Call us: 612-823-5093

Archive for the Feng Shui Articles Category

Feeling Grateful…and Adding It to a Jar

gratitude-jarBy Lisa Janusz

The season of giving thanks is here; we start with Thanksgiving and then move into Christmas. While this can be a time of activity (and stress), the basis of the season is to be grateful for what we have and show appreciation to others. I realize it doesn’t always work out that way…

Several years ago I was going through a rough period and I came across an article about gratitude jars. I decided to try it; maybe focusing on the good each day would help lift my chi.

And research supports it. In one Harvard study people were asked to write a few sentences each week about either being grateful, being irritated or just an event in general. The results: “After 10 weeks, those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives. Surprisingly, they also exercised more and had fewer visits to physicians than those who focused on sources of aggravation.”

It helped. A lot. So I’m encouraging you to do the same. You know we’re all about energy with Feng Shui and a gratitude jar is a good way to do some reflection and remind yourself to be grateful.

It’s a simple set up. (And DO set it up so it’s easy to do.)

  • Grab any jar (not too small!) and decorate it (simple is fine)
  • Cut pieces of paper or buy a small pad
  • Add a pen or colored pencils
  • Commit to writing either every day, every other day or at a minimum every week
  • And those times when you need your chi lifted, write something for – or read something from – the jar

Some days were easy, while others were more of a challenge. But I did it and it made a difference. And I still add to it, just not as regularly.

So if you think you might need a little extra help remembering the reason for the season, think about adding a gratitude jar to your life. Rest assured, you all made it in mine -I’m grateful for YOU and this community.

Back to School Feng Shui Style

Back to School

By Lisa Janusz

It’s that time of the year: back to school! This is a time for families to transition from the ease of summer to the more structured time of the school year.

From a Feng Shui perspective, you can help your kids create a supportive environment at home to help them ease back into school and set them up for success.

  1. Clear the clutter. Look at every item in their room (toys, furniture, clothes). Reduce the “noise” by clearing out clothes that no longer fit, toys that are no longer relevant and furniture that is no longer needed.
  2. Look at decor. Is it age appropriate? Does it meet their needs? (For example, adding a desk for an older child.) Whatever changes do occur, be sure that they have significant input. It’s their room after all.
  3. Set up a system. Mornings can be hectic and can set the day off with challenging energy. Create places for things to go: a bin for papers (homework, permission slips), a hook for coats and backpacks, baskets for shoes, a place for sports equipment. Don’t get caught up in what others are doing – design one that works for your family. This will enable you all to start the day with a more relaxed, focused energy.
  4. A place for homework. Have a proper place for school work. If it’s in their room, try to set it up so they can see the door. If elsewhere, make it a place that promotes studying (large enough for books and papers). Designate a space that is quiet and has enough room to spread out while they are working. Also make it a daily habit to clear off that space to enhance their ability to have clear vision in the morning and each night as they sit down to work.

There is usually so much enthusiasm at the beginning of the school year that this is a perfect time to create a space that supports their endeavors and is open for growth and possibilities.

How Feng Shui May Help You Sell Your Home

By Carole Hyder

home exteriorRealtors often use the term “curb appeal” when getting a home ready to sell. It means that the home should look attractive from the minute someone gets out of their car. The reason is that a good first impression can positively impact the rest of their experience with the home.

Yet from a Feng Shui standpoint, we want a home to have curb appeal all the time. It shouldn’t just be cleaned up for a quick sale but should have the following aspects in place at all times:

  1. The front door is visibly obvious. If a potential buyer (or visitor) has to assume where the door is located because they can’t actually see it, there is a potential for confusion that permeates throughout the rest of the property. If the door is tucked behind a garage or in an out-of-sight corner, place “signposts” that guide the visitor—-flowers, a bench, or windchime.
  2. The front door should stand out from the rest of the space. This isn’t just about being visible, but about being outstandingly so. A colored door, a wreath, or a flag are a few ways to make the front door the central focus.
  3. The walkway to front the door is inviting. The path to the door should be enticing and an experience all by itself—-no cracked pavement or pieces of sidewalk that could trip someone up. But an enjoyable jaunt leading to the entrance.
  4. All plants and flowers are thriving, especially those that are around the front door and the path leading to the door. If they’re not thriving, remove them.
  5. For those who ARE selling their home, place the “For Sale” sign in the Helpful People area of the lot (front right corner as you face the home). This area can elevate the possibilities of a helpful person coming along to buy the home. Put the sign here only if it makes sense and is visible from the street.

