Archive for March, 2011

Movin’ Right Along

Bathroom door exterior

I have previously written, it takes at least two days to get anything done in New York City. The first is prep and purchase day and the second is project day.  Since purchasing my “one-a-week” supplies needed to feng shui my bathroom I have reorganized the clutter beneath my sink (week 1) and hung a wind chime in my bathroom window (week 2).  In the third week, finishing touches are being implemented to the wealth area for the best possible flow of energy.

Adding color to any area is a great way to boost the energy and give the room a fresh start. Painting the bathroom and getting rid of any old or half full products is part of my final touch-ups. Confronting clutter puts us all on edge because it forces us to deal with our baggage, literally.  Your spouse/partner/roommate, or whom ever you live with, may  be defensive to this, at first.   Asking Tony which products we could toss to de-clutter the shower is a touchy subject.  Immediately I’m accusing him of being a hoarder. “ Why do you always want to get rid of my things?”,  he says.   (I assure you it is not just his things I want to throw out.  It just sometimes sounds that way.) I feel the same way when he confronts me about my clutter. I avoid old mail and the roll away drawers in our closet that are over flowing with craft goodies (which I will be dealing with soon. Ugh!) Remain calm and remind the other person (and yourself) that it is for the greater good.  Getting rid of half used bottles and empty containers clears the space making room for chi’ to flow freely through the area.

Here are the cures I have implemented in my bathroom, the Wealth Area of my home:

  • Adding color.  (The element for the wealth area is wood.  I have chosen a shade of green called “Tate Olive” that is similar to the color of moneyI like this shade of green so much that it has been in my past three apartments.)
  • A wind chime added to the window of the bathroom stops the flow of water, or energy from escaping the house.
  • A faceted crystal hangs above the sink drain to slow the energy from being “sucked down the drain”.
  • A plant has been added to help soak up the moisture in the air and prevent the growth of mold and mildew.
  • The shower curtain is kept close.
  • The toilet seat lid is down.
  • Mirrors reflect one another so that the reflection of space is infinite.
  • A full-length mirror hangs on the bathroom door and the door is kept closed.

The Wealth Area of my home has been reenergized and it is time to move onto the next section.  (Hopefully you have added a few cures of your own to help from “flushing your money down the drain.”) Stay tuned to find out what riches the universe has to offer us!

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Are you stuck up?

 

I can guarantee that most of you are probably hanging your pictures and artwork too high.  It is one of the firs things I notice when I enter a room.  Hanging pictures too high will cause you to walk around your home with “your nose stuck in the air”.  Without even realizing it, you will begin to look down your nose upon things.  You don’t want people to think that you are better then them or “stuck up”, do you?  There is an easy cure for this.  Standard picture hanging height is 57”-62” from the floor to the center of the artwork.  (That is eye level for the average person.)  57” is the standard height that galleries and museums hang their pictures at as well. By lowering your pictures and artwork you ground the energy in the room making it feel safe and cozy. (You may also notice less tension in your neck.)  In rooms with extremely tall ceilings hanging the picture a few inches above eye level, 64”-67”, will help ground the energy and make the room feel not so big.  This is also a good height to hang pictures in narrow hallways.  The effect will force you to look up at the art instead of noticing how long and narrow the passage may be. Try this simple fix and see if you feel the difference.  Live with the change for a week. If you don’t like it, raise the pictures a few inches but don’t go crazy.  Nobody likes being around “stuck up” folk.

The Wealth Area

Financial improvement is commonly the reason that people turn to feng shui.  As I mentioned before, the wealth area is not just money but correlates directly to the prosperity and abundance in your life. (Your front entrance and kitchen stove strongly affect your money chi’ as well.)  The energy of the wealth area is considered best for your home office, but as we all know that doesn’t always work out.  For example, my wealth area is my bathroom.  Greaaaaaaat!  (I listed the cures for solving bathroom issues in “Bathroom Blunders”.) The wealth area of your home is the South East (SE) direction.  The element that corresponds to this area is wood.  Wood chi’ is the energy of expansion and new growth. Applying this element helps when you are looking for growth (mental, spiritual, etc.), expansion (in your wallet, pocket book, knowledge), and vitality in your life.

