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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.

Best Moving-Out Practices: Saying Goodbye with Feng Shui

Couple Moving Boxes Between HomesBy Lisa Janusz

There’s a lot that happens prior to leaving a home: preparing, negotiating and finally agreeing. When that “sold” sign goes up, it brings with it all sorts of emotions. It also means more work: sorting, packing, cleaning.

Last month we talked about moving into a new home. This month we’re talking about moving out, and how to approach leaving your home.

Start early. Remember, we’re all about energy around here! Set a reasonable time table for packing and follow it. Moving is hard enough without adding to the chaotic energy that comes with it. By taking your time and being thoughtful, you can ease the energy into shifting.

Don’t take it all with you. As you are packing, be realistic. Take only what you love and will need. Leave behind things that won’t support your next step in your journey. This is the time to break free from guilt of keeping gifts and décor that no longer suit you.

Feng Shui can travel. Take any Feng Shui adjustments you’ve implemented (if they are portable). You can use them in your new space if they are serving the same intention. For example a crystal marking the center can do so at the new place. Otherwise retire them by gifting them, clearing them or letting them return to “normal.” A mirror can become just a mirror.

Cleanse the space. No matter the circumstances, give the home a good cleaning. Not only is this good karma, but also it’s respectful of the home. I have been on both sides – moving into someplace immaculate and entering a new home that needed a major wash down. Hopefully the transition is positive, but if not, remember it’s not the home’s fault.

Get Closure. As Carole mentioned last month, thank the home prior to leaving it. This could be through a letter or just speaking to the house for the last time. Even if you are moving because it drove you crazy, it still provided you some support while you were there. Thank it as best you can before you move on.

The act of moving isn’t much fun. But the energy around it can be quite exciting. It can mark a new stage in life (upsizing or downsizing), a new adventure (relocating) or just a better fit. Either way, feel good about moving on by saying a proper goodbye.

Best Moving-In Practices: Feng Shui Tips for Your New Home

family in yardBy Carole Hyder

Most people would agree that moving is chaotic. No matter how organized or how long the move has been planned, there typically comes a time when frenzy and confusion rule the day. This is not how you want to introduce yourself to your new place. Feng Shui can help make your move more meaningful.

Before leaving your old residence, make sure you did some kind of closure. In other words, say “good-bye.” Whether you liked the old place or not, it deserves a farewell whatever form that might take. I’ve assisted some people who loved their home, providing a beautiful closing ceremony the morning they were leaving. I also know some who couldn’t stand their space and choked out a “thanks” while closing the door. It’s important to close one door before opening another—–in this case that would be a literal action.

Once at the new place, here are some specific things to do the first day you’re there, and other actions that are more long-lasting…

  1. Get your personal bedrooms set up first. Since the bedrooms provide you a safe place to sleep and rejuvenate, they need to be your first and foremost focus. If you’re planning to repaint the walls, re-carpet or remodel in anyway, try to get this done before you actually move in.
  2. Eat in your home the first night. Bringing in food is just fine, since cooking would probably be difficult. But it’s important that you make this commitment to the space by having a meal there. Granted, you may be eating on the floor or sitting on boxes, but that’s no problem—-the house is grateful for your inclusive gesture.
  3. Ring the doorbell for the first few days, every time you walk into your new home. It establishes your presence and your ownership. Since the doorbell is typically by the front door, you’ll be activating that important entry on a regular basis. Plus, you’ll soon learn whether the doorbell works or not.

Making your move intentional and meaningful using a Feng Shui approach will establish a strong relationship with your new home—whether it’s a house, an apartment, a condo or a single room. Then, this new home can help you come home to yourself.

Feng Shui is for the Dogs…and Cats and Other Animals!

Ella -Then

Then

Ella

and Now

By Lisa Janusz

It surprised me to realize just recently that my little princess is turning 10 next month! I am so grateful for all that she has brought into my life. Of course I feel that she is quite a special dog.
(FYI – Carole agrees!)

All animals are very good Feng Shui (you knew that was where this was going, didn’t you?). Anything from the smallest fish to the biggest horse can help activate energy. They represent the Fire Element by bringing a life force to your space. This activity can really support a house, in addition to the people living there.

framed postcardI know for me Feng Shui had a huge impact on Ella’s arrival. I had placed an oversize postcard in my Children & Creativity area shortly after I purchased my home (based on the bagua – the middle right of your space). I hadn’t thought much about it at the time…

Through unusual circumstances, I ended up adopting a puppy from another state (that essentially someone else had picked out for me). Later one of my friends would ask me if it was Ella in the picture – and that’s when the dots connected.

postcard dogAlthough not exact, I could definitely see a resemblance.

