Feng Shui for Your Outdoor Environments

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Warmer weather means spending more time entertaining outdoors. In twenty years of being a feng shui consultant, I’ve seen some great outdoor living spaces, and some not-so-great. Here are ten tips for making the most of your outdoor living areas.

This article is taken from my May 2017 Newsletter. To read the newsletter in its entirety, please click here  http://www.mynewsletterbuilder.com/email/newsletter/1412986628   

1. Provide comfortable seating I know that this should be a no-brainer, yet I often find that people will choose hard, uncomfortable outdoor furniture and wonder why they don’t sit outside more often or for longer periods of time. Outdoor furniture should have arms and backs (this makes people feel more secure and relaxed while seated). If you have hard seats, purchase some cushions and pillows. You can get these relatively inexpensively at discount stores and be sure to stock up on these for next year at the end of the summer when things go on sale. Consider too, adding a hammock or swing to your outdoor seating for a comfortable, fun seating alternative.
2. Add a water feature  The soothing sound of water is a wonderful addition to an outdoor living area, particularly as the weather heats up. It doesn’t need to be an elaborate pond or pool. An inexpensive outdoor fountain will do the trick. If you don’t have outdoor electricity, then run an all-weather extension cord from the house when you’re entertaining. You’ll be amazed at how much the water will add to the ambience of sitting outside. Just MAKE SURE not to place your water feature too close to the south meridian point of your home. The south is the Fame meridian and water is undesirable in this area. If you don’t know where the south meridian is, then pick up a copy of my book and it will show you how to figure this out.

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Feng Shui for Your Health

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This article is taken from my April 2017 Newsletter To read the newsletter in its entirety, please click here. Please note that all material on this page and in the newsletter is copyright protected.

Often when we think of feng shui and health,  we think of the physical aspects of our homes that may be unhealthy and/or  dangerous (like exposure to high electromagnetic frequencies, toxic mold, artificial scents, etc).  While these factors are very important and certainly necessary,  many of us don’t stop to consider how the look and feel of our surroundings also influence our mental, physical and emotional health.

    Cellular biologists and behavioral scientists are creating an ever-growing body of evidence that supports what feng shui has known for centuries; that our surroundings deeply affect the our bodies, minds, and spirits. Humans, animals and plants have specific environmental requirements in order to survive in their physical environments.  When those needs are met, the species thrives and prospers. When specific environmental factors are missing or damaged, the living creatures in those spaces will experience stress, deteriorate and potentially even die.
    Feng shui strives to reduce and eliminate aspects in the environment that are not contributing to emotional and physical health.  The main goal of Feng Shui is to create a space that feels nurturing and comfortable. One of the most important health perks that Feng Shui assists with is reducing stress.  With stress-related illnesses topping the list for health concerns today, Feng Shui can certainly go a long way to help us reduce the tension in our lives.
Our homes are places that should soothe, rejuvenate, and restore our bodies, minds, and spirits. Feng Shui provides us with an abundance of guidelines on how you can  make your home a more peaceful, healthy space, here are ten great tips to get you started.
 
1. Invite nature and natural materials into your home.  Humans have lived in nature for far, far longer than we’ve lived indoors. We’re instinctively more comfortable around items that come from nature rather than things that are synthetic.  Include items made from stone and wood, and add water features and healthy plants to your space. Views of trees, natural landscapes, and artwork of nature scenes will also bring the outdoors in and make your home feel nurturing and inspiring.

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Feng Shui for Your Office

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This article is taken from my March 2017 Newsletter To read the newsletter in its entirety, please click here. Please note that all material featured in this blog and in the newsletter is copyright protected. Thank you!

Create an Office Environment that Nurtures and Inspires

Do you work in an office? If so, chances are that you spend more of your waking hours there than any place else. Studies by behavioral psychologists and cellular biologists have proven that your surroundings greatly affect your body, mind, and spirit. It goes to follow then, that the more time you spend in your office, the more it will influence your overall health and happiness. Fortunately feng shui has a lot of easy, yet powerful ways for you to create an optimal office space. I’m sharing five of them with you here.

