Monthly Archives: June 2012

JUNK IN THE TRUNK

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What do you think of when you hear the term “junk in the trunk”? The phrase became popular with hip hoppers and rappers appreciatively referring to women with ample butts. (After watching the Olympics last summer, I think the term can also apply to some of our talented male athletes, too!) Our butts are behind us. Makes it somewhat hard to see what’s going on back there. What’s all this got to do with feng shui?

Just because I can’t see my butt doesn’t mean it isn’t getting bigger! It takes discipline and hard work to keep it in shape and that’s true of your feng shui, too. Practicing feng shui, we know that clutter drains us of chi (energy) and puts blocks us mentally from getting things done. Often we find a big “trunk” (drawer, bin, closet) and throw all the clutter and junk in there, close the lid, and forget about it. On the surface our desks and our living/ working space looks clutter-free so we get a temporary jolt of good feng shui. We’ve put the clutter problem behind us. Or have we?

Tossing all the clutter inside a storage unit of some kind does help a little bit. But eventually, we’re going to open that closet door or that drawer and see the jumbled mess contained within. That sinking feeling of “where do I begin to clear up this mess?” is a sign that your chi is being drained but the clutter. It’s much better to spend a few minutes each day putting away your stuff, organizing your desktop, and clearing the way for the next day than letting it pile up into a bigger problem to solve later on. If you’re trying to de-clutter an entire room or building, do it in smaller increments until you have the entire place under control so that you don’t feel overwhelmed by the task.

It takes time to get into the daily organizational habit. One spring-cleaning per year is a good start, but does not yield results unless you keep up with the maintenance. You wouldn’t expect to reshape your gluts with only one hard workout, would you?

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Filed under Feng Shui, Getting Organized

DELUXE DIRT DWELLINGS

Are you a groundhog? You may want to be after seeing some of these fabulous underground homes! The amorphous structure seen here is in Switzerland and recyclebank has more to show you on this and other deluxe dirt dens. Underground dwellings can be very beautiful as well as energy efficient. I’ve never feng shui’ed one so I can’t report on the feeling of the ch’i. As long as it is well designed, well lit, visually beautiful, comfortable, and not cold and clammy I can’t see any downside feng shui wise. Can you?

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Filed under Architecture, Design, Feng Shui, Green/Sustainable

WHEN YOUR CREATIVITY BANK IS EMPTY

Take one tired employee (you), add one cluttered atmosphere (your work space), mix in working too many hours and no time for relaxation. What do you have? A recipe for burn out, low productivity, and no fun at work.

Here are some feng shui steps to bring you back your focus and drive.

1) TAKE INVENTORY  The nine areas of your life according to feng shui principles are: Career, Wisdom & Knowledge, Family & Health, Wealth, Fame & Reputation, Love & Relationship, Creativity & Future Projects (this covers children, too), Travel & Helpful People, and, Tai Ch’I (which is your core being). Ask yourself what areas of your life are working for you and where do you feel blocked? Make a list. You’ll be able to see clearly where you need to give yourself some extra attention.

2) BABY STEPS  Decide to address one of those blocked areas at a time. Most likely you won’t be blocked in every single area of your life…focus on the positive things going on first. Express gratitude for all the blessings you do have. Where there are problems, ask yourself what steps need to be taken to remove the obstacles to your success. If your health is suffering and that is on your list, you can implement the following solutions:get a physical, take vitamins, begin exercising and, if you’ve got time built up, take a much needed vacation so you can begin work again with a fresh attitude.

3) ME TIME Look at your busy calendar and set aside a little “me time”.  IE, if you feel blocked creatively, take a break and put some ideas into your “creativity bank”. That may mean scheduling visits to museums, window shopping for fun, going to the movies, or even to an amusement park. Perhaps you’ve lost touch with mentors and colleagues? Taking time to make a few phone calls to reconnect you to those Helpful People might give you a mental boost as well as put you on to some hot leads. All of which can stimulate your Career ch’I (energy) and get your groove back on.

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Filed under Feng Shui, Feng Shui Office, Self Help

FENG SHUI=YOGA FOR YOUR HOME

images  The art of feng shui is about achieving balance in our lives so that chi (energy) can circulate freely without blockage. I often think of feng shui as yoga for the environments where we live and work because yoga teaches our bodies to breathe. Ever get winded going up a flight of stairs? Well, if your home or office has stagnant energy in it, it’s like the room or building itself is in a constant state of being winded. Not having enough energy to do the job. And in this case, the job I’m referring to is having enough positive chi to support a balanced life, a life filled with opportunities for success. That’s what feng shui is all about. So clear out the clutter and let your home breathe deep. I think I hear your kitchen saying “OM”…

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Filed under Feng Shui, Feng Shui Home, Health & Fitness

SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVE SYMBOLS

This poster gives off mixed messages even though everyone is smiling.

This poster gives off mixed messages even though everyone is smiling. “Stormy Weather” could refer to Wall Street today.

Want to shake up your chi (energy)? Why don’t you assess your work space and take inventory of any positive or negative symbols that might be dominating your environment while having an impact on your success. What we surround ourselves with directly influences our mood, our emotions, and our drive (or lack of ambition). That’s why those motivational posters with sayings such as “Believe & Succeed” are so popular in corporate culture. In fact, they are known as “Culture Builders” and “Attitude Enhancers” in the corporate art trade. One giant company that makes these products calls itself and its product “Successories“.

