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Wind & Water School of Feng Shui Blog

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

Selling a House with Feng Shui

Open HouseBy Lisa Janusz

Springtime is upon us and that usually means an increase in the real estate market. It’s a prime time to buy and sell. The weather is getting nicer and as we move into the wood element of spring, it’s a great time to start something new.

Selling a house can often be a sweet – or bittersweet – time. Whether you are selling to move forward on your next chapter, or aren’t ready (or don’t want) to leave, both come with their own benefits and challenges.

However you are feeling, if you are in a position that your house is going on the market, use these tips to get started. They can help you gain clarity and make the process smoother.

  1. “Lift the anchor.” Start to clean out the basement. Go through what’s there and release (toss or donate) things that you don’t need to take with you. This helps metaphorically start to lift the energy of the house, while also being practical in getting you prepared.
  2. Depersonalize. Remove photos of you, your family and friends, and other items that are personal mementos. If people walk in feeling like they are in “your” space, they can’t connect with the house and picture themselves there.
  3. Declutter. This not only lifts the energy in the house, but it also allows people to see the potential of the space. It appears larger and open, and won’t overwhelm.
  4. Communicate with the house. Write a letter letting the house know what’s happening, what you hope for it and thanking it for all the support it’s given you. Even if you don’t feel on great terms with the space, still thank it for what you can – like providing a roof and a place to sleep.

You don’t have to make your space stark. And you shouldn’t. Even with staging the purpose is to provide some eye candy for people to look at and see the potential. It’s similar to relationships. You start to “see” yourself more with someone that’s available and that energy is apparent. It’s the same with a space; people can feel it. Make it a welcoming and inviting energy.

New Beginnings in the Year of the Rooster

By Carole Hyder

Lao Tzu said,

“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.”

Year of the Rooster (2)For many of us, the Year of the Monkey can be done already. But rather than shaking off the monkey pranks of this past 12 months, perhaps we could look at how they’re defining the upcoming 12 months.

The Year of the Rooster began February 3rd at 11:49 PM, but its influence was being felt some weeks before that. The Rooster is just plain more predictable. There’s less drama and fewer surprises with the Rooster—for which I think I can safely say we’re all pretty much relieved about that.

The Rooster energy stays close to the ground (although a Rooster has wings it doesn’t really take to the skies), pays attention to details (pecking around for food requires a keen eye), and is image-conscious (no argument that their feathers are quite beautiful).

There aren’t too many people I know who haven’t been stretched this past year—-personally, professionally as well as politically. The monkey-shenanigans have been tiresome, cruel even, but they’ve taught us about being resilient and about being vigilant.

It’s a perfect lead-in to the time of this Rooster—-a fire Rooster. Bringing the Fire element to the Rooster is going to sustain the need for resilience and vigilance but without as much wild drama we’ve just endured. We’re a practiced bunch in how to ride through the tempest so we’ve got this going forward.

We can expect some additional turmoil in 2017 but it’s nothing we can’t handle. The Rooster could bring some opportunities we might not ordinarily embrace and our new-found determination could propel many of us forward.

It’s not the time to hold back just because we came off a challenging year. Rather it’s a time to spread some wings, strut a bit and crow.

Happy Year of the Rooster everyone!

 
P.S. Want to know some specifics about the Year of the Rooster?

Check out a webinar Lisa Janusz and I did about this very topic.

Don’t Forget; Feng Shui is about YOU

candle-and-heartBy Lisa Janusz

There is a lot of turbulence in the world right now. With the recent election results, people are either elated or terrified. Without getting into political debate here, I think we can all agree that there is quite a bit of uncertainty facing us as we head into 2017. That is why, no matter where you stand on the subject, this will be a vital year to make sure you are taking care of YOU.

Two ways to support yourself in these high emotion times are by creating a sacred space and ensuring you have a meditation/relaxation practice.

There are entire books written about these topics, but here are a few tips to get you started.

Create a sacred space

  • This should be a place you can retreat to relax, possibly meditate and find inspiration
  • Choose a space that you are comfortable (like a favorite room/or place to sit)
  • Make it yours by adding personal photos or other mementos or special items
  • Make it useful with a table, pen and paper for journaling
  • Make it inviting with a comfy chair and a blanket or scarf
  • Make the “scenery” supportive by being aware of what you are looking at when sitting there (e.g. looking out a window versus looking at a work desk)
  • Adjust it until it feels right. Trust yourself that you will know
  • Utilize this space in the months to come whenever you feel unbalanced

Begin a meditation practice

  • You can do a quick web search and find out the many benefits to meditation. This is another area you can start with a simple process
  • Pick a spot to be reflective; maybe it’s your sacred space if it’s a quiet area
  • Schedule time during the day (at least in the beginning) to practice
  • Set a timer (e.g. for 5 min to start) so you don’t have to track and your mind can relax
  • Find a mantra you like or sit in silence. Visualize a broom sweeping your mind to remove the mental clutter
  • Focus on your breath and just “be” for those few minutes

Now that we’re officially in the Western New Year and the upcoming Chinese New Year (Fire Rooster) is coming quickly, this is a great time to renew. Make a commitment to yourself for the coming year to figure out how you will support yourself. In times like these, we must focus within to support our outer selves.

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