Seems my intention of getting a dog after moving into the house gathered some momentum early on.

So this month, instead of several Feng Shui “tips” for you, I have just one: remember that the smallest (and inexpensive) change in your space can support an underlying intention.

Ella 2If you have something you are hoping for – really take a look at your space. If you know the bagua, pay attention to the area that it represents. Then think about how you might add something – like a photo or an object – to help you represent that dream. This goes for houses and offices.

Then be open to what arrives. In my case, a postcard purchased in Europe years prior ended up bringing me a spark of furry love that I’ve enjoyed for almost a decade.

Using Musical Instruments to Adjust Feng Shui

musical instrumentBy Carole Hyder

A musical instrument can be a very effective and inspiring Feng Shui adjustment if used with intention. Certainly if someone is a musician, their instrument will hold a lot of meaning for them and remind them of the joy and creative satisfaction they get from playing. Having a reminder of a skill, talent, and/or fascination with a particular aspect of music can go a long way in supporting creativity.

However, whether you know how to play an instrument or not, it could still be a unique and effective Feng Shui adjustment. Think about what you want to bring into your life and see if any of these metaphors resonate appropriately and then, either hang the actual instrument or a poster or picture of it in a place where you’ll see it.

  • You want to feel lighter and less weighted down, perhaps alleviating some tendencies toward depression. Flutes or recorders can offer a lilting reminder of this intention.
  • You feel the need to be more grounded and centered. A picture of a bass drum or a tuba or a taiku drum will speak to that core value.
  • You want to get some forward momentum in your life. Every marching band is inspired by sounds from the brass section—-trumpets, trombones, coronets would all work to create the fast movement you may be searching for.
  • You want more stability and peace in your life. A stringed instrument can provide the kind of soothing qualities you need, most specifically a harp.

I worked with a doctor who was assigned a new office and wanted to make it a balanced space. In the course of our conversation he mentioned that he used to play trumpet—-he even showed me pictures of himself as a young man playing in a band. He was proud of this time in his life but had happily relegated his trumpet-playing to occasional moments in the privacy of his home. I suggested he find some way to represent that aspect of himself. He found a large abstract oil painting of a trumpet, hung it in his office and was inspired every single day. Plus it offered up some great conversations with patients and staff.

Musical instruments can definitely be used as a Feng Shui adjustment, however, as with any Feng Shui adjustment, the instrument needs to speak to you in a positive, creative and intentional way.

Dine in Feng Shui Style

dining roomBy Lisa Jansusz

We entertain a fair amount. During my single days, I hosted regular “ladies nights” with appetizers (and wine!), but these days are more about sit down meals. We do host informal gatherings, but for the most part, our meals are eaten at the table.

Since the houses I’ve lived in did not have eat-in kitchens, we eat in our dining room. (Yes, 3x a day on the weekends.) Within the Feng Shui realm, this room is related to health and wealth, no matter where it’s located in your bagua. Health because it’s where you receive nutrients from eating, and wealth because if you had food for your family, you were considered wealthy.

So the question becomes; how is your dining room looking? If you think it needs some ramping up, here are some Feng Shui considerations.

  • Use it if you aren’t already. With eat-in kitchens, the dining room might be gathering dust. That is leaving a lot of unrealized opportunity. Energize the room by eating in it every once in a while – don’t wait for a special occasion.
  • Enhance it. I have an ever-changing centerpiece on our table that is switched out with the seasons, the holidays and just on a whim. Bring in fresh flowers or something you love (anything will do – statue, bowl, other accessory) that will give it a boost of feel-good energy.
  • Keep it ready. Dining rooms can become magnets for clutter (mail, boxes, office papers, etc.) if they aren’t used regularly. Even if it’s not a regularly-used room, you still need to keep a handle on what’s happening there.
  • Distract the eye from it if it’s near the front door. That can be a message about people eating and running or can contribute to weight gain (first message you get is food). Add some other “eye candy” to direct the eye away so it’s the first thing you see versus the dining room.
  • Change its purpose. Although we do like to see rooms used as they are intended, we also balance that with wanting rooms to be used. I know several people who converted their dining rooms to offices, play areas and libraries because they were used more.

Whether you entertain or not, remember that your dining room is still a reflection of what’s happening in your life. Make sure yours is sending your intended message.

Flushing out the Bathroom: Is Your Feng Shui Going Down the Drain?

Through the Doorway of a BathroomBy Carole Hyder

Because Feng Shui is a language of metaphor, if someone feels “drained” or describes opportunities as “flushing away,” those words can point to the negative impact of the bathroom. It’s hard to imagine living without an indoor bathroom, yet their convenience is often over-ridden by their Feng Shui challenges. We don’t want to see them when we first enter a space, while we’re eating, or when we’re sleeping in order to avoid our energy being drained.

