Children and Creativity Gua – A Classroom Case Study

Learning is a lifelong journey but to enhance a child’s creativity is extra important to ensure that they will always enjoy learning especially in the classroom. IFSG member Julie Pelletier-Rutkowski outlines how she enhanced the Children and Creativity gua for a client with favorable results.

 

Children and Creativity in the Classroom, Julie Pelletier-Rutkowski

 

Julie’s client was a returning young middle-school reading teacher who was filled with angst about the upcoming school year. She wanted assistance with arranging her classroom for positive chi flow and support for both herself and the students. She identified three issues:

  1. administrative pressure to return students’ work in a timely manner;
  2. distracted students in the classroom unable to focus and prematurely approaching her desk with questions related to the assignment;
  3. stress over difficult students with known behavioral concerns joining the class.

During the visit it was clear that her client had many challenges for the upcoming school year. The focus was primarily on the placement and location of the furniture. We discussed the color scheme and “decorations/art work” in the room and trying to separate yin and yang space; yin space for the students to learn, and yang space for the students to grow.

First, the client’s desk was moved the front corner facing the students to behind the students. She could now watch the students from the back of the room. They created a wide path from her desk to the front of the room, where the blackboard was located. This solved the issue of uninterrupted time to correct papers and return the students’ school work. When students were assigned quiet work, the environment encouraged students to stay on task decreasing the amount of time students were at the teacher’s desk. Lastly, the desk was intentionally placed in the Children and Creativity gua and specific students’ desks in the most helpful and supportive gua; children with family issues in the family gua, students with learning issues in the skills and knowledge gua, and students with health concerns in the center of the room.

The result was quite positive and came quite quickly after implementing the changes. Her client particularly noticed that using the ba gua proved to psychologically/emotionally beneficial. And by keeping a clear walkway to this new “safe area” (desk area), and she retreated there periodically, the students remained calm and most of them stayed on-task.

 
Children and Creativity in the Classroom, Julie Pelletier-Rutkowski

Julie Pelletier-RutkowskiJulie Pelletier-Rutkowski, MS, RN, is owner and principal consultant for Feng Shui Services of New England. She writes, educates and consults about balance and harmony using the Western principles of Feng Shui. Julie has been called the “home care nurse” because she works to heal homes, offices, and workplaces.  Read more about Julie.

Yin & Yang of Children

When it comes to the classroom … The personalities of the children play a large role in how the class behaves, the focus, energy and overall learning environment. It is crucial that you take into account for these differences in your classroom. I believe Feng Shui or Intentional Design (for the left-brained) principles are the answer to creating a classroom that encourages a community of learning. Learn more from Tamara Valentine.

 

Tamara Valentine, Yin and Yang of Children

 

The dictionary defines yin and yang as: two principles, one negative, dark, and feminine (yin) and one positive, bright, and masculine (yang) whose interaction influences the outcome of all things great and small. See list below for distinctions between yin and yang*. It is the interaction and balance that we want to look at, the differences that play well off one another and the other side of the coin when they create chaos. Balance of the two and you create a nurturing environment of give and take … Making sure that both yin and yang are well represented. We can also look at the 5 elements and how they show up in your classroom, that is in another article – “Balancing the 5 Elements in the Classroom”.

So, yin … Quiet, reserved and shy and yang … Loud, rowdy and excitable. Imagine your room filled with only yin or only yang. It would be either really quiet (no sparks) or really chaotic (too energetic), both are very distracting in their own way. As a teacher, you want your students to experience learning in many ways. Sometimes focused, sometimes fun or somewhere in between. By applying some Feng Shui principles, we can make sure there is balanced learning experience.

You only need to look at the opposite side of the list to see what changes you might make in order to change the atmosphere of your classroom. Let us say you have a section or table with yang children … You can move them around and disperse them better among the others which can balance out the overwhelming yang. Let us say you have a bunch of yin children … You could bring in some bright colored paper and let them cover their desktop. Also, consider a classroom that has a majority of yang personality, you will want to bring in yin elements to balance things out … Though to do so, some extra yin will be necessary and/or remove some of the yang elements. Engage the reserved … calm the rowdy. The list is really endless in the things you can do to make everyone feel part of the class, focused ready to learn and enjoying the time they spend in the classroom with you. Of course, every class is different and needs to be tailored to suit you, your kids and your teaching style. Therefore, there is no one way to do things and very little that cannot be changed with some time, effort and consulting.

