productive and Destructive cycles.
The Productive cycle is a pattern of harmony: wood fuels fire; fire turns to ash and covers the earth; earth turns to minerals and metals; metals can melt to water; water feeds wood. With the Destructive cycle, however, the pattern changes: wood takes from earth; earth, to feed itself, takes water; water douses fire; fire destroys metal; metal destroys wood. Feng shui elements come together to create a balance.

Applying the Elements
Fire Element (forceful energy) The colors that represent the element of fire (expansion and transformation) are red and orange or any other bright color that bounces light and energizes. The shapes that create the energy of fire are angular such as pyramids, triangles, diamonds, and sunbursts. These shapes send energy quickly in all directions and therefore create movement and change.
Earth Element (grounding and support) The element Earth is associated with muted tones such as yellows and brown. These colors slow the energies. Shapes of the earth energy are squares and rectangles; they are horizontal shapes that encourage the grounding of energy. Changing artwork and windows from portrait to landscape can increase the earth energy in a home.
Wood Element (personal growth) This element encompasses colors that are clear and energizing. These colors are greens associated with growth and purples inviting abundance. Wood represents energy that moves vertically and is therefore associated with cylinders and columns.
Water Element (release and renewal) The element of water is expressed in dark blues and black. These colors invite personal wisdom. The energy of water element is represented by any shape that produces flow. Still water energy is represented by any shape that would holds water and creates a womb like effect. Moving water shapes are drawn as cascades or ripples. This energy flows to the sides and down.

Metal Element (mental power) The metal element is introduced through the colors of white, silver and gray. These colors are sharp and influence intelligence. The metal colors are also represented by the powerful rainbow and bring both healing and creativity. The circle is the shape that brings in the metal element. In a circle, energy is constantly moving in an expanding cycle sending energy outward. This flow of energy often brings individuals into a collective commune.


Working with the GuasUnderstanding the associations and meanings of each 'gua' is the first step in learning to place the Bagua and utilize it as part of your Feng Shui practice. Individual guas have unique personalities, symbols, and associated elements. When you know about each element and its meaning, the Bagua tells you how you can make healing enhancements to your space using one or more elements. Wealth, reputation, love, family and health, travel and helpful acquaintances, career, wisdom, children and creativity are the eight life areas or aspirations; each is represented by a corresponding area on the Bagua map. Full details and characteristics of each gua are listed below.

Knowledge & Self CultivationEducation, wisdom, contemplation & preparation, your spiritual life, self-awareness, ability to receive and give information to give to others, your clients & employees.Contemplation, peace of mind & achieving a quiet heart.. Grounding in life, setting clear boundaries & learning a new skill.

Trigram: Ken

Element: Earth
Cure: Fire to create earth
Colors: Blue & Green


IntentionIf you are a student of any subject
Counseling or self-growth activity
Cultivate a more peaceful lifestyle

EnhancementsBooks or tapes being studied
Artwork of mountains and quiet places
Figures of teachers or wise people
Quotes, affirmations & inspirational sayings
Bookshelves with books you would like to read
A good area for meditation & contemplation
Mountains, rivers & waterfalls signify unlimited potential
Glassware & crystal can put you in contact with your spiritual self


CareerYour life path, strength or weaknesses, communication & social connection, flow, life's journey, life's work, trusting the buoyancy, negotiating, new beginnings, opportunities & unlimited possibilities.

Trigram: K'an

Element: Water
Cure: Metal collects water
Colors: Black, navy, dark brown & charcoal
IntentionMaking any changes in your job
You want to do volunteer work
Looking for a change in your job
Going from one type of work to another
Progress in your career

EnhancementsWater features & fountains
Water flowing towards the house
Art featuring water
Career symbols
Randomly shaped, free-flowing objects
Mirror, glass, & crystal items
Quotes & affirmations relating to career
Fax machine & computer - related to career
Mirror, wind chimes & table lamp


Travel & Helpful PeopleBenefactors or assistance in achieving your goals, support network, & travel, mentors & networking, angels, spiritual guides, mentors, people coming to you, trusting the universe, synchronicity & heavenly guides.

