Easing Your Holidays

It’s the holidays again! Time for getting together with family, enjoying the season, winding down from a busy year and taking time to reflect on one’s blessings. Right?

But the holidays can be an extremely stressful time fraught with big emotions, financial worries, and many other things that make the period between thanksgiving and the New Year uncomfortable or downright sad for many. We are fed a litany of picture-perfect expectations through advertising, social media and social pressure. And to say self-care is important at this time can sound trite when the issues around the holidays demand more than what a facial or a bubble bath can offer.

 

Easing Your Holidays from Charmaine Buskas

So here are a few feng shui suggestions to potentially ease the bumps one might experience during the holidays.

Let’s start with family. Where there is tension, disagreements or anything that makes a family gathering uncomfortable, the first place to look is in the family gua. Check for clutter is always my first suggestion. Clutter can confuse, complicate and undermine even the best of intentions. Clearing the clutter offers a metaphorical opening for clearing pathways of communication, openness and clarity with regard to family relations.

Second, I’d suggest putting up some art. If there isn’t a picture of your family all looking happy and engaged, try art. The family gua is represented by the color green and the element of wood. Look for a picture of a lush forest or a piece of art made from wood. It offers the motif of growth, abundance and strength. If green isn’t your thing, try to support the wood element in this gua with art that features the water element where blues, and blacks and wavy styles are present.

Lastly, intention is key. Set an intention for calm and peaceful interaction. Write your intention down on a piece of paper and give it up to the universe or higher powers to help and then place that intention in your helpful people gua. That is one way to manifest easier interactions with one’s family or in-laws.

Good luck and may your holiday season be happy and peaceful!

 

Article contributed by Charmaine Buskas, IFSG Board Member
Charmaine is a graduate of the Advanced Re-Nature Feng Shui program and started her feng shui studies at the Metropolitan Institute of Design in 2014. She worked previously as an economist for nearly 15 years in both the public and private sector Read more about Charmaine.

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!

Décor

“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

Let it Go, Let it Go, Let it Go

We don’t have to try very hard to find signs that the holidays are fast approaching. Stores are putting up their decorations, many radio stations are playing holiday music and people are already starting to make their holiday “to-do” lists. Read from Kristi Stangeland, the importance of balance and intention in the holidays.

For many of us, these signs of the season are sure-fire stress triggers. Instead of sugar plums, they conjure up visions of lists dancing in their heads: the baking list, the shopping list, the card list, etc.

Do you have a laundry list of things you think you need to do in order to make the holidays “perfect?” For those of us who are guilty of list-overload, I suggest we rethink our holidays.

What would happen if we didn’t:

  • Send holiday cards to people we haven’t seen in 20 years…
  • Try to replicate the picture-perfect centerpiece from that glossy home magazine…
  • Bake 10 different kinds of holiday cookies…
  • Wrap every gift with shiny paper and bows…
  • Host a holiday open house a week before Christmas…

This year I suggest we adopt a Feng Shui approach to the holidays. In an effort to find more serenity in our lives we can do more than de-clutter and re-organize our physical environments. We can also re-evaluate how we manage our time.

Here is a specific technique to help de-clutter our holiday “to-do” lists so we can focus on the things that actually bring us the greatest joy at this time of year.

  • Set aside 30 minutes of time when you will not be interrupted.
  • Take nine minutes to write down all the items on your holiday “to-do” list. You know what I’m talking about: cooking, shopping, wrapping, baking, hosting, etc.
  • Take three deep breaths to clear your mind.  Then set a timer for six minutes and sit in silence, with your eyes downcast or closed. Let your thoughts come and go.
  • When the six minutes are up, review your list with “fresh eyes.” Ask yourself: Does anyone care if this happens? How could I do this differently and with less effort? Can someone else take on this task?
  • Then make a commitment to cross off the items that feel heavy and no longer serve you. Focus instead on those tasks that you truly enjoy.

