Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Today is Earth Day, a very important day. We tend to forget what this beautiful ecosystem provides to us, only momentarily remembering global ecology when it hails in May.
On this day, let’s focus our energy on giving back to Mother Earth. On the spiritual plane, if you have a meditation, yoga or other intentional practice, devote today’s practice to her. Visualize and set your intention that our collective energy is healing her as we know it’s profoundly needed.
On the physical plane, go above and beyond what you would normally do. Save resources – turn the faucet off when you are washing dishes or brushing your teeth or shut off lights and electronics when you leave a room. If you are a gardener, start planning out your garden. Try to use organic seeds as organic gardens not only produce healthier and more abundant crops than traditional seeds, they also decrease the effects of pesticides and other synthetic additives that can already be found in our soil.
As always in Feng Shui, set a very strong intention. Imagine while doing these activities that you are putting your arms around Mother Earth and giving her a big hug. If you ask me, I think not only does she really need it, but she truly deserves it.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Hopefully last week you were able to welcome in opportunities by sprucing up the front of your home and decluttering your entryway. This week, let’s declutter the physical body and do some internal Spring Cleaning! One way to do this is by doing a Spring Cleanse. Don’t be scared. Cleansing can be as intense or as gentle as you like. You’ll just need to really listen to your body and be honest with yourself – have you overindulged this winter and are eating too much sugar? Are you drinking too much coffee and need to get your energy back naturally? Listen to your gut because it will know. Sorry, pun intended.
I began a full blown Spring Cleanse this week since prior cleanses made me feel much lighter and revitalized. My immune system was boosted and my skin was glowing. All reasons to do a cleanse if you ask me. You can start decluttering or cleansing your body by just cutting out a few indulgences. Here are some suggestions: caffeine, sugar, processed foods and also non-food items such as excessive tv or internet. Getting nervous? No need. I know you can do it.
So how do the two photos at the beginning relate to each other? When you make space in your physical body and physical space by eliminating clutter, it’s like pressing the “reset” button. Energy begins moving again and harmony is restored. While adding greenery to your diet, add some greenery to your kitchen in the form of plants or fresh flowers to change up the chi or energy. You don’t have to “declutter” for 3 weeks but if you can do it for a week or just a weekend, you won’t believe the benefits.
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
I just returned from the beautiful city of New Orleans where they have curbside beauty perfected. I often forget about the charming houses until I am there again, imagining myself sipping lemonade on the veranda. For me, it’s a reminder of how important keeping the front of our homes clear and clean as well as the immediate inside entry.
In Feng Shui, opportunity comes through your front door, not the back door or the windows so that’s why it is so important to make sure your entry is attractive, clean and visible. Once opportunity has knocked on your door and is welcomed, make sure that the entry is also clear and unblocked so the passage is easy and effortless.
Here are 3 easy steps to get opportunity knocking on your door:
1) Fix and Repair. Replace any burned out light bulbs, install lighting if it’s too dark, scrape off any old paint, tend to overgrown bushes, give the front a good sweep. Does your doorbell work? If not, get it fixed.
2) Add something eye-catching. Is your house number clearly visible? Plant some colorful spring flowers or replace your doormat. Make the entry warm and welcoming.
3) Clear the path inside your home. Be sure that your front door can open at least 90 degrees. Don’t let opportunities struggle to get in. Make sure the area has enough light and is uplifting when you walk through your door. A nice scent is always pleasant too. Place something at the entrance that makes you smile when you return home.
This weekend, take an honest look at your front door and entry way and take inventory. Are there bags of stuff that need to be fixed, donated or just plain attended to? Be ruthless and while you are decluttering, keep in mind your intention – creating space for opportunities to come into your life. Remembering your Feng Shui intention in the process is equally as important as the actual action itself. Have fun in the process and let us know how it goes!
Thursday, April 3, 2014
Spring Spring Spring!
It’s what we all are waiting for. Even me, who unabashedly admitted earlier this season that weather doesn’t affect me. Well after this endless NYC winter, it’s affecting me!
In Feng Shui, the Spring season signifies New Beginnings. Think of it like a second chance at New Years! Great things can happen this time of year. Our only requirement is to make space. We need to clear out the old to allow for the new to come in. Is there a part of your life that is cluttered and is begging for attention? Where are you making space to allow for new growth and flow in your life?
Using the Feng Shui Bagua and lining the bottom of it to your front door, New Beginnings/Spring is in the left middle area of your space. The color is green, for you guessed it, new growth. The element is wood, which also signifies growth. Use this information to get some chi moving in your home. Clear out 3 things in that area of your home. Then add something that has a green element to it. Instinctively we tend to think of plants, which is great. If you do buy a plant, just make sure the leaves grow upward to signify upward development. If you don’t get a lot of light, you may consider putting something made of wood as, you guessed it, wood is made from things that used to grow! For a seasonal touch, you can also buy fresh flowers and place them in this area.
