I live with only what I love in my home and my life. Everyday that love expands. Everyday life gets better.
The idiom of “raising the bar” is all about setting a higher standard and expecting more from life.
No matter what you are doing or where you are in life, if the bar isn’t rising a little higher exponentially, you stop growing.
In an academic setting, a competitive corporate environment or as an athlete, this idea of raising the bar is easier to assimilate. For all of us who want to grow and have no structure that pushes us in certain ways by its nature, we have to actively choose to raise the bar.
A higher bar isn’t about standards that are unrealistic or damning or wanting for perfection. Raising the bar is all about incrementally expanding and getting better and better every day, even in small ways. In fact, small ways work much better than enormous leaps most of the time.
Let’s get into ways to set your own bar higher for your space… and your life, too!
Today in the Catalyst Camp life decluttering group, a lovely member decided that she was raising the bar for herself. After a few weeks of decluttering her eyes were opened to the pitfalls- and possibilities- that she didn’t notice before this time.
That’s what happens when you start clearing lots of space that was cluttered by stuff, or bad ideas or outmoded emotional baggage… you see things freshly.
My own mentor, Gabriele Van Zon, called it “feng shui eyes” that people develop when they start making changes in space for the better. Your awarness is greater. You see more that you couldn’t notice before.
The first step I’ve seen in successfully raising the bar for anything is awareness. You need to wake up even more to see what’s actually going on in your home… or your office… or your life in some way.
One of the best ways to raise awareness is to get back to basics. Eat well, sleep more, clean your house to the degree that you can at the moment and feel as present as possible.
When you have your own personal sense of wellbeing in a good place, you can see things more clearly.
Next: decide what matters most to develop to a higher level first. If you try to do everything enormously better all at once, its a bit of a nightmare.
For example, I spent a long time developing my blog to a place where it could expand with less effort on my part. I did this to the exclusion of lots of clients and developing other projects because I really wanted a platform to share with all of you that would be vast and exciting. It required a lot of developing to get it to that place. It started with learning how to post more effectively. Then it was focusing on photography. Then, photoshop. Then, expanding content…
Now, between projects I can revisit this deep focus on the blog and expand it in fun ways. But I had to get it to a place where it was working well first before I could take my eye off of it and focus on really growing and developing other things.
In your own home or life, if things are stagnant, decide what would be most beneficial for you to focus on first.
Then, focus. Focus. Focus. You can’t focus on everything all at once. I heard lots of people telling me that my blog was a waste of time and I should be “hustling” more in business. That was their thing. I did it my way. And with focus. Whatever you put your eye on will grow.
If you want more organization, focus on it. More love: focus on it. More money: make that your focus.
It doesn’t mean that you sit with tunnel vision and only do that one thing… but it does mean that you are committed to doing what it takes – including tossing extra time and energy and resources- to grow that stagnant, stuck, or outmoded area to a place where you feel like the bar is higher and you love the way it feels. It can be fitness. It can be house cleaning. It can be anything you need and want to improve.
Keep innovating. This is the “metal energy” part of the cycle of creating anything in feng shui. Curate what you are doing. Innovate as you go. Streamline your new routines. Make your workout more effective. Set aside the time you need to stay organized. Find ways to do things easier, better, more effortlessly, and more specifically, most of all!
And then, pick a new thing to more intensely develop. Once you have things rolling with a higher bar in one area of life, pick another.
I had a friend take a year to develop her business with her heart and soul invested with intensity, and now she’s doing the same with other areas of her life. While this example is extreme- dedicating a year nearly whole-heartedly to one thing- it was her way and it worked.
You may get into working out and then decide its time to focus on your social life. Or you may invigorate your home with a big declutter and new organizing habits and then decide its time to focus on expanding your education.
Whatever it is, however it works and wherever it is applied, keep raising the bar a bit higher.
The simple decision to raise the bar as a friend and be there more for the people you love is life-changing. And the more you can make these decisions, for you and for others, the more you will actually see change where you used to feel stuck.
Exciting stuff to stretch yourself this week… and moving forward… all the time!
I had tea with a dear friend who leaned in during our morning together and said, “You should try sound therapy.” It was like a lightning bolt went off in my body. While I am a big believer in music to free an environment, I gravitate toward the senses of sight, touch and smell far more than sound. This gaping hole in my own experience of space was ready to be activated! Let’s get a bit into sound today and understand its nature.
First off, lets start with the idea that sound is actually waves. Our ears can take in certain waves in the air and our brains decipher them. Based on the quality and type of wave, we have different emotional responses. I am so fascinated that our ears can’t “hear” the waves of cell phones and computers but then, these devices translate waves like other brains for us, into sounds we know and understand. That said our air is rife with more “waves” of sound than ever. This is all energy. It’s part of why I am so sensitive to high-electronic environments, for at some level too many waves around me tend to make my own thoughts feel dispersed. Do you have that response?
We are electric. We need to recharge our own energies. I write a lot about color effects on our lives, and color is a wavelength as well. Some rare (and I feel, lucky!) individuals can actually see music as colors. They have a form of what is called synesthesia that defines how their brains and bodies process certain sensory information. I happen to feel things intensely and physically when I see them, which is how I account for my own personal aesthetic and my work in interiors and environments. Synesthesia is a big topic that we will delve into soon, but for today, lets look at magical sound.
Singing bowls produce different “notes” of music that are said to help integrate your body energy, help you to focus and get aligned physically and emotionally. Big stuff, I know. Now, I can’t make a real claim for the ability of anything to heal your body or mind, but I can share my experience. When I “sang” my own bowl that arrived yesterday, both dogs were engaged and at attention. The house felt at ease. My own thoughts became very still for a moment. As I play with it, I love it more and more. Mine is a D note, I feel… very creatively inspired. Each singing bowl plays its own notes. The notes vibe with different areas of your body’s energy . This I definitely feel for myself. It’s a new experience to enjoy!
This neat chart from breaks down the energies and notes that correlate with different parts of your body, different colors, and your life. I thought it was a fascinating way to integrate sound and color and life.
I will be using my beautiful bowl to clear the air at home. It really is beautiful!
Sanctuary. Even the word is relaxing. We all need to unplug, and we all need space to do that without interruption. HERE are a five excellent ideas to get your home more “sanctuary-like” by next week!
Calming colors. Shades of blue, grey and my personal favorite, silver sage, can take the “heat” out of a room if you tend to get anxious or wound-up with tension. If you are always cold by nature, shades of earth tones or warmer neutrals can bring you some fire and earth to be fortified and stable.
Fountains. The ultimate in creating a sanctuary vibe, fountains are as effective as their size. I caution people from adding giant fountains to their home without consulting a professional- they can not only do physical damage to your home, they can also get an area of your life moving so powerfully that you are unprepared for the results! That said, you can’t go wrong with smaller fountains, and if adding a big one is on your agenda, let me know!
Music. Your favorite music should always be on hand and ready to roll. That said, deviate from your go-to popular tracks and opt for classical or other rhythmic music that is instrumental to give yourself an orchestral zone-out time.
Plushness. Have at least one thing you can sink into to sit and zone out. It can be a beanbag, a chair, a sofa or even a pile of pillows…but make that spot your own & revel in that space to sink in and shut off.
Nature magnets. Bird feeders. Sage bushes. Lavender plants. Draw in nature to your windows or a patio to infuse your life with more nature. Lavender bushes will attract butterflies. Sage, too. A bird feeder can be a wonderful way to outflow to the universe AND bring birds to your backyard. Magnetizing nature brings in tremendous amounts of good vibes!
This little tip has the potential to be a doozy, because beams are so controversial in feng shui. Beams visually “chop up” a space and are thought by some to energetically impinge upon it, so as to stop the flow of energy. That’s not all true. Beams can also create fabulous rhythm in a room and heighten its the architecture and stateliness. You just need to work with these beams, not against them!
