Everything You Own Is You

One of the most frequent questions I am asked as a feng shui consultant is, “Are the grounds surrounding my house included in the feng shui adjustment?” Yes, yes and yes.

The art of placement includes the terrain, climate, vegetation, water source, power lines, shape of trees surrounding the environment, color and shapes of gardens and landscaping; statuary shapes, subjects and placement of these objects; ponds, lakes, swimming pools, hot tubs and color and shape of planters used for your flowers, vegetables and herbs. Not only is your surrounding landscape important, any land, buildings owned, leased or rented by the client is included in the evaluation of a person’s feng shui.

The balance of one’s environmental, physical and mental harmony are all considered part of the whole package, of where you stand today!

The initial response from the client is a blank stare and overwhelming expressions. “You are your possessions,” I inform them. “Why?” they plead. “Because; ‘they’ belong to you,” I respond, remembering all my herb gardens that need weeding, harvesting and drying. Later, after they have thoroughly dried, I place them in tightly sealed jars for winter teas and emergency uses. Others are stored in drawers labeled alphabetically. Surrounding the packets of herbs I spread bay leaves or eucalyptus leaves to protect the harvest from those little pests that love herbs. These two plants keep bugs out of the cabinets and preserve your hard summer’s work. Other dried plants are used for tinctures. Combining several formulas, I pour vinegar, alcohol or glycerin over nature’s gifts to preserve these “medicines.” Tinctures are the liquid poured off the plant residue, sealed in jars ad small bottles for winter’s immune system’s low points. Next the mash is sprinkled back over the gardens to infuse and recycle the magic of nature.

KvortexBeing responsible for keeping nature healthy is the responsibility of humanity. The harmony and balance or feng shui can be translated as when wind blows on water. This action gently infuses ions into the water, bringing life to the planet earth.

Are you doing your part? How much of the environment are you taking care of? Everything you own plus your neighbor?

If that information is too overwhelming, pull all of “yourself” back together and assess what action needs to take place.

  1. What do you rent? A storage shed? Why? If it is temporary, then that is a plus on your survey. My husband and I rented three storage units for seven years, because we couldn’t give up our stuff. After learning the principles of feng shui, I began to add up the money we had invested saving our junk. The figures indicated we could have taken a wonderful six-week cruise or bought a little car. The symbolism visually and mentally showed a fear of the future. Clogged, stacked, old ideas. The outcome of this dilemma was additional possessions. We couldn’t remember what was in storage so we bought another drill, saw, mixer and rug to replace the “lost items.” I can now see why I’m getting so smart; I have acquired a Ph.D. in dumb. Feng shui has freed us from excess (almost)! One practice I have adopted is before I leave a store, I scan the shopping cart for impulsive items, which usually include several “grandma purchases.” Forfeiting two of these fun items helps keep me in line and definitely helps my son and his family retain part of their living spaces.
  2. What do you clutter? Are you moving or between jobs? Leaving your necessary stuff in Mom and Dad’s garage is hopefully temporary, however this puts a damper on Mom and Dad’s life. Leaving possessions at the parents house can bring comfort to an adult child, subconsciously grounding Mom, Dad and child’s relationship. Leaving belongings at the folks’ house gives us a reason to visit or not to visit, depending on the relationship between parents and offspring. This inaction only causes procrastination for both parties in moving forward toward a change.
  3. What do you own? A business, a home, a boat? Are you a landlord? Again, the responsibility of maintaining the properties can be tied to your successes. Remember the questions to ask yourself. Am I bringing harmony to mind, body and spirit of my home and community? What is my God-given purpose? Now you are beginning to understand why less is more. It is easier to promote harmony when you aren’t bogged down with things. It frees the mind to pursue talents issued at birth.
  4. Look around your property. Is it beautiful? Chi or energy doesn’t visit the dwelling with overgrown shrubs, dead trees and lawn. If you can’t take care of spaces, sell or pass on the excess of land for parks, herb gardens, houses for helping children learn, land to plant and nature to heal. The color yellow helps detoxify the system. Fields of yellow flowers, herbs, foods and art work help heal humans and animals. If yellow is lacking from your décor, depression begins to seep throughout the house like a slow moving stagnant river.
  5. Does my yard need feng shui? Poppies Absolutely. When the bagua, or eight-sided octagonal-shaped grid, is placed over the dwelling in question, the energy extends over the whole shape of the property. Landscaping the property correctly can make or break the consultation. Putting a fountain, swimming pool or hot tub in the fame area of the home can “drown out” the correction inside and outside the house. Placing the children’s play house, swing set or other toys outside or inside the partnership section of the home strains marriages. After more than 5,000 consultations, I have found these placements to be detrimental to placing the five elements used in incorrect spaces, causing destructive action of the balance. Most medical communities of the world take into consideration these principles of harmony. Body types and their elements of the patient are determined by the practitioners. Using herbs, the Chinese evaluate the systems of the body to prescribe medicines. Water, wood, fire, metal and earth are tested and brought back into balance to promote healing of the dis-ease. Example, the typical cold drink used to wash down a quick lunch forces the cauldron, or stomach of the body, to attempt to digest food with mucus or cold fluids. This action dashes the fire in the belly which results in indigestion. Am I guilty? Yes — most of the time. I love iced drinks. The sin is, I know — and should drink hot teas more often during meals.

