Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Energy of Travel

We all long to create an easy flow in our lives. One way to do this is to use Feng Shui, the ancient art developed by the Chinese to increase the flow of positive energy ("chi") in any environment. "Feng Shui" literally means "wind and water"... two elements occurring in nature that represent positive movement and flow.

You may have heard of using Feng Shui in your home or a room, but did you know its principles can also be used to promote a positive flow of energy during your vacation? Here are some Feng Shui tips that will help make your getaway the relaxing time-out you've been looking forward to.

One of the best things about Feng Shui is that it's portable. That's good news for people who travel on business. Just because you're leaving familiar surroundings doesn't mean you can't be comfortable on the road. If you'd like to reap the benefits of Feng Shui while traveling on business, try some tried and true tips.

When you travel whether for business or pleasure, don't invite chaos by leaving chaos behind. If you leave your home in chaos, you will attract the same energy during your travels. This can manifest as problems with hotel rooms, difficult airline connections or other snafus.

Before your leave home

To ensure a safe and stress-free journey, before leaving prepare your home for a welcoming return. Pay particular attention to the kitchen - give away or throw out any leftovers or outdated food, and be sure to empty all trash cans. Garbage of any kind is stagnating and reduces the flow of energy. Stock your cabinets, too, so you are greeted with a feeling of abundance when you get home.
If you will be away for more than a few days, ask a friend to care for your plants, open the curtains on the day of your return to let the light in to allow the house to be re-energized for your return.

The Energy of Travel

Let's face it, travel isn't quite the glamorous experience that it used to be --- "times have changed" ... and this certainly holds true with travel. It's not that people are traveling any less. In fact, statistics show that we are traveling more and further away from home. Travelers are seeking destinations that offer a unique cultural experience that hasn't been exploited yet. Feng Shui is all about energy and the balanced flow of energy. Can good energy affect the success of your trip? Absolutely! Today, it is more essential than ever before that we prepare ourselves for a trip. I have a number of suggestions that will make your travel experience more enjoyable, which in turn will create positive energy for yourself and for others around you.

Passport


The first step is to have what you need! When you start planning your trip and before you actually book it, take the time to locate your passport and ensure it is valid for longer than 6 months beyond your travel dates. If not, apply for a new passport right away.

Luggage


Be sure to love this essential. Check your luggage at least 2 weeks prior to your trip. Most scheduled airlines now allow 2 pieces of checked luggage (less than 50 lbs each). The bottom line is to travel light. Take only those clothes that you will need and love.  How many times have you come home from a trip and notice that you only wore half of what you packed? Leave space for new things to come into your life. What colors do you love? Think of the colors that will attract what you desire - think about relationships, creativity and abundance.

Check-In

Start your trip well prepared and rested. Airlines are notorious these days for over-booking flights and you do not want to be the last in line to find out all the seats are taken. Arrive at the airport well in advance of your flight to avoid last minute panic.

Arrival


Look after your personal energy. Avoid specific time commitments for the first few days so you can ease into your new destination, allowing yourself the time to get over jet lag. One of the best ways to do this is to spend as much time outdoors during the daylight hours and avoid any naps during the day. The sooner you can get on local time the faster your jet lag will go away. Pamper yourself with a beautiful bath by candlelight or a relaxing massage.

Yin Accommodations


Book a yin hotel room early. Request a room far away from elevators and staircases and not overlooking a busy street. These areas of each floor will affect your rest periods. Once settled, you can transform your new home away from home into a tranquil space for you to enjoy. Once settled, use the space clearing suggestions to clear the predecessor energy. I also recommend that you bring fresh flowers into the room and light your travel candles to complete the transformation.

Enjoy


Put your positive intentions into your trip. Be prepared to open your mind to all the sights, sounds and experiences that you visualized while planning the trip.
Enjoy the energy of the local people and let this new adventure begin!

Air Travel

Good Feng Shui requires space for energy to circulate freely. Since space is at a premium on an airplane, it's a good idea to reserve a seat in an exit row. This will give you a little more room to stretch your legs. There's no better way to cultivate positive chi than taking steps to ensure a comfortable, smooth trip.