Trigram: Ch'ien

Element: Metal
Cures: Earth produces metal
Colors: white, gray & metallic colors
IntentionTo attract more clients, mentors, customers & benefactors
Planning on moving to a new home or work location
To ask beings or angels for guidance
Travel to a destination
To feel connected more spiritually
Employees that you want to attract or attract people with similar qualities
Your angelic requests for help
Enhance you faith or philosophy of life

EnhancementsPosters, artwork & figures of spiritual guides
Reminders of helpful people in your life
Special places you have traveled to
Quotes & affirmations pertaining to spiritual guidance
Things that have a powerful association to your
Spiritual or religious beliefs
Items pertaining to helpful people such as teachers or mentors
Create an angel nook or garden either in or outside of the house
Create a special Angelic request box & write down your angelic requests for help


Children & CreativityProjects & pleasure, your children bring new ideas to the world, conception, your ability to complete things & creative energy. Creativity, joyousness, playful, lighthearted, manifesting, & fun in life's work.

Trigram: Tui

Element:Metal
Cure: Earth produces metal
Colors: White or pastels
IntentionTo become more creative
You're involved in a creative project
You feel creatively blocked
To explore & develop your inner child
Improve relationships with children
To become pregnant
If you don't have time to play, we don't have the energy to continue to grow
EnhancementsArtwork or figures that stimulate your creative juices
Artwork created by children
Whimsical items, toys, stuffed animals
Circular, round, arch-shaped
Things made of metal
Associations with childhood
Items or memorabilia from childhood


Love & MarriageRelationships, partnerships & durability, marriage, & romantic relationships.Devotion, self love, mature sexuality, relationship with yourself. Maternal affection.

Trigram: K'un
Element: Earth
Cure: Fire creates earth
Colors: Pinks & muddy earth tones, peach & apricot

IntentionYou would like to attract a new love relationships
You want to improve a love relationships
To attract clients, friends or potential customers
Draw someone to you

EnhancementsPairs of lovers, doves, hearts & dolphins
Loved one's photo
A picture of someone who looks like the one you will attract
Quotes & affirmations
Associations to love & marriage
Honeymoon memento or romantic vacation
Create a wish book with pictures of the kind of relationship you would like to have.

Fame & ReputationSelf-expression & illumination, your good reputation, what you are famous or infamous for, & an important business area. Recognition, what we are known for, generous acts, authentic self & iindividuality. External radiance.

Trigram: Li
Element: Fire
Cure: Wood feeds fire
Colors: Red & orange

IntentionYou would like more recognition
To establish a good reputation
To be well-know for something you do
Who you really are
What you want to be known for
You and the outside world

EnhancementsAccomplishments, letters of recognition, awards, trophies, diplomas & prizes
Leather, fur or wool. Items made from animals
Lighting, sunshine, & candles
Electric lights &oil lamps
Triangle, conical, or pyramidal shapes


Wealth & ProsperityAbundance & gratitude, fortunate blessings, your ability to receive & reflects the flow of income into your business life. Financial stability, gratefulness, calm security, & aaffluence. Money comes from the outside.

Trigram: Sun
Element: Wood
Cure: Water nourishes wood
Colors: green & purple

IntentionGenerate more cash
Raise money for a special purpose
To increase fortunate blessings
Being in the right place at the right time
Anything that makes your life richer
Eliminating obstacles
Accumulation of wealth
Fulfillment of life's path which is directly related to the journey (career) area
Someone is behind the scenes making things work out

EnhancementsItem to call in the chi such as wind chimes, flags, & wind socks
Valuable possessions, coin, art, & sculptures
Increase the amount of light
Items depicting possessions
Art with flowing water & round containers to catch the abundance flowing from artwork
Healthy plants - shiny, round, coin-shaped leaves,fresh & silk flowers
Fountains, waterfalls - water features
Prosperity bowl to keep $20 & $100 bills or blank or filled out deposit slips
Colorful fish
Quotes & affirmations pertaining to wealth
Personal wealth symbols
Posters, artwork, figures that depict desired possessions such as boats, car, house

Health & FamilyFriends, family relationships, community, ancestors, & growth, new beginnings, reflection of your interactions with or peers in business, your ability to initiate, & your health. Growth & new life.Monthly bills, health, deep roots, ancestors, elders,superiors, influences from the past & heritage.

