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Wind & Water School of Feng Shui Blog

A Time for Thank You: Appreciating Your Home

Thank You NoteBy Carole Hyder

During this season of giving thanks for the beautiful and abundant life that we have, I remind students, clients, friends, and myself that it’s also the time to give thanks to your home.

If you have no issues with your home and have, in fact, had a nice connection with it, writing a thank-you will solidify this positive relationship.

Writing a thank-you to your home, however, can go a long way in bringing some relief to a troubled and ailing space.  It’s helpful when you’re unhappy with your home for whatever reason.  Rather than looking to move or harboring resentments, a cheaper and easier action to take is to write your home a thank-you note.

Here’s how to write a thank-you to your home:

  1. Use an actual thank-you note or special stationery to write your letter.  Due to the small size of a typical thank-you, you will have to keep your message short and succinct.
  2. Start with “Dear___________.”  If you have a name for your home, you can insert here.  If not “Dear Home” is fine.
  3. List two reasons you are thankful for your home.  Examples:  I want to thank you for making me feel safe.  I appreciate how you keep me warm all winter long.
  4. Outline two actions you will take regarding your home.  Examples:  I promise to get the back door fixed before winter.  I promise to finish painting the bathroom.  I promise to clear out the clutter in the basement.
  5. Sign off with your name.  Love, __________.  All the best, ___________.
  6. Place the thank-you note in a special place in your home—-in your nightstand drawer, under a plant near the front door, under your pillow.

Writing a thank-you does not take the place of cleaning your home or making needed repairs or beautifying it.  But perhaps coming from a grateful heart will make the actions to which you committed more meaningful and healing.

Security Design is Good Feng Shui

house exteriorBy Carol Martinson

The motivation for most people to integrate Feng Shui is because they want to feel good in their space. They want to feel an underlying order, a natural flow, a sense of beauty.

This all makes them feel empowered, confident and safe.  This last word, however, could have another meaning when it comes to protecting their home and themselves from intruders—–security.

In security design, there is a practice called Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED). It has three basic tenants:  1) Natural Access Control, 2) Natural Surveillance, and 3) Territorial Reinforcement. The concept is that you can make intentional changes to space and impact behavior and reduce crime.

Sound familiar? Feng Shui is all about making intentional changes to our space to impact our lives, and many of its basic tenants are strikingly similar to the concepts of CPTED:

  1. Natural access control focuses on creating a well-defined entrance for users of the space that is clean, clear, and approachable. A great way for the Chi to find the entrance.
  2. Natural surveillance emphasizes visibility – being able to see in and out of a space knowing that you can approach a new space safely. The landscaping is not overgrown and there are not barriers or other design features of a home or business that turn you away from the space.
  3. Territorial reinforcement clearly defines the ownership of a space often done through layers of landscaping, fencing, signage, or pavement. It begins at the street and goes to the front door and beyond into the space. It helps you control your space and tells people that this is a good place to live, work, learn, or do business.

Whether working with a business, home, or school design team, these concepts meld together to create a space where people feel comfortable, safe and secure, and serene.  This is becoming increasingly apparent in the design of schools since it is so critical to build a safe and secure school, but also one that is open and provides the ultimate learning experience.

Applying the concepts of Feng Shui in concert with CPTED enhances the design and ultimate feel of any space.

Carol A. Martinson (2)Carol Martinson is a Wind & Water School of Feng Shui Certified Graduate and Master, and the President of Intentional Security Design, Inc.

Contact Carol

About That Clutter You Don’t See – How to Deal with Virtual Clutter

computer and tabletBy Lisa Janusz

It’s a technological world we live in. You can access information within seconds by using a few keystrokes. Although the world is far more “paperless” than it was several years ago, it didn’t stop the clutter. Instead of having piles of papers on your desk, they’re now electronic files on your desktop. Or buried away as emails in your inbox.

Even though you can’t physically see it, it’s still affecting your energy. Take for instance an unsorted inbox. When you open it in the morning and see there are 603 messages (even if only 45 of them are new), it’s immediately overwhelming. These are reminders of things to do, follow up on, sort and file.

