Summer time Feng Shui

Summer time is the perfect season to ‘Feng Shui’ your home and garden.

According to Essential Feng Shui®, being in Nature, up close and personal, turns UP the supply of energy that sustains your vitality, loving relationships, and an overall sense of well-being. Essential Feng Shui® also gleans wisdom from Chinese Medicine, relating summer time with laughter and heart-centered activities. Tis the season for projects that are fun and collaborative, and that deepen your connection with Nature.

Summertime Feng Shui with Terah Kathryn Collins

Community Garden by Carolyn Kates

A COMFORTING EMBRACE
A great place to start is to assess how your home is situated on the land. Feng Shui, literally translated as “wind and water,” focuses on your safety, comfort, and happiness. To assure these qualities are literally held in place, homes are ideally located where the elements of wind and the water are not too close and not too far away. These ‘just right’ sites include a protective embrace of natural features such as mountains, hills, or trees around the back and sides, and a beautiful view of water from the front. Open your Feng Shui eyes and take a look at how your location corresponds with these guidelines.

Clearly, the location of most homes doesn’t fit this description. You may live on the edge of a cliff, atop a hill or mountain, or in a canyon or lowland. It may be the opposite of an ideal Feng Shui configuration, with a big hill in the front that blocks incoming Ch’i and a pool in the back that offers little protection. Relax. The good news is there are many ways you can capture the essence of an ideal location. And, the more your projects are fun for you and your kids, family members, friends, and neighbors, the better!

For instance, throw a potluck party with close friends and plant evergreen plants in your back yard together. Eat, drink, and make memories while adding a natural backbone of protection to your home. Create your own little ‘barn raising’ by inviting the neighbors over to help install side yard foliage or fencing, followed by a barbeque. Neighborly collaboration increases a comforting embrace around your home in more ways than one. Involve your children in choosing and planting ornamental or fruit trees to define a property line. The fruit and flowers of your labors will nurture your family and enhance your sense of safety, comfort, and beauty throughout every season.

Don’t have any land to play with? There’s still plenty of things you can do to enhance your location. Houseplants, screens, art depicting Nature, and window treatments can be arranged to promote your sense of security, comfort, and beauty indoors.

Summertime Feng Shui with Terah Kathryn Collins

Photographer: Unknown

A WATER VIEW
Water is classically located in front of a house to increase the energy flow into your home. When you don’t already have a water feature in your front yard, you can add one via a birdbath, fountain, urn, pond, stream, pool, or waterfall.

When choosing a fountain, select one that flows 360 degrees around, like many fountains in plazas and courtyards. Or, install a waterfall or fountain to face toward your front door, directing the flow of Ch’i into your home. Most kids love water, making it a fun Summer project to find and install the water feature with them.

No front yard? Consider placing a small water feature or aquarium in your foyer or entry area. When there is space for it, create your own mini-garden by including plants or flowers in your design.

Please note that any water feature requires maintenance. While a bird bath or fountain takes a few minutes to maintain each week, a stream, pool, pond, or aquarium may require hours. When choosing a water feature that’s right for you, consider the time that you or a hired professional will need to keep it fresh and beautiful. Once you’ve made a choice, enjoy your water view, knowing that it is a timeless Ch’i enhancement, prized for uplifting and nurturing all aspects of your life.

Looking for more ‘fun shui’ Summer projects? Here are 9 more ways to enjoy yourself:

  1. Grow food! Integrate veggies and fruit trees into your garden design; fill planters with edibles; and team up with neighbors to grow and harvest food together.
  2. Include bird feeders, plants having berries and flowers that birds and butterflies love, and other enhancements that encourage helpful creatures to visit your garden.
  3. Design an gracious path to your front door that includes points of interest, such as statuary, wind chimes, a water feature, or seating.
  4. Create a fabulous view outside every window and door. Be creative!
  5. Design curvy meandering pathways, patios, and borders to compliment the straight lines of your home’s architecture.
  6. Create aesthetically pleasing and organized storage areas for trash cans, tools, and garden supplies.
  7. Plant protective landscaping in the front of your home when it’s located on a busy street, at the end of a cul-de-sac, or at a T-junction.
  8. Include very comfortable outdoor seating where you can relax and enjoy your surroundings.
  9. Install plenty of lovely lighting to enhance the safety and enjoyment of your handiwork. 

Summertime Feng Shui with Terah Kathryn Collins

Photo by Amy Chini

Remember, the fun, laughter, and camaraderie you enjoy sows Good Ch’i into everything you do. May your Summer time projects remind you of great times with lovely people for years to come!

