The Three Most Powerful Ways to Ensure A Vibrant, Healthy, Joyful Life!
Sometimes the most powerful steps are the most simple ones.
The path of creating personal, energetic sustainability is foundational
to living the life of your dreams and finding contentment—just as you are.
‘The best things in life are nearest:
Breath in your nostrils,
Light in your eyes,
Flowers at your feet,
Duties at your hand,
The path of right just before you.
Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life’s plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life.’
Robert Lewis Stevenson
The first two ways to create change and nourish our lives will always begin with a good cleanup and a satisfying night’s sleep. Whatever your goals may be, these are the humble beginnings that will clear the way, charge your batteries, and sustain your motivation.
The third crucial element is creating a gracious, beautiful, and welcoming entry into your home. This ‘mouth’ of your home is where all beneficial Chi finds you. It is from here that you enter the outer world and where you welcome the outer world into your inner sanctuary—clearly a very powerful passageway.
Focusing on these three simple things can make the difference between vibrancy and apathy, health and dysfunction, joy and depression. These tasks may take some work, but your effort will be well worth it.
A Good Cleaning Up — Clearing Clutter
A Good Night’s Sleep — Create A Sleep Sanctuary
A Gracious And Beautiful Entryway — Create it
Before you begin, take some time to set your intention with this simple mindfulness practice
‘Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.’
Gather the following few things to assist you:
Sweetgrass, lavender essential oil, or a natural soothing incense.
A special notebook dedicated to this process.
Mindfully, create a quiet spot and some free time. It is helpful to choose a place where you feel protected and supported: such as a comfy chair with a high back and a solid wall behind you: somewhere in your home that feels calm and safe.
Light the sweetgrass over a solid surface, like an abalone shell, and waft the smoke around your body, your torso, your arms, and around your head. Alternatively, mix the lavender oil in a small spray bottle with water, and mist around your body as above. Or, you can simply light the incense.
Close your eyes and breathe deeply. When you have settled your chi a bit, begin the process of considering what changes you would like to see in your life. Don’t fret over the present state of your home. Try and imagine your life the way you would like it to be. Try and feel it.
Begin to write down what comes to your mind. The list may be long or short. You may wish to continue writing or you may be ready for action. Either way, attempt to remain in your calm state. This process of setting your intention is powerful. Don’t underestimate this time. Give yourself this gift.
Once you have your goals identified, begin a walk around your home.
Starting at the front porch, look around and see what is there. Refrain from note taking at this point. . . just observe. Continue thru the front door, carefully consider what you see upon entering. This area (Ming Tang) is the ‘mouth’ of your home. If you want to invite all things positive into your life, this is where you must initiate your action. We are simply cleaning up. If your imagination goes further, this can help fuel your movement, but stay on course. . . just observe.
Chi moves through your front door and meanders around your house in small spirals, like wisps of smoke. Use this visualization as you walk around your house. Can you see places where it might be stuck? Are there corners or surfaces where it cannot move freely? Eventually the chi departs through the back door. Is this area blocked? Where do you see clutter clogging the flow of chi?
Taking your notebook, do another sweep through the house. Again, start at the front porch. Calmly jot down places where you can see clutter obstructing the smooth flow of energy. Note your main ‘garbage’ areas and indicate whether they are large or small. Highlight the ones that irritate you the most. You might want to be creative with this exercise, using colored pens or pencils. You may want to draw your floor plan, or you may simply choose to make lists.
Make a plan to tackle one closet or room at a time.
The plan may feel overwhelming.
Remember your intentions.
Set a realistic timeline goal.
Find at least one good friend to help with this. They may have the ability to be more objective.
Create a schedule and stick to it.
When creating your timeline goal, consider how many weekends or sessions you will need to complete this project. Be realistic and stick to it.
‘To be content with little
to be content with much,
Marie E. Eschenbach
Now, A Good Cleaning Up!
‘Have nothing in your house that you
do not know to be useful,
or believe to be beautiful.’
