Less is More

Got Space

empty-cabinets

Continuing our talk about storage and overload started in Nothing in Excess, let’s move on to the kitchen. One never seems to have enough space in a kitchen. It doesn’t matter how many cabinets you have you always want more. To me this means you have things you don’t really need or use taking up space. What about all of those storage containers. Do they all have lids that match? Are they stained beyond cleaning and when you pull them out of the cabinet you put them back for a prettier one? What about appliances that you don’t use? Are you a gadget collecter? Do you actually use them? Clean out your cabinets, get rid of the clutter. Give away appliances you don’t use. Have a rummage sale.

Danger

pot rackLook up in the kitchen. Do you have a pot rack? Do you have a knife storage block on the wall? The pot rack hanging over your head creates pressure on your head when you are working. It also creates a disturbance in your visual field. You can create headaches for yourself. When your eyes don’t know where to focus you can have trouble concentrating and this can lead to kitchen accidents too. Knife blocks on the counter or wall are simply an accident waiting to happen especially if you have children. Please store your knives properly in a drawer.

Fresh and Tasty

Clean out your spice rack. Make sure everything is fresh and tasty. Spices do grow old and lose their flavor. You want the best for your family. Everything we put in our bodies affects us as you know, even something as small as a dash of spice. Same goes for your frig. Make sure it is clean and get rid of those old condiments and bits and pieces. Review it’s contents every week.

Can You Find It

organizing_clutter_bookcaseIn your office check your bookshelves. Are they organized or are they overflowing? Do you have piles of magazines and newspapers heaped up on the floor? Keep up to date on your reading. If it is still there months from now I can guarantee you will never look at them anyway. Pull your books up to the edge of the shelf. This lessens the effect of the shelf becoming a sha. If you are able, arrange the books according to size.and or color. This lessens their haphazard visual impact on your brain.

Keep your desk top clear so you can concentrate on your work. Try to sit in one of your good directions. Coming soon check out my ming gua and trigram articles to help you find yours. Do not sit with your back to the door.

The Way In

garage clutterYou might think that the garage is not an area to be concerned with but that is far from the truth. Many people never use their front door, but enter the house only through the garage. It may only be on holidays that guests use the front door. So what we see as we enter the garage is important too. Keep your garage neat and clean. Have it organized with closed storage when possible. Get rid of broken sports equipment, useless flower pots etc. Make sure you have proper ventilation, no gas fumes, fertilizer fumes or smelly shoe fumes should enter the house.

Read more: One Day You’re In One Day You’re Out and

                      Rock Paper Scissors

 all rights reserved © Diane Kern 2013

 

 

 

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Nothing in Excess or Too Much Stuff

Less is More

kitchenEveryone always wants more storage space in their home, office or garage. The problem has become so bad that people are renting off site storage sheds and “pods” to store their excess belongings. We now have closet organizers that utilize every spare inch of space, under bed storage solutions, rafter hangers for storage in the garage, and bins that attach to cubicle walls. But do you really need more storage space or do you need to reconsider just how much stuff you need?

Filled to the Brim

If you are filling every closet, drawer, pantry, bookcase chock full you may be missing out on some opportunities. In Feng Shui and in life we like to be open to new opportunities. If your life is filled to the brim you leave yourself no room, no options and may lose out on many wonderful options. Qi can not flow and bring fresh new energy through spaces that are blocked. The area becomes stagnant, to say nothing of trying to keep it cleaned and organized.

Headaches and Confusion

headacheDo not hang things like clothing hooks or shelves on the back of doors especially your entry doors. This creates a heavy feeling and can actually cause the doors to work less well.  Speaking of shelves do not place shelves above you doorway or above your bed. There is a practical aspect to this as well. If the shelves are dislodged you could end up with a nasty concussion. But the feng shui concern is that they create a downward pressure on you when you walk through the door or are sleeping in your bed. This can cause headaches, and confusion.

Sleep Well

Since we are in the bedroom do not store anything under your bed. If you must then let it be only clean bed linens. Make sure there is still “breathing room” between the storage and your bed. When you are sleeping you want a balanced flow of qi circulating smoothly around you.

Fibber McGee’s Closet

clothesClosets next. If when you open your closet (or cupboard) do things fall out? If so, you have Fibber McGee’s closet syndrome. If you have not worn something for a year you probably won’t wear it again. If it is in good condition donate it to a good cause. The non profit Dress For Success is a good place to donate professional work clothes. http://www.dressforsuccess.org. Get rid of your run down shoes and put shoe fresheners in the shoes you are keeping. It is not pleasant to open your closet and be confronted with the odor of smelly shoes.

