Tag Archives: fear

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

ABOUT FACE

Snake massage (photo courtesy TMZ)

Snake massage (photo courtesy TMZ)

Change takes us out of our comfort zone. Making big changes definitely shifts your ch’i (energy) and stimulates growth of mind
and spirit.
Here’s an example of how we can sometimes be resistant to change. For years I have had oily skin prone to breakouts and shine. To counteract this condition, I was accustomed to wearing face powder. Since it has been part of my makeup preparation for thirty years, I didn’t think twice about it. Moving in with a partner who is allergic to powders, potions, fragrance, and the like, I was faced (pardon the pun) with causing him discomfort, or, changing my routine.
Women will be able to relate to how difficult this decision was for me. Makeup is our “war paint”, the armor we put on to face the world, putting our ‘best face  forward’, and, in a sense, hiding behind a mask. Although I am not one to wear heavy makeup, I did rely on powder to reduce the shininess of my nose. Since it bothered my partner so much, I finally took the plunge and stopped wearing face powder. Guess what? My skin was no longer shiny. Probably hadn’t been for years since I am now nearer to 50 than to 15. My skin had changed without my notice. In fact, I looked even better without face powder! This small change made me stop and consider how we tend to get stuck in patterns of our own choosing. Ask yourself what “security blankets” you are holding onto that may be holding you back from making positive changes in your life? What changes could I make that would bring my ch’i into alignment with the person that I am now (instead of holding on to the person I once was)?
Will I be ready to try the snake massage pictured here? NO WAY! 🙂

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JINGLE BELLS (Feng Shui Sound Cures)

It’s the holiday season and many of us will be spending a lot of time shopping. Most retail shops have sound alert systems in place to let the shopkeeper know of any customers entering the store. This way they can guard the cash register and merchandise, and be of service to the client so that a sales opportunity won’t be missed. All of that seems like just good common sense, right? It may surprise you to know that having jingling bells or some other form of noise at the entry to your space is also good feng shui.
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Awareness of who is entering our immediate work/living zone improves our feng shui., Whether you work in a cubicle with your back to the door or are a mechanic under a car, being surprised by your boss sneaking up on you could ruin your mo-jo! We feel uneasy and subconsciously very vulnerable if we do not have control of our space. The optimum feng shui solution is to have a clear view of the entryway from our “Command Position”. However, that isn’t always possible and often the only way the furniture works is to be placed with our backs to the door. If this is the case, the next best thing is to place a mirror so that we can see who is behind us.

The other next best thing is to have some sound device attached to the door so that we hear it when it opens. For instance, you might want to hang some bells from the door. Or you might put a windchime in the doorway that encourages people to touch it and make it sing when they enter your space. Where there is no door, a bead curtain might be appropriate; the beads make a pleasant jingling sound and also soften the chi energy.

People love the tinkling sound of bells. Apparently, so does good chi. And as we all know from watching the classic Christmas movie “Its a Wonderful Life”, every time a bell rings and angel gets his wings. Here’s wishing you and your family a chi-ful holiday season!

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Filed under Command Position, Feng Shui Home, Feng Shui Office, Mouth of Chi (doors)

HALLOWEEN: GHOSTS, GOBLINS, & FENG SHUI

basket
This sacred basket with monkey skulls has a scary feel to it and could carry residual energies too powerful to handle outside of a museum setting.

A few years ago, I was called on to feng shui a building belonging to a Hollywood post-production company. I pulled up in front of a very sleek building with 60’s modern glass block façade in Burbank not too far from Disney Studios. The client’s business was editing film for features and commercials, so, naturally most of the space was filled with electronic equipment used for that purpose. The bold design of the building matched the high-tech business occupying the space perfectly. Or so I thought.

Within a few minutes, during my interview with the client in his office, I began to experience a strange sensation. I kept hearing the word “mortuary” in my mind and became distracted by the persistence of this thought. I struggled to keep my focus on the client and asked him what the building’s history was, who occupied the space before him, etc. He told me that the building had been his for more than twenty years and that prior to that it was also used for film editing for at least a dozen years.

“Mortuary” kept getting louder in my head and I began to feel uncomfortable in this office. I said to my client, “Okay. So this building has always housed your type of business then. Let’s move on to the next question.” He then said, rather casually, “Well, but originally it was built to hold a mortuary.” He eyed me nervously, noting my skin had just turned a shade whiter, and asked me, “Is that bad feng shui?”

Here’s the bottom line: it’s not good feng shui to have stagnant, dead, negative energy in any space, let alone your work space. Residual energy was lingering even decades after the mortuary had been closed and replaced by high tech businesses.

