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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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Feng Shui for Abundance

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Not surprisingly, abundance is an aspect of life that almost all of my clients wish to concentrate on during their home or business appointments. While feng shui can assist with energy flow and stress reduction, it (unfortunately) can’t solve all our problems or undo poor decision making and choices. That said, there are ways to increase the positive energy in your home or business in order to make the most of the energy that is available to bring abundance into your space. The rest is up to you!

    Here are eleven things you can do to help align your surroundings for greater abundance.
1. Get Rid of 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. When you hold onto an object you no longer use “just in case” you may need it some day, you are energetically telling the Universe that you don’t trust it to take care of you. If you need that object later, you can always get another one. For now, toss it, donate it, or gift it.
2. Live Abundantly
Drink your tea or coffee out of a beautiful cup in the morning to start your day off with luxury. Go to a discount home store and purchase the fluffiest bath towel you can find. When you get out of the tub or shower each day you are going to enjoy the sensuous luxury a towel like that brings. This will help you create the mindset of deserving, accepting, and welcoming more luxury and abundance into your life.
 
3. Create a Vision Board and an Affirmation for Abundance
Vision Boards are incredibly effective when done correctly. Make a vision board of all the items that remind you of having abundance in your life and hang it some place where you can see it every day. Work on saying, “I welcome, accept, and deserve positive abundance in my life.” This way you’re not limiting the way abundance comes to you, but you are making sure that the abundance you are drawing in is positive. You don’t want to draw in an abundance of negative, so be specific!
4. Fix Things that are Broken
When items aren’t working properly they create stress and frustration in our lives. Repair or replace anything that needs to be improved and feel the difference in your life as things move more smoothly.
5. Invite Nature into Your Home
Flowers, plants, pretty stones, etc. all remind us of the abundance found in nature. Don’t forget to spend some time each day outdoors appreciating the abundance that nature provides us.
6. Practice Gratitude Every Day
In my opinion, this is the most important thing of all. Make sure to start and end your day by appreciating five things that you are grateful for. Gratitude puts you in a state of “having” rather than lacking and creates energy to bring more into your life to be grateful for.
7. Conduct a Space Clearing on Your Home
Chapter 9 in my book explains in detail how to conduct a space clearing. It is vital to remove old energy from your space to allow fresh energy to come in. You can purchase the space clearing energy chimes by clicking here.

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De-Stress Your Home with Feng Shui

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The  article below goes with my August Newsletter, to read the newsletter for more information, classes, tips, and more, please click here

     Do you ever come home exhausted from a long day and just wanting to plop down and relax? How can you make your home a place of relaxation and rejuvenation?  Numerous studies by psychologists, psychologists, and even cellular biologists have proven that our surroundings deeply impact our bodies, minds, and spirits. In an ever-increasing stressful world, having a home of relaxation, beauty, and comfort is more important than ever. Here are six quick and easy ways to bring more relaxation into your home and into your life.

 Add Plants and Flowers

Rutgers University did a lengthy study on the effect flowers have onplfl93 human emotion. The result of the study was that when we see flowers, our bodies respond by releasing “happy” hormones like serotonin and dopamine. The University of Washington also did a study on the effect houseplants have on human behavior and found that productivity went up 28%, blood pressure decreased, and positive moods increased. Additionally, some plants actually work to purify the air and reduce harmful electrical fields. Keep your plants healthy and they’ll help to keep you happy.

Let the sun shine in!

When exposed to sunlight our bodies produce “happy” hormones that help regulate mood and sleep patterns. If you have rooms in your home that have no access to natural light (think windowless bathrooms and kitchens), then replace the regular light bulbs with full-spectrum alternatives. Full-spectrum light bulbs mimic the natural light spectrum. You’ll see that the light in the room will be cleaner and crisper, the colors in the room will be brighter instead of yellow and dingy,  and you’ll feel better too! Full-spectrum bulbs come in LED energy-efficient styles and they make them to fit almost every size outlet, including fluorescent fixtures. Check online or at your local home improvement store to purchase.

Minimize Sharp Points and Angles

Sharp points and corners make us feel defensive and tense. When choosing furniture, opt for rounded corners instead of sharp right angles. Choose plants that have soft leaves and avoid those with thorns or spikes. Your room will feel calmer and more relaxed with these small changes.

Clean up the Mess!cl

Having too much “stuff” around can make us feel distracted and unorganized. It can also make us feel guilty (“I should clear off that counter, I should organize the garage, I should donate those old books to the library, etc., etc.) You get the picture. Donate, gift, sell, or toss those items that you no longer want, love, need, or use, and you’ll be amazed at how much more relaxed you and your home will feel.
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