Highly Sensitive? Keep Your Holiday Sparkle With Feng Shui

“Being highly sensitive is a gift that fosters peace. Help create a kinder, gentler world by embracing it.”
Amy Leigh Mercree

Some holiday stress is expected but if you are particularly sensitive to family gatherings you may be a highly sensitive person. Licensed social worker, Melody Wilding, defines a highly sensitive person as acutely aware of their environment. They notice details and are conscientious to a fault. They agonize over their decisions because they are concerned how it will impact those in their sphere. They have a clear intention to create harmony, yet often it comes at their expense.

Don’t get swept under the table by family stress. Well before guests arrive, please peruse this check list (below) and see if the Feng Shui in your home could be, in part, contributing to your angst. I’ve included adjustments too! Smoothing the Ch’i in our homes helps us hold strong to who we are and enjoy family, friends and festivities with all the trimmings.

A home that is too close to the street (not in balance between the front and the back yards) may create difficulties in all areas of your life, including family. One of the cures for this placement is to hang a wind chime or place a mirror, on the front of the house to deflect the ch’i.

When the corner of a house points at the house next door and if both point at each other, the families may constantly bicker. This can escalate into hostility and possibly a lawsuit. One effective cure is to install a spinning element between the two houses.

A path has an important relationship to the house. If less than the width of the front door, those who live in the house will have difficulty expanding their mind and heart. If there are opportunities they won’t be able to take advantage of them due to feeling inhibited and closed off.

Feng Shui problems in the bedroom will affect the feelings, actions, and speech of the entire family. A round mirror in the bedroom can help eliminate tension and rough talk.

Lack of command position in the bedroom and at the desk and stove affects self image. Someone can feel less than. If that is the case place a plant in the bedroom where the leaves reach upward. This will lift the person out of their circumstances.

If family members are headed in different directions, check the center of the house. Does it appear empty or is there too much going on? A strong center can stabilize a family, holding everyone together. Hang a crystal ball or wind chime in the center of the house.

Doors represent a mouth and an adult’s voice. All doors need to work suitably for our voice is what speaks of our longings and passion. “Arguing Doors” bump up against one another when they open. The bumping creates contention. When they are at the front door conflict may spread throughout the house. Re-hang the door or doors so they do not touch. Or Perform the Arguing Door Cure (red envelopes requested).

“Biting Doors” are misaligned doors. When they are misaligned by one half, may cause verbal and physical fighting. A family member may leave and not come home. Hang a crystal ball between the doors to lift the Ch’i and the hearts of the family.

An “Empty Door” is a door without an actual door. This strongly suggests lack of communication. If an empty door is in the Family gua, there may few loving words or meaningful conversations. Install a door or paint the trim with color.

Many doors in a small space can be “noisy” because all the doors are talking at once. Listening may be difficult at best. Hang a crystal ball or a light fixture with crystals on it in the center to quiet the voices. It will help harmonize the guests at the holidays.

“Piercing Heart Doors” are three or more doors through which you could walk in a straight line. This design is like an invisible obstacle through the house which creates separation between parents, parents and children and between siblings. Over time communication breaks down as each family member is focused on their own desire and achievements. A different color in each room along the path works well to dissolve the obstacle.

A highly sensitive person may be prone to stomach ailments. When a door is at the end of a long hallway there can be digestive upset and distress. A simple comment from family or a friend may having the HSP recoil and demonstrate behavior that is out of proportion to the situation. Place a mirror on the outside of the door.

A dining room too close to the front door may send friends and family out the door. The colors pink, green and blue stimulate the appetite and may invite guests to stay longer for dinner parties. Or hang a crystal ball between the front door and the dining room.

Interested in more design suggestions for the holidays? Savor Thanksgiving Dinner With Six Feng Shui Trimmings. How to mix tinsel and soul and magic: 10 Feng Shui Decorating Ideas That Can Stay Up After The Holidays.

Have you decided this will be your year? “Boldness has genius”…start with one hour of Feng Shui A La Carte. Think of it as a fairy godmother for your house.

What I have discovered about our homes is that creating a heart healthy space leads to peace and contentment. The bedroom is where it begins. Start with my complimentary pdf: 27 Bedroom Concepts To Maximize Your Health, Happiness and Peace of Mind. Design your space to your best advantage. Subscribe to my blog and special offers. You’ll receive this valuable Feng Shui Guide as a thank you gift.

