Tag Archives: personal development

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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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

SETTING INTENTIONS- 5 Tips on how to start your day like a rockstar

I just discovered this wonderful post on the Malavika Blog. She gives 5 terrific tips on setting intentions for your day. I couldn’t have done a better job–go see:

How to start your day like a rockstar.

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Filed under Healing Energy, Health & Fitness, Self Help, Wisdom & Knowledge

PERSONAL FENG SHUI TREASURE MAPPING, PART II: Tracy Abbott Cook Shows Us How

The following is a guest post written by friend and colleague Tracy Cook. You were first introduced to Tracy in my post “Personal Feng Shui Treasure Map, Part I: Preparation”. April 14 is this week and that is the optimum day to map out your goals. The following article tells both why and how to get started. Thanks, Tracy!

TREASURE MAPPING

By Tracy Cook

It is spring and I am once again excited. The green buds on the sycamores are starting to pop out, shoots are appearing on my neighborhood jacaranda trees, squirrels are running around in circles going nuts —Yes, spring is definitely around me. But that is not the reason why I am excited. I am excited because in less than a week I will begin my favorite annual practice—“Treasure Mapping”.

Treasure Mapping began (for me) in 1996 while I was a regular participant in astrologer Robert Buz Meyers New Moon Workshops. I learned about Buz in 1989 when my good friend Margaret Wendt who had been his student for many years suggested I listen to his tape series. She thought that I would enjoy his lectures and she was absolutely correct. Buz was an incredibly deft, talented astrologer and I learned much astrology from him in particular the eight phases of the moon. Now, you have to understand, this is saying a lot considering my mother, grandmother and great grandmother all knew astrology. I literally grew up with the twelve signs, ten planets, asteroids and aspects all around me! To me Leo the Lion was not a sign, it was a sibling! And still with that background, Buz’s information was very knowledgeable and he absolutely shared it brilliantly.

During the early 1990’s I received Buz’s monthly tapes and because Margaret was so busy with her three children and her television career I took it upon myself to give her the Cliffs Notes on Buz’s lecture and share with her the one or two tapes that I thought would really ring her bell. And so it was when in March of 1996, Buz recorded his set of tapes for the upcoming Aries new moon. When I received those tapes I knew that my notes would not be enough. So, I called Margaret and our mutual friend Ann and said, “Let’s meet at Margaret’s house on Aries New Moon, I’m bringing some stuff and the Buz tapes. I want you guys to hear this one.”

On April 17, 1996 the three of us met. I brought some glue bottles and scissors and poster board and they both were somewhat surprised but once they listened to the lecture it all made sense. What made this set of tapes so extraordinary was that the entire focus of the tape was Treasure Mapping.

Aries is the first sign of the zodiac and it lines up with spring. And if you have ever been around Aries personalities you know that they are strong willed and forceful because like a spring flower bursting through permafrost they will do what they can to get to the sun. Aries know what they want but at the same time they need to see it. Aries rules sight.

Of course since it is the first sign of the zodiac it really is the true beginning of the New Year. And as Buz explained in the tape, now is the time when we must build our Treasure Map. To see where we are heading this year.

So, after we listened to the lecture we did exactly what Buz suggested. We walked up the street to the magazine stand and each of us bought several magazines. Then we returned to Margaret’s house and quickly thumbed through the images until we all found things that we wanted. Cutting and snipping our future outs from images of one magazine after another. Pasting them on the poster board and jotting thoughts and affirmations. It was a metaphysical craft session. It was also a lot of fun. There is something so rewarding sitting on the floor with close friends, snipping out a image and saying, “Who needs a BMW?” Of course many of our desires were far more important than nice cars.

At this time I was in a dating lull but I did want to move forward in this area of my life and I happily found an attractive photo from a Ralph Lauren ad of a guy on yacht. I liked the image and naturally since it was an ad, the model was on the young side. I didn’t give it much thought except that I liked it. In addition I put a photo of a heart and a baby. These were experiences I did not want to miss. I also wrote down words like “my own boss” “solid writing”. I also had things about good health and other images.

