Yay, it’s the Holidays?

Yay, it’s the holidays…hip hip hooray…
Yay, it’s the holidayssigh…

The commercialism of all the holidays this time of year can bring about a sense of child-like wonder.  The joy and perfection shared on social media, television, and print gets us thinking.

But it’s not always the happy-happy-joy-joy you see portrayed.  Many don’t have the experience, that history; or they want to feel that way but the reality doesn’t hold up to the expectation.  Cue the letdown.

Whether you are anticipating the joy or dreading the doom, we have tips and ideas to help you manage your energy, your inner and outer Feng Shui, and make the most of this time of year.  Yes, it really is possible.  No matter where you are on the excitement spectrum.

We asked our members to share with us, what is your favorite Feng Shui tip for getting through the holiday season – including but not limited to family relationships, self care, decorating, travel, etc.  On everything from décor to time to expectations, we got some great advice!


“To save money and reduce the need for storage, I like to use pines and twigs from my garden. Then when the season is over, I can return them to mother nature. No storage is necessary. I also appreciate useful decorations, so I switch out pillows, throw blankets, placemats.  Hint: switch out pillowcases rather than the whole pillow, as it takes up less space when storing.”
Michele Heisler, Riverway Consulting

“The lights are my favorite, hanging on my balcony and inside my home, and candles on my tree, along with the traditional lights.   Above all else this fire energy raises the energy of an environment which is the intention.”
Peggy Cross, Transforming by Design

Simplification and Planning

“With everything from gifting to party planning to decorations, a minimalist “less is more” approach can ensure you maintain your sanity and focus on celebrating the season with inner peace and positivity.
Erin Bowers, The Happiest Camper Home

“Planning works well, a little every day.”
Carmel Malone-Quane, Create with Carmel

Intention and Self Care

“Take time for yourself, take time to stop and be still. Even if it’s a five-minute meditation or a full hour of yoga or anything else where you find peace. Find time to rest whether it’s daily or weekly but make sure it’s a dedicated time that’s added to your calendar along with your other tasks and to do lists to help you get through the busy holiday season.”
Marina Umali, Marina V Design Studio

“Simplify and Intention and lots and lots of meditation. Keeping one’s expectations in check is also helpful.”
Charmaine Buskas, Five Elements Feng Shui

“Don’t forget to rest and rejuvenate in this busy holiday season – maintain a meditative space to escape to, and don’t be afraid to say “no” when your body feels taxed, or say your goodbyes (“see you laters”) earlier in the evening than you would have previously. Winters are for hibernating and resting our bodies, take it slow and nourish your health.

“I [also] love the idea to highlight music’s influence during the holidays. I always reconnect with the benefits of music in the winter, and then I seem to forget about it in the summer when I’m out and about more. It’s definitely a time for inward connection.”
Lisa M. Alban, Cloud 9 Feng Shui

“My favorite holiday tip is to rethink the ‘should.’ A lot of stress is created by all of the pressure we put on ourselves. Instead ask is this something that I’d like to do or I could do if I find I have the time.”
Lisa Law, Lisa Law Feng Shui

Gratitude and Love

“Be thankful for what you DO have, and for the people who have supported and loved you through the years.”
Charmaine Buskas, Five Elements Feng Shui

“Practice and share in personal gratitude practices with your friends and family members. Pay attention to friends, family members and neighbors who may be struggling in the winter (depression, lack of heat, difficulty getting out and about). Pay a visit to those who have hidden away – open their blinds, awaken qi, and welcome in nourishing energy.”
Lisa M. Alban, Cloud 9 Feng Shui

Is a Good Front Door Enough?

It’s not enough to get your front door  Feng Shui ready. It may sound shocking, but it’s true. Yes, it should be in great condition and open easily and inviting. BUT…

*Check to see what the path to the door looks like.  Is there a beautiful tree, but it’s branches have grown over and it’s hard to get past or under them while walking to the door.

*Is your door visible from the street?(If not due to direction or angle…there are fixes for that including lighting, flags, etc).

*What’s your curb appeal?  Are your street numbers easy to see? Does all the lighting work? (Is there lighting?)

*Are there hazards such as a hose across a sidewalk, or a broken pathway? Are there pots or decor or seating that make navigating to the door a bit challenging?

So, yes, there’s more to the mouth of chi than a beautiful front door.


