Tag Archives: feng shui

9 Steps to Make Your Home a Haven of Happiness

North bedroom with Nermal the grey catBefore you apply your feng shui cures, you need to clear out the clutter in your home. When you clean up your home, you rid it of stagnant and unhealthy energy. Most of us have too many things we don’t actually need, and in getting rid of them, we create space for the cures to work.

1. If the idea of clearing out the clutter in your home seems overwhelming, then focus on one room at a time or one area in the room at a time, or even one drawer at a time, if necessary. As the famous saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” so be kind to yourself, but do complete the task. The first step to shifting energy in your home and in your life is to make room for new and fresh energy to come in.

2. If you haven’t used an item in the last six months, or a year at the most, then give it away to someone who might need it more than you. You will find enormous freedom in letting go of the objects and clothes that you really don’t need anymore and you may even find the act of giving to those in need to be motivational.

3. Make sure you do not have an excessive amount of furniture, as too much bulk can stop the flow of chi around your home. There needs to be space for energy to flow and for you to move through your home with ease, without bumping into anything.

4. Do not just hide everything in a garage or an attic and pretend that you have gotten rid of it. The garage and attic are also considered parts of your home and you need to treat them as such.

5. Fix anything that is broken in your home. If you are having problems with the doors, windows, roof or any other part of the house structure, then fix it. You also want to make sure all the systems are in good working order and flowing well, which means the water, gas and electricity in your home.

6. If you think that your entire home or a particular room needs to be cleansed, you can wash the walls with water infused with nine drops of pure lavender or citrus essence in a bucket. This helps to cleanse the room of any old, stagnant energy.

7. Painting draws new energy into a home. If you have moved into a new home, then make sure that you paint the walls and deep clean the carpets to get rid of the energy of the previous occupants.

8. If you want to use color on one or all of your walls in different rooms, here are a few suggestions:

Kitchen—White is a great color for cleanliness.

Living Room or Family Room—Earth tones are very relaxing and grounding and have a capacity to draw people together.

Blue or green also add life to these rooms.

Bedroom—Peach, light blue and green are excellent choices.

Children’s Room—White, green or blue in your children’s rooms will help them to flourish.

9. If you want to quickly remove the energy in your home after a few difficult weeks or months, then open all the windows and doors for a few hours and let the chi from outside flow through and clear your living space. You may also want to place a bouquet of fresh flowers in the middle of your home to enhance the cleansing process.

 

From How Happy Is Your Home?: 50 Great Tips to Bring More Health, Wealth and Happiness into Your Home By Sophie Keller

 

Originally published December 2011

3 Ways to Design Your Home for Maximum Happiness

There's No Remedy For Memory

There are many possible sources of discomfort and discontent, ranging from relationship troubles, to financial woes, to self-esteem, and more. One common source, though, which is often overlooked, is your environment and home space. Even something as simple as the shade of a wall or placement of a bed can affect your mood and take a toll on your daily life. Luckily, there are several essential warning signs to look out for, and some simple fixes to achieve the healthy and healing space you deserve.

In the July/August edition of Spirituality & Health magazine, design expert Laura Benko discusses some common sources of design-induced discomfort, with tips on how to adjust these influences. Here are 3 of the 6 tips, and check out Spirituality & Health for the rest of the article!

1. Build Confidence. Piles of unfinished work, clothing, paperwork and other clutter can indicate procrastination and induce a sense of fear that you are getting behind. Mitigate this worry and build confidence at the same time by organizing odds and ends and getting started on some of the tasks on your to-do list.

2. Build Self-Esteem. Did you know that hanging artwork and mirrors too high on the wall can lead to a feeling of never measuring up? As a rule, artwork should be roughly 5 feet from center to floor so that you see it directly at eye level. As you view your wall hangings, remind yourself of the realistic expectations you set for yourself and the achievability of your goals.

3. Embrace Change. Decorations and decor that have not been updated in ages can induce or perpetuate a fear of change and uncertainly. Break the mold by moving some furniture around, hanging a new piece of artwork, or getting a plant. Give yourself a new perspective on your space and, as a result, a fresh outlook on your life and future.

Do you have any other holistic design tips? Let us know in the comments section!

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Spirituality & Health
is a magazine for people who want to explore the spiritual journey and wake up to our capacity for self-healing, vitality, and resiliency. Read whole article on holistic design in the July-August edition of Spirituality & Health, on newsstands now! Get your first issue FREE here.

