Posts Tagged ‘feng shui’

Optimal Kitchen Feng Shui: the Chi of the Hearth

Kitchen - Hearth of the Home

While there’s not much you can do to change a kitchen location or its interior layout in an already built home, great Feng Shui always aims for the optimal and then makes recommendations to achieve the best case scenario for your specific situation.  So, here are some tips for optimum kitchen Feng Shui:

  1. The Kitchen as the Hearth of the Home – The word hearth is synonymous with home and according to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary it’s a vital or creative center”. The kitchen is where you cook nourishing meals for yourself and your family and it’s the center of activity for the home. The optimal location for a kitchen is in the central area of the home’s floor plan. This creates a balance in the central Health Quadrant of the home and is equidistant to all the other areas. Good Feng Shui = Good Floor Plan Design.
  2. The Triangle as Optimum Function – The shortest distance between two objects is a straight line. Placing the sink, stove and refrigerator in a triangle configuration not only creates the most functional use of kitchen space, it also separates in Feng Shui terms the Fire and Water Elements represented by these important functions. Water is a destructive Element for Fire and placing the stove next to the sink or the refrigerator will diminish the positive energy needed for cooking nourishing food. Also, in purely functional terms, the cooling capacity of a refrigerator will also be affected by the heat radiated from a stove in close proximity. Good Feng Shui = Good Energy Conservation.
  3. A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place – Organized cupboards, drawers and cabinets containing all that is necessary and nothing superfluous is Optimum Feng Shui at its best. Plates and glasses without chips or cracks; utensils without rust or in disrepair; machines in good working order without frayed cables – all of these will contribute to the positive chi in your kitchen. When you can find everything you need with ease and have everything you need to prepare a nutritious meal, your time spent in the kitchen will be a positive experience and the energy you infuse into what you cook will be positive as well. Good Feng Shui = Having a Good Time.
  4. Wake up and Smell the Coffee – Feng Shui is really about how all of your senses engage with a space. Kitchens are the quintessential “good scent” originator in the home. Make sure yours either smells sparklingly clean or succulently aromatic. Anything musty, dusty, dingy or stinky is definitely enough to repel you from this potential creator of good vibrations. Good Feng Shui = Good Scents.
  5. Everyone loves the Spotlight – Good lighting is essential for all the activities that happen in the kitchen. From washing the dishes to chopping food to how yummy a dish looks before being lovingly served, a good level of lighting in the appropriate spots is a must. Make sure your kitchen is well lighted above the sink, underneath your cabinets for countertop prep, and above center islands or breakfast counters and nooks. Good Feng Shui = Good Illumination.

All of these good Feng Shui recommendations may seem quite obviously a part of great interior design, and that’s so true. Great Feng Shui, whether in the kitchen or anywhere else in the home, will ensure that your space is not only functional but will also create a positive experience, which is at the heart of positive Chi.


Memory of Place

Big White Craftsman Home - Feeling Safe!

Have you ever walked into a person’s home and felt uncomfortable? Like there was something you couldn’t quite put your finger on or even acknowledge in a rational sense? On the other hand, have you ever walked into a place and felt totally at ease, as though almost every detail, down to the smell, made you feel welcome?

Close your eyes, think back to your childhood home, the first place you lived and were aware of your surroundings. Was it a “Miami Beach Modern” clean-lined concrete structure or a “Northwest Craftsman Bungalow” with clapboard siding? Was there a high flat ceiling or were there exposed beams and a pitched roof? How big were the windows? How bright and airy or cozy and enclosed was the living room? Did it have a fireplace?

Now, imagine the home of your dreams. How many features from your childhood home are mirrored in your home of the future? Or even in the home you currently inhabit? This will depend greatly on whether the childhood memories of your home are happy ones.

My big white childhood home in Portland, Oregon had a fireplace where we eagerly hung our stockings each year at Christmas. There was a special corner right next to the hearth for our gift laden Christmas tree. The house had large picture windows that allowed plenty of light and gave us a postcard view of each changing season. Its wide Craftsman-style front porch with stout brick columns welcomed us home from school each day. I can remember feeling safe and secure there.