From a Feng Shui perspective, that energy could be dragging you down. It could be contributing to feelings of being stressed, burnt out and overwhelmed. In much the same way that you deal with physical clutter, you have to deal with the unseen, technological clutter as well.

Here are a few ideas on how you can start the process.

  1. Utilize the number 9. (It’s an auspicious number.) Deal with 9 things a day for 9 days. File or delete 9 emails, sort and file 9 photos or re-evaluate 9 files.
  2. Get your inbox under control. Set an end-of-day limit for the number of emails. I’m committed to 99. If there are more, start scrolling to see what can be filed, responded to and deleted before you log out.
  3. There’s no time like the present. If you can respond to something immediately, do so. Especially if it takes less than 2 minutes.
  4. Look at what you’ve invited. If you have a bunch of subscriptions, it’s time to evaluate! If you’ve fallen behind, don’t review each one, sort by sender and delete all but the most recent email.
  5. Organize your photos. Put a reminder in your calendar to download your photos each month. Set aside some time after to create folders and sort them.
  6. Customize a process for you. Figure out your own personal system to deal with technological clutter and stick to it.

No matter where we turn, there’s the potential for clutter! If you are feeling the effects, prioritize dealing with it. You never know what awaits you once you have the room to receive it, email or otherwise.

Food and Feng Shui – Part 2

fruits and veggiesBy Carole Hyder

In our last post, Lisa’s article focused on the physical space of where you eat. In this next part of the series, I focus on what to eat and when.

The approach is based on the 5 Chinese Elements:

Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water

This method for nourishment follows the rhythmic pattern of nature, one that can influence our own state of health.

Ways to incorporate the 5 Element concept in our eating choices:

1. WOOD

Foods appropriate for Wood are asparagus and celery because they’re green and grow upward. Lemons and limes are also appropriate because they are sour, the taste for Wood. Grapefruit, sauerkraut, pickles and vinegar also fall into the Wood category.

Eat Wood foods when you are beginning a project, trying to hold a vision or wanting to move forward.

2. FIRE

The Fire element manifests as a bitter flavor, vegetables that branch outward, fruits that grow around a central pit, and the color red. Romaine lettuce, watercress and dandelion greens are Fire foods. Fire also has a thermal nature so hot and spicy foods are also appropriate—-ginger, cinnamon, cloves, hot peppers, cayenne.

Fire foods are appropriate when you are looking for more passion, more power, and more ways to express yourself.

3. EARTH

Sweetness in life is expressed by the Earth element. Foods that have Earth qualities are sweet fruits, figs, dates, honey, squash. Oranges and carrots are also considered Earth foods because yellow/orange are the colors for Earth.

Eat Earth foods when you need comforting and stability.

4. METAL

Metal foods are pungent—–mustard greens, basil, radishes, cabbage, cucumbers. Metal foods can also be white, such as garlic, cauliflower, and parsnips.

Concentrate on Metal foods when your efforts are focused on eliminating or separating from things in your life, bringing closure, or grieving.

5. WATER

Salty is the taste associated with the Water element. This includes salt, seaweed, kelp, and fish. The color for Water is black so black beans, blackberries, dark grapes, eggplant are associated with Water.

Eat Water foods when you want to re-charge, slow down, and be reflective.

As you can see, this is a complex topic. A comprehensive book about the 5 Chinese Elements is Warren King’s “Love Your Organs, Love Yourself” – www.loveyourorgans.com. Take a look for more ideas and inspiration on what foods might be right for you, and when.

How Holistic Health Leads to Wellness & Weight Loss

With Shannon Leavitt

yoga mat and candles

FREE Teleseminar

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

7 p.m. Central

shannon-300x281A healthy lifestyle is beyond just food and exercise.

Holistic health takes into account your body, mind and spirit. How they align, or don’t, can have significant impact on your health and your personal chi.

That’s right; there are many parallels with how you relate to your physical body and how you relate to your physical space. In this call, you will learn how to discover those commonalities and put them into practice for a healthier you. You’ll also be given some new tools to help you move towards multi-dimensional, holistic health.

Register Here

The teleseminar will be recorded, but registration is required.

*Qualifies as 1 credit towards re-certification for graduates.