So, what is wrong above? Beams, and beam-like architectural feature, demand that you respect their symmetry. If we moved everything in the room over a foot and a half to the left, we’d have a symmetrical space that is defined by the architecture. Instead, we have a space that feels crooked and the furniture, however lovely, feels ill-fit to the room.
A few things you can do in rooms other than the bedroom (those will be separate tips) to reduce the “choppy” vibe of beams:
1. Use strong art to pull focus from the ceiling. Here, this room is saved by the engaging painting behind the sofa.
2. Don’t set up seating that is directly under beams- or avoid it as much as possible.
3. Respect the symmetry that beams create, especially when hanging art.
4. Use a big chandelier to pull energy away from the ceiling and create a new point of focus in a room filled with ceiling beams.
5. Hang lanterns, mobiles or other decorative elements as appropriate when a chandelier won’t do for you, to re-imagine the point of focus in your room.
And… in most cases you will have beams that are working more in your favor to create spacial music rather than discord. Before you dive into a tip, visualize it and see if it “feels” right. I bet you have great instincts, so trust them! Enjoy!
Today’s fast feng shui of the day has to do with trusting yourself more than you trust the voices of authority or the rules of how things should be. If something feels truly wrong it is wrong. This applies to your home, to the way your life is organized, to your diet, to your thoughts… to your whole world. If it feels wrong, it is wrong.
I love the cobalt blue bookshelves above. If I recommended them to a client and they re-created the look solely because I said to do it, even though they hated that blue, it would be a disaster. No one would be happy.
Because I can’t quite read minds (!) but I can feel out spaces and see what’s happening in lives based on what I see and feel, I can pull tons of ideas out for a client to make the shifts they want to make. Sometimes I say something like… “What about your bed here?” and I see things shrink or go silent. It feels wrong to the client. We talk. “You don’t have to do this, you know, ” I say. ”But, I will if you say it is right.” Nope. That’s the road to wrong choices. Then we talk. We adjust. I leave lots of room for people to voice what is happening and how ideas land on them so that we design their ideal space, not mine … and not a space based on a bunch of rules from books.
Your space is your space. Your comfort level is your comfort level. You want what you want, and no one should make you feel wrong for wanting what you want. If you start giving in to things that feel wrong, you move away from your own truth. This is why I steer clear of superstitious nonsense that the traditional practices of feng shui are full of- they take away your power and become a reality superimposed upon your own. If you were going to have bed luck because of where they door is in your house, well, you might as well give up on life. Its the type of thinking that crushes your dreams, makes you feel small and leaves you in a space of wishing and hoping rather than living.
The more you accept what feels wrong, the more the happiness in your life becomes a fantasy.
When I make recommendations to people about their homes, and even suggestions for habits or other ideas they might find valuable, I do it under the very important premise that they are recommendations. I am really clear that if something feels wrong- not uncomfortably new or revolutionary in a way that is a bit of a leap- it is wrong for them. Or it may be wrong for now.
Do not talk yourself into thinking it is right or it is OK if it is wrong. I’ve been there. The minute I hear myself excusing things that really feel wrong I know I am on the precipice of a free-fall into a bad situation.
My suggestion based on years of giving up my own sense of what felt right to “authorities” is to not push yourself to do things that are contrary to your nature because you think in some way they will benefit you in the end. There’s a difference between the good type of uncomfortable ( healthy compromise, risk-taking, pushing your own limits, vulnerability) and the bad type of uncomfortable (hurt feelings, disconnection from your life, feeling small or clinging to wishes divorced from reality). You know the difference. If you trust those feelings, you can take the risks and push the boundaries without waking up in feeling like you are not living your own life.
Experimentation is freeing. Try things. Make shifts . Trust yourself. Go slow. Adjust. And keep going!
“Feng Shui can be seen as the practice of being in the right place, at the right time. Being in the right time cannot be compared to being in the right place. Being in the right place cannot be compared to doing the right thing”
The Emperor Guangshi. 407-411AD.
The History of Feng Shui
Feng Shui is as old as the hills and that is literally where it originated! From the mountainous south western region of China during the Han Dynasty (200 B.C. – 200 A.D.), the earliest known records of Feng Shui can be established. The mountains and hills of this region gave way to the development of the predecessor of modern Feng Shui which is known as the Form School. The rugged typography of this region of south western China provided the inspiration for finding the most auspicious sites – initially for dwellings and burial sites. Form School Feng Shui was traditionally intended to find locations within the landscape that had beneficial Chi energy, that protected the inhabitants or, as in the case of burial sites, allowed their Chi not only to be protected but to remain in the “background” as support for their descendants. This early appreciation that our landscape is a living, breathing entity charged by Chi energy provides the backbone to traditional Form School Feng Shui. Chi energy can be potentially distracting/destructive as well as harmonious/energising. With trained experience and intuition, early practitioners could detect where this auspicious Chi presented itself and guide those who were not aware of its subtle presence as to where to locate dwellings or burial sites.
This perception of our landscape and immediate environment being a living, harmonious organism is also underlying early Chinese and even current Chinese appreciation of how our own bodies work and function. Acupuncture is a fine example of how a skilled practitioner in this field can detect where the Chi is blocked or hyperactive within a client and knows how to restore this imbalance through appropriate treatment. However, both systems have one major factor in common. This is that prevention is better than cure! Feed, fuel and energise the body appropriately and it will be of great service, while at the same time, locating your home in a well protected yet energising location will provide the best benefits for the inhabitants.
The Form School was further refined much later in A.D. 888 by the teachings and practice of Yang Yun Sung who was, at the time, an adviser to the Emperor. Most scholars accept him as the forefather of this modern interpretation of Feng Shui which is known as the Compass School. His works are still regarded as classics and some 100 years later, during the Song Dynasty, they were adapted and further refined by Wang Chih who is now regarded as the main influence in the majority of material that is studied and practised nowadays associated with the Compass School of Feng Shui. This approach to Feng Shui developed in the flat south eastern plains of China where it was naturally difficult to use the mountainous landscape that was the influence and inspiration of Form School Feng Shui which developed in the south west.
The Compass School incorporates many aspects of the Form School – in fact all modern systems will still acknowledge that as the first practical step to take. In reality, this means being aware of how Chi energy is flowing, not just within the home but how it also approaches it. Being able to assess whether Chi energy is benefitting the property or “attacking” the property is fundamental Form School work. Do you or your home have what is known as support behind you – this is represented by having the mountain behind you for support, which is drawn directly from the Form School. However, the Compass School brings in more depth, it is more scientific than practical and has evolved in many different directions over the last few centuries. Not all the approaches interface with each other but what they do have in common is a fundamental appreciation of Chi and discovering “where we are” both in time in space.
From a Feng Shui perspective, windows are regarded as the “eyes” of the home. They need to be large enough to allow adequate amounts of light and Chi to infuse your environment and not too small leaving you feeling like a recluse.
Too many windows, relative to the size of your space, is likely to make you feel too active. These can serve as a bigger problem with children, making them hyperactive.
Reducing the Chi charge through the window can be achieved by installing blinds – whether these be roller blinds or ideally wooden blinds. Windows are best if they open outwards, keep them spotlessly clean and replace all cracked panes.
Skylights are useful to bring in the extra light but there are situations where they are best avoided. Big Feng Shui “no no’s” include placing your skylight over the cooker – this is symbolic of losing your Chi and the essence of your food out through the roof.
Skylights are fine in the kitchen, provided they are away from the cooker.
The other situation is over your bed as your Chi is likely to be dispersed through the skylight. Definitely avoid this situation over the bed of a small child. It can leave them feeling tired and drained and sub-consciously can make them feel uncomfortable as they lack complete privacy and may feel that they are being watched.