Another thing to consider is in what gua is your front door located?  For rectangular or square shapes, the door is often in either

  • Helpful People and Travel
  • Career, or
  • Knowledge and Self-Cultivation

Knowing the gua means you can add extra boosts with regard to that gua to make the outside reflect the inside.  Many people like a black door if the gua opens at Career; or a water feature outside the door (with water flowing toward the structure).  Helpful People might lend you to placing an angel structure or wind chime near the entrance.  These boosts are personal changes that each home owner can select from their personal arsenal for welcoming amazing Feng Shui.  Some will also consider facing directions while discovering their front door energy.

If your door happens to be in another gua, say your structure is not rectangular and is oddly shaped or maybe a U-shape so that your front door is in the Center gua, there are still tips and tricks you can use.  The important thing with odd shaped spaces is to balance out the bagua map and fill either intentionally or physically any missing guas.

Read more about the bagua and it’s sections here.


Wind & Water Center

Wind Water Center

Formerly known as the Wind and Water School of Feng Shui, the Wind Water Center with directors Carole Hyder and Lisa Janusz are excited to share their new programs and catalog.

Q: Please describe your very first coming into awareness about Feng Shui.

A: Carole: I heard someone speak about Feng Shui at a conference. At that moment, I realized that I had intuitively been doing Feng Shui since I was a little girl. I just didn’t have the context or structure for why. The speaker turned me on to His Holiness Professor Thomas Lin Yun.

Lisa: It was the same for me! I was working with someone who was going to hear someone speak about it at a bookstore. She thought I would be interested – and of course she was right. I was captivated. I immediately bought one book, then another, then another – I did a lot of reading initially.


Q: What is your branch of Feng Shui? How have you made it your own?

A: Carole: I have been trained in both BTB and Compass approaches to Feng Shui. Typically, I will examine a space from both perspectives to determine whether one fits the situation better than the other. At times I can subtly blend both schools. Since most of my work is focused on healthcare, I find that Compass works well in that arena.

Lisa: I trained in BTB (through Carole). I really emphasize the empowerment aspect of Feng Shui. I want people to know it’s accessible for them and that even small changes can reap results. I find that it is very personal, so while there are guidelines, people have a lot of leeway in making changes, which inspires me and I hope inspires them.


Q: How has Feng Shui changed your life?

A: Carole: Feng Shui informs not only decisions about my home and office but also about my life. Understanding and applying the principles of yin and yang help reinforce inner balance when I may be struggling with some disparities. The 5 Elements structure exemplifies the power of change and movement which helps me through my own inner upheaval.

Lisa: I would say I live a Feng Shui lifestyle; it’s changed my entire outlook and approach to daily living. It goes back to that empowerment piece, where when things are challenging or in flux, I rely on what I’ve learned to take a fresh look at myself and my spaces. It also clarified a lot for me in terms of why certain spaces are at times uncomfortable. Looking with Feng Shui “eyes,” I understand what is happening and in some cases I can make changes with the tools I’ve acquired.


Q: Describe your school’s approach to teaching Feng Shui.

A: We’re focused on the personal journey, and supporting each person as they take the information and make it their own. Our program is comprehensive, but it’s structured in a very deliberate way. We lay a foundation and then the material builds on itself as we go along. It’s also very experiential. We have a blueprint workbook that each student receives so that they get a lot of practice placing the bagua on different layouts. They also see us doing appointments and do practice appointments themselves to ensure they are comfortable with what they’re learning and can integrate it in a real situation.


Q: What is the newest addition to your curriculum?

A: Our catalog! We’re in the process of further expanding beyond our professional program. We know there is a large need out there for smaller, virtual classes and we’re working to meet that need. We currently have 11 classes and are planning on releasing more each quarter. Our hope is that we can be the one-stop-shop for Feng Shui and other related topics for e-learning.


Q: What is the latest area of expansion for Wind Water?

A: Virtual learning. Even though students have traveled to us for 20 years (!), we know the learning landscape is changing. Online, virtual, e-learning are hot topics for good reason. Technology has expanded opportunities and we’re committed to meeting the need for accessibility, no matter where you live.


Q: Besides yourself, what do you offer that is unique to Feng Shui training opportunities?

A: We provide a lot of support as people go through the program in terms of connecting every couple of weeks and having a private forum where we’re available. Our program incorporates topics like Ming Gua and the I-Ching into our curriculum, which goes beyond Black Sect. We also give students the opportunity for practice through doing their own appointments and providing feedback. It’s that real-life experience that can solidify what they do well and what’s challenging for them. And as they are figuring that out, we’re there for them to ask questions and get clarification.


