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Wind & Water School of Feng Shui Articles

Feng Shui in the Closet: Getting the Skeletons Out

By Carole Hyder

clothes closetIn Feng Shui, closets hold as much importance as a living room or a bedroom. They are not hidden areas that can be ignored—-just because you can close the door on a closet, it doesn’t follow that they have no influence. A closet can be an asset or a detriment depending on its condition.

Along with taking up valuable space somewhere in your space (the money area, the relationship area, health, career), closets also represent the subconscious. By cleaning out or re-organizing a closet, whatever issue or aspect of your life that is stuck may suddenly come up for examination.

Here are three ways you can treat your closet for maximum support:

  1. Contain the closet energy – Have a door, curtain or screen in front of the closet opening. The distraction from the closet will be muted and will help you sleep better.
  2. Respect the items in your closet – Use the same kind of boxes for storage; label the boxes; use the same kind of hangers for clothes. When you open your closet door, you want to be inspired not besieged.
  3. Remove unused things systematically – By removing a certain number of clothing items each week or after each shopping trip, a habit forms that keeps your clothes up-to-date. Whether you dislike something or it’s reached its expiration date in your mind and you’re tired of it, make a regular practice of eliminating these clothes.

Closets are notorious for gathering clutter, so you need to keep a watchful eye. Make sure the light works if there is one; the door swings open easily or slides smoothly without coming off the track; the walls are a color you love; and the shelves are sturdy.  A closet is a holding place, not a junk room.

Feng Shui on the Road: Travel Tips

feng shui travel tipsBy Lisa Janusz

Summertime means many people will be “on the road.” It’s a time for family vacations, weddings, reunions and other events. If you are one of the many that will embark on a trip this year, don’t forget to take your Feng Shui with you!
Here are some tips to keep you moving in the right direction (yes, pun intended!).

Clear the clutter. Most Feng Shui practitioners are practically Clutter Police. For how many people keep non-car items, garbage and miscellaneous papers in their vehicle, we could spend all day pulling people over and writing tickets. The effect of clutter in your car is as significant as the clutter in your home. Clutter can cause you to feel overwhelmed or “stuck.” Before your road trip, make sure that everything in your car is necessary and relevant.

  • Pare it down. Do you need 12 pens, 3 flashlights, the extra shoes, etc?
  • Have a place for things that you need. Buy a pencil case to keep in your glove compartment or maybe a small zipper bag to hold pen and paper. Put a basket or crate in your trunk with emergency supplies. At the very least if you don’t have a garbage bag, get one. Show your car and your items that you value them.

Make it “you.” You don’t need to decorate the whole car, but do make this traveling home a reflection of you. Maybe it’s as small as picking out a steering wheel cover that is your favorite color, having a favorite gemstone on the dash or a postcard of a great destination in the glove box. Be creative and put a little “you” in what you drive.

Stay connected to home. It can be freeing to be on the road…but it’s also nice to know you have a place to return. Have every family member bring a piece of “home” with them. Whether it’s a scent, sound or object, it can create that sense of security no matter where you land. Again, it doesn’t need to be big (and probably shouldn’t be). A travel candle in a favorite scent, a song that you listen to while getting ready in the morning, a pillow, blanket or lucky coin can be all you need. If challenges arise, these will help you remember that you have a home base waiting for you.

As you get ready to embark on your next adventure, remember that your “home away from home” is as important as where you lay your head most nights. Make it special and supportive. At least by packing those ruby slippers, you are reminded of home and know that you will be there soon enough.

Top 6 Feng Shui Tips for Home Decor

By Lisa Janusz

Feng Shui Tips ArticleFeng Shui, the ancient art of placement for balance and harmony, is considered both an art and a science. Not only does FengShui help with creating beautiful design and flow in spaces, but also people often see major life shifts through its practice!

Even though it’s an ancient Chinese practice, Feng Shui is still relevant today. In fact, many of its basic tenets can and should be applied to our modern living spaces. For example, many professional Feng Shui consultants have backgrounds in interior design because the two align so beautifully. Whether you are your own decorator or use a professional, Feng Shui can help guide you toward beautiful and impactful choices.

As featured on Om Times, here are 6 ways to incorporate Feng Shui into your home décor

Booked on Feng Shui: Your Books Speak Volumes

Ying Yang bookshelf

By Carole Hyder

Most people own books of some sort-textbooks, novels, self-help, biographies. Some people have skads of books – so many, in fact, that they’re stored in boxes in the basement because there are not enough bookshelves to hold them all. There are some people who can’t let go of their college textbooks from 30 to 40 years ago. Others love their books so much they wouldn’t think of keeping them in boxes – stacking them in various corners waiting for the right place to call home.

Setting up a library or a library area is always a good plan for someone who owns a lot of books. The extra bedroom could become a quiet reading spot where shelving would make the books accessible. An unused formal dining room may convert beautifully to a formal library, complete with floor-to-ceiling shelves and a rolling ladder to access the most remote volume. Sometimes a purging is required to get the books to fit appropriately into a space.