1. Sit so you can see the door
Your survival instincts relax when you feel that you have control over your surroundings. Placing your desk so that you have a clear view of the door will allow you to focus on the task at hand without being concerned about what is going on behind you. If your desk is situated so you can’t see the door and it can’t be moved, purchase a computer “rear view mirror”. These are available online and at office supply stores. They attach to the computer monitor to allow you to see what is going on behind you without having to turn around.
2. Add Plants to Your Space
Studies by environmental psychologists prove that when plants are added to a work environment productivity goes up and moods are elevated. Some plants even work to clean the air and mitigate electromagnetic fields. Make sure the plant stays healthy. “Lucky” Bamboo are easy to take care of (just add water) and are pretty hardy too, so if you don’t have a green thumb, you might try adding one of those.

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Two New Free Online Feng Shui Classes

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Two new free feng shui classes!

NUMEROLOGY FOR YOUR HOME AND OFFICE

AND

CHOOSING A NEW HOME WITH FENG SHUI

Go to http://www.FengShuiOnlineClasses.com for more information

 

Your Kua Number & Personal Best Directions

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This article is taken from my February 2017 Newsletter To read the newsletter in its entirety, please click here. Please note that all material on this page and in the newsletter is copyright protected.

YOUR PERSONAL KUA NUMBER AND BEST DIRECTIONS

Did you know that feng shui uses a formula that helps you to figure out which four compass directions are positive for you and which are negative? This ancient formula uses your birth date and your gender to determine something that is known in feng shui as your Kua Number. Each Kua Number has four compass directions that are considered positive and four that are negative. These are the best directions for your home to face (while you’re standing inside looking out), for the top of your head to point while you’re sleeping (as if you had an arrow sticking out of your head), and the direction you face while you’re working (if you sit for a long period of time).

    Many of you know that I am very practical when it comes to feng shui and I have to say that I have found the influence of my own Kua Number and those of my clients to be quite accurate. That’s why I’m sharing this information with you now.
    The first thing you’ll need to do is to figure out your kua number.  There is a formula that you can use to figure out the number mathematically,  or you can use the handy Kua Number calculator on my web site and figure it out quickly and easily. Click Here to go to that page. Input your birth information and don’t forget to click whether or not you are male or female as the calculator considers gender as an influence as well as birth date.
    Once you input your personal information you will be told that you are either a West Group Person or an East Group Person. You will also be told your Kua Number. There are only two groups and you are one or the other. East Group People have the same positive directions (E, SE, S, N) and the same negative directions (W, NW, NE, SW). West Group people have the opposite directions from the East Group people. If you are West Group your best directions are (W, NW, NE, and SW) and your negative directions are (E, SE, N, S). In other words, the East Group’s best directions are the West Group’s bad directions and visa versa.

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The Feng Shui Certification Course is now ONLINE!

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Have you been wanting to take the Feng Shui Certification Course but distance, time, or money has prevented you from doing so?

Well the wait is finally over! It’s taken almost three years of very hard work and I’m very happy to announce that the Feng Shui that Makes Sense Practitioner Certification Course is now available online!  You’ll be able to  learn feng shui in the privacy of your own home and on your own schedule. This in-depth feng shui course presents the same material as the in-person course in an easy to follow step-by-step format.I’m so proud of the way that the course has turned out and it’s a wonderful feeling to know that all of the people who have been wanting to take the certification course online can finally do so!

To find out all the details, please click here. for more information.

Feng Shui Life Assessment Survey

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This article is taken from my January 2017 Newsletter. To read the newsletter, please click here.

Many of us make resolutions for the new year with the hope and intention that things in our lives will somehow improve. In order to help you identify what is, and is not working in your life, I have developed a questionnaire that I call The Life Assessment Inventory. This questionnaire will help you narrow down and prioritize what you feel needs to be improved most in your life. Once you have identified these areas, you can use the energy of feng shui to help you make improvements and reach your goals.