 

Terah Kathryn Collins is a best-selling author and the founder of the Western School of Feng Shui®. She is also the originator of Essential Feng Shui®, which focuses on the many valuable applications Feng Shui has in our Western culture while honoring the essence of its Eastern heritage.  Read more about Terah.

 

Accentuate the Negatives

Did you know that there are some negatives which dynamically support your well being, and in fact are crucial for your survival? Did you know that some positives are actively comprising your health and well being right now? Please keep reading this article by EcoHarmonyFengShui(c) Biophilic Designer Alisa Rose Seidlitz, to learn how to accentuate the negatives and THRIVE!

 

Alisa Rose Seidlitz

  

“Accentuate the negative, eliminate the positive, don’t mess with Mr. Inbetween” – a turn-around take on that old 20th century tune re-framed for today’s world!

For the healthiest feng shui, flood your days and nights with certain essential negatives and minimize certain positives in your environments at home and at work. I’m referring here to the components of charged atoms called negative and positive ions.

Negative ions have an extra electron and positive ions are missing an electron.

Negative ions abound in Nature and make us feel good!

They lift our spirits, help us relax, help us think clearly and breath easily, and boost our overall physical health.

Spending ample time in negative-ion-rich outdoor spaces benefits every part of us!

Alisa Rose SeidlitzThe splashing water of oceans, rivers, streams, waterfalls and fountains creates them. Sunlight, rain and thunderstorms generate them. Trees and other plants constantly emit them. Negative also help clear particulate pollution from the air. All this gives us fresh and healthy air!

Indoors, houseplants, gently splashing fountains and natural furnishings help tip the balance in favor of the negatives ions.

Until the Industrial Revolution, negative ions infused all the places and spaces where people chose to live. Today, our world is literally chocking with positive ions, outdoors as well as indoors.

Concrete, asphalt, plastic and synthetic materials of all kinds, including but not limited to synthetic fabrics, lighting fixtures, paraben candles, mattresses, cosmetics, chemical-based “air fresheners”, all sorts of furnishings, building materials, cleaning products, as well as computers and ALL electronic devices, generate positive ions. Exhaust fumes and particulate pollution also generate massive amounts of positive ions.

Sadly, even hospital environments are packed with them.

Positive ions create the conditions which promote stress and illness.

Our bodies need to recover from being in positive-ion-dominant spaces.

On the other hand, negative ions promote excellent health. In fact, they’re necessary for developing and maintaining it.

For a truly complete Healthy Home Feng Shui Assessment, the balance of these ions in any given space should be addressed.

Some Personal Ways to Minimize the Positives & Accentuate the Negatives

~ Stop all pesticide use both indoors and outside.
~ Stop using synthetic “air fresheners.”
~ Clean with Nature’s “products” such as lemon, high quality essential oils, vinegar and baking soda or organic ready-made products, and wash with in natural laundry detergent.
~ Sleep on natural, untreated or organic bedding.
~ Make your next mattress an untreated, organic one.
~ Use organic, non-gmo, non-nanoized bodycare products and cosmetics.
~ Choose to wear natural, untreated fabrics such as linen, silk, wool, hemp and organic cotton.
~ Choose beeswax candles, which emit negative ions, instead of synthetic candles.
~ Take a shower. Let the water splash on and all around you, cleansing your body and clearing your aura.
Alisa Rose Seidlitz~ Take a walk in the woods. The longer and more often the better, but even a few short while can be hugely beneficial.
~ Walk or sit by splashing ocean waves or by a babbling brook.
~ Bring fresh-cut, untreated flowers into your spaces, along with potted plants.
~ Plant trees.
~ Make and/or tend a garden directly in the ground or in planting pots.
~ Use beeswax candles, which smell wonderful and emit negative ions, instead of ‘regular’ wax candles, which emit positive ions even when not burning.

AND, to make the world a more beautiful, healthier, happier place for everyone:

~ Work to stop pesticide use in your town or city.
~ Encourage your town or city to reduce paved areas and to Bring Nature Back!

Go outside and find a place to experience the Joy of Nature and Her Negatives for yourself!

Author’s Note: Beware of manufactured negative ions generators. They can emit toxic plastic fumes and significant background noise, and cause more problems than they solve. Make sure to do extensive due-diligence before purchasing, and it’s a good idea to make sure that what you buy is returnable.

 
Alisa Rose SeidlitzAlisa Rose Seidlitz is a longtime Ecological Garden Designer, Certified Green Building Professional, GreenAP for Interiors, Graceful Lifestyles Certified Interior Re-Designer, Flower Essence and Reiki Practitioner.  Read more about Alisa Rose. 