Buz indicated that we needed to build our maps during the new phase of the Aries moon, which meant the first 3.5 days of the New Moon for the most oomph. Although he did say that we could take the whole waxing moon if we needed. Margaret took to the exercise like a duck to water and she completed her map that night after Ann and I left for our homes. I needed the next two days to get my images exactly the way I wanted and Ann took even a few days longer than me. But we all did finish our maps and I remember staring at it in awe. It was a powerful moment to look at what I wanted for my life. It truly felt like a Treasure Map.

Now the magic of the Treasure Map is that if you build the map on Aries New Moon you will start to see results by Cancer new moon which is three months later. Even if areas of one’s life that have been completely moribund without a doubt they will start to grow if the images have been planted on the Aries new moon.

Margaret had her own results almost immediately. It was within two weeks that the direction of her life moved light years when she met a man who matched her own words on her map. By June she was already on the road with her new man and beginning an entirely new wonderful chapter of her life. I met my own man in late May and began my journey in June. I am now married to that man and we have a wonderful son. It did not all happen that first year but the seeds were definitely planted on my first Treasure Map. And the part of this that was so remarkable for me was that my husband comes from a long line of sailors and is indeed a member of a yacht club. Just like my image from the Ralph Lauren Ad. Also my husband is younger than me-again like my map. My work as a freelance writer grew stronger that year which lined up with my words “my own boss” and “solid writing” additionally I found myself getting pieces of my map all year.

For the next fourteen years the three of us have met together on Aries New Moons to build our maps. There have been some years that have been better than others. And one year we were all feeling a bit burned out and Margaret suggested that we abandon the traditional map and go back to the roots of the Treasure Maps from the late 80’s when she first went to the Buz workshops and he encouraged everyone to write affirmations on orange paper during Aries new moon. There was something organic about that process which I enjoyed greatly.

The allure in the Treasure Maps is not just the results but also the process of giving oneself the luxury of thinking “What do I want?” It is liberating thumbing through a magazine and saying, “Hmmm, I think my guy is really smart, where are some guys with glasses?” Or, “I really want to feel spiritually centered this year…can someone find me an image of Buddha?” Treasure Mapping is just a wonderful way to turn inward and ask, “What do I want?” while at the same time if you do it with good friends you will find yourself in welcoming womb of support. It is truly a birth experience.

Now as we begin our fourteenth year focusing on our Treasure Maps, my friends and I are as excited as we were our first year.

Want to make your own Treasure Map? Here’s a cheat sheet:

WHAT IS A TREASURE MAP?

A treasure map is a collage made of photos, magazines pictures, words, pieces of things that make sense to you…whatever you want and you put them on a foam core board or just cardboard or just something strong that can handle the collage…you put them all together so you can look at it…it will be a MAP of what you want for the coming year.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN, “What do I want for the coming year?”

Exactly what it says. Do you want a new house, a new living room, better health, stronger marriage, reconnect with people, a bigger family, a bigger community? Do you want to write your book? Do you want a new car? What is it you want?
Do you even know what you want? If you are like many of us, you are so busy running around, taking care of everyone else that you might not have a fig of an idea what you want for your new year…that is the beauty of this process…you must sit down and figure it out…give yourself this time to do it. Be just that selfish..and dare to dream.

Why do we do it now and not January?

Treasure Maps are made during the Aries new moon. Aries new moon change from year to year and this year, it will take place on April 14, 2010 at 8:29am EDT.

They are made on Aries new moon, because that is the first sign of the zodiac. Aries is when you plant your seeds. It is the real beginning of the New Year. It should not be confused with the first day of spring, which is usually on March 19 or March 20. New moon means the sun and moon are in the same degree. For those who don’t know much about astrology (which is totally okay) Aries is the sign of SIGHT. So, that’s why it is so important to have pictures of what you want. You need to visualize it. Or if you don’t do photos/pictures.. Put up words. It is just important for you to SEE THEM.

So, I’m going to be busy on April 14th can I start it before the 14th?

NO.

Do I have to buy a bunch of magazines, I’m broke, can I just borrow some old ones from friends

Personally, when I started my treasure maps I always did them with fresh new magazines. And in the old days, (not married, no children) I spent a lot of dough on them..only because I wanted lots of choices. But with time, I ended up only getting a few magazines. I never borrowed other magazines from friends..but I know that there are people who did it in previous years and I think they were happy with their results. So, it really is your call.

What if I don’t want magazine photos, can I just use my own pictures.. like my husband, my baby etc?