As an adult, I’ve always been drawn back to neighborhoods like the one I grew up in with its mix of styles and sizes. One such place was Pasadena, California with its Craftsman jewels; the other is in College Park, Florida with its mélange of big and small bungalows, revival style cottages and tree-lined streets. For what seems to be an inexplicable reason, these places make me feel like I’m home, like I belong. The reality is we all respond to our memory of place. Those happy childhood thoughts and feelings are forever attached to the place where we first felt them, and our internal subconscious desire is to replicate them.

Now that you’ve been transported to your childhood memories of place, let’s visualize another scenario. Imagine yourself living in just one room, performing every daily task − sleeping, cooking, eating, reading, watching television, making love and raising children – inside only four walls. Just the thought of it makes you cringe. How much we have evolved since the days when homo-sapiens first became cave-dwellers and many of those activities were commonplace!

Just as we have an affective connection to our childhood home, so does our brain have an ancient memory of place embedded deep inside our human response system. The ancient Chinese, grounded in the knowledge that created the Feng Shui philosophy, understood our primal connection to place. How each activity performed within our “cave” was connected to a hierarchy of safety or honor. An example of this is the fight-or-flight response which makes us feel safer when we have a solid wall behind us or as the saying goes “when someone’s got our back”. As a result of this knowledge, they created a road map called the Bagua. This is the starting point from which we can experience our homes, just like taking a journey.

Bathrooms: Clean your Chi or Flush your Energetic Flow?

Bathrooms are much more important in Feng Shui terms than we really give them credit for. They can really make or break some of the more important aspects of life – from Wealth to Relationships and everything in between.

How is the Chi in Your Bathroom?

Here are some interesting tidbits about bathrooms that you may not know:

1-      Whatever Quadrant a bathroom occupies can have very detrimental energetic influences on that part of your life. If it’s in a Wealth Quadrant your money may be constantly “going down the drain”. If it’s in a Relationship Quadrant it may mean that there are issues in your Love Life that require “cleansing”.

2-      Bathrooms are best located when they straddle two Quadrants, that way their influence is “broken down” and not in full force.

3-      Just like all other areas of your home, bathrooms should not be left neglected. A cluttered, messy, outdated, “not in good working order” bathroom is a negative energy provider.

4-      Leaky faucets and draining toilets are also very bad Feng Shui. Just as it gets your water bill to skyrocket, so is it an energetic “drain” on your Wealth.

5-      Be careful where the mirror in your bathroom is located. Does it “chop your head off” when you exit the tub? Does it “cut you in half” or “give you a floating head” when you reach for the towel? If the mirror happens to be on your Future wall it will multiply the feeling of not being “whole” or of “not having legs beneath you firmly planted and walking toward your future”.

6-      The colors in a bathroom are also essential for feeling soothed and refreshed. Think in terms of those high end spas with their aqua marine and sage green walls. The Water Element – with blues and blue greens – will help you feel replenished and ready to take on the world.

7-      Fluffy and cozy towels will add more Yin energy and make you feel even more soothed.

8-      Soft area rugs to step on when exiting the shower will add to the Earth Element and feelings of safety.

9-      Flowers and candles can finish balancing the Elements in this very important space.

So you see, bathrooms can both replenish us and get us ready for the day or they can drain us beyond repair. Sounds like a very important and easy choice to me. How about you?

This is NOT your Chinese grandfather’s Bagua

The Feng Shui map or Bagua can be traced back thousands of years. It’s been used for auspicious gravesite placement as well as for attracting wealth and abundance to a business location. Some schools of Feng Shui rely on it for all of their “cures” or recommendations. It has evolved over time and since being translated to Western school usage.

Pyramid Feng Shui Bagua

Pyramid School philosophy identifies feng shui as an information system that reveals how a home or workplace can affect health, relationships and self-actualization. It has studied the ancient wisdom and filtered it through Western cultural beliefs and scientific human behavior studies. This has given a new meaning to Feng Shui that relates to our modern world and takes all backgrounds into consideration without trying to influence religion, culture or personal design esthetics. Pyramid Feng Shui is the preeminent scientifically based study of the person-place connection. Because of this the Pyramid Bagua is slightly different than any you may have seen before.

Pyramid Feng Shui Bagua

Here are some explanations about the new Quadrant names:

IDENTITY: This Quadrant is about “You”. Who are you? Who is the family, group of people, or individual that occupies this home, office, business or space? This Quadrant is the starting point from which to proceed forward.

