Balance Work and Play

There are nine aspects to the Bagua or template which is placed over a floor plan. The Bagua can be stretched over a whole city. It can be placed over a neighborhood, a park or any building. Find the main exit to a city, a neighborhood, a facility, a government building, a playground, or a structure and you have found the “waterway” or “roadway” to the Career of the place. Airports, train stations and harbors also have an entry where the Chi or life force enters and moves around and through open and closed spaces. The aspects of the Bagua move in a clockwise manner around the octagonal temple like a clock ticking away, hopefully giving equal time to each aspect.

Using a clock as an example, Family and matters of Family begin at a 9 o’clock position. Just as life begins with Family, it is related to new up-growing Wood. Moving upward, Wealth is located next in the octagon between 10 & 11 o’clock, Fame at 12, Partnership is positioned between 1 & 2 o’clock, Children and Creativity is 3 o’clock, 4 & 5 o’clock is reserved for Helpful People and Travel. Career is at 6 o’clock, while Knowledge completes the circular journey at 7 & 8 o’clock. Health lives in the Center of the ancient sacred design. It is considered the Tai Chi or the center from which all Chi flows.

WcreekFeng Shui, or the balance of “wind and water,” when used correctly nurtures all 9 Guas or pieces of the Bagua. If you only give attention to one aspect and not pay attention to the other necessary energies on the octagonal-shaped grid, the energy flow becomes uneven. For example, a city may become “sick” if the main street is under continual construction. Businesses don’t get enough foot traffic, trouble in the government of the city begins to decay, officials argue as the “life Chi” of the city is disrupted and trouble starts “in River City,” as they say! I have recently seen this happen to a small city in Washington State. Waterways are also connected to the Bagua in people’s Careers, such as in the transportation of ferries. When the ferry system is interrupted, the flow of money comes to a halt.

Children and Creativity

To honor the balance of business and pleasure, I practice what I preach, not as much as I should, but when it is birthday time in our family we celebrate. So putting Career on hold and stepping across the Bagua from left to right, Children and Creativity was most important this week. A few clients emailed me to see where I had been, and this is what I wrote back on my return to our town Condo on the mainland.

“Sorry I missed you, I was in a rush to catch a ferry for my youngest grandson’s birthday party preparations at the island. The theme was pirates. Taking a large sheet of paper I drew a big pirate with an eye patch and a hook for a hand, and then added Happy Birthday in all different colors and a black pirate flag. It was hung in the window facing the driveway where all kinds of celebration banners are placed, depending on the occasion. The pirate looked tough and was saying aargh… Grandpa hung colored strips of paper all over the living room, on the fan and over the table, in lime green, purple and white. He made treasure maps with burned edges, stepped off paces, and then recorded them on the maps (two for both grandsons) to follow the treasure hunt when they arrived. Plastic gold coins filled two gold cookie tins and were hidden in the house at the end of the hunt. I baked a jelly roll-type cake, filled it with whip crème and chocolate chips (ugh) and frosted the roll with brown sugar icing. The cake “resembled” a cannon, with one candle for a wick and seven others on one end in a half circle. The end that the cannon came out had an orange rim and blue icing was oozing in strange places!

“I placed all the presents in a wicker chest that said Captain Hook’s Treasure Chest. Two of the main presents were some strange, popular gun-cannon things, large and goofy looking, that shot all sorts of evil-looking sponge bullets and dangerous daggers. Fun was had by all and no one got wounded. Homemade chicken strips, mashed potatoes, asparagus, carrots and pickled cucumbers were served in pirate plates, with high edges so when the “ship” was in a gale or something, food would stay on the plates. Eye patches hung on everyone “aboard.” No one was allowed to spit or cuss or we would have to walk the plank. All six family members landed from a sugar high about 8 pm.”

Check each section of your life’s aspects. Drive around your city, read the paper, and listen to the citizens. May sure it is in balance. Pay attention to the big picture. Is your city growing or struggling? All cities are made up of families, so don’t forget to check your home environment also. Take time to work and take time to play for a healthy future.

