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Posts Tagged Balance

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

5 Elements for Weddings

Weddings 3“Wedding season” is quickly approaching. There is something about the summer that makes it a prime time for saying vows. It could be that travel plans are more flexible with kids out of school. Or that the warmer weather is a nice background for strapless dresses and beautiful flowers. Whatever it is that brings that energy, it totally encapsulates us for months at a time.

With all the razzle-dazzle, it can necessitate a yearning for balance. In Feng Shui, one of the ways we try to capture that feeling is through the Chinese five elements – water, wood, fire, earth and metal. Look outside and you will see how one element does not exist without the others. This is why people feel so peaceful in a natural setting.

Whether you are planning on getting married or attending a wedding, you can use the five elements to keep your personal chi (energy) or the event chi balanced.

3 Ways to Incorporate the 5 Elements

  1. Color: black for water, green for wood, red for fire, brown for earth and silver or gold for metal.
  2. Shape: wavy for water, columnar for wood, triangular for fire, square for earth and circular for metal.
  3. Themselves: water, wood (trees, plants, flowers), fire (fireplace, candle, heat lamp), earth (soil, ceramic vases or pots) and metal (jewelry, vases).

Weddings 2For my own wedding several years ago, the five elements were subtly – yet significantly – present. There were a few of us who knew, but for most people they were just added details. I wore all 5 elements that day – from the wave of my hair, to the metal of jewelry and the structure of my dress. Each bouquet and boutonniere included all five elements through flower colors and added ribbons.

Even the centerpieces comprised all five elements with their nourishing water, wood plants, bird cutouts (animals are traditionally “fire” energy), earthy soil and metal ribbon.

Weddings 1You can use them as a mix – a black ribbon here (color representing water), a candle there (fire itself)…whatever works for you! Use as much or as little as you like. I used them quite a bit – incorporating in several details for the day. But you could also just concentrate on a presence – like your flowers. Or if you are a guest – colors in your outfit. Even carrying a purse with colored ribbons tucked inside will do.

No matter how you decide to surround yourself with the 5 elements, you will experience their harmonious and comforting balance.

lisamccueBy Lisa Janusz

Wind & Water School of Feng Shui Registrar and Faculty

A Complement of Energies

I am sitting heAroma Therapy Bowl of Flowersre at my desk looking out the window at the snow that still covers our lawn. Weather can affect so much about our day. It can be both beautiful and challenging at the same time. A pretty snowfall can be so peaceful, while still creating hazardous driving conditions. Like most things in life there is a yin and yang. They need each other to create balance.

Besides Taoism, yin and yang is one of the earliest concepts associated with Feng Shui and many other modalities (I-Ching, Chinese Medicine, yoga, martial arts). No doubt you are familiar with the tai chi symbol. The circle comprised of black and white tear-drop shapes intricately connected, yet, visibly different. They flow into one another making it difficult to tell where one begins or the other ends. Each has a center of the opposite. Even in the darkest space there is some light; and in the lightest space some dark.

Yin is considered the feminine energy often described as inward and receptive. Yang is considered the masculine energy often described as outward, dynamic and expressive. Most things have a yin and a yang. Hot and cold, night and day, rough and smooth are all examples. At first they might appear to be opposites, but upon further reflection we see that they are complementary.

Each provides its own advantages and at times may enable you to look more positively at the other. Too much heat might make you long for some refreshing cooler air. The energy of the day can keep you motivated, but the stillness of night is what helps you rejuvenate. Together they create harmony.

In Feng Shui we use the yin and yang concept to look at spaces from a balanced perspective. A space that is overly one or the other often lacks a sense of stability and comfort.

Look around your space to see if you have a balance of yin (curvy, round, asymmetrical, soft, sentimental, reflective) and yang (straight, square/columnar, symmetrical, productive). Look at paint colors; are they dark and saturated or light and bright? Look at your furniture; is it soft and comfy or do you have more hard lines? Those are two areas that you can start to think about how to balance with the complementary. Places to start include adding soft colors to a dark room, or adding round pillows/tables to a room that has more square furniture, for example.

I know that soon the white carpet that has captured a tiny boot print from my son and a larger paw print from my dog will melt and fade away. The yin of the winter will start to transition into the yang energy that captures spring and summer. And when the timing is right we will complement the memory of snow by capturing our footprints in the grass.

lisamccueBy Lisa Janusz

Wind & Water School of Feng Shui Registrar and Faculty

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