Sure. I usually colored xerox them so that I would not wreck my originals.

You can also paint what you want. Again it is your call.

Do I only focus on things?

Heck no! I would also encourage you to focus on beliefs and environments. Affirmations like “I’m abundant” or “I am always feeling loved” “My health is vibrant.” “My partner and I are always growing closer and closer.”

Is there any pattern i have to use when i put the photos or the words on my board.

No you can do it anyway you want.

But I will say that my friend Ann suggested years ago that we use the Feng Shui Bagua and now that is the pattern I continue to use. Basically, break up the board into 9 areas. A grid like this:

123
456
789

1-abundance
2-fame/reputation
3-relationship
4-family
5-health
6-creativity
7-self knowledge
8-work
9-helpful people, angels, travel.

If you use the feng shui bagua, you will naturally cover all most all areas of your life..as you can see it is all represented there.

If you look at the Treasure Map that I have put up you will see that all the Bagua sectors are represented. You can also use the corresponding colors for additional impact.

How much time do I have to build my map?

Ideally you should build your map during the new phase of Aries new moon which would take you from the April 14th 8:29am EDT until April 18th 1:40am EDT. But if you need more time, you can give yourself up until Full Moon (April 28th.). But ideally try to build it in the beginning.

Do I have to do it alone or can I do it with friends?

You can do it either way. I build mine with my 2 other friends. We are like sisters and it felt so right to do it with them. We started them together. I know that there are several people who have little parties where they invite those close to them over. I will say this, it is a lot of fun to do them with others..we would all pass around the magazines.. “Hey, I found a great beach bungalow does anyone need a beach vacation? Or it would be, “I have got to lose 10 pounds, any ideas what I should put on my map?” and low and behold someone will come up with a good suggestion.

Do i have to finish it all at one sitting?

No. Often I used to cut my stuff out with my friends. Maybe glue a little thing here or there and then take it home and finish it there over the course of a day or two.

Can my kids do it with me?

Yes! It is great for them to focus and think about what they want. Have them build their own maps. They also might give you their thoughts about what they think you should have in your life. Helps them to think beyond them, right?

Does it work?

Yep.

Okay. I don’t want to sound like a spoilsport but I’m just not interested in building a collage, can I do something else?

Sure you can take a nice piece of orange paper and write down wishes during Treasure Map time. My wishes can sometimes feel like prayers and they are broader in my desires. But I will say this, I felt like I needed to switch to ‘less is more’ after several, several years of mapping. So, I had a lot under my belt. I would encourage new comers to make the actual maps. But if you really don’t feel the call then just write your desires down. I like orange paper. So, vibrant. So Aries.

Is it ok to have things continue over to the next year? Long-term, ongoing stuff that has progressed but needs to continue to progress?

Yes. Of course. But with a small caveat. My sense after doing these for years is that when something really takes time and doesn’t gel in the first year. My experience is that there is something still not in right yet. It might be something you are aware of…like one cyber friend shifted from her map from year one to year two by focusing on less things. That kind of energy is really important. What I mean.. is it is NOT important to put up less. It is important for you on the following year’s map to go into your gut and say what do I REALLY WANT.

You may need to shift something about your long range goals. My sense is that they need a wee bit refining or broadening. Just a thought. But definitely don’t give up on the dream.

I’m really excited is there anything I can do now before Treasure Map to help my map?

Yes, yes, yes…. I said this in previous years and I’ll remind everyone now. The period just before the Treasure Map is called the balsamic phase. Which is the end of the moon’s phase. This is the phase when we get rid of stuff. Get rid of clutter. Get rid of things that are bugging us. Get rid of ick. Try if you can to clear some space in your life so you can be ready for the treasure map. Remember, Einstein said, “NO TWO THINGS CAN OCCUPY THE SAME SPACE.” Read that several times… now ask yourself, do I have space in my house, my family, my time, my life in general for more? If the answer is no. Then start housecleaning!

Clear out the stuff between now and April 14th Now do you understand why it is important not to start your map before the new time?

By the way, I personally don’t buy any of my supplies before the New starts. But I know some of you can’t do that..so if you must buy before. Put it aside and don’t touch it until the new. Don’t thumb through magazines. Leave it all be.

Good luck and dream big!

SEE FISHGIRL’S TREASURE MAP OF INTENTIONS DONE IN ALL WORDS.

