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When the pain of hanging on is greater than the fear of letting go, we let go. We've all been there - from having our training wheels taken off our bicycles to ending a relationship that no longer serves us, from parting with a favorite pair of jeans that haven't fit for the past 4 years to saying goodbye to our kids going off to college for the first time, it is not always easy to let things go. But what if hanging on to things that no longer serve us or that we no longer enjoy were actually interfering with our ability to move along in our life and allow new people and opportunities to come to us?
In practical terms, we would have nowhere to move in our homes if we held on to every piece of clothing we ever owned throughout our lives or every piece of mail we received or every photograph we've ever taken. We understand this on a rational, logical level. But why do we hang on to things that no longer serve us, that are not helping us get to where we want to go in our lives and that create obstacles for us, not to mention taking up space where something we truly love could be placed? There are many theories and psychological/emotional reasons for why people keep things around - fear of loss, what if I need it one day, fear of moving forward, fear of change, it belonged to my deceased relative, fuzziness. The list goes on and on.
You have to be willing to be real and honest with yourself about who you are in present time as well as where you see yourself moving in your life to be able to know whether to keep the trophy you won at the bike rodeo from 1972 or the picture with the avocado earth tones your great aunt left you or any other item you choose to keep in your environment.
It's about knowing who you are and where you are going and what it will take for you to get there. Will this _________________ (fill in the blank) bring me joy? Does it represent visually who I am and where I am going? Do I love it? And if none of those questions help you reach clarity about whether to keep or discard or donate one of your treasures, ask, would I pack it and move it 5 times? That usually helps seal the deal.
It's also helpful and appropriate to invite an objective person to assist you in navigating through the clutter clearing process. Sometimes we are so connected to our things that we cannot see what no longer belongs or "fits" with the rest. The challenge of deciding to keep or not to keep is also the key to unlocking the freedom to adventures and opportunities that are awaiting. Seize the opportunity and release your stuff and yourself.
Harmony occurs when parts are working together well. It can be heard in music, it can be seen in paintings, it can be experienced in an environment and it can be felt within yourself. Harmony enriches the experience and it feels good.
Harmony can also enhance balance and help us feel in greater alignment with our space and ourselves. As seen in the yin yang picture to the right, it requires integration of different parts to create harmony. There is dark within the light and light within the dark. They each contain aspects of the other and are interconnected. We have masculine aspects within our feminine selves and feminine aspects within our masculine selves. We are vulnerable within our strengths and strong in our vulnerabilities.
The key is to recognize the value of harmony and to allow it through our willingness to accept.
Just as nature reflects harmony through the life cycle of the butterfly, we too need to accept that metamorphosis and change are part of what creates harmony. Stagnation and resistance to change do not.
As we are able to bring our living and working spaces into greater alignment with how we experience ourselves in our inner environments, we will experience more harmony in our life, in our families, in our communities and in our world. Notice what has been changing within you and where that is not accurately reflected in your living and/or working space. What is bothering you in your home or work space? Identify it and then make the necessary adjustments. Release what is no longer needed and bring in the new. Not only will you, your family and your co-workers benefit, but so will the world.
Our world is in the midst of unprecedented change. From weather and climate change to political upheaval and uncertainty, these are times of huge planetary and world changes. Simultaneously, we are all undergoing our own personal changes finding ways to make our voices heard, sharing our talents, managing health issues, resolving relationship crises, etc.
Like the eclipse, that took place on August 21, 2017, nature is always changing. The seasons change, the moon goes through its phases, plants and animals reproduce and die. Our bodies are always changing as well, creating new cells and eliminating what we no longer need. Children grow, adults grow older and new babies are born.
The cycle of life is always changing. As human beings, we tend to resist this truth. Change is feared and seen as a threat to our well-being.
Human beings gravitate toward familiar and comfortable. Fear has been defined as what we experience when we've hit the edges of our known reality. Change can trigger fear. It can take us beyond what we've known up to this moment in time. It can challenge us to look at things differently, to learn new skills, to go beyond what we've known before. It is one thing to rationally understand that everything is always changing. It is another thing to embrace and welcome change in your daily life and experience. It requires shifting your beliefs around change and giving yourself permission to return to the natural curiosity and fearlessness you possessed as a 3 and 4 year-old. Back then if you were riding a tricycle and fell off, you'd get right back up and keep going. The sheer thrill of playing with your friends outweighed the possibility of a scraped knee. Is it possible to view change as a good thing and welcome it into our lives?