If clearing yourself of old ideas, habits, fear, worry and doubts seems overwhelming, start with one drawer, one room; the yards surrounding your properties will become easier to tackle. If you have acquired too many things, sell, throw away or take to a thrift shop. Everything you own is you! If you love yourself, great; if you don’t, unload.

Animals Big and Small

Wealth_Symbol_150Animals Big and Small Symbolize Fame

Recently I read an article on animal forms and their symbolism by Kathleen M. Karlsen, MA. Her consulting business incorporates the principles of Feng Shui into design and fine art decoration. Color, sound and the impact of imagery create powerful effects for human wellness.

I agree 100%. She goes on to say there are three major types of animal forms, domestic, wild and mythical beasts. Domestic animals are indicative of conscious cooperation with nature through positive interrelationships between man and animals. Wild animals depict untamed nature and man’s own untamed desires. Mythical beasts exist in the real of the imagination and are especially compelling in their graphic representation of future potential and magical, unlimited resources.

One way to make friends is to acquire a domestic pet and go for a walk. Meeting new people won’t be a problem. This little ball of fuzz or a shorthaired 200-lb. dog will draw energy or Chi to you within minutes. These cute or scary partners become attention magnets. People stop to inquire about your pet.

In China cats are kept to help keep the home free of rats and mice. Although these creatures are considered domestic, they also are connected to the mysterious, hidden forces of nature.

The untamed wild kingdom might include lions, tigers, birds or tortoises. Images of any animal can be used in the Fame or Fire section of the home located at the middle back area of the house. The wild nature of these beasts are used as protectors. Fu Dogs (Chinese lion dogs) or English-type lion statues might be at entranceways to the property or the front door of the dwelling. These visual pieces are symbolic of strength, flexibility and courage.

theguardiansThe dragon and bird like phoenix complete the third dimension to this animal symbolism. As a child, my mother and father took me to see the famous movie Wizard of Oz. Not wanting to show my mounting terror of the horrible wicked witch unrelentingly chasing Dorothy from Kansas, slowly I glued myself to the back of the movie theater seat, held my breath in silence and turned white. Since my parents considered me a fearless child, I wasn’t about to let them know I was actually terrorized. From that moment on, sleep became impossible. I wiggled to stay awake, counted the repetitive gaudy patterns of red, yellow and gold autumn leaves dancing on the walls of my room. The wild colors of Mom’s newest decorating feat left me awake until I fell into exhaustion. Using colors that are too Yang can keep the child’s ‘action button’ caught in the on position! My bed position was a big Feng Shui no-no – placed directly under a window giving me a feeling of floating and abandonment. Poor Mom. Her instincts were way off base in her latest attempts to bring cheer to my room. I loved the action room during daylight hours, but as night approached, I began acting out. I tried to escape the Oz dreams by hiding under the bed. This was the storage area for games, books, tablets and my favorite Crayolas. I snuggled securely into the clutter and fell asleep hiding from the witch.

During Feng Shui consultations, I caution parents on negative uses of color, bunk beds, under the bed storage, beds lined up with the bedroom door creating health problems, angled ceilings, child’s bedrooms located over a garage or a bed lined up with a bathroom on an adjoining wall.

Bathrooms are considered the weakest areas of our homes and need special attention. Color, design, neglected plumbing or buckling flooring need correcting according to Feng Shui principles.

I was a quiet child (believe it or not?) and didn’t confide my childhood terror to my parents until I was 40-something! They reacted as I believed they might, with unbelieving laughter, surprised their fearless growing child was so traumatized by a seemingly innocent movie.

The mythical beast lurks somewhere in our past and present. Fear of the future, your fame and reputation or maybe fear of finding your talent and destiny. Using a favorite mythical image or statue in the office, might give you courage for stepping into the unknown void of potential.

Today’s children are exposed and bombarded with wild images, and seem to have a better grasp on magical images such as dragons, dinosaurs and alligators then we did. Recently while stocking up at a local merchants’ outlet on grocery needs, I spied a huge slime green 5-ft. beast peeking out of a toy bin. Wild yellow eyes set high on this alligator’s head lurked back at me. Looking his way I thought I heard the monster say ‘you need me!’ in a slow deliberate hypnotizing whisper. ‘No, I don’t’ I replied ‘you’re ugly and a bad color of green.’

The ugly creature began to charm me. I felt as if I was in a trance as I reached for the bulky body and shoved into the cart. ‘OK,’ I said. Trying to hide a 5-ft. green alligator in the shopping cart is not an easy feat. I shoved his tail one way and his head popped up looking into my eyes with a loving look. ‘Thank you,’ he schmoozed.

Getting to the check out counter was an experience. No less than 12 children and adults petted this pillow stuffed reptile. Cranky and stressed faces turned to laughter as I worked my way to the front. Children giggled and parents wanted to know the direction of the toy’s birth bin. This ugly loving treasure became a source of unseen delight. ‘My grandsons are coming to visit soon and I thought they would have fun with this stuffed green pillow.’ I mechanically reasoned as the crowd passed us by. He rode home in the truck with his eyes on the road. Now that this protector beast is living in my home, I haven’t decided where he might stay until my little guys come for vacation; Fame or maybe the Children and Creativity side of the house.