Feng Shui Miracles

“Always throw split salt over your left shoulder, keep rosemary by your garden gate, plant lavender for luck and fall in love whenever you can.”
– Unknown

Eighteen years ago Feng Shui opened my eyes to a world of energy that lies below our awareness yet has the power to impact our environment, our relationships, our attitude and our future. It also produces miracles when nurtured. How do I know? Barbara’s story tells it best.

Barbara had fallen in love with a craftsman style home here in Portland and wanted to get started right away on aligning the energy with her lifestyle. Before the sale was finalized she requested a Feng Shui consultation. I gave her ideas about her home’s design but before I left we stepped into the backyard. I saw the entangled Ch’i from the previous owner’s neglect: the dark, overgrown vegetation; broken, rotting fence and the presence of hungry ghosts.

Aware of how it looked she wasn’t aware of what it meant and when I shared this, her eyes got very big. Instead of reacting Barbara dug in (literally for ten months) to do what she needed to create the paradise she envisioned. Once she moved she asked me to return to perform space blessings. I brought my ceremonial bowl, rituals, mantras, prayers and she supplied the high proof liquor, the rice, the special powders and the intention to bless her property. Together we made what we call in BTB Feng Shui “sacred food” to feed the “hungry ghosts” because Barbara was determined to start on the right foot.

We walked the property, chanted blessings and offered sacred food all the while asking the spirits to be well fed and leave, or stay and be helpful friends. Pretty uneventful until we stepped into the backyard where I tripped on “air”, the bowl flipped out of my hands and the rice went flying. A trickster hungry ghost had no intention of leaving. Fortunately we retrieved most of the rice, I got my composure back and we persevered. It nearly happened a second time. This was definitely a tenacious spirit. After we completed the ceremonies, I suggested that Barbara perform this same one over the next two days to strengthen the work we had done.

Before I continue I believe it’s important to share a synchronous moment prior to my arrival. As I was driving to Barbara’s home a crow flew alongside my car at my head height for a good distance. After I left the consultation, I consulted the I-Ching and shared with Barbara what I had received: Hexagram 27, what Willhelm Baynes calls“The Corners of the Mouth” (Toltec I-Ching calls it “Trusting Intuition”)
The Judgement explained:
The corners of the mouth.
Perseverance brings good fortune.
Pay heed to the providing of nourishment.
And to what a man seeks
To fill his own mouth with. 

Crows are shape shifters, their presence helped us shape shift the land. Barbara replied. “There was a really big energy shift right after I finished the last ceremony yesterday and in the morning crows were in in my front yard eating the rice! I got the sense they were taking it to another dimension, helping to shift and transform the energies.”

Over the months Barbara and her husband nourished the land with blessing ceremonies, cleared gnarly areas, removed invasive species, installed a new fence, met with the neighbors and planted their dream garden. Throughout they resolved to keep their hearts in the right place, be good stewards and be a positive influence for the neighborhood. 

And it worked!
Ten months later here are a few of what Barbara calls her “miracles”and what Feng Shui  would call “good fortune”. “We felt a huge shift once we put the plants in the area where the blueberries are. We met the owner of the apartments and it turns out we have a lot in common and he’s very much on board for cleaning up. During the time we were out of town, he removed the trees along the fence line and cleared out the brambly mess. He thought he might put up a storage shed but also mentioned selling the property. He told us it was his health that has kept him working on it. Another miracle: is before we moved here I wished that a yoga studio would be walking distance from my house. A new yoga studio opened nearby! And so far, I’ve liked every teacher. And it’s a few minutes walk from my house!”

I never underestimate the power of Nature to communicate and that all we need to do is open our hearts to Ch’i and listen with my eyes to discover miracles.

Happy Summer Solstice! May summer hold miracles for you.

Have you decided this will be your year? “Boldness has genius”.. start with one hour of Feng Shui A La Carte. Think of it as a fairy godmother for your house.

What I have discovered about our homes is that creating a heart healthy space leads to peace and contentment. The bedroom is where it begins. Start with my complimentary pdf: 27 Bedroom Concepts To Maximize Your Health, Happiness and Peace of Mind. Design your space to your best advantage. Subscribe to my blog and special offers. You’ll receive this valuable Feng Shui Guide as a thank you gift.

