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”…
Tag Archives: health
I finally hit the wall as far as indulging myself in favorite treats. In fact, I think I will “unlike” chocolate and also ice cream on facebook. For years I thought they were my friends but the mirror shows me otherwise. (And as a woman living in our culture, this wonderful article on body image shows that I am not alone in my love-hate relationship with mirrors!)
Instead, in 2012 I am going to cozy up to snacks like raw unsalted almonds or dried apricots whenever I have a craving for my old friend sugar. I’m going to try the new trend (according to the New York Times) of being a “semi vegan“. I’m 11 days into this plan and so far it seems to be working pretty good. There is a great slide show at Self Magazine that shows the 20 Superfoods For Weight Loss and I was pleased to see that I had already instinctively included more than half of them in my shopping cart–after all, you would expect some knowledge to sink in after reading every diet book that ever came out in the past 30 years.
My goal is not to “get skinny”. I believe that real women have curves and even at my rock bottom thinnest Nicole Ritchie did not come to mind. Nope. My goal is to be healthy and that means not getting sick. I want to have energy to play and to create art for a very long time to come. If the love handles disappear, all the better! And don’t worry about my former friend Ice Cream…according to facebook she has 6,572,730 friends and won’t miss me at all!
BTW: mirrors are feng shui cures so read about that here.
WHAT I’M EATING IN 2012 (Does this mean I’ll be grainier, nuttier, and not as sweet?!):
Breakfast: any fruit I want, whole grain cereals or oatmeal with milk or Greek yogurt, chicory coffee or jasmine tea
Lunch: a small serving of soup or a spinach salad with hardboiled egg plus nuts/cranberries/other veggies/ with a lot less salad dressing than I used to use
Dinner: at least 2-3 veggies plus either whole grain pasta or brown rice with or without salmon/tilapia/shrimp (yes, I know this is not vegan)
Snacks: fruit, home made trail mix, low calorie fruit sweetened granola bars, almonds….something with a little oomph to satisfy even if it isn’t low calorie
More water! More variety of veggies (recently I sauteed some radicchio and even my bf liked it!). More often in smaller quantities.
I’ll post back in on this in a few months with some before and after pics. 🙂
Having been suffering for a week now with a bout of bronchitis (aches all over, headache, sore throat, and wheezy dry cough), I have had plenty of time to ruminate over old moldy axioms such as “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy,wealthy, and wise.” It really is true that if one has good health, one has everything. Or at least one has the foundation to build everything on. Without health, there is no ch’i energy to draw from. No will to focus on anything. Thoughts of suicide dance in ones head. Aarrgh!
But how we take our health for granted. My bf got the good news today that after one year of 4 hospital stays, a temporary ostemy, two surgeries, and half a year of chemotherapy treatment, his cancer is gone. (Eff cancer!!!) I believe subconsciously I knew he was finally well and thus allowed myself to become sick (I have been exhausted for most of the last six months as the role of ‘caretaker’ finally caught up with me).
This summer while bf was in hospital having the ostemy pouch removed and his intestines reattached, I went looking for feng shui clues in our summer home as much to keep myself busy and my mind off of things as I was really thinking I might find some correlation to his intestinal problem with feng shui. What I found was a basement that had been flooded (we never go down there) and mold growing on the cement floor. I removed 36–count ’em, 36–big black garbage bags of wet moldy stuff over the course of a few days. It was stuff that had been moved in boxes after a contentious divorce and then never looked at. Unneeded stuff. Stuff that nobody would ever miss but that somebody was falsely attached to. The universe flooded the stuff and created the perfect reason to toss it all out. I did and the feng shui of the house immediately felt lighter. Plus, the surgery and subsequent treatment worked.
Do I believe that feng shui “cured” the cancer? No. But I believe unblocking the ch’i by removing the disgusting moldy clutter helped strengthen the ch’i and gave a good foundation for healing and for helping the treatment work. This is how feng shui can help in our day to day lives.
As to my bronchitis, I got support from my medical professional today. But I also thoroughly vacuumed the house of all allergins and dog hair and washed all bedding and comforters of the same. Clearing and cleaning helps your feng shui and your health.
Flowers add Feng Shui By Fishgirl energy to any setting. Feeling down? Plop a colorful bouquet on your desk and watch your mood rise! Want to add a festive touch to your dinner party? Flowers in the center of the table create instant party panache. Outside, a “deadzone” can instantly be activated by hanging plants or potted flowers. You don’t need to spend a lot of money. Wildflowers from your yard in a bud vase work just as well.
William Morris, England’s most famous designer / craftsman who inspired the Arts & Crafts Movement in the mid 1800’s said “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” Whether he knew it or not, Willam Morris was practicing Feng Shui.
