Tag Archives: energy

Inspiration is the Light Inside You

My study of Feng Shui helped me understand how the quality of light in a space affects the way the space feels.  When there’s abundant light in a space it feels warm and welcoming.  The absence of light creates lethargy and in the long-term, depression.  Light is energy.

Just as the quality of light in an environment creates energy, the  light inside us all is key to inspiration.   Inspiration means, quite literally, being in Spirit.

Being in Spirit can be described as feeling grounded or being in the present moment.  You’re in the flow.  And when you’re in the flow, you’re open to new ideas.  Ideas simply pop into your head.  You may receive an answer to a problem, insight into a new way of doing something, or a fresh approach to a dilemma.

Inspiration is always available to you. It’s the perpetual light inside of you.  Sometimes negative thoughts cloud over the ability to connect to inspiration.   Negative thoughts can create a writer’s block or burnout or depression.  Regardless of what we call it, the problem is that we’re not connecting with our inner spirit or light.  The problem ISN’T that we don’t have any more light.

When I hear someone say “I’m not creative”  I think,  “That statement couldn’t be further from the truth.”  Every one of us is creative because we are spiritual beings.  You may not feel inspired to decorate a room, or paint a still-life landscape, but that’s not the essence of creativity. Creativity is the result of connecting to inspiration. It can be manifested by deciding to take your dog to a new park or picking colorful files for your office or simply cleaning your home differently than you usually do.  Creativity is not reserved for the arts. 

Think of each day as a creative experience, it is yours to paint the way you choose.  If you connect to inspiration you will absolutely have a fulfilling and energized day.  You can bring new energy and ideas to the mundane.  You create the day you want to have by your choice of either connecting to Spirit or by blocking off your light with dark clouds of anxiety or living in the future or in the past.  Inspiration is found in the present moment.   This is where ideas spring forth.  In this state of being you can connect with your inner self which inevitably connects you to inspiration.

Science Proves that Environment Influences Health

Science proves what you may already intuit – your environment influences your health. Nerve chemicals produced by your brain in reaction to an environment influence your health – specifically, your immune system.  

A study published in Science magazine concluded that patients in hospital rooms with a view of trees and natural landscaping healed quicker than patients with views of a brick wall. Subsequent studies showed that hospital patients suffering depression were discharged sooner when they stayed in bright and sunny rooms rather than in dark rooms.

Professor Irving Biederman at U.S.C. showed that viewing beautiful scenes such as a mountain vista or a sunset allow our brain’s nerve cells to receive endorphins which induce a naturally “good” feeling.  It seems that the repeating patterns found in nature such as waves, trees and mountain ranges are not only pleasing to look at, but have a calming influence.

These findings help validate the benefits of using Feng Shui principles to arrange your home or work environment. Feng Shui allows you to bring balance and symmetry into an environment through furniture arrangement, lighting, color selection, and accessories. Echoing natural patterns in a space helps you to relax. Using Feng Shui creates a feeling of peace and comfort which nurtures your health and well-being.

Feng Shui 101 – Good Feng Shui Helps You Feel Good

I think the following common expressions capture the power of Feng Shui.  “The air was so thick I could cut it with a knife.” “What you need is a change of scenery.”  These expressions explain a familiar but unseen phenomenon – energy.  Energy is the essence of Feng Shui.

After a heated argument, the energy imprint left by people in a room is palpable.  During a stressful meeting the atmosphere in a room may feel thick and heavy.  Why? Because of the energy. We all have a “sixth sense” that gives us a feeling of comfort or discomfort in an environment.  Most of us intuitively sense the type of energy in a space.

The philosophy of Feng Shui holds that the energy in your environment impacts the way you feel.  For example, do you feel comfortable or uncomfortable looking at the photo of the hallway above?  If you feel uncomfortable, you’re responding to imbalances of color, lighting, and shapes in the space.  This hallway does not have good Feng Shui.

Think about an uncomfortable feeling you’ve have had upon entering a hotel room, a restaurant, or a friend’s home.  What was it that made you feel uncomfortable?  Odds are, the way the space was decorated, the lighting, and the furniture arrangement did not feel balanced and harmonious.  When an environment is not alignment with Feng Shui principles you’ll be uncomfortable and it’ll be difficult to relax. 

Feng Shui follows nature’s principles of balance, symmetry, and flow.  The way a room is arranged exudes energy which you can feel. The essence of Feng Shui is to balance elements so that one doesn’t over-take another.  Choices such as wall color, furniture arrangement, artwork, accessories, and lighting create the type of energy in that you feel. 

Here Are Five Simple Ways to Create Balance and Flow in a Room:

1.  Arrange your furniture so that the largest and/or heaviest piece is against a wall.  In a bedroom, this is usually the bed. In a living room it’s usually a couch or media cabinet.

2. Don’t block windows. Don’t put furniture in front of windows unless you have a wall of windows or unless it’s most practical.