There could very possibly have been ghosts in that space, too, although I didn’t see or feel any at the time. We did a feng shui space clearing ceremony and blessing ritual and cleared out all negative vibes. Often, that is all that needs to be done to reset the energy to a clean and positively charged space.

Recently, I have come across more cases of corporate office buildings inhabited by ghosts and sane working people who are encountering strange energies. Maybe it’s just the onset of the Halloween season, but, there does seem to be a heightened awareness of spirit energy around this time of year. A technician at a computer chip company told me that he was sitting in his office and felt a strong tap on his shoulder. He turned around expecting to find a colleague only to discover there was nobody there. At a bank in Santa Monica, a Vice President told me she had felt a presence hugging her at her home and she was afraid to return to her apartment. Also, she was concerned the entity might follow her to work. I worked with these clients on strengthening their feng shui and clearing their space with a Native American smudgestick and reclamation ceremony. They’re now ghost-free.

However, some situations involve much darker forces. Heavy—maybe even “evil”—energy does exist. To clear a space of this type of energy takes an experienced healer or a spiritualist with ghostbusting knowledge. Deita Klaus and her partner Deirdre Devlin are two such people. Their company, Hollywood Ghostbusters, handles calls from individuals and corporations desperate to remove paranormal energies from their homes and office buildings. Although Deita said they have encountered poltergeists and demons, most cases they work on involve simply helping the spirit of a departed person move on.
Their fees depend on the size of the job and the type of entity to be ousted and each case is different.

I asked Deita if there were any notoriously famous haunted buildings in LA that she knows of. She told me that The Brewery Arts Complex, Paramount Studios, and the Comedy Store all have spirits residing there. She also claimed that the Hollywood Hills area has many haunted homes because they were built above sacred Native American burial grounds. “The Magic Castle has many spirits, too, yet they want them there. The magic you see there is really the ghosts!”, Deita said.

Deita and Deirdre have been practicing their gifts for a long time. I asked Deita if it is dangerous to deal with paranormal energies? She told me, “Oh yes, they can take over your spirit…you must know how to protect yourself and not be afraid. Fear is what they invoke and then they try to get into you.” Is it dangerous for someone to do their own ghostbusting? “Yes, we ask people, unless they have the experience, do not try and take the energy out.”

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5 STEPS TO OVERCOMING THE FEAR FACTOR

Picture 12

I grew up in New Hampshire where winters were always white. This was ski country and somehow I was 18 and a senior in high school before I enrolled in ski lessons (only to find every single classmate in my group was a 6-year old first grader). Those little kids were zooming down the slopes while I was stiffly towering over them as I slowly made my way down the baby slopes. I cried when I fell down time after time and realized I was the worst skier in the bunch. But I stuck with the training and learned downhill skiing. And the little kids thought I was cool for skiing with their class.

If you’re enrolled in classes retraining for a new career, you may feel a little out of place, too, especially if the majority of the other students enrolled came directly from high school. Or perhaps you’re going back to school after several years of staying at home to raise a family. In that case, you may find the rest of the students are half your age. Will you be able to keep up? It’s scary enough going to school the first time around, let alone going back for a second career after years outside of the structure of an academic setting.

Feeling fear is a natural human response built into our system as a survival mechanism. Without the adrenaline rush caused when the “fight or flight” response kicks in, we would not have the wherewithal to survive extreme challenges. Back on the slopes, I don’t know what I was more afraid of: skiing down the mountain or how bad I would feel if I couldn’t do it and all those little kids could. Fear of failure motivated me to learn. It pushed me to go for it.

But there is a flip side to fear. Fear can paralyze us and block us from reaching our full potential. Fear may make us choose the easier route…stay where we are without testing ourselves, or drop out when the going gets tough instead of working harder to complete the course. Fear comes in many disguises. It can be masked by embarrassment, guilt, low self-esteem, and even anger.

Fear is the opposite of love. Love opens up our hearts and our minds to new people and new experiences. Fear keeps us “safe” from being hurt but in doing so, prevents us from real growth. Here are some tips for overcoming your fear and gaining confidence to achieve your goals.
*Breathe deeply. Relaxing the body and mind really helps to alleviate fear.
*Meditate on Ganesha. The Hindu deity Ganesha is represented by an elephant and is called the Lord of Success and Remover of All Obstacles. Visualize the elephant god removing the fears causing roadblocks for you. No matter your belief system, meditation is a very grounding practice. Self confidence comes with that inner peace you get from a regular meditation practice.
*You’re not alone. We’re often intimidated because we think others may know something we don’t. If we take a moment to realize that the other guy is afraid, too, that kind of levels the playing field and our fear disappears.
*Take back your power. Imagining the competition without their clothes on is one technique to overcome your inferiority complex. When we see the vulnerability in others, we no longer fear risking our own vulnerability. Give yourself permission to trust in your own ability and talent, allow yourself to feel and work through uncomfortable situations, name your fears and let them go.
*Keep growing. Remaining curious and open to new experiences is key to a successful life ruled by love and not fear. Think of all the things you’ll miss out on if you let your fears get in the way.