Creativity, abundance, feeling sexy, being loved, being fertile (for both men & women) and being energized: they all sound great, right?! Well, the energy of life-giving creativity, sexuality and even financial prowess are all situated in the same area according to holistic medicine and energy healing. Chakras are a fancy word for energy centers on your body that store information and regulate the flow of life force or “chi” through your body. Feng shui is a way to do the same “energy directing” of chi through your home. Here is a little holistic & feng shui inspiration and ideas to open up your second chakra a bit if you feel blocked in your creative and abundant power.
Your second or “sacral” chakra is located under your belly button. The idea is that when you are blocked here, you’ll have trouble with creativity, money, sex … potentially problems with your stomach, uterus (women), kidneys… Of course I am not a doctor but I am sharing what I have been both taught and counseled by experts, and you can take it with a grain of salt. By no means would I suggest hanging orange curtains to cure kidney disease, etc, etc, but, that said, orange curtains might just support your healing, even just on an emotional level. That’s what integrated and holistic lifestyle is at its best. You don’t get too hyper-focused on just one way to “fix” something “broken.” Rather, you can explore true lifestyle switches that can create greater balance to your entire life. I don’t know about you, but that really excites me!
Orange is the color of the second chakra. So, of course, mixing some orange into your decor- especially the emotive darer tangerines and juicy citrus shades, is one stimulating idea. Mind you, too much orange in your decor will be overwhelming, so be sparing and stick to either accessories or using orange in rooms that are very well lit and full of windows.
(align the bottom row with the wall that contains the main entrance door of a home , or the entrance door to a room)
In the feng shui bagua, believe it or not (!) the second chakra correlates with LEGACY which is sometimes called FAMILY. So, check out what is happening in this area of your house (and your life) and see it it can be cleaned, cleared or otherwise brightened. By the way, this area of family is directly in line with creativity. So, your creative fulfillment will strength family and your legacy.
Carnelian is one of the gemstones in fiery orange red that is thought to support this area of your body energetically. I happen to love it. You can add it to a necklace, put some on a counter top display, even plop some in your plant pots!
Orange foods are also thought to open up and balance your second chakra. Please keep in mind that the idea is moderation! Orange foods in excess can turn you orange!
More active, bold and vibrant creative indulgence is often recommended to heal imbalances in this area. Journals and sketchbooks are an outstanding place to start actively exploring your imagination outside of your head!
And, aromatherapy for this area includes a luscious rose. Rose, rosewood and small amounts of ylang ylang essential oils are divine both to smell and experience in massage oil. I mix some with raw coconut oil and use it as a body oil. Powerful and awesome. (*Always patch text aromatherapy for 24 hours on your wrist before, and read up on oils before using them to learn any precautions.)
Last but not least, please remember that this is not meant to be “work.” Holistic goodies should be, at the very least, simple, and at best, exciting and delicious to explore!
There are two important over views of this space that you need to consider regarding the location and use of this space. Firstly, the bathroom and toilet are primarily governed by and driven by the element Water. In Feng Shui, Water is associated with wealth, prosperity, career and good cash flow. Secondly, the function of these rooms is associated with elimination and waste. With these two considerations in mind, it is easier to de-mystify the main rules that apply to the layout and location of this space.
Inauspicious locations for the toilet include:-
1. Opposite the kitchen – the element of Fire and Water will clash in this situation. The leap from the preparation of the food (kitchen) to the elimination of food (toilet) is too violent for this to be seen as an auspicious position.
2. Avoid placing a toilet adjacent to the front door – in Feng Shui, we can regard the doorway as the mouth of our home, where career and opportunities enter, whereas the toilet is clearly at the other end of this process and needs to be as far away as possible from the front door.
3. Avoid positioning the toilet directly opposite the front door, even if this is at the end of a passage. This kind of position can lead to wasted opportunities and lost prospects, both career wise and financially.
4. The worst location for the toilet in the family home or even a business is dead centre. It is quite a common feature in family homes where the builder has considerately installed a toilet under the stairs. From a Feng Shui point of view this is considered a disaster regarding your health and financial prospects. The centre of your home (the T’ai Chi) is best left either open or with some focus for your attention and this could even include a water feature. What is not suited in this situation is a space which is associated with waste and loss. Before you give up in desperation, there is a possible remedy. Instead of placing a full length mirror on the outside of the toilet door, thus giving the impression that the toilet does not exist Always keep the toilet door shut and insist that the occupants of the house keep the lid of the toilet down, helping to supress any loss of Chi and luck. A toilet centrally located in the house is a far bigger challenge – in this situation, I would recommend you place a full length mirror on both sides of the door if you cannot persuade yourself to designate this space to storage.
For both the bathroom and the toilet, always make sure that the plumbing fixtures are spotlessly clean and work. Dripping taps encourage you to waste money, noisy plumbing and cisterns are disturbing on a subliminal level. Keep the area light, airy and well lit. Ideal colours for the bathroom or the toilet include light greys, creams and pale blues.
If your toilet is located in the South Eastern sector of your home – wealth and blessings, you may also wish to consider placing a full length mirror on the outside of the door. To help counteract cash and opportunities being flushed away, consider keeping a bowl of pebbles on the shelf above the toilet or on the cistern itself. This concentrated form of Earth energy will help to control water. A black or red coloured rug at the base of the pedestal could also be used as a protective device.
The bathroom is often the first place we sit in in the morning. When we wash and prepare ourselves for the day, you need to have the biggest possible view of yourself at that time. I don’t recommend tiling with mirrors your entire bathroom wall but do place a large mirror behind the basin used for washing first thing. This helps you to start the day with a big clear, bright vision. A small round cracked mirror is going to limit your possibilities! In the same way, being greeted by a mirror that is split in 2 – very fashionable with bathroom cabinets, can also get you off to a difficult start. You are not seeing the whole picture. If a basin or a bath waste plug sits in the South Eastern sector, keep the plug in when you are not using it to prevent loss of money.
In the same way that stairs give us access to different levels of the home, they provide a channel for Chi to move freely within your space. In traditional Feng Shui, the auspicious number of stairs were always considered to be odd numbers.
Stairs are best if they are solid as openings at the back of each step allows the Chi to escape and does not easily rise upwards. Ultimately it confuses the Chi. In the same way, spiral staircases are regarded as a Feng Shui “no no” as they dissipate and confuse the Chi as it tries to rise or fall in the stair well.
Curving stairways are regarded as the most auspicious but a landing half way up can also serve the purpose of sedating the Chi as it rises or falls. The worst scenario of all is where the staircase leads directly to the front door. This is common in many modern and Victorian homes and leads to the loss of opportunity and the occupants of the home always being in a rush, coming and going and seldom settled. In many ways modern lifestyle reflects this anyway. We are always on the move, our work is generally away from home and our lifestyles are far from sedentary.
One solution to help slow down this rush of Chi towards the door from the staircase would be to hang a wind chime on the ceiling above the lowest upright support for the banister at the base of the stairs. A heavy statue or figurine at floor level at the base of the stairs could also act to bring stability to the situation.
As Chi, rather like dust, likes to stagnate in nooks and crannies, keep the stairway freshly brushed and well lit.
Architecturally and aesthetically split level homes can seem initially pleasing. Rather like a Japanese garden, there are new vistas to be had around every corner. The different levels – like a drop down into the kitchen or a slight rise to the dining room, give the home a sense of proportion. However, from a Feng Shui point of view, they are not regarded as ideal. Chi, rather like water, likes to find its own level.