If plants and flowers are not your thing, think about something else that may signify growth and new beginnings for you. Training for a marathon? Keep your goals written down and keep the records in this area. If this area of your home is dark, think about adding light or a mirror to shake up the energy.
New beginnings can mean different things for each one of us and you may need to experiment to find what works for you. My only caveat in Feng Shui is that whatever you do must, and I mean must, make you smile when you see the changes you made. If not, it’s defeating the purpose. As you move into the weekend, think about how you can create new space for new things in your life. Who knows, our collective efforts may help NYC usher in Spring a little faster. Fingers crossed!
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Are you someone who listens to music while they work or cook? Or do you revel in the silence of your surroundings? We all know that music is a magical element. It has the reputation to “soothe the savage beast” as well as be an instant mood uplifter which is why we use musical elements as Feng Shui remedies.
Hanging wind chimes in a home can serve powerful purposes. Who wouldn’t want a melodic chime in their indoor space that they can ring when they feel the urge or an outdoor chime that sings when it picks up a light breeze? For me, it’s a simple element to add to your space that can enhance the Feng Shui energy by many folds.
What got me thinking about music and its healing powers is that I’m going to the Opera! I’m very excited since it will be my first time seeing a performance at the legendary New York Metropolitan. In preparation of the event, I have been playing beautiful music as much as I can, and you guessed it, my mood has been through the roof!
Now that Spring is here and the warmer breezes are on its way, think about how you can incorporate simple musical opportunities in your home such as a wind chime. Here are some fun chimes that I found:
And lastly, here is a magnificent display of what we can do with chimes if we are creative and have the physical space. I can only imagine the beauty of this chime adorned bridge!
Thursday, March 20, 2014
No I won’t actually make you sing, I was just referring to the song in my heart this glorious morning (although feel free to belt out a tune if that’s what you feel!) We’ve waited so long for this day – The Spring Equinox. A time of beginnings and renewals. The perfect day to write in your Gratitude Journal and reflect upon the bounty of our lives.
I love starting each seasonal shift with a guided meditation. It brings our attention to the change of energy and how it effects our own personal energy system.
Sometime today, try to sit for this short yet very profound meditation. It helps energetically clear what is no longer needed so that you can bring in the new for the Spring. No excuses – it’s only 6 minutes and 50 seconds. Shorter than running out for a cup of coffee.
Enjoy and Welcome Spring!
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
There’s no denying that Spring is on the horizon. In NYC, we thought it would never come but our unusual east coast patience is paying off. Beautiful sunny days are squeezed between snow flurries and there’s no ignoring the excitement on everyone’s rush hour faces when it’s still daylight at 6pm. Hooray Daylights Savings Time!
The Spring Equinox officially arrives on March 20th. The change of seasons are a very powerful time of the year. They signify a shift in cycles and instead of resisting, going with the natural flow of the seasons allows the best flow in our lives. In Feng Shui, Spring signifies beginnings, fresh starts, growth and renewal. The element is Wood and the color is Green.
We have about a week to prep for this seasonal shift. Here are some tips that can help you move easily into this time of renewal and new beginnings:
1. Spring clean your internal environment. This would be a good time to examine your diet and think about gradually moving away from warmer, heavier foods like pastas and sauces (I know, if it snows again, I give you an excuse) and bring in more fresh “green” produce like spinach, green juices/smoothies, salads. Our body will want to naturally want to release, detox and renew. Stay tuned as next month I’ll be speaking about my Spring Cleanse.
2. Spring clean your external environment. I know that this really isn’t what you want to hear but I promise you, it doesn’t have to be a daunting task. It can be something small like your reorganizing your wallet, tidying your entryway so the entry is not obstructed or the getting to the “shred” pile. Tackling and finishing a nagging task will greatly help energy move because you will be completing the old and making way for the new.
3. Move something in your home - Many believe that Feng Shui is only about moving furniture. Yes, that can be true, but if you follow my blog, you realize that it’s much, much more. In this case though, I would like for you to move furniture. Is there something in your home that you have been wanting to get rid of, that’s broken or needs a fresh coat of paint? Maybe you’ve been meaning to move your desk from one room to another. Now’s the time to do it. Moving it now, will again, move the energy and get you prepped for the new energy of Spring!
4. Open the windows! Chi, or energy needs to be changed regularly to allow balance and flow in our lives. We can do things on a daily basis – such as mediation and yoga- to consistently keep our energy in balance but when we get the opportunity to physically change the energy, we jump on it! On a nice day, open all your windows for at least 20 minutes. When you’re done, spray a citrus scent to keep the air uplifted. Or go the natural route and peel and orange and eat it!