Photo Source: Alisa Rose Seidlitz

This Feng Shui is for the Birds

Have you seen a bird today? Did you hear its song? Did you know that birdsong helps plants grow? The presence of birds and their songs lifts our spirits and raises the energy of our spaces. Keep reading to learn more about how to make your garden both feng shui and nature friendly by Alisa Rose Seidlitz.

You’ve probably heard that for good Feng Shui it is essential to get clutter cleared away, yes? Keeping clutter around usually drags us down. So you may be surprised to learn that sometimes, in some places, keeping “clutter” is literally essential for sustaining LIFE. Keeping it in our gardens and for the birds, that is!

As the seasons change, birds are migrating and clean-up is in full swing in the garden. However, did you know that leaving some clutter, some ‘mess’, greatly helps the birds?

Birds and Nature, Alisa Rose SeidlitzBirds feed on bugs and worms they find on plants, in healthy soil and mulch, on berries and other fruit, and on the seeds which form after flowers finish blooming.  What we consider messy areas needing clean-up are actually great foraging places for birds. In fact, birds depend on finding these sources of nourishment more than ever now.

Due to multiple factors, including urban expansion, drought or flooding, and use of pesticides, there’s much less available to feed upon in the wild. So our gardens become crucial habitat and food resources for birds, pollinators such as bees and butterflies, and other wildlife.

By doing less, by reframing what you consider mess, and by letting the ‘clutter’ stay awhile, you can truly help!

In urban environments and even in the suburbs, birds, like all living beings (including humans!) still need at least some ‘wildness’ to thrive!

A wide variety of plants provide seeds which birds need and enjoy.

  • Instead of deadheading (removing) spent flowers, leave the seed heads in place for birds to dine upon.
  • Instead of raking or sweeping away fallen leaves, let them stay on the ground, as birds love to forage there.
  • Leave thickets of plants, even dry-looking, with spent flowers and all, as shelter.
  • Dried flower stalks, too, offer great perches to keep birds safe, even during wintertime.

In addition to making meals, the ‘mess’ in your garden makes bird nests! They use dried grasses, twigs, plant stems, leaves, bits of bark, grass clippings and even animal hair to make their homes.

Birds and Nature, Alisa Rose Seidlitz     Birds and Nature, Alisa Rose Seidlitz    Birds and Nature, Alisa Rose Seidlitz

The above photos shown here were taken at Ashby Community Garden in Berkeley, California – a delightful, free-flowing, rustic and bountiful place, where food for humans grows, along with a smorgasbord of yummies for our fellow creatures. With soft and permeable sheet-mulched pathways and deep, healthy soil, this pollinator garden has continued to thrive despite the drought.  Birds, butterflies, native bees and others abound among various yarrows, salvias, scabiosa, yellow dock, echinacea, buddleia, feverfew, sunflower, asclepias, tithonia and lavender, to name just a few plants which have free and ‘messy’ range. At one point recently, scores of little birds (finches, perhaps?) sat on a dry fennel stalks, eating well and loudly singing out their gratitude!

During dry weather, in every season, please remember to put out a bit of water somewhere in your garden for birds and pollinators (yes, pollinators also need sustenance year ’round), and of course do lighten your load of clean-up chores by leaving it for the birds!

That’s the BEST Feng Shui!

  
Alisa Rose SeidlitzAlisa Rose Seidlitz is a longtime Ecological Garden Designer, Certified Green Building Professional, GreenAP for Interiors, Graceful Lifestyles Certified Interior Re-Designer, Flower Essence and Reiki Practitioner. Read more about Alisa Rose.

Taking Nature’s Lead – How Weeds Can Be Beneficial to Your Garden

The very first people who practiced Feng Shui keenly observed Nature. Intimate with the world surrounding them, they designed their dwellings in harmony with the land, for optimal human health and well-being. Learn more about how weeds and all plants can be beneficial to your garden, your life, and your Feng Shui, by Eco Feng Shui Designer, Consultant & Educator, Alisa Rose Seidlitz

Today, for the most part, we’re living in a world where our designs, and other actions, have disturbed and disrupted Nature on a vast scale. Today, it’s imperative, not only for good health, but for the survival of our species, that we once again become keen observers, then take Nature’s lead. It’s vital that we let Nature show us the way to harmony, instead of overriding it as we have done for so long.

When practicing feng shui, the place to start at home is on the outside, and today, there’s a lot to heal regarding the land on which we live.

Dancing to Nature’s tune, taking steps in harmonious response to what Nature shows us, makes life easier!

 

Alisa Rose Seidlitz, weeds and nature

 

Wonderful Weeds!

When practicing Feng Shui, the place to start at home is on the outside, and today, there’s a lot to heal regarding the land on which we live.