Don’t buy something new unless you have made room by discarding something else first.

 

all rights reserved © Diane Kern 2013

 

 

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Feng Shui Energy Malnutrition

Food pyramid

Does your building suffer from energy malnutrition? There are many ways it can happen and I’ll talk about just a few. First what is it and why should I care? In Feng Shui energy is equivalent to food for the body. We all ready know that energy, or food, is all around us. Without food we die. With poor quality food we live but cannot reach our potential. Only with good quality food can we have the best opportunity for a healthy business and life. So think of your building as a body and feed it properly.

There are many causes for malnutrition. The first is that we have poor access to energy. When it comes to buildings, poor energy access can result from a landscape that does not allow energy to reach the mouth or door. It can be because the landscape is sloping away from the door-think about living on a steep hill or cliff. It can be because the landscape blocks the door-think about a large tree or building in front of the door. There are other causes, this is just two of them.

Door open to doorAnother cause of malnutrition is the inability to absorb the energy or food. This takes several forms, the first being not able to hold the energy. Let’s say you have plenty of food or energy but it goes right through the body. That is the equivalent of energy diarrhea. For example, energy comes in the front door and travels directly out the back. There is no time for the body to use the energy. Another example would be when the energy comes in but you have stairs directly in front of the door. Any energy on the upper levels runs down the stairs and right out again. Basically it comes in and runs back out. I think you could think of another way to describe that.

Dead end signA second way the body does not absorb that good energy is if it can not flow through the system. Then you have energy constipation. It comes in but does not circulate to all parts of the building. There are stagnant spots where it does not move. There are places it never reaches. You can see this is an unhealthy situation. Without flow the building becomes toxic.

The opposite of malnutrition is actually having too much energy. It is as if the body is being attacked. The same holds true for buildings. When the body is hit with something heavy or sharp it causes injury. Have you ever Sharp building cornerbeen hit by a baseball or dropped something on your foot? In Feng Shui we call this a sha or negative energy. Anything that concentrates the flow of energy and makes it faster and stronger is a sha. For a few examples in building terms think- a house at a “T” junction, a sharp corner that protrudes into a room, or it could be the roofline of the adjacent office building. Buildings facing a sha will begin to deteriorate. Interior shas are even more powerful. People facing a sha have health and other problems.Having a healthy, properly nourished building leads to productive, healthy people. What you see outside is reflected and activated inside. Feng Shui is the medicine for a healthy building and I have the medicine. If you are in the Pacific Northwest contact me, the house doctor, I make house and office calls. Click on the contact button.

Check out this article on the importance of doors and stairs

 

all rights reserved ©Diane Kern 2013

 

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Born in a Snake Year

photo2013 is the year of the Snake, so let’s learn something about people born in a Snake year. Does that include you?

Because the Chinese year is ruled by the luni-solar calendar and not the calendar that we use in the west, the New Year does not start on January first. Instead it usually starts around the fourth or fifth of February, changing slightly each year.

Are you really a snake

Each year is represented by one of the animals of the Chinese zodiac. They are rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. So when you look at the placements in a Chinese restaurant to find out your animal sign remember when the year begins. If you were born before the fourth or fifth on February you must take the animal of the previous year. If you were born on the day of the New Year you must know the hour of your birth to determine which animal is yours. Most people don’t know about this exception, but now you do.

The good and the bad

The Snake is considered a deep thinker, wise, sensual, ambitious and strong. On the negative side the Snake can be a loner, poor communicator, over bearing and violent. Each animal has both positive and negative characteristics.

Each animal in the zodiac belongs to an element, a personality, direction, a time of year and a time of day.

large_year_of_the_snake_(Medium)

Getting along

The Snake is ruled by wood, is found in the spring portion of the year. He gets along well with the Ox and Rooster. These are the people a Snake person feels the most affinity for and they will support him well.

Or not

The enemy of the Snake is Pig. When these two get together there can be misunderstandings and arguments. If opposites attract then a romantic relationship between a Snake and Pig can be very exciting but it takes a great deal of care and understanding to maintain.