Q: What is your guiding philosophy about teaching Feng Shui?

A: That each person has a unique perspective and once they learn the foundation material, we really encourage them to make it “their own.” We want each student to walk away feeling confident, knowledgeable and supported. When the material becomes a part of them, they can take that energy out in the world and make a difference in their own lives and the lives of others.


Q: What is your favorite nugget of wisdom about using Feng Shui yourself?

A: Carole: When I was first learning about Feng Shui, I owned another business and I was happily single. Eighteen months after hanging a windchime in the Partnership area of my condo (not because I was looking for a partner but because my bathroom and laundry room were located there), I was thrilled to be selling my business and was engaged to be married. That windchime is still with me (and 25 years later I’m still married to the guy who heard the windchime!).

Lisa: It’s a journey, and a very personal one at that. How I practice Feng Shui has evolved from when I first started learning about it 20 years ago, and even when I was just certified. Feng Shui encourages me, inspires me, grounds me, and has provided me a new perspective for both personal and spiritual growth. It’s been life changing.


Q: What additional training do you offer or plan to offer?

A: For now we’re going to focus on the shorter virtual classes. We may offer additional training in the future, but we’ll have to see where this journey and expansion lead us!


Click here to find out more or see it at Wind Water Center


Carole Hyder, Wind Water CenterMore about Carole

Carole is an internationally recognized consultant speaker teacher author and trainer in the field of Feng Shui. She has been a Feng Shui consultant since 1992 having studied with His Holiness Grandmaster Thomas Lin Yun Her Holiness Crystal Chu Rinpoche and Roger Green. In 1998 Carole founded The Wind and Water School of Feng Shui, now the Wind Water Center. 


Lisa Janusz, Wind Water CenterMore about Lisa

Lisa McCue Janusz is a Feng Shui consultant, speaker and teacher. She graduated from the Wind & Water School of Feng Shui in 2006, after 10 years of personal studies in Feng Shui. She joined the School in 2007 as a consultant and now serves as partner, faculty and registrar. She has studied with Professor Thomas Lin Yun and Khadro Crystal Chu Rinpoche and is a past board member of the Feng Shui Institute of the Midwest.


A Letter to my Younger Self

Hindsight is brilliant.  We can see so clearly what we shoulda/coulda/woulda done differently. 

That being said, consider that if you hadn’t gone through your experiences and your journey, would you really be who you are today?  Simply: No. 

The ups and downs, mistakes and triumphs have shaped who you are today and how you approach the world.  It’s how you approach your work, your passions, your relationships.  It’s even how Feng Shui came into your world.

We take those lessons and we acknowledge them. We embrace them. We share them so others can gain from our experience.  And we live with gratitude for those who have gone before.

We asked our members to share:  what would you tell your younger self (as related to Feng Shui or your business)?

And we love what they gave. How they shared of themselves.  We love who they are.

Prepare to learn and be inspired, to celebrate and grow in your own personal journey.  A special thank you to those who shared your story. 

Someday you will be introduced to Feng Shui.  As you explore its origins, purpose and power, you will find an approach that will guide your choices. It will also help you help others to do the same by applying this discipline, whether it is for healing, reaching intentions, increasing prosperity and open doors to opportunities. You will guide everyone you touch with feng shui, to team with others to change the world to a better place.

Charmaine Buskas
Five Elements Feng Shui

I would say to her worry less about the future. All the things I worried about like money and jobs were wasted energy. The money for things will come. Focus on experiences, and what you are feeling. Don’t override your instincts because you want to please others. Listen to your intuition about people, places, jobs and everything. Take up a meditation practice and stick with it.

  • Keep learning! In both feng shui and business.
  • Also don’t give up! Feng shui isn’t known in some parts of the western world. Look at it as a chance to increase awareness.
  • Be proud! Don’t be shy to talk about what you know and how excited you are to be doing it.

I’d tell my younger self to let go of a corporate career that no longer honored my talents, interests, and soul; and to take the plunge into my Feng Shui professional career much earlier. Being able to help others is so rewarding and fulfilling. Love what you “do” and success will follow.

Trust your instinct and don’t rush the process, for both feng shui and business.