How To Manifest Peace

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster’, I hear my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing there are so many helpers–so many caring people in the world.”
Mr. Rogers

The tragedies that have pierced the heart of the world were such a force that I had to step back these past several weeks to think deeply how Feng Shui may empower us to create a world that is safe. The story we tell this time of year is about peace, goodwill towards all. I asked myself, “How do we maintain a peaceful coexistence throughout the year?” “Build it into the world!” whispered in my ear.

It is through H. H. ‘Professor’ Lin Yun rich legacy of Feng Shui and dharma teachings that I am able to share this wisdom with you. I have selected six Feng Shui precepts that I believe will help us to help each other live under an umbrella of peace. At the least may they be a foundation to harmonize our hearts and mend strained relations and not just the United States, but around the world too. Because when we show we care, we feel safe.

Solidarity In a sense right now we are all vulnerable. Professor Lin said planting bamboo will help vulnerable areas. Bamboo is an uprising force. It provides support. It can drive away negative forces and has the power to suppress evil Ch’i over time. Bamboo is hollow and soft inside, these characteristics symbolizes humility. When you plant bamboo, you add that quality to your own nature. You create solidarity and help your neighbors, near and far, when you place bamboo or the imagery of bamboo in your home and/or plant bamboo on your property. It will wrap its long limbs of peace and safety around you.

Safety New homes that consume an entire lot are on the rise in major and mid-sized cities. They create pressure among neighbors. Everyone feels the narrow space and tight fit. Like a pressure cooker that has to release steam an adjustment to your home can deflect a crisis before it happens. Plant greenery, especially plants with colorful flowers in your lot, both front and back yard. The colors release the pressure of being crowded. It is also vital we maintain our city parks and not let them be sold to developers. Stay up to date on city policy and stay closely connected to your neighborhood associations.

Stillness Take time to be still and shake off negativity by meditating. Start with chanting. The Sanskrit chant, Om mani padme hum, has been practiced all around the world for thousands of years. As you chant and meditate you may realize you have all the power, clarity and the omniscience of the Buddha. If you do not ascribe to the Buddha, then place your focus on God or your higher power. As you practice meditating you unify your inner being, your heart comes into coherence. You let go of divisiveness and inner conflict which is the pathway to peace.

Softness His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama has often expressed that feeling warm-hearted allows him to smile and be happy even in the company of strangers. Being kind and nice towards others creates an atmosphere  for them to be kind in return. A smile works wonders in a potentially unfamiliar situation. When you can help another person feel at ease neither you or they feel alone. Your lives become much easier. Practice kindness, sympathy and generosity daily.

Simple beauty A son and father interviewed after the Bataclan attack. The son is fearful the gunmen may return and he wants to leave. His father speaks calmly to him and says, “They may have guns but we have flowers.” The son feels reassured comforted and a look of peace washes over his face. 

In 2007, Nancy Etcoff, Ph.D. of Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital and her research team investigated the effects of flowers in the home. Flowers foster compassion. Participants noted that they felt influenced by flowers emotionally, causing them to feel kindness and more compassion for others. Looking at flowers first thing in the morning, particularly in the kitchen, dissipates anxiety and feelings of depression. Having flowers at home can have a positive carry-over impact on your mood at work too. They energize your time at work.

In the Chinese culture flowers served as a significant vehicle of communication. They convey epic messages that express powerful positive emotions. A peony, the national flower, stands tall and symbolizes prosperity, happiness and peace. Plum blossoms, the harbinger of spring, represent firmness and solidity. The lotus whispers, that which may not be sullied. Chrysanthemums brave the frost to bloom in a vast array of colors. The narcissus is known as ‘the fairy over ripples’. They speak of the correct way of living, indicating being clean and healthy. If you want a flower’s quality to support your endeavor, display a picture purchase flowers and usher in the force they represent. For those suffering from acid reflux Professor Lin shared The Flower Cure.

Self Care If you are suffering from stress or depression caused by the tragedies or you can’t quite put your finger on what the stress is but you feel pressure, make an adjustment in Helpful People. It could be the house, office, bedroom, or any Helpful People gua. If you need more strength, place three cures, one in each of three places. If you live in an apartment, one could be the home, bedroom, and desk. If you live in a home with property, you can adjust the bedroom, house and lot.

Have questions about your home? Minimize stress by designing it with vitality and beauty with Feng Shui A La Carte.

What I have discovered about our homes is that creating a heart healthy space leads to peace and contentment. The bedroom is where it begins. Start with my complimentary pdf: 27 Bedroom Concepts To Maximize Your Health, Happiness and Peace of Mind. Design your space to your best advantage. Subscribe to my blog and special offers. You’ll receive this valuable Feng Shui Guide as a thank you gift.