Travel Tips

Keep the toilet seat down & the bathroom door closed.
Open the windows as often as possible & allow natural sunlight into the room.
Booking a room with a balcony or terrace will offer you good opportunities for fresh air.

Lodging Tips

Feng Shui, the ancient Chinese practice of arranging space to achieve harmony, is now being used in hotels worldwide. If your hotel has a Feng Shui design, you should feel comfortable, relaxed, and welcomed immediately. When selecting a hotel, you can remember some of the
following Feng Shui tips.

The bed that you are going to sleep in should not be directly lined with the door. This will also expose you to light from the hallway and noise that will interrupt your sleep.

If you stay on the top floor, you won't have footsteps overhead. Higher rooms are better because there is less weight on top of you.

Lighting should be neither too bright nor too dim.

Sharp corners and exposed overhead beams can also disrupt the flow of chi. A protruding corner creates a direct hit of chi.

A heavy smell of air freshener may indicate that there are other problems with cleanliness. These air fresheners also add to the staleness of a room. If the window won't open, then the smell can become overwhelming quickly.

Make sure you're in a hotel with windows that can open. Stagnant air is unhealthy. Open the windows to let fresh air into your room when you first arrive. Getting the air moving is a great way to increase the chi. Take favorite scents from home with you, such as your favorite scented candle or incense.

Large mirrors make the chi more active, which keeps you awake. Feng Shui professionals suggest hanging a scarf over the mirror and the television to keep them from reflecting so much light and active energy.

Remember, a vacation getaway is all about relaxation and rejuvenation. If a hotel room doesn't meet your needs or standards, do not hesitate to ask for another. Bon voyage!

Lodging Essentials

Request a hotel room far away from elevators and staircases and not overlooking a busy street. These areas of each floor will affect your rest and tranquility.

Scents

Hotel rooms often have an impersonal feel. You can correct this problem by taking a small bottle of lavender essential oil on your trips. When you arrive at your hotel, dab two drops of oil on the light bulb closest to your bed. (Make sure the light bulb is cool when you apply the oil.) Then switch on the light. Within minutes, your room will be filled with the soothing scent of lavender. If you don't like the smell of lavender, try regenerative rosemary oil.

Poison Arrows

Large mirrors make the chi more active, which keeps you awake. Take some large scarves or pachminas with you to enhance your hotel room. Hang a scarf over the mirror and the television to keep them from reflecting so much light and active energy. Place a scarf over sharp corners of night tables or furniture, as sharp corners can disturb the flow of positive chi. Place a scarf over any image on the wall that is unpleasant to you. We want to surround ourselves with uplifting and inspiring images.

Healthy Chi

Make sure you're in a hotel with windows that can open, better yet request a room with a balcony or terrace. Stagnant air is unhealthy. Open the windows to let fresh air into your room when you first arrive. Getting the air moving is a great way to increase the chi. Take your favorite scents from home with you, such as your favorite scented candle or incense.

EMF

In your hotel room, make sure the telephone and alarm clock are on the floor and not next to your ears. Being awakened abruptly can chase your relaxed mood as well as keeping the pesky "electro-magnetic fields" away from you.

Lift the Chi

Flowers are an inexpensive indulgence that can really lift the chi to your hotel room. Each time you see them; they will remind you of your "blooming possibilities" and be grateful for a safe and pleasurable journey.

Empowered position

If you travel with your laptop for business, you should set it where it will empower you. Keeping your laptop in the far left corner of your hotel room will energize your prosperity corner. A screensaver depicting a green, leafy forest or a flourishing garden can boost your money-making prospects. You can also select an image that is directly related to your business.

Space Clearing 

Space Clearing is a simple proven technique that immediately and profoundly cleanses and heightens the energy in an environment.  The ritual of smudging can be defined as "spiritual house cleaning." In theory, the smoke attaches itself to negative energy and as the smoke clears it takes the negative energy with it, releasing it into another space where it will be regenerated into positive energy.

Do a mini space clearing to cleanse your hotel room, cruise cabin, or vacation property of predecessor energy and prepare your environment to accept your personal energy. Burning white sage throughout the space followed up with incense or your favorite scented oil or candle.