Assigned Chores

Assigned Chores for Children Aren’t Old Fashioned, They are Healthy for the Home

Confusion, frustration and stagnation are but a reflection of our selves. Daily stress builds as we try to comfort ourselves with comforting things. My brother’s favorite comment when confronted about excess purchases was “I deserve it!” Adults who were deprived as children buy grown-up toys. Credit cards make these dreams possible. We are now drowning in debt with our extremes. Daily trips to the malls for instant gratification are the norm. Where did we fall “off the common sense wagon”? Homes bulge with necessary objects, and we drown in our materialism. Sound familiar? What are we looking for? Excess and clutter are but a symptom of some larger problem. During Feng Shui consultations, I see an overabundance of furniture, toys, dishes, dried flowers, knick-knacks and food. Where does it end?

houseBuying things is a form of procrastination. It takes time and energy, and it can be temporarily fulfilling. The home becomes burdened with the weight of our expectations. Do yourself a favor — lighten the load. Give away, sell or throw away excess. Objects block Chi and lower your ability to get on with your life.

Children’s rooms bulge with computers, toys, clothes, shoes, clock radios and TVs. This week alone, I saw six children’s beds placed in wrong Feng Shui positions causing insomnia. Ease the flow of knowledge by removing the electromagnetic appliances from the bedroom. Bodies heal as they sleep in a Feng Shui-friendly environment. Waiting for a teen to clean their room can only impede the whole family’s harmony and balance; maybe the young person’s room is positioned in an important section of the Bagua, or grid placed over the home, which blocks your career. Shutting the door to his/her space only shuts off viable Chi in the home, causing energy blockage in that section of the house.

Consider other chores for the child if cleaning their room is a weekly battle. During our children’s teen years, I let them choose chores. On a farm, there is plenty of hard work to share. My son chose outside work with crops, animals, harvesting and hoeing. My daughter loved to water and drive tractors outside, but also helped inside the house with washing clothes, loading the dishwasher and putting groceries away. We all canned food. From planting to gathering, it was a family project. Allowances were given but also taken away for discipline reasons. They also worked in town after school. Everyone has to decide how to keep peace and tranquility in the home for their own family.

Dear Caroline,

I have a million questions about Feng Shui, but first of all I need ideas about how to get harmony in my house. I have to battle with my children just to get them to clean up after themselves. I try to tell them when you have a clean home, you feel better and it helps your moods, but that didn’t help. I know kids are kids. I would be very grateful for any help you can offer. Thank you and have a great day!

Thank your for your question.

Wealth_SymbolMany times children’s bedrooms are placed in the wrong Gua or section of the home. They can become overactive or under active, thin or overweight. Too much stress is placed on the child if he is placed in the far back right side of the house. This Gua is reserved for the disciplinary responsibility of the parents of the home. It is hard to evaluate any home without more information. When giving a consultation, I prefer to see the home or pictures of the house. I want to know the ages of the children and birthdays of the family to check out the elements you have already incorporated into the home, and the favorite colors of clothing worn by each family member. For example, wearing too many cool colors in the wintertime doesn’t help the immune system. Wearing excessive reds and oranges in the summer months might overheat young children. Also foods relate to the season cycles; some foods are best for your body during a certain season.

The subject of artwork should be considered for improving and activating different sections of the home. A slow-moving water picture could be chosen for enhancing the career zone near the front door to the house, or placed on the child’s bedroom wall near the door to keep the child calm. For a lazy teen, try pictures of wild animals; birds or pet pictures could be placed on the middle wall across from the door wall of their bedroom, which will help Fire up his/her ambitions! With school starting again, place a beautiful mountain picture, with lush green trees over the child’s desk, so Knowledge will be easier to attain. The symbol for Knowledge is a mountain.

Staging Your Home for Sale

gardenI have recently been working with realtors doing “staging consultations.” Using prints of my Feng Shui Art to help balance homes is giving the house a needed lift. I enjoy the mystery of a hard-to-sell property and the reward of “curing” the space. Feng Shui Staging, which can be done on-site or scanned floor plans sent to me by email, is a common way to find the problem.

It is important to keep the clutter at a minimum for the whole family’s sake whether your home is for sale or you are living in your in your dream home. I have found a few hugs go a long way in helping my Grandkids keep clean rooms. I regret I didn’t give my children more hugs, but I’m catching up now!

Dream Your Own Dreams

Midwest traditions are deeply rooted into my current celebration of holidays. Hopefully we change and grow over the years, adding maturity and new spirit to these special occasions. Memories of childhood, good and not so good, are stirred into the formula of family gatherings. Food, laughter, family gossip and attending Church were the norm. This last activity is where Mother and Daddy didn’t see eye to eye.