    Rate the answers to each question below from 1-10. 1 means that there is a lot of room for improvement, and 10 means that you’re really happy with the situation. Don’t overthink your answers. Just write down the first number that comes to you. Remember that life is dynamic and changes all the time, so the answers you write today may not be the same answers you’d write tomorrow, next week or next year. In fact, this is a great exercise to do at the beginning of a new year or new birthday year. Take the Inventory, put the date on it and put it away in a safe place. A year later take the test again and compare your results. Hopefully you’ll have improved the areas that you rated low from the year before. It’s a great way to track your goal-setting progress as well!
  Once you have your answers, circle the ones that you rated 5 or lower. These are the areas that need the most improvement and ones that you’ll want to pay special attention to as you set your personal goals and make your feng shui improvements. Match each question to the Feng Shui Life Aspiration Area that goes with it. In feng shui, different areas of life (known as Life Aspiration Areas) correspond to areas in the home based on the compass directions. Each area has an element (water, wood, fire, earth and metal) associated with it. Much like acupuncture for a building, placing the elements in their proper locations can help bring more energy to various aspects of your life.
 Ready, grab a pen and paper and let’s get started!!
 Life Assessment Inventory

Rate each question with a number value using the following scale:

Very Dissatisfied   1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10   Very Satisfied

1. Do you feel respected by the people in your personal life?

2. Do you feel respected by the people in your professional life?

3. Are you satisfied with your romantic life? Continue reading

Letting go of What No Longer Serves You with Feng Shui

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This article is taken from my December 2016 Newsletter. To read the newsletter, please click here.

Many years ago I had a client who had moved five times in two years. She made a joke saying, “Moving five times in two years was as good as a fire”, meaning that moving that often had given her many opportunities to get rid of lots of stuff. Many times when we think of letting go of items in our homes we think of cleaning out our closets, but real letting go involves reevaluating everything in our homes, not just the things we have tucked away.

     When I moved from California to Hawaii, I moved out of a rather large home that I’d lived in for 17 years. Prior to moving into that home my mother had passed away, so not only did I have 17 years of my own stuff I had a lot of her things too. Moving over the ocean is a completely different experience than moving over land. I had to evaluate each item I owned; determining whether or not it was worth the expense of shipping it thousands of miles away. In the end, I managed to get rid of about 90 percent of what I owned; shipping only the items that were small enough and/or meaningful enough to warrant the hassle and expense of doing so. The process was emotional, exhausting, and ultimately freeing.
     Feng Shui is about living and working in spaces that feel as good as they look. Part of having those spaces feel good has to do with the emotional connections we have with the things we choose to surround ourselves. Our homes are our sanctuaries, and we need to treat them as such. When the items in our homes lose their purpose and meaning, the energy in our homes and in turn in our lives can start to feel like dull, ordinary, and burdensome. Letting go of what no longer serves an emotional or practical purpose is very liberating, and that fresh new feeling can transfer over to other aspects of our life as well.
      You don’t need to wait for a move to get started. Here are ten tips to get you going right  now.
     1. Go through each room in your home with a box and force yourself to get rid of five things in each room. If you don’t want it, need it, love it, or use it, get rid of it!
     2. When you bring in something new, get rid of something old.
     3. Take photos of items that you no longer wish to keep or store, but that may have sentimental meaning. For example, I got rid of a box of childhood toys that I’d kept for decades. Taking a photo of those items before letting them go helped me to give them up.
     4. Remember that you are under no obligation to keep something that someone gives you. It’s your home and you need to be the one who decides what goes and what stays.

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Creating an Optimal Dining Experience with Feng Shui

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This article is taken from my November 2016 Newsletter. To read the newsletter, please click here.

Thanksgiving time and on that day most Americans will be sitting around a table sharing a wonderful meal and giving thanks for all their blessings. When you’ve been lovingly cooking all day long, you want the meal to not only taste good, but be a wonderful experience for everyone there. While feng shui can’t do much to change whether or not you’re a great cook, it can help create an ambience that will make the meal even better. Feng Shui goes beyond how things look (and taste), and addresses how things feel. So with that knowledge in mind, here are some quick and easy ways to make your Thanksgiving meal (or any meal for that matter) as excellent as possible.