Living on so many levels is likely to cause separation and isolation amongst the inhabitants. This could translate to be that the family “does their own thing” rather than gathering at meal times for example, there may be a tendency for individual members of the family to eat separately, or be watch television or be sitting in their room.
This room or section of a room needs careful consideration. To begin with, it is important that you define what you are primarily using this space for. Is this an area designated for your children to get on with their homework? Is it simply a desk where you keep up to date with your correspondence and bills? Is this where you bring your work home and spend several hours in the evening or even at the weekends completing projects? Is this an area where you study for a course or diploma at present? All of these uses need to have some stabilisation, focus, stillness and peace. On the other hand, as with the growing trend in our society, you may be working from home. A large proportion of your time needs to be engaged in communication with the outside world. If you become isolated and lack the charge of the interaction with your colleagues and clients, it could easily lead to you being side lined and forgotten. In this particular instance, you need to be looking at ways to vitalise this area and increase the potential for you to be in communication with the outside world.
What ever your desired use is for this space, there are basic Feng Shui considerations that you can apply. Ideally this area is quiet, with no distractions and is out of the main thoroughfare of the home. The position and structure of both your desk and chair are vital. A common mistake in modern society is to place the desk up against a wall with layer of layer of useful shelves towering above, heavily laden with books and notes and magazines! This is a Feng Shui nightmare! From this perspective you are likely to feel trapped, over burdened and uninspired. Just to complete the nightmare, have your back facing the door! The first step is to make sure that you have a desk that is strong, stable and clutter free – that is both on the surface and within the drawers. The imagery of study and contemplation is represented by the Trigram from the I Ching – the Mountain.
Your desk ideally represents this image. Secondly, make sure that the chair you use is stable and gives your back good support. It is fine if the chair swivels and that you can adjust its height and angle but it must have a good “mountain” behind. Get these two pieces of furniture firmly stable and you will bring stability to your studies.
The next job is to look at the position of your desk and chair, relative to the room. In an ideal world, we would position ourselves in the sector of study and contemplation which is in the North East. Even if you do not position yourself in this sector in your study, make sure that the South Eastern corner is kept clutter free, bright and inspiring.
Try to position yourself so that you can see the door from where you sit and avoid a situation where you could be in the “draught” of Chi that could occur if there is a window opposite the door. Similarly check that you are not positioning yourself in a through draught of Chi that may be occurring if you sit midway or along the path or in the direct line of 2 facing windows. This will affect your concentration as your ideas will leave via the window!
Daylight from the windows can be very uplifting and inspiring but try to avoid positioning your desk so that you are looking directly out of the window. You may find yourself being constantly distracted. Sitting close enough to benefit from the sunlight and at a glance being able to see the view sideways is far better than a) looking directly out of the window and b) being stuck in some dimly lit corner. Images of stability, such as mountainous landscapes, can help you focus while the images of moving water such as lakes, streams and oceans, can help bring you inspiration.
If, when working from home, it is vital that you are in communication with the outside world – your clients and colleagues, then you can consider these ideas to help you keep in communication. Initially, you must deal with the obvious. Keep your desk a clutter free zone and deal with any outstanding back log of bills, memos, enquiries and commitments. Until these are really effectively dealt with, you are blocking the potential for new possibility to arrive. Pay particular attention next to the North Western sector of your study. This represents our mentors, our helpful friends and our potential for international trade and travel. Obviously keep this area clutter free and consider positioning your communications system within this sector – telephone, fax machine. Keep the area well lit, bring in some sparkle and if you wish to open up contact and communication with all 4 corners of the world, consider placing an illuminated globe in this sector.
If this room is also going to be used for your lounge or dining area, then remember that both of these activities are Yin and relaxing compared to the Yang activity of the communication and focus that your work requires. Make the effort to discipline your time when you designate this a Yang area – during office hours and then look at how you can simply transform the space by the use of screens or colours to create a more relaxing atmosphere for meal times, socialising or watching television.
Whether this is the hallway of your own home, or one that you share with another tenant or the lobby in your block of flats, the same fundamental principles apply. Ideally this space needs to be open and well lit. As you enter the hallway, it needs to reveal to the visitor where they are and where to go next. The more clear this is to them, the more clear and positive the charge of Chi will be that enters the home. As you enter some homes, you are often greeted by a blank wall. Although not ideal, there are a couple of things that can be done to alter the situation. An uplifting piece of art work directly in front of you is one suggestion. Laying a rug or carpet that reveals to the visitor which way to go is also helpful. A mirror in this tight corner can be helpful to open up the space but not directly in line with the front door as this will reflect back all the positive Chi that is entering.
If, as you enter the home through the front door you are greeted by an interior door in the hallway, make sure that it hinges in the same way. This is vital otherwise it can reflect in confused Chi entering the house leading to different levels of “chaos and confusion” amongst the occupants. It is preferable to have this second interior door paned with glass which is more revealing and comforting to the visitor. Being faced by another solid door has the potential to block the Chi too much.
Hallways really must be clutter free zones. Picking your way through walking boots, walking sticks, umbrellas, childrens’ toys and bicycles really does hinder “opportunity” entering your home. A hallway that leads directly to a toilet is regarded as one of the big Feng Shui “no no’s”. The flushing away process is symbolic of losing money. Remember that water is always symbolically associated with cash flow and money. There are no simple solutions to this problem. However, the least you can do is keep the door firmly closed at all times.
If when standing at the front door and looking along the hallway you can see the back door, then there is another potential problem. Chi will inevitably enter the house and like a draught, exit through the back door. You really need to look at how to slow down this Chi before you are the victim of too many lost opportunities in your life or career. Depending on the length of the hallway through to the back door, you could position 2 or 3 wind chimes, high enough up to avoid banging your head. You could also place a bead curtain at the back door. If you dislike wind chimes, consider placing strategically hung baskets. If the top section of the back door is panelled with glass, you may wish to try hanging a red or gold glass, lead surrounded, flat piece of art work in this glass section of the door to help slow down the lost Chi. Ultimately, place plant pots in the hallway to help the Chi meander rather than rush through your home.
In most traditional cultures, the kitchen is regarded as vital to the health and welfare of the family and indeed it can even be regarded as sacred. In the same way, our own mothers and grandmothers would severely reprimand us if we fooled around in their space, made their floor messy, tinkered with their cooking pots while they were preparing a meal or upset the contents of the fridge. For the cook, they have the responsibility for nourishing the family and this is where our blood and our Chi originates. In traditional Feng Shui, the kitchen was reasonably secluded and definitely off limits for pranksters and general traffic. Cooking is undoubtedly one of the highest expressions of love and the cook needs a space where they can begin to create the health of the family in peace and quiet.
From a Chi perspective, the kitchen therefore needs to have no “through draught” of Chi. The front door facing the kitchen and the back door is a typical example in contemporary times. The cook needs to have a feeling of focus without distractions and therefore an ideal position for a cooker is away from the door, while at the same time giving the cook a sense of security so that they can actually see the door from they are positioned. For practical purposes, if this is not possible, it is possible to install a mirror on the splashback behind the cooker, angled in such a direction so that the cook can see the door. Remember, Chi energy not only enters through windows and doors but also dissipates. Try to avoid placing a cooker directly underneath a skylight and avoid placing it directly in front of a window – just to the side is perfect. Check the area in the vicinity of where the cook stands for potential cutting Chi. Sharp edges from the kitchen table or other units within this space are obvious sources. Another potential source of cutting Chi is the hood from the extractor unit which is often at head level or higher. Notice if this bearing down directly on you in any way.