Here are a few cures that you can implement into your wealth area to help boost the energy and call forth some abundance into your life.  (Remember the first step when boosting an area’s chi’ is to clean and declutter.)

  • Hanging inspirational art is a fast and affective way to boost the energy of this, or any, area. For the wealth area choose pieces that depict desired possessions or give a strong feeling of wealth and abundance.
  • Place a representation of the area’s element, in this case wood, in the area. (Think of wood as trees or the shape of trees.  Columns, pedestals, vertical lines in a fabric pattern or wallpaper, or just your regular ole’ tree or plant.  Healthy plants with shiny round “coin shaped” leaves that bloom in wealth colors are best.  Wood furniture is also a great representation.)
  • Add color.  The color of wood is green.  (Select from the following):

Green(The color of money!) New life, new beginnings, growth energy, vitality, spring, hope

Blue:  Knowledge, the sky, royalty, life, hope

Purple: Wealth, royalty, the extreme value of red (The Chinese saying “That’s so red it’s purple,” means great energy and power.)

Red: Power, protection, energy, activity.  The most active of all colors and is used many ways in feng shui. (Be careful when using too much red as this also represents the element fire.  Fire burns trees.  In feng shui this represents quieting an element, will touch upon this later when we discuss Yin and Yang and balance).

Jewel Tones: (ruby, emerald, sapphire, gold.  You get my point.)

  • Add a water feature. (Flowing water means flowing money. Adding a water fountain creates a new flow of energy in any environment.  Representing connection, sustenance, wealth and the flow of life, a water feature gives a refreshing and beneficial impact.  When choosing a fountain, make sure you can see the flow of water and one where the water pools instead of disappearing immediately.)
  • Use essential oils or incense to lift the energy of the room.  (Inspirational scents for the wealth are grapefruit, Frankincense, Sandalwood and ginger.)

Here a re a few personal cures that I have done in my home that you can also do.

  • Place a wood box with desired objects in side.  (We have a wooden box with Chinese coins and crystals in it to represent riches and jewels.)
  • Create your own personal cures for the wealth area by placing things you love there. (Be creative.  For example, I created an offering altar.  Our kitchen shares the wealth area with the bathroom.  On top of our refrigerator I placed a red and gold piece of fabric with a Buddha.  The Buddha is holding a bowl in which we placed coins and money from foreign countries.  Be hind the Buddha I have placed a healthy plant that is continuously growing.  This is representation of our money growing and the universe allowing us to have enough money for extra curricular travel.  I also like to store our bread here to represent an abundance of “dough”.)

Don’t be afraid.  Being creative is fun, easy and cheap because you can use things from around the house to create cures you love.  Feng shui is instinctual, (I’ll let you in on that secret soon.) trust your gut and have fun.

Inspirational Art

Loving the art that hangs on your walls is important because wall art can reinforce the intention of your life desires materializing.  For the wealth area choose pieces that depict desired possessions or give a strong feeling of wealth and abundance.  Wealth does not always mean money.  Wealth in feng shui is abundance and prosperity.  I like to find art that inspires me and also boosts the chi’ for the area that the art is hanging in. (Every room contains the 9 Life Areas.  This is referred to as micro micro feng shui, which I will give details on later.)  For example, we moved into our apartment a few months before our wedding, and while searching for the perfect piece of art to hang on the wealth wall of our living room, I came across a print of the “Goddess of Wealth”. I immediately fell in love with her.  The print is of a beautiful Asian Goddess with her arms out stretched surrounded by hundreds of butterflies.  I bought it, framed it in a cheap poster frame, and slapped that bad boy on our wealth wall.

Planning and paying for a wedding can be stressful, luckily for us we had the “Goddess of Wealth” on our side.  I was able to save $1,000.00 a month and Tony’s mom won enough to pay for our reception making funding the event an easy task.  When Christmas time rolled around, I took Miss Wealth to get framed at the local Michael’s.  (I felt it was time to give her a proper mat and frame.)  If you have never had custom framing done let me tell you, it ends up costing you an arm and a leg.  Michaels’ tells you that it takes seven to ten business days to process your order.  On day ten I get a phone call, I’m excited to get Miss Wealth back, instead the phone call is in regards to bringing my art in to be placed in the mat and frame that are now ready for pick up.  Ummm, excuse me?  I called back to inform them that my art work was in their possession, to which a confused employee tells me they’ll have to get back to me.  I start to worry. Four days, many phone calls later, I haul my cookies back to the framing department of Michael’s.  To my surprise, the Goddess has worked her magic.  Since the framing department “lost” my order, they upgraded my order with a double mat and expensive glass making the picture look absolutely stunning.  (Evidently my choice of framing was not good enough for her.)