Obviously curb appeal is just the beginning of the sale. The same amount of care and consideration should occur once the potential buyer (or visitor) gets inside. Otherwise, the message is an inconsistent one which will leave the guest wondering why something doesn’t feel quite right.

Bereavement Organizing with Feng Shui

clothes closet (2)

By Su-Yoon Ko

On Sunday, Sarah and her husband went to the doctor since he had been under the weather for a while. “Pneumonia,” the doctor said, giving him some medication, “don’t go to work for a few days.” On Thursday, she called home from work to see how he was feeling. He didn’t answer. On her lunch break she went home to check on him. He was already dead.

When someone passes away, someone else inherits their belongings. In these kinds of situations, there are a lot of emotions, a lot of questions, and often, a lot of stuff. Bereavement organizing is helping with situations like this, helping the inheritor with the things they have received.

Personally, I’m comfortable with death in a way that not everyone is. My comfort with death, along with seeing the need within my own life, has made my work in bereavement organizing a natural fit for me.

In Feng Shui, an important principle is that everything is energy. I’ve come to understand that our things affect us energetically on a conscious and subconscious level.

A few months after the funeral, I visited Sarah. All of her husband’s belongings were exactly the way it had been the day he passed. She was still in shock, grieving. But when she was ready to deal with his things, she had a lot of questions: What do I keep for our young son, for me? What do I donate, sell, or just throw?

Bereavement Organizing Tips

  • Find a few things to save that you love – that really represent your loved one to you and have wonderful memories attached
  • Let go of things that have a bad memory for you (in Feng Shui, things with a negative memory attached can lower your energy, consciously or subconsciously)
  • Take a photo of an object to honor the person, their memory, or that of an event to help you let go of the physical object
  • Give yourself permission to let things go that you do not love or do not fit your life

These tips may help when organizing or decluttering a loved one’s belongings after their death, but know that there is no right or wrong way to do this – only what is best for you and your family. Honor the person and honor the process.

Su-Yoon KoSu-Yoon Ko is a WWC Feng Shui Master, professional organizer, and elemental jewelry maker based in the Twin Cities. As a professional organizer, she specializes in bereavement organizing, working with clients who are attending to belongings they have inherited when they’ve lost someone. More at www.declutteringkey.com

Feng Shui your Website – Integrate the 5 Elements for an Auspicious Design

flowers by computerBy Jessica Hoelzel

Many people have gravitated towards Feng Shui because of its versatility. Its principles can be applied to all areas of life and work – not just physical spaces. Feng Shui, in particular the 5 Element Theory, can prove remarkably useful when designing a website.

The natural world is made up of 5 forms of energy, according to the Chinese: Water, Wood, Fire, Earth and Metal. When integrated into a space in a balanced way, it fosters positive energy. Chances for luck and success are therefore increased.

Why not apply this natural order to your calling card to the world? Thanks to the infinite space on the web, your website has the potential to showcase who you are in a big way.

Using the 5 Elements to create an effective website design, you can create a website that:

  • Reveals your depth
  • Broadens your reach
  • Enhances your fame
  • Confirms your foundation
  • Clarifies your message

5 Strategies for Creating a 5 Element Website

1. Integrate the Water Element: Reveal your depth

  • Make sure your site isn’t too busy. From stillness comes great wisdom
  • Offer food for thought, or profound quotations. Cut any “fluff” copy

Color: black and dark blue
Shapes: undulating forms/waves/spirals

2. Integrate the Wood Element: Broaden your reach

  • Branch out. Have outbound links to other pages and social media connection buttons
  • Grow your site content over time with regular blog content

Color: shades of green
Shapes: rectangles/columns

3. Integrate the Fire Element: Enhance your fame

  • Publicize your recognition – awards and what you’re known for
  • Ignite a spark through provocative content, lively images, and bold calls to action

Color: shades of red, orange, and pink; pops of other bright colors
Shapes: triangles, sunbursts
Images: photography and artwork

4. Integrate the Earth Element: Confirm your foundation

  • Let them know you’re solid. Highlight skills, background, expertise
  • Suggest a feeling of grounded-ness with a balanced layout, headers and footers

Color: yellow, shades of brown
Shape: squares, horizontal rectangles

5. Integrate the Metal Element: Clarify your message

  • Communicate who you are, and what you offer, succinctly
  • Organize site content in a way that makes sense, and keeps people there

Color: white, gray
Shapes: circles, arches

With this knowledge and your intention, you can be strategic about your website design. Follow the same theory as when applying Feng Shui to your home – by integrating the 5 Elements, you can achieve a harmonious design, and attract abundance with your space on the web.

