Increasing Abundance with Feng Shui

How to Bring “More” into Your Life
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    I am often asked to consult with clients in their homes and businesses to help bring more abundance in their lives. While feng shui can assist with energy flow and stress reduction, it (unfortunately) can’t make us instant millionaires,  solve all our problems or undo poor decision making. That said, there are ways to increase the positive energy in your home or business that can help boost your life improvement efforts.
Here some things you can do to help align your surroundings for greater abundance.

1. De-clutter
We all know the feeling of lightness and joy that de-cluttering can bring. In order to free up the energy in your space, get rid of anything that you don’t want, love, need, or use. Objects that no longer hold positive meaning or uses need to be discarded in order to allow energy to flow. Remember, clutter=stagnation.
2. Activate the Life Aspiration Areas in Your Home
Get a compass and an accurate floor plan to determine your Life Aspiration Areas and Meridian Points, then enhance them accordingly. If you don’t know how to figure this out chapter six in Feng Shui that Makes Sense can help you. While all the Life Aspiration Meridian Points are important, below are four that may most directly influence the flow of abundance in your life. The details below will help you focus on ones that may directly affect the flow of abundance in your life.
A. Activate the Career Meridian Point
In the north water is the activating element.  Place a fountain and keep it running 24/7.  This area is associated with your career, your life path and the direction your life is heading.  Try to keep items made of rock or stone off this point as earth is the destructive element for the north.
 B. Nurture Your Wealth Meridian
Place healthy plants in the southeast and remove any metal you have there. The southeast is associated with wealth, prosperity, and abundance. Water can help provide a boost to the southeast meridian, so feel free to add a fountain along with your plants (and yes, the plants have to be real and HEALTHY.) Remove any metal on or near this point as metal is the destructive element for wood.
C. Let Your Fame Shine
Fame isn’t just about being famous. It’s about making things bigger and better. Fire is the element for the south To safely bring in the fire element,  place a lamp on your south meridian point and have it turned on for at least three hours every day. Water is the destructive element for fire, so be sure to remove any water you may have on or near this point if possible.
6. Conduct a Space Clearing
It’s very important to regularly clear your living and working spaces of old stagnant energy. A space clearing can help move things along in your life by getting rid of any negative or low vibrational energy in your space. You can find directions on how to do this by reading Feng Shui that Makes Sense or taking my FREE online space clearing class.
 7. Create a Vision Board
Vision boards are great for helping you achieve your goals. Create a vision board of  the items that remind you of having abundance in your life and hang it somewhere you can see it. Vision boards are amazingly effective tools!
9. Fix Things that are Broken.
When items aren’t working properly they create stress and frustration in our lives and remind us  of things that aren’t going quite right. Be sure to repair or replace anything that needs to be improved and feel the difference in your life as things move more smoothly.
10. Invite Nature into Your Home
Flowers, plants, pretty stones, etc. all remind us of the abundance of nature that is all around us. Don’t forget to spend some time each day outdoors, and remember to count the blessings you have in your life now to allow more to come into your life later!
Again, remember that feng shui isn’t magic and can’t instantly solve all of life’s problems; financial and otherwise. What it can do however is help to energetically align your space so that you can more easily create what it is you’d like to manifest in your life. One thing I learned many, many years ago is that one of the best ways to manifest abundance in my life was to practice being grateful as much as possible for all the blessings I already have. Being grateful creates an energy of “having” rather than “lack” and helps pave the way for even more blessings in your life.
 Copyright 2018 Cathleen McCandless,     All Rights Reserved

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Energizing Your Outdoor Areas with Feng Shui

You are most likely well aware that Feng Shui principles apply to our interior environments in order to create a more optimal living space, but did you know those principles pertain to our exterior surroundings as well?  To assist you in preparing for the warmer months ahead,  I am including some wonderful tips on how you can employ the basic principles of Feng Shui to your outdoor living areas.
Let’s start with patio furniture:
If you are in the market for new patio furniture, you may want to consider the material it is made of in light of what part of the Pa Kua (or Life Aspiration Area) the furniture will be placed. Each Life Aspiration Area is designated based on the compass direction where it is located.  Every one of these areas has a specific emphasis and a specific element that “charges” or increases the energy for that space.  Here are a list of the areas, their directions and meanings, and what you may want to consider for these sections of your yard.