Because books represent the opinions and stories of others, they do need Feng Shui consideration for proper integration. Here are a few ideas of where and how books are appropriately, or inappropriately, placed:

  1. Books should be maintained in an upright or horizontal position. Since books (due to their different size and color) easily turn into a haphazard assortment, keeping them neatly in place will help. I’ve taken to storing the books I have in my office according to color – it works for me!
  2. Never store books in your bedroom.  Books represent the voice/opinion of the author and therefore bring with them a lot of  vibration and “noise.” Other than the book or two you may be reading at night, store the rest of them elsewhere.
  3. Having books near the front door sends a positive message to those who visit that you are studious, well-read and appreciate intellectual pursuits.

Books are our friends. Treat them respectfully and with care. If they’re taped up in boxes in your basement, it may be time to let them out. Libraries are always looking for used books, so are used book stores. If it’s no longer being read or appreciated, it is time to turn the page on your books and bring them to a happy ending.

 

Crossing the Threshold of Opportunities: Feng Shui for Your Career

hand on door knobBy Lisa Janusz

When people find out I’m a Feng Shui consultant, I’ll often hear, “I know you are supposed to paint your front door red.” And it’s true. Or not. Depending.

Confused? Don’t be. The origins of this statement come from the belief that your front door is your “calling card” to the world. Red became associated with it because it is said to be an auspicious color. So, if you love that color, then yes, paint your door red! If red’s not your thing, then don’t. Pick a color that you love and that makes you happy.

In Feng Shui we associate front doors with new opportunities. Front doors are the “mouths of chi” where energy enters your home. Because they are about opportunities, the front door is related to careers as well.

If you are looking for a new career opportunity or to ramp up your career, this is the place to start. What is happening at your front door? (Inside and outside!) What is your message to the world?

Make sure:

  • It’s welcoming. Paint your front door a color you love that stands out from the rest of the house. Check your house numbers. Add flowers.
  • It’s clear of clutter to allow new opportunities to come in.
  • Everything around there is alive. Remove any dead plants that were left out over the winter if they won’t re-bloom in the spring. It’s better to have an empty pot (at least there’s potential there).
  • You have a place for your “things.” You may not want all the shoes to pile there, but if they do, have a place for them. Figure out a system so it doesn’t look like chaos.
  • You use your front door at least weekly. (Yes, even if you have an attached garage!) You will see your house in a whole new perspective.

Whether your front door is red, yellow or blue (or any other color for that matter), have it send the message that you invite opportunities. At the very least, if it’s a color you love, it will put a smile on your face. And that is good energy.

Year of the Horse – 2014

year-of-horse-greenBy Carole Hyder

The format of the Chinese calendar is comprised of two components:  an animal and an element from the 5 Chinese Element system. Each year there’s a new animal and every other year a new Element.The year 2014 is symbolized by the Horse and by Wood. The Horse itself has its own Element which is that of Fire so, in theory, this year is represented by Fire and Wood. These two Elements are related in a constructive way since Wood feeds Fire so typically the expectations could be that this would be a harmonious year.

However, this year, the Wood is strong, stubborn and opinionated; the Horse is powerful, charismatic and quick. This is going to be one of those years when you will need to hang onto the reins. Some of this high energy will be exhilarating and some of it will be explosive.

According to Feng Shui Master Raymond Lo, the Wood Horse year is a symbol of optimism and enthusiasm for new innovations and progress. This is definitely a recipe for rebirth and growth—-a time when you won’t want to hesitate with your plans and decisions because everything is going to happen very quickly. That said, this kind of energy can be a set-up for international conflicts, squelching any idea that we might be moving into a time of peace.

For some this Wood Horse energy can be a welcome change after the wishy-washy, vacillating energy of the Snake in 2013.  Debra Duneier, in her article published in the Huffington Post, says that the Horse “will bring you fast successes, exciting journeys and unexpected passion and romance.  This is a lucky year when hard work and determination bring triumph”. I say, just don’t get swept away by the mesmerizing gallop of this magical Horse. It’s a good time to welcome in transformation and move in a new direction, but it always pays to proceed with caution.

When the lunar New Year arrives on January 31 (solar on February 4), it will be a good time to release the old and welcome the new.  To enhance the energy of the Wood Horse, make sure your intentions for 2014 are clear and focused. Place a healthy green plant on your desk to be a reminder to you of all that you want to accomplish.

New Year Intention

hand holding compassBy Lisa Janusz

Who will you be in 2014? I love the quote by George Bernard Shaw, “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” What a wonderful quote – both empowering and full of possibilities.

Now with the New Year upon us, many people are thinking about the past year. We review the opportunities, challenges, successes and regrets. We think about where we’ve been and where we want to go. Hopefully we’re taking that a step further and thinking about the direction involved.

Intention is a key component of Feng Shui work. If you’ve done adjustments at home, you know it’s not just about moving something or placing something that is the most important. It is the reasoning and process behind it; the “why?” That’s when it becomes powerful.

So this year, instead of making several resolutions, how about creating one intention for your entire year? One resolution that speaks to the person you want to create. If that appeals, here are a few ideas to get you moving in that direction.

