Sunday, December 27, 2009

Nature as Nurturer

I have mixed feelings about the holidays. While on one hand, it's great to see family and friends you haven't seen for weeks or months or in some cases longer; it also can be a challenge working all of those people into an already packed schedule that involves the stress of shopping, decorating, cooking, hosting and traveling into a relatively short time span.

Despite all of these holiday happenings, I know deep down I wouldn't want to change much if any of it. So instead I have to find a way to manage my stress better. In Feng Shui, there are many methods to help, and for me I have found the way that works best for me is to draw on nature.

I can look out my back yard and see trees sprouting from a blanket of snow that has fallen over the past couple days. The trees themselves support various hills and valleys of white that cling to their branches. This masterpiece offers a sense of stillness and peace that allows me to re-center myself.

Of course if you don't have this view outside your back window, you can still bring this gift of nature into your home. Consider pictures/posters of nature that you've seen or even have in your home. While they may be simply representations of nature, studies have shown that even pictures of nature have beneficial effects on people's stress levels and emotional well being. Now allow yourself a moment or two each day to just take it in and consider what it is you see -- nature can be awe inspiring.

Be awed, and allow yourself to be nurtured by nature.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Four-legged Feng Shui

I love our dog. Her name is Maggie. She has a tilt to her head that melts my heart and I love that whenever I say her name, her tail begins to wag. When I'm around her, my energy lifts. No wonder dogs, and in fact all of our four-legged friends (and two-legged and no-legged), are good Feng Shui.

For anyone who has a pet they love, I'm sure they'll agree that just having the pet around helps to lift spirits, soothe nerves and re-focus our attention onto something positive. Good Feng Shui can be defined as an environment that makes you feel good. Well, there's nothing like a purr or gentle swish of a fin or a sweet chirp to help you to feel good.

In Feng Shui we use enhancements to direct the energy or chi of a space and intention to attract the kind of chi we seek. Our pets naturally do this for us. For one, they're movement alone directs the energy of a space, keeping it active. (Stagnant energy can create blocks to achieving our goals from a Feng Shui perspective.) For another, when you're near your pet, and enjoying your pet, you are taking a big step toward establishing some positive intentions. Our intentions are driven and reinforced by our emotions. When we feel positive emotions, this helps us to attract more positive emotion -- more energy or chi.

The more chi you have, the greater support you will have in achieving your goals -- and ultimately creating balance.

So enjoy the pets in your lives. Not only do they make you feel good, they create good Feng Shui, naturally.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Wonder of Winter

As the snow blankets us here in the Midwest, it marks an important seasonal change. While not officially winter for another couple weeks, it certainly signals that the new season is about to begin.

In Feng Shui, Winter represents an important time for us -- a time of reflection, a time to look inward, a time to rejuvenate from all that has occurred in the past year and begin to plan for the next. We can take a cue from the many animals that hibernate at this time and allow themselves to rest.

You may ask when you have the time to rest. That's a good question, especially in US society today. Resting no longer appears to be a natural state for many of us. We're always on the go, focused on the next task and worried about that looming deadline. This forces us to always be "on," always be "connected." Many people seem to have forgotten even how to rest.

So in the spirit of Winter, I offer this simple advice: stop and breath. You'd be amazed how this can help in the middle of a hectic day, at the end of a long day and even as you rise to greet the day. Stop and breath. Consider the months that the bear is doing just this. You can take a moment every day. Stop and breath.

Once you do, you may find you like it. Go on give it a try. It's good Feng Shui.