 

Tamara Valentine, Yin and Yang of Children

 

Create a plan … Take time to look at your students in a different light, which students are yin and which are yang. How can I balance their space or the overall space to accommodate each of the children’s needs. And realize you have the power to change the outcome with a little Feng Shui and intention. A great exercise with the kids is to have them be a part of the changes. You can put them in groups and have them come up with a few ideas of their own on how to make the learning experience better in the classroom. As an adult, we see things in a different way than children. We can make things much more complicated than they need to be.

A happy home and classroom start with the inhabitants. Be sure to address the needs of everyone, sometimes it takes trying different things to ensure the health of the entire class. Don’t be afraid to change things again and again if that is what needs to happen until you get your desired results.

 

Tamara Valentine, Yin and Yang of ChildrenTamara Valentine is the owner and founder of Harmonizing Feng Shui and Feng Shui for Classrooms. She helps build solid foundations through Intentional Design so everyone is able to live life fully. Using her Essential Feng Shui® training to create spaces that support her clients’ goals and dreams and bring balance into their lives. Read more about Tamara.

 

Article/Images Source: The Yin and Yang of Children

Be Feng Shui Savvy While Creating a Sacred Place for Baby to Grow

You’ve waited 9 months to embrace and nurture your little bundle of love, spent time and energy decorating the perfect space to nuzzle noses and count finger and toes. Find out how to set your baby’s path toward peace, success, and joy in this piece by Bridget Saraka.

Be Feng Shui Savvy in the Nursery, Bridget Saraka

As a new parent your nervous, conscientious, and take every little learning curve as a sign of failure on your parenting skills. Friends in their passion to share their little darling’s daily achievements unknowingly create the start of infant Olympics where things become a competition and simple pleasures of just be-ing in the moment become thoughts on the walls.

Yes; these are the formative years and in your desire to inspire strong resilient spirits that will grow and thrive to become successful graduates and accomplished professionals you are already envisioning diplomas on the walls alongside Dora the Explorer, ABS’s and NHL Hockey Jerseys. When Feng Shui-ing for Infant and Toddler rooms think soft, supple mothers skin, think nurturing calm. These little beings came from the den of creation, dark and warm, full of the vibrations of your being, the frequency of your voice. Help their transition into this world by creating a space that reminds them of their first home, where love was heard in the unison of heart beats; yours and theirs.

ADD & ADHD don’t have to be common terms when applying Feng Shui. ATD Attention to Detail can be the Feng Shui Way of creating calm, balanced and focused children spaces that recognizes and considers the importance environmental influences have on the children of the today and the leaders of tomorrow.

Feng Shui Children Spaces Attention to Detail

1. Tape your own voice singing or humming your favorite lullaby or reading an endearing children’s book. Play it at a low volume when you leave the room, you’ll smile when you hear them humming the same song at 17 while their studying for a final.

2. Place the crib or bed where the child can see the door from their pillow, preferably with one side of the bed against a solid wall. I’ve seen many children’s beds placed behind the door, or on the same wall as the door. This does not provide a sense of safety and security as they cannot see you from where they lay. Choose beige flannel sheets and plush blankest or quilts. Hang curtains over blinds to create that den space, plain not print fabrics, soft, not silk. Remember warm and cozy. Keep curtains and blind cords out of curious little fingers reach.

3. Place a family photo on the wall or dresser beside the bed, in a location that they can see from their pillow. You are their safe place, their sanctuary, their first home, remind them of this. A small nightlight calms their spirit and cast a warm glow.

4. Resist the urge to hang shelving on the walls; this creates what Feng Shui considers Sha Ch’i or sharp energy. It starts to feel like someone’s always pointing a ruler at you, not to mention rather accusatory and over time may cause some physical and emotional issues.

5. Keeps all dolls, teddy bears, trains, planes and automobiles away in the closet, preferably in wicker or cloth baskets. It’s not only your children that believe their stuffed bunnies are alive and playful; Feng Shui recognizes that everything is alive with its own vibrational Ch’i. Stuffed toys, dolls, books, plastic items, primary colours are all considered fire energy, being that they are man-made and always active, talking and telling a story.

It’s exciting, I know, to have a new baby, to desire to provide them the best that money can buy every new gadget and gizmo on the market, swing, mobile, go-cart, walker and jolly jumper. But I ask you before jumping into the next phase of power shopping to consider less-is-more and that someday real soon, you will realize that the latest greatest could have paid for the first semester of University. As a Feng Shui Consultant I ask you to apply some Universal Knowledge by being grounded. Grounded doesn’t have to imply, a jail term, it could simply be getting down on the floor and rolling around, crawling on all fours, while being the best ride of their lives.