Since the dawn of civilisation, we have cooked with fire and the modern interpretation of this flame is the recommendation to use gas rather than electricity or microwave. While a flame will not necessarily change the nutritional value of the food compared to the use of electricity or microwave, it will certainly change the Chi. I personally dislike the lack of visible control that electricity or microwave cooking provides me with as I cook. The flame is the full expression of fire energy and as such, is a microcosm of what the source of so much of our Chi in life is – the sun. Simply speaking, when we cook we are placing a little bit of sun under our food and with skill and practise, we can adjust this fire to suit our needs. If you have not cooked for a long time on a flame, then consider preparing your food on a gas stove (even a portable camping unit) for a 10 day period and notice how different the food not only tastes but the change of Chi that you become aware of.
There is also the strong possibility of a clash of Elements within the kitchen – namely Fire and Water. In the diagram below (Figure 21), you are reminded of the relationship between Water and Fire. From a Feng Shui perspective, it is considered unwise to position water either opposite the cooker or adjacent to it. In this context, water is naturally the sink but can also include the fridge, the deep freeze, the dishwasher or a washing machine. However, the first 3 are the most important. If this is the case, then the obvious solution is to re-site one of the elements or if they are adjacent to one another and it is impractical, then put in place the mitigating Element – in this case Wood/Tree between the two features. This could be translated to imply hanging wooden cooking utensils between the water and the cooker or storing a wooden chopping block between the two Elements.
Keeping your cupboard, your larder, your fridge well stocked implies abundance, richness and even generosity. We can all recall the experience of Chi when we open an empty cupboard or a poorly stocked refrigerator in search of something to eat! By having plenty and even cooking a little more than is necessary, exudes the Chi of hospitality and friendship. In the same way, serving stingy portions exudes the kind of Chi that is too tight, too Yang and lacks real warmth.
Central cooking stations in the middle of the room are becoming popular in modern kitchen design. From a Chi perspective, this can work for some individuals and not for others. Some cooks prefer the focus and concentration of cooking whereas others would like to be at the centre of the room, involved in all the traffic and have the kind of Chi that thrives on this situation. If you have such a feature or wish to design one, make sure that the edges are rounded to avoid cutting Chi and remember the obvious conflict of Fire and Water. Unlike in traditional times, the kitchen has tended to become the focal point for eating. This makes sense as it is naturally one of the warmest rooms in the house and with a little care, the position and layout of the dining area can bring great harmony and communication to the members of the household. Consider the difference between people eating on stools, with no mountain (support) behind them at a kitchen bar type table which faces a wall. It will encourage little communication and eating in a hurry. On the other hand, a layout which includes a stable, preferably round table surrounded by comfortable supportive dining chairs – ideally in even numbers, sets the tone for communication and focus. I personally really value sitting around the table and sharing a meal with my family. It is, for me, the highlight of the day. Communication is possible, sharing is possible, rather than individual members dashing off to their rooms with their plate or sitting in another room in front of the T.V. completely out of communication. As with all areas of your home, if you set the tone using the essential understanding of Chi in both the design and layout of space, you are simply supporting and stage managing a healthy, vibrant environment.
The most obvious factors to take into consideration regarding the children’s bedroom is that they are growing, exploring, curious, active, unique and evolving into their true potential. How can you begin to create a space which can reflect all these needs? Given that they spend a third of their formative life in this space, it is vital that the bedroom reflects their personality and desire to grow and explore. Green and blue decor has a relaxing effect while shades of yellow can stimulate their mind, unless the yellow is particularly bright it is unlikely to cause insomnia.
Try to keep the central sector of the bedroom floor free for them to use as they please. Whether this is for their games, their projects or simply wrestling with their siblings, it needs to be open and free for the circulation of Chi. Generally speaking, mobiles are excellent in children’s bedrooms. They help to circulate the Chi within the space but I wouldn’t recommend placing them directly over their head while they are asleep. The position of their bed relative to the door (as with adults) is also vital. However, do let them experiment where they feel most comfortable sleeping within the room.
For younger children, it is important to bring furniture into the room that is of their scale. Living as they do in an adult world, they may feel that they are in Lilliput, surrounded by massive people, huge furniture and wardrobes that look the size of houses! Position a full length mirror from the floor upwards so that they can see themselves. Obviously avoid placing this where their image is reflected while they are asleep. For older children, do allow them the freedom to personalise their space. What colours, what wallpaper, the layout. It is one thing to consider what we think is appropriate but they inevitably have a very different idea.
If two children share the same bedroom, then try to create some form of screening to allow them to personalise and individualise their own sector of the room. Children, like adults, all need their own space. Make sure that they have good access to controlling the lighting of the room and that any bedside light is quick and easy for them to find.
Sleeping under skylights, beams and shelves laden up with books and puzzles is certainly not ideal. The pressure from above can give them headaches and disturb their night’s rest. Children adore bunk beds – they are an adventure, they have a choice of fighting for who sleeps on top and who sleeps underneath! If this is the only solution in the space that you have, make sure that the children interchange where they sleep regularly. Sleeping on the lower bunk gives a feeling of being under pressure and being in a cave. To soften this effect, consider painting the “ceiling” of the upper bunk a light colour to give more of an impression of space for the child who sleeps on the lower bunk.
We spend between a quarter and a third of our lives in the bedroom, re-charging our batteries in an environment that needs to be safe, secure and intimate. Family rooms, kitchens and playrooms are active spaces -Yang whereas where we sleep needs to be fundamentally more Yin and relaxing. The best position for the main bedroom is furthest away from the front door, preferably diagonally opposite the entrance also. On a subliminal level, this gives you the extra feeling of protection, stability and security. The worst possible scenario is to have your bedroom facing or close to the front door. To set the tone for a harmonious relationship, an equal sided room is best with no sectors missing. If you have an adjacent toilet or bathroom, always make sure that this doorway is closed when you are asleep. Bedrooms positioned above garages are regarded as a Feng Shui “no, no” as the dead space below you gives the bedroom a lack of support. How you decorate and furnish your bedroom is purely personal but there are a few considerations regarding colour from a Feng Shui point of view. Green has a very calming effect; blue, while it is relaxing can be a little too cool. The colour yellow is very stimulating for the mind and you may become too restless or spend hours and hours at night reading. Peach coloured walls and furnishings are said to encourage affairs! All shades of red, including pink and salmon encourage romance. Too much red will bring too much fire (Yang) into the space; small amounts can be used to bring the fire of passion into your life. These could include red or pink lampshades, rugs, photo frames or candles. I share with you how to cure areas in my online course.
The most important feature of the bedroom needs to be the bed itself. Firstly, consider the position of the bed relative to the door. Avoid a situation where the door opens directly onto your bed or where you sleep, directly opposite to the door. Try to position your bed as far from the door as possible but at the same time with a good view of the door from where you sleep. To bring stability into your relationship, make sure that the bed itself is stable. Make sure that the bed has a good strong headboard to protect your Chi while you sleep and avoid sleeping with your head facing an open window, as this will drain away your Chi as you sleep.
Sleeping directly on the floor is not ideal, as it does not allow Chi to circulate below you. The gap between your mattress and the floor needs to be kept clear – this is definitely a clutter free zone! Handy though they may be, storage units under your bed are less than ideal. They have the potential to disturb your sleep and limit the charge of Yin force (Earth force) to re-charge you while you sleep. Double-check the age and quality of your mattress and futon. Did you purchase it from new? Did you buy it in a jumble sale? Did someone die in it? Did it belong to your ex? Mattresses have the habit of absorbing Chi and need to be replaced regularly, turned regularly and given a good few hours in the sunshine every few months. If your mattress or futon is old or second hand and you could afford a new one, get rid of it now!
