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Your House Has A Mouth!

Your house has a mouth. It’s your entry door. That’s where the energy or “chi” enters and it’s important that the chi flows in smoothly.  There should be no obstacles on your way into your home like a tree branch you have to duck under or things to step over or around.  You should be able to open the door easily without any junk on the other side to block the door from opening fully.

Don’t place a mirror in the house directly across from your entry door because the mirror will bounce the chi back out. We want the chi to come in the house.  Try this test. Stand in front of a mirror and shine a flashlight at the mirror. The light will bounce back to you. Light is energy. Chi is energy. It’s not good to have an entry door directly under a bathroom. Human waste in the bathroom above your door will create tainted chi. If you have garbage outside of your entrance that can also taint the chi.

Clean up the inside and outside of your entry door to keep the chi clear and flowing smoothly into the mouth of your house!

If Your Love Life Was a Train …

Let’s say your love life is a train and things from all of your past relationships are the baggage on board.  Would your train be running at top speed? Or barely making it down the track? Or still stuck at the station?

Take a look in your relationship baggage compartment. Do you have things from past relationships that didn’t work out? When you hang on to things from the past, you’re anchoring yourself to the past.  It’s hard for the love train to run at full speed with it’s loaded down with all that old relationship baggage.  If you’re in a relationship and still keeping things from past relationships, you’re not 100% committed to your current relationship. Your partner may even resent your keeping things from a past relationship.

So unload the baggage compartment and get your choo choo up to speed! Take a look around your home for things from past relationships that didn‘t work out. Photos, love notes, gifts, bling bling, the bed you shared. When you get rid of old relationship baggage, you can make room for a new love or commit fully to your present relationship.

Feng Shui FAQ:  How can I enhance my money direction in my home?

People frequently ask me how they can enhance their money direction in their home. The short answer to that question is to sleep with your bed pointed in your personal money direction and neutralize the negative flying stars and enhance the positive flying stars in your home. How do you do that? 

We get our personal directions by using the Eight Mansions Formula. Everyone has a kua number which determines your four positive directions (including your money direction) and four negative directions. Your kua number is based on the year you are born and your gender.

You are either an East group person or a West group person.  East group people have kua numbers 1, 3, 4 or 9 and their positive directions are East, Southeast, South and North.  West group people have kua numbers 2, 5, 6, 7 or 8 and their positive directions are West, Northwest, Northeast and Southwest.  We use these directions to align our bed so that the crown of our head is pointed in one of our positive directions while we sleep. 

Each of our positive directions has a different “luck” or benefit attached to it: money and career, health and longevity, marriage and family harmony, and wisdom and education. For example, the personal money direction for a 2 kua person is Northeast. That’s the direction for a 2 kua person to point their bed to help with money/career issues.  Because of room design, you can't always utilize your money direction. Just make sure you are aligned towards one of your four positive directions while sleeping. 

As far as enhancing your money direction IN your home, there really is no money/career direction IN your home to enhance.  Some people who only work with the Eight Mansions Formula might say a 2 kua person could add earth or fire to the northeast compass section IN their home because the Northeast is an earth element compass direction.  But that doesn’t take into consideration the influential energies that form in homes when they are constructed - the flying stars.  When you add elements to the compass sections in your home based on the Eight Mansions Formula alone, you can actually create problems. Especially with moving water and fire.

Classical Flying Star feng shui uses the year of construction and compass degree the home faces to determine your home’s flying star natal chart of energy patterns. Every home is different. There are nine patterns of energy in your home - one in each of the eight compass sections and one in the center.  Neutralizing negative stars so they won’t affect you in a negative way and enhancing positive stars is the way we work with them for prosperity.

Combining the Eight Mansions Formula for positive sleeping directions and Classical Flying Star feng shui to balance the positive and negative energies IN your home is a good way to work on prosperity.

You can find out more about the different kids of feng shui on my web site http://www.fengshuidiva.com/schoolsoffengshui.htm

Getting To Know Chi

Feng shui is about working with the energies and energy flow in homes and offices to create balance.  Another word for this energy is chi.  Energy is chi.   And chi is the universal life force that runs through our bodies, our homes, and everything in the world.  At first, the concept of chi might seem foreign to you.  But once you get to know chi and work with it a little, it will seem like the most natural thing in the world to you.  Because it is. 

When I teach a feng shui class, I introduce my students to chi by showing them how to work with the chi of their bodies.  Since everything is chi, so are our thoughts.  Our thoughts are a form of energy that we shape with our consciousness.  What we think about and give our attention to, we send our energy to. You can physically see this happen by dangling a pendant necklace from you hand and making it move with your mind.  Simply hold the chain of the necklace with the thumb and forefinger of the hand you write with.  And hold the pendant about one inch above the palm of your other hand. Then think the way you want it to move and it will move that way. You can move it in a circle or back and forth. You can move it one way, stop it, and move it another way. If you need some visual help with this, I have a quickie 90-second “Move It With Your Mind” video demonstration you can view on my website .

Chi is everywhere and in everything. Once you get to know chi, and grasp the concept of chi, it will be easier for you to start working with the chi in your home to help create more balance in your life.

Is Your Bed Pointed The Right Way?

She had a thriving business for 20 years.  Made lots of money and had clients waiting to sign up with her.  Then she and her husband built their dream home and right after they moved in, her business stopped thriving.  She lost client after client and some of her staff left her to start their own business.  After a steady two year decline, she called me.  The problem was easy to pinpoint and fix. She was sleeping in her “total loss” direction.  We moved her bed back to her “money/career” direction (which is the way it had been during the 20 years her business was thriving) and the problem was solved. 