My father held to his position that only a hypocrite rallied to “their” place of worship two days a year, such as Christmas and Easter. If he only attended those two holy days, then he would be a hypocrite trying to please everyone! “I feel closer to God in my airplane, where I can feel his presence,” was his chant. Later in life he softened his ideas about Heaven and Earth when becoming a grandparent. Daddy joined us at Church a few times, showing the Saints his greatest little achievements and Mom’s new hat. Mother’s smile radiated for days after his volunteer attendance, which gave her continued hope for Daddy’s salvation. I observed and learned from The Elders, forming values and traditions, passing down valid and invalid solutions, which I later found, to be very “abby-normal”!

Instead of, trying to fix or control things, I became the observer. It helped me understand the Yin and Yang of circumstances, or the other side to problems, to step back and not take sides. This is the beginning of emptiness, a place of neither, right or wrong, removing the clutter of the heart and allowing space to fill the void and flow easily. Feng Shui applied on all levels brings peace to the body and spirit, clearing the sediment of judgment. Mother spent her life trying to fix Daddy, when she could have been free to follow her real purpose.

KwcPathOne beautiful day, I found Mom outdoors sitting on a stump, a rake resting across her lap. She loved raking and burning autumn leaves. As I rounded the corner of the house, I saw tears flowing down her rosy cheeks. I decided to quietly retreat and not disturb her “conversation with God.” Without looking my way, she quietly acknowledged my presence. “It’s okay, I’m okay, I’m just resting,” she whispered. Her body looked tired and her usual bouncy spirit seemed very subdued. Daddy had long been diagnosed with lung cancer, and mother’s mini-strokes called to attention that the Twelve Stages of Life’s Cycle were constantly moving and turning. The stage of Decline had traveled into Illness and was circling clockwise toward Endings.

Wealth_SymbolSpeaking into the wind her voice seemed surreal as she said, “You know Caroline, Daddy is never going to join the church. He’ll be okay though.” I could hardly believe she said those words. All her previous teachings and rules about “passage” into heaven had shifted. She had let go of trying to change others. Sadness and joy, simultaneously, were expressed on her face. She was relieved her job was over at last. They had been married 49 years.

It is now the next generation’s responsibility to imprint traditions. I continue to change only myself, as valuable time is lost on “your purpose” when trying to change others. Support others’ dreams and wishes. Celebrate everyone’s gifts and talents. Let this be a gift to yourself and loved ones this season. Give and you shall receive freedom!

International Feng Conference, Part III

August 5-10, 2004

The road trip to San Luis Obispo was uneventful and restful. I had invited my spouse along for the ride, but he declined quickly as he had traveled thousands of miles during his career and wasn’t the least bit interested in yet another “road trip” after his retirement. I was a bit disappointed at first, but delighted in having my own time schedule. Stop when I want to stop and go when I want to go! The miles flew by quickly as I played cassette tapes from the 2001 International Feng Shui Conference, which I had purchased but never had the time to listen to the lectures.

The familiar I-5 interstate took me across the United States from my new home in the San Juan Islands, Washington, to the beautiful coastal city of along the Pacific Coast of California. I had traveled many places with my husband as he worked throughout the West and Southwest for his company job. The familiar little college town had grown into a large city, sprawling and spreading across the freeway. Finding the Embassy Suites wasn’t that difficult, but the charm of the little quaint eateries was swallowed up by the usual necessities of shopping facilities.

I began to see colleagues unloading their cars and gathering at the reception desk. The energy of the hotel changed immediately. With over 300 Feng Shui teachers, practitioners, guests, and 33 International speakers on the Art of Placement filling the hotel, you can bet the good Chi becomes electric and transforms a space quickly.

I met with Roger Green, the organizer of the conference, for a briefing on the placement of the new artwork series, called The 5 Elements. It was decided I would place the first easel at the entrance of the 6-day seminar. Maurice from New York, from based at the New York School, was also there to help with any last-minute problems. Roger has changed the world with his extensive research on Chinese philosophy, numerology, and astrology. His knowledge and teaching ability are superb, and I was looking forward to another class with him on the introduction of the Lo P’an Compass. His new book on the I-Ching was immediately on my library list as a must.