Food and Feng Shui – Part 1

dining tableBy Lisa Janusz

There are many dimensions to Feng Shui. Its breadth spans from your living space, to your personal chi, to even the food you eat. When we think about food in Feng Shui, we think about health. Food provides sustenance at its core and well-being through the act of eating – enjoying and connecting with others.

What you eat is important, but it’s also where and how you eat that can have an effect, too.

Here are some tips to help you think about where your body absorbs the nutrients it needs:

Eat at a proper place. This means having somewhere that you actually sit down to eat (Not a desk! Not a coffee table in front of the TV!) People are often surprised that we use our dining room table three times a day – yep, all the “main” meals (we don’t have an eat-in kitchen). Whether it’s a kitchen or dining, a table is best because you can really connect. I know there are islands are out there with room for the whole family, but it’s different sitting in a line versus around something.

Be mindful about preparing the food. Yes, I know you’re busy. But this is important; pay attention while getting a meal together (from scratch, a package or take out). There’s a traditional aspect around that: the energy you have when you are preparing a meal gets “cooked” into the food and fed to your family. So you want to be relaxed, happy and grateful.

Be mindful about eating. Set the table and turn off electronics. No phones or tablets, no TV in the background. Don’t rush. Sit down, look at your food — really see it. Then taste it and enjoy it. Make the meal an experience. If you’re having health issues, visualize that food giving you nutrients you need.

Energize any stale eating areas. If you do have a dining room that you don’t use, or only use once or twice a year for holidays, energize that room by eating there more frequently. Maybe try Sunday dinner in there. It will be a whole new experience for you.

Now that I’ve gotten you thinking about where and how you eat, next time we’ll be talking about how food can take on different properties depending on what it is. In part two, Carole is going to explore how food relates to the elements (color, season, etc.).

In the meantime, sit down and enjoy. And share a picture of your kitchen or dining room table on our Facebook page. I’ll be posting mine later this week. And I’ll see if I can’t get Carole and Jessica to post theirs, too.

How Does Their Garden Grow? Principles of Traditional Chinese Gardens

Painting 3By Carole Hyder

Chinese gardens are a big draw for people traveling to the Middle Kingdom. Many of the Chinese tours that my husband and I led over the years often focused on gardens in southern China. Walking through these gardens where every item was intentionally positioned is a very tactile Feng Shui experience.

Each garden was planned to be a microcosm of a natural setting: rocks represented mountains, plants represented trees, a stream stood for the river. No vegetables or flowers were used in these gardens since the gardeners did not want to be perceived as peddlers, selling what they grew. Instead they nurtured their gardens and then painted them as though they were real-life settings. Many gardeners actually became famous as painters, when their real passion was gardening.

Rocks around pond

Perhaps the biggest difference between the gardens we construct today and traditional Chinese gardens is that theirs were laid out before any buildings were planned. After the garden was designed, the houses, pavilions, guest houses were placed accordingly. Unlike our process where we fit the garden around our homes, the Chinese built their gardens, dedicating only about 30% to buildings. People, in effect, lived in their gardens.

Here are some specific features a Chinese garden would include:

Water – which revives the spirit, washes away evil, and reflects without distortion, needed to move AND it needed to be reflective. Fountains were not used since a fountain would force water to behave in ways it wouldn’t normally.

Rocks – represented mountains which, in Chinese culture, had supernatural powers. The more interesting the rock, the better. It could stimulate the imagination and provoke meditative moments.

In-Motion Viewing – necessitates a path to provide a self-directed way to see the garden.

In-Position Viewing – offers a place to sit and ponder the garden.

A Secret – provides something unexpected—-a gazebo hidden in the corner, a tea house tucked behind a tree—and keeps interest alive while visiting the garden.

Reflecting water

Although man-made, the Chinese gardens have become legendary. They beautifully exemplify the Taoist belief that the relationship between man and nature is the most important. We can all learn about our own relationship to nature from the intentional, aesthetically thoughtful, and powerful Chinese gardens—-whether we have our own garden or not.

If the Car Fits…that’s a Feng Shui Win

house and carBy Lisa Janusz

We’re often asked about garages in Feng Shui. People want to know if they count and what can be done about them. They do, indeed, count! And if you are familiar with the bagua, sometimes they take up several guas.