5. Make a list of what you would like to begin. This is where the real work begins. Don’t shy away from this one. Find an hour in your schedule this week and think about how your winter has progressed. Think about the months to come and write down on a sheet of paper – free form – all the things you would like to accomplish from March 20 to June 21 (Summer solstice). Then go through the choices, be ruthless and honest about what can really be done in 3 months. Eliminate until you are down to 3 things. Then get started.
Taking these steps will definitely get you off to a good start and get you energized for Spring. We are in the Year of the Horse, a year full of vigor and movement so this is the year to get the things you have always been wanting to tackle, done. Remember to be intentional and don’t forget to allow down time so that you don’t burn out. Spring ahead!
Friday, February 21, 2014
This has been one looooong winter. I’m not complaining because (please don’t hate me) I’m one of those lucky folks who is not really affected by NY’s crazy weather changes. But one thing that does get me down is hearing people complain about the weather all the time and I mean, all. the. time. When people see me smiling when it’s -10 degrees (with the lovely wind chill) and yet another snow storm on the horizon, they first say, “what the heck??” then ask, “how do you stay so cheery in this weather?”
I am going to share my two secrets winter tools. First, I do my best to eat really, really well. It is very easy to fall into the habit of eating gooey, warm comfort foods before hiding under the covers. Oh yeah, I’ve done that too. But I realize what really makes me and keeps me feeling great is eating vibrant foods. Green kale, orange squash, red peppers, yellow tomatoes. How can you feel down eating all those beautiful colors? I sometimes eat them raw but cook them up in stews and stir fries. It cheers me up while I cook and makes me feel like a rockstar when I’m done chowing.
Here’s my second winter doldrum busting tool and it’s a powerful one, I promise. It’s something that when I am feeling my lowest, will lift me up in the first 3 seconds. It’s my rebounder. No, I am not in a temporary pick-me-up relationship. I am talking about my personal trampoline. You heard me right, I have a trampoline in my New York City apartment and no, my head has not gone through the ceiling as many think. This has literally been my lifesaver. I put on my tunes and get to dancing and bouncing for a good 20+ minutes. I dare you to feel down after that. Aside from a uplifted mood, the benefits are endless.
So there you have it. That’s how Susan gets her groove back in the dead of winter. Do you have any chi boosting activities that you would like to share?
Disclaimer: Always check with your doctor before beggining any exercise regime and be sure to not do these things in the order I mentioned (bounce first, eat second)!
Friday, February 14, 2014
Happy Valentine’s Day! For some, it’s a day that has been long prepared and waited for. For others, it’s a day that can not be over quickly enough. A big reason this holiday is dreaded is a lack of a romantic partner. Yes, that is definitely what Hallmark would like for you to feel. If you’re not loved by another, what and who are you? Nonsense I say!
It’s possible to love and be loved by others than a romantic partner. In Feng Shui, the “relationship” area, located in the top right hand corner of the room from where your front door is, not only pertains to romantic relationships, but to all your other relationships – family, colleagues even your landlord! See how expansive and inclusive this is?
One person though we very often leave out of the equation is ourselves. You know, good ole Me, Myself and I. That’s a big one. How many of us can really say that we truly love ourselves? I know you have heard it a million times before but it’s because there is so much truth in it, “You cannot love or receive love properly until you love yourself unconditionally.” Which mean no complaining of belly flab or wrinkles. Focus on what is wonderful about your life and yourself. In celebration of Valentine’s day, I ask that you do something nice for yourself today. Look in the mirror and give yourself a compliment and really mean it. Order yourself a nicer tea or coffee than usual. Buy yourself flowers and put it in the relationship section of your bedroom. Take a 15 minute music break and don’t feel guilty about it. The more you feed your spirit of self love, the more you are giving back to the Universe and to the world. I have said it and I’ll say it again, it’s all about Love people. Love. So many issues can be resolved if we really took this to heart. And yes, pun intended.
Some great quotes inspired by self love. Happy Valentine’s Day!
- You must love yourself before you love another. By accepting yourself and fully being what you are, your simple presence can make others happy. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love & affection. ~Buddha
- Love is the great miracle cure. Loving ourselves works miracles in our lives. ~Louise L. Hay
- Loving yourself… means welcoming yourself as the most honored guest in your own heart, a guest worthy of respect, a lovable companion. ~Margo Anand
- I celebrate myself, and sing myself. ~Walt Whitman
- Find the love you seek, by first finding the love within yourself. Learn to rest in that place within you that is your true home. ~Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
- I love myself for I am a beloved child of the universe and the universe lovingly takes care of me now. ~Louise Hay
- Whatever you are doing, love yourself for doing it. Whatever you are feeling, love yourself for feeling it. ~Thaddeus Golas
- To love yourself right now, just as you are, is to give yourself heaven. Don’t wait until you die. If you wait, you die now. If you love, you live now. ~Alan Cohen
- Our first and last love is self-love. ~Christian Nestell Bovee