There are Days.

There are Days, Finding Ways to Shift Your Chi and Feel Better
There are days.

Days when we are exhausted. Drained. Sick of it.

The world can be an exhausting place. [Yes, it can be an energizing place as well…but today we are talking about the tired.]

Days where you don’t want to face it. Can’t face it. Feel overwhelmed. Angry. Sad. Nothing.

Life is ups and downs.

So, if you have been feeling especially low these last days, weeks, months…there are a few tips you could try. Any of these. Any one of these. If the thought of doing a specific one of the following makes you say Meh, then that’s not the one for you.

*Take a walk; get outside; move. Five minutes is a start.

*Drink some water

*Take 30 minutes and clean. Put things away where they belong, make a bed, straighten your desk. Pick a room and get it looking great. [If you think you can’t afford to take that time, we get it. We really do. But we also have felt the experience when you take that time and it changes the day.] Even better, take an hour. Set a timer and stop.

*Phone a friend. If you have someone in your life who is supportive, encouraging, makes you laugh. This is a great one. If you don’t have that someone or don’t feel strong enough to reach out, that’s ok.

*Watch what you eat. Yes, carbs will make you feel better. Chocolate is a happy idea. But they can also give you a crash. Depending on your preferences, may protein is a good idea. Maybe even a granola bar or some slices of cucumber. As healthy and real as you can get with your food, the better that fuel is for you.

*Change your environment. Yep – this is the biggie. The Feng Shui one. Do you have things in your space you don’t love? Do you have things in your home, office, home office, garage that bug the heck out of you? Do you have objects that remind you of pain or a person who is not the best for you? There is a saying, move 27 things in your house to feel a shift in your chi. You would be surprised how easy it is to get 27 things. Put a pair of gloves where they go – that’s 2. Throw away some old magazines, that’s more. Not enough light in one room – move a lamp from one room to another. That’s another. Move, shift, move, shift.

*Look to your hobbies. Read, knit, garden, dance, do a puzzle, look at the stars. Maybe those sound cheesy; maybe you don’t know what your hobbies are. Don’t beat yourself up about it.

*Take a nap. Similar to the “I don’t have time to clean” from above, we are learning that naps are absolutely ok. Thirty minutes even. Ongoing exhaustion could be a nutrition issue or a health issue, so maybe also try water or a snack.There are Days, Finding Ways to Shift Your Chi and Feel Better

*Turn off the news. We can’t say this loud enough. We can’t say this enough. The news is not the way to feel better. Maybe you love a good feel good movie or cooking show. Awesome. But maybe even turning off the tv for an hour is even better.

*Get off social media. Talk about a drain. Sure there are funny cat videos, and checkins from friends. But there are more drains to your life in social media than anything else. Let’s say that again: social media is a huge drain of energy and life. Get your teens off it too.

*See a doctor. Prolonged times of low energy and exhaustion is a problem. Don’t feel bad. This is what they do. You could have a physical, health issue that can possibly be resolved. You could have depression or anxiety. These are also real. Very real. They are not in your head.

*Recognize everyone is going through something right now. Have you checked on your neighbor; your kids are experiencing school, friends, sports in crazy ways; is grandma alone more than she’s ever been? Help them find something on the list that they can do for themselves. Empower and encourage. Maybe make them a snack too.

 

We are definitely NOT trying to oversimplify the challenges any one person has. The world is complex. Diverse. Your perceptions and history, experiences and life are different than everyone else. 

What we are trying to do is encourage you to take One Baby Step. Shift the chi in your life.

Whether through your actions and activities, through your physical space, through your mind and soul. One. Baby. Step. The tired have a really hard time with the one baby step. So do it, or force yourself through it. That baby step gets you through today. That baby step is a catalyst. Take another baby step tomorrow until it becomes a habit.

Getting your chi moving is one of the best ways to influence your life, your future, your family, your job, and how you get through each day.

We fiercely believe in ripples. It starts with one drop.

There are Days - Finding Ways to Shift your Chi

Baking bread = nurturing energy: and why we all knead more of it

From Laura Morris, Mindful Design Feng Shui School and Morris Feng Shui

For the third week in a row my grocery store has been sold out of yeast. Yesterday in the baking section all the flour was gone, just empty shelves, in both of my local grocery stores. People are making bread, a lot of bread. The satisfaction of watching dough rise and nurturing it, keeping it warm and happy is very appealing. As a feng shui practitioner this makes so much sense to me. Bread making checks a lot of feng shui boxes for increasing positive vibes. Making dough is a simple and gentle act that allows us to feed our family, warm our kitchen, and it gives us the chance to create something.

“Measuring, kneading and shaping dough can be a balm for the anxiety that has accompanied the virus.” Washington Post

In feng shui, cooking, baking, and nurturing others with food is connected to the earth element. Very simply, the five elements are the basic elements of life: fire, earth, metal, water, and wood. In the ancient practice of Feng Shui, these elements are more than actual flames, or dirt, or pieces of wood; it is about the qualities of the elements. You can think of the elements as universal energetic essences, each with their own flavor of energy (qi).

The earth element is stable, supportive, nurturing, and grounding. Think about the earth below your feet: it’s always there to support you. The earth element is also connected to nourishment and how we take care of ourselves. So you can see how making dough and baking is a great way to bring more earth energy into your life and home.

All this dough and bread making got me thinking; what are other ways we can bring this same nurturing energy into our homes. Here are 3 simple ways to bring more nurturing earth energy into your home:

1. Add peace to the centre of your home: the centre of your home is connected to the earth element. It is also where all other areas meet and represents overall well-being. Two simple ways to focus on the center of your home: try sitting in the centre of your bedroom, take nine slow inhales and exhales visualizing a golden light radiated around you (repeat this nine times). Anjie Cho has a lovely guided space clearing meditation that you can do here.

You can also hang a feng shui crystal in the centre of your home or your bedroom. These leaded crystal balls modulate the qi and smooth the energy. Think of them as tiny, radiating suns. Set the intention to create ease and well-being as you place it.

2. Warm up your living room: adding accent lighting and warm colours like reds and oranges can cozy up a cold and gray corner. Reds and oranges represent the fire element and in the five element system fire supports earth.

3. Seed or plant some herbs: I have got the containers ready and will be ordering my plants for pick up. Working with the soil, digging, and planting connects us directly with the earth. It is therapeutic to get your hands dirty with potting soil and peat moss.

 

Let’s all find some ease, and lean into simple pleasures that make us feel grounded and nurtured. Make homemade bread, pizza dough, plant seeds, and then take a rest in your cozy living room with your family and watch some Netflix! PS. For all those bakers out there, I did finally find some yeast.

 

Good news! I managed to find yeast.
I’m obsessed with making homemade pizza dough

Laura Morris
Laura is the co-founder of Mindful Design Feng Shui School. She was the Feng Shui expert on the CBC’s popular lifestyle show Steven & Chris, and is also the author of Creating Change: 27 Feng Shui Design Projects to Boost the Energy in your Home. She sits as the Board Chair of the International Feng Shui Guild.

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.

 

 

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