Our gigantor Christmas tree is in our wealth area for the holiday season so I hang the Goddess on our knowledge wall.  Reminding myself that she is the Goddess of wealth, I decide to leave her here as an experiment in “Wealth of Knowledge.”  Tony began reaping the benefits with an abundance of knowledge for starting his new business.  I have been learning a lot about myself, what I want to do with my career, and discovering that I love to blog about feng shui.  I also learned the Goddess needs to stay on our wealth wall.  Her time on the Knowledge wall, although helpful, left me bouncing checks, my savings account empty and left Tony worried about finding work.  Thankfully, after returning the Goddess to her original position, Tony is booked solid with work for the next month, he’s a dancer, choreographer, ballet teacher and judge for dance competitions (Boy can he shake a leg! And he’s got long ones at that.) I got called in for two auditions, my financial planning will have me half way out of debt by July, and I have not bounced any checks! (Knock wood.)

Take a moment to survey the pictures on your walls.  Now that you know the directions and life areas of your home, do the pictures match the area?  Are “dogs playing poker” in your career area?  If so, are you constantly taking a gamble on a job?  Do you really like dogs playing poker?  Or is “The Scream” living in your relationship area causing men or women to flee from the scene?  Move pictures around or get rid of the art that you do not like any more.  What is the point of having something you don’t love?  Not only will you be doing away with excess clutter, but buy doing so you will be filling your home with thoughts of love every which way you look!

Which front door?

I’m so delighted that questions are being asked.  Thanks Stephanie!

Q:  Should you use the front door of your apartment or the front door of the whole building?

For those of us who live in apartment buildings, the feng shui inside the home is more important than the feng shui outside.  This is because we are unable to control what is goes on in the hallways of are building.  (If we did the Russian lady that lives down the hall from me wouldn’t be sitting on the steps smoking her cigarettes and the dog across the hall wouldn’t yap all day long.)  We do have control over what happens inside our front door.  Therefore it is important to use the direction in which our apartment front door faces.

Bathroom Blunders

The trip to Bed Bath has inspired me to get my bathroom in check.  Unfortunately my bathroom is partially in the SE, the Wealth area of my home. Not the most ideal placement for good Feng Shui, so it is important to put a few common bathroom cures into motion.  These cures are important for everyone no matter where your bathroom is located!  (We currently practice them on a day to day basis.)  It is important to keep a clean, neat and orderly bathroom.  I purchased cabinet storage drawers to help de-clutter the mess that currently lives under my sink and a new fancy memory foam bath mat. (I love my memory foam bed so much I thought I’d give my feet a treat.  It’s heavenly to step out of the shower onto it.)  Because of the bathroom’s plumbing, chi’ can be flushed out of your home via the toilet and drains.  It is important to minimize opportunities for chi’ to flow out of your home too quickly, taking your prosperity along with it.  As with all cures, visualize that your desired life results are materializing as you perform these simple cures:

  • To prevent “flushing your money down the drain”, close your toilet lids.  (We’ve been practicing this cure for years. It also helps the room look nicer because your not staring down a nasty drain.)
  • Keep the shower curtain or door closed so the drain is not visible
  • Hang a mirror on the outside of the bathroom door.  This cure only works if the bathroom door is closed, which is an easy, basic and foolproof way of keeping the rest of the energy from your home being sucked out.
  • Hang a faceted crystal above the sink drain. (I’ve listed the website Sundrop Crystal on my side board for you to order crystals from.  Their crystal are the clearest and produce really beautiful rainbows when the sun hits them.)
  • Hang mirrors on the walls.  This powerfully transforms the negative influence of any bathroom.  (You’ll also get to see how fabulous you look form every angle.)