Looking back at some of the changes you have been asked to go through, perhaps now you can appreciate the purpose for the changes. Perhaps you have gratitude for some of the most challenging changes you were asked to go through because of how you've grown from going through them. Imagine, how would your life be if things were still the same and they hadn't changed?
The only thing we can be certain of is change. What a different experience life will be if we can go through change not with fists clenched but with arms open, embracing change.
Many of us share our living space with other human beings. Even if you are living in a space with no one else, you may share a work environment with others. In either case, it is important for our well-being that each person living or working in the space has an area to call their own.
This often means one of the people living in the space gets a less than desirable place to claim as their own. Although household duties are being shared more equitably these days, the man of the house may be relegated to the garage or shed and the woman may get the laundry area or kitchen as "her" space.
It is not enough for someone to call a space their own simply because they spend a good amount of time there. For our own well-being, it is important that we have an area in our living space that we can decorate, create, fill with things that nurture us and bring us joy without anyone else participating. (That means no going in and re-arranging or cleaning or removing objects in the others' space)
It is not necessary and not always possible to have an entire room to yourself. A desktop, wall, bureau or corner is enough. Just make it your own. Place objects there that are specifically for supporting yourself. They may be sentimental items, they may be photos of loved ones, they may be spiritual symbols or souvenirs from a special vacation. Whatever feeds you at an essential level needs to be represented in this place.
Everyone who lives in the space must know which spaces are considered "claimed" and are untouchable by the others. That means no one can mess with your blue ribbons for best canned beans and you can't mess with the stuffed rainbow trout on the wall. But hopefully,everyone living in the space will feel represented, validated and supported.
Happy New Year of the Yin Fire Rooster.
Along with the new moon on January 28, 2017, we will officially welcome the Chinese New Year of the Rooster. Many of us have already begun feeling the energies of the rooster year.
Every Chinese Year is considered Yin or Yang. With this being a Yin year, more attention will be directed inward. There will be more energy for balancing things within yourself, within your home, within your family and within your community. Every Chinese Year is also associated with one of the 5 elements. The Fire element brings with it energy for action, initiation, physical activity and expressions of the heart. There will be plenty of opportunities to express kindness within our families and our neighborhoods and communities. The more we share ourselves in kindhearted and compassionate ways, the more we and the people around us will benefit.
As shared by Karen Abler Carrasco, Essential Feng Shui Practitioner with the Western School of Feng Shui,
". . . the rooster feels deeply its responsibilities to the entire barnyard. The rooster tends to the roost, and the flock who lives there. To any problem or task that needs doing, the rooster says “If not me, then who?”'
For a more in depth look at the characteristics of
the new year, enjoy reading her entire article at http://westernschooloffengshui.com/.
Use the energies of the new year to support you in taking a fresh look at what you are surrounding yourself with. Go to the places in your home where you feel led to stir up stagnant energy and create greater flow by removing, releasing or repositioning items. It really can breathe new life into places where you've felt unsupported or experienced more challenges. The easier it is for the Life Force or Ch'i to circulate within and around your space, the more the areas of your life will be nourished and flourish.
Why does it matter where we position our desk and chair or our bed or other furniture? According to feng shui, keeping our central nervous system in balance is the priority. Safety and Comfort come first. Out of Safety and Comfort comes Beauty. Whenever possible, position your desk and chair as well as your bed, so that you have the largest view of the room and you can see the entrance way to the room.
Sometimes that means putting the desk at a 45 degree angle to the doorway. When it's not possible to have the largest view of the room and see the doorway, the preference is to be able to see people entering the room without having to turn your head. Position the furniture so you can see the doorway when at the desk. Many people have neck and back issues because they spend all day at work with their back to the door. It is human instinct to turn when we hear a noise coming at us and we cannot see what is making the noise.
If you work at a desk that must be facing the back
wall of a room and you are unable to face the doorway,
help yourself by placing a mirror or artwork with
reflective glass on the wall in front of you so you can
detect movement behind you even when sitting at the desk. This will help you feel more empowered as
you will be able to see when there is movement
coming from behind you.