Trigram: Chen

Element: Wood
Cure: Water feeds wood
Colors: green & brown

IntentionYour health needs a boost
Planning or recovering from surgery
Competing in sports
Would like your social life or family of choice to grow
Improve relationships with relatives

EnhancementsColorful gardens, landscapes & healthy plants in all colors
Pictures of plants
Affirmation box
Fresh cut flowers in all colors
Pictures, artwork of the ideal body
Images of family & friends
Things made from wood
Floral prints, fabric, & wallpaper
Quotes& affirmations pertaining to ideal health or family
Family heirlooms & mementos
Add crystals & additional light


HealthWhole Family, balance & harmony, the center of your house or office is considered vital. Focus on health of the individual family member or employee in order to survive. Unity, health, stability, centeredness & groundedness.
Element: Earth
Cure: Fire creates earth
Colors: Earth tones

IntentionHarmonize & balance your life
Feel centered
Connect with all that is the source

EnhancementsA place of peace
Quiet room for meditation
Objects or art to stay centered
Earth element to stay centered
Square or rectangle
Create a wish book with different areas of your life to unify, balanceand harmonize, look at it often to reinforce your hearts desire

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Feng Shui your 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. With our busy lives, it's critical to our health to have a place where we can have down time and get a restful night’s sleep and should be an oasis of calm and a place you can't wait to retreat to every night. Applying Feng Shui principles to your bedroom can do many things for a person's mental and physical health, as well as with romantic relationships. From bed placement, to wall color, to imagery, the Feng Shui principles of creating chi (energy) flow around a home will have you sleeping like a baby and improving your relationships. In everyone's home, each bedroom is used for different reasons and by different people; therefore they should be decorated and organized accordingly.
Michelle


Clutter
Your first step is to clean your room! You should start by cleaning. I do not mean just picking up the dirty clothes on the floor, dusting and vacuuming. I mean going through your things and getting rid of anything that doesn't need to be there. Get rid of clothes that do not fit, anything that is broken, anything that may be crowding or cluttering your bedroom. Remove all excess items such as exercise equipment, desks, computers, or other "active" furniture, as these things can disrupt the flow of energy. Clutter is a sure sign that chi is stuck, so roll up your sleeves, and clean the place up if you want to jump-start your love life. Ring a bell, shake a rattle, or clap your hands loudly around the room to clear out old, stale energy. From a Feng Shui perspective, clutter symbolizes unfinished business and impedes forward progress in life. So keep furnishings on the spare side and clutter as contained as possible to enable chi to flow freely around the room. Also consider what memories and associations the objects in your bedroom hold for you, and then get rid of anything (even the mattress) that you associate with a negative time in your life, a past health problem, or a former relationship.


Your Closet
"Less is more" also applies to the closet. The clutter behind closed doors can be just as depleting as clutter that's in the open.
If you feel irritated, confused, and overwhelmed when you open the closet door, organizing your closet will help give you a sense of control over your life. Ruthlessly weed out clothes that are unflattering, out-of-style or no longer worn, then sort by color and season. Install organizers to hold shoes, belts, scarves and other accessories, and move everything else choking your closet to another spot. Better yet, give it away!

Your Bed
What is the most important item in your bedroom? Obviously, it's your bed. Selecting, placing, and dressing the bed is critical to achieve the desired harmony. Your bed is the most important part of your bedroom and is the main focus of the bedroom. The bed frame, sheets, position of the bed and the mattress are very important to make sure the chi flows just right. Put your bed in command position! In Feng Shui, the "commanding position" for the bed is as far away from the bedroom door as possible, but which still allows you to keep an eye on the room's entrance. This gives you a sense of safety and protection while you rest. 