If you are 30 years old, you have already spent 10 years of your life in bed.  And the compass direction your bed is pointed has a huge impact on your life.  We use the Eight Mansions formula to determine our best directions.  Everyone has 4 positive directions and 4 negative directions based on the year you are born and your gender.  Sleeping with the crown of your head pointed towards a  negative direction will throw your life out of balance in many areas.  Poor health, money problems, insomnia, what feels like “bad luck” or being stuck, etc.

If you only try one feng shui technique, do this one.  And please tell your family and friends to check their sleeping direction too. You can look up your best directions on my website

Environmental Influences and Breast Cancer

I had a mammogram a few weeks ago and although it was unpleasant for a few minutes, I personally think going to the dentist is more unpleasant.  I would encourage all women of age to not put off getting your mammogram.  If you are past due, call your doctor and make your appointment today.  That said, lets take a look at how your environment affects your health and risk of cancer.

EMFs (electromagnetic frequencies) are electric and magnetic fields that surround all electric devices.  When an appliance is plugged into an electrical outlet, EMFs are produced. There is ongoing debate on whether EMFs cause cancer. Most studies I have seen conclude that EMFs do not “cause” cancer directly but might be “related”.  The relationship appears to be that EMFs reduce melatonin levels in the body.  Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland which regulates our sleep, our mood and the body’s ability to fight tumors.  So, if you have cancer or any kind of tumor, you won’t be able to fight it as well as you could if you had no exposure to EMFs. The most common sources of EMFs in your world are computer monitors and towers, transformer plugs, hair dryers, televisions, improperly wired walls, waterbed heaters and electric blankets.  Keeping your exposure to 2 mG (milligauss) or less is a healthy goal. The state of California’s Short Factsheet on EMF explains electromagnetic fields in more detail and has a chart with the EMF measurements of common household appliances in milligauss.  You can find gaussmeters for sale online to take your own measurements.

To create a healthier environment, keep in mind that melatonin is produced at night in the dark. Light makes the body think it is daytime so if you sleep with the lights on, or TV or have a strong streetlight coming through your bedroom windows, you won’t be producing the natural amount of melatonin.  Night shift workers who sleep in the daytime will typically produce less melatonin.  Educate yourself about EMF sources in your home and office. Reduce your exposure to EMFs and make sure you are getting enough dark during your sleeping hours so your body can produce the natural amount of melatonin needed.

You can search the internet for studies on EMF exposure and cancer and you will get conflicting information. Power companies have been sued by leukemia patients and have produced studies to defend their empires.  In your search for answers, be aware that producers of EMFs are going to finance studies about the dangers of EMFs in the same way tobacco companies financed studies concluding that cigarettes do not cause cancer.  Because they have a lot to lose.

Clutter, Energy Flow, And Depression

Clutter isn’t just a mess, it is actually affecting the energy flow in your environment and your emotional state.   Energy or “chi” naturally flows through your home and office.  When chi encounters clutter, it makes the energy flow slow down and get “stuck”.   When you spend time in stuck energy, you  begin to feel stuck , as if you were not moving forward in life.   The more clutter you have, the more stuck energy you have.  At its worst, clutter can make you feel so stuck you get depressed.   And of course no one wants to tackle clutter when they feel depressed or stuck, so the clutter grows.  And grows.

Clutter happens.  It happens to everyone and it can be overwhelming trying to figure out how to clear it.  I look at it this way.  Lets say you order a large pizza.  You look at that pizza and think that there is no way you can eat the whole thing.  But if you take a slice away, and another, eventually the pizza will disappear.   And so will your clutter.   If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your clutter, start with something small like the junk drawer or the catchall table.  Make a list of small projects and tackle those one by one, and eventually you will get the whole house done.

Clutter control is a lifelong chore because we always have things coming into our homes and offices.  But if you take the time to strategically plan smaller clutter projects, it will be easier for you to actually get your clutter under control.

Feng Shui and Child Behavior

There are no bad children.  There is bad behavior.  The environment in your child’s room will affect their behavior, family relationships, and even their ability to get good grades.   Negative stimulation in the environment can create these kind of problems with your children.  

You already know that if you give your child a caffeinated soda , they are going to act differently than if you gave them some fresh squeezed juice.  Caffeine and processed sugar are negative stimulation that you are familiar with.   Unfortunately, there can be a lot of negative stimulation in your child’s room creating problems and much of it is invisible.  Such as the psychological impact of pictures/posters,  colors, clutter, bad furniture placement, and electromagnetic fields from computers, television, and other electronics.

Right now there are hundreds of thousands of children being punished, grounded, spanked, and shunned because they are not behaving the way their parents want them to behave.  Many of these kids are simply reacting to the negative stimulation in their environment.  Take away that negative stimulation, and there will be less negative behavior.  The child will be able to evolve into the person they really are.

My goal is to help as many kids as I can by teaching their parents how to create a more balanced environment in children‘s rooms.  I have a free Feng Shui For Children’s Rooms online audio class you can listen to right now on your computer.  In less than 30 minutes, I’ll teach you what to look for and how to correct it.

Today we have more kids with ADD, ADHD, autism, substance abuse and other challenges.  Being a parent today is harder than it was for your grandparents.   Parents can use feng shui as a tool to help create a more balanced environment for better behavior and more family harmony.

Feng Shui Kits & Gimmicks

This is the time of year when people are looking for the perfect holiday gift so I went shopping to see what kind of feng shui gimmicks are being offered.  I found a feng shui candle gift set advertised to “improve your living environment”.  The candles come in five different colors and scents. The colors represent the five elements used in feng shui.  There was a brown candle to represent earth, green for wood, blue for water, white for metal, and red for fire.

In feng shui you can use colors to represent the five elements, but colors are not as strong as using the actual element.  For example, we use healthy green plants to represent wood, not a blob of green wax.  A water fountain for water, not a blob of blue wax.  Metal objects for metal, not a blob of white wax.  Rock or earthenware for earth, not a blob of brown wax.  And lit candles or bright lights for fire, not a blob of red wax.

