June 15th, 2015
In Feng Shui, summer is a fire season, which means its hot temperatures make the fire element more intense. As with anything in life, too much of a good thing can be unhealthy. Let’s explore fire in more detail.
The Energy of Fire
Fire is vibrant, enthusiastic, warm and expansive. It is social and playful, as well as transformational. Because fire is prominent during summer, this season more than any other is about joy.
Fire is represented as the color spectrum of red and all forms of lighting such as sunlight, landscape lights, candles, bonfires, etc. The shapes that denote fire are triangular (like flames), pyramid and conical. People, animals, wildlife, and pets all represent fire. Any depiction of people and animals like animal prints, leather and suede, are also fire.
Fire personalities are joyful, expressive, spontaneous, playful, enthusiastic, warm, and magnetic. They can also be unpredictable, scattered, irresponsible and overly dramatic. In the body, the fire element supports the heart and small intestine.
A space with balanced fire elements is warm and inviting, social and fun. Too many fire elements may emphasis impatience, cruelty and even hatred. In the body, excess fire leads to inflammation, and heart problems even high blood pressure.
Harmonizing Excess Fire
There are three ways to address the excess fire element; the water element, the earth element and removal.
- The water element – Add water elements to your space, engage in water element activities and eat water element foods. This yang approach to harmonizing fire is called the destructive cycle.
- The earth element – Add earth elements to your space, engage in earth element activities and eat earth element foods. This yin adjustment is called the reducing cycle.
- Removal – Offset too much fire is by removing actual fire elements in the environment, reduce the consumption of fire element foods and reduce the level of fire activities.
Tips inside the home: reduce the wattage in your bulbs, turn on less lights, remove red accessories, bring in images of water, use a humidifier, diffuse with lemon grass essential oil, store away animal print fabrics, etc.
Tips outside the home: install a water feature near the front entrance, add yellow & white flowers, create a container garden with ceramic pots, use brick pavers to break up lawns, trim away excess plant materials, use black mulch in your garden, etc.
Use your creative skills to take the excess heat out of summer and have yourself some fun!
April 24th, 2015
“If you try to force life to follow your will, you may well succeed in achieving your goals, but at what cost? By moving against nature, you deny yourself true happiness & replace it with an addiction to stress.” -Richard Rudd, Gene Keys
January 23rd, 2015
“There is nothing worth doing in life unless it is done with absolute commitment. It doesn’t matter whether you love it or hate it, if you attempt anything half-heartedly you might as well not attempt it at all. Without commitment, action lacks power or direction and above all, it lacks luck. This last comment may sound rather odd, but there exists a universal law that anything that is done with full commitment carries within it the seed of good fortune.” –Richard Rudd, Gene Keys
November 20th, 2014
I see an abundance of posts about experiencing happiness. And while I don’t disagree that experiencing health, vitality and aliveness is important, happiness is just a spectrum on the emotional wave. About half of the population on the planet have emotional definition. That means we (yes, I’m emotionally defined) live on a continuous wave that has ebbs and flows just like the tides! Happiness exists at the high end of the wave. And at the low end of the wave is the exact opposite. These up and down emotional movements do not mean something is wrong with you or me. It’s just part of the emotional landscape. I can tell you, I sometimes feel crappy for no reason. Any by no reason, I mean I’ve cultivated a life with an amazing man, live in a vibrant community, and love the work I do with others. And yet, the lows can sometimes bring me to my knees. If I choose to just be in that space without trying to change it or identify why I feel that way, it doesn’t lead to depression. The truth is I learn a lot about myself and others in those spaces. I’ve discovered it is critical for me to not identify or try to change where I am. Instead I often choose to surrender to the experience and take good care of myself. Here are some of the things I do to support being at the low end of the emotional wave:
- I decline social invitations.
- I record and watch shows like Ellen, The Tonight Show, Jimmy Kimmel, and the Late Show with Seth Meyers. Laughing is good medicine!
- I visit websites with images and videos of baby animals.
- I do my nurturing behaviors like get a massage, go for walks, read a good book, etc.
- I stay away from sources of negativity, whether it’s the internet, television, people, and places. I just can’t handle it when I’m in a low space.
- I listen to my favorite music.
- I express my creativity through my favorite hobbies like playing with the ArtRage app or inventing a new meal with items in the pantry.
