Monthly Archives: July 2010

Feng Shui 101 – How To Create Warmth and Coziness in a Room

Let’s look at the décor of a living room from a Feng Shui perspective.  Colors, furniture, and acccesories constitute a room’s décor.  How do you feel looking at the photos below?  How do you think you’d feel in the space? 

Feng Shui principals illustrate that the décor in a room creates palpable energy.  The energy you feel determines whether or not you’ll feel comfortable in the space.

Does this room beckon to you to sit down and relax?  Odds are it doesn’t.     The colors in the space – black, white and dark brown – correspond to  water, metal, and earth energy in Feng Shui.  These elements, with the exception of earth, don’t contain much warmth.  That’s why you get a cold feeling from the space.

The room lacks assorted textures as well.   You’ll notice a lot of smooth surfaces.  The room needs balancing by adding varying textures as well as fire and earth colors.  Earth colors are yellow, brown, and beige.  Fire colors are red, orange, pink and purple.  The coral-orange lamps on either side of the couch are the only fire elements in the room. 

Here are easy changes that create warmth and coziness in the room.

  • Add decorative items on each side table that contain fire energy.   I don’t advocate creating clutter but one or two decorative elements on each side can create energy.   On one side you could lay three books with colorful covers and a large seashell on top.  On the other side you could place a round orange bowl filled with seashells or decorative balls.
  • The couches need texture to create coziness.  Add two or three decorative pillows on the couch in patterns that have fire colors.
  • Place a throw blanket that has coral and other colors in it on the smaller couch.
  • The smooth wood floors need a rug to create texture.  An area rug creates warmth and grounding.  Add a rug in the center of the room with a flowing and colorful pattern consisting of earth and fire colors.  Or, add a solid color rug which matches the color of the lamps. 
  • The green plate is too large for the top of the cabinet and the color doesn’t create visual interest or warmth.  Replace it with a smaller plate.  A coral and green plate as shown above would be terrific.
  • The jar of seashells is too large for that area.  Put the shells in a smaller, wider circular glass vase.
  • The bundle of wheat is out of proportion on top of the cabinet and lacks energy.  Replace it with another accessory – perhaps a pared-down ceramic vase with coral, green, white and black.  Place red silk flowers in the vase to instantly create vibrance.
  • The windows lack texture.  Adding drapery panels in any color or pattern creates texture in the space which creates warmth. 

Remember that adding fire colors instantly creates warmth and visual appeal in a room.   In order to have a balanced and comfortable room, putting together a variety of textures, shapes, and colors in a space, guided by Feng Shui principles  is the key.  Have fun!

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Tips for Working with Greater Inspiration and Focus

Each day that we spend in our business enviroment is an opportunity to bring forth creativity and inspiration or to react to things happening around us.  Most days, it’s a see-saw back and forth between focus and reaction. 

Oftentimes, our thought patterns are generated by fear.  Fear causes obsessive or compulsive behavior.  Using the tools below can help you feel energized and focused.  The little things you do each day with intention add up to increased enjoyment of each day.

1-  Remove superfluous files on your screen saver.  When you open your computer and see a screen full of files and folders you’ll subconsciously feel overwhelm and chaos.

2-  Every night when you leave your office take five minutes and straighten the items on your desk. If you make this a nightly ritual, each morning you’ll feel more energy than you will if you come back to a cluttered desk.

3-  Set your work schedule in one-hour increments.  Make a commitment to work for an hour and don’t succumb to interruptions during this time.

4-  Create a designated time in your day to answer phone calls, check emails, and do social networking.

5-  Schedule your week in advance as much as possible.  On your day planner, commit to certain activities each day.  You don’t have to schedule eight hours each day, but do schedule priorities. 

6-  Take time in the morning to connect to Spirit, Presence, Love, God, or whatever you choose to call it.  When you are still and present, guidance or little messages can pop into your awareness.  Inspiration is found through this connection.

7-  During the day, every time you feel anxious or obsessive about completing a project stop and connect to Presence.  A good way to do this is by pausing at your desk or moving to a quiet area and simply becoming aware of your breathing.  Stopping for as little as a minute can bring you focus.

8-  Schedule a break in your day to connect with nature, take the dogs for a walk, eat lunch, go to a yoga class, etc. 

9-  If you work from a home office make it a rule that no one disturbs you when the door is closed.  Create a schedule to balance work sessions with family needs.

10-  Give yourself a boost of energy by dusting and organizing your desk.  Take a couple minutes and dust your computer keyboard, monitor, and anything around your space that needs it.

11-  Set realistic goals each week.  Make it a habit to sit quietly, ask for inspiration and write down your goals for the week.  Err on the side of fewer rather than too many.

And…one parting thought….don’t take things too seriously and have fun!

How Home Decorating with Feng Shui Creates More Peace in Your Life

Odds are, you’ve experienced the feeling of exhilaration when you’re in a particularly stunning place in nature.  The view from a mountain vista, hiking in a tall forest, or watching waves in the ocean can provide peace and inspiration when you’re feeling tired and knocked-around by the stressors of daily life. 

