3 Reasons To Go Green This Year

Last week we welcomed the first day of spring.  And, for those of us that are Irish (aren’t we all on March 17?) you celebrated St. Patrick’s Day.  Each of these events, obviously remind us of the color green.    What comes to mind when you hear the word “green”?

Some people immediately think of the environment and how we can reduce our carbon footprint.  Others envision rooms full of beautiful house plants or walls painted in various shades of green.  No matter what you’re thinking of, we all have our own reasons for going “green”.  I’d like to share with you a few of mine.

1.  Renew your body and soul by bringing live plants into your space. Choose plant combinations in several shades of green to maximize the feng shui energy and add variety. They also help improve your indoor air quality and noise level.  When you introduce green into your home, look forward to these positive results:

  • the color of renewal, fresh energy and new beginnings
  • promotes growth and healing
  • helps us to stay calm
  • relieves stress, alleviates depression, nervousness and anxiety
  • the color of peace

2.  Old is New again With so much emphasis these days being placed on reducing clutter and simplifying our lives, many of us are packing up our “stuff” and getting rid of it.  But here’s an idea to try instead of going “drastic”.  Switch it up, move it to another shelf, or buy a new frame.  Organize a Swap Party with your friends.  My friends and I still laugh about the garage sales we’ve held that end up with our “junk” going to each other!

Before you buy something “new”, visit flea markets or antique shops for the perfect treasure.  This is a great opportunity to buy, refurbish, and reuse antique and vintage furnishings in your home.  And…paint it green!

3.  Eco-friendly When you’re painting those flea market finds, try using a zero-VOC paint that is also odorless.  In every day terms, that means no offensive odors and no fumes.  Benjamin Moore (www.benjaminmoore.com) has introduced a new product called Natura.  It is the greenest and safest product on the market.  The best part is that it can be used with any color!

Another way to reduce your carbon footprint is to consider bamboo when you purchase certain products.  It’s the most environmentally sound plant in the world, and re-grows to full height in only 3-5 years. We’ve all heard about bamboo flooring being used instead of wood.  Today I was in a showroom that sells beautiful bamboo drapery rods. Since my trips to SE Asia, I’ve been exposed to all types of wonderful bamboo furniture.  There are so many opportunities to use bamboo and any other eco-product. How do you plan to help go GREEN this spring?
We have not inherited the earth from our fathers. We are borrowing it from our children. – Native American saying

MORE PROSPERITY and my Feng Shui Adventure

Continuing my adventure, the first order of business was to clean my corner.  Since most of the Prosperity corner falls on my porch where I have lots of plants, one look at the floor told me that the pile of fallen dead leaves had to go!  I know, it’s a bad, lazy habit. But I’m getting better.  I’ve set the intention to keep it clean and throw plucked dead leaves  immediately into the trash!

The remainder of the Prosperity corner is in a small section of my family room.  No dead leaves here, just too many catalogs and magazines.  Fortunately, I’ve already taken care of that during my “27 things in 9 days” project.

Step 2 of the plan is to use the “power tools” of feng shui.  For Prosperity, adding lots of purple is great.  I know that purple would not be the color of choice for most people.  But I’m lucky that this is a sunny area.  I added purple African violets.  The round leaves are also good “power tools”, so double luck for me!  If you truly can’t bring yourself to add purple, other good colors are red, gold, and green – for abundance, wealth, and money.  Since I wanted to make sure I’ve covered everything, I simply included them all!!

It’s important to make your Prosperity corner alive with energy.  So moving objects and moving water are well suited here.  If you have pets, let them move freely here.  If you have a fan, or water fountain, wind chimes or whirligigs, all are welcome here.  I already have a soothing bamboo wind chime on my porch, reminding me of our trips to Bali.  And my dog Baylee loves to sleep there in the warming sun or bark to her doggy buddies below.  There’s no lack of energy here!  But…I’m thinking that a small water fountain would be good to add.  I love the peaceful sound of flowing water in the background.

Adding equal amounts of the five elements (wood, fire, earth, metal, water) and items that remind me of wealth wasn’t difficult to do.  I already had wooden tables, candles, plants, a copper bowl and a glass tabletop in the room.  All I needed was the floor plan for our dream lake house, and my “power tools” of feng shui could work their magic!

By the time I got to step 3 of the process, I was feeling lighter.  My corner was clean, organized and energized.  Now I simply needed to add items that make the space reverent, like a king’s throne, a place of honor.  How would I do that?  And then I realized that I had been doing this all along.  My porch is where I go in the morning for quiet reflection, and where we relax at the end of each day with a glass of wine. It’s where we entertain a small group of friends and family on a cool fall evening.  My Prosperity corner is there to remind me of the blessings and abundance that are in my life today, and will continue to flow to me and thru me tomorrow.

PROSPERITY and My Feng Shui Adventure

Since finishing the book Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life, by Karen Rausch Carter, I have been obsessed with eliminating clutter in my home.  This includes the piles of catalogs that accumulate after each trade show and the ones that get mailed to me during the holidays (Yes, I do save them!).

I heard someone on TV mention that a good way to de-clutter is to throw away or give away 27 items a day for 9 days.  Of course, I had to do it!  What a freeing experience.  My junk drawer is no longer junky.  The things I never use have been donated to a favorite charity.  I feel lighter, and more at peace.  My friends will tell you how excited I was each day that I discovered 27 more things that were cluttering my space and my life.

Feung Shui baguaAnd so from that I began my adventure with the Prosperity corner of my house !  The author tells us to place this grid over your main living area to determine each section.  There’s no need to be perfectly accurate because attributes of each will flow into the other.

Prosperity also relates to abundance and blessings.  So this becomes the place in your home that acknowledges what you’ve been blessed with and what you desire to blessed with.  Fill it with family photos, pictures of your dream house, your perfect vacation…

What are the blessings in your life?  What are you grateful for?  What does your abundant life look like?  Our home is the haven that nurtures our families and our soul.  It’s a reflection of who we are and how we like to live.  Follow along with me in the coming days as I methodically feng shui my house, learning as I go, and having fun in the process!

Feng Shui for Your Home

For years I’ve been intrigued by the practice of feng shui.  I’ve purchased several books (never read them) and thought about it a lot.  On my visits to Singapore I’ve visited the feng shui shop at the local mall many times, and always meant to try it – but never did.  So when I saw a new book Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life by Karen Rauch Carter, I decided to buy, yet another book, and see where it would lead me.

Last week, while on vacation, I read this book from cover to cover and loved it!  The author practices the Black Hat style of feng shui which divides your house into 9 equal categories (life situations).  Each part relates to one aspect of your life such as career, prosperity, health, etc.  What I enjoyed most about the book is the author’s entertaining  way of revealing these ancient Chinese secrets in way that everyone can understand.  At the very least, it’s a great guide for home improvement!

So when I returned home, I set the intention to put into practice everything I had learned in the book.  Like the title says, Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life, what do I have to lose?  My clutter!!!

And so begins my “Feng Shui Adventure” of clearing the clutter and rearranging my house one gua (area) at a time.  My next post will begin in my Prosperity corner.  In the mean time, visit Karen’s site at www.fengshuipalace.com to order her book and follow along with me.