When any of these colored candles are lit, they become the element fire.  When you use a green candle to represent wood and light the candle, you have the element fire and wood.  And of course fire destroys wood.  Light the blue candle and you have fire and water.   The feng shui candle set is simply a marketing gimmick to sell a product to people who don’t know anything about feng shui.  If feng shui is supposed to be good for you, a feng shui candle set should be good for you, right?

I’m sure the lovely scents in the candles will improve a living environment but they are not really changing the feng shui.  Scented candles are a nice gift, but if you really want to give a gift to someone to improve their feng shui, you can get them a feng shui book for the same price as a set of feng shui candles.  

The Most Popular Kind of Feng Shui

The most popular food in America is fast food.  Greasy meat, fries and soda.  It’s quick and easy.  Take a look at the average American belly and it is obvious that fast and easy is not best.  The same applies to feng shui.  Unfortunately, since the Western school of feng shui is the easiest kind of feng shui,  it is the most popular kind in the US.  You don’t have to be smarter than a fifth grader to understand it.  However, it is not the most accurate and can actually create problems.

THE DIFFERENCES IN A NUTSHELL: Classical feng shui uses a combination of Compass, Form, and Flying Star.  Compass school divides a building into the eight compass directions using a compass to determine the exact locations.  Flying Star does the same but adds the time dimension by taking the year of construction and compass degree a building faces to determine the natal chart of energy patterns formed in each compass section.  Western feng shui  is a 1980s adaptation of  Compass created to help introduce feng shui to us lazy Americans who like things fast and easy.   Western does not use a compass.  Instead a one-size-fits-all bagua map is placed over the floor plan, lined up with the main entry door.  If this were to be 100% accurate, all buildings would have to face north.

THE MAIN CONFLICTS:  Since the bagua map is not correct in its location of compass directions, adding elements like fire or water can backfire on you.  If your building faces south and you add water for the north section on a bagua map, you are actually adding water to the south.  If you add fire where there is a 5 Yellow flying star, you are making a bad energy worse.  And Western uses the “command position” for bed placement instead of an individual’s personal best compass directions for sleeping.

THE BOTTOM LINE:  Know what kind of feng shui you are using and keep a record. Write down the feng shui techniques as you use them and then review them.  Did they make things better? Worse? Did nothing happen?  You’ll know if you are using the right kind of feng shui for your individual home or office by the results you get. 

2008 Feng Shui Flying Stars And Your Health

People who sleep in a bedroom or use an entry door located in the south or northwest sections of their home will have more illness issues in 2008.

According to the principles of Flying Star feng shui, every building has a "natal chart" or permanent energy pattern determined by its year of construction and the specific compass degree it faces. These unseen energies affect the residents in both positive and negative ways. The flying star natal chart is the permanent energy pattern of the building. There are also annual energies or "stars" that follow the Chinese solar calendar and move to a new compass section each year on February 4th or 5th.

There are nine different stars and two of them create illness problems. The 5 Yellow star has the most negative influence of all the stars. From February 4th, 2008 to February 4th 2009, the 5 Yellow occupies the south section of buildings. This star is an earth energy landing in a fire compass direction. Since the element fire creates earth, the 5 star energy will be strong here. People who have an entry door or sleep in a bedroom located in the south of their home will have more illness issues this year than they normally do. The easiest solution for the 5 Yellow is to avoid it altogether by sleeping in another room and/or using a different entry door. If this is not possible you can try adding the element "metal" to the south such as a metal wind chime and other things made out of metal and adding a salt water cure . The 5 Yellow is an earth energy and metal drains earth thus weakening the star.

The 2 Black star also causes illness problems. It occupies the northwest during this same time period.  This is an earth energy landing in a metal compass direction. Since the element metal drains earth, the 2 star will be less potent here. The 2 Black star can also be neutralized with a salt water cure and drained with metal.

The nine different flying stars affect the occupants of all buildings, commercial and residential. These solutions can be applied to offices and business entry doors as well. Stay on top of their movements each year and stay healthy.

2008 Feng Shui Flying Stars Influence on Relationships and Finances

Last week’s blog focused on the negative 5 and 2 annual flying stars and how they affect your health.  Now lets look at the other seven stars and their influence on your life.

On the negative side, the 7 star occupies the southwest sections of buildings and brings the vibration of robbery and financial loss.  It is a metal energy which can be drained by adding still (non-moving) water.  You can simply place a gallon jug of water with the cap removed in the southwest to neutralize the 7 star.  The 3 star lands in the west and it’s energy is known for arguments and disputes.  It is a wood energy and can be reduced with the color red.

Now the good news!  The 1, 6, and 8 stars all bring prosperity energy.  The 1 occupies the center of buildings, the 6 is in the north and the 8 is in the east.  The 4 star adds positive relationship energy and lands in the northeast.

The 9 star is iffy. It can a positive or negative influence depending on the other stars in your home’s flying star natal chart.  It is a fire energy and when it is combined with the 5 or 2 stars, it makes their negative influence even worse. When it combines with the 8 star, it adds to its positive prosperity energy.

All nine stars shift to new locations each year on the 4th or 5th of February and affect the occupants of all buildings, commercial and residential.  As you can see, some are positive and some are negative. Keeping track of the annual movement of the energies will help you stay healthier and wealthier. And of course it is very important to know the flying star natal chart of your home too.  If you do not have a Flying Star feng shui consultant in your area or cannot afford a consultation, my book Creating A Haven: Simple Steps For A Healthy And Home has the natal charts of all buildings built between 1924 and 2024, along with advice on cures you can use to neutralize the negative energies and advice for enhancing positive energies. This is the only book in print that includes both the natal charts and the cures needed for all homes built in this 100 year span. Offices can also use this information. 