North
This direction relates to Career and the element is water.  It is great to have some kind of water feature here (pools, spas, fountains, even a birdbath) to help stimulate the Career energy.  Metal supports this direction, so metal patio furniture, wind chimes, etc. are ideal when placed here.

Northeast
This direction relates to Knowledge, Spirituality and the way we nurture ourselves.  Earth is the main element for the Northeast, so river rock, stone, tile, bricks, etc. are great for this section.  You may also want to include statuary made of cement or stone to enhance the Northeast.  The patio furniture could be made from cement or stone; a Stone bench or stone (granite, tile, etc.) table top would be good for this section.

East
The East relates to Family.  Wood is the main element for this section.  Patio furnituremade of wood is ideal here.  Metal furniture is the least desirable because metal cuts wood and is not a good energy for the East.  You want to also make sure to have healthy growing plants in the east to increase the positive energy for the family.

Southeast
Most people are very interested in enhancing the Southeast section of their home and outdoor environment because the Southeast relates to Wealth.  As with the East (Family) area, wood is the main element for the Southeast.  Wood patio furniture is ideal, and so are healthy, growing plants.  In Feng Shui it is considered especially positive to have fruit bearing trees in this sector so your financial efforts will “bear fruit”.  As with the east, try to keep metal items to a minimum here.
South
The South relates to Fame and Reputation.  Fire is the element that stimulates the South.  BBQs, fireplaces and fire pits  are great here.  Lighting that goes on every night (either electrical or solar) are wonderful for the South.  The color red can add energy too, so don’t be shy about planting red flowers in the south.  Just remember that water puts out fire, so stay away from water features as much as possible in the South.  Wood is compatible in this location, so wood patio furniture is a good choice.
Southwest
The Southwest relates to Love and Partnership and like the Northeast, is enhanced by the energy of items made of earth.  It is wonderful to add a “pair” of statues here to symbolize partnership.  You may also choose to add large rocks or stones in this area too.  River rock, stone, cement, etc. are all good here as is patio furniture made from cement or stone.

West
The West relates to Children and our Creative efforts.  The element for the West is metal.  Metal wind chimes, furniture, and garden ornamentation made of metal are best suited here.
Northwest
The Northwest relates to friendships, travel, and being in the right place at the right time (synchronicity).  The element in the Northwest is the same as the West.  Anything made of metal will help increase the energies here.
Well that is a quick look at how to increase the energy of your outdoor environments.  One of the things I really love about Feng Shui is that is it a wonderful guideline for helping us make decor and placement decisions.  I like to call it “Decorating with a Purpose”.  Have fun while doing it, and most of all…enjoy the process!
Copyright 2018, Cathleen McCandless, All Rights Reserved copyscape1

Feng Shui for Love and Romance

This article is taken from my March 2018 newsletter. To read the newsletter in its entirety, please click here. 

Feng Shui is a wonderful tool for freeing up the energy in your life so things will flow more smoothly. While it (unfortunately) can’t solve all romantic woes, it can help create a more positive environment for love to grow. Whether you are single and looking for a relationship or already involved with someone, Feng Shui can help you increase the positive flow of energy for love and romance. Below are ten tips to get you started.
1. Locate the Southwest meridian point in your home.
Find the location inside your house where the Southwest meridian point intersects theouter wall of your home. If you don’t know how to do this, you’ll find easy-to-follow directions in my book,Feng Shui that Makes Sense. This is your “Love and Romance” location. The element that stimulates the energy of  the Southwest is earth (rock, stone, tile, etc.).You can use regular stones and minerals, items made from earth like ceramic, pottery, cement, quartz, granite, etc., or statuary and figurines made of earth.  Remember that in feng shui, and especially on the partnership meridian, we like to have things grouped in “pairs”, so be sure to have two items made of earth in this area instead of one.
2. Choose artwork carefully. In order to enhance romance, choose artwork that feels romantic. Ideally have pieces that display images of pairs of things (two people, two cats, two birds, etc.).  It’s a good idea to maintain objects and artwork in pairs rather than single items or images of single things.  Items should be arranged in pairs throughout the house and not just in the southwest. Avoid putting items in threes as the subliminal message is that there should be three people in the relationship instead of two; something most people definitely don’t want in a relationship! When things are grouped in pairs it reminds the subconscious that “two’ is a number that we’d like to manifest in our romantic life instead of the lonely number one.