COMPASSION:  Human beings are known to look toward the right when entering a space to ensure it is safe to enter or that they are welcome. Thus this Quadrant is the place to make an initial compassionate impression on anyone who enters. It tells them, “So happy you’re here!”

CREATIVITY: In our modern world not everyone is likely to have children and this doesn’t mean that they don’t have projects to nurture. So this Quadrant is no longer destined only for Descendants. Pets, plants, nieces and nephews, crafts, projects and anything else that brings out the caring part of your personality is honored in this Quadrant. And of course, your children too!

RELATIONSHIP: More and more we see couples joined together in a wide array of ways. No longer do we see relationships follow strict social guidelines. Therefore, this Quadrant relates to the intimate union of the couple – whatever form that takes. In an office setting it even relates to the relationship with co-workers, whether they are peers, subordinates or the boss.

FUTURE: The quest to keep moving forward is always ahead of us. Thus this Quadrant lies straight ahead of where we enter our home, office, room or space. We all have our own distinct vision of what our future should be and we each have unique desires on how far we wish to excel. Fame and recognition may be too narrow a desire since not all foresee being in the public eye as the goal of their life purpose.

SELF-EMPOWERMENT/WEALTH:  This Quadrant is really about much more than just Wealth. It’s about abundance, feeling in charge, accomplishment. If you have decided to pursue an endeavor that really doesn’t supply unlimited funds, that doesn’t mean you feel lacking in accomplishing your goals. “Wealth” truly is in the eye of the beholder and has a different meaning for all of us.

COMMUNITY: In ancient China a household would normally include many generations of the family living under the same roof. In our modern world, where grandparents many times don’t live anywhere near their grandkids, our sense of family has given way to a much broader sense of community. This Quadrant honors those connections.

WISDOM: The ancient Bagua places knowledge in this Quadrant, but Pyramid Feng Shui doesn’t consider it to be enough. How much value does book smarts have unless you have learned to apply it to your daily life. To be wise is much more beneficial.

HEALTH: In the center of the Pyramid Bagua is health. When all aspects of life are in dynamic balance, and all is flowing with ease, we can feel healthy on all levels – physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. That is the ultimate goal of good Feng Shui.

It’s important to point out that the Quadrants that are diagonally opposed to each other on the Bagua have a direct influence on each other. Hence, being connected to your past values will help you hand them down to your descendants; being compassionate will make you truly wealthy and not just rich; knowing what you desire will help you to achieve the relationship that fulfills you; and knowing who you are will give you the solid foundation to realize the future of your dreams.

Jennifer Aniston: Big Feng Shui Tips if you truly want this Love to Last!

jennifer and justin - A Love to Last!

Dear Jen,

this romance with Justin is looking very promising. If you really think he’s The One, follow these Feng Shui Relationship tips and you’ll be marching down the aisle in no time! This goes for all of you single ladies out there too.

You know we’re all rooting for you, ever since that heartbreaking split a few years back; and we’ve all been watching you hop and skip from great catch to fizzled romance. So Jen, it’s time to make some changes that will get you to the altar and keep you basking in true love for years to come. And now that you’re house-hunting, this is the perfect time to take these simple steps toward fulfilling your heart’s desire.

1-      Find a Home with the Master Bedroom in the Relationship Quadrant

Walk up to your new home and open the front door. Stand in the doorway facing in and locate the master bedroom. Is it in the far back right hand corner of the floor plan? If it isn’t, just shut the door and keep looking! This isn’t the home that will ensure many years of lovey-dovey togetherness.

2-      Place your Bed in the Future Quadrant

Once you’ve found the perfect home, with the master bedroom in the Relationship Quadrant, the next step is to perfectly place your bed with the intention for a long and lasting romance. So, stand in the doorway to your bedroom looking in. The center area of the wall opposite the door is where you will find the Future Quadrant. Place your bed in this area and the message you’ll be sending the Universe is that you truly desire a love that lasts a lifetime.

3-      Pick out Two Nightstands

Jen, it seems to me that you like the strong, independent types, so no “matchy-matchy” for you. Pick out two nightstands that are equal in volume but not identical and you’ll be setting the tone for a relationship that enjoys each other’s individualities. And in case I’m mistaken about your taste in partners, just make sure to have two nightstands that match your relationship style. If you want to stop being a lonely single girl, you’ve got to set the intention that you’ve got room for a partner in your life and that you’re willing to share some “drawers” together!