No Televisions in the Bedroom

The adult bedroom is for rest, relaxation and romance.  The energy should be “yin” or quiet as opposed to “yang” or energetic.  There shouldn’t be anything in your bedroom that doesn’t have to do with resting, relaxing, or being romantic.  You might be surprised to find out that you’ll be romantic a lot less often if you have a television in your bedroom.  After all, watching a TV can be relaxing, but it actually interferes with your love life.

In fact, a study conducted in 2005 in found that couples who have a TV in their bedroom have sex half as often as those who don't.  If there's no television in the bedroom, the frequency of lovemaking doubles. A team of psychologists questioned 523 couples to see what effect television had on their sex lives. On average, couples who live without TV in the bedroom have sex twice a week, or eight times a month. This drops to an average of four times a month for those with a TV.  For couples over the age of 50 the effect is even worse, with the average of seven couplings a month falling to just 1.5 times. 

If you are happy with the frequency of lovemaking in your relationship, then the television can stay in your love nest.  If you would like more frequency, then get rid of your lovemaking competition in the bedroom and keep the television in the family room.

Next week we’ll look at what baggage from past relationships can do to your health and your current relationship, or your chances of finding a new love.

Relationship Baggage

They were sitting at the dining room table when he told her that he had fallen in love with another woman and wanted a divorce.  It shattered her world.  She never had a clue.  They divorced and divided their property.  She got the dining room table.  Years go by and she says to this day, she’ll be having a dinner party in her home and not twenty minutes into the meal, she gets physically sick.  She knows it’s the table that is making her sick but she doesn’t want to get rid of it because “it’s an expensive table”.   It certainly is.  Just look at what it is costing her.

If there is something in your home from a past relationship that bothers you, eventually it will compromise your health.  Especially if the relationship was very negative or it ended in a negative way such as hers did, or like in the movie “The War of the Roses“.   I get asked by women all the time if it is okay to keep their “bling-bling”.   Expensive jewelry rarely has a high resale value so women don‘t tend to sell it when their relationship is over.  It just sits in the jewelry box, bothering them. Even if you have it reset to look different, you know it’s associated with an old relationship. 

The best thing to do when you end a relationship is to clean the slate as much as possible.  Get rid of all the things that you associate with that relationship.  You can sell the items in a yard sale, on the internet, or donate them to a charity to help people.  If you have been disappointed by several relationships that did not work out, you may have doubt about ever finding a compatible mate.   It is much easier to keep a positive attitude about the possibility of a new lasting relationship if you don’t have old relationship baggage in your home.   Also, getting rid of old relationship baggage will help make room for a new love.  Next week we’ll look at good and bad feng shui in the bedroom for couples.

Bedroom Feng Shui For Couples

I’ll never forget the time I went into a couple’s bedroom and saw a painting of a civil war scene.  It was the most unromantic thing I’d ever seen in a bedroom.  She hated it.  He loved it.  I asked him to enlighten me as to what he thought was “romantic” about the war scene.  It shouldn’t have been in the home at all, but at least we were able to convince him to move it out of the bedroom. 

For the adult bedroom we use the three “R’s” - Rest, Relaxation and Romance.  There shouldn’t be anything in the bedroom that that doesn’t have anything to do with resting, relaxing or being romantic.  No exercise equipment, computers, work files, televisions (see my Jan 29th blog), junk piles, etc.  Think of the bedroom as your love nest - the special place in your home for just the two of you. 

Your kids, parents, in-laws and friends don't belong in your bedroom so keep their pictures out of your love nest.  Let’s say the two of you are being romantic and you look up and see a picture of your mother-in-law.  There goes the mood.  Or you see a picture of your child and wonder if you remembered to pack their lunch for school. You slip out of love gear into parent gear.  The only photos a couple should have in their bedroom are happy photos of the couple.  Make sure you both like the photo and there isn’t anything negative associated with it.

Religion and sex are awkward bedroom buddies.  Even though you aren’t doing anything wrong, you may feel guilty if you have religious icons in your bedroom and not enjoy yourself as much as you could. Your spiritual beliefs are an important part of your life and it is good to display art or photos associated with your beliefs in your home, but not in your love nest.

What’s in your bedroom? Take a look at all the things you have in your bedroom and use the three “R’s” to determine what changes you need to make.  Next week we’ll look at how to point the bed in a positive compass direction for the couple.

Kua Numbers and Best Compass Directions For Couples

In my Nov 26 blog I explained the importance of pointing your bed in a positive direction.  It’s easy for one person to figure out which way to point the bed, but it can be tricky for couples.  Your best compass directions are determined by your kua number which is based on the year you are born and your gender.   You are either an East Group person or a West Group person.   East Group people have kua numbers 1, 3, 4, and 9. Their positive compass directions are north, south, east and southeast.  West Group people have kua numbers 2, 5, 6, 7, and 8. Their positive directions are west, northwest, southwest and northeast.  

When both partners are in the same group, they both have the same positive directions.  But when partners are in opposite groups, one partner’s positive directions are the other partner’s negative directions.  That means one person will always be sleeping in a negative direction.  It should be that partner’s “ho hai” or “least worst” direction.  Let’s take a look at some famous East Group/West Group couples and how each partner can utilize their best compass directions.  

Hillary Clinton (10/26/47) is a West Group person with kua number 7. Bill Clinton (8/19/46) is an East Group person with kua number 9.  Her ho hai or least worst direction is north and his is northeast. When they are together either at home or traveling, the bed should be pointed either north or northeast. 

Barack Obama (8/4/61) is an East Group person with kua number 3. Michelle Obama (1/17/64) is a West Group person with kua number 5.  His ho hai or least worst direction is southwest and hers is south.  When they are together either at home or traveling, the bed should be pointed either southwest or south. 

