Death and Dying

By Joan Law
Feng Shui Joan’s Way

Dying, a formerly taboo subject in our culture is now receiving some much-needed attention. Often, because we avoid thinking about death we miss out on so many opportunities to appreciate life

Facing our own mortality and preparing for it is not only a special gift to those we love, but can also serve as a gift to ourselves if we allow it to deepen the meaning of our personal relationships and to recognize the beauty and the blessings of each and every day.

Neither your physician nor your family should have to guess at your wishes. All of us should have “living wills,” which describe how we wish to be treated, or not, as we approach our final days, and we should name a health-care advocate in a legal document. That person is responsible for making sure our wishes are carried out in the event we are unable to speak for ourselves. This isn’t meant to be a morbid conversation, but a very human one. Please consider what you want, both in life and during it’s close. By transforming the most difficult conversations into an opportunity, it can change not only the way we die, but also the way we live.

The lockdown afforded me the opportunity to explore the topic of death and dying by pursuing a certification as an End-of-Life Doula described in this blog post

Since I shared this news I have had many conversations around the topic of death and how facing the reality of our mortality can provide a new level of appreciation of life. If you are interested in exploring this topic I invite you to schedule a free discovery call:

Bask in the Beauty of a Spring Day

By Joan Law
Feng Shui Joan’s Way

I have been very reflective of late and as I looked out my window today, I saw one single crocus pop its lovely blossom above the ground…waking up from a long, dark winter to bask in the beauty of a spring day.

This one small sign of spring had me thinking about why I started my business.

I have always been affected by my environment. I was constantly rearranging my room when I was little and my home as an adult. This was long before I even heard of Feng Shui.

It was not until I was completely overwhelmed with three boys, a baby on the way, an eighty-five pound dog, and a home to care for that a gift of a book about Feng Shui changed my life. I realized there was a reason and a practice that explained why and how our environments affect us on a physiological, psychological, and energetic level.

In time, I also learned to follow my intuition while I was implementing what I was learning. I found as I practiced my new designation as a Feng Shui consultant that my vision was more often than not focused on my intuition and not solely on a set of Feng Shui rules.

That is why I called my business Feng Shui Joan’s Way. My interpretation and application of what I have learned, practiced, and observed in my own life and in the lives of those who have allowed me into their homes, is what my business is all about. Furthermore, it is my work with Feng Shui clients that has led me to continue my work to improve people’s day-to-day lives by helping them prepare for the end of life.

Admittedly, I get raised eyebrows when I talk about including an end-of-life doula-ship in my repertoire. I often need to explain that this side-road to my Feng Shui work is really not about death at all. It is about living every day to its fullest by knowing you have the process for closure at the end set so that you and your loved ones simply enjoy every crocus that comes your way.

Today, I reflect on my world and the world at large:

I am grateful for spring showers and flowers – they remind us of what we should focus on.

I am grateful for, and I am enjoying my Feng Shui clients immensely even as I continue to explore the new adjunct to my business…living a better life while also thinking ahead to end of life.

I am grateful that those I love and care about have been relatively unscathed by COVID and that all are healthy and happy.

With all that is going on in the world, I am grateful to be an American and living right here in Stratford – a town that I love. And, even as we bask in the beauty of a spring day, let us pray for the safety of the Ukrainian people and for our leaders and theirs to make the right decisions for the world. I choose to be confident that they will.

And I am always grateful for all my Feng Shui followers.

Fishbar de Milan

Station House Square
2505 Main Street
Claudio Santo

A new Northern Italian restaurant has opened up in Stratford Center, Fishbar de Milan. Fishbar de Milan is not the classic fish restaurant despite its name. They offer a unique concept that offers a fresh and refined selection of international seafood dishes. From American fishburgers and lobster rolls to excellent French oysters and shellfish from all over the world.

