Monthly Archives: January 2010

Now, more than ever, your Home is not your 401K

Are you in the market for a new home?  Do you feel excited and inspired?  Or are you paralyzed with fear? If it’s the later you may be putting greater priority on making your home a profit center rather than a place to live.  If your first priority is price, and next priority is re-sale value, changing that paradigm will change the experience of buying and living in your next home.

Of course the price of a home is relevant and you can keep an eye toward eventual resale value but to make money a top priority is looking at a house as a profit center and not as a home. 

As a society it seems that we’ve lost sight of the main purpose of a home – to live in.  It’s not a 401K.  The recent financial crisis forced us to re-think the idea of a home as a profit-center.  A home is a big investment – but it is an investment in yourself and your life. Instead of thinking about how much return you’ll make on your investment, why not consider how much return you’ll get emotionally and psychologically?

Remember, a home is a container for our creativity, our hopes, and our dreams.  How do you put a price tag on that? 

If you can shop for a home with the goal being adding support and comfort to your life rather than getting the “best deal” you’ll transform the buying process.  You’ll be able to envision the places in the home where you can plant a garden, spend time with your family, cook nurturing meals, and entertain friends.  You can take out fear and instead create inspiration and excitement.

Remember that you have a relationship with your home, and it’s more than just making a monthly mortgage payment.  Your home offers you a place to create – whether it’s dinner with friends or memories of your child’s first birthday.  I’ve seen that many that buyers don’t consider intangibles, instead erring on the side of not making a financial mistake.

Imagine yourself in each room of the house experiencing love and cultivating  joy.  And if the price is a little higher than you had anticipated or if you’re uncertain about what the resale value will be, remember that the intangibles are priceless.  Enjoy your home!

Balance any Room with these Five Feng Shui Principles

Balance any room in your home using simple Feng Shui principles.  Create instant balance by using the principles below.

1. Place your longest piece of furniture against the longest wall of a room.  Usually, this will be a couch, bed, dresser, or media center.  If all your furniture is about the same size, you can create a vignette by placing a few pieces of furniture against the wall such as two chairs and a side table in the middle.

 2.  Ensure both sides of the room are balanced.  Balance the largest piece of furniture in the room with equal weight on the other side.   For example, you could balance a couch on one side with a media cabinet on the other side.  If you have an architectural feature such as a wall of windows, a fireplace, or built-in bookshelves on one side that you can balance the room with artwork or a large piece of furniture on the other side of the room. 

 3.  Ensure there’s balance on each piece of furniture.  For example, if you’ve got a night-stand on each side of your bed, the items on each night-stand should be balanced.  They don’t have to be perfectly matched, they just need the same basic weight. Also look for balance with pillows on couches, accessories on table-tops, and books on bookshelves.

4.  Balance the yin/yang qualities in the room. If you’ve got masculine (dark/heavy) furniture in a room, balance it by adding feminine items that have flowing lines and lighter colors.   If you’ve got predominately feminine  (flowing/light-colored) accessories add a bit of brown, black or heavy-weight objects for balance.  Area-rugs and artwork are perfect accessories to use to balance furniture and wall-color.  Have large pieces of furniture?  Use brightly colored area rugs or artwork to create lightness and balance.  Have European or modern furniture?  Add artwork or rugs in warm earth colors such as yellow and brown to balance the room.

 5. You’ll know you’ve hit the “sweet-spot” when you walk into a room and feel “AHHH!”   Your body intuitively feels energy and if it’s balanced, you’ll know it.  This is the essence of Feng Shui!

What I Learned from a Bumper-Sticker

If you’re reading this you know that life is full of learning opportunities.  Lessons are given in a beautifully-constructed way if you pay attention.  I had an unexpected realization the other day.  Ironically it happened while I was driving to a downtown spiritually-based meeting.  I found myself in Austin’s typical noontime traffic.  I tend to people-watch in traffic to see what state of being they’re in. As I was observing, I noticed a bumper-sticker on an older-model black pickup truck in front of me. Let me warn you before you read this – it’s probably going hit you with negative energy.  The bumper sticker read, “This truck is protected by a pit-bull with aids.”