How Does Your Garden Grow? Elements of a Feng Shui Garden

FS Garden 2 By Carole Hyder

Whether gardening in a large space or a small patio, there are some elements to consider if you want to be able to call it a Feng Shui garden. Size does not matter, but intention and layout does.

Before starting, it is important you determine the overall intention or theme you want to express.

FS Garden 5

  • Do you want to use the garden for quiet-time?
  • Do you want to amble through your flowers to get inspired?
  • Is it your intention to create a space where friends and family can gather?
  • Do you want the area to be kid-friendly?

FS Garden 3

Even if your gardening efforts are confined to a very small spot on the deck, think about what you want to create. Fairy gardens are intended to be small but that doesn’t make them less engaging.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some additional elements to consider when you’re designing your garden—-large or small:

FS Garden 61) Water. In line with the concept of wind and water, having water in a garden is a natural. If a pond doesn’t seem like the right fit or feels like it would be too much work, a fountain could be integrated into your garden. A bird-bath is also an option. Japanese gardens use rocks to give the illusion of water.

2) Place to sit. This doesn’t have to be complicated—-a rock or tree stump, a bench or hammock would work. You want a place from which you can absorb the energy of the garden.

FS Garden 13) Curvy Path. Your Feng Shui garden should provide an effortless direction of where to go—–a path of flagstones, chips, or round pavers or a foot-worn path where others have walked before. Making it curvy implies a slower pace where ambling and lingering are appropriate. If you garden is small, create a path that the eye will follow.

 

 

 

 

 

FS Garden 44) Ornamentals. The way to personalize and create a unique garden is with your ornamentals. Although this can easily move into the arena of clutter, a few carefully positioned objects around the garden will offer variety and interest.

These photos are all from our garden. Its exquisite beauty and strength come solely from the labor of my master gardener husband. It goes without saying that sitting in this garden has provided us hours of enjoyment and healing, which were the original intentions with which he guided this project.

Living Room Feng Shui – Bring New Life to Your Living Room

Living RoomBy Jessica Hoelzel

What room in our homes do we not “live in”? All rooms are for living, right?

Ironically, living rooms can be one of the rooms with the least life. The living room, and formal living rooms in particular, have gone out of favor. With an inclination for casual lifestyle and entertainment, families have gravitated towards family rooms and rec rooms – places to watch TV, movies, or play games.

Living rooms have come to feel “stuffy” and go unused. With more space of high value to homeowners, leaving an entire room neglected does not seem wise. From a feng shui perspective, having a room in your home with no life is not wise either. Depending on where that room falls in your home’s bagua, the lack of life (or chi) could be having adverse effects on your life. And especially if it’s the first thing seen upon walking in the door.

If you’re not using your living room, the question is, why? Could it be a place you’d enjoy spending time in? If so, it’s well worth the effort to make it a place that calls you in.

Here are some ways to make the living room more inviting and functional:

  • Create a good flow. Place a table behind the sofa if it backs up to the entrance.
  • Make it homey. Add softness with rugs, throws blankets and pillows.
  • Add some personality. Display artwork and things with special meaning.
  • Bring life to it. Have plants, and décor with lively patterns for visual interest.
  • Create a reason to go in. Lay out magazines or stacks of interesting books; add music.
  • Make it suitable for entertaining. Add a coffee table with a purposeful tray, or a handy bar cart.
  • Set the stage for conversation. Group furniture at 90 degree angles, or around the fireplace.

If, after careful consideration, you’ve determined that a living room is just not a space that makes sense for your family’s lifestyle, is there something else you’re in dire need of? Maybe it would make sense to transform it into something new. With intention, it could go from unused (dead) space to a place of energy and life. Maybe a home office, playroom, music room, or library? You decide.