However, the bathroom has moved from being strictly functional to a room that feels like a spa. Adding the ability to wash up and brush our teeth, bathe and/or shower, and put on make-up in the same space as the toilet has added a whole new consideration to the room we originally considered a necessary evil. People have come to love their bathrooms and often see them as sanctuaries.

Here are some Feng Shui considerations to make your bathroom even more spectacular:

  1. Because the bathroom now encourages a person to linger, don’t be afraid to hang artwork on the walls. This may be artwork that you don’t want others to see due to its intimate nature or it may simply be something you love.
  2. Have the option to change the lighting in order to emphasize its versatility—–bright for getting ready in the morning and dim for relaxing in the tub.
  3. Error on the side of lush when considering the design of your bathroom. This might include thick plush towels, soft rugs and fresh flowers.
  4. Be certain that the wall colors are complimentary to your skin tones. If you don’t look good in blue, you wouldn’t want to fix your hair in a room with blue walls.
  5. To balance all the water that is naturally present in the bathroom, add a plant or flowers (Wood element) and candles or the color red (Fire element).

As Feng Shui consultants, we still analyze the placement of the bathroom in relation to the rest of the house. However, a beautifully appointed bathroom is not as apt to drain your energy as one that is purely functional.

Desk-ology: Feng Shui for Your Desk

ID-100202415By Lisa Janusz

One of the most important pieces of furniture in your office – work or home – is your desk. This single piece of furniture has more impact beyond just being a surface for computers and paper. It can help you reflect your message about your career and your future to clients, bosses and coworkers.

You might be limited in a corporate environment, but the Feng Shui considerations are the same.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when thinking about where you sit to get work done.

  1. Have the right size. Think Goldilocks: not too big, not too small – but just right! It should fit your frame and what you need to do. For example, enough room for a computer, as well as space to place a folder or pad of paper.
  2. Make sure it aligns with your goals. Your desk is a message about your career. It should be solid, sturdy and supportive. Skip the card table. Pick something that reflects you.
  3. Keep it as clear as possible. This is a metaphor about vision and being able to see what’s next. Arriving to a clear desk – full of potential – can give you room to breathe. It can help you feel more inspired and less overwhelmed. Think about putting items in a box at the end of the day so that you can start fresh.
  4. Position it well. The most powerful place for your desk is in the command position – which is the farthest corner of the room, while facing the door. This enables you to “see what’s coming” and welcome opportunities.
  5. Complement it with the right chair. Choosing a high back chair will offer you support, stability and comfort.

As you take a fresh look at your desk; what is the message you are sending? Does it say CEO? And/or does it reflect your aspirations?

Even if a new purchase it not possible right now, do what you can with what you have. Paint it, cover it, style it. You are your own CEO. Now get to work.

P.S. You can read more about your office here.

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Heating Up the Refrigerator with a Feng Shui Approach

refrigerator in kitchen

By Carole Hyder

The refrigerator is a formidable kitchen appliance, not only because it is necessary for food storage but also because it typically has a large presence in the kitchen. When Feng Shui was first applied to homes, there were no refrigerators. Addressing the impact of this new, convenient appliance on the Feng Shui of the space had to be factored in as people modernized—-much like the situation of bathrooms which were originally not inside the home.

Refrigerators not only keep food fresh but also impact the health of those who live there. When the refrigerator is filled with stale, outdated and unused food, it isn’t a strong message about well-being. Cleaning it out from time-to-time is necessary, which includes throwing out old food as well as keeping the shelves and drawers immaculate.

Here are some other ideas for integrating the refrigerator with good Feng Shui principles:

  1. Keep the refrigerator clear of extraneous items on the front and sides. The refrigerator is not a bulletin board, photo album, nor a game surface. All of this creates Feng Shui “noise” which disrupts the intention of creating healthy and wholesome food.
  2. Don’t burden the refrigerator with unnecessary clutter on top. Unless the items on the top are decorative eye-candy, that surface should not become a storage area. Keep it clear and clean.
  3. Avoid placing the refrigerator next to the stove. This arrangement is a recipe for arguments—-between family members, friends, neighbors and/or co-workers. This is because the stove, which is a fire appliance, and the refrigerator, which is a water appliance, clash—thereby reflecting that conflict to the occupants. Place a plant on the top of that clean and cleared-off refrigerator (see #2!) to resolve the issue (even a silk one).

We certainly don’t want to be without refrigeration so this appliance is definitely here to stay. Giving it some consideration as it relates to the kitchen will assure that your refrigerator complies to good Feng Shui. In fact, done right, it will be very cool.

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