The corner of the room diagonally opposite the door is usually best, since it distances you from the door while keeping the bed out of direct alignment with the room's opening, which is conducive to sleep, relaxation and healthy chi. Situate the bed with a view of the door without it being directly in front of it, as this puts you in a peaceful flow of the room. Whatever you do, make sure your feet don't point out the door while in bed. In traditional Chinese culture, this is called the "Death Position" because the deceased are carried out feet first. Sleeping this way can drain your life force. If you can't avoid it, use a footboard or a substantial trunk or other piece of furniture at the foot of your bed to act as a buffer (this is the one exception to Feng Shui's normal "no footboard" rule). Finally, leave enough room around the bed for energy to flow freely, and for each partner to get up with ease. If one side of your bed is against the wall, the person who sleeps on that side may feel confined or disempowered in the relationship. If possible, place the bed so there is equal space on either side, so you and your partner can find equal enjoyment in the relationship. The ideal position of the bed will be on the opposite side of the room from the door, but not directly in line with it. If you can't see the bedroom door from the bed, hang a mirror where it will provide a reflected view of the entry.


Under the Bed
Clear out everything under your bed, as the chi of things underneath you will affect you all night long and will block energy and lead to stagnation in life. Having back problems or trouble sleeping? Don't blame the mattress necessarily. The type of objects you keep under the bed can affect your sleep and health. When your bedroom is cluttered and untidy, the energy in there will be low and slow.

Colors

Feng Shui practitioners recommend warm, rich earth and skin tones such as terra cotta, copper, coral, cream, peach, tan, and cocoa for creating a cozy, welcoming atmosphere in the bedroom. Soft natural colors like light blues, greens, and lavenders lend the bedroom a quiet, tranquil vibe and invite healing energy. Bright reds and oranges are typically associated with yang - the masculine half of the yin and yang energy equation - and are too stimulating. That said, Pink and red are the colors of romance, and using them in the bedroom can increase the romance in our relationships, just limit these passionate hues to accents around the room - especially on the bed, in the form of sheets, pillows, throws and other linens. If pink and red aren't your thing, try variations such as burgundy, pomegranate, eggplant, and magenta. The ideal restful Feng Shui color scheme is based on skin colors, from a very pale white to a rich chocolate brown. Use these warm skin tones as your main color palette in the bedroom. Coordinating and harmonious colors can be added in decorative touches such as throw pillows and bed sheets.

The Elements
While you can employ some Feng Shui principles to your home quite easily, there are still some components that can only be decided based on using the Bagua. The Bagua is one of the most important tools you can have in your Feng Shui arsenal. Without it, you cannot truly interpret and use the five element theory in order to create and maintain a harmonious flow of energy. Use colors and elements! By using the colors and the elements of the Bagua in your bedroom you can maximize chi flow and feel more at peace.

Standing in your bedroom doorway, the south would be the wall that is directly opposite of you, is Illumination and Reputation, its element is fire and its color is red. In the right (southwest) corner of the back wall is the love and relationships corner, its element is Earth and its color is pink.


 In the left (southeast) corner of the back wall is the abundance and prosperity corner, its element is wood and its color is purple. On the left (East) wall is foundation and family, its element is wood and its color is green. In the right wall (west) is creativity and children, its element is metal and its color is white. In the front left corner (northwest) is inner knowledge, its element is Earth and its color is blue. In the front right corner (northeast) is helpful people and travel, its element is metal and its color is gray. On the front wall (north) is career and life's journey, its element is water and its color is black.

The Double-Duty Bedroom

The bedroom should be a place of rest, contemplation and intimacy - not work, exercise or blaring music. Exercise gear, a phone, a television or computer or a desk piled high with bills and paperwork give off and take up a lot of energy. They also distract you from rest and romance. The bedroom is a place where you need to turn off the stresses of the day. If you must have these items in your room, place them far from your bed and cover them up when not in use. If your bedroom must do double-duty as a work or exercise space, use a lightweight folding screen or beautiful fabric hung from a ceiling-mounted curtain rod to conceal them. 

Turn off the ringer on the phone, too. And if you're not willing to part with the TV, keep it in an armoire or cabinet so that you can literally "shut the door" on it while you sleep. A nice piece of fabric draped over the set when you're not using it will serve a similar purpose. While a few books on your nightstand is fine, if you have bookshelves groaning under the weight of dozens of volumes, move them elsewhere; all those titles calling out to be read distract your mind from rest. Shelving overhead can cause the same type of pressure and unease. Subconscious fear of objects falling on you at night can cause disrupted sleep.