Lying on top of your bed, have a look above you to see what is possibly raining down on you. Avoid sleeping under shelves heavily laden with books and old magazines, sleeping in an alcove with cupboards above your head full of old books is also not ideal. Overhead electrical devices such as lights and fans need to be positioned away from your bed. A skylight above your bed will allow your Chi to dissipate while you sleep. Overhead beams and their heavy resonance of Chi are likely to cause you restlessness and discomfort as well. We cover bedrooms and what to do in great detail on my course at http://learnfengshui.co.uk
Mirrors in a bedroom can also be a Feng Shui nightmare. They should be avoided if they are situated where they can reflect your image while you are asleep, as this effect can also drain you. Round and oval shaped mirrors in bedrooms are ideal, full length dressing mirrors can be cleverly concealed inside a wardrobe. Look around your room for potential sources of disturbing electrical currents from radios, digital clocks, television or personal computer. Ideally, the personal computer should be banished to another part of your home along with the recharging device for a portable telephone. Radios, clocks, electric radios, clocks and televisions need to be as far as possible away from you while you sleep or at least switch them off at the mains while you sleep. As with any other room in your home, check the position of where you sleep for any cutting Chi that may be aimed at you while you are asleep from the corners of cupboards, bedside tables, chests of drawers, mantlepieces and fireplaces. Round off any sharp edges and soften them with some kind of cover or drape.
Create a relaxing yet warm atmosphere in the bedroom through different forms of lighting. Experiment until you find a solution that is both practical and asethetically pleasing. A good reading light can also be balanced by the more romantic feel of candlelight as well. Check the South Western sector of your bedroom as this relates to relationships. Avoid putting your dirty linen basket in this section! Current, happy photographs of you and your partner and any kind of symbolism of relationship in this sector is ideal. On waking, it can be a great motivation to be greeted by a photograph or poster or painting on the wall ahead of you. Think of a special landscape perhaps that has inspired you in your life. It needs to be an image that is both tranquil, uplifting and epitomises your journey in life. Every morning we wake up to new possibilities – the image in front of you needs to bear this out rather than a blank wall or an image of struggle. To really get your day off to a good start, always remember to make your bed! Leaving behind a trail of clothing that didn’t make it to the laundry basket and an unfinished bed, all has the possibility to get you off to an incomplete and messy start in the morning.
All your wishes can come true and all the outcomes you want can take place. You have the power within you to manifest anything into your life. What you need to do is to focus your mind single-pointedly on what you want.
This is the most important part of the technique. You must believe that you have the power to mentally manifest what you want into reality.
You must believe that you deserve what you are asking for, that you have a right to it and that you do not need to feel guilty about having it or need to suffer for wanting to get it. To believe intensely in your self and simultaneously stay calm and relaxed requires practice. It cannot happen instantly. But this is the first part of the training and you need to gain control and to subdue your random thoughts, stabilize your mind and focus. This will lead to steady and positive concentration.
2. HAVE A GOAL
You must have a goal whenever you wish to engage your mind to manifest a reality you want. This is a very important part of the technique. Many people are not sure what they really want; their goals tend to be vague and uncertain. So think through your life at this moment and ask yourself what will make you really happy. If you are doing this for the first time, keep your wishes simple, easy to manifest and definitely not absurd or outrageous. The idea is to slowly convince your mind you can do it, so keep your wishes small. The best wishes are specific, focused and something you can visualize in your mind.
3. REMAIN in the PRESENT
Always define your wants and your goals in the present tense, not in future tense. Aim to say “I am successful at my job” instead of “I will be successful at my job” – “I am rich, I have abundance” I am enjoying my new house, my new car, my new television set.”
Remember that Objects of Desire are easier to manifest than abstract wishes involving other people. For instance, wishing to win the love of someone, to win a court case, to pass a certain exam, to be successful in a job application are aspirations that require more practice. But…… once you get the hang of it and your wishes start to come true, this will increasingly encourage you and eventually take you on the road to great success until it becomes a habitual part of your living.
Use the words “I desire” or “I want” or “I wish to become” as often as possible. This makes the manifesting process easier; desiring, wanting, wishing are important empowering words and this is because your subconscious mind, the inner higher self of YOU, will go to great lengths to actualize what you want simply to make you happy.
4. BE CREATIVE and KEEP your WISHES SECRET!
Better to go for prosperity programming than poverty programming.
It is wise and beneficial to keep all your wishes to yourself. Never spell out your goals to others. Any negative thoughts or doubts they may have regarding what you wish for can well block your own effort at actualizing. Remember, they too have the power to manifest reality, and while your wishes may be stronger and more powerful, you do not need any obstacles to your success. Any negative thought sent your way which directly targets your own efforts to manifest is sure to hamper your efforts. Make an effort to keep your wishes secret. You may, if you wish, share your success as soon as what you wish for materializes for you.
5. NEVER wish anything that harm others
Keep all your wishes positive and make it a point never to wish harm to befall anyone. If you inadvertently harm someone intentionally, the same negative thing will eventually boomerang back on you. Use cosmic energy to offer love to another person. It is a lot more powerful.
6. TRUST in your HIGHER SELF
It is possible that sometimes your higher self resists your efforts to actualize some particular outcome. This can come as a strong inner message that you should stop all attempts to actualize some outcome or something. Trust this message. It is probable that what you are trying to manifest is not in your own best interest or could in the long term harm you or harm someone you love. It benefits to trust your inner guide.
7. ACCESS your HIGHER PURPOSE
Successful Mental Manifestation helps your life becomes happy, successful, healthy, wealthy and stable, it is then that you will benefit even more by going to the next stage, which is to access in to a more meaningful life. Seek out the Higher Purpose of your life is to connect with your higher self who always knows what is best for you.
Over time, you will begin to notice that your pattern of wants and needs and desires take on a new rhythm and that you will be working towards attaining and achieving things that will bring you to even higher happiness levels… and these may not necessarily be associated with material-type goals or objects. GO with FLOW for you are being guided by your inner self, who is always watching over you!
8. HOW to COPE with STRESS? Your journey into self-discovery must take into account the stress level under which you operate. Look within to see what causes you to feel stressed. Consider the following stress-inducing situations and see if anything is causing you anxiety.
In attempting to dissect the causes of stress in your life, you will come to recognize your level of stress tolerance.
Different people have different levels of tolerance. Invariably, the cause of all stress can be reduced to three sources:
People around you who cause you to become emotionally stressed
External events which cause you to become physically stressed
Lifestyle-related issues that cause you to be psychologically stressed
If you examine these three main causes of stress, you will see that they all have to do with the way your mind reacts. The key to dealing successfully with stress starts with pinpointing the root of stress. Everything that causes us to feel stressed comes from the mind.
Generate a sense of mental calmness. Slow down your reaction to people, events and circumstances that cause you stress. Learn to reverse the negatives in life. Try some physical relaxation methods by starting with deep breathing exercises and create powerful and positive word affirmations. Think up short, powerful statements that continually enhance your confidence, build you up and convince you of positive outcomes.
ALLOW the POWER of FENG SHUI to surprise you with positive results!
KEEP THE CHI MOVING and the GOOD FORTUNE will flow in!
Feng Shui is one of many sophisticated tools invented by the ancient Chinese, along with printing, gunpowder and the compass. The idea here is that we, as humans, are a microcosm in the macrocosm -a very small, but important wheel in a wonderful large machine of the
Whilst Feng Shui tends to sound rather esoteric and vague, in the realms of mysticism, there is real science behind this art! As I shall explain, every year our body’s electromagnetic energy (light) relationship, or bearing, changes with respect to the Earth, our Sun, and the Cosmos. Feng Shui advice seeks to adjust and balance these changes, in order to harmonize our lives.
Let me explain:
Little is talked about the LIGHT connection of Feng Shui, the Earth’s natural Light (Electromagnetic) radiation, which varies year to year. The Earth has a molten metal core at it’s centre, which rotating, acts as a dynamo. This dynamo radiates magnetic energy into our atmosphere 10 miles from the Earth. It’s called the magnetosphere.