3. Use romantic fabrics. For more romance, add romantic fabrics to your space.  Silk, velvet, satin, and other luxurious textiles evoke sensuality. Make sure bedding is soft and cozy. Beautiful drapes that touch the floor are a great way to add the feeling of romance to any room.
 

4. Dim the lights. Candles and low lighting sets the stage for a romantic mood.  In fact candlelight is the most flattering light to be seen in. Put lights on dimmers to be able to control the amount of lighting in a space when love is in the air! Battery-operated candles are a safe alternative to traditional ones.

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Feng Shui for the New Year

nyw3434This article is taken from my January 2018 Newsletter. To read the newsletter in its entirety, please click here.

Asian culture, as well as many others, look to the New Year as a very important time to make significant changes in their lives. The purpose of feng shui is to create the most optimal environment possible in order to provide a foundation for positive energy flow in your life. One thing that feng shui has taught me well is to embrace change. When done properly, feng shui helps propel you towards life experiences that are always bigger and better. Below I’ve outlined some very important steps to help you make this year your best yet. 

1. Let go of what no longer serves you. It can be people, places, or things that have ceased to bring you joy. Sometimes relationships, places, and things that once held joy and meaning lose their luster and even become detrimental to our well-being.
   In order to have healthy, loving relationships, you must heal or end toxic relationships with partners, friends, or family members. While this process can be painful, it is also one of the healthiest things you can do for your continued growth and well-being.
    Your affinity with places can change too. Homes and environments where you may have once felt happy and comfortable may now make you feel stagnant, uneasy and frustrated. Any constant feeling of discomfort, whether it is with a specific person or place, signifies that a change is necessary in order to feel happier and more fulfilled.
    Objects that you once loved may now be just taking up space and cluttering up your home and your life. If you don’t need it, want it, or love it, toss it!
2. Space clear your home. All the feng shui in the world won’t help if your space has
old, stuck residual energy. Over time, buildings absorb and radiate the energy of people or events that have taken place there. An indicator of stuck energy is feeling uneasy, drained, exhausted, unfocused or depressed when you’re in a particular space. It is very hard to move forward in your life when you are surrounded by stuck or negative energy in your home or workplace. Fortunately you can shift that energy by performing a space clearing.

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Feng Shui for the Holidays

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This article is taken from my December 2017 Newsletter. Please click here to read the newsletter in its entirety.

     It’s that time of year again. The time of year that many people look forward to and dread all at the same time. Many of us look back on childhood holidays with nostalgia and as adults we wonder where the “magic” has gone. When you really think about it, when you were a child, your parents handled all the stress for the holidays. All you had to do was show up, open presents, eat candy, and enjoy all the fun! It’s the adults who shoulder the burden of making the holidays special, but all too often the stress of the season robs us of the joy we once associated with this once magical time of year.

An important part of every holiday are the décor items we choose to display. Like little time capsules, each item brings up memories and sentiments of people, places, and holidays gone by. That nostalgia is part of what makes the holidays so special. While holiday decorations are an important part of creating the ambience of the season, if they aren’t displayed correctly they can contribute to the stress in our lives rather than being part of the fun.

Feng Shui is all about creating a space that looks and FEELS good. Here is a great way to display your holiday “treasures” in an attractive and organized way, adding more to the fun and less to the stress of your holiday home décor.

