Thursday, March 24, 2011

Feng Shui For Your Health (Beyond The Vision Board)

I got a question last week asking me for Feng Shui tips for better health. What a great question!  Healthy living is one of the principles that is (in my opinion) a foundation of Feng Shui.  Your physical and emotional health is important because it allows you to function and experience all areas of your life more harmoniously (marriage, love, career, family, etc...)

There is no plant, crystal or water feature that can help you achieve better health unless you tackle one basic thing, first.  Clutter.

If you are focusing on better health, removing clutter from your home in general is crucial.  But we can break this project down even more for a better understanding:

The Bagua Map
In accordance with the Feng Shui Bagua Map, the mid-east area of your home is the "health area" of your home (if you are walking in the front door of your home, as you are looking in--it is located in the far mid-left area of your home (see diagram on right).

The Bagua Map works for the home and for each mid-east area in every room of your home.  The mid-left area of every room in your home is a health area based on the main entrance of that room (the entrance you always use).

Removal of clutter in these areas first, is an excellent start to better health!

The Clutter is Gone.  Now You're Ready For Chi (Energy) Enhancers in the Health Area
  • Water features are excellent chi enhancers when placed in health areas of your home. Keep them clean.  If you don't want a water feature, use artwork that shows a water feature or body of water.
  • Healthy plants (keep them dust free and healthy looking).
  • Use inspirational artwork that say things like, "Live Well" or "Be Happy, Be Healthy" (there are many choices out there).
  • Use shades of green in your health area as part of your decoration.  Use green in your clothing, too! Yes, Feng Shui yourself.
  • How about the air?  Is it clean and pleasant? Open the windows and usher stagnant energy out of the room or use air purifiers.
  • Use uplights to highlight plants or furniture.  Light pointing upward lifts your eye to the beautiful shadows and dimensions up toward the ceiling--representing a lift, expansion, personal growth and exceptional health beyond the actual furniture or plant you originally placed. If your mind is caught up on limiting thoughts, a feature like this is a subtle reminder that there is so much more.

Specific Rooms Represent Health, Too (No Matter Where They Are Located In Your Home)
Aside from cleaning and clearing the clutter from the physical health areas according to the Bagua, other areas of your home also represent and promote health, like the kitchen.  Clear the clutter of foods that are outdated and unhealthy. Replace foods with healthier choices.   Display foods like art--like a bowl full of fresh and colorful fruit.  Make sure the pantry, refrigerator and cabinets are clean and organized.  Make sure foods and cooking utensils can be easily identified and are easily accessible.  Organize, clean and decorate your kitchen so that it is a pleasure to prepare healthy meals.  Combine this time of clearing clutter in the kitchen with a healthy new habit:  adding more greens in your diet or meditation or any exercise plan....even a body cleanse if you're inclined to clear out the clutter from within yourself, too (check with your doctor, of course).

Another important area is the bedroom  Ensure a good night sleep by clearing clutter and decorating it in a way that promotes a sense of relaxation and ease.

Beyond Physical Health
Notice that the Bagua Map refers to the mid-east area as Health and Family.  Healthy, meaningful, supportive and stress-free relationships between family members (immediate and extended) also promotes good health. In my practice, I include special friendships, too.  They are people you have welcomed into your home and have included them as part of your family.

To welcome and strengthen this kind of supportive energy, another beautiful Chi enhancer for the health area of your home (if the health area is an area shared by all members of your family like a bathroom, dining room, living room, etc...) is photos.  Open the gates to healthy relationships by adding framed photos that conjure up loving and joyful memories.  If you can, use photos of family and close friends in healthy environments--at the beach, hiking, biking, skiing, sports, etc...

The beauty of Feng Shui is that it surrounds you automatically with the intentions you set.  A vision board that includes better health pictures or phrases is an awesome asset, but it may not always be with you.  In Feng Shui you are incorporating intention in your living space--physically creating and maintaining the energy you desire in a more constant way.  You have created the energy flow you desire and (whether you are thinking about it or not) you are taking that energy with you...it becomes a part of you.