I was disgusted.  How un-compassionate!  I told myself it wasn’t surprising to find such a sentiment on “an old black truck”.   And when I passed the truck I’m sure I gave the young male driver a look of scorn.  I judged him to be very un-enlightened and therefore the kind of person I avoid. It wasn’t until I was sitting in my meeting, about 30 minutes later that I got the lesson – the  light-bulb came on. 

The lesson was —

I had reacted to this person’s expression of hate and fear from the same mind-set that he had when he placed his bumper sticker on his truck. 

That mind-set is the ego-mind.  It is borne from separateness and fear.  And reacting from my ego, I did what the ego excels in – judging and punishing.  I wanted to hurt that driver in some way just as he wanted to hurt anyone that messed with his truck.  And both his and my action were fundamentally the same – we were reacting from fear and separateness.

The world is populated with egos.  And hard as it at times, facing an ego with light and compassion rather than with another ego reaction is the way to bring peace and one-ness into the world.  Instead of my judgment about how awful and obviously UN-enlightened the driver was, I could have offered him love and understanding and connected with him rather than separated myself from him.  After all, don’t we all share varying degrees of the fear of being robbed?  And don’t we all get a feeling of security (albeit misplaced) from our stuff? 

So I could have accessed Spirit rather than ego and given him what I need too – compassion, love, understanding and connection.  And we can all choose to connect to the whole and to Spirit the next time we meet an ego.  We can be the change we want to see in world.  We just need to pause and remember Who We Really Are.

Feng Shui Can Create Tangible Results Every Time

Do you think of Feng Shui as a vehicle to bring better things into your life?  Have you used Feng Shui in the hope of finding more money, a new love interest or better health?  Feng Shui may indeed be able to effect positive changes in your life but unfortunately there’s no scientific evidence of its results.  One can easily pose the question, “Did I get a promotion because of a Feng Shui cure I implemented or was it just a coincidence?”  Feng Shui is a metaphysical study and because its efficacy can’t be qualified, many people dismiss it or think of it as a “wu-wu” or new-age practice. 

There is a way to use Feng Shui which presents tangible, direct results using one of the original precepts of Feng Shui  – balancing energy.  Rather than focusing on putting special Feng Shui cures or symbols in certain locations as widely practiced, using Feng Shui to balance energy is practical and results-oriented.  In essence, it’s a paradigm shift from hoping that you can effect a change in your life circumstances to feeling a tangible change in your immediate environment.

Using Feng Shui to balance energy is also a holistic and subtle way of effecting positive changes.  Feeling comfortable at home supports your health.  Less stress can make you open to more opportunity and inspiration.  When you feel uncomfortable in an environment it most likely means that the energy is unbalanced.  Most of us know when we feel good or not-so-good in certain spaces, but we may not know all the reasons why.  Feng Shui principals regarding yin and yang, the five elements, placement and form explain why.  That is the essence of authentic Feng Shui.

Energy causes an environment to feel comfortable or uncomfortable.  For example, if a room feels cold and sterile, the energy is out of balance.  The correct elements are needed to bring the room into balance.  A room that is dark and feels stifling needs balancing to create vibrancy and spaciousness.  Rearranging your home changes its energy.  By quantifying room usage, the innate energy in the room, and the elements that are lacking or in surplus, a room can be re-arranged to feel completely different. 

You’ll feel a palpable change in energy in a space after redesigning it with Feng Shui. 

Using Feng Shui to correct energy imbalances in a space is practical and doesn’t rely on special Feng Shui cures.  Making a space more balanced and comfortable so that it positively affects your ability to relax makes sense.  A cozy room benefits your mind, body and spirit.  Using Feng Shui in this way can arguably help you make more money, find a new love interest, or increase your health.  These outcomes can result from the balanced, comfortable energy you feel in your environment which is different from using symbols and cures that people associate with Feng Shui.  When you move your stuff around, you are creating a tangible energy change and are tapping into the power of authentic Feng Shui.