Table Shape
Most of the time a formal meal takes place around a rectangular-shaped table. While this may be a more traditional setting, it isn’t the best for actually relaxing and sharing a meal. Around a rectangle table, many of the guests will not be able to see or converse with each other. You’ll end up with a party at one end and a party at the other end. People sitting on the same side of the table at opposite ends must lean around others in order to see or talk to guests at the other end of the table, making conversation awkward. Furthermore, the people sitting at the ends of the table (usually the patriarch) are the only ones who can see and converse with everyone, thus giving them command of the meal (in feng shui, we call this seat the “Command Position”), creating an inequality in the authority of people during the meal.
From a feng shui perspective, a round table is highly preferable to a rectangle-shaped table for a pleasant dining experience. Around a round table, all guests can see and converse with each other, there is no “head” of the table, and everyone there is energetically equal. Studies show that when guests are seated around a round table for a meal, they say that the food tasted better, they lingered around the table longer, and they felt that their all-around dining experience was more positive. A rectangle table tends to hurry the meal. People will sit down, eat, and get up shortly after the meal to go into the other room.  Around a round table however, guests will linger over the meal, talk, laugh, eat dinner or have coffee and desert, and still be sitting there talking or even play an after-dinner game at the table.

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Creating an Optimal Study Environment with Feng Shui

This article appears in my October 2016 newsletter. No portion may be copied or duplicated without permission. To read the newsletter, please click here.

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Whether you are going to school yourself or have a child beginning a new school year, finding the right environment to study in can have an effect on studying success.  Below I have given you ten great tips on how you can use Feng Shui to create a more optimal study area.
1. Add nature or images of nature to the setting.  Studies at Washington State University found that when plants were added to a work and study area, productivity went up 28%.  The theory is that people are soothed by images of nature and the plants create a less stressful environment.
2. Make sure the door to the room can be seen while studying.  When we need to focus on a task it is important that we feel as safe as possible.  Being able to see the door assures us that we will not be startled by someone while we are concentrating on our studies.
3. Good lighting is a must.  Full-spectrum task lighting is a preferred alternative to regular incandescent lighting.  Full-spectrum lighting lessens eye strain.  The photograph to the left illustrates the difference between regular partial-spectrum lighting on the left and the same lamp using a full spectrum bulb on the right.
 4. Find a place that is free from as many distractions as possible.  Many children are allowed to do homework while watching TV.  It is obvious why this is not the best choice for distraction-free studying.
 5. Consider aromatherapy.  Peppermint essential oil is known for improving concentration and enables us to focus better on tasks.  You can diffuse the oil into the air using a non-heating ultrasonic diffuser, inhale it right out of the bottle,  or try dabbing a few drops on a ribbon and tying it to a blowing fan to help improve mental clarity.  Studies have also shown that when students inhale pure essential oils while studying, they are able to recall the information again while taking a test if they smell that same scent during the test. In other words, if you study while inhaling peppermint essential oil and then inhale it again while taking a test on that same material, you may recall the information more easily. This is because the brain makes associations and ties memories to scent.  Be sure to always only purchase therapeutic-grade essential oils!  Synthetic oils often include toxic chemicals.  Oils such as Young Living brand (available on the shopping page of my web site and on the right hand side of this newsletter) are pure essential oils that are safe and healthy to use.
 6. Place items made of rock or stone in the Northeast section of the home.  The northeast is the location related to study.  The element associated with the Northeast is earth and the supporting element is fire.  Salt lamps, ceramic items, things made of stone, tile, pottery, etc. are all good in the Northeast.  Avoid large indoor plants in the Northeast area of the home as growing wood is not optimal in that location.
7. Eliminate clutter from the study area.  Clutter is distracting and can make us feel nervous and overwhelmed.
8. If you sit at a desk, be sure you have a comfortable, ergonomically correct desk and chair.  If you are sitting for long periods of time in an uncomfortable position it will impair your ability to concentrate.
9. Make sure the surrounding area is as quiet as possible.  If noise is an issue and you can’t do anything about it (such as in a dorm situation), consider the use of an inexpensive white noise machine or fan.  Both can be purchased at many stores and online.  The whooshing noise from the fan or white noise machine helps drown out other sounds without being distracting. There are even apps that create white noise!
10. If you study with your laptop literally on your lap, purchase a laptop pad from the office supply store.  It will help protect you from any electromagnetic fields the lap top may be giving off, and it will help the laptop (and you) stay cooler.
These are just some quick tips to help you create a great study area.  Of course there is no sure cure way to actually get someone to automatically absorb all the information they are trying to learn, but having a space that is nurturing and comfortable can certainly help.
Copyright 2016 Cathleen McCandless, All Rights Reserved
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Copyright protected c. 2016 Cathleen McCandless http://www.fengshuimauihawaii.com

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