Grandma’s Plant

She’s never looked better.

This peace lily plant is more than 20 years old. She was a plant at my grandmother’s funeral.  Every time I look at her, she reminds me of that feisty lady I loved. But over the years, in my #FengShui story, this plant has gotten moved around a lot, as I have tried to find the right place, the right light, the right everything.  Then trying to remember to keep her watered.

Luckily, she’s super resilient.  Whenever I notice the leaves drooping, I give her a quick drink and she pops right back up the next day.  Much like my grandma.


Plants are amazing enhancements in Feng Shui.  A plant can bring in the wood element, trusting and progressive.  Representing growth.

In the five elements, Wood can fuel a fire – which is awesome when you want to produce more fire or fame in your life.

Wood can absorb an abundance of water.  You will often hear that plants shouldn’t be placed in a bathroom.  I forget the reason (and that’s ok, I am not going to beat myself up over it).  But seems to me, that when you have an abundance of water – like in a bathroom – wood might be a good idea.

To me, this gal represents family.  Which now that I think about it, her current placement is bordering between the Health + Family and Wealth + Prosperity guas.  Hmmmmmmm….I like it.

Is this her permanent place?  Probably not.  In fact, when I placed her here a few weeks ago – relatives and friends were coming for the holidays and she was in kind of an awkward place in the living room and I didn’t want her bumped.  I truly expected the hubs to say “what the heck are you doing…it can’t sit there.”  I was ready for a big discussion – I had it all planned out – you know how you get yourself armed for a discussion while practicing it in the car.  Yeah, I did that.  (now laughing at myself)

To my husband’s credit, he hasn’t said a word.

And like I said above…she’s never looked better.

  • She’s in a location where we see her every day. In fact, she’s almost in the way.  (again, like my grandma)
  • She’s getting regular talking to and hydration; because, well we see her prominently every day as this is a busy room.
  • The Bagua:  Health + Family and Wealth + Prosperity guas.  Yeah, that’s gotta be good right?
  • She’s finally getting what she needs.  Even with all the windows in our house, I need windows – I get claustrophobic – this is the first window that really feels like she fits.
  • In a bathroom. I know – some of you don’t like them in the bathroom, but as I mentioned above, I’m ok with it and so it’s good Feng Shui for me.  Everyone, and I mean everyone needs to do Feng Shui their wayNot my way, not your client’s way, or even your neighbor’s way.  The brilliance of Feng Shui – means it’s individual – special – unique – for everyone.

And yes, I have said before there are some universal rules like putting the toilet seat down – that’s a big one and I can’t for the life of me understand why the in-laws don’t do this.  There are also universal ways to read a compass and such.

But for me, the uniqueness of Feng Shui is what I love the most.  With billions of people on the planet – something that works for all of us, needs some flexibility and grace!  Sidenote, it’s also one of the reasons I love the IFSG so much…we have SO MUCH diversity among our consultants…all perspectives, all welcome, all celebrated because we ALL HAVE A VOICE AND PLACE.]


So, here are my takeaways….

  • A plant can be great Feng Shui. Wood, growth, and all that jazz.
  • If you don’t like plants, then DON’T. ADD. THEM.
  • Try to get plants that you can care for. They need light and water and time that you have available.  So, don’t get something labor intensive if you just don’t have it in you.  We are all in a different place.
  • Put plants where you want them. There is probably a rule about where you “shouldn’t” put a plant, but I can’t remember if there is, and even so…well, I hate shoulds.
  • If someone gives you a plant, and you don’t like that person or a memory or a story associated with that person, then by all means – pass it on. [This goes for anything in your house…let it go.]  Ok, so I guess that’s a should.
  • Grandma’s up in heaven saying something to the effect of “took her long enough to figure it out,” and she’s chilling with her dogs, and maybe having a smoke.

Mary Leone

Deb Dermyer Lamb is a wife, mother, feng shui practitioner, and still trying to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up.  She’s been the office administrator for the IFSG since 2007 and loves, loves, loves that part of her life.  IFSG members are everything to her.  She’s also the current IFSG CEO, since 2017, and previously served on the Board of Directors from 2006 through 2011.

Give her a shout if you have questions about the IFSG, or want to share your messes.

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.