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Why Ayurveda Could Change Your Life

Jumping

Imagine you’re outside, by a beautiful lake, enjoying the perfection of your surroundings. You feel comfortable, relaxed, as if you are an important part of it all. You are so in tune that it is as if you can hear nature speaking to you.

You see a swan glide past, and the swan is thinking to itself: “How wonderful it is to be a swan. I can take my time; life is serene. I am graceful and lovely. All is right with the world.”

And then you notice an eagle flying high overhead, and the eagle is thinking: “Ah, what a joy it is to be an eagle. I am strong, and free. This is the life!”

A hummingbird flits past, and you can hear the hummingbird is thinking: “I’m having so much fun on this glorious day. There’s so much to see and do. I’m so glad I’m a hummingbird and can move easily to all the things I love.”

Everything in nature has a purpose. We’re all connected. Sitting amongst the trees and looking at the clear blue sky you know that you are an important part of this connection. You breathe deeply and feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude and peace.

Now, imagine you’re in that same place, same time. When you hear nature speaking to you things are a bit different.

You see a swan glide past, and the swan thinks to itself: “Oh, my. Why am I stuck being a swan? I would so much rather be like that little hummingbird. I want to flit around like that! I feel so dumpy just floating here on this silly lake.”

Then the eagle flies overhead, and you read its thoughts: “Wow. Look at that swan down there. He’s got the good life. Why can’t I just hang out on the lake? Instead I’m up here working so hard. This isn’t fair. I’d rather be a swan.”

Then the hummingbird flits by and thinks: “Really? That eagle is so lucky. She’s way up there with a great vantage point. She can go so far without even flapping her wings. I’m down here pumping away a million beats a minute! Man, I want to be an eagle.”

Somehow, this second scenario just doesn’t make sense, does it? Because this is not how nature operates! And yet, this is exactly what we do as human beings all the time. We fight our own nature. We compare ourselves to one another. We think we need to always be thinner, more beautiful, more successful, more something, anything! When the truth is that we are inherently perfect. If we are carrying around excess weight, or stress, or feeling bad about ourselves it is because we are out of balance, our lives are out of balance in one way or another. We can find that perfect state of balance, and regain our strength and confidence and energy to be the best that we can be.

The most important thing we can do for ourselves, to be our healthiest and happiest, body, mind, and spirit, is to know who we are. Some of us are swans, some of us are eagles, and some of us are hummingbirds. Each being is valid, each being has value, and each being brings his or her unique gifts to the world. When we know ourselves, and our own nature, we allow the best of ourselves to shine through. Nature operates through us. So why are we fighting it?

Ayurveda is the 5,000 year old “Science of Life” from India. It explains the nature of everything in the universe. It teaches us how to live in harmony with nature, knowing the connections that we share. Ayurveda is all about balance, and this is something we are in dire need of today.

There are a lot of things that take us away from our state of balance. We are overstressed and overworked. We overeat and are overweight. We over exert ourselves and overspend so that we end up tired, hungry, in debt and living in a mess. Look at all the extra “stuff” we carry around with us. We need to lighten up! We need to shed the stress, the pounds, the debt, and the distractions and focus on what is good for us, what serves us. Food is a huge part of all this. We use food to soothe our emotions, to fill up our tummies when we feel a lack in some part of our lives. We fall into habits, with food and otherwise, that we think are easy, and they become mindless and robotic so that we don’t see any other possibilities or potential for ourselves.

It’s time to get back to nature, to get back to basics, to get back into balance. And what better way than by turning to a practice that has been tried and true for all these centuries? Ayurveda is a “sister science” with yoga and meditation. As we experience the benefits of these practices in our lives we naturally want to learn more – and that’s where Ayurveda is positioned right now.

Twenty years ago or so here in the west Feng Shui was a foreign concept – but now it’s a part of our every day vernacular. If you haven’t heard of Ayurveda yet – now you have! And if you haven’t lived the Ayurveda lifestyle yet, I encourage you to try it now. Lots more info in my new book, The Perfect Balance Diet: 4 Weeks to a Lighter Body, Mind, Spirit & Space and on my new website: perfectbalancediet.com

4 Tips to Make Your Home Office Less Stressful

Home OfficeBy Jessica Snow

Working from home is an excellent way to make a living while balancing other crucial aspects of life. And depending on your family’s dynamic, it could be the only way you’re able to work. The flexibility of having an office at home makes it possible to raise small children without having to foot the cost of childcare providers, and otherwise reduces travel expenses most people accrue by commuting.

