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Posts Tagged Lisa Janusz

Open the Front Door to Feng Shui

by Lisa Janusz

I recently came across an article in one of my magazines that featured a house that had not one, not even two, but three front doors! And they were all painted the exact same way – red to stand out. The home owner’s quote was about it being welcoming, but from a Feng Shui perspective, it’s not that way; it’s confusing. From a visitor standpoint, which one do you go to? And if you’re familiar with the bagua, where would you place it? I don’t know that homeowner, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she felt scattered or unsettled.

In Feng Shui, front doors are vital to the energy that comes into our home. They are the “mouths of chi” and call in energy, welcome energy and keep it moving. We dedicate a lot of time to discussing front doors in our professional program for just that reason – they are critical pieces of the puzzle to the house’s story. This goes even when the front door isn’t used that often, in the case of the attached garage. But they’re still important!

No doubt I’ve got you thinking about your own front door. With the change of seasons, now is the perfect time to take a look and see what’s happening there and make a shift. Here are a few starting ideas:

  • Add a windchime, bell, or other sound element to “call in” what you’d like (opportunity, job, relationship, wealth, helpful people)
  • Add something with movement like a flag or whirligig to “move” in a new direction
  • Add flowers, new door mat, or lantern to renew the energy that could be stagnant from the dormancy of winter
  • Paint the door a color you love that is different from anything else on the house so it stands out. This is your calling card to the world, and let them know you are ready for what’s ahead. (Extra note: although red is a traditional color, painting the door a color you LOVE is always our recommendation. If that’s red, go for it!)
  • Add seating (as long as it doesn’t block the door) inside to invite opportunities to stay awhile
  • Use it so it gains momentum – get the mail, leave through that door to go for a walk

Our front door gets used pretty regularly (hey, it’s me after all!), and I’m pretty conscientious throughout the year changing our front door wreath and add other touches depending on the season. It brings a fresh energy to a key piece of our home.

If you are seeking some change in your life, start with your front door. See what happening there and have it work for you. You never know who – or what – will come physically – or metaphorically – knocking.

Intrigued? You can read more about front doors in this article from a few years ago.

Toys: A Feng Shui Approach

by Lisa Janusz

There’s no escaping the seemingly endless mountain of toys that builds (and builds) when you have children. Sometimes I feel like it multiplies when I’m not looking! I have my methods for trying to keep toys manageable. But even my methods are being tested these days. With birthdays and Christmas all within a 3-month period, the rapid increase is quickly heading towards overwhelm.

Before that happens, I will do a toy intervention of sorts. If you are experiencing a similar situation, here are some Feng Shui-aligned ideas on how to handle.

Have limitations on toy storage.

This means that when an area is full – it’s not time to find a new area, it’s time to rethink what’s going there. We have enough space dedicated to toys (both boys are still on the younger side): toybox and ottoman in the living room and two closets (not entirely filled with toys). That is plenty of room. When there are too many toys (like now) to fit, we get to work on making room for our current favorites.

Purge. Downsize. Release.

Whatever you want to call it, it’s necessary decluttering to downsize the toy collection. We do this a couple of times a year, keeping in mind we want to be gentle and manageable. First, we dedicate space on our main floor to our favorites (as mentioned above). Then we move toys we’re not yet ready to part with to the basement. These are toys that have been outgrown or just don’t fit with the current play style. They are accessible to make the transition easier (but not readily available). Toys that are played with anyway are kept a little longer, but those that are mostly forgotten are donated.

Make it timely, easy and meaningful.

We sort toys at least twice a year (timely) and as Carole mentioned above, we have a dedicated, ongoing spot for donations (easy). This is key. It’s become such a part of our routine that my eldest has placed items to donate in the spot and let me know he added something. To make it meaningful, as we go through the process we talk about how lucky we are to have so much and that someone with less will enjoy it. My hope is that they view donating as not taking toys away from them, but giving to someone else.

It’s not always easy; sometimes we have to make some “tough decisions” about what needs to go. But for me, it’s a life lesson in that it’s a constant process (even for me). As you know, with Feng Shui, everything is energy so we need to be diligent about what we keep in our space. If it doesn’t support us, it should be given the chance to support someone else.

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