4-      Balance Your Elements

Now this step I highly recommend for Relationship Bliss. You and Justin should get your Element Test results so that you can add decorative images, colors and objects to your bedroom that balance both of you as a couple. He looks like he’s got a lot of Fire Element and you don’t want your bedroom to turn into a bonfire! I actually also recommend this for the rest of your home as well, since the more time you love birds spend nesting together the more chance that your home will affect your bliss.

5-      Make it a Retreat for the Senses

I know you’re both madly in love, but there are just two things you should be doing in your Master Bedroom, and one of them is re-energizing for your hectic, premier hopping, movie filming life on the go. Make sure your bedroom is a space where love and rest are both encouraged in a gender-neutral yet sensually pleasing way with candles, lush fabrics, soft cushions, and lots of pairs to emphasize your desire to be a couple.

6-      Write your WE letters to each other

And Jen, last but not least, the piece de resistance, write your Love – WE – Letters to each other. Let Justin know just what you adore about your life with him and sweetly ask him to do the same for you. Once you’ve got those letters, place them in the top drawer of the nightstand that’s in the back right corner of your bedroom. Just think, you’ll be able to read them to each other on those special nights to come!

I’ve got my fingers crossed for you Jen but follow my tips and I know you’ll be hearing wedding bells in your future. Good luck and Good Feng Shui!

Carolyn T – Feng Shui Matchmaker


Great Tips for Easy Hotel Room Feng Shui

Easy Hotel Room Feng Shui

Anyone lucky enough to travel, whether for business or pleasure, has likely had a wide range of experiences when entering a hotel for the first time. From the glorious tropical flower arrangements in the lobby to the timeworn carpet in the hallways, and even the possibility of total assaults on our senses that loud music or pungent odors can cause. Unless you’ve been to the hotel before you can never be sure of what you’re going to get, and sometimes not even then. Much like that commercial for internet travel sites that sell you a beautiful picture that doesn’t convert to reality once you arrive.

There are some things you can do before you go that can help prepare you for the worst or even help you to deal with the non-energetically aligned. Some folks travel with their own pillow, while others like my sister even carry their own Clorox wipes and Febreze. Both of these seem extreme, but they’re actually on the right path to creating great chi in your hotel room. Remember, chi involves all of your senses and how you experience a space, so anything that will make you feel more comfortable and at ease is always a plus.

Here are my Top Tips that will also get you heading in the right positive chi direction:

–          Many hotel rooms are furnished with the classic dresser that has a large mirror above it. Unfortunately this piece of furniture is also usually directly in line with the foot of your bed. Some rooms may also have a large television on the dresser facing the foot of your bed. Both cases can cause restless sleep patterns and uneasiness when in bed. A simple fix is to always travel with a cotton shawl that you can use to throw over the mirror or television when you’re ready to sleep. If you’re a woman, you may even get some double use out of the shawl if it matches your travel attire! If you’re a guy and don’t have any shawls handy, you can also use the extra blanket or bed coverlet that’s already in the room.

–          Good feng shui always deals with what’s happening in your Relationship Quadrant, so who says that even a temporary space like a hotel room should be any different? Pack a non-breakable picture frame with an image of you and your sweetie and place it in the far right corner of your hotel room. This will keep you in mental alignment with the desire for closeness while you’re far apart. If you’re traveling together, it will keep reminding you of your love for each other, even through the often stressful events that travel can involve. You know, like booking the romantic ocean view and then finding out that it’s above the outdoor restaurant! Add a couple of pink candles and your romance chi will be flowing.

–          For all you business travelers, I have a couple of tips that may make the difference between coming home empty-handed or landing that big deal. There are two areas in your hotel room that you can enhance with some good feng shui tools. The first is the far left corner of your room. This is your Wealth Quadrant, so it’s pretty obvious that you should give it an extra boost. While I don’t necessarily recommend packing them in your luggage, they shouldn’t be too difficult to find once you arrive at your destination. Purchase some pretty red, pink or yellow flowers, arrange them in one of the extra glasses from your mini-bar or bathroom and place them on the nightstand or the work table in this corner. Flowers embody fruition and the flowering of your prosperity. If you feel like spending large, buy a live orchid plant and then leave it as a gift to your housekeeping person. She will be sure to spread the word about what a wonderful guest you were and it will give you lots of positive chi when you return in the future. The other place to keep in mind is the area midway along the right wall of your hotel room. This is your Creativity Quadrant and is where your projects are being hatched. This is a great area to place your work related documents, work on your laptop, or place an object that reminds you of that goal you came to accomplish. Both of these tips will keep you mentally focused on attaining your business objectives.