What time is it

The hours of the day are also divided up and assigned to the 12 animals of the zodiac. We think of the day as 24 hours but the Chinese divide it into twelve-two hour periods. Snake rules the hours from 9 AM to 11 AM. Just as in Western astrology we consider not only our sun sign but also our rising sign. In Chinese astrology you can consider the animal of your birth hour as an influence on your character.

Other Snake people

The Snake is at home in the Southeast. Some famous Snake people are Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Bob Dylan, Edgar Allen Poe and Jacqueline Kennedy.

ghandi

jacqueline-kennedy12

 

 

 

 

all rights reserved ©2013 Diane Kern

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Fire, Feng Shui, and Winter Celebrations

Light in the darkness

FlamesIn the darkness of winter we have our most festive holidays. By necessity they are filled with lights and candles and the warmth of the glowing fireplace as well as fireworks. These not only replace the natural light missing at this time of the year but also serve to remind us that the darkness will not last forever. At this time of year we come together to renew our bonds of family and friendship, gathering together as the ancients must have over the fire pit in their caves waiting for the return of the light. No matter where you live you can join in the celebration.

Candles

Since fire is an important element you must use special care at this time of year. Never leave candles unattended even for a short time. Be especially careful in the bedroom. If you accidentally fall asleep with burning candles disaster could result. We also like to have candles in the bathrooms for more than one reason. Do not put them on the back of the toilet tank. Someone could light their hair on fire inadvertently. And be careful near towels and other fabrics as well.

Roaring fire

Roaring fireNothing is quite as cozy as a roaring fire. Of course use the usual precautions such a having your chimney cleaned and using a fire screen. Be aware that fire in certain sections of your home can create issues. When you have fire in a metal section of your home such as the West or Northwest you initiate the controlling cycle. Fire dominates metal by melting and destroying it. You might find you have more respiratory problems or more difficulties for the breadwinner of the house.

Lighten up

Use holiday lighting to balance the dark areas of your home. Finding a usually dark corner glowing with fairy lights will bring a smile to anyone’s face. You can find battery operated strings of lights in most hardware and holidays shops. With the new style of decorative lights there is little fear of over heating, but if you are using older types or your lights are several years old be sure to test them and turn them off when you are not home or have turned in for the night.

Because it’s the holidays let depart from the usual mission with a fun recipe.

Fire and ice

Flaming dessertOn the theme of fire, why not add a little fire and ice to your holidays with an easy but impressive dessert-a Baked Alaska. You can find many recipes online and can vary the flavor of ice cream to suit your taste. Peppermint might be especially suitable to the celebration. Basically line an 8 inch mixing bowl with plastic wrap and then pack it with your favorite ice cream flavor. Cover the top with wrap and place it in the freezer until firm, at least several hours.

Bake a pound or sponge cake or use a cake from your favorite bakery to save time. Trim it to an 8 inch round to match the ice cream bowl. Chill or freeze your cake on an ovenproof plate or cookie sheet. Unmold your ice cream-this is where the plastic wrap helps. Wrap the bowl in warm towels if it is stubborn. Remove the plastic and place the ice cream on top of the chilled cake. You can then wrap and return to the freezer for up to two days at this stage.

Just before serving make a meringue. In an immaculately clean glass bowl beat 8 egg whites with 1/8 teaspoon of cream of tartar, 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1 cup of sugar until stiff peaks form. Remove your cake from the freezer and quickly spread the meringue over it making lots of peaks. Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven until lightly browned. Serve immediately. You can make a depression in the center of the meringue and spoon a little brandy into it. Turn off the lights and carefully light the brandy for a special fire and ice effect.

Enjoy.

Fairy lights

all rights reserved 2012 © Diane Kern


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Make your Dining Room your Family Room

Use your dining room

While it seems that everyone wants to hang out in the kitchen with the cook….when it finally comes down to time to eat, the dining room is the place to be. Today we often use the dining room only on special occasions such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, Birthdays and other festive days. But why not use it more often. The family that shares the day’s events over a meal has been shown to have a happier family life and children who do better in school, and are more likely to stay away from drugs.

Why don’t you use it

Why don’t we use the dining room more often? Is your dining room too formal or cold? Do you feel like you have to dress up to eat in the dining room? Or is it just that you have fallen into the habit of each to his own when it comes to dinner time? With everyone’s busy schedules it is easy for that to happen. If your dining room has poor feng shui you and your family will not want to spend time there. When a portion of a house is neglected and seldom used it has little chance to collect qi or energy. So is your dining room off in a neglected corner of your house? Has it become a place to drop off the day’s books, mail and other stuff? Has it become a store room for things waiting to find their own place? Is it comfortable?