This option can be remarkably convenient, but all the distractions that tend to come with this setup can give it the potential to be disastrously stressful. There are a few things to keep in mind as you’re setting up your office that will help make it the most productive space it can be.

1. Keep Energy Positive With Feng Shui Principles

Keep your office as far away from your bedroom as possible. This will help you mentally separate work from home life by eliminating possible distractions and temptations. Also, position your desk area so that your back is to a wall. Sit at the desk so that you can see out a window or through a doorway. Keeping your immediate surroundings open and not boxing yourself in will help prevent anxiety and promote a positive outlook.

2. Prevent Clutter

According to Feng Shui consultant Natalia Kaylin, “Clutter is vicious, it takes many forms, and is the biggest contributor to stress.” Reduce the possibility to accumulate stressful clutter by installing a filing system to keep records organized, and make a conscious effort to keep unneeded supplies and knick-knacks at bay.

3. Let The Light In

The plants you use to decorate your office will need a certain amount of natural light, as will yourself. Let as much sunlight into your workspace as you can, as this is the purest form of light. Avoid using fluorescent lights if at all possible. Over-exposure to fluorescent lighting has been known to cause or worsen migraines, headaches, eye strain, and anxiety. You’ll want to find a balance between having enough light that you can see your computer monitor and read freely, but not so much that your eyes become strained.

Choose the right shades for your office that will let in the right amount of light, and the environment in your workspace will be ideal for producing your best work.

4. Purify Air With De-Stressing Plants

Houseplants are a lovely way to decorate a home office. If you choose the right plants though, they will do so much more. Ivy, Peace Lilies, and bamboo palms have been known to have air-purifying qualities in addition to their peaceful beauty.

The home office is supposed to be a very productive, practical space, so it’s understandable that decorating it may not be at the top of your list of things to do. You’re human though, so a workspace that doesn’t accommodate that will not be conducive to productivity. Keep these tips in mind while you’re setting up your space. Your office will be an inviting, positive place to be, and your work will reflect that.

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Jessica Snow is a young writer from sunny Florida who enjoys learning and writing about a myriad of topics. When shes not glued to her laptop you can find her running the trails with her Great Dane, Charlie

Love Yourself by Loving Your Home

Screen Shot 2013-06-17 at 8.12.12 PMA great way to love yourself is to create a beautiful home that nurtures and inspires you. Your home is one of the few places in the world that is truly just about you. The one place we should always feel loved, at peace, at one, and “at home” is at home! So honor yourself by creating a space that feeds your spirit.

One of the most effective ways to create a home that nourishes and inspires you is to live with things you love. This may sound obvious, but when you take a close look around your home, you might be surprised to find that you’re living with things that bring your energy down rather than inspire and lift you up. It’s amazing how easy it is to tune out to our surroundings and stop really seeing the stuff in our homes that get in our way, drain our energy, or in some way make us feel badly. Sometimes it’s little things such as a drawer that gets stuck and frustrates and slows us down each morning, the sharp edge of a table that we regularly bump against, or an uncomfortable chair. Or it could be something more significant like sleeping in a bed we bought with a former partner that continually brings up memories and keeps us stuck in the past. These things can nag at us, deplete our energy, and wear on our self-esteem.

Everything around us is made up of energy. Even things that we may have considered inanimate are made up of moving molecules and have a life force and vibration of their own. Objects also come “alive” because of how we relate to them, i.e. the memories and associations they trigger. Earth wisdom traditions, such as Feng Shui or Vastu, affirm that all of these objects and materials in our homes interact with our own unique energy—either positively or negatively. When you look at your home from this perspective, you can clearly imagine the importance of surrounding yourself with things that you love—whether they are useful, comfortable, beautiful, have positive personal meaning, or just make you feel good.