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SHA SHA SHA SHATTERED: Can feng shui stop the breaking glasses?

Photo courtesy of Wii Have A Problem

Photo courtesy of Wii Have A Problem

I recently got an intriquing email from someone I will call “J”. It made me recall an earlier incident I had with my own feng shui. On a lighter note, check out the “Wii Have a Problem” blog—it’s a hilarious look at one household’s problems with breaking glass via Wii.
Hi Katy,

I hope this finds you well. Just this evening I happened upon your blog and it’s just great! I am an Interior Designer with an Architect hubby and we are really curious about Feng Shui. Also, we recently moved into a new house. Well, it’s not really very new; built in 1961 with one previous owner who died in the house.

So, I have had an interesting problem since we moved in. We, and mainly myself, keep breaking glass. More glass has been shattered in the 2 months we’ve been here than I think I have EVER had in my lifetime.

Is there some kind of clearing I can do?

I know this is a quirky problem but I’d really appreciate your input.

Blessings,
J

Here’s what I wrote back:
Hi J,
The good news is you already know the root cause of the problem (the previous owner died in the house). Yes, there are space clearing methods that can be done. When dealing with this type of problem
it is best to use a professional because whenever dealing with paranormal energy, you are dealing with the occult and portals that are opened need to be closed properly so that no harm comes to anyone as a result of trying to cure the problem.

That being said, I had a very similar experience when I moved into a loft in downtown LA a few years ago. The first 3 months I was there, I was dropping and breaking glasses (and so were guests) and this had never happened to me before. I actually felt something pushing my hand to knock a glass over.

Through research and synchronicity–and oddly enough my own dreams and the dream of an overnight guest– I discovered and confirmed at the library that the original use of the building was a bootleg saloon back in the roaring twenties during prohibition.

Spirits will often seek out those that are sensitive to knowing their presence or seeing them. IE: others could live in your house and may never have the same problems you do because they are “immune” / unconscious and unreachable. Sometimes children will be the way the spirits will come in because children are more open and don’t have defenses up. You must be particularly susceptible. I should ask: has there been any recent activity that may have indicated you accidentally invited the ghost to show up? IE: playing Ouija board, reading tarot cards, having a psychic or astrology reading at your home or over the phone from your home…even telling ghost stories can sometimes trigger paranormal portals to open.

Are the incidences still occurring since you wrote to me May 28th? Do they happen at certain times of day or at any time randomly? Does the glass shattering happen in one location or many in the home? Please get back to me and I’ll give you more information.
Best,
Katy

Katy,

Thank you for getting back to me. I’m in a rush and will have to keep it a bit short, but so excited to talk to you about this!!

The glass has continued to break, same spot in the house and usually by me. It’s in the kitchen which happens to be in the Marriage corner of the house – feng shui. Not at any particular time of day, but it never happens at night for some reason.

The area used to be a farm and other than the previous owner dying, nothing i know of has happened on the land, except for finding the neighbors dead bunny rabbit while i was gardening. i’m hoping this is random.

i pulled out my tarot cards only once and that was just a few days ago. no other invitations. that being said, i’ve always had a, “touch of the gift” as i call it, so i think that’s why i’m picking up on things.
i’m having the house cleared professionally very soon. i’ve felt it needed it since we moved in and just haven’t had the time.
J

Dear J,
I’m glad you are hiring a pro. I hope you got good references as there are a lot of inexperienced people out there. If they are a feng shui expert, expect to receive a space clearing that involves smoke (sage or incense), possibly a sound cure (Tibetan bells, for example, or loud clapping), intentions for banishing and clearing the space, as well
as a final blessing when space is cleared. A feng shui person will use sacred hand mudras and incantations specific for clearing this residual ghost energy. Good luck!

When you work with your tarot cards, it’s always best to do a formal open and close. Here’s what I do:
Light a candle. Ask for your guides to come in to help you read as well as protect you and any others present from harm.
(Your guides can include your angel, animal, ancestor guides etc. ) If you’re reading for someone else, ask permission for
their guides to help and protect all concerned as well. Do your reading as usual. When finished, do a completion/closing
by thanking all guides for their help and protection. Then blow out the candle and put away the cards. Do not leave them
casually lying around.
Best,
Katy

I am counting on “J” to let us know how her professional space clearing went. Have you ever had problems with breaking glass? Comment please, I’d like to hear from you.

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