What about color

Dining roomIs it an appetizing color? Blue is a color that does not work with food. It gives food an unappealing appearance. So if your room is blue consider giving it a color face lift. If your china is blue this exacerbates the condition. If you are dieting then using a blue plate can decrease the amount you eat. Red is a color that increases appetite. With concern over obesity these days perhaps red is not a good color choice either. And as you have read in my other articles, red is a color to be avoided in large amounts due to its intense vibration and ability to activate negative energies. White on the other hand can lessen the appetite. If you want to lose weight white, in one of its many hues, could be a good choice for you. So what color should you paint your dining room? Once again a neutral tone suitable to the compass direction where it is located would be the best choice. Research the trigram subject area for hints on which color goes with which direction. When it comes to art work make sure it is serene in nature. No wild animals or disturbing subjects for art work in the dining room, or any other room for that matter.

What about size

Your dining room does not have to be fancy to accommodate a regular happy family dinner time several nights a week. It needs to be comfortable and uncluttered. It should suit the size of your family. A huge table seating 10 people is too big for a family of 4. They would feel dwarfed and uncomfortable. And likewise a table that is too small for the number of diners will also be uncomfortable. Try not to sit with your back to the door if possible, this makes for a feeling of “who is sneaking up behind me”. A family dinner gathering is a good time to teach children the good manners they will need as they go out into the world. It is a good time to connect and appreciate each other.

Let’s eat!

Heart of the Family more about dining together

all rights reserved 2012 ©Diane Kern

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Feng Shui Art Tips

I’ve written before about how art work affects our wellbeing. I’d like to give a few more examples for your study and contemplation.

Mind control

face sculpture brokenThis is a rather classic style of decoration. You often see reproductions of famous museum pieces and they always seem to have body parts missing. When I look at this piece I am thinking that the person only has half a brain. How clearly can you think in this state? And you have no body to carry out any actions you may devise. When you see this everyday you are giving yourself the sub conscious message that your thoughts are incomplete or damaged. Better to have art work depicting the entire body in a positive way.

Know yourself

woman walking away art workI found this art work in a client’s home. She has given me permission to use it as an example in this blog. She obtained this work of art at the time of her divorce, and felt it represented her walking out of the untenable situation. It was a favorite piece of hers. I saw it differently. I described what I saw and asked if she wanted to represent her life this way. She exclaimed absolutely not and immediately took it off the wall. She was amazed at how it contradicted her current situation.

 

What did I see? She saw a woman walking out of a relationship. I saw a woman with one leg, and an arm tied behind her back. Standing on one leg you don’t have a stable situation. With an arm tied behind your back your ability to succeed is compromised. Her life had changed over the years since she acquired this piece. Now she wanted to stand on her own two feet as a successful business woman. It no longer represents what she wants from life. Unconsciously it said I am unable and unstable. A more positive art piece will replace it.

Strong reaction

bent over man sculptureWhat is your reaction to this work of art? Mine was very strong. A man weighed down by stone captured in a metal cage, bent over in pain is what I saw. Let’s hope this is not in front of a restaurant. Context is everything. It could be a tribute of some sort. But if your reaction was similar to mine, it is not something I would want to see everyday.

Communication

face off coupleThe decorative statue of the couple behind the sofa is the focus this time. What impression does it give you of the relationship? Since the people in the statue are facing different directions this could mean they see the world differently. When you don’t have the same views it causes misunderstandings and arguments. Is this how you want to represent your relationships? I think not.

 

Check your space

Look around your space to see what works of art you live with. Think about what they actually say about your life. If they don’t represent your vision replace them with something that does. Fill your work space and home space with inspirational works of art.

More about art and how art affects you.

all rights reserved © Diane Kern 2012

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Buildings and Feng Shui Environment

I am pleased to share this article with you provided by my colleague, Kim Nguyen. Learn more about her at the end of the article. Enjoy.