The geese stayed in Scotland, my homeland, particularly late this year, flying in a perfect ‘V’ above me on their way to Iceland. Watching them in April, I remembered that migratory birds navigate by using the magnetic material in their brain to connect to this Earth energy. A fabulous type of GPS!
An even bigger energy source that affects us on a day to day basis is that of the Sun. Earth’s magnetic energy is bathed in the enormous flares, photon emissions and plasma ejections of our Sun, whose light energy regularly upsets our satellites and pilots with its solar flares and storms.
Keeping in mind that the Earth is rotating round the sun at 30km/sec, whilst the sun itself is hurtling round the galaxy at 250km/sec, we can see how the world around us constantly changes, and there are forces and energies affecting us, outside of our conscious appreciation, which we could have little idea in our day to day activities.
However, like the birds, we can find the easiest ways is to navigate through the ups and down of our lives by using the ancient art of Feng Shui.
The most important thing is that we are part of this Light energy play, as we also radiate Light (electromagnetic) energy. Our hearts radiate out, rather like a radio transmitter, 6-10 feet around us, many thousands time more powerful than our brains. There’s a ‘Russian doll’ type arrangement with one energy nestling inside and being affected by the others. So our little hearts pump out their energy into the field of the Earth’s magnetic energy, only to be bathed by that of the Sun.
Now that we know the nuts and bolts, what’s happening this year?
Year of The Snake:
Each year has associated elements; wood and fire are the strong elements for 2013.
This year is called ‘Year of The Water Snake’ -the snake’s associated with healing, renewal and transformation. 2013 is generally good for relationships and marriage, however the most important thing for this year is to ‘let go ‘, or, as they say, ‘go with the flow’.
The Snake relates to healing of the physical body and shifting to a more spiritual outlook. Since antiquity snakes have been associated with healing and medicine, which we find in the medical symbol in the caduceus – in which two snakes intertwine up a staff.
Slow steady progress with attention to detail and focus will be the success strategies of this year. Self reflection, being clear about what you want to achieve, and visualizing positive outcomes will lead to calmness whilst achieving your goals.
THE SOUTH and SOUTH EAST are the lucky area of the home/office and also the lucky direction for 2013. So we need to energize this area of home or office by light, moving water or these traditional means. Plants are especially good here (wood to feed the fire element of the year) as they will energize this area by bringing life (and oxygen) in. Also, this area is a good place to change our furniture around – move your favourite chair to face south.
SOUTH WEST – If your front door faces south west (facing the door when in the house), you need protection from theft, flood or any other calamity. Metal will be protective, – whether in the form of a planter, statue or wind chime by your door. Using a grey doormat is an easy thing to do that will also help.
The fun part:
Stones to wear
Gem stones from the centre of the Earth have specific magnetic, energetic properties.
For 2013, the most auspicious ones to wear which will help you are jade, amethyst , turquoise and tourmaline!
Welcome to Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs Pyramid. Maslow was a psychology professor and researcher who created this powerful pyramid detailing the stages that one must move through to actualize their full potential in life as a fundamental part of his research. I wanted to take a moment today to show you this pyramid and explain why you might be focused on the wrong end too heavily! We all shoot for transcendence and the full moon and stars, but we need to really nail the basics before jumping ahead of ourselves if we’d like to create a life that works!
What makes this pyramid- and all of Maslow’s research- so compelling to me is that he studied happy and successful people, which was particularly uncommon in psychology. He studied thousands of “peak performance” individuals who seems to impossibly live up to so much of their potential as beings. His findings may help you to understand a bit better how to make shifts in your life to create real, stable gains and build a solidly successful life.
We can start from the bottom of the pyramid. Always from the foundation we work our way up. Let’s look a bit at what each section involves and how “solid” you feel at each level. As we move up the pyramid, when you find the spot where you say “uh oh, not really doing too well on this level..” that’s where you can concentrate before shooting up the ladder. This isn’t to say that you should avoid transcendence or that you don’t deserve to live up to your full potential every moment no matter what…but this is a way of focusing energy on creating that state as a norm, not a random occurrence. Pretty cool , right?
Physiological Needs: Are you eating? Well? How is your health? Do you sleep? Exercise? Do you feel well? If you are just getting by physically, you might want to look at this. After all, health is the foundation upon which you build the rest of your life!
Safety Needs: Do you have a home? One that you like? Do you have enough money (to live well, not to retire to a desert island that you own!)? A job? Are you holding on to a job that you hate just to hold onto security? If you are living with someone you shouldn’t be living with based on a need for safety, or your work is a misery, that’s considered faltering ground in the security area of the pyramid.
Belongingness: Family, Intimacy, Relationships, Friendships… How are you doing? If you have not yet met your soul mate, this isn’t the end of the world, however if you feel lonely, isolated, introverted or socially off-kilter, this is a big area to explore.
Esteem Needs: These are both what you think about yourself, and, according to Maslow, what other people think about you. So, that whole idea that being superficial and caring about being dressed up or having nice things… it partially does hold water here. Your appearance is a part of how people view you. However, this is not the primary part of our discussion, since what other people think of you is a slippery slope to focus on. Lets look at how you feel about you, since you can’t control other people’s perceptions and you can get very lost in trying!!! How do you feel about who you are? How do you talk to yourself? Are you never satisfied and never fulfilled? Do you feel you are doing well?
The “Higher Needs” (the Cognitive need to understand things, the Aesthetic need for creativity and beauty, the need to Self-Actualize or live up to your potential and, finally, the need to hit Transcendence and help others to become actualized) are the ones we might not meet as often if we get caught up in bad habits and a struggle for survival at the bottom of the pyramid. After all, if you get totally lost in transcendence who will pay your mortgage?
The goal is to get really solid at the bottom and keep moving forward. If you fall out in an area – say you breakup with a partner or find yourself between jobs- focus in on those levels, make the corrections, and keep going. Its a sane way to live a very glamorous life without all the pressure and guesswork! Happy Actualizing! xoxo Dana
In Feng Shui, the Laughing Buddha, also known by Buddhists as Matreiya, is one of the most supreme symbols of joy and wellbeing. When this jolly character is placed within any home, he will do wonders for all the residents inside; in addition to revitalizing any dead or negative chi and relieving tension, he will also summon fortune and riches for all family members. The Laughing Buddha is now also displayed in the office and prominent places in business venues, such as the front counter, lobby or cashier. He is also a highly revered figure worshipped in many temples.
The Laughing Buddha himself is a vision of happiness; his face is always in a happy, laughing expression and his position is jolly. He is a manifestation of wealth luck due to all the auspicious symbols that he holds, some of these being a Ru Yi, Wu Lou, and various gold ingots and coins. He also usually keeps beside him pots and bags filled with treasures.
The Laughing Buddha is a sure mood lifter when looked at, no matter how down one can be. Everyone could definitely use one of these in their home or office.
In Feng Shui, the Laughing Buddha can be used in many ways to best reap his abundant rewards:
1.) If your family suffers from arguments and tensions, then an image or figurine of the Laughing Buddha will solve these problems. Simply place him in the East Sector (Family Luck) (Feng Shui Bagua Formula) or a location where he can be seen when everyone is sitting around in your living room or main hall.
2.) For those who wish to enhance their luck in the aspects of wealth, self-development, wellbeing and victory, displaying the Laughing Buddha in your personal Sheng Chi direction (Feng Shui Kua Formula) will serve to help you achieve your goals.
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3.) When the Laughing Buddha is displayed in the Southeast Sector (Feng Shui Bagua Formula) of the main hall, dining room or bedroom of your home, he will bring family members windfall luck and increased income.