John McCain (8/29/36) is an East Group person with kua number 1.  Cindy McCain (?/?/54) is a West Group Person with kua number 5. His ho hai or least worst direction is west and hers is south. When they are together either at home or traveling, the bed should be pointed either west or south. 

When the presidential hopefuls are on the road campaigning without their partners, they can sleep pointed towards their “sheng chi” or money/career direction.  That would be northwest for Hillary, south for Obama and southeast for McCain. 

East Group/West Group couples also have the option of both partners sleeping in separate beds so each can sleep in a positive direction.  But that isn’t very romantic, is it?  You can find your kua number and compass directions on my web site .

Feng Shui For Singles Ready For A Relationship

Being single isn’t the worst thing in the world. There are many married people who are unhappy, even miserable  So don’t feel bad if you’re single and don’t want to be.  It could be worse. That said, there are some ways you can set up your home or apartment to be more supportive for attracting a new relationship.

Sleeping with your bed pointed toward your “nien yen” or “marriage and family harmony” direction will help you connect with more possible mates.  You can find your personal nien yen direction on my web site .

Even if you are not in a relationship, your bedroom should be set up as if you were.  Make sure you  have a double bed or queen size bed with two bedside tables and lamps and room to walk around both sides of the bed.  Is there any room in your closet and dresser for your new mate?  If not, clean out a drawer and set aside some space in your closet for your new love.  Then you’ll symbolically create some space in your life for them and they’ll have a place to put their things when they come over for slumber parties.

There are feng shui symbols for relationships such as the double happiness symbol, mandarin ducks, flying geese, etc. These might not feel right for you if they are not a part of the culture you grew up with. Think about what a committed relationship really means to you and how you can symbolize that in your bedroom with paintings or other art. 

After you apply these things, don’t sit at home and expect for your new love to come knock on your door.  Unless you want to ask out the cute pizza delivery person you‘re expecting to bring your dinner order!  Increase your odds of connecting with someone who also wants a relationship by doing the things you love to do. You’ll have something in common with the people you meet who are doing what they love to do.  Do some volunteer work for a cause you really believe in.  You’ll at least make some nice new friends.  Take a class or a seminar, try a wine tasting,  join a singles group, join a yoga class.

It does not matter if you are good looking or not, rich or poor,  skinny or obese.  There is someone for everyone.  Make sure you have supportive feng shui at home for a relationship and then get out of the house and increase your odds of meeting someone you have something in common with who will be a good match for you. 

Dark Bedrooms Are Healthier For Sleep and Mood

I am amazed by the number of commercials I see on TV for prescription and over-the-counter sleep remedies.  Ideally, we shouldn’t have to pop a pill every night to get a good night’s sleep.  If you are unable to fall asleep or sleep through the night, your bedroom might be contributing to your insomnia. 

At bedtime, your bedroom should be dark.  That’s because our bodies produce a hormone called melatonin which controls our mood and our sleep. It is produced by the pineal gland at night, in the dark. Light makes the body think its daytime. It is very important to sleep in a dark bedroom so that your body will produce and maintain a healthy, natural level of melatonin.

Some children are afraid of the dark and have a very uneasy feeling about going to bed with the lights off.  You can use a light with a timer until your child outgrows their fear of the dark.  Set the timer so the light will go off about 30 minutes after your child is normally asleep.  They will have a comforting light until they doze off and you won’t have to remember to turn off their light because the timer will do it for you.

Some adults can’t go to sleep with the lights off either.  Some have to have the television on to fall asleep. This is not healthy.  If you need a light or TV on to be able to fall asleep, try using a timer for the light or TV.  If not, you won’t get as good a night’s sleep as you could and your mood will not be as positive.

If your bed is pointed in a negative direction you won’t be able to sleep well either. So make sure your bed is pointed in one of your four positive directions.  Don’t sleep with the light on, or the television or with a streetlight coming through your bedroom window.  Keep your bedroom dark at bedtime to help support your body’s production of melatonin. This will help you sleep better and keep your mood more positive.

Do You Have Curb Appeal?

Curb appeal is a term realtor’s use to describe a home that looks attractive from the street.  It’s a selling point.  But curb appeal isn’t just for selling homes. If you’re embarrassed by the way your home looks from the street, or you get a bad feeling just by looking at your home, then your home isn’t doing it’s job.

Your home should be comforting and nurturing.  And not just on the inside.  Take a good look at your home and write down what bothers you. Then write down the kind of feelings you would rather have about your home.  What can you do to your home to help create the feelings you would rather have?  New paint for the door or a new door? A power wash?  A new paint job?  Some yard work?  A potted plant or some shrubs? A decorative water fountain?  What can you do to your home that would make you feel good when you got home every day?  Your home doesn’t have to be perfect on the outside.  Perfection is not the goal here.  Having positive feelings about your home is the goal.

Coming home to something that lowers our spirits affects our mental health, and our mental health affects our physical health.  When your home has curb appeal, it’s nurturing before you even get in the door.  You’ll be happier and healthier if your home has curb appeal.

Plants in the Bedroom

Green and flowering plants are natural air purifiers.  Not only do they change the air by using up carbon dioxide and giving off oxygen, they can actually remove several toxic chemicals and improve the quality of the air in your home.  NASA scientists have studied the viability of using plants aboard orbiting space stations as part of the biological life support system.

Studies have shown that the air inside your home can be five times more polluted that the air outside. So having some plants around the house in places where they can thrive can improve the air quality.  Generally speaking, green is good to have around the house.  The bedroom is one exception.   That’s because the bedroom is a “yin” area of the home.  Yin is passive.  “Yang” is active.   Plants are growing so they are considered yang and give off yang energy.   Some people can sleep through a marching band going by their bedroom window.  And there are people who are so sensitive that having just one small plant in the bedroom will actually keep them awake or make them feel anxious or emotionally stressed.  If you want plants in your bedroom, the issue is better air quality versus yang energy.  If you have always had plants in your bedroom, you can try removing them for a few weeks to see if you notice a difference in the way you feel emotionally and the way you sleep.