Create a system. Find five heavy garbage bags, strong cardboard boxes or totes, and label them as follows:
JUNK - For all unwanted items to take to the dump.
GIVE AWAY - For useful items you no longer need but other people might like, or things which could be sold or donated.
THINGS TO BE REPAIRED OR ALTERED
THINGS THAT NEED A PLACE TO LIVE OR BE STORED - You must be brutal when deciding to keep or not to keep.
KEEP FOR SIX MONTHS - If you miss them, they can be re-instated, if not, get rid of them!
Once you begin the process. . .
Remove the JUNK and GIVEAWAYS after each session.
Designate areas in your home to store REPAIR ITEMS, STORAGE ITEMS, and KEEP FOR SIX MONTHS.
After you have completed your clutter clearing goals. . .
Disperse items for repair.
Assess your STORAGE ITEMS and do a second analysis before keeping.
Assess your KEEP FOR SIX MONTHS box and do a second analysis before keeping.
Now, you need to finish by creating beautiful storage options for kept items and continue cleaning up on a regular basis. And . . . .
‘Vow to never bring anything into your home that you don’t absolutely love. Vow to keep nothing that doesn’t bring your life utter joy.
It’s As Simple As That!’
Getting A Good Night’s Sleep.
What you can plan is too small for you to live.
What you can live wholeheartedly will make
plans enough for the vitality hidden
in your sleep.
The image of a perfect bedroom is different for different people. What they all have in common is a need for pleasure, comfort, rest, dreaming, love, healing, relaxation, and rejuvenation.
If we pay particular attention to this nourishing, sleep sanctuary, where the spirit rests (and soars), we will surely feel a shift in our lives.
Our bodies have many complex biological functions that are most efficient (and happy) when they are in sync with one another. When they are not in sync, health declines. We may become tired, depressed, or anxious. Coordination and mental ability may suffer. Our sleep may be disturbed. Digestion and metabolism can be thrown off. Sex drive and fertility are lowered, and we generally become more vulnerable to disease. Creating an environment that supports deep rest and rejuvenation can help restore these complex and very important rhythms and systems. Your senses must bathe in tranquility.
Your body does not handle EMFs (electromagnetic fields) while in its rejuvenation mode, and they weaken the immune system. Take a look around and see how many electrical devices are in the room. The further any device is from your bed the better, as EMFs weaken with distance. Generally speaking, electrical communication devices create a distraction, if not bad news and stress. Focus on the purpose of the room: rest, love, healing, and rejuvenation.
Replace electric alarm clock with a battery operated one. Much lower EMFs.
Attempt to have an electricity-free zone as much as possible — TV too.
Remove your home office from the bedroom (many reasons for this).
Consider turning off remote wireless router at night, especially if near bedroom.
Leave laptops, tablets, and cell phones out of bedroom.
Air quality needs to be fresh and full of oxygen.
Open windows often to bring in fresh air, or consider using a good quality air-purifier.
Use essential oils to purify air with an electrical diffuser (turn off when going to sleep). Some specific oils and their purposes are listed below:
lavender, chamomile - for calming
sandalwood, geranium, lavender - for sleep
rose, ylang ylang, jasmine - soothing and sensual
Best not to have live plants in bedroom unless it’s a very large room.
Wood floors are better than carpet, but if carpeted, vacuuming frequently with a hepa-filtered vacuum is second best.
A well balanced bed is very important. Consider that your bed is the most intimate piece of furniture you own, and you spend a large percentage of your time in it. While drifting off to sleep, your body is going into very elaborate, busy, energy-repair work on many levels. Subconsciously, your body needs protection, stability, and support.
Solid wood or upholstered wood make the best headboards.
Invest in a good quality, never-used mattress.
Energy needs to circulate around your body; never store boxes under the bed.
Place head of bed against a solid wall for support and protection. It’s best if this wall does not contain plumbing from the adjoining room.
Place bed in a position where you can see the door, but the foot of the bed is not pointing towards it.