I’d counsel my younger self to ask more questions; no matter who tells you to shut up and sit down! Seek out a mentor early and find out more about the universe. Life can be a long road of lessons. It’s much easier to walk with someone else than travel alone.

I’d say, don’t expect to go from 0-60 in this journey/career. Give yourself time to breathe and learn. Experience and building confidence are everything.

I would tell her to trust her intuition and feelings about a space – regardless of what it appears like on the surface.

I would also say filter less and say more. Again, following intuition about what to share, even if it seems strange to say it because this is usually what the client most needs to hear (or addresses an unspoken question or need).

When I was young, I was told by everyone what I COULDN’T DO.  I was told over and over that my childhood dream of being a pilot was “impossible.” Indeed it was, for the people in that time and place where I grew up.  It wasn’t until I was an adult and living in Canada that I realized the opposite was true.  That I could be whatever I dreamt of.  That’s when my wings grew so that I could fly.  

Long afterwards, it gave me the courage to study and practice Feng Shui. I could still live in a culture where things are considered dubious, but I have learnt to live my passion and my truth.

Three Feng Shui Design Ideas to Boost your Career

Feng shui is a practice that can be seamlessly integrated into the overall decorating and design of your home.  You can add feng shui adjustments in creative ways by incorporating colours, shapes, and objects that activate specific energies and movement.

Your career path in life can also be impacted by feng shui. In fact, feng shui practitioners have many tools and techniques that focus on enhancing careers, boosting job prospects, and for finding direction, and getting clients on a clear path.

Here are 3 basic feng shui design ideas you can play with in your own home to add a little feng shui to your career:

  1. Make space for new things: Doing a review of your space once every few months to remove clutter such as old papers, broken, and redundant items. Old and unwanted items create blockages and stuck energy in your home. Energy should flow through the home like water in a river. Ridding your home of objects that block this flow of energy keeps the qi (energy) moving freely through out your space.
  1.  Place a mirror in your entryway. Mirrors can do many magical things. They can expand and open a narrow space, reduce negative qi by absorbing it, or contained it. A well-placed mirror can reduce disruptive floor plan issues such as an entrance with a ‘brick wall’ effect, it creates space and allows qi to flow more smoothly.
  1. Add water energy to specific areas of your home. Through design elements, you can intentionally add the energy of water to specific areas of your home. You can choose how much or little you would like to add: a piece of art, a piece of sculpture, a vase…

What are the five elements: they are the basic elements of life: fire, earth, metal, water, and wood. In the ancient practice of feng shui, we understand these elements to be more than actual flames, or dirt, or pieces of wood. These elements are universal energetic essences, each with their own characteristics and qualities.

The five elements can be represented in a space through colour, shape, or material. Here are some ways you can manifest the energy of water:


  • The colour black or very dark blue (and gray)
  • Undulating and wavy shapes and patterns
  • A fountain or other container of water i.e. fish bowl
Feng Shui Design for your Career

Paint: the velvety, soft black Baby Seal by Benjamin Moore

Feng Shui Design for your Career

Matte black vases from William Sonoma

Feng Shui Design for your Career

Artwork: Water Up Close and In Motion by Linda Vorderer

Pro tip: Finding your career area using the bagua 

The five elements are a fundamental part of feng shui (The five elements are: water, wood, fire, earth, metal) and the element that is associated with career is water. Water represents your wisdom, the things that flow to you, and how you flow through life. You can activate the career area (Kan), by using the water element. 


What is the bagua? The bagua is an energetic grid that feng shui practitioners use to map a space. Typically, the space being mapped is a house; it can also be a single room, or it can even be a whole plot of land. The bagua is a three-by-three grid with nine areas (called guas) in it. The center of the grid is the tai chi (unity/well-being) and then each of the eight surrounding areas relate to a different part of your life. 

Laying the bagua: Find the main door to your home or better yet try starting with a room (see the example above); you will line the main door of the room with the red line. As you can see in the illustration, there are three areas along what we refer to as the Kan line, and the career area is in the center.

Laura MorrisArticle contributed by Laura Morris, IFSG Board Chair
Laura Morris – founder of Morris Feng Shui and co-founder of Mindful Design Feng Shui School – is a certified Feng Shui consultant, designer, and artist. Through her articles, workshops, videos, TV appearances, and consultations, Laura has guided thousands of people to shift their energy and revitalize their living spaces.  Read more about Laura.



Pin It on Pinterest