Another exception about adding plants is their influence on your prosperity.  The live wood chi from plants can affect the flying stars in your home.  For example, the 8 star is an earth energy associated with prosperity.  The element wood “controls” the element earth.  If you have an 8 star in your bedroom, the wood chi of your plants will control the earth chi of the 8 star so you won’t get the benefit of the 8 star.  Since plants can affect the flying stars in buildings, it’s best to review the natal chart of your home or office, and the annual stars before adding live plants or trees. 

Earth Day Recycling, Free-cycling and Fun

When Earth Day began in 1970 there was no world wide web. It wouldn’t come along until over 20 years later.  Today, you and I can connect with people all over the world and join together to learn about how our lifestyle has an impact on the earth, get tips and information on how we can make a difference,  and voice our concerns about the climate crisis.  We can even exchange our old stuff with total strangers to keep it out of landfills.

The Freecycle Network has over four thousand local groups with more than four million members across the globe.  It’s a grassroots, totally non-profit movement of people who give and get stuff for free for the sole purpose of keeping good stuff out of landfills.  Some things are in great condition, some things are fixer-uppers.  I’ve seen leftover household paint,  a non-working vacuum cleaner, downspout splash guards, a three-legged sofa -- even a kitchen sink was posted for giveaway.   You probably have things around the house you consider worthless junk, but someone in your city might be able to put it to good use.  So before you trash it, freecycle it to you community.    I used Freecycle to give away my old album boxes.  When I was in college I had hundreds of vinyl LPs and I built wooden boxes to store them in and protect them.  I’m not a wood worker so they didn’t look very good.  They were just functional.  A few years ago I sold my album collection and had all these wooden boxes and no use for them.  I knew if I donated them to a charity, no one would know what they were for and they would probably be trashed.  Since I made them myself, I had some emotional attachment to them and wanted them to be appreciated for what they were created for.  So I offered them for free to my local Freecycle group.  I was amazed how many people wanted them.  They were gone the next day.   It was nice to be able to get rid of them in a positive way.  Take a spin on Freecycle and learn more about freecycling in your area.   

Earth Day is April 22nd with many communities having events on the Saturday the 19th and Sunday the 20th.  The Earth Day Network has a great web site to help you find Earth Day events in your area. You can also sign the Sky Petition, learn how to make effective political noise, register to vote, and more.  Any little thing you can do will help make a difference, so do a little something for Earth Day.

Feng Shui For Administrative Professionals Week

This Wednesday on Administrative Professionals Day, millions of secretaries and administrative assistants will be taken out to lunch or get a bouquet of  flowers, or both.   That’s nice.  Letting them know they are appreciated and acknowledging their contribution to the company is important. But it’s not quite enough.  In addition to all the goodies you can give them this week, what they could really use is a less stressful work environment all the time.  

Sit in their seat for a moment.  Several phone lines are ringing.  Each has to be answered and put on hold until all callers are forwarded to the right extension or a message can be taken.  Messages have to get to the right person, on time. Incoming faxes are delivered and outgoing faxes are sent.  Emails are answered.  Deadlines are met. Files have to be put in order or filed information has to be retrieved.  Copies are made and distributed to the staff.   Incoming clientele are greeted and seated or sent to their meeting destination.  And staffers are always interrupting them with their own little emergencies.  Day after day after day. Burned out yet?

Everyone in the office relies on the secretaries and administrative assistants to keep the office running well.  It’s a stressful job and bad feng shui can make it even more stressful.  Here are a couple of things to look for in their workspace.  Are they sitting in the “line of fire”.  Is their desk is directly opposite from the entrance door so that if  you stood in the doorway and tossed a tennis ball straight ahead, you would hit their chair?  If so, energy flowing into the office will also hit them.  This will drain their energy so move their desk out of the line of fire.  Make sure they are sitting with their back to a wall.  If there is activity going on behind their back and they can‘t see it, they won’t be as relaxed on the job as they could be.   Are their any annoying obstacles in their workspace?  Is everything working properly? Do they have a comfy chair? A decent working phone?  Does their stapler have legs?  When you need a stapler, tape or a pen, don’t take theirs -- get your own!

Food and flowers are a nice gift to give once a year but if you really want to show your support staff how much you appreciate them, give them a less stressful work environment all year long.   Workplace stress is a huge problem for American businesses.  Next week we’ll look at the different sources of  workplace stress and how to make the office less stressful and more productive and profitable.

Workplace Stress: The Sources

In the U.S., a survey is conducted every ten years on job satisfaction.  The most recent survey was taken in 2005 and showed that 50 percent of American workers are not happy with their jobs (up from 41 percent in 1995).  Half of the people who show up for work don’t really want to be there.  More and more people are suffering from workplace stress which is estimated to cost American companies $300 BILLION a year in poor performance, absenteeism and health costs. “My job makes me sick”  is more true than the person who utters it may even realize.  Studies show stress in the workplace causes anxiety, irritability, tiredness, fatigue, insomnia, depression, headaches, tardiness, absenteeism, and accidents.

Why are workers so stressed these days?  There are many psychological and environmental sources of stress.  Having too much work is as stressful as having too little work.  Not feeling in control, not being recognized or feeling unappreciated.  Career and job ambiguity. Lack of communication. Unclear company direction and policies.  Feeling like you’re on a treadmill.  Not feeling like you belong. Poor working conditions.  Many workers have no choice but to stay put where they are because they have to keep the health insurance the company provides.  That creates a feeling of helplessness.  And then there’s the economy.  Job insecurity increases stress when companies aren’t making money and may have to make job cuts. 