Over the years many of us have accumulated an oddball assortment of holiday décor items. Things we have kept from childhood, decorations we have been given and those we have purchased are too often thrown together amongst our every day décor items in colorful chaos. When we have too much visual stimulation and disorganization in a space, the environment begins to feel tense rather than restful. The secret to displaying holiday items attractively and calmly is to group “like” things together. Doing this is easier than you may think.
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First, decide where you want to place your collection. Choose a different location for each display (in other words, don’t place more than one grouping on the same table, mantle, or other display surface). Next, remove your everyday décor items from the display area so that they aren’t competing with the holiday ones. Then choose the items for the grouping.

Items should be grouped either by theme (funky homemade childhood ornaments, angels, Santas, nativities, etc.) or by color (all red items, gold items, etc.). Place a solid colored cloth or table runner under the display to help visually hold the grouping together. Then place the items on the cloth. Not only will the items look more organized, you’ll find that they are also more interesting and attractive when displayed this way. Additionally, if you’re a person who has collections of everyday household décor items, this is a trick that can be used throughout the year with those items too.

To show you what I’m talking about, in addition to my regular Christmasdcs93 tree ornaments, I also happen to have a lot of angel ornaments and a lot of dachshund ornaments (when you have dachshunds, believe me, you accumulate a lot of these over the years!) There isn’t enough room on the tree for all of them, so instead I display them by grouping them together.

I love all of these holiday décor items, but they would look ridiculous if they were    placed in a hodgepodge on a table top. Instead, I group them together in separate areas to create their own little vignette. An attractive cloth underneath the collection (red for the dachshund ornaments and gold for the angels) ties the groupings together and makes them look more organized and attractive.

Grouping your ornaments and treasures make holiday decorating fun and festive without looking disorganized and chaotic. You’ll find that by applying the feng shui principle of organizing and grouping items to cut down on visual clutter to your holiday décor items, your holiday home décor will feel as good as it looks!

Copyright 2017,  Cathleen McCandless, All rights reserved

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Easily Update the Look and Feel of Your Home on a Budget

This article is from my November 2017 newsletter. To read the newsletter in its entirety, please click here.

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Does your house ever leave you feeling blah, or uninspired? So much of the time we get used to the things in our homes that we don’t even notice them any more, yet it is often the very things that we have gotten used to that need to be changed or spruced up in order to give our homes (and us) a lift. Here are some easy and inexpensive ways to freshen up the look of your home.

Slipcovers are better than ever. Stretchy fabrics cover couches and chairs in ways that make them look brand new without looking like they are slip covered. It will look like you splurged on new furniture without the cost.

Artwork can become boring and uninspiring, and may not reflect the interests or tastes we have as they change over time. Go to art.com for a huge selection of inexpensive art. You can shop from the comfort of your home and be sure you’ll find a piece that fits your taste, your wall, and your budget!feng shui tips 2

 Area rugs are great ways to give a room a new color scheme and a fresh look. You can use the colors in the rug to add accents to the room with pillows, candles, and accessories to tie the room together. Don’t be afraid to put an area rug over a carpet. It is a much less expensive alternative to replacing an old carpet and will give a tired room new vibrancy.  Continue reading