The staff has experience in the restaurant industry. Lead by Claudio Santo, who founded and sold Jefferies in Milford, and also owns and operates Fishbar de Milan in Italy; Linda Manos, who guided her family’s restaurant, Pepins,

In keeping with Northern Italy cuisine they have both a French Chef, Viven Coatanroch, as well as Guelilou Abdoul Quedaogo from Milan. Their beverage manager is Melissa Tristine.
Claudio is from Milan, married with 4 boys, and has lived in Stratford for the last 14 years. Why Stratford for his restaurant? “I love it here.”

Is there a difference between Italian diners and American diners?
There is a lot of differences between Italian food and Italian American food.

Most of the Italian immigrants were from Naples and Sicily and they have tomato sauce and garlic as a primary food which is not what we eat in the rest of Italy

Chicken parmigiana, eggplant parmigiana, spaghetti with meatball, penne vodka, spaghetti Alfredo sauce, are not Italian food in Italy, and many other dishes, like lasagna for example are done in a very different way.

Italian food is very regional; every region has his own food but I have to say chicken in Italy is not a popular as much in USA.

Is your chef from Italy also?
Yes we have a Italian chef straight from Italy.

What is your favorite dish?
My favorite dish is Risotto alla Milanese with sausage.

They serve Brunch on Sunday’s and are open for Lunch and Dinner.

• Hours of operation
Sun 11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. open until 8 p.m.
Lunch: Mon–Sat 11:00 am–3:45 pm
Dinner: Mon–Thu 4:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m.
Fri, Sat 11:30 p.m.–10:00 p.m.

Click Here for Menu

Click Here for Brunch Menu

You may not find spaghetti and meatballs (but they have a mean meatball sandwich for lunch) on the menu, but there are both meals that are not your typical spaghetti and meatballs what most diners

[Cover Photo: From left to right:  Viven Coatanroch, Melissa Tristine, Linda Manos, Buelilou Abdoul Quedraogo, Claudio Santo]

Feng Shui and the Winter Solstice

Signal Brighter Days Ahead

By Joan Law
Feng Shui Joan’s Way

Feng Shui and the Winter Solstice signal brighter days ahead. The increasing light that enters our spaces as we begin each new year is always so positive. This time of year encourages me to embrace my Feng Shui spirit.

I may be stuck inside because it is cold but the sun is shining through my windows and my days are slowly but surely getting longer. It is time for me to start my great spring clean-up and clear out ritual.

Feng Shui is all about the belief that our environments (home and work) directly affect our happiness. And, based on my 20 plus years as a Feng Shui consultant, I know that clutter is a no-no.

So here is a list of ten baby steps you can take to kick-start you spring cleaning program and to celebrate brighter, less cluttered days ahead.

  1. First and foremost soak up the sun however you can. The vitamin D is important to your physical health and the sunlight is important to your mental health.
  2. If it isn’t too cold, get outside. Take your four legged friends for a short walk every day.
  3. Toss outdated shopping catalogs, mail, and old magazines.
  4. How about getting rid of those unmatched socks (unless the dogs like to play with them)?
  5. How old are the makeup, medications, or toothbrushes in your bathroom cabinets?
  6. Clear outdated canned and packaged foods from your pantry.
  7. Are you really going to use all those old empty jars piling up in your garage?
  8. Take old paint cans to your local paint store to be recycled.
  9. If you haven’t worn a sweater, a pair of shoes or pants, or a coat in over two years – donate them!
  10. Make it a family affair by creating a day or a weekend event during which the whole family can participate in the great spring clean-up.

I like number 10 on the list the best (number 2 on the list is a close second). I’ll bet you can think of an incentive everyone in your family wants to work toward.  They may not be thinking of the Feng Shui components of how clearing clutter can create a happy and productive environment. But, I know you are!

A Stress-Free Holiday??

Yes, it is possible.

By Joan Law
Feng Shui Joan’s Way

Feng Shui can deliver a stress-free holiday in some very practical ways.  And, having a stress-free holiday in 2021 just about seems impossible! To be honest, I really believed we would be way past the worry about the Covid 19 virus. And there are many of you who are just plain tired of the stress that particular worry continues to create. I know I am.