It’s in the best interest of companies to take a serious look at workplace stress because it’s costing them money.  The first step in reducing workplace stress is pinpointing all of the sources.  Making the workplace less stressful raises employee morale, helps keep workers healthy, and increases productivity and profits. Next week we’ll look at some solutions for reducing workplace stress. 

Workplace Stress - Some Solutions

Imagine going to work every day and not having to worry about dressing in business attire, getting free gourmet meals, having a company gym and lap pool to work off stress, and a free doctor on site when you need one.  That’s what it’s like to work at the company ranked #1 in 2007 in Fortune’s 100 Best Companies To Work For.  It’s no wonder over 1,000 people apply for jobs at Google every day.

The work environment can be much less stressful by applying a combination
of feng shui and green design.  Ergonomic design for the workplace maximizes productivity by reducing operator fatigue and discomfort. Ergonomics makes it easier for a worker to do their job, which can decrease stress.  Sitting in a cubicle with your back exposed makes work more stressful. When you can’t see what is going on behind you, you are not as relaxed. Turning your chair to position your back to a wall in the cubicle or using a small mirror so you can see behind your back will help you be more relaxed. 

Annoying noise in the workplace can be reduced by using sound absorbing wall panels, noise cancelling headphones, ear buds,  Ipods/MP3 players,  white noise machines, and chatter blocking computer programs.  Bad lighting causes eye strain and headaches.  Natural daylight and indirect lighting  are healthier.  Light controls and task lighting in each worker’s personal space allow occupants to control their own lighting.  Increasing fresh air intake, improving air filtration and ventilation effectiveness, using green plants, and using materials and finishes that minimize volatile organic compound off-gassing create a healthier environment.

Clutter is eye noise.  It’s hard to concentrate in a mess.  Clutter makes the flow of chi slow down and get stuck which can make you feel stuck or depressed at work.  Personalizing your workspace with pictures of the people and pets you love, and other things that make you happy will help lift your spirits on a stressful day.

Workplace stress affects us all - companies, employees, and their families when they bring home workplace stress.  I have just added a workplace stress resource page on my web site with information from the World Health Organization, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the American Institute of Stress and more.  Identifying the sources of stress in your workplace is the first step towards making your business healthier and more profitable.

Outdoor Water Features And Prosperity

Last Mother’s Day, one of my clients received a beautiful outdoor fountain from her son and husband. They placed it in the front yard so they could all enjoy it as they came and went.  In November, she made another appointment with me to come back to the house because her husband was having problems at work and it was getting worse and worse.  I arrived on a Saturday.  He had been fired the day before. The reason for his dismissal didn’t have anything to do with his abilities or value to the company, in fact, the head of the company held him in high regard.  He had been arguing with his immediate supervisor for months and when the head of the company went on vacation, the supervisor fired my client’s husband. Sneaky, sneaky.  The whole thing happened because the fountain was placed in the wrong spot.  My client was excited about her Mother’s Day gift and never thought it could create any problems so she didn‘t think to check with me about the right spot to place it.  They just put it where they could enjoy it the most.  That’s what most people do with outdoor fountains.

Feng shui practitioners who use a compass will typically place fountains or other moving water features in the north, southeast or east of a home or office.  Even that isn’t a safe bet.  Moving water is an “activator” and you need to be careful where you put it.  Moving water on the OUTSIDE of a building activates the flying star energy pattern INSIDE the building in the compass section it is adjacent to.  If the energy pattern is positive, then the fountain will enhance that positive energy.  If the energy pattern is negative, the fountain will make it worse.  My clients placed their fountain next to a compass section with a negative energy pattern and that’s when the problems at work began for my client’s husband. 

Flying star energy patterns are determined by the year a building is built and the compass degree it faces.   My book Creating A Haven has the flying star energy patterns for every building built between 1924 and 2024 so you can easily find out how the energy patterns are affecting you in your home or office.  Whenever you try any feng shui technique, such as adding a water feature for prosperity, write down when you applied it and what it was supposed to do.  Then you can check your notes later and see what kind of results you got.

The Truth About Feng Shui and Religion

Feng shui is not a religion.  However, there are people who are convinced that it is and they won’t look into it any further because they believe it conflicts with their own religion.  I believe most of these people have been exposed to books on “new age” feng shui, not classical feng shui.  And if they’re not going to bother taking a closer look at the differences in the different kinds of feng shui, then they’re never going to know the truth about feng shui and religion. 

Feng shui comes from China where the most popular religious practice is Buddhism.  Feng shui is not a Buddhist practice.  Some Buddhists practice feng shui and some don‘t.  When feng shui was introduced to America, it was altered from its classical form to make it easy and fun so we would try it.  American pop culture loves fun, easy things. Lucky frogs, fortune kitties, happy Buddhas, lucky gods, love symbols, and lucky bamboo plants are fun.  Today, businesses are even marketing products as having “good feng shui”.  I recently saw little bamboo plants at my grocery store with signs on them that read “lucky bamboo“.    Classical or traditional feng shui does not use any religious statues or lucky figurines.  Or lucky anything for that matter.

Classical feng shui uses the five elements (water, wood, fire, earth, metal) to bring the energies in a building into balance.  So if we remove all the religious figurines and lucky statues of new age feng shui and strictly use classical feng shui, what could be in conflict with any particular religion?  The most popular religious practice in America is Christianity. There are different denominations of Christianity.  Some denominations prohibit dancing, drinking alcohol, celebrating birthdays, and reading the daily horoscope in the paper.  Others sponsor festivals with dancing and drinking.  So you would need to look at each individual denomination of Christianity to see if the basic principles of classical feng shui are in conflict with church doctrine. 