 

Bridget SarakaBridget Saraka, happily serves clients in Canada and the US through her business, Feng Shui by Bridget. Hybrid Feng Shui (TM) and dowsing are her specialties. Read more about Bridget.

 

 

Article/Image Source: Be Feng Shui Savvy While Creating a Sacred Place for Baby to Grow

The Kids are Allright: A Guide to Handling Kids and Clutter

Learn more ways to help your children manage their “stuff” in this excellent Guide to Handling Kids and Clutter by Tisha Morris

Tisha Morris, a Guide to Handling Kids and ClutterAre you using your children as an excuse for your cluttered home?

If so, you’re not alone.

When I go to people’s home for feng shui consultations, I often hear clients immediately apologizing for their clutter. And then they point the finger at their children (and then their spouse!). While it is true that having a child or children is cause for more things in the house, it doesn’t mean your home has to be cluttered up.

Let’s first differentiate between simply having toys lying around the house AND clutter. For children, clutter would be anything that is no longer being used or enjoyed. And as children quickly grow up and change daily, clutter can pile up quickly. For items sitting around that are not clutter, then those are ripe for organization.

One of the best things about having children is the sense of play that they exude. And so with having kids, the perfectly clean zen home is most likely a thing of the past (that is, if you had it to begin with). That being said, there are some ways to maintain a sense of peace, balance and order in the house without the accumulation of clutter.

Be the Example.

Children learn by watching their parents. If you keep your personal spaces clean, i.e. your bedroom, then they will already have a leg up. Or if you are cleaning up, show your child what you are doing even to the point of narrating the process. Those who are clutter-prone usually had clutter bug parents. It is a learned trait. Stop the cycle in your family!

Teach Your Child Organizational Skills.

Organization is learned. It does not come natural for many people, especially more right-brained folks. So, if you are not the poster child example for your child, then teach them organization. Once they are of an appropriate age, start setting boundaries. Maybe not every room in the house is appropriate for playing. Designate which areas are for play and which areas are for adults. Then create an organization system in their room and closet, i.e. shoe racks, sweater shelves, etc. Show them where their dirty clothes go, where stuffed animals go, and where board games go. Believe it or not, they want to know.

Budget in Clean-up time.

Make it a part of your child’s play time as clean-up time. For example, if they have an hour or two of play-time, dedicate the last 5 or 10 minutes to clean-up time. This will carry over into all areas of their life for the rest of their life!

Make it Fun.

Clearing clutter does not have to be painful. And with children, it’s all about how you sell it. Make it fun, upbeat, and positive. Don’t pass the negative attitude on to your child.

Explain the Bigger Picture.

Clearing clutter can be a great teaching moment for children. Have them help you pack up toys and clothes they no longer use in order to donate to those less fortunate. Children are inherently kind-hearted and will enjoy this process. This will make it easier the next time and the next time until they automatically start collecting unused items.

The bottom line is that children want to live in a clutter-free home. Studies show that they think better, socialize better, and feel better about themselves. With some simple teaching moments from the above list, children will quickly pick up on organizing skills which will benefit them for the rest of their lives.

So the next time you start to point the finger in the household, think about more productive actions you can take. We’ll work on the spouse later!

 

Tisha MorrisTisha Morris is a feng shui consultant, energy healer, and author of Mind Body Home (Llewellyn Worldwide) and Feng Shui Your Life: The Quick Guide to Decluttering Your Home and Renewing Your Life (Turner Publishing). Read more about Tisha.

 

Article/Image Source: The Kids are Allright: A Guide to Handling Kids and Clutter

Dorm Room Feng Shui

With so many kids off to college, Dorm Room Feng Shui Tips help get your new space ready for maximum learning and maximum fun! by Cyndi Martin

Dorm Room Feng ShuiIt is likely that they will be sharing their room with one or more other students and for many, this is a first! It’s hard going from having your own bedroom and bathroom at home to sharing with others. The notorious lack of privacy in college dorms can be both intimidating and a right of passage. Here are some ways to make your dorm life a little more comfortable with a little help from Feng Shui:

Contact your roommate: When I went to college, there was no internet or cell phones to let me know who my roommate would be and how to contact that person ahead of time (I received a letter in the mail with her name and the city she comes from. My first interaction with her was the day I moved in!). Now, kids know well in advance and connect via Facebook or texting.