Another problem could come from behind the wall. Check out if you've got a ton of plumbing, an air conditioner, toilet, or appliance on the other side of the wall behind the head of your bed. A toilet has a very draining energy, and any kind of waste water carries negative chi. A stove's strong yang (fire) energy conflicts with the yin nature of sleep.


Looking for love?
If you want to attract a new romantic partner--or move a casual relationship closer to commitment--make sure there is space for that person in your home. Look at your
closets, shelves, and dressers, especially in the bedroom; if
they are all filled to capacity with your own stuff, making some room for your current or future partner a priority. Aim to free up 25% of the space in your bedroom for someone else's things. When you are done, take a moment to visualize your loved one's belongings finding a home there.
One is indeed the loneliest number - even when it comes to bedroom furnishings and decor. Having only one nightstand or space on only one side of the bed to climb in and out is very symbolic of solitude, and can actually hold your single status in place.
Single people also tend to have accessories and art that depict solitude, [like] a single flower in a vase. Instead, if you're single and don't want to be, decorate your bedroom as if a partner is already there. Symmetry is key, so position nightstands and lamps on both sides of the bed. Accessorize in pairs or multiples, too: Place a bunch of flowers in a vase and hang art depicting romance and unity, which Feng Shui gurus say creates a "couples' energy" as well as a sense of balance and abundance in the room. Get rid of stuffed animals, dolls, and excessive pillows. These items send the message to prospective overnight guests that the bed is already taken. 


These items also restrict free and spontaneous movement. Place pairs of candlesticks, vases, and books in the far right corner of your bedroom which is the Love and Marriage area of any space. Decorate as if you already have someone to share your bed with by putting nightstands and lamps on both sides of the bed. The images with which you surround yourself can have a powerful effect on your love life. Feng Shui clients who complain of difficulty finding romance often have surrounded themselves with images of a person alone. Inappropriate imagery includes anything that represents solitude, loneliness, aggression, hard work, conflict, or disagreement in any way. Replace any art that represents solitary, companionless objects with art that portrays pairs, such as two people, two flowers, and the like. 

Be sure to place romantic imagery in these two key places in the bedroom: the wall opposite the foot of the bed (where you naturally look when lying in bed), and whatever area of the room you first see when you enter. Beautiful, romantic artwork is always good, as are fresh or silk flowers and anything in pairs (such as birds, cherubs, candles, or decorative pillows).That old photo of your Dad when he was in the army may be a treasure, but the wartime energy it carries doesn't have any place in the bedroom; find another place to keep it.

Make sure both the front door of your home and the door to your bedroom open easily and completely. Doors that stick, squeak, or that only opens partway because of all the stuff stored behind them are blocking the flow of romantic energy and opportunity into your home. A loose doorknob on your bedroom door could mean you're having a hard time "getting a handle on" romance; get out your screwdriver and tighten it up.When you exercise in the bedroom, or store your sports equipment there, you bring the energy of hard work and exertion into your romance space. Do you want your relationship to feel like a tough workout? If not, move your workout stuff somewhere else; your relationship is likely to move along more smoothly.Go through your home--especially your bedroom--and remove anything that reminds you of past failed relationships; this could be an ex-boyfriend's old sweater you find in the closet, photographs of you with a previous partner, a gift that reminds you (unfavorably) of a giver with whom you are no longer in love--anything that reminds you of a love that went bad. No matter how incurable a romantic you may be, do NOT keep old love letters anywhere in your bedroom unless they are from someone with whom you are still blissfully paired up. Walk slowly from your front door to your bedroom, pretending that you are a gentle river of chi. Look for any areas where furniture or other belongings are stopping or slowing the flow of chi, or where chi is diverted away from the bedroom to other areas of the house. Clear a path so fresh chi can find its way to your bedroom and nourish your love life. Make sure all the lights along this route are working, replace any burned-out bulbs, and be alert for dark or dingy corners where you can increase the energy by adding more light. In the Bagua, the far right corner is the "love center”. Whether you're single or coupled, consider building a "shrine to love" in that spot. Accessorize a table, dresser or shelf with a photo of you and your mate (or other art that depicts a happy couple), a pair of candles, a book of romantic poetry and a heart-shaped box. It becomes an environmental affirmation of your relationship goals. Silk plants or flowers are OK, but never keep dried foliage here, since their symbolism is obvious. Another Feng Shui no-no: king-sized beds. Not only do they create a physical chasm between you and your mate, but they are split down the middle by two box springs, which create a symbolic dividing line between partners that can affect their unity. If you're not about to trade in your beloved California King, even for the sake of your other beloved, a red sheet placed over the box springs will help unify the two separate halves.