More questions about this or any other aspect of Feng Shui?  Drop me a note....your question may just be the next blog post!  Wishing you healthy and joyful living!!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Spring Cleaning or Feng Shui Decluttering: Either Way, Your Energy Shift Is Waiting For You To Act

On occasion, when people find out I practice Feng Shui, almost immediately I hear something like, "I know it means I have to get rid of clutter, right?" Followed by (and I'm sure it's done lovingly) rolling eyes. Hey...different strokes, right?

I gather if you're reading this blog, it's because you are already in touch with the benefits of Feng Shui or some form of healing art.  Understanding and nurturing your essence, what makes you the best you, is key to continued personal growth and living life fully, abundantly and with joy.

What does your essence have to do with Feng Shui?  Well, bluntly, whatever is going on inside (your essence) is reflected externally (your surroundings).  This is why we all have different tastes in furniture, colors, fragrances, style.  So, if this is the case, have you taken a good hard look at your surroundings?  Is it reflecting how you feel or who you want to be?  If there is clutter around you, what you see probably doesn't match how you want to feel.

In Feng Shui, everything living and not living has energy. Yes, the "stuff" in your house has energy and it is either nourishing you or depleting you.  This article is about clutter so I'll just cut to the chase now--clutter is not nourishing you.

How To Approach Clutter:

Whether your entire house is full of clutter or simply a room or a closet, I want you, at this moment, to honor yourself and congratulate yourself for acknowledging that some work around the house could use your TLC. It's ok.  Clutter is not permanent.  To avoid the sense of being overwhelmed here are some ideas to consider:

Decide Where To Begin.  Start with the spot that irritates you most or run into most.  For example, Do you enter your home through your garage or kitchen or mud room every day? Are they cluttered?  If they are, in a very subconscious way, it is an irritant to see on a daily basis.  It is an energy that you unintentionally add to your energy flow.

Assess.  You've identified what you would like to tackle, now decide if this is a one day job, or a week, or a month.  Set a deadline for yourself.  Is it a simple clean up job or are you planning to clear, clean, paint and redo?

Simplify.  Tackle it in steps.  Begin with throwing away what is obvious trash.  Followed by sorting.  Does everything in that room belong in that room? Are garden tools in the mud room that belong in the garage? Toys that belong in the children's room?   Gather the family to help distribute items back where they belong.

Donate.  Are there items in that room simply because you don't know where else it should go?  Why are you holding on to them?  Do they represent who you are today?  Does it lift your spirits when you see it?  Is it a joy to clean and dust or an irritant?  Start a donation box.  If you are not sure how you will feel about donating a certain item, attempt placing the item into the donation box for a few days and experiment how you feel with it being gone (it's only in the box, you haven't taken it to a donation center, yet).  If you feel lifted, keep it in the donation box to give away at the end of the clean up.  If not, bring it back into the room.

Be Aware of Self-Talk.  Be mindful if you are giving yourself excuses about why every thing must stay. For example, "it costs too much when I bought it," or "I could use it in the future," or "it was a gift."  Don't let yourself get stuck.  If you are someone looking to move forward in life, looking for personal growth, then perhaps releasing some things you are "holding" may be a great benefit to you.  Some stuff is just "stuff" and some things are genuine "treasures."  Surely, not everything can be a treasure.

I love the healing arts.  Much of the healing arts tend to work from the "inside" (feelings, the mind, affirmations, etc...). What is different about Feng Shui is that it allows us to work on the outside to influence the inside (our essence) in a very positive way.  I am off to tackle the cabinets in my master bath to kick off my Spring...  
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"Contrary to popular belief, a disciplined and organized life is actually a liberated life. With your discipline you're transmuting what was once chaotic and random into something organized and directed." --James Arthur Ray, Harmonic Wealth pg 119.

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