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New Year 2017 Quick Tips

At the end of the year, whether you celebrate Chinese New Year or not, there are a few things you can do to allow for “clean chi” to enter your home, office or wherever for a fresh start to the upcoming year:

  1. DECLUTTER!  I say it a lot, but particularly now, it’s a wonderful way to allow for the energy of the new year into your space.
  2. Please, dust and clean.  Dust holds on to negative chi in your space. The only way to rid yourself of that stagnant, stale energy is to literally get rid of it.  Dust is a magnet to negative chi.  You’ll be glad that you cleaned it out if you take the time to do it.
  3. Move 27 things.  Really.  Rearrange, reconfigure, reorganize… it’s like a face lift for your space.  Yep, the magic number for this is 27.
  4. Kitchen purge!  Go through your spice rack, your pantry and your fridge – anything expired, about to expire that you know you won’t use – toss it!  Don’t let the new year hit with all of this “stuff” that is just taking up space. Also, dishes, glasses, bake-ware, etc that is chipped cracked or scratched should be let go of.  Your belongings should reflect a life of prosperity – particularly in the kitchen.
  5. WASH YOUR BEDDING… and pick up and wash any clothes hanging around your room.
  6. Dump all of your trash cans around your home or office. They should be empty as you ring in the new year.
  7. What’s in your purse/wallet? Go through it and toss anything that you don’t use like expired coupons, old receipts you don’t need, broken hair clips, pens that don’t write, etc….
  8. Clear your front door: This is the “Mouth of Chi” to your home and should be clean, neat and as openly accessible as possible.
  9. Roll in nine oranges!  Oranges symbolize wealth. buy nine (or ten) oranges and literally roll them INTO your house through the front door.  This symbolizes prosperity coming your way.  Displaying the oranges in a bowl on your kitchen table is indicative of the affluence coming your way for the  new year.
  10. Space clear. This is decluttering for the air in your home.  crack a couple of windows and walk around each room, clockwise, clapping your hands, ringing a metal bell, using a singing bowl, or whatever you would like to use. This literally cleanses the stagnant, heaviness you may or may not be feeling. yes, it does work when done with sincere intention.

Happy New Year to all!

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It’s “Hungry Ghosts Month”!

It’s “Hungry Ghosts Month”! 

Here’s the deal:

  • The seventh month of the Chinese calendar year is considered Hungry Ghosts Month. The dates this year are August 7th through September 4th.
  • Hungry Ghosts Month is when it is believed the spirits and souls of the dead who are in their stage of “limbo” and can occupy our world along with us, are set free to roam among us openly.  
  • It is believed that billions of spirits walk among us during this time.
  • As they do, they can cause havoc in our lives and make things very difficult for us. 
  • Appease these spirits, pay your respects and help them with “gifts” and empathy, and they will likely be less harmful and even more helpful to you.
  • The most common appeasement is incense. The smoke, most potently of sandalwood, sage or frankincense, is like a chocoholic eating a giant, triple chocolate cake!
  • Some people also leave oranges for them, some baked goods and burn money for them; all believed to calm them and get the on your side.
  • Ask them for their assistance once you’ve offered them their appeasement.
  • It is said that these spirits are attracted to dark, yin places.  Keep your home bright, open doors and windows to let some fresh air and sunshine in, and be sure your house is dust and clutter-free.
  • This year, August 20th is considered the most powerful day of Hungry Ghosts Month. This is when it is believed that all of the gates are open for the spirit world to mingle with ours.  It’s the most important day to appease them however possible.

 

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Feng Shui Within: Feng Shui and Fitness

*** Please consult with your doctor before taking on any kind of new physical activity. ***

When most people think of Feng Shui, they immediately think of energy (Chi), furniture placement, changing colors and patterns, de-cluttering even the interactions of the five elements. They may consider their external surroundings such as gardens and landscaping; or even the more cosmic aspects like Flying Star charts, Kua directions or Paht Chee.  These things are all very important.

We tend to neglect the internal aspect of the Feng Shui of our bodies though.  This is something I have come to take more and more seriously as I age.

Hitting my mid-forties (yikes!) and practicing Feng Shui professionally for many years now, I am more aware now than ever of my own inner Feng Shui.  This includes being mindful of the quality of nutrition that is consumed, the effects of medications (if any), awareness of breathing and the signals from the body that are trying to tell us something, consciousness of alignment and posture, and overall fitness.  If you are like me, it’s easy to let one or two of these things subside – after all, we’re all busy! We’ve got a lot on our minds!  It takes time and effort to stay on top of all of this!

This is my reminder to you and to myself, to keep current on all aspects of Feng Shui, including the Feng Shui within your own body. In this post, I’m focusing only on fitness.

Fitness doesn’t mean to hit a gym every day. It could be anything that keeps your body moving.  Gardening is a great example of this – push-mowing the lawn, raking leaves, planting, weeding… as well as vacuuming (cleaning in general), or washing your car yourself instead of taking it through a car wash. You could also spend time with kids or grandkids – kick the can or hide and go seek anyone?