Bedroom No No’s
If your direct view from the bed is of an adjoining bathroom or a messy closet, screen those views with curtains, folding screens or simply by closing the door. Also, put down the toilet seat at night, lest the bedroom's energy go right down the drain. Avoid positioning your bed under a window, which lacks the symbolic support and protection of a solid wall and can lead to fitful sleep as energy enters and exits through the window. Try not to position your bed under the lower angle of a pitched ceiling, a ceiling fan, or a heavy beam. These features are thought to contain "depressing energy" that literally pushes down on you while you sleep. 

If you have no choice, a bed canopy or lengths of fabric suspended from the ceiling or beams are believed to be Feng Shui "cures" for the problem. If possible, position the bed away from overhead beams. Heavy beams create pressure over the area directly beneath them. This pressure is called Sha Chi and can cause health problems. For example, if a beam is directly over your head at night you might suffer from headaches; over the knees and feet can create knee and leg problems; over the stomach can cause digestive problems; and beams running lengthwise over the bed can cause relationship problems (since it's separating the couple). 

The lower the ceiling the greater the impact. Headboards, especially solid ones made from wood, are considered good Feng Shui because they provide additional strength and support behind your head. Footboards, on the other hand, are seen as blocking forward progress in life. If you're in the market for a new nightstand or other bedroom furniture, try to choose pieces with soft lines and curvilinear forms. 

Square corners have too much pointed energy and can create a 'sharp' environment. The "poison arrows" formed by right angles are thought to direct negative energy directly at your sleeping form, which can cause a feeling of uneasiness. If a new nightstand isn't in the cards, you can soften its corners by draping a piece of flowing fabric over the top or placing a healthy plant on top, leaves cascading over the corners. Allow your door, the major source of incoming chi, to serve its function. Even if you normally enter from another direction, ensure that all doors in your bedroom are able to open to at least 90 degrees. Windows also like to be windows, so do not block them with heavy furniture, although curtains are fine. However, it is important to sleep with your bedroom doors fully closed. All doors, including the one to the bathroom, should be kept closed. This will allow the chi energy to flow efficiently through your sleeping space.


Mirrors
No mirrors in your bedroom! You need to remove mirrors from your bedroom. This is because mirrors reflect the energy and send it to places other than where it should be. If you decide to keep a mirror, television or computer (which can also reflect and block energy) you should keep it in a wooden cabinet while you sleep so it will prevent this from happening and help you have a more peaceful rest in a Feng Shui bedroom. Never place mirrors opposite, next to, or over the bed. In addition to bouncing too much energy around the room to allow for good rest, these reflective surfaces are thought to magnify problems and worries - and also that mirrors in the bedroom can invite a third party to interfere in your relationship. If you have mirrored closet doors, treat them like windows and hang curtains in front of them. Move other mirrors out of the room face them away from the bed or drape them with a pretty piece of fabric when you turn in for the night.


Plants in the Bedroom
The bedroom is a Yin location and plants have a strong and vibrant energy of growth and movement, a yang energy which is not the Feng Shui energy recommended for the bedroom. Let's look at it from a practical point of view. What do you do at night? Hopefully sleep! What do plants do at night? They release carbon dioxide into the air. Thus, plants in the bedroom are definitely not the best idea. Please make a note that this only applies to your bedroom, as everywhere else in the house plants are excellent, especially considering the level of indoor pollution in most indoor spaces. There are many excellent areas in your home to have lush, vibrant plants, such as, for example, east, and Southeast Feng Shui areas. Your bedroom, however, is not the best Feng Shui area to have plants. I guess a small plant is acceptable. What usually is not beneficial are larger potted plants with large leafs.