4.) For those in competitive careers or high positions, such as CEOs or politicians, a Feng Shui Laughing Buddha placed in the workplace or household will serve to summon luck and eliminate enemies‘ effects. It will also allow for a clear mind and reduction of tension.
5) To prevent betrayals and arguments with colleagues, display this Feng Shui product on your desk at work. This will also allow you to excel in your career.
6) For students who are seeking to enhance educational luck, a Feng Shui Laughing Buddha positioned on the study desk will allow you to attain your academic aspirations.
7) It is for many reasons that the Laughing Buddha makes the perfect present for almost any auspicious occasions; for people you know who are suffering through misfortunes and bad luck, the Laughing Buddha would make an perfect good luck gift.
*Note* The Laughing Buddha is highly revered in both Buddhism and Feng Shui, and so he should be treated with respect; never place him in the kitchen, in the bathroom or on the floor.
This may come as a surprise to many people, but feng shui actually has absolutely nothing to do with religion nor does it have any religious components to it.
It is important to talk about these misconceptions because many people have reservations or are negative about feng shui because they perceive it to carry some negative connotations.
Firstly, there are people who see feng shui as a cult practice, as it seems to involve being part of a following or having to ‘believe’ or have faith in order for it to work.
For many people, this concept of feng shui suggests the need to change one’s faith or accept another faith. Thus, feng shui and their personal faith are not reconcilable.
Secondly, there are people who see feng shui as paganistic. As a result of excessive commercialism, feng shui has been perceived as a practice that requires ‘worshipping’ wealth objects, placing items around one’s home and placing one’s faith entirely in an item to resolve one’s problems in life, or bring luck in life.
Of course, this is not reconcilable with a person’s faith, especially if those object s are seemingly derived from a specific religion like Buddhism or Taoism or involve using symbols from these religions.
For those who are non-religious, this implies the need to insert some religious overtones in their life, which they do not find acceptable.
Thirdly, there are people who have a profound discomfort with something that is ritualistic in nature. Therefore, the perception of feng shui as something that involves chanting, doing love rituals, love chants or using mirrors to reflect energies off a person or object is a big turn-off to many level-headed, practical people.
The truth is, Classical Feng Shui is none of the above.
How ‘feng shui’ became a religion?
How, then, did religious overtones creep into feng shui? Like all classical sciences, it has suffered from a case of ‘lost in translation’. The rush to popularize feng shui has led to some creative interpretation, to say the least.
A good example of how a non-religious science has become ‘corrupted’ into a religious, cultish and paganistic practice can be seen in the innocuous Bagua mirror.
In the old days, where technology was less advanced, Bagua mirrors were made from brass. So when a feng shui consultant wanted to introduce an element of Metal into an area, he would advise the client to place a mirror in the area; not because it was a Bagua mirror but it was made of brass, which is a metal element.
Somewhere along the way, the Bagua mirror became less about the brass and more about the reflection. By the time the new millennium rolled around, the Bagua mirror had become a magical amulet for reflecting bad luck. So something that was not meant to have a religious significance in its original application, somehow, over the years, became religious.
Another reason why feng shui is seen as ‘religious’ is the use of cures. You know, put a five-layer pagoda in the five yellow star and bye-bye problems.
Want to get rid of some bad qi? How about a crystal in your West corner?
The obsession with curing everything negative under the sun through trinkets has contributed substantially to the ‘religious flavour’ that feng shui has acquired, especially since many of these objects are based on Buddhist or Taoism symbols.
These objects have nothing to do with collecting karma points or, at least, no significance in the Classical Feng Shui sense. Think about it – how can an object in itself change the course of your fortunes?
Over the years, quite a number of spiritual masters and part-time mediums have also doubled-up as feng shui masters and so, feng shui and religious practices as well as ghostbusting activities have somehow became inter-related.
Sadly, this image of feng shui being synonymous with religious practices, as well as ghostbusting, still stick in some people’s mind.
It is a combination of these reasons that some people think feng shui is related to Buddhism or Taoism or some form of Chinese religion or practice. It is not. It has its roots in the philosophy of Yin and Yang, which also happens to have some crossover with Taoism.
There is neither God nor spirits in feng shui, just the natural environment. Many theories and practices relating to Chinese medicine, martial arts, health, religion and science overlap – almost all are premised on the backbone principles of Yin and Yang and the Five Elements.
So while the Bagua does have some application in Taoism, it is ALSO a mathematical model used to calculate and ascertain different types of energy patterns in feng shui.
The faithful facts of feng shui
Feng Shui is a science – it is a clear methodology based on the principles of Yin and Yang, the Five Elements and the use of direction to tap into qi, which is simply the natural energies found in the environment.
Feng Shui has clear theory and basic principles, all documented in classical texts going back to the Tang Dynasty such as the Green Satchel Classics, Purple White Scripts, Entering Earth Eye and empirical evidence, outlined in various other classical texts.
Classical Feng Shui, as explained in all the ancient texts written from the Tang Dynasty to the Ming Dynasty, does not contain any religious element, any reference to placing your faith in an object or symbol, and certainly doesn’t require you to chant anything or flash mirrors in people’s faces.
In Classical Feng Shui, the use of cures is highly restricted and always related to the Five Elements – Metal, Fire, Water, Earth and Wood. Most of the time, there’s nothing to put in the house and no special colors to paint.
In Classical Feng Shui, the best cure is using natural qi through alignment, changing directions or making use of strategic positions of your house, office, room, bed or desk.
Feng Shui is about using space and land, making use of what is natural, what is readily available from your environment. It is up to you to think who make the energies; God, a higher being part of the natural universe, or whatever you are comfortable with.
The key point here is that feng shui is really about making use of natural energies that already exist in the environment.
In this day and age, it is perhaps more relevant for people to see feng shui as a technology (which is applied science) rather than a pure science. It affords a means in which to improve one’s quality of life, health, wealth and even relationships.
It is the science of ensuring that one’s home or office is located in an area with a living environment that supports one’s personal goals and endeavors.
I am not suggesting that people who are into crystals, space clearing, dousing or the ‘alternative’ practices are in any way wrong or misguided. Or that it is wrong to believe or accept such practices. Rather, I want to make it clear that these practices are not what could be called Classical Feng Shui.
Similarly, if you are told that bringing feng shui in your life involves worshipping an inanimate object, placing your faith in a pile of trinkets or living your life in constant fear of shifting even a stick of furniture in your house lest you ‘upset the energies’, then this is not Classical Feng Shui as practiced since the Tang Dynasty.
Classical Feng Shui involves using directions to tap into the prevailing qi of the environment, which stems from the Mountains and Rivers.
Classical Feng Shui always makes reference to the Time Factor, the Residents, the Directions and Location of the property. Practices that incorporate these elements along with spiritual rituals, chanting or object placement are not considered Classical Feng Shui.
Feng Shui is culturally neutral, non-religious in nature and does not require you to compromise your principles or faith. Using feng shui is about benefiting yourself, helping yourself and making use of the energies that already exist in nature, not changing or compromising your beliefs in God. As long as we keep religion and feng shui separate, each can co-exist peacefully in our life.
Joey Yap’s Profile
Joey Yap is the founder of the Joey Yap Consulting Group, a global organisation devoted to the teaching of Feng Shui, BaZi, Mian Xiang and other Chinese Metaphysics subjects. He is also the Chief Consultant of Yap Global Consulting, an international consulting firm specialising in Feng Shui and Chinese Astrology services and audits.
He is also the best selling author of over 60 books on Feng Shui, Chinese Astrology, Face Reading and Yi Jing, many of which have topped the Malaysian and Singaporean MPH bookstores’ bestseller lists.
THE AUTHOR RECOMMEND YOU TO VISIT THIS SITE: http://www.masteryacademy.com/bzh1.
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