Regardless if they are attached or not, you still need to pay attention to them. They are part of your overall space and, if you are parking in there, are affecting you on a daily basis. Here are some things to keep in mind to make sure your Feng Shui is revved up (see what I did there?)!

Ensure your car can fit. We like spaces that function for their intended purpose. A garage is meant to house a car, so we want a car to fit in there.

Be knowledgeable and organized with your storage. If you store things in the garage, that’s okay! There is an issue when you don’t know what’s there and can’t get to it. So as long as you are organized, know what you have and can access it, store away. However, do release things you are just storing and not using.

Make it pleasant to come home. You can decorate your garage! You don’t have to go overboard (you can if you want to). This is your first “welcome home” (especially if it’s attached), so have something there that evokes positive feelings.

On the flip side, here are some things to avoid.

Don’t compete with the front door. If your garage can be seen from the street, make sure your front door is more prominent. Down play your garage and put the spotlight on the main door.

Use your front door! If your garage is attached OR if it’s not but you enter through a side/back door, switch it up occasionally and go through the front. That keeps your chi flowing through this key area.

Don’t make it something it’s not. I get it, you need more space. But try to carve it out somewhere else. Garages do not make good converted bedrooms (people usually don’t sleep well) and are tough to spend time in.

Remember that every piece of your space has an effect on your overall Feng Shui. Garages are no exception. They can be another positive, pleasant experience in your daily routine. Make it worth the drive.

Creating Powerful Intentions

With Dawn Morningstar

woman freedom

FREE Teleseminar

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

7 p.m. Central

 

Dawn Morningstar 1

In Feng Shui, we know that remarkable life-changes can occur in all aspects of life by applying the practice of Feng Shui principles with intention.

Author, coach, educator and women’s advocate, Dawn Morningstar will share how intention and the corresponding feelings we have around this intention can be our way to creating a life we want.

Learn More about this Teleseminar

Register Here

 

The teleseminar will be recorded, but registration is required.

*Qualifies as 1 credit towards re-certification for graduates.

Feng Shui for Anxiety

anxietyBy Sharon Witt

We all have our moments of anxiety —- a looming deadline, public speaking, or walking down a dark, unfamiliar street. These are all normal reactions to potentially risky situations.

As a Feng Shui Consultant having worked in community mental health for many years, I am especially interested in how Feng Shui can help people with the most common of all mental health issues: a prolonged sense of anxiety.

The faster everyone’s lives run, the less directly they communicate, the more technology they use, the more their nervous systems go into overdrive. Serious anxiety disorders are the number one diagnosed mental health condition in America.

Anxiety and its accompanying physical and emotional symptoms comes from an imbalance of water and fire. A person with a deficiency in fire will tend to feel heart palpitations, cold hands/feet, insomnia, disturbed sleep, nervousness, circular thoughts, and/or lack of joy in life. A person with excess in water will feel extreme fear, feel like they are stuck or frozen, and will be isolated from people and activities they enjoy.

From a Feng Shui perspective, here is what I’d suggest:

1) Add fire in its most gentle form for warmth, and 2) relax fear due to too much water. Start by focusing on two areas of the home – the Health (or center) area and their Bedroom. When giving options for adjustments, keep them to a minimum (2 for each area). Any more will only add to their anxiety.

Bring Warmth to the Health Area

  • A yellow candle, red object, or red flowers to stimulate the heart, which is ruled by fire.
  • A crystal in the center to balance the energy of the home and client.
  • Light, especially a torchiere lamp, if the area is dimly lit.
  • Art or a picture that depicts a warm, sunny place.

Create a Calm, Peaceful Bedroom

  • A sturdy headboard for support.
  • Limit electronics: TVs, cell phones, and computers are stimulating and heighten anxiety. If TV is a must, cover with fabric before sleep.
  • Remove or cover mirrors for a more restful sleep. Mirrors can contribute to an excess of water.

Working with someone over time, I’d take a layered approach, adding one or two adjustments at a time.

Prolonged and serious anxiety is challenging, yet the impact of introducing Feng Shui principles can be profound for those clients willing to take a step or two toward a more satisfying life.

Sharon WittSharon Witt is a Wind & Water School Certified Graduate and the owner of Sharon Witt Feng Shui.

Contact Sharon

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