Lighting
When it comes to bedroom lighting, flexibility is key: You want lots of natural light during the day, soft light in the evening and darkness while you sleep. Aside from the positive energy it imparts, exposure to sunlight first thing in the morning influences serotonin levels and can affect you for the rest of the day. So invest in window coverings that can easily be thrown open to greet the sun and pulled closed for privacy and a cocoon-like ambiance after nightfall. When choosing sources for artificial light, make sure to provide illumination from a variety of them, including overhead, table and wall lights. Balance light directed downward (such as from recessed cans in the ceiling) with up-lit torchieres and sconces, which cast a softer light and lift your energy. Put all the lights in the bedroom on dimmers to that you can calm the energy of the space at night.

Images & Artwork
A common Feng Shui strategy is to choose art and other objects that depict things you'd like to see manifest in your life, whether success, love or inner peace. In the bedroom, hang your favorite piece of art on the wall opposite your bed. The last thing you see before you go to sleep and the first thing you see when you open your eyes should be something that makes you feel joyful and inspired. One type of art you don't want in the bedroom? Family photos. You can have pictures of your parents and your kids all over the rest of the house, but the focus in the bedroom should be on yourself and your partner.

Romance in the Bedroom
Utilize all your senses by choosing warm colors, romantic music, sensuous sheets, and scented candles. In order to keep you and your partner in the mood, remove all photos of your kids and family, or at least keep them out of view from your bed. Family pictures don't belong in the bedroom; it's the most intimate room in the house and should be reserved for you and your partner. Pictures of children, relatives, and friends may cause you to think about your obligations - and that doesn't allow the mind (or body) to rest. So keep only pictures of you and your spouse or partner in the bedroom, and put other pictures in the dining or family rooms. Place spacious and attractive nightstands next to each side of the bed. In addition to creating a room that's beautiful to look at, take time to appeal to your other senses as well, by filling your bedroom with things you love to smell, touch, and taste and hear. Light fragrant candles or use an essential-oil diffuser (lavender induces relaxation, and jasmine, rose, and geranium scents are associated with love). Invest in inviting linens - pure Egyptian cotton, smooth silk, soft velvet and cozy cashmere. Play relaxing music or nature sounds, or hang a wind chime outside your bedroom window to fill the space with soothing sounds. It will do your chi - and your state of mind - a world of good.


A Peaceful Child
Take those family photos out of your room and put them in your child's as they tend to make kids feel secure and watched over. To ensure your kids calm and ready for bed, decorate with tranquil warm pastel colors instead of bright reds, blues, and yellows. Also, put the action figures away at night. If your kids aren't sleeping well, try covering up any mirrors in the room while they sleep, as mirrors keep a room "awake”. If your kids share a room, designate a specific spot for each child such as a closet, table, or shelf. This will help define each child's chi and teach respect for other people's things.

The Guest Room
Make this room as comfy, cozy, and beautiful as the rest of your house. Leave the door open, "visit" the room often, and open the windows. Don't let it become a junk room by dumping all your stuff in there and clearing it out only when you have company.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Feng Shui Foyer


When I visit a home or a business, I am stepping into my client’s shoes, seeing how their surroundings are influencing them. I am looking at how their environment is affecting the circulation of chi within a dwelling.

The entry door is known as the “opening” or “mouth” of chi. Not surprisingly, one of the first areas I take into account is the entrance. The entrance is our first impression and experience of the home or workplace. Both the entrance door and the entry foyer should be gracious and to scale to allow chi to enter in a smooth, balanced flow.

In Feng Shui, the main entrance into your home is the portal through which your good energy flows. The amount of healthy living energy that you can bring in the front door makes a huge difference in the overall Feng Shui of your space. The first step is to create a clear, open and beautiful entrance for energy to move through and to circulate in your home. Feng Shui promotes the belief that your opportunities come in through the front door.

