Our Response to Covid-19

Like you, and many others around the world, we have been focusing on and thinking about the changes and shifts around the world with relation to Covid-19.  At times, it brings us to a loss for words, what to share, how to continue our mission of intentionally reaching out – especially to our members, but also to the public, and to the world at-large.

No matter how many times we hear the phrase “social distancing,” all we can think is we are leaning in.   

We are leaning in to each other.  To our work. To our friends and families.  Especially those who are sick or dealing with a condition that makes you more vulnerable.  We are leaning in.  Sharing as much positivity as we can muster.  Because we know it makes a difference.  We know it matters.  Our work matters.

We are energy workers – and we know – even as hard as things are for many – we know everything is energy.  We are not letting go of that important premise.  Faith and hope are JUST as contagious as fear.  Fear just feels bigger right now.  Hold on to the hope and share it in waves.

So, through this letter, we are reaching out to let you know, we are standing by you in any way that we can.

We will continue to share goodness, the positive sides of life and energy.  We hope to douse you with Feng Shui love and help you weather the times that are here or that are coming.  Life isn’t always easy – nor does it promise to be.  But we know our tools can help mitigate the valleys and help us move toward the peaks.  Self care is always a big deal – but even more so now with many dealing with illness, changes in economic or food stability, and sheltering in place.  We hope to continue to encourage you with our messages.

For our consultant members and schools, we know as entrepreneurs, working on our own, there are cycles.  We want to continue to promote you as often as we can.  Your business is important to us.  You are important to us.  You always have been.

  • If you have a blog post we can share, an online event, social media content, or something else – let us know. We will share as much as we are able.

Connections are crucial.  Perhaps one of our most important ways to lift each other up are through our online communities.  Intentional connections can help us weather the isolation many may feel.  [Remember – lean in!]

  • Join our public Facebook group, Feng Shui friends – it’s for anyone and everyone!
  • And specially for you members, our closed Facebook group, the Virtual Chapter; if you haven’t been in there lately, please come. Come to our table and let us nurture your spirit and work. 

And importantly, we know there are economic ripples throughout the world.  We don’t want to lose a SINGLE member because you can’t pay your dues.  We are committed to being there for everyone who needs us – to continue your membership in any way we can.

  • If you need help – GET IN TOUCH. We are here.  We aren’t going anywhere.

As always, we are staying true to our mission.  Advancing the growth and promotion of Feng Shui worldwide – because if there was ever a time that Feng Shui at home could help – the time is now!  Also, we continue promoting and serving our members through the good and the bad with empowering resources, opportunities and a unified Feng Shui community.  It’s our tenet. Our core. It’s who we are.  We will get through this.  And so will you.

We got you.

Click here for a printable version of this letter.

Living More Sane in a Crazy World

“This is a great opportunity to reorganize, recalibrate and get ready for the new world, which will be different.”

~~Peg Donahue, Feng Shui Connections

Life is crazy. Unpredictable.  Even in the best of circumstances. 

At any one given time, someone you know is going through something unimaginable.  Someone you know is going through a huge shift – maybe for the better and maybe for worse.  Anyone else hate change?

It’s ok.  It’s ok to not be best friends with change.

Shifts in our outer world can also bring shifts to our inner mind and psyche (which is also why Feng Shui is so important).  We question what we are doing and why.  Shifts can take us to places we don’t understand.  Often, the things that are the good for us, can be challenging.  The awesome thing though is that with each shift, we can get better and better with coping.

We asked our expert Feng Shui professionals for some of their tips in dealing with stress, hard times, how to raise their vibe (even when they aren’t feeling it).  What they told us was plain and simple, and brilliant.  Maybe a bit of common sense – but then some of us aren’t thinking clearly right now!  We got this!

Ways to Raise Your Vibe

Take what resonates and Leave. The. Rest.