The basic principles of classical feng shui are using the year of construction and compass orientation of a structure and a mathematical formula to determine the flying star energy chart for the structure.  The five elements are applied to bring these energies into balance.  Birth dates and gender are used to determine family members positive compass directions for sleeping.  If church doctrine allows acknowledging your birthday, there is “probably” no conflict with using feng shui to determine your four positive compass directions for sleeping.  If you can acknowledge your own birthday and church doctrine allows you to use math, then there is “probably” no conflict with using the year of construction for your home (it’s birthday) and the compass orientation to calculate the flying star natal chart.  If church doctrine allows watering lawns to nurture the grass and garden, then it would “probably” be okay to add a fountain where you need it for your home. Or a metal table, or live green plants, or any of the five elements.  I say “probably” because I am not an expert on religious doctrine and it is not my place to say what is or is not in conflict with your religion.  That is for you to decide, or for your spiritual advisor or church leader.  I can only give you these “ifs” for comparison.

As a feng shui consultant, my clients have identified themselves to me as Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, exploring all religions or spiritual with no religious affiliation. There has never been an issue about their religion and water, wood, fire, earth or metal.  Classical feng shui can make your home feel like your own little heaven on earth, but it is not a religion or a religious practice. 

Color and the Five Elements

There are 5 elements in feng shui: water, wood, fire, earth and metal. How they interact with each other can create harmony or disharmony. For example, water nurtures or feeds wood but water destroys fire.  You water your plants to help them grow and you put out a fire with water.  Colors can represent elements but the actual element is stronger than a color that represents it.

The best way to add the element “water” is by using real water.  The color blue or black can “vibrate” the water element if you use a lot of it -- for the entire room, or the carpeting, or the walls.  Using many colors in a room with no dominate color will not give the room a dominate element vibration.  The wood element can be represented by a live green plant and the color green. Fire is actual fire or bright light and the color red.  Earth could be an object made of stone and earth tone colors including beige, browns and yellow.  Metal could be an object made of any kind of metal such as a brass bed or sculpture and the colors white, silver or gold. 

When selecting colors for a room, we also take into consideration which compass section the room occupies and the flying stars in that compass section.  If you have a kitchen located in the south, red would not be a good color to use in excess because there is already fire there. The element of the compass section south is fire and the heating sources used in cooking add more fire especially if you do a lot of cooking.  In addition, the 2 and 5 flying stars are illness energies made stronger by fire, so you don’t want to use red where they are present.  A little bit of red is okay, but you would need to add some real metal, not a metal color, to compensate for the red you decorate with if you have a 2 or 5 five star in the room.  When you are using color to represent an element, a bold color has a stronger vibration than a pastel. But the actual element is stronger than any color that represents it. 

Electromagnetic Frequencies (EMFs) and Miscarriage

Maria was working as a graphic artist when she and her husband decided it was time to start a family.  She became pregnant on the first try.  Thirteen weeks into the pregnancy she had a miscarriage.  Her doctor could not find any reason why she shouldn’t be able have a healthy pregnancy so she waited the amount of time her doctor recommended and became pregnant again.  Twelve weeks into the second pregnancy she had another miscarriage.

Emotionally, it was not an easy thing to go through.  Especially twice.  But she and her husband decided to give it one more try since her doctor couldn‘t find anything wrong with her.  She became pregnant a third time.  By chance, Maria was flipping through Mothering Magazine when she came across an article about EMF exposure from video display terminals and miscarriage.   Maria worked in a cubicle. Her seat was close to the cubicle wall and on the other side was the main computer for her office work group.  Her boss happily allowed her to move her workspace away from any computers during her pregnancy.  It worked. She had a healthy baby girl with no problems.   Since then, she has had two more healthy pregnancies.   If Maria had never moved her desk, she would have most likely had a third miscarriage.  Instead, she has three healthy children.

You’re probably reading this blog at your computer.  How close is your body to your computer?  Do you have your leg close to or against the tower?  Are your feet near a power strip?  Are you using a CRT monitor or a flat panel?  CRTs give off a higher level of EMF.  Are you in a cubicle with your body near a co-worker’s computer? EMFs travel through walls.  Electromagnetic frequencies aren’t just unhealthy for pregnant women.  They are unhealthy for everyone.  If  someone you know is pregnant or planning a pregnancy, please let them know about this health issue.

How Being in Command of the Bedroom Can Backfire

Being “in command” of the bedroom means that you can see the bedroom entry door from your bed, but your bed is not directly in line with the door. The part of the room that is diagonally the farthest from the bedroom door is usually the best spot for the command position. This keeps your body away from the harsh flow of chi entering the room, which is more restful.  It also gives you a little more reaction time if an intruder were to barge in. Or your child doesn’t knock before entering. Nobody wants to give their child a surprise lesson about where babies come from. 

Being in command of the bedroom is generally a good thing, but it can also be a very bad thing if you are not using your personal best compass directions . Several years ago a couple attending one of my workshops said they had bought a feng shui book and had moved their bed so that they were in command of the room.  After they moved their bed, they both started having all kinds of problems. I asked them if they knew what compass direction their bed was pointed towards when it was in the command position and they said west.  Both partners had kua number 3.   West is the “chueh ming” or total loss direction for persons with kua number 3. The chueh ming direction is also called the “death” direction. It is the worst direction of all. The book they used was a Western or Black Hat Sect book and that school of feng shui does not use personal compass directions for sleeping. In their case, when they used the command position for their bed, it backfired on them and created problems. They told me they believed feng shui was a good thing and thought that maybe they had done it the wrong way. They both were very intelligent people and they followed the instructions in the book the right way, but the non-compass school of feng shui doesn’t work all the time.  This is just one of the reasons.

It’s best if you can position your bed to be in command of the room AND sleep with your bed pointed towards one of your positive directions. If you have to make a choice between being in command of the room or sleeping towards a positive direction, you are really making a choice between being in command of the room or being in command of your life.  That’s an easy choice.


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