Are you concerned about the growth of weeds in your garden? Is it a constant challenge to keep them under control?  As a Bay Friendly Garden Design Educator and Feng Shui Designer, I’m often asked how to get rid of weeds, how to stop them from growing.

But guess what! Weeds can be wonderful! On every plot of land, weeds will grow. Weed seeds come from near or far. They spread by runners or rhizomes, are carried on the wind and in the bellies of birds. Where soil has been badly disturbed and where herbicides have been used, weeds WILL grow. Whichever method one uses to remove them, they will eventually return.

The surprise is that many plants which we typically identify as “weeds” are actually tremendously useful and ecologically necessary. Many common weeds have medicinal value for humans and other animals, along with qualities which heal soil. They also serve pollinators such as bees and butterflies.  Birds thrive on the seeds of “weeds.”

Plants which nature grows always have a purpose in the living ecosystem of soil. They bring needed nutrients or remove pollutants, add organic matter and aerate heavy clay. Their presence shows us what’s going in the soil. “Weeds” and their health are soil health indicators. Healthy soil is the foundation of a beautiful, easy care garden, thus most weeds are truly our partners, not our enemies.

In a real sense, a weed is simply a plant growing where we think it shouldn’t. When we relax and readjust our focus, we can see the purpose and beauty all around.

Shall We Breathe?

Like other plants, those we call “weeds” provide oxygen, take in CO2, and help build up the beneficial microbes in the soil. It is the Beneficial Microbes which absorb CO2 and other greenhouses from the atmosphere. Allowing healthy soil to sequester the excessive greenhouse gasses is what will enable destructive climate change to be turned around.

 

Alisa Rose Seidlitz, weeds and nature

 A Few Weeds We WANT (really!)

Important to Remember: These plants bring in beneficial insects which are essential for the good health of our gardens.

Clover: a legume, it ‘fixes’ (add) bio-available nitrogen.

Yellow Dock: long taproot, helps break up and aerate compacted soil.

Plantain: presence signals low pH/balances soil pH, adds beneficial microbial life.

Black Medick (tiny leaves which get very dark with age, tiny yellow flowers): especially needed now in drought effected areas, as it fixes nitrogen while helping to retain moisture.

Dandelion: indicates soil fertility, taproot helps break up and aerate compacted soil.

Self-Heal: heals disturbed, acidic soil

Horsetail: helps remove heavy metals, indicates poor drainage

Crabgrass: shows very low levels of calcium and phosphorus, low pH, low humus

Yellow-Flowering Oxalis: shows very low levels of calcium and high levels of magnesium

Fennel: while Fennel is on “invasive” plant lists, it’s good to remember that all plants “placed” by Nature have purpose, so let’s consider the following:

  • Fennel is extremely drought tolerant, growing by the side of freeways and in otherwise barren center strips, brightening and beautifying those areas where almost nothing else will grow.
  • Fennel is a fantastic and much needed bee plant!
  • Also deeply nutritious and medicinal, it’s used in many recipes.
  • Needing zero watering, if it happens to it show up in your garden, feel blessed, and use it in the design!

This is only a small sampling of the many additional plants which we tend to consider “in the way” also fit into the “blessings” category.

All of the above plants, except crabgrass, can be considered edible in one way or another, are nutritious (although some, like yellow-flowering oxalis, in very limited ways and quantities), and have a variety of medicinal qualities. Some can be used as natural dyes.

Again, except for crabgrass, all are much needed by bees!

 

Alisa Rose Seidlitz, weeds and nature

 

Please never use chemical herbicides to get rid of weeds. Not only will weeds return, all “cides” destroy pollinators and the microbial life of healthy soil, too, and of course are detrimental to all life, including humans.

Planting with Purpose

Choose and place plants so that at maturity, they cover and shade the ground, thus precluding most weed growth.

Ask & Share

With prayerful attention, find a spot which you’re willing to share with the plants that you consider weeds, then asking them to move there sometimes works! Doing this feels good, so no harm in trying!

Celebrate!

Every plant can be beneficial if we relax and look carefully. In nature, every plant serves a purpose. All provide oxygen and absorb CO2.

Next time you see a “weed,” celebrate and ask what extra blessing it brings!

  

 

Alisa Rose SeidlitzAlisa Rose Seidlitz is a longtime Ecological Garden Designer, Certified Green Building Professional, GreenAP for Interiors, Graceful Lifestyles Certified Interior Re-Designer, Flower Essence and Reiki Practitioner. Read more about Alisa Rose.

 

 

Article Source: Taking Nature’s Lead
Photos: Alisa Rose Seidlitz

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