Your fitness in particular is a lot like Feng Shui-ing your home:

  • You can’t just do it once.  One workout won’t keep you in shape for life, and one Feng Shui application will not last forever either.  It requires upkeep and sometimes a change.
  • Like exercising, Feng Shui is living and active. It constantly varies and needs attention.
  • A good workout is like moving 27 things: move 27 things in your home and feel a change somewhere in your life.  No, really – try it!
  • Cardio workouts, whether its sports, aerobics or a run on a treadmill, is like massive de-cluttering. Think about emptying the home of a hoarder.  It’s cleansing and revitalizing.
  • Sweat: the purging of impurities in your body is the equivalent to donating/selling/trashing all that no longer serves you in your home.
  • Be sure to drink water during (or after, depending on what you are doing) exercise.  This replenishes the pure, beneficial Chi of your body that will replace any impurities you released in your workout through breath, sweat and movement.
  • Try to breathe fresh air when working out – it’s like a space clearing of the body.
  • The cleaner the oxygen you breathe, the better your skin will look. Going for a run is like a fresh coat of paint on your shiny front door!
  • Long walks equal long life. Bike rides increase circulation. Swim to keep your joints from hurting. Use light weights to keep bones strong. Variation is a wonderful thing. It’s like activating every sector of your home with light and love.
  • A great workout, particularly one outdoors (like a hike, walk or jog, skating, skiing, snowboarding…) helps to alleviate brain fog and has been known to cure writer’s block.  Add that to cleaning all of your windows and you’ve got the clearest head on the block.
  • Strengthening your heart muscle with regular aerobic exercise is like a lifetime of free Merry Maids.
  • Being lazy has been proven to shorten your life.  Laziness in just about anything, including the upkeep of your good Feng Shui, seldom reaps any kind of benefit, if any at all.
  • Our bodies are our home.  It’s where we live. It’s the only home we will ever truly know.  Keep it clean.

I’m no doctor or expert on anatomy, but here is how I see it:  Human bodies are designed to move. We have a skeletal structure that gives us our frame, and our muscles give it movement, protection and support. Our blood is oxygenated by our breath and it is all contained in our flesh and skin. Our functional organs are protected within the skeletal and muscular system.  Our movements are controlled by our brain. When you think about it all, we are an amazing creation – no matter what your personal beliefs are on how we have been created. Truly, your body is a miracle and should be treated as such.  The importance of using your body in a functional way, keeping it moving and flowing every day, is crucial to your longevity and quality of life.

“A body in motion stays in motion. A body at rest tends to stay at rest.”

  ~  Part of Newton’s Law of Motion. 

It Makes sense, doesn’t it?  If the upkeep of your home is important to you, why wouldn’t the preservation of your body be? Keep on moving.  Even in a small way. Do what you can for yourself and the people who love you.  ♥

*** Please consult with your doctor before taking on any kind of new physical activity. ***

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Smudge Spray is Here!

If you are reading this you probably already know how important it is to clear your space of stagnant or negative energies.  Now you don’t have to put up with the smoke to do it!  Earth Home Smudge Spray is an effective alternative to the fire hazard, and keeps the air fresh and clean. It is now available here: http://www.fselements.com/new-feng-shui-store/

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Long Live Cicadas!

After a whopping 17 years of brewing underground, cicadas will emerge this spring in the northeastern United States.  It is said that their numbers will be in the billions!  Yes, BILLIONS, with a B!  They may very well be viewed as pests, but the good news is that they don’t bite or sting, and they actually assist in the redistribution of nature’s nutrients.  Since cicadas live underground for 17 years, some are as old as 18 making them the longest-living insect known.

More good news about the cicada from a Feng Shui standpoint: Mostly because of their incredibly long life, cicadas are regarded as a symbol of immortality, happiness and eternal youth. For centuries, the Chinese would wear them as a talisman around their necks.  Not real cicadas of course, they are usually carved out of jade. They would also bury their loved ones with one of these jade carvings in order to assure them a long, safe and happy afterlife. If you are lucky enough to find one of these jade-carved cicadas, wear it on your body to bring good fortune and to protect you from danger and dishonesty.

If you live in a region where this infestation might take place – as you observe their perhaps overbearing presence and hear the song of the male mating call – try to recall the high regard of which these creatures have been held and chalk it up to good fortune heading your way.  ♥

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What Are You Saving It For???

This is one of those things we all do: save things for just the right “occasion”. Maybe it’s for a holiday, for “company”, for when we have kids, for when we have grand kids, in case we buy a puppy, or there is a zombie apocalypse…. USE IT!  If you cherish it so much to NOT use it, why not actually experience how great you think it is now.  Most people never do get to enjoying whatever “it” is.  Remember, keeping things around unused could contribute to clutter in your home. Besides, you are SO worth it. Enjoy!!