Avoid placing bed under beams that may energetically dissect the bed.
Mirrors are thought to be too stimulating for the bedroom.
Keep closets clean and tidy and doors closed.
Specific, personal, best directions for head of bed may be determined with further analysis, but it is best to follow the above guidelines first, if possible.
Choose lighting and textures that are soft, warm, inviting, and graceful. Choose natural fiber fabrics and textures that are soothing and calming. Furniture made with natural materials such as wood or rattan, or upholstered in natural fibers, are energetically grounding.
Soft ‘skin-toned’ colors of creams, peach, and earth tones are most suitable.
Choose several levels of lighting. Install dimmer switches.
Toxin-free candles are the best lighting for the bedroom. They clear the energy, create intimate soft lighting, add the fire element, and are warm and healing.
A Gracious And Beautiful Entryway
What we call "I" is just a swinging door which moves
when we inhale and when we exhale.
I have always appreciated the zen approach to mindful living. There are many Zen teachings about doorways or thresholds. Simply experiencing one or two small mindful moments while entering and leaving your home can bring you into the present moment.
When coming and going, remember to open your door magnanimously and close it with care.
Think about what you are leaving behind and what you are entering into.
Feel the difference between coming and leaving. Is there a difference?
The entrance to your home offers an energetic pathway for opportunity to find you. It also creates a dynamic shift for people by slowing down the chi from the yang outer world into the more yin, private inner world of your home, and vice versa.
The Chinese call this transitional zone the Ming Tang. The Ming Tang should be welcoming, warm, and inviting. If a home reveals itself slowly, meaning that inhabitants and guests alike have a series of pleasant experiences—approaching the front door, waiting at the front door, entering, pausing to take things in and anticipate what’s next rather than all at once—they are more likely to enjoy their entire experience of the home.
This Ming Tang transitional zone begins when you approach your home from the street and continues to the inside of your house.
This threshold provides a statement about the quality of life to be found inside. Likewise, the energetic state of the outer entryway has a big effect on what goes on inside.
Chi needs to flow strongly and positively without obstruction. However, a meandering path to the front door is helpful in transitioning the yang outer world energy.
Cut Back any overgrown plants or trees around the entryway.
Keep plants vital, healthy, and beautiful at the entry.
Matching large planters on either side of the door or porch is ideal.
A water feature flowing towards the front door is beneficial.
Keep it in good working order, and make sure that water is always clean.
Your home should be clearly marked from the outside and easy to find.
The door should be strong, well maintained, and clean, with color matching the style of the home.
Keep entryway clean and orderly, inside and out.
Provide a clean, fresh welcome mat for visitors.
Matching lamps/lanterns on either side of the door is a nice way to bring in Chi.
Keep them in good working order.
The space just inside your front door should be bright, welcoming, and inviting. It is ideal if there is already some kind of distinct transitional zone separating the entry from the rest of the home. If there is—a small table, welcoming art, and/or fresh flowers can be beneficial here .
If there isn’t a distinct area, create one with a rug, furniture, artwork, and/or plants. The goal here is to pull the attention to the experience of ‘entering’ rather than to the rest of the room or home.
Once the Chi enters your home, keep the area clutter free.
Get rid of energy traps.
Create storage solutions away from entry for keys, mail, newspaper, etc.
Make sure coat rack is tidy and has room for guests. Go thru coats and jackets and throw away or store those unused.
Buy or make a shoe rack, and put away shoes that are used infrequently.
Either find storage for, or get rid of, bikes, strollers, golf clubs, sports gear, home repair items, etc.
Ultimately, remember that Feng Shui is about people (not houses). Focus on the people who live in your home and the people you want to welcome to your home. You only need to do what is necessary. If everything is generally going well, there is no need to stir things up with feng shui. Remember to use feng shui wisely.
Peace is joy at rest.
Joy is peace on its feet.
By Julia Baldwin, Sense Of Place Feng Shui, All Rights Reserved, September 2015