Sunday, January 2, 2011

Welcome to "That Feng Shui Lady Says..."

HAPPY 2011 and welcome to “That Feng Shui Lady Says…” .  I'm Valerie Sands, Certified Feng Shui Practitioner and owner of “That Feng Shui Lady”, specializing in home, office and landscape Feng Shui consulting.
I’ve created this blog to help demystify Feng Shui and clarify what confuses us about it. The concept is actually quite easy to grasp and contrary to what you might have been led to believe, you will need neither a compass nor a red door to  apply the practice in your home.  Hopefully I’ll be able to convert those of you here who have tried to “Shui” before but just got fed up with all of the perceived intricacies.  For those of you completely new to Feng Shui, get ready to learn some cool stuff.
 To start, let’s answer the overall question.  What exactly IS Feng Shui?
Translated from Chinese Feng Shui, (pronounced fung - shway), means "wind and water".  Based directly on the flow of the elements in nature, the principles of Feng Shui mimic the growth and regenerative cycles of the earth.  Thousands of years ago, the Chinese realized that the energy of our planet's environment is also embodied in the energy or "ch'i" of our homes.  There are specific areas which represent prosperity, love lives, family, career; any situation that can exist in your life is covered in a specific geography in your home.  And each  specific geography has a corresponding element.  Feng Shui is about getting the two together.  When they ARE together, the energy in your home runs smoothly.  When they’re not, they can potentially cause “hiccups” in energy, which can subsequently cause those same hiccups in various areas of your life. 
Through the course of this blog, I will educate you on the five (5) elements (water, wood, fire, earth and metal).   I’ll teach you how and where the elements should be used, as well as different shapes, colors and images that represent each one of them.  Through placement of your own furniture and objects, energy can be coaxed to follow nature’s flow and enhance ch’I, thus resulting in a more fluid and harmonious life.

But before we can get to that, we need to open the space for the energy to actually be ABLE to flow.  Clutter is the #1, mack daddy, big cheese and head honcho of all “chi’ blockers”.  We ALL have clutter.  So, before we get into the down and dirty, we need to GET down and dirty. 
Take a moment and look around your home.  How many candles are on display that you have never used?  How many vases do you have on top of your kitchen cabinets? How many clothes are in your closet that you haven’t worn in years? A lot of that “stuff” is taking up space that could either be cleared for energy to flow freely or to make it available for something you really enjoy. 
It’s hard for many of us to let go of our “stuff”.  Maybe Aunt Suzie gave it you that Precious Moments memento on the mantle and you’re afraid she’ll come over one day and look for it.  Maybe "it" cost a lot of money.  Maybe you grew up with very little and feel wasteful for getting rid of things.  But what we need to understand is that if we don’t need it or if it doesn’t bring us JOY, it does nothing but clog space that could be used for something that does make us happy.  Cost too much?  Put it on Craig's List or ebay.  That money is long since spent and your current happiness should trump a decade old spend. And if it is guilt about being wasteful, there are plenty of charities available to donate to which will assure they will get a second chance at life.  Feng Shui loves charity.

So as the first step in our upcoming experiment "Project Shui", we’re gonna start to get our “space clearing” on! Since there’s probably about four of your reading this now, it should be easy to track over time! J
We’ll start small.  The junk drawer in the kitchen.  We all need one, but it’s nice to keep the “junk” down to what we DO need.  So commit to cleaning just that ONE space out today.  It’ll just take 10 minutes. 
Here are some guesses of what could be in yours.
A bunch o’:
Ketchup/soy sauce/ duck sauce packets
Fast food menus
Floral powder packets
Wrapped disposable cutlery/chopsticks from food delivery
Expired coupons
Post-it note pads
Warranties and manuals from products you don’t even own anymore
I could continue, but you get the point.
Every time you need something, you have to rummage past that all of that stuff.  And you keep all of it because you “might need it” one day.  Fair enough, but answer this.  When will you ever have 27 people at your house eating Chinese food?  Or what are the chances that the menu at your local pizza joint has changed 12 times over the past year? Will you be receiving 34 bouquets of flowers in one day that don’t come with their OWN food packets? 
So sit down with your Post-It notes or your ketchup or fast food napkins and really think about how many you NEED. Then get rid of the rest. Throw out the old receipts and corks that somehow ended up in the drawer. Then put back the stuff that you DO need and see what it feels like to look at that drawer.  See how great it is to find what you’re looking for without having to empty its contents onto the countertop.  That one step is your first step into the world of Feng Shui.  Think of it as living your life ergonomically.  Getting things out of your way before they have a chance to get IN it. Easy, peasy Chines-ey!

If you have time or the inclination to do more, go nuts! Many of you will get very motivated when you start, so go for it.  Check your clothes, your linens, night stands, shoes, medicine cabinets, Tupperware, cookware, etc.  Anywhere you have a door a drawer or a shelf, see what you’ve got.  LOVE it? Keep it.  Need it? Keep it.  Forgot about it completely?? Bye-bye “it”.
If you choose to join this project, I would love to hear about your progress and experiences with it.  My guess is that there will be some remarkable improvements throughout the course of not just this month, but for the rest of the year.
So get to cleaning.  January is all about getting your home prepped and cleared for 2011 to flow freely!
Next time around…we’ll discuss the things that are broken or not working in your house.
Shui ya later!
Valerie Sands
That Feng Shui Lady