This kind of mental organizing and decluttering can be very energizing. When we allow ourselves to let go of unrealistic or stressful obligations, we’re apt to discover that those “to dos” that we actually do undertake will be more enjoyable, because we can focus more time on them.

So if you’d rather tap into your inner artist and make your cookies your canvas, then pass on hosting the holiday dinner for 20. Chances are your cookies will be a bigger hit than the green bean casserole anyway.

Here’s to a clutter free holiday. Cheers!

 

Kristi Stangeland is the founder of Feng Shui Consulting Service.  She holds a certificate from the BTB Feng Shui™ Masters Training Program, begun by Professor Thomas Lin Yun. Read more about Kristi.

 

Create Harmony This Season with Feng Shui

AH, THE HOLIDAYS…FULL of joy, sparkling wonderment, blessings, gratitude, delicious food, gatherings and celebrations with family and friends and—a potential for disharmony and stress. Consider the following feng shui tips to help create a season of love, harmony, and special memories from Diana DiCristina.

Source: Pinterest - blogg.skonahem.com

Source: Pinterest – blogg.skonahem.com

Proclaim peace and harmony this holiday season. Open your eyes to new ways to celebrate the season and honor this sacred time sacred time by taking time to slow down. Nourish and pamper yourself. Give yourself the gift of getting together with a friend and have some tea, laughter, and heart-felt good cheer.

Embellish the front door of your home. And, use your front door. Ring the doorbell! The front door is the mouth of chi, where all opportunities and abundant blessings come through. Assure that the pathway to your front door is clear and welcoming with beauty. With intention, hang a beautiful wreath on your front door to attract new opportunities. Adding lights will attract even more good luck and a ribbon in a color you love will increase good fortune.

Instead of decorating every nook and cranny, decorate for harmony. Place your holiday decorations with love and intention. Remember balance, consider each decoration carefully and keep decorations to a minimum. Give yourself permission to abandon tradition and decorate with things that have wonderful memories and make your heart sing with joy, donate the rest. Less is more. Be mindful to not put too many holiday decorations out because they can block the positive energy from flowing freely through your home with your life resulting in stagnation. Every single item in your home has an affect on your personal energy; your space reflects your life. This holiday season allow your treasures, filled with loving memories, to enhance the energy of you and your home.

Source: Pinterest - eclecticallyvintage.com

Source: Pinterest – eclecticallyvintage.com

Create a lasting memory with a timeless scent. Stud oranges with cloves and display this on a plate for a nice fragrant centerpiece. After the holidays you can place the studded oranges in drawers for a delightful aromatic treat every time you open the drawer.

Color makes a difference and has tremendous power. Use the energies of colors in your home in a positive manner. Too much color can be exhausting. And too many bright colors such as reds, greens, silvers and golds can create over stimulating energy, increasing chaos, stress, and disharmony. To create a more relaxing and comfortable space, consider balancing bright colors by adding calm muted colors such as creams, blues, soft purples and muted colors to help create a sense and feeling of calm, tranquility and inner peace, which will ripple out and affect all around you. Use the color purple, with intention, to increase the flow of abundance in your life.

Get some air! Let fresh energy in and air out your home. Open windows, let out the old energy and refresh the ambiance. To help the air transfer to occur effectively, open three or more windows for 15–30 minutes letting out old polluted indoor air and allow fresh outdoor air in. This is such a refreshing gift that you will soon find yourself doing this regularly, not just for the holidays.

Deliberately slow down, have quiet places where you can retreat and relax. Turn off the television and play relaxing music that you love. Fill your home with soothing music that touches your heart and Soul. Piano music is especially nice as it has a watery feeling and will help you to go with the flow and feel relaxed. Add some candles to bring in a sense of glowing warm energy especially on those chilly winter evenings.

Did you know that when guests wash their hands in your bathroom it brings the energy of money into your home? Liven up your guest bath with scented soaps and colorful holiday towels making the bathroom as inviting as possible.