Below are three steps to living with what you love:

  1. Go through your home room by room and look at each object one at a time. How do you feel? What thoughts come up? Did you notice any sensations in your body? Imagine the object has a voice—what would it be saying to you? Does the object trigger any memories? Are they positive, negative or neutral? Your answers to these questions will give you a pretty good idea of how these things are affecting your energy.
  2. If something is not serving you, let it go. Give it away, throw it away or sell it. Generally it is better to live with empty space knowing that something better will be coming your way than it is to live with something that brings you down. An exception to this would be if the object is functional and necessary—for example, your only computer or your only sofa that you can’t afford to replace at the moment. In these cases, set an intention that you will easily find a replacement in a timely manner and keep your eyes open for an opportunity to replace that item.
  3. If you discover that you are surrounded by many things you don’t love, but at the moment can’t afford to replace them, make sure you move things around so you have at least one object you love in every room. Then make sure that object is the focal point of the room. The object you love will inspire you as you’re waiting to attract other things that will serve you.

Be on the lookout for the following:

  • Possessions that have negative memories associated with them.
  • Things that look beautiful or are valuable, but that you just don’t like. Often we keep these because we feel we have to or should, but if you don’t like something let it go and chances are someone else will give it a home where it will be appreciated and loved. And you will now have space to find something you love.
  • Similarly, things you inherit and perhaps feel an obligation to keep, but that you don’t like or are associated with a negative memory.
  • Things that don’t feel good but you aren’t sure why—trust your intuition!
  • Disturbing art—even if on one level you can appreciate the image or artistic expression, sometimes our bodies will respond instantly and physically to a disturbing image. Your mind may then kick in with reason or logic or an association with the image that is more positive, but your body has already registered your first reaction.
  • Things that don’t work well, are broken, get in your way, and/or lead to frustration in your daily routines.
  • Broken items that you have been planning to get fixed for a long time—commit to fixing it in the next month or get rid of it.
  • Items that are stained or dirty—same as above, clean them if you can, but commit to doing it in a timely manner. If they can’t be cleaned, consider a replacement.
  • Perceived dangers—which mean things that look threatening and elicit a ‘fight or flight’ response in our bodies. For example, a very heavy chandelier or artwork hanging over a bed or sofa—we may know it is anchored to the ceiling or wall, but it can still makes us feel uncomfortable to having something heavy hang over you. Similar to the disturbing artwork, your body will have already registered a response before your mind kicks in with logic to override your body’s reaction.
  • Things made with unhealthy or toxic materials—replace with natural materials to connect you to nature, create more harmony, and support your health.

Our homes should be a supportive, loving sanctuary. There are many things in the world that are less than loving and often we feel we can’t control those things, but we can control our home environments by choosing to live with what we love. We need to insist that, at the very least, we feel good and can ‘win’ in our own homes. The same qualities that we create in our homes—love, peace, joy, inspiration—will be the same qualities that we experience in our lives.

 

Originally published February 2011

The Cosmic Trinity of Chinese Metaphysics

Cosmic Trinity of Chinese Metaphysics

There is something really important I want to share with you, because I believe it explains what controls our lives and how we can make better “life choices” for a smoother smarter path.

It’s called the Cosmic Trinity of Chinese Metaphysics and it is divided into three parts; EARTH LUCK, MAN LUCK, and HEAVEN LUCK.

Earth Luck is our Feng Shui and it controls one-third of the equation. This means that the physical place we live and work is important. Either it supports us or it depletes us. Have you ever been to someone’s home or office and it doesn’t feel right? You can’t wait to leave? On the other hand, there are places you love and want to stay forever.

Man Luck is your freewill. These are the choices you make. It is also the magical candles, mystical objects and superstitions you believe in. It’s those coins tied with red strings or the hanging crystal. It is also your education and everything that requires you to take action. Man Luck is powerful because it controls one-third of our lives. Finally, there is

Heaven Luck or your astrology. It can be Western Astrology, or Chinese BaZi Astrology, or Vedic Astrology. All roads lead to Rome. This represents your parents and your destiny. It explains why you have certain talents and traits. Why your parents and siblings constantly get on your case about something you do that bugs them. It’s about your potential.

I want you to see how all three work together. If you live in a place that supports you and you’re proactive in making smart choices because you know your potential, you will be more successful because you have 99 percent of the equation. This insures that you have a greater chance of being happy, healthy, loved, and prosperous.

Have you experienced an imbalance in these three aspects of yourself? Have you focused on only one of these areas and seen success bloom because of it? Please share your experience in the comments.