Six Feng Shui Myths Explained

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This article is taken from my September Newsletter. To read the newsletter in its entirety, go to https://www.mynewsletterbuilder.com/email/newsletter/1413134718 Please note that all information in the newsletter and in this article is copyright protected.
More often than I can count, I run into clients, students, and other everyday people who are confused by the contradictory information they hear regarding feng shui. Below are six common feng shui myths and misunderstandings along with information that will help set the record straight.
Myth #1: Feng Shui is a religion or spiritual practice
Fact: Feng Shui is an ancient system of environmental psychology developed to help people survive in both the natural world and the built environment. It has NOTHING to do with religion, superstition or good luck and everything to do with creating an optimal living and working space.
Myth #2: If your stairs face your front door, all your money will roll out of your house
Fact: This is a common misunderstanding of an ancient recommendation to protect one’s family. 5,000 years ago (when feng shui was developed) people didn’t have locks on their doors. It was advised that if your family’s sleeping quarters were upstairs, it was best to hide the staircase as far away from the main door as possible to keep everyone safe from intruders while sleeping. Over time the original intent was forgotten, and superstition replaced the practical purpose for not having the stairs face the main door.
Myth #3: Your front door must be painted red in order to bring good luck
Fact: This front door myth stems from a time when people didn’t have heat or electricity. It was recommended that one should build one’s house oriented towards the south so that the home would experience more daylight during the day and more warmth in cold winter months. In ancient China, as in many other cultures, the southern direction was associated with the life-giving sun. The sun was associated with fire, and the symbol for fire was the color red. Therefore ancient people believed that if your home couldn’t face south, you should have a red front door in order to honor the sun and bring the blessings of the sun into your home. (It was seen as the next best thing to having a southern exposure). To this day the color red is seen as a “fortunate” color in China…all stemming from this ancient practice of orienting a building towards the south for light and heat.
Myth #4: A mirror can be used above your front door to keep away negative energy
Fact: A mirror is a piece of glass and has no inherit “powers”. After all, if it could reflect away negativity, what keeps it from reflecting away positive energy too? Does it have a brain that can discern the difference between good and evil? Of course not. This misunderstanding comes from a time when mirrors were actually made of metal. In feng shui (as in Chinese medicine), metal plays an important role in balancing energy in buildings and in the human body. Mirrors made of glass simply reflect light and can’t do anything more to protect you than a rabbit’s foot, horse shoe, or four-leaf clover.

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Do You Have Good Feng Shui?

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This article is taken from my August newsletter. Please go to https://www.mynewsletterbuilder.com/email/newsletter/1413101038 to read the newsletter in its entirety. All material is copyright protected.

Does your home have good feng shui?  Take this simple quiz and find out!
Here’s a very simple checklist to let you know how your home rates on having good feng shui. Simply answer yes or no to any of these questions and keep a tally of your answers. Don’t overthink it, just answer honestly. You can see how you did at the end.

1. Do your spirits rise when you arrive home?
Your home should be a sanctuary and a place that brings you peace and happiness. Make sure that the exterior of your home is peaceful and attractive. Something as simple as adding a new doormat or a pot of bright flowers can do the trick.

2. Do you live only with things you love?
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Water, Well-Being & Feng Shui

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This article is taken from my July newsletter. Please go to https://www.mynewsletterbuilder.com/email/newsletter/1413066471  to read the newsletter in its entirety. All material is copyright protected.

Water is an essential component in feng shui. In fact, the words, “feng shui” mean “wind and water” in Chinese. Wind and Water represent the fundamental concept in feng shui of flow and balance through time. If you notice water flowing through a streambed, you’ll see the water move around rocks and reeds, and go on it’s way. Too much water, and there is flooding and devastation, too little water, and the water becomes foul and stagnant. Water is a wonderful metaphor for the balance, grace, and movement of feng shui.

We all know that water is necessary for life. We must have water to survive, and our bodies are hard-wired to respond positively to proximity to water. Think about it this way, a home with a water view (a lake, the ocean, a river, etc.) will usually cost more, sometimes much more, than an identical home with no water view. Homes that are located close to water or with a view of water are also usually more expensive than identical homes that aren’t. The higher cost of the home with the water view or closeness to water is a direct reflection of the importance we place on water. It’s as if our survival instinct sees water (whether salt or fresh water) and says, “Water…Good”.

One of the most common questions I’m asked by clients is, “Where should I locate my Continue reading

Feng Shui Furniture Tips

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This article is taken from my June newsletter. Please go to https://www.mynewsletterbuilder.com/email/newsletter/1413029712 to read the newsletter in its entirety. All material is copyright protected.

Some people have a natural sense of decorating. They seem to instinctively know what to put where, and how to arrange things, “just so” in order to make a room look and feel wonderful. Other people need more help (thank goodness, or I’d be out of a job!) Below you’ll find some basic furnishing tips for three key rooms to help you choose and place furniture for each room to help make the space function, feel, and look its best. Continue reading