I learned something new when reexamining my notes for bathroom cures.  Hanging a wind chime in the window of the bathroom will dam the flow of water, or energy from escaping the house.  (I have an extra wind chime in the closet, which I will be hanging up as soon as I finish this post.) If your bathroom is in the north (career) make sure the wind chime is made of an earth material, such as terra cotta or porcelain.  This will keep you business and career success from “going down the drain”.  Keep the décor of your bathroom simple. Try not to spend too much money on the room. Your resources are better concentrated on more important areas of your home, such as your bedroom or kitchen.  Check out some of my before and after pics.  I’ll be adding more soon!

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Placement of the Bagua in Directional Feng Shui

I hate to be technical but Feng Shui has technical hubbub.  This next post is to help you identify the life areas in your home. First things first, the Bagua is what is used to divide your home into 9 different sections called “Life Areas”. I promise to get back to the projects and stories soon. In directional Feng Shui, the top of the Bagua faces north associating the Life Areas with Cardinal directions:  N, S, E, W, etc.  Follow this simple recipe for Bagua placement on your apartment.

Ingredients:

  • Compass (I purchased a camping compass at K-Mart for under $20.00.)
  • Ruler  (I went to my craft drawer and pulled out a regular 12-inch ruler.)
  • Tape Measure
  • A red marker or pen (I like using red because it is considered to be a lucky color and symbolizes strength, activity and passion.  It is believed to bring happiness, good fortune and fame.)
  • A floor plan (also known as an aerial view) of your apartment. (In a scaled drawing of your floor plan you convert 1 foot to ¼ inch, ¼”=1’.  For example, using ¼”scale, 4 feet equals 1 inch. Graph paper makes this process easier because the paper is already split up into ¼” squares. I prefer to use ¼”=1’conversion ratio because the drawing will be small enough to fit on one piece of paper.)

Directions

1.  Take a deep breath, clear your mind and take your time.

2. Measure the size of each room in the apartment.  (Ex. 12’x12’ or 13’x 11’)

3. On a sheet of graph paper, use your ruler to draw a scaled floor plan using the measurements you just took.  (If your room is 12’x 12’ you should have a box on your paper,in ¼”scale, that measures 3 x 3”.)

4. Take your compass and head outside your home. With your back at the front door, read which Cardinal direction your compass points.  (For example, my compass points to South East. I now know that my front door and the front of my house faces the Cardinal direction South East.)

5.  Back at your floor plan, position your drawing so that the front door and “front” of your apartment are at the bottom of the page.

6.  Draw a compass to the side of your floor plan so you have the Cardinal directions to look at.

7.  Draw a rectangle around the entire apartment using the red marker and ruler.

8. Measuring along the bottom and topside of the rectangle, divide the line into 3 equal parts. Repeat along the sides of the box.  (If your apartment is 12’x12’ you will have a box on your paper that is 3”x3” with divisions at 1” and 2”.)

9. By drawing lines that connect the top to bottom and side to side, you split the box into 9 equal sections.  (It should look like a big red “Tic Tac Toe” board.   This is the Bagua on your apartment and the 9 sections are the Life Areas.)

10.  Label the bottom center box with an (a) and the Cardinal direction that your front door faces. (My apartment faces South East, so I label the bottom center box a.-SE.)

11.  Going clock wise around the “Tic Tac Toe” board, starting with the letter (a) in the bottom center box, label the boxes with the alphabet. The second box you label (b) is the lower left hand corner box. The ninth area is the center square (i).  This area is Health.

12. On the compass you drew, starting with the direction your front door faces, assign the Cardinal directions with the Alphabet. Match your “Tic Tac Toe” alphabet letters  to the letters on the compass and label accordingly.  My labeling looks something like this (minus the “Tic Tac Toe” lines.):

d.) West                        e.) North West                                    f.) North

c.) South West                        i.) Health                                    g.) North East

b.) South                        a.) South East                                    h.) East

13.  List each Life Area with its corresponding Cardinal direction.

North (which is the top of the Bagua)=Career

North East= Knowledge

East= Family

South East= Wealth

South= Fame/ Recognition

South West= Relationships

West= Creativity/ Children

North West= Helpful People

You have now placed the Bagua on your apartment and know where the Life Areas are in your home. If you get lost or frustrated in the process, don’t fret.  Stay tuned for a visual demonstration of the above process.  If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask me.  Now go have yourself a cocktail, you deserve it!