How Happy Is Your Home: Improve Your Living Room with These 9 Simple Steps

The living room is well situated in any area of the house. It is a room that we like to relax in and hang out with friends in, and for many of us it acts as a television room or den. In order to improve it…

1. Remove unneeded objects and furniture—Stand in the doorway of your living room and get a sense of how the energy feels in the room. Does it feel old or new? Are there too many books? Is there an excess of furniture? You want to make sure that your living room isn’t cluttered with too many objects. All objects have a vibration and you need to have space to relax and think. (See tip #3 for more on cleansing your home.)

2. Color the walls for relaxation—Make sure that the room is warm, comfortable and welcoming. If it needs a new coat of paint or if the walls need to be washed, do not hesitate to do so. White, earth tones or gentle pastel colors work well on living room walls. When you decorate, think about what makes you want to relax.70

3. Place chairs in the power position—Place your seating in the power position. This entails arranging the sofa so that it affords a good view of the entrance to the room and doing your best not to place any piece of furniture with its back to the entrance, as this can create a feeling of vulnerability. If you have no choice but to arrange the sofa with its back to the entrance, due to the layout of your living room or the size of it, then you can always put a table behind the sofa to protect it from the chi coming in through the door and some plants on the table to dispel any negative energy. You can also put a mirror on the wall in front of the sofa so that it reflects the entrance and you can see who is coming in behind you when you are on the sofa.

4. Place your coffee table by the couch—I always recommend putting a coffee table in front of your couch, as you are much more likely to sit there than any other place in the living room. The coffee table has the effect of grounding the space and centering a conversation.

5. Minimize walkways—If you have walkways in between your furniture, it is going to be much more difficult to relax when people walk in front of you and past you. If your living room layout demands this type of setup, it is much better for you to place the furniture in small groups on either side of a single walkway so that you are not constantly disturbed by passersby!

6. Don’t give the television center stage—If you have a television in your living room, don’t make it the center of attention. The living room is for entertaining, good conversation and the exchange of ideas. You may want to put the television in a TV armoire with doors so that you can keep it out of sight when you aren’t using it.

7. Use lots of plants and flowers—A fresh plant is great to have in a living room. It freshens the air and clears away some of the electromagnetic fields that are generated by the television screen and other electronics. Also, fresh flowers represent new life and they look fabulous on a coffee table or sideboard.

8. Pick your wall decor carefully—Make sure that the paintings or photos that you have up in your living room are warm and inviting to look at. The best subjects for paintings are nature and people.

9. Use low shelves—Make sure that your shelving units are low in the living room, especially if you have a small space. You don’t want to feel overwhelmed by shelving or have it take up a huge amount of space and make the room feel smaller.

From How Happy Is Your Home?: 50 Great Tips to Bring More Health, Wealth and Happiness into Your Home By Sophie Keller

This December, life coach and author Sophie Keller will be sharing tips on Intentblog about raising your level of happiness in the areas of your love life, marriage life, home and health. Check back every day for new happiness tips and quizzes. To learn more about Sophie Keller and the ‘How Happy is’ book series go to www.howhappyis.com.

How Happy Is Your Home: Determine Your Feng Shui Goals and Intentions

A cure is any action you take in order to improve the feng shui in your home. The feng shui principles work best when you have a clear goal and intention. Make a list of the nine areas of the ba gua and write down how you want to improve each part of your life.

By discerning which areas of your life you need to work on, you can better focus your cures. If you want to be in a stable relationship, then you will focus your energy on the relationship areas of your home. If, on the other hand, you feel that you want a better job, then you will work on the career areas.

Remember that one area of your life always affects the others. For instance, if you are interested in relationships also focus on knowledge, as the more self understanding you have, the more likely you will be to get your needs met. If in doubt, focus on health. Being in the center of things, health reverberates out and affects everything surrounding it. When you physically place a cure, take a moment to see, hear and feel yourself achieving the goal that you have set for yourself in the life area that you are curing.

From How Happy Is Your Home?: 50 Great Tips to Bring More Health, Wealth and Happiness into Your Home By Sophie Keller

This December, life coach and author Sophie Keller will be sharing tips on Intentblog about raising your level of happiness in the areas of your love life, marriage life, home and health. Check back every day for new happiness tips and quizzes. To learn more about Sophie Keller and the ‘How Happy is’ book series go to www.howhappyis.com.

QUIZ: How Happy Is Your Home?