Don’t Hurry, Be Happy, Silver Lining Feng Shui Cures

Nature doesn’t hurry yet everything is accomplished. -Lao Tzu

If your last two weeks were like mine you probably wish you could relive them. I wasn’t alone. I heard stories, intense stories, stories of disappointment and upset. So my question is,“While this was happening did you throw your arms up in the air and burst open with, “Enough!”? Did you? Good for you! No matter how disappointing and difficult a situation is, it contains a silver lining. It may not feel like there is one while it is happening but a challenge is a gift, a silver lining of insight, wisdom, growth, a new attitude and most importantly, learning to be better at handling challenges because you really do know they will happen again and again.

Survival of the flexible. Nature encompasses everything–humans, all of God’s creatures and natural disasters. There may always be the seed of drama in conflict but we carry inside our chromosomes the adaptable gene and we can choose to change. Often we forget that it gives us the advantage. A flexible attitude is energy efficient. It creates mental space for more brain power. Clarity to focus. So focus on what makes you happy. If it’s to spin the great American novel, do that; marvel over the Seine in a hot air balloon, find the time; run with the bulls in Pamplona, nothing is stopping you; triumphantly wave your flag at the summit of Mt. Hood, you’re nearly there. If your plan is to live long, prosper and accomplish everything on your bucket list, adaptability is survival of the fittest.

Don’t hurry be happy. Challenges are demanding. When you see one coming offer it your open-mindedness. It will give you leverage and that is half of the challenge. And don’t hesitate to chant, “don’t hurry, be happy”. Giving a volatile situation time will give you the space to formulate your thoughts and look at how you can accommodate all sides and create a win-win. Because life really is about “us”.

Polish the silver lining. Like the characters from the Silver Linings Playbook who run, argue and dance because it makes them feel alive in their heart, the lining shines bright when you live from your heart. Today is the Autumnal Equinox 2014. Day is balanced with night, dark with light. I have included five extraordinary practices that I believe will help you polish your silver lining, feel balanced and in tune with your heart when times are trying.

  • Sound. Karma is the law that past actions create your current reality. You live in the residual of yesterday thoughts. You are not who you are now but what you thought and believed yesterday. When you feel anger or conflict, open to the sounds of the Universe. Empty your heart, chant the Calming Heart Mantra, Gate Gate Para Gate Para Sam Gate Bodhi Swoha nine times and discover peace.
  • Smell. It’s hard to think with an unclear mind. During the day stress and clutter accumulate in your energy. If you have experienced a difficult scene with your partner, take an orange peel bath. Cut nine round circles from the skin of an orange and wash your entire body, even your head. Orange is auspicious. Its clarifying essence uplifts your Ch’i helping you seek your level of balance.
  • Sight. The natural condition of Ch’i is fluid. Our visual surroundings impress upon our eyes and continually influence our Ch’i. Low energy or unhappy emotions breed in a sterile or stuck environment. Increase your vitality with the coloration and luminosity of green plants. Your bedroom is the most important room in the home. Placing nine healthy plants here will help you maintain a positive attitude.
  • Taste. A bitter pill can ruin a good relationship. Before you say something you will regret, step back and “Swallow Your Saliva”, nine times. First create the saliva with the tip of your tongue on the upper palate of your mouth by moving your tongue back and forth 27 times. Then swish the saliva around your gums and teeth. While doing this think whether what you have to say will cause harm. Swallow then speak. It connects all the meridians in the body. Not only will this create positive relations between you and your friend, but strengthen your organs, in particular your stomach and spleen. Setting intention is the motivating factor to positive change. You will experience heart-felt results.
  • Touch. Kindness opens the heart. Giving your friend or family member a twenty-two second hug releases the bonding hormone and neurotransmitter oxytocin, which is nature’s antidepressant and anti-anxiety drug. Acting from a kind heart and performing good deeds daily helps you dial into a benevolent universe that you created yourself. You will find your family, friends and even folks you don’t know will want to join you.

What I have discovered about our homes is that creating a heart healthy space leads to peace and contentment. The bedroom is where it begins. Start with my complimentary pdf: 27 Bedroom Concepts To Maximize Your Health, Happiness and Peace of Mind. Design your space to your best advantage. Subscribe to my blog and special offers. You’ll receive this valuable Feng Shui Guide as a thank you gift.