At the end of the day, we all want to enjoy the peace and beauty of the holiday season. So, count your blessings, find ways to reduce your stress, and plan some holiday cheer.

Here is a short list of ways Feng Shui can deliver your stress-free holiday and reduce clutter — both physical and mental!

Make your gift requests known:

Creating gift lists and providing them to family members well in advance of holidays and celebrations can be a very helpful tool in limiting the clutter collection.”

Reduce clutter before the holidays begin:

Start now to move out old clothes, toys, games, books, movies and more. Our clutter clearing service can help! And once you are ready to move items out, contact the Vietnam Veterans Association to schedule a pickup.

Shop consumables:

Most people don’t really want to have it all. That’s when a great, clutter-free, consumable gift is perfect. Something sweet is always a winner try Leisha’s Bakeria in downtown Bridgeport, or consider gift cards for a local tea shop that knows all about how to deliver calm to your life. One of my favorite places to buy sweets, treats, and tea is Open Door Tea in Stratford. These gifts will be appreciated for their personal touch and every community has local favorites.

Share the Season – Shop Local – Shop Small!

There are a host of small businesses that need local patrons now more than ever. Give gifts that deliver positive energy, inspiration, and support for your communities. Here are just a few links to help you deliver smiles: Shop Small StratfordMusic Together (virtual music classes for children); City Line Florist (flowers, plants, and gift baskets); Wag Central (for our pets);

Get charitable:

From goats to jewelry and shoes, nothing says “I love you” like a charitable gift. The Toms company not only sells great shoes, but donates a pair of shoes directly to people in need. Looking for even less?  Buy a llama for a family through Heifer International, or Support a Refugee, through Oxfam.  Make an important donation in the name of your friend or loved one: Sterling House Community Center,  Homes for the Brave;  Bridgeport Rescue Mission ; Palm & Able in Shelton, and so many more!

Give the gift of a “Gift Exemption” :

Exchange services or good deeds:

Everyone has skills that others only WISH they had. Sewing, canning, computer skills, handywoman, cooking, an eye for landscaping. Consider YOUR skill and how you can share it with friends and family.

Be Giver-Focused:

Want to be surprised? Recent psychological studies on gift-giving have found that gifts that are giver-focused — a gift that allows you to share who you are, like a favorite product or book — are by far more well-received than recipient-focused gifts.

Even though people thought they preferred recipient-focused gifts, it was actually giver-focused gifts that brought people closer. It seems as though there’s greater meaning in a giver-focused gift. So the next time you’re gift shopping, try to find something that lets you share something of yourself with the person to whom you’re giving a gift.

Reduce and reuse in gift wrap:

Nothing fills the landfills every holiday like wrapping paper. If you are crafty, you can opt to sew your own easy drawstring bags, which can be gifted or re-used annually. Or invest in re-usable paper gift bags.


Gratitude Reminder

By Joan Law
Feng Shui Joan’s Way

As we approach Thanksgiving this year, I am reminded of a quote that has always resonated with me:
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough, and more.
It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.
It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
-Melody Beattie, American author of self-help books on codependent relationships

I recognize that all of us have felt the enormous weight of the world’s challenges these past several years. And many of my clients have been overwhelmed with sadness at daily news reports that are less than rosy. It is hard sometimes to keep a smile on your face.

My family volunteers regularly at The Lord’s Kitchen. It is a small thing to do in a world so full of challenges. It is hard to imagine that there are people who are starving in America, but there are. And many of those folks are right in our own communities. Don’t forget the donation of a turkey or canned food items are desperately needed at all our local food pantries. One of my favorite places for food donations is Sterling House Community Center.

Having just wrapped up a longer term clutter clearing project with a lovely client, I am also reminded that the stuff we no longer need can make an enormous difference in someone else’s life. Those almost new coats, blankets, shoes, dishes, toys, and more are accepted with open arms at Palm and Able, Goodwill, the Salvation Army and so many more worthy charitable organizations.