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Filed under ART, Creativity & Future Projects, Dreaming, Feng Shui, Fun, Getting Organized, Self Help, Uncategorized

PILLOW TALK

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     The lights are low, you’ve got chocolates and/or ice cream by your side, and you’re naked and snuggled under the satin sheets. Soft music is playing, too. I bet I know where you think this is leading! But unfortunately, it’s not what you think. Instead of your lover by your side enjoying in this beautiful bedroom scenario, many of you have a hot-bottomed laptop. Busted! You’re working overtime and bringing your business to your bedroom. This is a feng shui no-no for many reasons.

    Unless your ultimate fantasy is-how should I put this?– work-related, kindling romance in your bedroom will be that much more difficult if it has the atmosphere of an office cubbyhole instead of a love shack. Move the computers and desk to another area of the home. Replace with plenty of candles and flowers.

    Your bedroom should be a place of tranquility. To be your best at work, you need a good night’s rest. Computers and other electronic equipment (lamps, radios, alarm clocks, phones, cell phones, stereos, electric blankets, printers, TV’s, treadmills, to name a few) create stimulating chi (energy) that keeps your mind buzzing and may prevent you from getting your Z’s. Take inventory of how many electrical appliances and gadgets you’re keeping in your sleeping chamber. Pare it down to 2-3 (or less). Notice the difference in your quality of sleep and how much more refreshed you’ll feel.

    Some of you may have your significant other by your side as one or both of you tap-tap-tap on your individual keyboards. Relationships suffer if we bring work home and convert the bed into a desktop. When our primary relationship goes stale, we often lack the vitality we need in the working world. Separating the office from the boudoir is one of the keys to marital bliss. Make a pact to keep work out of your bedroom.

    Finally, spiff up your bedroom so it looks and feels like a peaceful retreat. Soothing colors, quality bedding, pretty linens, a painting on the wall opposite your bed to wake up to—treat yourself (to a good night’s sleep).

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FORTUNATE SAINTS ARE AUSPICIOUS FENG SHUI

Fortunate Saint #116 (c) Katy Allgeyer

Announcing the launch of “Fortunate Saints”. Original modern spiritual icon paintings with Chinese fortune cookie sayings juxtaposed next to Italian prayer cards on richly painted miniature canvases. Priced from $100 and up. The 5″ square ones are unframed with painted sides and the slightly larger ones are framed in gorgeous gilt and wood frames, each one of a kind. Fortunate Saints make great gifts for any occasion, with some having specific messages perfect for making amends, expectant mothers, graduates, and prosperity. Place them in your Wisdom & Knowledge area or Wealth area and see what happens!

Fortunate Saint #116 is on eBay right now!

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CLOTHES ENCOUNTERS

It’s been said that “Clothes make the man”. It’s also been said that “every girl’s crazy ’bout a sharp dressed man”. Whether you graduated top of your class or are simply a fan of ZZ Top, these feng shui hints are about what you wear on your bottom that might just help you get to the top.

Your mom used to warn you to have clean underwear on before you left the house in case you somehow wound up in the ER and met a cute doctor. Well, mom was right (even though she probably never heard of feng shui)! The basic premise behind mother’s warning is that it is a good idea to put your best self out there in the world. Employers can’t see them but you guys know they’re there: holes in your tighty whities. Or maybe you’re wearing yesterday’s boxers (we don’t wanna know!)? And you gals: mismatched bras and panties, runs in your stockings held together by nail polish.

Why is this negative feng shui?Because we can’t project an aura of confidence and capability out in the working world when secretly we know that our foundation is shaky. Just like when our desk is positioned so that our back is to the door we are constantly feeling vulnerable to people sneaking up on us. In this case if our underclothes are really ratty, even the most expensive clothing on top will not take away that feeling of being less than your best.

Here’s a scenario we can all relate to…what would you be wearing underneath it all if you were preparing yourself for a date with a 10 instead of an interview with a 10? You’d be putting on your sexy best because you never know where the date would lead. Well, in doing that, you are putting on your first layer of confidence. I’m NOT suggesting you will be stripping for your new boss! What you’re aiming for is the feeling of knowing you are ready willing and able to go for it (the job). Are you?

(This article by Katy Allgeyer was first published by Working World Magazine)

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