Take Back The Holiday. Look East To Savor Thanksgiving Dinner With Six Feng Shui Trimmings.

The Art of Dining Is The Art Of Living.

America has welcomed a smorgasbord of cultures to her shores for over three hundred years. She embraces diversity. At every table you can sample generations of blended families’ aromatic cuisines nestled next to roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and pumpkin pie. But in 2013 even scrumptious sides and exotic preparations cannot mask that the praise and grace part of Thanksgiving dinner has been over shadowed by college football and Black Friday sales. To make everyone happy, we rush to get the food on the table and then we race to get it cleaned up and off to the next thing. And in all the dashing about, either we lose the spirit or feel too tired to revel in gratitude, delight in our family and savor the abundance. If this year meaningful connection is what you seek, invite into your home a three thousand year old “art of living” tradition. These six, auspicious Feng Shui trimmings may save you and Thanksgiving dinner.

Trim the turkey. Relish the magic. Create a new view of life. Start a novel conversation. In China, the symbolic meaning of peach is the wish for longevity. Peach is regarded as a magical fruit and offered as a birthday present. Moreover, Chinese ancient people believed that peach had the function of bringing auspiciousness and warding off evil, so peach has deep roots in the folk custom and aesthetics. The one who eats a magic peach will live six-hundred years more. Cling peach anyone?

Trim the table. Replace blues with beauty. Develop a nose for calm. Anxiety can keep everyone upset. A Harvard study showed that we feel less negative around flowers. Looking at them first thing in the morning dissipates anxiety. “The positive mood that results from looking at flowers is likely to transfer to others – it’s what is called mood contagion,” says Etcoff. This feeling pervades throughout the day. A narcissus plant is both fragrant and it attracts prosperity for the year to come. Adjusting by sense of smell calms the nervous system. Feeling relaxed smoothes your Ch’i and puts you in good spirits when Uncle Harry arrives.

Trim yourself. Feel empower(red). Pull out the gay apparel. Red in Feng Shui symbolism means happiness, righteousness, virtuosity, courtesy, etiquette, power and strength. If you want to put out a family fire, wear red. If you want to bring joy to the table, wear red. If your son or daughter are not paying attention or giving you a hard time, wear red. Red attracts auspiciousness and respect.

Trim the door. Invite good luck. Picture happiness. Nine days before Thanksgiving purchase a beautiful wind chime, one that pleases your ear. Put it in a special place and think about it every day. Visualize how it will bring good luck into your household. On Thanksgiving at 11:00 a.m. hang the wind chime from a red ribbon outside your front door. Say a prayer of grace, this reinforces your request. This enhancement takes your eye level gaze and preoccupation with worldly affairs and redirects them up. At this position, you invite the power of heaven to create joy, stability and forward movement.

Trim the house. Make harmony endure. Let the sun shine in. A week before Thanksgiving (or any holiday) buy nine oranges. At 11:00 p.m. open all the doors and windows of the house. Cut nine round pieces of orange peels from nine oranges. You will have a total eighty-one pieces of round orange peels. Break the orange peels into small pieces. The word for orange sound like gold in the Chinese language. Begin at the front door, take a small handful, toss the peel upward, visualize that all misfortune, illness and bad luck are leaving. All is well. Take another small handful and with palm down, sprinkle the peel, sowing seeds of auspicious light and visualizing any negativity being replaced with new growth of good fortune, health and positive events. See sunlight or universal light filling every corner of your house. The light will evict any bad ch’i and misfortune and replace it with happy ch’i, prosperous ch’i and auspicious chi. Leave in all the rooms of the house. Say a prayer of grace and you are complete. Leave the peels for one night, three nights or nine nights for greater emphasis.

Trim the Earth. Show loving kindness. Soften the stress of the holidays. A kind word, holding the door, buying a cup of coffee, letting someone in line, helping an elder cross the street or visiting a friend in the hospital builds community, defeats depression and inspires prosperity in oneself and others. Do one good deed in terms of the benefit of others and you benefit the most.

One thing I have discovered about our homes is that creating a heart healthy space leads to peace and contentment. The bedroom is where it begins. Start with my complimentary pdf: 27 Bedroom Concepts To Maximize Your Health, Happiness and Peace of Mind. Design your space to your best advantage. Subscribe to my blog and special offers. You’ll receive this valuable Feng Shui Guide as a thank you gift.