Road Warrior

If the ancient Chinese had driven motor vehicles, they would have used the principles of Feng Shui on them, no doubt! Clear negative energy from your car, increase a sense of clarity and protection, prevent road rage by encouraging serenity while you drive.

Clean your car

Those old papers, cans, bottles, and wrappers create chaotic, stuck energy. Don't forget your trunk, glove box and the other nooks where negative energy might accumulate. Have a trash receptacle, and use it. Clearing out the clutter will make you feel a positive difference in the energy inside your car.

Wash the windows

The windows are the eyes of your car.Clean windows allow good energy to enter from outside, besides making it easier to have adequate visibility!

Smudging or "space clearing" your car

Some traditions believe burning sage, sweet grass or a mix of sage, cedar and lavender in a bowl or abalone shell can bless and purify the space before you set off.

Sprinkle sea salt 

Spread some sea salt on the floor of the car as it can absorb negativity, but make sure you vacuum it out regularly.

Make it smell good 

Instead of chemical-filled scented trees, hang a container of essential oils from your rearview mirror. Lemon and ylang ylang are stimulating and can help keep you alert during long drives. Rosemary and lavender are soothing and peaceful, great to prevent road rage.

Keep water in your car

Drinking water clears your energy and mind. Water represents a smooth flow, when you're driving, you want a smooth, flowing experience. Water energy can also make it easier to cope with transportation woes.

Crystals

Hang a small crystal from your rear view mirror. The crystal represents the light of the sun, which is uplifting, and will also bring the colors of the rainbow into the car.

Choose your intention via your music

If you want to chill out, listen to relaxing music, such as jazz or classical. If you want to stay alert, opt for energizing music. Music stimulates your attitude.Part of Feng Shui is intention. What do you want to experience? Put on that kind of music.
Create protection: Place objects on your console such as a key chain of your spiritual guides to remove travel obstacles and protection you during your trip.


If the ancient Chinese had driven motor vehicles, I have no doubt that they would have used the principles of Feng Shui on them. Clear negative energy from your car, increase a sense of clarity and protection, and prevent road rage by encouraging serenity while you drive

The Mobile Excursion

Feng Shui is usually thought of for permanent homes and buildings. What about trailers - be they in trailer parks or even for travel. Don't these dwellings or temporary residences not deserve the benefits of the practices and disciplines of Feng Shui as well?

To benefit from Feng Shui all homes must have a connection to the earth, Mother Earth, which is well grounded and has strength as well as firmness.  Traditional homes have a foundation to connect them to the solid earth.  Obviously, this is what mobile homes lack. Most mobile homes have built-in stands and levelers to support the foundation -  use them.  In addition, you can place some kind of covering around the base of your mobile home.  The key is not to have the underside of your vehicle open and exposed.  By doing so you will provide another excellent way to provide a grounding element, otherwise energy will pass and move quickly by your life and travels. Providing some type of permanent or even semi-permanent foundation, travelers can enjoy the benefits of Feng Shui with all of its inherent luck and powers.

The goals of this whole exercise is get "Chi" into the front door of your home - be it a permanent fixture or highway bound. The front door to any home can be considered of primary importance - the very "mouth of Chi". Hence the front door, which is perhaps the only door on your wandering recreation vehicle, is a critical area when it comes to Feng Shui, and the practice and discipline of Feng Shui. This is where the energy enters - or worse - does not enter your home away from home.
Making a few changes with the wisdom and powers of Feng Shui can make all the difference in the world. No reason to live in a trailer, whether it be a permanent dwelling or mobile home, and not have these wonderful benefits to your life as well as the lives of friends and family.



One of the best things about Feng Shui is that it's portable. Today, it is more essential than ever before that we prepare ourselves for a trip. That's good news for people who travel on business or for pleasure. Just because you're leaving familiar surroundings doesn't mean you can't be comfortable on the road. 

Make your travel experience more enjoyable, which in turn will create positive energy for yourself and for others around you. 

www.balancedlivinginc.com





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.