It is the threshold for all good things to come your way. For convenience, many people use their garage, laundry room or back doors to come and go into their homes and neglect the importance of their front entrance. So, if you enter through an alternate door, you must evaluate and beautify it with the same enthusiasm as you would the main entrance. Just as important, remember that your visitors receive their first impression about who you are and what you’re about by observing the gateway into your home. Ideally, the entrance will be both safe and beautiful with no clutter to block the flow of the nourishing chi energy.

The foyer is the room into which the main door opens and is the first room that your guests see. It is also the first room the energy entering your house has to cross, before it sees the rest of the house. It is obvious that the energy spreading within the house carries the flavor of the foyer. The foyer is often called the place of transition, as it may affect the career, social life and link with the outside world. The entryway should be open, useful, beautiful, clear, and expressive of you. It should reflect you in a personal way. If you don't have an open foyer area, be sure to light the space well and leave it as clear as possible.

Good lighting activates energy. Mirrors are complicated in Feng Shui, but you might try adding a mirror to open up the constricted space. Everything around your front door and inside your entryway should work well and look attractive. Doorknobs should turn easily; doors should open and close freely; and the rug should be firmly on the floor. Dark narrow foyers should be brightened up with lights and mirrors. Narrow, constrained, or dark entrances oppress our chi and can choke our luck, causing life to be a struggle. You can cure a proportionately small entrance door by hanging a mirror on both sides of the door to give the effect of a taller and wider entrance. Have the entrance as open as possible in order to enhance beneficial energy.

As important as the front door is in Feng Shui, so too is the pathway leading up to it. It should be well-lighted and clear of obstructions, including overgrown bushes or unrepaired sidewalks. Beautiful greeters such as brightly colored flowerpots, carved statues, fountains or outdoor art, should welcome you and your guests. Mark your front door with your house or apartment number. If a tree or bush is blocking the front door, there is not a way for the energy to enter harmoniously.

A clean, open pathway, preferably not in a straight line if it can be helped is the best way for energy to flow easily into the home. Some recommended treatments for pathways are solar lights, which literally light up their way into the home an the area outside of your door should be attractively landscaped, plants must be healthy and well trimmed.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Feng Shui: The Demystification


Feng Shui (pronounced "fung shway") is the Chinese practice and philosophy of object orientation, placement, and arrangement. The phrase literally means "wind water”, and operates on the premise that our living environment can help or hinder the flow of energy in our lives.

Followers take into consideration the energy flow throughout a structure, arranging furniture and decorations to enhance the wellness of a home or office. To get it all flowing, we need to have a living space that mimics the productive cycle of the natural world. To many, Feng Shui is a mystifying jumble of Baguas and compass points. But some of the most basic lessons of Feng Shui are easy to understand and supported by research.


According to the philosophy, energy (ch’i in Chinese) enters a home or office through the front door, which is considered “the mouth of ch’i." That energy is then dispersed throughout the dwelling, helped or hindered by objects placed within certain areas. In the practice Feng Shui the use of an ancient map called the Bagua determines the relationship among a number of "elements”, including health, knowledge, travel, and partnerships. Items such as, living plants and water features are placed strategically throughout a structure, as signs of life and movement generally are believed to improve energy flow and provide balance. However, creating the correct path for ch’i flow takes skill and patience, and many are unable to grasp the underlying principles.

While some disruptions in ch’i can be remedied by furniture placement according to the principles of Feng Shui, the accumulation of clutter is a big issue. People are so conditioned by society that more is better, but unfortunately, if your house is full, then so is your life, and there's no room for growth. Clutter can also symbolize a person's lack of trust in the future. Keeping your home filled with things you no longer use or love, or because 'you may need it someday' indicates your lack of trust in the universe for it to provide for you.

The spirituality surrounding the practice of Feng Shui does not appeal to everyone. The most important part of feng shui is the intention and belief behind it. Moving objects around doesn't automatically revitalize a person's life. There's a psychological aspect – it taps into your subconscious because you're surrounded by it, making a decision to adopt the principles of Feng Shui is a solid, physical affirmation.