Feng shui (pronounced “Fung shway”) means “wind and water.” They are the two natural elements that move and flow on the earth and are the basis for our survival — the air we breathe and the water we drink. The goal of feng shui is to help you maximize the beneficial movement and flow of chi (which is another word for “life force” or “energy”) through your living space. Whether you are in your home or not, the energy of your home environment has the ability to lift or drain your spirits throughout the day.

It is thought that if the flow of chi in your home is strong, it will support all your endeavors in and out of the home. Similarly, if it is weak, it will pull you down. You don’t want the chi to move too fast and create anxiety or to move too slow and cause you to remain stagnant. You want it to enter easily in through your front door and move smoothly, like a calm breeze or gently flowing water, around every room in the house. Feng shui is like acupuncture for your home. With the use of needles, acupuncture is known to release any blockages in the flow of chi throughout the body in order to create a steady movement of energy to all areas, keeping you vitalized, healthy and full of life. Feng shui works in much the same way. Your house is similar to a second body, as it is where you spend most of your time and is an expression of who you are. The “cures” that you are going to use from the feng shui toolbox are like the needles in acupuncture — they will help you release energy in your home in order for it to flow freely and for you to create a comfortable, relaxing and productive living space.

I was first introduced to feng shui in my late teens, but I took it seriously only later on, during a period when my life felt like it was falling apart. At the time I lost a job, my parents were both diagnosed with cancer, I split up with my boyfriend of three years and was suffering from an immune illness myself. To say it was a particularly trying time would be an understatement.

However, I tend to reach for a lifeline at moments in crisis and decided to throw myself into intense training to become a qualified practitioner of feng shui. As I made changes to my own home with feng shui, my life started to transform very quickly for the better, and my initial “prove it to me” attitude and skepticism were blown to pieces as I soon realized from personal experience how powerful this practice could actually be.

Since 2001 I have had the pleasure of helping hundreds of people by feng shui-ing their houses, offices and shops. Even as I started to write this book, a television writer came into my office and said, “Hey, Sophie. Do you remember me? You feng shuied my house seven years ago. I just wanted to tell you that a few months after you came to my home, I met my wife.”

That same day I got a call from a client whom I had told to put flowers in the career area of her home. She informed me that a few days later an old acquaintance had called her out of the blue and offered her a fantastic new job.

Now, I’m not saying that this man met his wife solely because I feng shuied his house or that my client was offered a job purely because of the fresh flowers, but you would be surprised at how many times I hear similar stories from people whose places I have feng shuied.

My book “How Happy Is Your Home?” is formatted systematically so that you can focus on one room at a time and it contains my 50 top tips for creating a happy home. The tips are a combination of the practical and easy-to-use Western style of feng shui and my own “Happy Home” additions, to help you have a healthy, harmonious and empowering environment, which will in turn act as a powerful support system for you as you go out into the world and do what you feel you are destined to do.

I’ll be sharing four of those tips this week here on Intentblog, but before you read them, I’d like you to take the quiz below (you’ll find a longer 25-question version in the book itself). The purpose of the quiz is to help you look at your home from a different perspective and to give you some practical and easy to implement ideas to help you to make it a happier and healthier space than it is already.

As you answer the quiz questions and read the tips, you will be amazed how each tiny adjustment intuitively makes a lot of sense and has the capacity to make a really big difference in your life. One thing is for certain — whatever your personal circumstances are, you are really going to enjoy this process, because, above all, feng shui is really fun!

Love,

Sophie

QUIZ: How Happy Is Your Home?

1. How often do you clear out the clutter in your home?

A. I find it difficult to throw anything away and tend to be
a bit of a hoarder.

B. I clear out the clutter in my home once a year.

C. I throw things out as I come across them and find they are no longer useful.

2. If something is not working in your home (for instance, a bulb needs changing, a broken window or a door needs fixing), how long do you generally take to fix it?

A. I wait a number of months to a year and then get a few things done at once.

B. I leave it broken until I just can’t take it anymore.

C. I fix it immediately.

3. Which area do you feel you need to focus on most in your life right now?

A. Career and money.

B. Relationships.

C. Health.

4. Have you had problems finding a partner while living in your home, or have you had problems in your current relationship since moving in?