FlightThe first painting would welcome the participants visually and invite the Chi directly into the learning spaces. The other four canvases were placed to direct the flow of energy of Water, Wood, Fire, Metal and Earth in a long weaving line as each image depicts the Element’s action. Each painting was created in a scared manner with music, scents, space, colors, shapes, and words added into the creation for a vivid impression to the viewer.

The image of any artwork can influence your lives in a unique way, and seeing the overall visual impression every day can enhance or destroy your progress just as the five Elements can make or break your intentions. Look around your home for clues as you scan the symbols you have chosen to support your life. Placing the subject as an Element can be tricky, but special placement in the home or business can change the space and your life.

Meeting such well known Masters of the I-Ching such as Professor Wang Yang from China, scholar, writer, and professor at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Chongqing; Vedic Mathematician Jain from Australia; Mallku Shaman from Peru; Architects Michael Rice and Christian Kyriacou UK/ Ireland, who spoke of the Alchemy of Space, sacred geometry and DNA blueprints; Meihwa Lin Chinese Astrologist; Carol Cannon, who spoke on case histories with government buildings in her career; Christian Hummel, a brilliant woman with a new book on a space clearing kit, her wisdom on ancient cultures and where animals and insects like to live.

Vic Ketis was a shy chap when I first met him as we shared a shuttle along with Marina Lighthouse, a colleague of mine from the Bay Area, into the old part of San Luis Obispo, searching for those quaint food eateries I remembered from past meals in the college district of San Luis Obispo. We talked Chinese Astrology and the four pillars. His knowledge was intriguing, and I took his class the next day. Vic is also an Aussie, and like all Australian guys, was very humorous.

Other teachers which were awesome included Gareth Cole on ecological designs from Australia (fantastic lecture); Richard Feather Anderson, a winner on Geomancy; Seann Xenja, Bay Area expert Feng Shui teacher, designer and builder; James and Helen Jay, experienced and ready to take more groups to China; and Patricia Michael, a delightful woman whose whole career has been dedicated to the environment of Permaculture. Carol Hyder, speaker and teacher, was also there promoting her school of Feng Shui. Her Master teacher is also Master Lin Yun, who is the best.

Last but not least was Denise Linn, the Goddess of Space Clearing, whose books are well known throughout the world, presenting her new books, one I had signed titled Secrets Mysteries and the Glory and Pleasure of Being a Woman. She is now living in Paso Robles 20 minutes from the conference.

Terah Kathryn Collins, one of my favorite authors who opened the Western School of Feng Shui in San Diego many years ago, is as special and gracious as her writings. She is warm and approachable, which is rare today. Her books are best sellers and she continues to open Feng Shui to the Western World in her easy-to-understand manner of writing. I sold hundreds of her books along with Denise Linn’s books in my Feng Shui shoppe.

There were many, many other great teachers and authors at the conference who continue to assist the planet with their special gifts of wisdom and study, and I was overwhelmed by their experience and studies relating to Chi.

New friends were made from all other the world and promises of visits to their homes were accepted in gratitude and thanks. One such person is Holly Ziegler, author/publisher and real estate expert. Her website is, and she is the author of several books on the subject: Sell Your Home Faster with Feng Shui, Buy Your Home Faster with Feng Shui, Feng Shui Your Workplace for Dummies, Feng Shui Your Garden for Dummies. Holly is genuine and delightful, and I was drawn to her booth again and again.

We parted friends, and she promised to mention my name as a Feng Shui artist in her new upcoming book. What a treat, as old friends and new friends didn’t know I painted. Her introduction of my artwork will boost my career. Holly has become another Helpful Person in my life journey.

Leslie Goldman took down his wonderful “make a wish seed booth” and the closing ceremony was surrounded by my paintings. Roger thanked each teacher personally and handed me the microphone for a brief introduction, as the artist of the Feng Shui Art. The images were fully understood by those who live and practice the Balance of Wind and Water. It gave me a warm feeling to know I had captured the ambience of the International Feng Shui Conference for 2004.

It was time to go home and create more of this collection, as Master Lin Yun had suggested many times during our talks. Driving home I began to visualize new paintings in my mind. My eyes drifted to the Western skies as the sun began to set in the golden and red tones. There in the cloud formation was the image of a long beautiful dragon. His length stretched from mountain to mountain. Excitedly, I searched for THE camera. The one you can never find! Wanting to share the experience with others on the roadway, I looked to my right and left waving my arm in the direction toward the beast. No one caught the waving motions to see “the dragon.” The auspicious creature smiled, gently ruling the skies and gliding along beside me for several miles until his tail and nose became one. As the dragon is one of the celestial creatures of prosperity, I found the symbol a good omen!