Buildings tell a story

gherkin in LondonBuildings and their relationship with the environment can tell you a lot about the energy, functionality and beauty of a city. When you visit an area, you experience a sense of space, and feel how buildings relate to one another. For instance, the Gherkin building, a skyscraper in London’s financial district, is such an example. It catches your attention. The building reflects its means and if the building could speak to you, it might tell you its history and story.                                                                                                               

 Most architects say: I want to use this type of glass, even if it’s too reflective or doesn’t let enough light in. However, the use of a certain type of glass might change the comfort level.
- Helmut Jahn

 The theme of environment

The site and shape of a building shows the way each building will collect opportunity and luck, for its benefits. For example a small shop located between two buildings, can appear as though the two large buildings are squeezing the small shop. What would this mean for its success? What about a building that is much taller than its neighbors?

A few things we could observe about the environment for a hint.

·        Visibility, can the customer find it

·        The shape of the shop

·        Colors

·        Neighboring buildings and roads

·        Foot traffic

 

Five elements and shapes of building

You may like to take a look at your own environment and see the shapes of the buildings and where the buildings are in relation to the businesses and the people.

Each element has a particular type of energy that is represented by familiar shapes. They react and interact with their surroundings. See if you can identify them in your surroundings.

·        Square shape represents the element of earth.

·        Triangular shape signifies the fire element.

·        A circle or sphere shape signifies the metal element.

·        A linear curve symbolizes the element of water.

·        A rectangular shape is associated with the element of wood.

When we visit a city our attention is often drawn to such shapes, colors, noises, smells, etc.                                                    

 Good architecture is like a piece of beautifully composed music crystallized in space that elevates our spirits beyond the limitation of time.

- Tao Ho

We may ask ourselves from time to time when we visit a particular city such as “The Windy City” of Chicago, or New York, what, why and how it looks. Are there any memorable buildings and places? That’s one of the reasons we visit, to enjoy the art of design in particular buildings and the environment around us!

Meet Kim             

Kim Nguyen is a Traditional Feng Shui Consultant, a dedicated expert specializing in all aspects of traditional Feng Shui.

Her unique approach results in the highest standard of Feng Shui, manifesting itself in higher profits, increased productivity, and improved personal well-being.

Kim worked in corporate finance for 10 years before discovering her true passion in Feng Shui in 1991. She started out by performing Feng Shui on her own office in the headquarters where she worked, then handled the Feng Shui for the CEO and President.

Originally from Vietnam, Kim Nguyen currently lives in southern California and is available for consultation and presentations worldwide. Her services range from private homes and small businesses, working with architects, interior designers, developers, investors, up to and including corporations. Kim is a member of Alliance Feng Shui, an international group of Feng Shui consultants.

Get in touch with Kim Nguyen Consulting

call 760 815-4200

email kimvng@gmail.com

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It’s About Energy

Two atoms are walking down the street. One turns to the other and says “I think I lost an electron!” The second atom replies “Are you sure?” “Yes” says the first atom, “I’m positive”.

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Feng Shui a Moving Target

So the question is, Feng Shui for Cars? Really? If you didn’t see the orginal article read Ford Offers Feng Shui Concepts.

I don’t think so. As I have mentioned in previous posts, Feng Shui is about the interface between land, buildings and people. One of the characteristics of buildings is that they generally stay in one place. Even those buildings that move, open or rotate are actually attached to the ground. Neither does the land around a building move except during construction or perhaps a major landscape remodel. But essentially the land stays the same in its important attributes. Since a car is not attached to the ground nor does the land around it remain stable, how can we Feng Shui a car?

Traditional Feng Shui will use the exact location of a building to determine which sections are most beneficial for various tasks-office, bedroom, kitchen for homes or sales office, advertising, mechandise placement, management, etc for a business. If the building keeps moving its location so do those areas. If a car sits in the garage all the time perhaps you could do some sort of assesment. But that is not the function of a car.

There is no “career” sector or “helpful people” area in a car. Keep your car clean and in good running order. Choose a model, style and color that suits your life and business. To me safety is of first concern followed by annual maintenance costs. Use courtesy when driving and don’t drive impaired. If you do that your “car feng shui” will be just fine.

Calatrava Quadracci Pavillion

See some rotating buildings.

The Milwaukee Art Museum has added an amazing pavillion with wings athat open and close by architect Santiago Calatrava. Read more about the Quadracci Pavillion

Safeco Field home of the Seattle Mariners has a moveable roof. Find out more.

 Take a look at this over the top video about rotating buildings. It’s fun.

 This rotating desgin brings up other Feng Shui red flags. Maybe I’ll write about that too.

all rights reserved © Diane Kern 2012

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