A. Yes, I have found it difficult to date or communicate well with my current partner.

B. I am not at a total loss, but the relationship area of my life could do with some improvement.

C. No, I am very happy with the relationship part of my life and it is going very well.

5. Do you have a bathroom located in any of these areas?

A. The back left-hand or right-hand corner of the house.

B. The center of the house.

C. Opposite the front door, so you can see it immediately as you walk in.

6. Since moving into your current home, have you found it easier to make money?

A. No, I have made less money.

B. My money situation has remained the same.

C. Yes, I have made more money since moving in.

7. How would you describe your hallways?

A. Messy, dark and enclosed.

B. Nice, but they could do with some work to improve
the energy.

C. Bright, warm and welcoming.

Watch How the Books Can Help You Now! from Sophie Keller on Vimeo.

This December, life coach and author Sophie Keller will be sharing tips on Intentblog about raising your level of happiness in the areas of your love life, marriage life, home and health. Check back every day for new happiness tips and quizzes. To learn more about Sophie Keller and the ‘How Happy is’ book series go to www.howhappyis.com.

Spring Clean with Feng Shui: A New Beginning for Your Home and Life…

springcleaningSpring is a time of renewal and rejuvenation. Feng Shui believes that as you let go of the clutter in your home, you simultaneously make space for something new in your life.  In other words, as you clean house, you clean self.

Central to the practice of Feng Shui is the idea that all things in the world are made up of life force energy called “chi.” In a sense, everything around you—including your home and possessions—is alive. Even objects that you think of as inanimate are made up of moving molecules and have their own unique vibration. Objects are also “alive” because of  how you feel about them or the memories you associate with them. When you look at the contents of your home from this point of view you see why it is essential to live with things that bring you joy.  Broken appliances, things you don’t like, or objects associated with negative memories will—whether you are conscious of it on a daily basis or not—stagnate the energy in your homes and drain your energy.  Possessions you love, functional items, beautiful objects, and things you associate with positive memories will increase your energy.  This spring create a loving home by clearing clutter so you are surrounded only with the things that nurture you and lift your energy.  In turn, you may express your gratitude for these material blessings by making sure they are clean, maintained, and have an organized space of their own.

Another principle of Feng Shui is that everything is inter-related.  This means that even the cluttered closet and the burnt out light bulb affect the chi throughout your entire home and life.  For example, not finding what you need in your closet may lead to being frequently late, which may affect your job, which may affect your finances.  Bumping into boxes of stuff every time you need to get to your car in the garage may make you snap at your spouse and affect you relationship. Or imagine putting off a simple task like changing a light bulb—how many times do you think about it until you do it? Even small, but unfinished tasks can weigh on our minds. Each time you think about replacing the bulb you’re tying up your energy and taking away from your ability to be in the present moment.

Feng Shui also recognizes that everything is evolving.  If your home is a source of support and inspiration, then as you grow and change, so too must your environment.  The process of clearing our clutter gives you an opportunity to let go of where you have been, examine where you are now, and set intentions for where you would like to go.  In this way, you are expressing your highest idea of yourself through your living space, and are that much closer to actualizing your dreams.

Tips for Clearing the Clutter:

1. Start small. Begin with one drawer, one shelf, or one cabinet.  Successful completion of one area will motivate you for the challenging areas.

2. Leave yourself a realistic amount of time.  It is bound to get worse before it gets better.  Don’t begin de-cluttering your kitchen an hour before you plan to make dinner.

3. Take everything out first. Everything!  This step will ensure that you address each item.

4. Clean the drawer, shelf, or cabinet before putting things back inside. You will be less apt to place anything that is less than excellent in your now clean and fresh space.

5. Give each item the useful, beautiful, or loved test.  If the item matches one or more of these criteria—keep it. If it doesn’t, it’s time to let it go.

There are many benefits to cleaning, clearing and arranging your home in a harmonious way.  For example, an organized living space makes you more efficient and helps you flow easily through your daily routines.  A supportive environment also reduces stress and saves time.  By paring down your excess possessions you no longer have to store them, move them, clean them, or repair them. Taking care of all the stuff in your life can take a lot of time and energy! Finally, clearing out the old creates space for greater good to come into your life.  As you complete unfinished tasks and let go of excess possessions, you will recapture energy that has previously been dispersed and depleted. When you clear your clutter you will feel lighter, less burdened and have more mental, physical, and energetic space to enjoy the present moment or devote to your dreams!

For more tips check out our Guide for Clearing Clutter

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