- I am mindful of whining and complaining. I’ve noticed these behaviors by me (and others) are very toxic.
What happens is I will move along my emotional wave back to my happy place. It’s important to remind myself I’m not really in charge of when that will happen.
November 05th, 2014
I cannot stand the HE (high efficiency) lighting available. What is the best lighting for a home? What do you use? Thank you in advance!
I use and recommend full spectrum incandescent light bulbs (like Verilux, Chromalux) for the lamps and fixtures where I spend the most time. For example, reading lights, lights over the kitchen sink, in closets, and bathrooms. For everything thing else, I use LED bulbs. I don’t use CFL bulbs because I do not like the light produced and I don’t want the hassle of hazardous recycling required when they burn out. (They contain mercury.)
August 21st, 2014
We have neighbors who don’t take care of their property and intrude upon us. In addition, we don’t get along at all. What feng shui suggestions do you recommend for this situation?
It is very difficult having neighbors that aren’t a harmonious match to yourself. When moving is not an option, I recommend creating physical boundaries between the two properties. Examples of physical boundaries are (but not limited to) fencing, greenery, and hedges. In addition, I recommend opaque window coverings that create a physical boundary from inside the home.
A more extreme form of boundary is sometimes indicated. In this situation, hang mirrors facing your neighbor that are hidden behind paintings and art inside the home. The reason you’ll need to cover them with art is because you will hang them backwards and they will look odd. Depending on the size of the boundary, you may need to repeat the mirror “cure” every 8 – 10 feet of wall space.
Burying quartz crystals in the ground and creating an energetic barrier may also be necessary. If you need to do this option, feel free to send me an email (LivingLifeInFlow@gmail.com) and I’ll give you specific instructions for doing so.
August 05th, 2014
In my 12+ years of doing Feng Shui consultations, I’ve learned to shy away from making blanket statements. Instead, my answer to a general question is, “It depends.” It depends on the specific individuals living in a space, surrounding homes and businesses, vegetation, traffic patterns, road configurations, climate, etc.
There can be an instance where a southern facing home needs a correction due to an abundance of the fire element. For example, a southern facing home with intense sunshine in a desert with fiery occupants would indicate an extreme amount of fire. In this instance, I would suggest the client or business owner install a water feature out front.
In addition, I will always say, “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it!”
August 04th, 2014
Because we have a small bedroom and the there are two doors in our bedroom, it feels like it’s grand central station. So, we have positioned our bed against one of the walls that has a door and the bed is backed up against it. We are trying to come up with ways to block the door with curtains and/or painting it the same color as the walls. Do you have any suggestions for this kind of dilemma?
When a bedroom contains two entrance doors, functionality is limited and two entrances can make the bedroom too active (yang). If the budget allows, I recommend permanently sealing up the door by removing it and repair the opening with plaster/dry wall. For a simpler and more economical solution, make the door visually go away by covering it with drapes. See my drawing below as an example. Cheers to a good night’s sleep!
August 01st, 2014
What is the best thing to do when you’re starting a new job?
Starting a new job can be both exciting and stressful. A new job requires mental clarity (metal), stability (earth), courage (water), growth (wood) and recognition (fire). I suggest you carve out a small space on your desk that represents each one of these elements. For example, in front of a round mirror (both water and metal), place a live plant in a clay pot (both wood and earth) and a red candle (fire).
Be creative in your application of using all five elements. Use this booklet to help you come up with a personal and powerful display to anchor your success in your new job!
July 28th, 2014
How does one “get in the mood” to clear out all of the crap you don’t need or want anymore?
This is a great question and a common dilemma. When you have an abundance of things you don’t need or want, chi becomes extremely yin or stagnant. Bringing in healthy doses of yang chi into your space is helpful. Yang elements are bright, loud, high, masculine, shiny, smooth, hard, etc. Here are some examples:
- Bring in extra light by opening all the windows & blinds, turning on all the lights, and even bringing in more lamps.
- Put on your favorite lively music and crank it up.
- Remove excess elements of earth. Earth is square and rectangle shapes, pottery, ceramic, very heavy objects, earth tones, tile, and brick. Think soil (not plants) and anything made out of the earth (not rocks). More here: Earth Element
- Turn on fans to circulate air.
- Invite friends over for a purge party and provide a lovely meal afterward.
Spend a few minutes considering things you can do or add to your space that pump you up. Please share in the comments what you tried and what worked for you!