  • The obvious – but let’s say it anyway: Stay at home if this is what has been enforced. Wash your hands and disinfect often – especially after touching food and money. Clean those doorknobs, remotes, phones and light switches.
  • Tackle that ‘honey do’ list; clean a closet, deep clean an area you have been meaning to get to, reorganize kitchen cupboards, paint a room…take advantage of this time to thoughtfully and purposefully move forward to improve your space.
  • Try to stick with a normal routine as much as possible: Laundry, sweeping, straightening. Routines in uncertainty are especially helpful for kids.  Make a list to help them see visually what’s happening each day and even give them choices and some control as to those choices.  If you don’t know what’s going to happen – imagine how they are feeling.
  • Listen to music you love, uplifting or peaceful, quiet or loud. Get your dance party on if you want!
  • Get outside! Take a walk, get some sunshine, breathe fresh air. Even stand on your porch if you can’t go far. Maybe do some gardening.
  • Don’t get on social media as much as is possible. Or at least follow positive accounts and people.
  • Rest and sleep more.
  • Help someone else. Take groceries or supplies to a friend who can’t get out.  Try to go alone and drop the shopping off without making close contact.
  • Reach out. Call family and friends just to hear their voices and to check-in using technology such as Skype, Zoom, phone calls, video calling, and more.  This works for virtual play dates too.  The laughter heard when a group of kids is on a Zoom conversation and they can all see each other is awesome and will lift any spirit!
  • Give yourself quiet time. Light candles and do a daily meditation with a focus to ground and expand energy out. Fear is so contracting – expand with love.  Light incense, chant, stand in the sun.
  • Move. Add yoga to your routine if you don’t already – there are a ton of teachers doing online classes and videos now – for free.  Exercise, walk, and stretch.
  • Lose yourself…in a book. Read books that you have been waiting to read for a long time, that you didn’t have “time” for before.  Whether pleasure reading or to learn something new, reading can calm your mind, soothe your soul, and even escape for a bit. Lots of downloadables available for free now too.
  • Get creative – cooking and baking, coloring, painting, writing. Don’t underestimate the value of a 2PM dance off! Laugh!

I’m writing notes of thanks to all the kind souls in my building who have volunteered to help people get groceries, especially the elderly. This crisis is bringing out the best in some people and I want to make sure they are acknowledged!

Carol M. Olmstead, Feng Shui for Real Life

Last but not least: make sure your Feng Shui is in place.  Especially take notice of the health gua, but so many others are relevant now too: career and wealth to ensure you nurture your work life and bank account; relationships so you don’t kill your quarantine buddies; creativity so you don’t get bored; helpful people because we all need a ton of grace and goodness from the universe and our helpers right now.

Expert Contributors:

Linda Bischoff, Avalon Lane Studio

Erin Bowers, Synergetic Spaces

Maureen Calamia, Luminous Spaces Feng Shui

Susan Chu, Susan M. Chu

Catherine Dean, Catherine Dean Feng Shui

Peg Donahue, Feng Shui Connections

Linda Ellson, Feng Shui Your World

Angela Higgins, The Nourished Life

Trisha Keel, Tomorrow’s Key

 

 

Joan Law, Feng Shui Joan’s Way

Carmel Malone-Quane, Create with Carmel

Dragana Milosevic

Carol Olmstead, Feng Shui for Real Life

Denise Osborne, Author

Bridget Saraka, Feng Shui by Bridget

Gwynne Warner, 10000 Blessings Feng Shui

Expert Contributors:

Linda Bischoff, Avalon Lane Studio

Erin Bowers, Synergetic Spaces

Maureen Calamia, Luminous Spaces Feng Shui

Susan Chu, Susan M. Chu

Catherine Dean, Catherine Dean Feng Shui

Peg Donahue, Feng Shui Connections

Linda Ellson, Feng Shui Your World

Angela Higgins, The Nourished Life

Trisha Keel, Tomorrow’s Key

Joan Law, Feng Shui Joan’s Way

Carmel Malone-Quane, Create with Carmel

Dragana Milosevic

Carol Olmstead, Feng Shui for Real Life

Denise Osborne, Author

Bridget Saraka, Feng Shui by Bridget

Gwynne Warner, 10000 Blessings Feng Shui 

What is Biophilic Design?

Biophilic design: a strange term. Hmmmm, just like feng shui!

So What is Biophilic Design?

And they are related in another way, too. They both are about connecting humanity to the natural world.

First, the word biophilia was a term coined by psychologist Erich Fromm in the 1960’s (and later explored by biologist E.O. Wilson in the 1980’s). It refers to our love of life.

We feel good in nature and many architects and designers started taking note that growing mental illness in modern society may be linked somehow to our soulless modern buildings and environments.

But rather than studying the ancient principles of feng shui, they created a new discipline.

But that’s okay, I’m not that frustrated (smile).

As long as the end goal is the same: that we create environments that not only look good, but feel good!

Biophilic design is backed up by environmental psychology, which studies the impact buildings have on human behavior.

It has been found that healthy human development (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual) is contingent upon access to the natural world.

Now, many buildings and communities are being built with biophilic design principles. Hotels, healthcare facilities, even corporate offices and housing developments have incorporated elements of nature into the design of their spaces.

So even if they don’t call it “feng shui”, that’s okay, as long as we are being nourished in our spaces and respect Mother Earth!

Since I’ve been studying biophilic design, I’ve created my own list of principles connected to each of the Five Elements of nature: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. I wrote about this in my book, Creating Luminous Spaces.