–          Sounds and smells in your room are also very important to creating good feng shui. As I mentioned, all of your senses are involved in perceiving positive chi. Fortunately, every hotel room usually includes the ubiquitous radio/alarm clock. Tune it to a station playing the music you love to listen to at home and you are immediately connected to good memories. Or, if your trip is definitely on the stressful side, tune it to some classical or soft jazz and infuse your space with calming melodies. Sound completely fills a space and keeps the loneliness away, or it can be an accomplice to setting a romantic mood for you and your travel companion. Smell on the other hand just has the potential to invite you in or repel you in the opposite direction. It’s over in an instant but can leave a very lasting impression. It’s also very personal and can be implemented in a variety of ways. Infuse a handkerchief with your honey’s favorite perfume or cologne and place it on your nightstand and you will fall asleep with loving thoughts; plug in a wall diffuser in your bathroom with a citrus scent and you’ll be invigorated before heading to that early morning breakfast meeting; or bring a spray bottle with your favorite air freshener and lightly mist your room.

All of these items are very easy to pack in your luggage or find once you arrive, and they will certainly turn your hotel room stay into a positively personalized experience. And that is what good feng shui is all about!

Feng Shui the Objects in your Bedroom for a Thriving Relationship

Sweet and cuddly or sweeeet and cuuudly?

When you stand in the doorway to your bedroom what do you see? What’s the first object that catches your attention?  Does your bedroom feel welcoming and cozy? If you’re a woman, does it feel too feminine to welcome a male partner, or vice versa? If you’re in a relationship, does your bedroom feel like you both have an equal partnership within the space? The objects in your bedroom have their own Feng Shui Element and/or historic energy. They can enhance your experience or keep you from the intentions your space should benefit.

What are the two main activities that should be optimized within your master bedroom? It would seem that these are obvious. But so many times we have objects such as: a desk, a television, a tall pile of books, or even boxes or clutter under the bed. Any objects that interfere with revitalizing sleep or life-affirming intimacy should be removed from your bedroom.

Here are some examples of objects that should be removed from your bedroom and what you should use instead:

  • King sized Bed – most of these are supported by a split box spring. When partners sleep on them, they usually end up on opposite sides of the bed due to the ridge that is formed in the middle. Not very good for a cozy relationship! Replace it with a Queen sized bed for more intimacy, and a stable relationship. The Queen bed has a square shape, a symbol for the Earth Element, which brings stability and a feeling of safety.
  •  Stuffed Animals or Pictures of Children – an adult bedroom should be just that, Adult! From the colors used to the textures and fabrics, the entire experience of the bedroom should be in line with the adult intentions for the space. You wouldn’t have a Buzz Lightyear bedspread, right? Keep the kids objects in their room and make yours a sensual experience for you and your partner. Place images of loving couples in your bedroom, and if you have some happy pictures with your mate use them too.
  •  Big Black Plasma TV – when it is turned off, this big black hole on the wall can add lots of Water Element and douse the Fire of passion. When it’s turned on it becomes a distraction to intimacy. Both of these are definite Relationship busters! There are many ways to deal with this dilemma. The first would be to remove it entirely from the bedroom, and replace it with a beautiful image on the wall; one that keeps you dreaming of your future together. If removal is not an option, then place it inside an armoire, so that you can shut it away when not in use. Or as a last resort, drape a throw over it at night before going to sleep, or have a screen saver with a beautiful scene on display.
  • Dried flowers or dusty silk plants – a master bedroom should be a place that symbolizes two persons thriving together (even if only one person occupies the space and just desires a loving relationship).  Dead and dusty plants are the absolute opposite of that intention. Replace them with romantic candles, live plants like an orchid, or lovingly dust off the existing silk plants. A happy relationship is formed by two persons growing together, so make sure the objects in your bedroom reflect who you really intend to be.

These are just a few of the actions you can take to create a bedroom that is really in tune with good Feng Shui for a Thriving Relationship. Take a look around your bedroom and make sure it’s in line with your true desires and intentions. That’s the first and most important step to fulfilling your dreams, which is the sole purpose of great Feng Shui.