International Feng Shui Conference, Part II

Six months ago I contacted Roger Green, the founder of seven Feng Shui schools throughout the world, about the displaying my new art series called The Five Elements in his upcoming International Conference. He agreed it would be a good idea.

Roger’s teaching ability is profound, as he is able to bring to the surface complex subjects in a manner, which are learned and assimilated quickly by his students. I first met Roger Green during a Feng Shui Guild meeting in Marin, California, two years previously. I was taken by his natural easy way of talking and his casual interaction with the group. Ego had long since been put away and passion for his subject was immediate and compelling. I liked him. That is my first criteria when looking for a new teacher. His workshops are dynamite, and I personally recommend any of his classes.

Roger is a certified natural health counselor and runs training programs on the I Ching, the ancient study of the path or the way of life. He ran a natural foods cooking school for 15 years and has also translated the Lo Pan, or Chinese Compass used for directional Feng Shui into English. Natural medicines and Feng Shui are also part of the curriculum he established for teaching Feng Shui, and is now being used in the United States, Europe and Australia. One of his popular schools in the Bay Area is called Golden Gate School of Feng Shui. ( is the site for more information.)

His recent new book, The I Ching Workbook, is a gem for anyone interested in the profound wisdom of the trigrams which make up the Bagua, or eight-sided octagonal grid used in mapping the home and understanding the sixty-four hexagrams of life. Roger’s workbook was selling at a rapid pace at the conference to his current students and newcomers to the world of harmony and balance.

Nine_400I have been painting pictures throughout my career with an underlying purpose of symbolic healing which I didn’t fully understand until I began to learn Feng Shui and the five Element systems of harmony and balance. Using Water, Wood, Fire, Metal and Earth, their specific colors and shapes to create a painting or mural brought the peace of Feng Shui easily into a living space. My art classes filled as I began the journey of painting with Chi. Visual images are one of most powerful ways to change a room or business space.

Now back to my current dilemma! Six months seemed ample time to create the five new pictures for the conference, and now I had five days to turn out the promised work. I cleared my home, did the appropriate Feng Shui enhancements, turned on the music and began to paint with ease as if the Gods and Goddesses were behind me guiding each stroke of the brush. TIME was only a space, and I have never felt so free and the work flowed quickly and effortlessly.

I packed the car in record time, placing each 48 x 48 inch painting between blankets for protection during the long drive to San Luis Obispo. I drove onto the ferryboat with time to spare and made the six-minute trip to the mainland of Washington State. A quick goodbye to the grandchildren, who now live two blocks from the ferry terminal, and a stop by my office for last-minute calls, and I was on my way south down the I-5 freeway which takes you from the top of the United States to the very tip of southern California.

I leaned over the driver’s seat and pulled a cassette tape from a large box containing recordings of the 2001 conference in Florida, which I missed, and began listening to the wisdom of international teachers from that gathering. There were over l00 tapes, and without looking I had chosen Master Lin Yun’s talk at that conference. Professor Lin Yun is my Master teacher of Feng Shui, and so I leaned back, listening to his wise words of creating peace within the home, city, nation and world through Feng Shui and placement of the five Elements.

My cell phone rang and the sound startled the tranquil moment. It was my webmaster, who is a jewel to work with. “Where are the new pictures for the site? I’m ready to create the page on the five Element artwork.” he chimed.

“You read my mind. I didn’t have time for the shoot. I will be back in two weeks and have an appointment with the photographer then,” I replied. “What’s the deal on selling prints?” he asked, referring to the setup for pay arrangement and other details of website business I don’t like to think about. “I’ll get the prints done, give you the sizes and you do your magic and create the page for selling the art work AND the credit card stuff!” I begged, as I had discontinued the credit card hookup from my sold business last year. “You got it,” he agreeably responded. “Have a good trip, bye,” he ended. “He is the best. Good friends are a value to work with,” I thought as my mind went back to the sound of Master Lin’s voice of encouragement. My contentment and excitement grew equally as I traveled south to one of the most beautiful places on the coast of California.