Take a moment to be grateful – even if your life isn’t perfect – you just may find that what you have is enough, and more!

Thank you to all my good friends – I am and always will be grateful for you!

Diamonds are Created Under Pressure. So, Stay Calm and Shine Bright Like a Diamond!

By Joan Law
Feng Shui Joan’s Way

As I thought about this latest newsletter and blog, the thought struck me that diamonds are created under pressure.  And it is with great joy that I report that the Law family mined quite a few diamonds this past year!

Each and every one of our adult children experienced something big in their lives. I know all the parents out there understand fully that when your children face the good and the not so good, you are right there with them.

I also know that achieving the special and important things in life comes with hard work, a few bumps and bruises, and maybe just a little bit of pressure.

Yes, the good stuff still comes with stress. And, I honestly have to say, Feng Shui principals helped me navigate one of the most stressful and yet one of the most beautiful years of my life!

Here is what 2020 looked like for my family:

  1. Our daughter Audrey started her journey to become a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine.
  2. Our son Mason married Lauren in May and moved into a new home.
  3. Our son Clark moved into his own home.
  4. And our son Spencer married Alivia just a few weeks ago!

Feng Shui is not just about “fixing” things that aren’t working. It is about creating an environment that supports your physical and mental health so that you can enjoy the good and navigate the bad with ease.

Incidentally, a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine help patients develop attitudes and lifestyles that don’t just fight illness, but help prevent it, too. Can you see my influence on my daughter!

If you ever need help finding your life-diamonds, I’m here.

What’s Old is New!

Ride the Tidal Wave

Stratford locals and professional sellers from near and far will be there with a river raft of trinkets, treasures, and stacks of stuff! You never know what you’re gonna find at The Tidal Exchange! Come find what you are looking for in Stratford this Saturday, and every Saturday, through November 13!

You can’t get enough stuff and you know it! If one is good, two is better! And if two is better, a baker’s dozen might scratch that itch!

Around each and every corner is there’s another chance something special is going to jump out at you! If Captain Kidd really buried his treasure right off the Connecticut coast, just imagine what you can dig up in Stratford !

As many as 75 Vendors from far and wide gather to strut their stuff in Stratford Connecticut Directly off Interstate 95. Every Saturday from 8am – 2pm through November 13th!

Tools, Toys, and old tractor seats! Vintage, vinyl, a veritable treasure trove of stuff! Handmade, homemade or hauled in from somewhere or another!

Vintage Valhalla! The Antique Acropolis! Tool Town! The Dollar Depot!

A Food Truck Fiesta! (come hungry)

Tag Sale booths too! Have your tag sale at The Tidal Exchange

Free Parking all day
Free admission after 12 p.m.
Early Buyers get the pick of the litter for $10 between 8 a.m.- 9 a.m.
From 9-12 p.m. it is $3 per person
Friends and families are welcome for $5 for up to 5 people.
Vendors can still reserve spots at…/CTEventsUnli…
Find out more at:

Thank you! Thank you for all your support for this great new event in Stratford! 

Sustainable September

We Begin With Solar!

(Solar) School Is in Session🍎📝

Think back to your very first day of school. You felt all the emotions: excitement, nerves, eagerness…Starting your solar journey may feel the same!

@trinity solar will be there to guide and support you, making it simple. It all starts with an appointment when one of their experts will teach you all about solar.

After your free, no-obligation consultation, Stratford Forward will receive $100. After your system is installed, we’ll get $1000! These funds raised go back into investing into our community. Sign up today by calling (800)655-2500.

Channel Positive Energy into Small Spaces

18 Ways to Improve the Energy in Your Home

By Joan Law
Feng Shui Joan’s Way
Originally published by Redfin

If there’s one thing that we can’t seem to have enough of in a home, it’s space. And there are many ways to channel positive energy into small spaces.