 

Additional reads if you want to learn more:

  • Biophilia Hypothesis, by E.O. Wilson
  • Biophilic Design: The Theory, Science, and Practice of Bringing Buildings to Life, by Stephen Kellert, Judith Heerwagen, Martin Mador

Photo credits: Pixabay.com, WikiImages – Yale University’s Kroon Hall, built with biophilic design and LEED

 

Maureen Calamia is author of Creating Luminous Spaces: Use the Five Elements for Balance and Harmony in Your Home and in Your Life (Conari Press). She is also founder of the Re-Nature philosophy based on the premise that we need to restore nature back into our lives, our homes, and spirits.

 

 

How to Beat Data Addiction with Feng Shui

If I were to tell you that you are an addict, would you agree? Probably not, but the fact is that most Americans (in fact, most Western people) are either addicted or in the process of becoming addicted to data overload.  Find out more about this developing issue in the western world and how Feng Shui can help, by Alex Stark.

Whether from your cell phone, or through social media, or even when innocently surfing for information on the web, our brain’s synapses are becoming more and more reliant on a steady stream of information delivered through the internet. Data, the actual packets of digital information, has become like a virus, capable of interfering with our productivity, our sleep, our health, and even our sex lives. This addiction is becoming so pervasive that psychologists have given it a clinical name: electronic screen syndrome.

Video screens are now everywhere, including restaurants, bathrooms, and cars, not to mention our back pockets! Blue light from these devices has been proven to diminish sleep and concentration by interfering with our circadian rhythms. Businesses are now reporting losses in productivity equal to a whole day per week due to compulsive cellphone use. As if this was not enough, one in every four car accidents in the USA is caused by texting or phone use while driving–for a total of 1.6 million crashes a year!

In addition to all of this, there is still the concern generated by ANY electronic device, as all electrical tools emit electromagnetic radiation (EMF) that has been scientifically proven to be damaging to human tissues at certain frequencies and exposures. Although most research has failed to show conclusive evidence of causal relationships (except under very specific circumstances), cell phone use and body proximity to any electronic device continues to be studied for further clarification.

Data addition has powerful causes: from the feng shui perspective, data is a new but very powerful form of chi, one that is inherently unstable (it takes the equivalent of 8 nuclear power plants to run the internet in the US alone) and which has no built-in compassionate side. It is closely aligned with FIRE energy, but unlike traditional forms of FIRE (heat, lights) which provide service to all of nature, data is only interested in your attention and will demand it at all costs. Light and heat, natural forms of FIRE, exist independently of humans but data is entirely dependent on us using it. That is why I compare it to viruses and parasites, which require a host to exist. Most importantly, data creates addictive patterns that are very, very difficult to break. Despite the many advantages it has created, the internet has the power to create real danger and damage.

This problem is important for feng shui practitioners to consider because it is a new form of energetic interference that could undermine all other feng shui interventions. I have repeatedly seen clients whose condition refuses to improve or which stalls after a short while not because their feng shui is flawed, but because of behavioral patterns caused by their incessant connectivity through social media and use of screen devices at all hours of the day. Hence, I have come up with a set of guidelines that I recommend to most clients:

  1. Do not sleep with a cell phone next to the bed!
  2. In fact, do not sleep with a cell phone anywhere in the bedroom.
  3. If possible, turn off your cell phone entirely while you sleep or at least put it in airplane mode.
  4. Avoid using your phone as an alarm clock, and if you do, place it in the next room, not on the night stand.
  5. Limit use of all blue light screen devices (phone, TV, tablet) as much as possible, and avoid use for at least one hour before bedtime.
  6. Avoid a TV monitor in the bedroom, but if you have one, make sure it is completely turned off at night. Some monitors stay in silent but active mode all the time.
  7. Charge your cell phone or other devices far from the bedroom. In multi-floor buildings, make sure that is not below or above the bed. A bathroom is usually a good alternative.
  8. Avoid locating your wi-fi router in the bedroom, particularly near the bed. In multi-floor buildings, make sure it is not above or below your bed.
  9. Avoid locating your wi-fi router close to your desk in your home office.
  10. To avoid wi-fi radiation during sleep, I often recommend putting your wi-fi router on a timer to be turned off automatically during sleep and turned on in the morning when you need it. Electrical timers plug directly into a socket and will control when your wi-fi router turns on and off.
  11. To increase your productivity, place your cell phone or tablet in sleep or airplane mode when you have tasks to perform. Turn it back on when you are ready to dedicate a chunk of time to answering calls or email. This will help you avoid the temptation to keep checking for updates and will increase your productivity and success.
  12. Try socializing WITHOUT your cell phone. If you have to carry your phone to a social event, place it in silent mode and DO NOT place it on a table or anywhere visible. Keep it in a bag or in your jacket, as far from your body as possible.
  13. I even recommend doing the same during work meetings. Not having a phone visible enhances communication and improves performance. It also gives a good impression, as your clients or customers will sense your undivided attention.
  14. When writing an important document such as a speech or an article, write a rough outline first with paper and pen. Connecting your thoughts to your hand through writing has been shown to increase creativity and insight. When you have a good outline or a draft, it’s OK to complete it on a computer or tablet.
  15. If you are a team leader at work, consider instilling these same principles to your workforce: demand cell phones be silenced in order to increase communication and creative problem solving, particularly during meetings.
  16. If you have children, create simple but clear rules for cell phone use. This is particularly important at bed time. Needless to say, the younger the child, the more susceptible she or he will be to data addiction!