The same is true for positioning the bed in any room. Try to give the person in the bed the largest view of the room while being able to see the entrance way. Keep in mind, you want to be able to do this without having the person in the bed having their feet pointing out the door. In Ancient China, dead people were removed feet first out the door. For this reason, position the bed in such a way that the person in bed has the largest view of the room, can see the entrance way and does not have their feet pointing directly out the door. Not only will you be assisting your Central Nervous System and improving your Health, you will be empowering yourself.
Doorways are considered the mouth of Ch'i according to
feng shui. They are where energy enters the whole home, through the front door, or where energy enters each room in
The front door is the place where Universal Ch'i, or the energy out in the world, enters our personal Ch'i bringing
with it new opportunities and experiences. It nourishes our life force.
To receive the full benefit of energies available to us, it is important that there is nothing preventing the door from opening a full 90 degrees. A door that is only able to open partially represents blocked opportunities. You cannot fully open and receive the energies available to you.
If you store things behind the door, find another location for the items. If there is a shoe rack or other item keeping the door from opening fully, relocate the item or push it away from the door so that it can swing fully open.
To further benefit from the universal energies available, keep your front door and the area around it clean and in good working order. There needs to be a clear, unobstructed pathway to the door. Keep door handles tight and locks working properly. Remove overgrown shrubbery, dead leaves and branches and any debris in the pathway. Choose a "greeter" in the form of a doormat, plant, statue, bench or whatever says "welcome" to you.
Wash the front door, light fixtures and other items on the exterior of the house to keep the dirt and bugs away. Sweep the front porch. This anchors the intention that you are ready to fully receive all of the benefits, new opportunities and experiences that the Universe is ready to bring your way.
And when opportunity knocks, you can joyfully welcome it with open arms.
Why have a feng shui consultation?
How do you know when you need one?
What will it help with?
Feng Shui literally translates to "Wind, Water". Wind represents the unseen forces in our lives such as emotions, stress and stagnant energy that impact us. Water represents the seen forces. Like water, these can nourish us, soothe us or destroy our homes when too much comes too quickly.
Feng Shui aims to balance the seen and unseen forces in our lives by assessing the space, making adjustments to the space and allowing for the continuous flow of good energy in and around the space. This is turn optimizes the support for you in your life.
So how do you know when you need feng shui?
Anytime you are ready for a change, feng shui can help
support you in realizing that change.
Things change inside of us.
We feel discontent, frustration or just plain stuck.
We are tired, dissatisfied, overwhelmed.
We are ready for something new.
Things change outside of us.
Children grow. Jobs change. Life happens.
Feng Shui works together with you and your space to create an
optimal environment in your home and, in turn,your life.
By encouraging you to intentionally make changes to your space,
Feng Shui provides a way for you to proactively support yourself
as you co-create your life.
Whether it's a new career,
improvement in your health,
more intimate relationships,
an increase in your wealth and prosperity or
feeling a sense of more harmony and well-being,
feng shui can help.
It's the Little Things
It's the little things that we do on a daily basis that can have the greatest affect on our experience of life. The priority of feng shui is keeping the central nervous system in balance. What goes on during the course of your day that may disturb your central nervous system? Countless things these days including cell phone messages, unexpected interruptions, deadlines, things breaking, bills, etc. Help yourself by creating a safe, nurturing space to come home to. Begin with the entrance you use to enter your home. If you enter through the garage does it look something like this?
Passing these things on a daily basis, whether you
consciously see them or not, will leave you feeling like you
always have cleaning and ironing to do. Swiffer the floor,
iron the clothes, dust the house . . . Continual reminders
every time you enter your home. Take a look around the
entrance you use to go in and out of your home.
Do you welcome yourself home the way you would like to welcome your guests to your home? Is there room for a small chair or bench at the entrance you use to sit and put your
shoes on or take them off? How about a beautiful picture
on the wall or a colorful plant? Whatever visually says
to you, " Ahh, I'm home, now I can relax." Those are the
types of decorations and furnishings you need to place at the entrance way you use.
It's also important that upon entering the home, you are not bombarded with clutter so that you don't have to trip over or walk around obstructions in your path. Keep a clear pathway into your home so that the same beauty and peace you encounter at your entrance way will continue as you enter your home. By creating a welcoming entrance for yourself and keeping the way into the house clear, you have taken steps to help keep your central nervous system in balance which in turn will support you in keeping your life in better balance.