Remember, if you’re working with a smaller space, it’s important to keep the energy flowing freely throughout your home. We all want rooms filled with soothing colors and simple, streamlined furnishings, but did you know that there are little mistakes that could be preventing positive energy from circulating throughout your space? While you can’t alter the square footage of your home, you can certainly improve the natural flow of energy with a few simple changes

We reached out to experts from Vancouver, BC, to Little Rock, AR, to share their best advice to bring positive energy into your space – both physically and mentally. From the front door to the bedroom, here’s what they had to say to help you instantly improve the energy in your small space.

1) Refresh your front door

The front door is where we entice auspicious energy into our homes, and in Feng Shui, this is the front door of a house. Energy goes where the eye does, so it’s worth the endeavor to make the entrance as inviting as possible. Three easy upgrades you can make to your front entrance include:

  • Replacing any burned-out lights with brighter wattage.
  • Wiping down the door and its hardware.
  • Buying a new doormat or shaking out the one you currently use.
  • You can also incorporate healthy plants or bright flowers along the front path or porch to elevate beauty and suggest good health. -Simple Shui

2) Encourage the flow of positive energy with a vibrantly colored front door

Homes are reflections of their occupants. If any part of the home is neglected or has negative energy, it’s reflected in the lives of the occupants. In Feng Shui, one of the first places to analyze in your home is the front door. A strong and vibrant-colored front door welcomes positive energy throughout your home. When chi can flow easily into your home, this brings the energy of abundance and ease. -Darcy Blaine

3) Add a small wreath to your doorknob to enhance the energy in your home

If you’re looking to enhance the energy in your home, you can manifest high vibrations by creating a small wreath for your doorknob. Use a muslin bag, and put into it a tablespoon of salt, black tourmaline to protect from negative visitors, three new copper pennies for good spirits and vibrations in and around your home, and then add rose quartz for loving vibrations. Tie this in a knot, and string it on the doorknob. -SaQred Space Solutions

4) Place red electrical tape underneath your front doormat

One of my favorite tips for generating wealth within the home is to place red electrical tape underneath your front doormat. Make sure the arrow on top faces inwards, and lay coins with the heads up facing outwards. This will allow abundance into your home. Another way I like to clear stagnant energy from a room is by clapping around its perimeter walls while visualizing light entering every corner. This clears away any negativity that may be lingering inside each nook or cranny of your dwelling space without leaving behind bad vibes.  -The Sweetest Little Life

5) Keep your entryway clear of clutter

The main entrance of a home is not just a means of entering the house; it’s also considered a ‘gateway that leads to victory and abundance in life.’ The entrance functions as an entry point for the Qi, or energy, to flow. Having a clean and inviting entrance that lets in a lot of light from the outside is an assured path to success. -Tanya’s Feng Shui

6) Display art in your entryway that features open spaces and warm colors

Even a small entryway can become welcoming and spacious if you add a picture of nature with warm colors that also features open spaces, such as an ocean, lake, or meadow. The effect will be even stronger if you place a mirror to reflect the nature in the picture or real nature in the window. Be sure to place the mirror on a sidewall and not across the entry door. -Natalia Kaylin

7) Invite positive energy into your space by enhancing the air quality

Part of cleaning, clearing, and decluttering small areas is air quality. We often forget to address and enhance the quality of our air, which is important for good energy in a space. Some easy to use remedies are high-quality essential oils in a diffuser (such as lemon), or air-purifying plants, like a snake plant which does well in small areas and is easy to care for. -Gina Nicole

8) Keep spaces separate

Small spaces can feel chaotic when asked to multi-task, so carve out a workspace with an area rug or even painter’s tape on the table. If piles feel overwhelming, flip them upside down to work from the bottom up. -The Intuitive Interior