3. Keep things uncluttered. The first thing you see when entering each room should lift your spirits.

4. Arrange your furniture so that you can easily walk to it. Think of opening your arms to embrace someone. That’s the way each piece of furniture should be placed – open and accessible. Remove furniture if it’s blocking flow.  Even if it’s a family heirloom, if the space feels more open and accessible without it,  it’s best to remove it.

5.  Balance what’s on your walls too.  Use the open-arm analogy. Think of each opposing wall as an arm embracing you. It feels better to have each side balanced so you feel secure. If you’ve got a large media cabinet on one side of the room, make sure that the wall opposite has artwork sized proportionately to balance the space.

A good rule of thumb for decorating any space is if you feel comfortable and relaxed in the space, if you feel inspired when you walk into the space, and if love being in the space, it’s got good Feng Shui.

Comments, Questions or Feedback?  I’d love to hear from you.

Eliminating Clutter Creates Better Focus

The most prevalent issue I see in clients’ homes is clutter and its partner – disorganization. Simply put, most people have too much stuff.  And the more stuff you have, the more difficult it is to keep all the stuff organized.  Couples with children suffer from trying to organize lots of “kid-stuff”.  Clients without children are prone to accumulating too many books, accessories, clothes, shoes, paperwork, collectibles, and/or things they just can’t part with on an emotional level.  

It’s important to understand that creating order and simplicity in your environment allows you to better focus and feel centered. Clutter produces chaotic and draining energy. 

For example, take a look at these photos and notice how you much peace you feel ~

There’s harmony and symmetry in nature which creates a peaceful experience.  The same principle translates to your home.

The biggest negative about clutter is that the more stuff that fills up your home, the more emotional energy you’ll spend in trying to live around the clutter.  Clutter keeps you unfocused.  And with the unpredictability of the world “out there” it’s important now more than ever that you feel centered at home.  Being organized allows you to experience a healthier quality of life.

Here are Easy Tips for Preventing Clutter in your Home

1.  Avoid places that may activate your particular clutter “trigger”.  These could be thrift stores, bookstores, outlet stores, garage sales, and sales in general.

2.  If you can’t stop a “clutter craving,”  make sure that you buy something that you can return.  Keep the receipt. Sometimes, just driving around with the item in your car for a couple days will enable you to see that you don’t really need it and then you can return the item but DON”T use it as an opportunity to do more shopping.

3.  Be proactive and dispose of clutter on a daily basis.  Don’t let mail, laundry, dirty dishes, shoes, or paper on your desk pile up.

4. Stop your unsolicited extra postal mail. Stop by  http://www.newdream.org/junkmail  to opt-out of email lists.  Virtual clutter is still clutter!

5. Stop accepting freebies.  Don’t take home everything you’re offered from party, a trade show, or a grocery store.  Don’t bring home travel samples from hotels or events.  Leave them there! 

Hope this helps and I’d love to hear your suggestions for keeping clutter in check.

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!

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!

Buying a Home? Look for these Feng Shui Features.

When you’re in the market for a new a home your biggest priorities are usually price and location.  Next, the floor plan of the home and the feeling you get when you walk in will be deciding factors.  Have you ever experienced that feeling of  “ahhh!” when you enter a space?  It’s an intrinsic feeling you get when an environment feels nurturing.  It’s a great indicator that the house has good Feng Shui.    

Here are six features to look for when you’re in the market for a new home that will create good Feng Shui:

1.  Where is the home located in relation to the street? Avoid buying a home on a T-junction.  When a home is on a T-junction it gets bombarded with traffic energy coming towards it.  The result can be increased arguments and conflict at home.  If the home sits back a good distance from the street or if there is landscaping between the street and the home it alleviates the negative effects.

2.  Does the front door face the street?  Look for a home a with front door facing forward, not to the side, and which isn’t blocked.  The  front door is important in Feng Shui because it is the primary pathway for energy.   A front door which enjoys a clear pathway can receive energy- also referred to as “qi” – and the home will be healthier.  Avoid having large trees directly in front of the door which block qi.

3.  Is the floor plan practical and functional? Practicality almost always indicates good Feng Shui.  Some minor oddities are endearing, but things that make you scratch your head and say “what were they thinking?” are almost always a sign of bad Feng Shui.  Trust your instinct.  If it’s impractical and feels awkward to you it can likely cause problems in your home due to unbalanced energy.

4.  Does the home have good flow?  Open floor plans are preferable because they allow  qi within your home to circulate.  If the floor plan is compartmentalized ensure that rooms have windows so you create good qi pathways.

5.  Do you feel comfortable with the way the home sits on the lot?  Having a steep hill six feet behind you can cause you to feel claustrophobic.  Conversly, if the home sits on top of a hill you may feel exposed and unsupported.  It’s best to look for a flat lot that comfortably fits the home.   When home is grounded and securely placed on the lot, you’ll feel the same. 

6.  What type of driveway does the home have?  Is it circular?  Don’t buy a home with a circular driveway unless you plan infrequent use.  If you use a circular driveway often, the coming and going of the vehicles create a disturbance of energy in the front of your home which can cause conflict inside your  home.