Write it out. Don’t just think about it. There’s something powerful about committing it to paper. This can also help you clarify your goal.

Be specific. Go farther than something broad like “get healthy.” Think about 2-3 actions that will make that happen (eat at least 2 healthy meals every day, exercise at least 4 times a week, avoid sugary drinks, etc.).

Honor it. Take your intention and place it somewhere special. If you are familiar with the bagua, place in the corresponding area. If you aren’t sure, you could pick one of these three areas: 1) by your front door (where opportunities “knock”), 2) your bedroom (especially if it supports a dream) or 3) in the center of your home (that area influences all others).

You could also take time to make a vision card and put it somewhere prominent that reminds you of your intention (and the possibilities!) daily.

Support it. Make yourself accountable to achieving steps in that direction. Celebrate your successes. If it’s engaging in a new hobby – buy a book, take a class, ask a friend for help.

Enjoy the journey. Most stories of success are not a straight line. That aligns well with Feng Shui; we like things to “flow.” Sometimes it’s that bend in the road that helps you see a better path.

As you think about 2014, I hope you’re excited. That’s great energy to take into the year ahead. It’s a year of potential for creating YOU. Whatever your goal is, I hope you take the time to plan a route. And I hope you use intention as a driving force.

Revving Up Your New Year’s Resolutions with Feng Shui

loose changeBy Carole J. Hyder

Since Feng Shui is based on a direct relationship between your space and your life, you can enlist your space to help you with your New Year’s resolutions. By placing a symbol that represents your resolution, you will have a trigger that will remind you to stay on track. What you’re doing is making a change in your space to mirror a change you want in your life.

Here are some ideas for using your space to support your New Year’s resolutions:

  1. If your resolution involves earning more money, then place a covered container near the front door, in which each day you will deposit all your change. This container may be a decorative box or a piggy bank. It’s important that it be covered so that your resolution remains confidential as well as to prevent you or anyone else from easily grabbing some of the money on the way out the door, thereby diminishing your savings.
  2. If your resolution has to do with health, like working out more, or eating better, or losing weight, or getting to the bottom of a particular condition, then place a round bowl, ceramic or porcelain is best, in the kitchen. Fill it with fruit or nuts or leave it completely empty, symbolic of receiving a new perspective on health.
  3. When aspiring to new goals around your career, place a plant on your desk to represent growth in this area. Keep the plant watered and fertilized; if that’s a problem, use a beautiful artificial one.
  4. If your resolution is about improving your relationship, select a photo or memento from a happy time in that relationship, like a wedding picture, or a fun vacation taken together, or a photo taken on an anniversary. Place this photo somewhere in the bedroom where it will be obviously seen.

Keep in mind that if you let your outward symbol get kicked around, or pushed to the side, or left to die (like the plant), this will be an opportunity for you to look at how you really feel about making the change it represents. Your dedication to the care and upkeep of the object will tell you how sincere and serious you are about the upkeep of your resolution.

Creating Calm During the Holidays: A Feng Shui Guide

Christmas Table DecorationBy Lisa Janusz

It always throws me off to see holiday decorations out so early. I am one of those that longs for the days of yore when they didn’t come out until the day after Thanksgiving. Now stores are stocking them before Halloween! It seems to push the frantic-ness of the season forward – resulting in energy that impacts us longer.

Even if it’s your “favorite time of year,” the hustle and bustle can be overwhelming. Luckily Feng Shui can help with that! You can use some basic principles to guide your décor this holiday season.

  • Use decorations you love. No matter what time of the year it is, the principle is the same: if you don’t love it or use it, release it. Every year I go through my decorations. In addition to veering away from red and green, I’ve also seen my tastes change over the years. Of course I still keep some sentimental decorations, but I’ve gotten pretty ruthless in letting things go.
  • Use decorations that align with the “feeling” that you want around you. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that people start adding fire-y décor (candles, lights, the color red) to their spaces, in addition to adding MORE stuff, and they start to feel overwhelmed. What surrounds us affects us. This year start by asking, “How do I want my home to feel?” To calm your space, think about paring down what you put on display. Also try adding a few unsaturated colors to balance the saturation of the reds, greens, and blues that typically dominate.
  • Lastly – and maybe most importantly – create a sacred space to support you. Keep one or more rooms (like your bedroom) free of seasonal decorations. Set up a place that is just for you to relax. This could be away from the décor, or it might within it. I like sitting in our living room with the only sources of light being the Christmas tree and a few candles. The active energy of those is nicely balanced by the darkness and quietness of the night. It becomes a time to reflect, relax, enjoy and be grateful.

The holidays can bring with them a range of emotions – uplifting and challenging. So…go forth, take charge and create a space to help you through what may (or may not) be your “favorite time of year.”

Looking for more holiday decorating tips? Listen to our recorded call from last year. Just register here to get access.

Adding Some New Energy

Lisa posted about changing her pillow covers. With Feng Shui we know that small changes can reap big results…but in this case, it’s just an energetic shift bringing some renewed energy.

group-after

If you want to see the before and after pics: http://www.inspirechi.com/pillow-talk/

 

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