Chinese New Year of the Monkey

Chinese New YearBy Carole Hyder

The Chinese New Year begins on the second new moon after winter solstice—-this year that date is February 8. If you celebrated the western New Year, this could be a time for you to recommit to or revise your resolutions for 2016.

The Chinese put as much effort into the preparation of the New Year as they do to the actual celebration. You might find some of these helpful in your own New Year rituals.

  1. On days preceding the New Year, Chinese families give their homes a thorough cleaning. It is believed cleaning sweeps away any remaining bad luck from the year before and makes their home ready for good luck. The brooms and dust bins are put out of sight on New Year’s Day so that the newly arrived luck isn’t accidentally swept away.
  2. Painters do a booming business right before New Year, painting doors and window-frames with a new coat of red paint. Homes are often decorated with a set of couplets written on long strips of red paper (one on each side of the door) upon which have been calligraphy-ed a poem or a good luck saying.
  3. Purchasing new clothing and shoes is encouraged to symbolize new beginnings.
  4. Any haircuts are done before the New Year. The Chinese word for hair (fa) is also the word for prosperity so no one wants to cut short their prosperity.
  5. Businesses try to pay off all outstanding debts, and they send gifts to close business associates and family members.

On New Year’s Day there is often a lion dance to symbolize protection. In addition, people give out red envelopes to spread further good wishes for the New Year, which contains a coin for wealth, a piece of candy for life’s sweetness, and a wish for continued good luck and success.

However you may decide to bring in the New Year of the Monkey, make it a special and intentional celebration.

Happy New Year Chinese Characters
Xin Nian Kuai Le – Happy New Year

Ready, Set, GOAL! Feng Shui for Your New Year’s Goals

Happy New Year 2016

By Lisa Janusz

As we embark upon the start of 2016, many of us are in forward-looking state of mind. This is the time to set goals for the year ahead – and I encourage you to do so.

 

 

As you set your 2016 goals:

  • Make them SMART – Specific (and simple), Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-limited.
    Write them down or share them with someone.
  • Watch self-talk: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” –Henry Ford
  • Remember that there isn’t “failure” – just more information. “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” –Thomas Edison
  • Push yourself. “If you hit the target every time, the target is too near or too big.” –Tom Hirshfield

Be open to adjusting your goals as the year goes on. It’s not to let yourself “off the hook,” but rather allow yourself to change course when it’s appropriate.

From a Feng Shui perspective you can support those goals by paying attention and seeing what’s happening in these areas:

  • The related area of the bagua (if you know it). For example the career area of your home if you are looking for a new opportunity.
  • The room or place that “holds” the energy around your goal. For example, the front door (where opportunities knock) for a new job or the kitchen for health.
  • Your bedroom since this is place to focus on rest and rejuvenation to keep your chi up.
  • Your sacred space. This could be a meditation area, your favorite place to sit or even a vision board (any size – even an index card!).

All of these will help you support your journey for the next year.

Not sure ”goals” is the right focus this year? Maybe a different type of thinking will resonate more with you. See our past blog posts about being resolute and setting an intention for the year.

Whatever you decide to do: know that we are a community that supports you. As we all keep growing and moving forward, we bring out the best in ourselves, and that of others.

Wintertime Feng Shui

wintertimeBy Carole Hyder

Every year we face the inevitable change of seasons. We are moving into the most yin time of year—-dark, cold, black, dormancy, introspection. Better known as winter. As part of the yin-yang cycle, we are experiencing a time when things feel, well, dead. And, as part of the natural flow of this yin energy, we also tend to stay inside, even hibernate.

The thing to realize is that despite the overt expression of completion (leaves coming off trees, flowers shriveling, longer days and darker nights), winter brings with it a latent movement, an underlying development that is preparing itself for an eruption in spring. So although all may seem quiet and deserted now, there is plenty of action brewing for later.

It’s no wonder we celebrate holidays during this time—-it’s a direct contrast to the stark silence in the universe. It breaks up the sometimes overwhelming stillness that comes in the winter. To that end, it is important to be aware that winter does require specific Feng Shui considerations around the house. Read our blog post about appropriate winterizing tips.

Keep in mind that this yin time serves a very important purpose: as the seeds in the ground are arranging themselves to break through with all their glory in the spring, we, too, can take advantage of this inner time to plant our own seeds and appear in our own blaze of glory.

Address

Minneapolis, MN
Phone: (612) 751-3828

info@windwaterschool.com