Decorating with the Five Elements

Feng Shui as an art emphasizes the importance of the placement of objects in your surroundings to create balance and harmony in your life. By using these principles you can arrange, decorate and accessorize your home to promote health, wealth and happiness. Find out more about Feng Shui decor and the Five Elements by Diane Alba-Means.

Feng Shui Decor, Diane Alba-Means

Source: MorgueFile

Feng Shui and Feng Shui decor uses several tools to help enhance the flow of energy in your home or office. One such tool is called the Pa Kua or Bagua map, which divides your home or office into nine sections, each associated with a specific area of life, such as health, wealth, career and relationships. Another important tool, which is used hand in hand with the Pa Kua map, is the Five Element theory. The Five elements are derived from nature and are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. These are considered to be the building blocks of everything physical on earth. Feng Shui observes that we, as humans are made up of all five elements, and we are generally most comfortable when all the elements are represented in our surroundings.

Feng Shui decor includes the Five Elements that are associated with shapes, colors and materials and can be introduced into a space in pure form, using actual plants, fire, soil, metal or water, or in the form of representative objects. The most powerful objects are those, which combine the shape, color and material of an element. For example, a square, terracotta pot filled with brown soil for earth energy.

In decorating your home or office, we can use the following guide to assist us in creating an elementally balanced environment.

Wood is represented by the color green. It can be found in all wood, plants, flowers and paper. The shape for wood can be found in columns and pillars. Examples would be a tall, green vase; a green picture frame, or a tall lamp with a paper shade.

Fire is represented by the color red, and is found in lighting, candles, fireplace, sunlight, animals, leather and wool. The shapes triangle, pyramid and cones signify fire. Examples would be star-shaped candleholders, oil lamps and red or animal print fabric.

Earth is represented with yellow and earth tones. It is found in the soil, ceramics, tile, brick and stucco. Its shape is represented with square, rectangles, and plateaus. Examples would be a clay pot with yellow flowers, a square plate or checkered fabric.

Metal is present in the colors of gray, white and pastels. It is found in all metals, such as gold, silver, copper, pewter, and brass. The shapes are found in arches, circles and ovals. Examples would be a round silver tray, a pewter pitcher or an oval brass frame.

Water is represented by the colors blue, black and dark tones. Water is found in a bubbling fountain, glass, crystal and mirrors. Asymmetrical or irregular shapes are a part of the water element. Examples would be a crystal vase, a mirror or black satin fabric.

These elements can be introduced in various forms to suit your own style of decorating. You might choose wallpaper with green vertical stripes to bring more uplifting wood energy, making the ceiling appear higher and the room more spacious. Red fabric pillows on a sofa will increase the fire energy, creating an exciting atmosphere. Yellow checkered curtains in the kitchen will enhance the earth energy, which will make the room feel cozier. A round, brass, metal bowl used, as an accent piece on a coffee table, will make it feel more complete and finished. A water feature in the entry enhances the water energy, conveying a peaceful flowing atmosphere.

Combining appropriate colors with particular patterns and materials can be especially effective in manipulating the existing energy, which is the basis of many Feng Shui remedies. When using these tools and surrounding yourself with things that you love, you are creating environmental affirmations which support you in having a peaceful place to live and a place for the vital energy to circulate harmoniously throughout your home.


Diane Alba MeansOwner of Hawaii Feng Shui based in Maui, Hawaii, Diane Alba-Means is a professional, certified Feng Shui Practitioner, Color Expert, Image consultant, and author. Read more about Diane.



Article Source:  Decorating with Feng Shui

The Importance of Live Plants in Feng Shui

The Importance of Live Plants, Maureen CalamiaOne of the most common recommendations to improve feng shui is the addition of plants. Why is that? Find out more from Maureen Calamia.

Very simply, plants represent wealth and abundance in feng shui. As a metaphor, they symbolize health and growth, both very important to good feng shui. Fresh, lively, and abundant plants are probably the best thing you can do to enhance your prospects in life.

According to Eastern philosophy, trees and plants are considered the Wood Element, one of the 5 Natural Elements which include Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. The energy of Wood is uprising, initiating, and growth. It is early yang energy that facilitates the budding of spring and new beginnings in all of life.

So what is behind the significance of plants in feng shui?

We evolved over millions of years within the natural environment. We subconsciously seek places with healthy, abundant plants which not only indicate an abundant food source, but an abundant supply of fresh water. We are hard-wired to desire such an environment and associate it with health, and therefore, wealth. So, when we are in environments with healthy plants we feel better and more alive. It’s no wonder that healthcare facilities have made great efforts to increase the proliferation of plants over the last couple of decades.