I strongly encourage you to contact your future roommate, get a feel for each other, and arrange for who will bring what. If she brings a fridge, perhaps you can bring a printer to share? Be sure to set the ground rules on these items so nobody takes advantage. I.e.: you pack her fridge solid with Yoo-Hoo, or she uses up all of your toner.

Don’t bring too much when you go. The necessities, a few conveniences and a luxury or two are the limit for moving in. You can always get more next time you are home, or buy it as needed. If you bring too much it will be far more difficult to get out from under the clutter than if you brought things in slowly. Also, you might end up buying things for your dorm room ahead of time that you find you don’t need. Again, work with your roommate – maybe she has a favorite rug that she is planning to use, so you won’t have to bring one. Clutter is a big issue in dorm rooms and starting off on the right foot is key.

Bunk beds – While they are fun as a kid, they aren’t the best Feng Shui, especially for the person on the bottom! If it is unavoidable, I would light up or use a white sheet over the bottom of the top bunk to create more “space” for the person below. If you can separate the beds this would be much more beneficial for both of you.

More on beds – Try to put a solid wall at your head, and try to be able to see the door while lying in bed without having your feet point directly out the door. It would be ideal not to have storage under your bed, but we all know space is very limited in dorm rooms. Keep it as neat and organized as possible under the bed using cubes or organizing units, and try not to make this the place for storing heavy items.

Mattresses – Dust mites are inevitable but they must be kept to a minimum. Steaming the bed before use, and then vacuuming it will help get rid of many of them before you make the bed your own. Bed bugs are something you must avoid. Get a mattress cover that is made just for this purpose. Often they are plastic and you zip the entire mattress up inside it. If your bed is too hard, add a foam mattress cover and a quilted mattress pad on top of that before your sheets are put on.

Desks – You might not have much of a choice with placement. Ideally, you should not face a wall or have your back to the door. If you do, a small mirror reflecting what is behind you helps. It is best to have your back to a wall.

Mirrors – You should try not to see the reflection of your bed while lying in it. Mirrors are fine in any room, and can even help to make it feel larger. The fact that they reflect light makes the room brighter.

Colors – Opt for more soothing, restful colors for bedding, posters or accessories to help you relax when it’s time to sleep. It will also be less disruptive to your studies. Darker colors will make the room seem smaller. Try to use a variety of colors that represent each of the five elements for balance.

Tap into your best direction using the Eight Mansions formula. Go to www.wofs.com and use the Kua Calculator to discover what number and group you belong to. For example, my twin daughters are East Group and Kua 9. As such, they know exactly which direction their head should point in bed, which way to face when studying, and where to sit when eating. More important, in my opinion, is knowing which directions NOT to face!

Add a crystal globe in the northeast area of your room or the northeast part of your desk to enhance Education Luck.

Plants do help clean the air you breathe, and some are better than others at this. Opt for broad-leaved plants instead of spikey ones. Keep it very healthy: water and allow the sun to shine on it as needed. Adding a live plant enhances the “growth” aspect of the wood element.

Dorm Room Feng Shui - salt lampsA salt lamp could be very beneficial when you have a lot of electronics in a small area. Having two or more people in a dorm room, might mean two laptops, a printer, a TV, fridge, sometimes a microwave, blow dryers, radios, iPods, phones…. This is a lot of stuff in a contained space, and the salt lamp breaks up the positive ions with negative ones. Keep it lit for several hours each day, as it is the heat from the light bulb that activates the salt. Himalayan salt lamps are purest and most effective. There are many different kinds of salt lamps, including ones that plug right into your computer’s USB port.

Try not to keep electronics near your head when sleeping. This is where the salt lamp helps, but it is also best to sleep with all electronics at least five feet away from you to avoid excessive EMF’s. I know that in a small dorm room this may not be possible. Most students I know want a TV in their dorm room. Although this is not considered “good Feng Shui”, it is better to use one without the reflective aspect of a glass or shiny screen.

Electronic/extension cords – keep them as out of sight as possible and do not string them along walls. They should be kept neat, untangled and out of the way. Be sure to have a surge protector for your computer. If you plug everything into one strip it would be great to shut ot all off at night while you sleep.

You are what you eat! The Freshman Fifteen didn’t get its name from healthy-eating eighteen year olds. Find your rhythm and make the time to eat well. We all know it’s quicker to grab a candy bar when we’re in a rush, so allow for the extra time to get a healthy meal between classes and try starting your day with something nutritious. Keep in mind that a strong body and a flourishing mind is the most practical way to have a happy year away from home.

 
Cyndi Martin is a Feng Shui professional from New York.  Article Source:  Dorm Room Feng Shui

 

 

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