9) Add objects that carry strong, meaningful vibes after clearing the space

Before you really can establish “good energy” in a space, especially a new home, it’s vital to clear and cleanse the previous owner’s energy and vibrations. You can do this by using smoke cleansing with various herbs or a Smokeless Smudge if you are fire alarm cautious. Once you’ve cleared the energy of a room, it’s time to add objects like crystals, family heirlooms, and energy-packed images that carry a strong, meaningful vibe. Even if you dedicate a small table or portion of a shelf with these types of objects, you’ll feel a difference. This will hold space for good energy to remain and linger. Clear quartz is like the Swiss Army Knife of stones. It can do anything and everything you’d like it to and is an excellent crystal for energetic minimalists living in cozy situations. -Sage & Salt

10) Keep living areas light and airy

In Feng Shui, light is Yang energy, the energy of life, and nothing is more important for good Feng Shui than fresh air and natural sunlight. So open up those windows and curtains to let the light flow into the heart of your home. -The Feng Shui Lab

11) Cultivate positive energy in your home by engaging your senses

Decorate your space with bright, uplifting colors. Diffuse essential oils to gently enhance the scent of your home while boosting your health and wellbeing. Have comfy pillows and blankets nearby in your favorite places to relax. Play peaceful music and add live plants to help bring life and harmony into your home. -Fate into Destiny Wellness Center

12) Cleanse small spaces with an energy clearing ritual 

Energy has a way of becoming stagnant in small areas. New Moon and Full Moon phase is a great time to do an energy clearing ritual to renew the energy with sage, palo santo, or incense. Start from outside the house, and go clockwise throughout the entire house. Pay special attention to smaller spaces like closets and unused parts of the home and finish at the right side of the front door. -Momentum Feng Shui

13) Display a natural crystal in high traffic areas of your home (such as the entryway or living room) to radiate positive energy and clear stagnant energy

Studies show that crystals like clear quartz or amethyst have a stable molecular structure, which is one reason that they are thought to bring positive, calming energy. Even if you’re skeptical about the metaphysical properties, they add a natural flair to your home and can serve as great visual reminders to pause and find presence in your daily life. -Intertwined by Bella

14) Designate areas for hand towels

If you’ve ever had to use a wet bath towel hanging over the shower curtain rod at someone else’s house, it can be a little uncomfortable. Adding a designated hand towel to your bathrooms can take the guesswork out of which towel to use. It also makes your guests feel more comfortable, and your bathroom looks and feels more inviting. I suggest a small countertop towel stand or matching wall mounts to create a positive flow of energy at every experience in your home. -Fir Flower Feng Shui Consulting

15) Aim to enhance the natural light in bedrooms:  Feng Shui Joan’s Way

Light is very important for making a small space feel larger and for the Feng Shui of a room. Natural light in the morning helps to awaken your body naturally, and a darkened room at night signals your body that it’s time to settle down and reset. Strategically placing a mirror to enhance any natural light that peaks through and choose full-spectrum light bulbs that mimic natural light.

16) Keep the decorations in your bedroom to a minimum to maximize the stillness of your mind

Busy patterns and strong colors can subconsciously lead to stress and impede peaceful bedrest, especially in a small bedroom. Choose plain textures and soothing colors of the Earth element of Feng Shui to increase the Yin factor. -SO Feng Shui Design

17) Position mirrors away from the bed

Without proper sleep, your health and ability for optimum performance go down. Be sure you’re not facing a mirror when you are sleeping and that your device is set on airplane mode. Following this tip will allow you to have a proper sleep so that you wake up refreshed and be at the top of your game. -Life’s Simple Pleasures

18) Support headboards with a wall instead of a window

Sleeping is considered a yin energy (passive and quiet) activity. Thus, the bed headboard should ideally be supported by a wall and not onto a window. The outer window is often accompanied by movement from personnel or traffic which is considered yang energy activity. In order to have good sleep quality, we should avoid mixing activities of these two energies together. Avoid locating your bed under an overhead beam. The edge of the beam would cause the energy to exert an uncomfortable downward pressure on the sleeper during the night. Thus, prolonged exposure might affect the sleep quality. -MHS Classical Feng Shui