Alex Stark is an internationally recognized consultant, advisor, and teacher on issues of creativity, efficiency, and design. A graduate of the Yale University School of Architecture, he is a practitioner of Feng Shui and European Geomancy. 

Recognizing Gaia: Connecting to Mother Earth

“Living in harmony with the earth brings good fortune.” – Taoist proverb

Learn more about connections, harmony, and how you can strengthen your bond with earth and it’s energy, and nature and trees, from Feng Shui expert and educator, Maureen Calamia.

Recognizing Gaia: Connecting to Mother Earth, Nature, and TreesFirst, I must start with a question: Are we living in harmony with the earth? Thought you’d say that. Then it follows that we aren’t destined for good fortune, as a species.

We are more and more disconnected to the rhythms of nature. Research shows that we spend roughly 90 percent of our time inside. We pay more attention to the Dow than the Tao.

As a species, we’ve lost the ability to communicate and understand nature as we once did. We do not understand the impact of our modern lives on Her. And She is in pain and despair.

But although we cannot change our species, we can certainly change how we, as individuals, interact with the earth.

Good feng shui is more than what we see
In feng shui, we know that the land is the most important aspect of good feng shui. It is the land that provides fresh water and fertile soil for crops, hills for protection and gentle winds. These are the physical attributes of the land, but there are invisible attributes as well.

Vibrant land emanates a strong, positive energy that, if we could see it, would be a rainbow of translucent, bright full-spectrum light. When we see land like this, we “experience” it with all of our senses.

On the other hand, we also quickly identify places that are damaged and neglected, not just with our visual sense. These places project a dull, dark aura that drains or even threatens our sense of vitality.

There is so much more to the earth than our eyes can see and if we pay attention, we can feel it.

Talking to trees
Recognizing Gaia: Connecting to Mother Earth, Nature and TreesHave you ever been drawn to a tree? Like most people, when we were children the trees were part of our play. We climbed that huge oak in our yard. We snuggled between its branches. We even talked to our tree. Our lives were surrounded with magic!

Being feng shui practitioners and enthusiasts, we tend to be more sensitive than the general population. We know how it feels when a neighbor cuts down a tree. Perhaps a local wooded lot has been bull-dozed. It’s painful because we feel the pain.

In his book, The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries from a Secret World, Peter Wohlleben says, “When you know that trees experience pain and have memories and that tree parents live together with their children, then you can no longer just chop them down and disrupt their lives with larger machines.”

The consciousness of nature speaks to us through the nature spirits and elementals within the landscape, the trees, the flowers, even mountains and rocks. We can connect, feel and learn.

So, when is the last time you connected?
If you are like me, you have regular communication with nature, with trees, which is sometimes through words, but often through images and feelings.

If you don’t, then here are some words of advice: get out there and start now. You will be amazed at the connection and guidance you receive.

Below is some guidance on how to start:

  1. If you have a tree that you are drawn to, then go to it. If not, scan the landscape and feel your way to a tree.
  2. As you approach, ask for permission to connect and wait for a sign. You may get an image in your mind, a feeling in your heart, or perhaps you will hear a bird start singing. If you get a clear no, then honor it and find another tree or come back another day.
  3. If you get a yes, then approach the tree. Sensitize your palms by rubbing them together and then lay your hands close to the tree, hovering just an inch or two from the bark. (Some people prefer to lay their hands on the tree. Others lay their backs against the trunk. Whatever feels right to you).
  4. Be still, quiet and observe. You may ask a question in your heart. It can be a personal question or even a question about the tree, the surrounding area, the habitat.
  5. When you are done, give gratitude to the tree, perhaps a hug!

There is so much to gain when we look beyond the physical. We gain a greater depth and perspective to our lives and the life of Gaia. Our individual acts move us all closer to understanding and respect for Her. And life is magical again!

Recognizing Gaia: Connecting to Mother Earth, Nature and Trees

 

Maureen CalamiaMaureen is author of Creating Luminous Spaces: Use the Five Elements for Balance and Harmony in Your Home and in Your Life. She is also founder of the Luminous Spaces Feng Shui™ School using the Re-Nature philosophy based on the premise that we need to restore nature back into our lives, our homes, and spirits.

Pin It on Pinterest