One of the first things we learn when studying Feng Shui is to get rid of anything that is broken or that isn’t working. A clock that sits on your mantelpiece that no longer tells time may be a beautiful antique, but, if it is in disrepair it is not helping your ch’i (energy). And if it isn’t helping, it is most likely hurting. It may be the reason why your romance has stalled. Or your business contacts have dried up. Or your diet isn’t working. The mischief it is causing for you would depend on exactly what area of your home that your broken clock is located in. I would recommend that you take your broken clocks to an horologist immediately (look in your yellow pages, not your bordello).
I love a good challenge, don’t you? So, let me give you The Feng Shui By Fishgirl Challenge…this is an exercise not for the weak of heart. You must be willing to go the distance. To evaluate with brutal honesty. To discard with ruthless abandon. To commit to paying for routine maintenance on anything broken that you have decided is worth keeping. I want to challenge you to go through your home room by room and make a list (or a pile) of everything in it that falls into the William Morris catagories of either  Not Useful, or,  Not Beautiful. Let me give you some examples of both.
IF IT AIN’T BROKEN…
Remember the old adage,’ if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it ‘? Well, I’m telling you if it IS broken: FIX IT! If it can’t be fixed, junk it or give it away to the Salvation Army. Some of the “Not Useful” things I have seen in client’s homes which you may also have in yours are:
*Clothing that doesn’t fit, or is stained or ripped.
*Stacks of old stereo equipment that doesn’t work anymore.
*Dead plants, or plants with just a sickly little stem poking out of a huge pot.
*The aforementioned broken clock, or watch, that no longer keeps time.
*Books…. ie: toss out the old computer manuals at the same time you upgrade your computer.
*Broken/cracked glass still in picture frames or mirrors.
*Newspaper bundles waiting to be read or recycled.
*Lamps needing light bulbs.
*Curtain rods dangling.
*Candles that are melted beyond use.
*Various electrical appliances that no longer work.
*Bath towels that are tattered beyond belief.
*Wallpaper peeling down.
*Doorbells that don’t ring.
IF YOU DON’T LOVE IT, SHOVE IT
There is always some example of something that is not beautiful, yet, it is cherished and we love it so we will keep it. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We love something, it becomes beautiful because we love it. So, do not think I am asking you to throw away anything that is not “good looking”. Or conversely, to keep things only because they are beautiful.
If you do not believe it to be beautiful, it doesn’t belong in your house. That means, if you don’t love it: shove it! We’ve spoken in past newsletters about how we imbue either positive or negative ch’i onto objects and spaces. Think about all the negative ch’i buildup being created by that Limoges nut dish your Aunt Bessie gave you last Christmas. Now, there’s nothing wrong with Limoges (and hopefully, there’s nothing wrong with your Aunt Bessie !). And chances are, she spent too much for it. This tends to add to the guilt we feel if we don’t really like it and don’t want it in our home. However, if your crib is furnished in 1950’s Modern, the fancy Limoges nut dish looks totally out of place; you probably do not like it but feel some obligation to keep it, right?
We all have a version of the nutdish. It’s time for all of us to let go of our attachment to keeping anything in our sacred home space that we aren’t absolutely in love with, or at the very least, anything that doesn’t please us. I hereby give you permission to remove those items from your home today!
Some examples of things that people hang on to that fall into this catagory:
*Gifts (especially given by family members).
*Inherited objects (furniture, paintings, etc) that aren’t your taste.
*Plants that aren’t flourishing.
*Expensive things (we have a harder time letting go of things we paid a lot of money for even if we hate the piece after we’ve bought it).
*Things that connect us to our past and who we once were, but that no longer represent who we are now and where we are going.
By the way, if you now have a pile of unwanted things in your space, be sure to donate them to charity or have a yard sale. If you have a pile of things you intend to repair, make sure you take care of it quickly. If you must leave the pile there for awhile, you want to be sure your pile is in a benign area of your home. The last thing you want to do is gather up all of your broken down items and stack them in your Health Area, your Love & Relationship Area or your Wealth Area until you get around to it. As always, if you are unsure of where these areas are located within your home, contact Feng Shui By Fishgirl for a professional assessment.
ROOM TO BREATHE
When we are meditating, or following our spiritual practice, the goal is
often to still the chatter in the mind, to simply “be”. In fact, the
Calming Heart Sutra aids us in accomplishing that goal. Notice when you are in that stillness of being,there is still one thing that you are doing: breathing. Without breath, you are not alive. Think of Qi or ch’i (pronounced “chee”) as the breath of your home or office environment. We want to keep the rooms we live and work in healthy and filled with vitality. To do that, the ch’i must be circulating, the space itself must be breathing. That’s the main explanation why feng shui practitioners are so obsessed with eliminating clutter. Clutter blocks the circulation of ch’i.