Being in nature adds a vital component to our well-being.  It allows us to get in touch with our deeper selves.  It reunites us with our soul.  Although nothing quite compares to the beauty and peace found in nature, your home can be transformed into a respite from the daily rat-race.  You can create an environment that reflects the qualities nature offers – beauty, inspiration, flow, and symmetry. 

We’ve come a long way since caveman days when a home simply met survival needs.   We have access to millions of home decorating magazines, books, and television shows.  The bottom line is the idea that a home can be a place of beauty and comfort.  A kitchen is place to nurture your body, a bedroom allows for rest and renewal, a bathroom can be a place of nurturing, and the other areas of your home support getting together with friends, or working, or pursuing hobbies. Every room in your home can be arranged to inspire you and showcase your uniqueness.   

Did you know that everything you put in a space influences the way you feel in the space?  Have you ever walked into a restaurant, hotel room, or even a friend’s home and felt uneasy and didn’t want to stay very long?  It was the energy of the space you were feeling.  It could have been the furniture arrangement or the colors or clutter that you responded to.  The bottom line is that whether you are out in nature or in your own environment, the energy affects you.

Wall colors, color palette, amount of natural light, furniture arrangement, artwork, flooring, rugs, window treatments, and arrangement of bookshelves, tabletops, and accessories create energy.  You pick up on that energy, either consciously or not.  If the space is unbalanced, you’ll feel uncomfortable.  And don’t we all need a break from feeling discomfort caused by stressors out there in daily life?  It’s vital to your well-being to be able to relax in your home.

The Chinese art and science of Feng Shui (pronounced “fung schway) explains that balancing energy allows for a richer life.  Through correct arrangement of furniture, colors, and accessories a room will feel harmonious or chaotic.  Feng Shui is derived from patterns in nature.  Feng Shui actually means “wind and water” which references the flowing nature of the elements.  Feng Shui rests on the principles of symmetry and flow.  It allows us to sort of re-create nature, indoors.  

The items you select for your home and where you place them can come together like a symphony or be disjointed and chaotic.  When a space is balanced and appealing it should comfort you.  My rule of thumb is – if you don’t feel “Ahhh!” when you walk into a room it means things are not in alignment.  Whether you know it or not, you intuitively pick up on bad Feng Shui.  A good way place to begin creating “Ahhh!” moments in a room is to break the room down into small sections – I call them vignettes.  For example, your dining table, a shelf on your bookshelves, or your bed can be a place to exercise your creatively and intuitive decorating.  Use accessories from other rooms or purchase new things – it doesn’t matter how small your budget is, what matters most is to use things you absolutely love.  Play around with the accessories until you have the “Ahhh” moment.  Creating a vignette oftentimes opens the door to create in other areas of the room.

Of course, seeking expert advice can point you in the right direction.  Most importantly, have fun and stay open to your creativity.   In Feng Shui there is no absolute right or wrong way to decorate, there are only guidelines which you can color in with your unique choices.

Reconnecting with Your Creativity and Inspiration

When it comes to decorating your home it’s creativity and not the size of your budget that’s most important.  Decorating can re-connect you with your creativity.  And rest assured, you ARE a creative person.  Creativity never wanes, we’re born with it.  It is inspiration.  It is Spirit.  Spirit is abundant and can never be extinguished.  When you access your Spirit, you’ll find yourself naturally energized and focused. You’ll find yourself being rather than reacting.

How do you begin? Become the child you were.  Before you felt the demands life and fear of the wreckage of the future, all you had to think about was right now.  That gave you freedom to create.  To make things like macaroni necklaces, tuna-fish-can Christmas ornaments, and Easy-Bake Oven cakes.  When you’re in the present moment, not thinking about the past, not worried about the future, and fully engaged with what you’re doing you are inspired.  Creating allows you to access the present moment.  So even if you’re not there when you start, you’ll can find it if you fully give yourself to your project.

You can be creative in everything you do, whether it’s writing out a grocery list with a pink marker or selecting fun words to use in a conversation.

Need a nudge?  Here are some ideas to connect you with your inspiration.

  1. Schedule an hour in a hobby store.  You don’t have to commit to buying anything, just see what speaks to you.  They may have a class that sounds interesting you can sign up for just for fun.
  2. Your home is full of creative projects.  If you’ve got worn-out wood or metal items revitalize them with a can of spray paint.  Find something that you’d like to restore and then spray-paint it with a color you love.
  3. Put together a collage with pictures and words that inspire you or things you’d like to create in your life.
  4. Paint the outside of small flower pots.
  5. Go to a toy store and meander.  Buy something that you liked to play with as a child.  Place it in a prominent place in your home or office for inspiration.
  6. Write about things you liked to do as a child.
  7. Find an easy, yummy recipe and make it.
  8. Take photos of nature.  If you don’t have a camera, a disposal camera works great.  Put together a piece of wall art with the photos.
  9. Go somewhere different.  A park, a museum, a new bookstore or library. 
  10. Arrange or re-arrange things that you collect.  Do you collect shells, books, or photographs?  Put them in jars, or on shelves, in albums, whatever is most appropriate for the item. 

Extricate yourself from distractions that keep you busy but not inspired and start doing something creative.  You can take baby steps if you need to. You’ll find yourself feeling more content in all areas of your life when you connect with the energy that creativity brings!