Air quality
Indoor environments are 2-5 times more polluted than most outdoor spaces, because of the toxicity of materials and products used within the home, plus the lack of fresh air flow. Plants add moisture to the air, which increases negative ions (which, ironically, are good for you!) and eat toxins. Some plants are more efficient than others, but all plants do help improve the air we breathe.

Have you read or seen “The Celestine Prophecy?” It is true that plants have a consciousness that responds to its environment. Although a different type of consciousness, healthy plants contribute to the positive energy in our spaces. Similar to “forest bathing” (a Japanese term for being refreshed during a walk in the woods), plants in our indoor environments refresh our energy. For more information read The Secret Life of Plants by Peter Tompkins and Live and Let Live by Dr. Jim Conroy and Basia Alexander.

Since the 1970’s there have been tons of studies that show how plants improve our focus and attention, productivity, enhance health outcomes, reduce violence and absenteeism. Plants improve the environment in homes, offices, urban spaces, healthcare facilities, schools and even prisons.

“I don’t have a green thumb”
I hear that from many people. They kill any plant that they get. If this is you, my recommendation is to get a few plants that are easy maintenance (don’t buy a bonsai!) and make the intention to water it every few days. Use cuttings from your yard or buy a weekly bouquet of flowers. Just bring some positive, fresh, lively energy into your life on a daily basis!


maureenkcalamia_RRMaureen Calamia is founder of the Re-Nature Feng Shui™ philosophy based on the fact that we need to restore nature back into our lives. Maureen brings her passion for Feng Shui to the greater community as an educator and long time past IFSG board member. Read more about Maureen.


Article/Image Source: The Importance of Live Plants in Feng Shui

Feng Shui is Fabulous with Nature – Meet the Tree

Meet the Tree, Lois Kramer-PerezThe principles of Feng Shui connect us to the power of Mother Nature. As we review the 5 elements in nature, Feng Shui provides information to assist us connecting with the benefits of each element. Let’s take a look at the element “Tree” – in all its glory, alive, breathing and contributing life for all living things, from Lois Kramer-Perez

The energy associated with “Tree” is uprising, early morning, the time of new beginnings. The colors are the bright green of the leaves, the shapes are tall and vertical. Connecting to this element, we feel motivated to move! We are filled with new ideas and excited about the actions we are ready to take. If we find ourselves feeling stuck, what better way to get motivated than to get outside and walk amongst the Trees. Bringing the energy of Tree inside our homes and office space, we bring life!

Here are some wonderful suggestions for adding this living, healing, motivating energy to our indoor spaces. These plants thrive easily indoors and need minimal attention.

Plants That Keep Us Healthy

Peace Lily – Removes chemical vapors, including acetone, alcohol trichloroethylene, benzene, formaldehyde & ammonia. Neutralizes effects of EMF, good to keep near computers. Semi-sun to semi-shade. Keep out of direct sunlight.

Snake Plant – Removes toxins in rooms where no other plants will grow, from photocopier & printers. Good for rooms that do not have ventilation such as windowless rooms and tightly sealed offices. Semi-sun to shade.

Rubber Plant – A great humidifier, removes indoor chemicals particularly formaldehyde. Semi-sun to semi shade, will tolerate dim light and cool temperatures.

Janet Craig (Dracaena deremensis) – This Tree is one of my new favorites! Great for corners! Places fifth on NASA’s ranking with a 7.8 score. According to data it can remove Formaldehyde, at a rate of 1,328 micrograms per hour. It also removes Xylene, at a rate of 154 micrograms per hour according to  Water completely from early spring through the winter season and allow the plant’s soil to dry out in between watering.

Bamboo Palm – Adds moisture to indoor air, especially during use of heat in winter months. Removes chemical vapors trichloroethylene, benzene and formaldehyde. Low light.

English Ivy – Filters indoor airborne pollutants such as fecal particles, formaldehyde aerosols. Poisonous! Keep away from pets & children. Likes bright sun but not under direct light.


Lois Kramer PerezLois Kramer Perez is a published author and the Feng Shui Expert. She proudly served as a General Board Member of the IFSG (February 2013-September 2017).  Read more about Lois.



Article/Image Source: Feng Shui is Fabulous with Nature – Meet the Tree

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