Source: Pinterest - thechicsite.com

Source: Pinterest – thechicsite.com

And the holiday tree: A holiday tree connects us to nature and invites spiritual growth and renewal. Elements of a well–balanced holiday tree are: lights which symbolize sparking energy; the tree shape represents growth; its fresh scent renews the air and lifts your spirits; and gifts represent love. Place your holiday tree near a window so people passing by may also enjoy the beauty of your sparkling holiday tree. Don’t want to kill a tree? As a blessing for years to come, consider decorating a live tree planted in dirt that can be incorporated in your garden. Or decorate an existing tree in your garden that can be appreciated and admired from a window view.

 

Diana DicristinaDiana DiCristina CSD, CPFS, and founder of Wind Water Harmony. As certified feng shui and color consultant, certified interior alignment practitioner, intuitive, and Sacred Circle of Light designer, she offers a kaleidoscope of professional practices and methods. Read more about Diana.

 

Article Source:  Create Harmony this Season with Feng Shui

Feng Shui for the Holidays

Although the holidays are a time for celebration and rest, sometimes they can be quite the opposite. This time of year can become stressful and exhausting. Since feng shui concepts can give us tools to help create harmony and positivity in our living spaces, I’d like to share some feng shui tips to support us during the holiday season, from Anjie Cho.

Anjie Cho, Feng Shui for the HolidaysFamily

I don’t think it hurts to have more harmony in the home. Did you know there’s a section of the feng shui map that relates to family? This area also relates to new beginnings.

Locate the family/new beginnings area of your home or bedroom on the feng shui map. If you divide your home or bedroom into a 3×3 grid, it’s the center left area. You can use this feng shui map to help you locate the area. For more harmony within your family, try adding a live green plant to represent growth and support for the family during the holidays. If there is not enough natural light for a plant, try a low light plant or a very high quality, realistic looking silk plant.

Space Clearing

Holidays are often a time to gather with friends and family. Some of us have visitors staying with us in addition to parties and get-togethers. When there are many gatherings in the home, it may be helpful to do a light space clearing on a regular basis to clear the air and energy in your home. Each time you clear the space, dedicate your home to creating a loving happy space for your family and friends. For frequent space clearing, I like smudging (burning) palo santo or diffusing sweet orange essential oil. Palo santo has a light, clean, minty smell that is delicious. The sweet orange scent is life affirming, happy and bright. Use the one you like best, or alternate!

If you’re traveling you can use this to clear the space you are staying in whether it’s a hotel or as a guest in someone’s home. Probably better to use the orange essential oil rather than burn something.

Gratitude and Thanks

Finally, the holiday season reminds us to be grateful and thankful for the love and support we’ve received in our lives. I recently received some Buddhist teachings on patronage. I find that supporting others as a patron is a truly rewarding way to offer thanks. I’m so thankful for my abundance and success and am happy to share that with the world.

Take some time to thank the ones you love who bring you support in your life. Bring some feng shui into this practice of honoring those helpful people by offering to be a benefactor for them as well! The benefactors’ area of your bedroom would be the corner front right if you’re standing in your room looking in. Make a list of those caring and generous people, and then place the list in the benefactors area of your bedroom with the intention that you’re grateful for their help and you wish to offer them even more in return.

Holidays have always been dedicated to family, friends and remembering how fortunate we are to have life. Over time though, the holiday season has, unfortunately, become associated with high stress levels and weariness as well. Through feng shui practices and awareness, we can use well-established methods to lower stress and focus on what’s really important during this time: our loved ones.

 

Anjie ChoAnjie Cho is a registered New York State Architect and Feng Shui Interior Designer.  She has created beautiful and nourishing environments throughout New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and beyond.  She is also co-founder of the Mindful Design Feng Shui School. Read more about Anjie.

 

 Article/Photo Source:  Feng Shui for the Holidays

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