Here are some of the most common ones that I’ve heard from my clients. I bet you’ll find one or two that you are saving as well:

Soaps

Towels

The good dishes

Candles

Makeup

Foods in your pantry

Wine, Champagne

Clothes, Shoes

Stationary, Cards

I would love to hear about other things you “save” in your own home for whatever reason, so let me know! I have loved hearing the rationalizations also.

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Feng Shui Basics: Clutter Part 4 – “Hidden” Clutter

It’s time for Spring Cleaning!

We all know to de-clutter our closets, drawers and cabinets. We’ve been through the basement a hundred times weeding out what we no longer need. We’ve kept clothing to a reasonable capacity in our closets.

I’m here to remind you that clearing out old, stagnant items increases the Chi in your home and in your mind. It opens you up to more opportunities including love, wealth and happiness.

Here are some ideas for de-cluttering that you may be less likely to have thought of.

Bathroom Stuff
Do you have 8 half-used shampoos under your sink because you get tired of them mid-bottle and can’t fathom wasting the rest? Make a point to use them up one by one to get them out from under there. Same is true for soaps, lotions, perfumes, etc…. Since they may not be full portions, you will be less likely to get tired of them before you finish them up. If you truly don’t like them, see if someone else in your home might, or just throw them away. Don’t feel bad about tossing it. You now know not to get that brand. Think if it as a learning experience. Recycle the plastic if you can. Don’t give it too much energy though. Remember, the task is just to clear your space!

Towels
I recently met someone who designated an entire closet to towels that have worn out so bad that he will not use them any longer. So why keep them? Cut them up and use them as rags, use a few to cover things if you do messy crafts or painting. Get rid of the rest!

Medications
Go through all of your medications, both prescription and OTC wherever you keep them in your home, and check the expiration dates. If the date has passed, or if you no longer require that particular med, get rid of it. The FDA suggests that if you throw medication in the trash, that you mix it with undesirable trash such as coffee grounds. Your local pharmacy may also collect expired and unused medications.

Kitchen Stuff
Empty your fridge, wipe down every shelf and replace only what you will eat/drink, what is not expired and is what you know will be used. Repeat with freezer, which is even more likely to have things in it far past their lifespan.

Go through your cabinets. If you have seven mixing bowls and you do not bake, get rid of at least five. Chipped or cracked plates or cups should be tossed. Everything should be in perfect working order. If it is not, it’s clutter.

Most kitchen pantries include expired items. Flour and baking items should be the first to go if they are expired! My doctor advises to replace unused flour every year and that’s what I do. Also, I’m from a generation where my grandparents/parents stockpiled canned goods. These also expire! Check all dates and discard what is past. Many people don’t realize that spices expire, or they don’t think to check the bottles. Make this part of your spring cleaning every year.

Feng Shui Your Electronics!
Go through emails and delete out everything that you don’t need, gives you bad feelings or do not wish to associate with. Unsubscribe or inquire about cutting down the frequency from mailing lists that contact you more often than you care to receive them. Go through your “Sent” mail also, delete out what you don’t need. Remember to also delete the deleted stuff!

Go through files and photos on your computer, phone, tablet, etc… and weed out what does not serve you as useful, helpful or is a positive memory.

Do the same with documents.

Do the same with downloads.

If you have legal documents on your computer, consult an attorney or your accountant depending on the nature of the document. Otherwise, delete and also delete the recycle bin to clear it completely from your life.

Note: If you are on the fence about clearing something off of your computer that is unattainable, my advice is to keep it – at least long enough to think about it more.

Music CDs, movies, workout videos, games and outdated media should be considered while de-cluttering. You could even clear out old shows you’ve recorded on your DVR that you no longer wish to watch.

Do you keep old messages on your phone that no longer serve any purpose? Especially if they are upsetting or do not contain information you particularly need. It’s time to let them go.

Purses and Wallets
If you are like me and change your purse every few months, you might be cleaning it out at least that often.  Really consider what you actually need to carry around with you and if you haven’t used it yet then you probably don’t need it with you everywhere you go.  Check expiration dates on credit cards, coupons and offers you may be hanging onto from various stores.  Discard or file old receipts.  Finally, wipe clean your purse or wallet as best as you can.  If you ever put your purse on the floor this is a Feng Shui no-no!  Use an antibacterial wipe on it, including on the handle if the material will allow. Same for wallets. Dr. Oz has actually advocated for using antibacterial wipes on the inside of it as well, and on the inside of luggage before you travel.

An important reminder about de-cluttering in general: Do not give away, donate or sell anything that is chipped, passed its expiration date, cracked broken or not working in any way. This will only yield bad karma for you. Being charitable is one of the most rewarding things you can be, but make sure it is done with an honest and sincere heart. Also, don’t let being paid for something lead you to being dishonest about the quality of it. Remember: Karma!

This is an infinite topic of which I can go on and on and on. More to come soon!

♥  HAPPY SPRING !  ♥

PS – You may also like to review Feng Shui Basics: Clutter Parts 1, 2 and 3 all within this blog.