Motivational artwork can be classy or cliché. The point is, the posters offer positive reinforcement of our best intentions at the workplace.  You wouldn’t hang up a poster that said, “Give Up Now. You’re a Big Loser”. But you might have objects in your office that give off a similar negative vibe. For instance, I recently worked with a client who had a welcome mat at the front door to his executive office. It was a square jute rug with the words “Get Lost!” in bright, fun colors splashed across a black ground. While meant in jest, in feng shui terms he was saying something very negative to his employees, clients, and vendors. The intention was to lighten up, obviously, but the subliminal message on this entry rug was quite blatant and tells Opportunity to go away because it’s not welcome here. I laughed when he told me he bought the rug on deep discount (most people were repelled at point-of-sale by the message and literally “got lost”).

Another client had books on the shelf with titles like “Pain” or “The Tragic Story of…”. Still another had a Hollywood vintage poster that screamed out in giant text, “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”.  I’m sorry to tell you that for most of us, there is no neutral area in the feng shui bagua to place these emotionally-charged messages. Scout your own space and see if you can find similar book titles or negative imagery that mighty be sapping your career mojo. Go for uplifting messages and fine art that inspires.

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Filed under Feng Shui Office, Interior Design, Wealth & Finances

BEWARE PSYCHIC VAMPIRES: GET HAPPY!

Two paintings by Vincent Van Gogh both painted in 1890–“Almond Branches in Bloom” and “At Eternity’s Gate”. Which one makes you happy?!

Ever notice how being around negative people — a.k.a. “psychic vampires” — can bring you down? We’ve all experienced a colleague who comes to the water cooler carrying the bad news about who got fired recently, or dumps all the venom she feels for the boss on you. Being around negativity can really bring us down.

The good news? It’s now been scientifically proven that happiness is contagious. That’s right: Research compiled by the Harvard Medical School and the University of California at San Diego proves that our moods are directly affected by the people we hang out with, and even by the people they hang out with. The study demonstrated that our social networks (family, friends, neighbors, professional colleagues) influence us greatly whether we realize it or not.

Like a virus, happiness can spread from person to person with direct contact. The flip side, of course, is that sadness and negativity spread in the same manner. However, the research proved that sorrow did not spread as efficiently and completely as happiness did, which is good reason to be cheerful (and pass it on).

How can you do that if you’re unhappy with your life and career? First, rule out clinical depression.

If you’re feeling sad, overwhelmed, disinterested in anything, sleeping too much or not sleeping at all, these symptoms indicate that a visit to your doctor is in order. If you simply hate where you work, there is something you can do; you can choose happiness. That’s right: Happiness is a choice. We can set up healthy boundaries, adopt an infectious upbeat attitude, and work toward changing our career direction to match our goals.

• Surround yourself with happy people. Avoid the office gossip and other toxic people in your life. Spend more time with happy people that you know.

• Pump up your endorphins. Exercise releases happy hormones in your brain. If you’re a couch potato or a desk jockey, no wonder you’re feeling blue. Leave your desk and go for a walk around the block on your break if you can’t get to the gym.

• Stay hydrated. Along with proper diet and nutrition, remember to drink plenty of water. Without it, we get sluggish, and happy people are energetic ones.

• Count sheep. Getting a good night’s sleep is half the battle. With so many of us suffering from sleep disorders, no wonder we’re so grumpy. Lack of sleep causes irritability and lack of focus on the job. If you’re having problems sleeping consult a physician.

• Get clear on what is missing from your current employment and take steps to get what you need. Make lists of the pros and cons of staying with this gig or leaving. Take inventory of what you like about your job and what you don’t. Write down what would make you happier with this job or the next one.

• Take control of your situation. One of the reasons for unhappiness is that we feel we have no control over our situation. But whose life are we living? Speak up. You may not be able to get the boss to agree to everything on your wish list, but with some negotiation you may get some of what you want, you just have to risk asking for it.

Beware: Choosing happiness is contagious. When you choose happiness, you will be influencing others around you to get happy, too. When that happens, you may actually discover that you like where you are after all.

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Filed under Feng Shui, Feng Shui Home, Feng Shui Office, Healing Energy, Health & Fitness, Love & Relationship, Self Help

AIRSTREAM HOTELS ARE ALL THE RAGE AROUND THE WORLD

If you love design then you probably love Airstream trailers, too. We do at Feng Shui By Fishgirl as you can see by this post and that post. Today I was surfing treehugger blog and found 8 Awesome Airstream Hotels and a slide show of great pics. Go check it out! Even better, travel to one of these unusual hotels and report back to us on how much fun you had.

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Filed under Architecture, Creativity & Future Projects, Design, Feng Shui, Fun, Travel

BLUE TREES & LOBSTERS

The theme today is blue! Whether it’s a blue painted tree for a good cause (click on the blue tree to read about THAT!) or a rare blue lobster caught off the town I live  in up in Maine (don’t worry, we don’t eat blue lobsters–they are always saved for display but this one was undersized so it was released back into the bay) I hope that my pictures of blue remind you of blue skies and fair sailing. Enjoy!

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Filed under ART, Feng Shui, Fun, Plants & Outdoors

BONKERS FOR BOFFO!

Have you heard of Boffo? They are NYC based and have some serious design talent! A non profit org, a collaboration of artists and designers…well, I’ll let them explain it to you. Go to the Boffo website for more info. And tell ’em Feng Shui By Fishgirl sent you!

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Filed under ART, Creativity & Future Projects, Design, Feng Shui, Uncategorized

I’D RATHER BE…..?

Stuck in a rut? Feel like life is slipping you by and you don’t know where to begin to change that? Here’s where: rethink your priorities by looking over this List of 50 Questions to Ask Yourself . Reading this list is like reading questions from your soul. If you take the time to answer them, you may find you have all the answers to jumpstart your new attitude. Be gentle with yourself and take baby steps at first. Change can be scary–yes!–but without change we stagnate. That’s bad feng shui.

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Filed under Family & Health, Feng Shui, Healing Energy, Health & Fitness, Reading, Self Help