by Joan Law
Feng shui Joan’s Way
Joan Law is a certified Feng Shui consultant in Connecticut. She is a small business owner and services that she offers includes:
- Decluttering a room, home or place of business/workspace
- Stage a home for quick sale
- Feng Shui consultation to improve the “feel” or energy of a business or home
- Home organizing
- Consultation in design and space use for businesses
- Private tutoring or group workshops on Feng Shui methods and simplifying life.
Joan will be regularly contributing to the Stratford Crier.
What Is Feng Shui?
Feng Shui is the art or science of arranging the elements of a space in order to allow the maximum possible flow of positive chi. Proponents of Feng Shui state that chi flows in different areas and is affected by different things.
The five elements of Feng Shui are wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Their correct presence and placement in our space stimulates Chi and promotes our wellbeing. The optimal placement of the five elements is determined by the energy map of our space, called bagua in Feng Shui.
Chi is referred to the flow of energy which pertains to all living things such as trees, plants, humans and animals. Relatively synonymous to ‘life force’ is the ultimate principle being carried out in ancient Chinese traditional medicine and in Martial Arts. Another interpretation of the word “qi” or “chi” is breath or air which is the literal meaning of the word.
Can Feng Shui bring about less stress for the holidays?
It would seem that abundance is a natural fit to the holiday season. But without some mindful planning, that abundance can quickly turn into stress and chaos. Especially as
we all navigate this year’s holiday celebrations! From Thanksgiving (I hope your day was great) we find ourselves rushing into December celebrations with endless pressure. That pressure comes from the usual retail emails and cyber promotions reminding us to hurry up and get stuff done. But, this year we all have the added overlay of a Pandemic to contend with. Worry for ourselves
and worry for our families is top of mind.
Our goal should be to find ways to create joy and be grateful and I know you are asking if that is even possible in 2020. Feng Shui teaches us to simplify in every way…especially when it is challenging!
To create an abundant and grateful season, you can reduce stress with these Feng Shui tips – albeit modified just a bit to accommodate a very unusual year:
Set aside time to inventory and plan
Many of us are still making plans for some semblance of holidays past. So, whether you are having smaller in-person gatherings or going virtual, invest a bit of time up front to plan and reduce stress.
Think (and re-think) family traditions
This year consider letting go of traditions that may bring more angst than joy to your celebrations: sibling gift exchanges, Aunt Betty’s chestnut stuffing or complicated holiday shuffles.
Check in with family members, you may be surprised to hear they are ready to make a change as well.
The “we need to talk about the holidays” conversation just may be an opportunity to bring more fun and balance to your celebrations.
Consider new traditions that are actually proven to relieve stress, including giving back, singing or sharing music together virtually, spending time outside, and creating smaller- intimate-safe distance get togethers spaced over a period of time that does not need a specific date or dates on the calendar to feel special. The “special” comes from the company you keep and the spirit of the season.
Reduce yang energy and reduce arguments in your home environment
Even the most connected families experience discord and this year tensions are running high. To minimize family angst, incorporate a centerpiece of fresh fruit and vegetables to represent good health and longevity at your safe in-person gatherings. You can minimize the yang energy by keeping shiny surfaces to a minimum and stowing the knives out of sight after you carve the roasts. Support happy and uplifted moods with joyful and positive light. Put up those Christmas and Hanukkah lights and lots of them. I recently witnessed a spectacular decorated fire engine in Trumbull – what joy seeing that celebration of light in such a retrospective time in our lives.
Bring a balance of foods to the table
When it comes to eating, we can respect traditions while also including yummy foods that support positive energy. Balance out the heavier “cold energy” foods such as potatoes and dressing with spices and hot foods such as chili peppers, ginger, garlic, and chocolate. There might be more to eggnog, pumpkin pie or mulled wine than just the seasonal flavors. Ginger, cinnamon, anise or nutmeg have a restorative and refreshing impact on the body. And, don’t forget, your dining room reflects a place of wealth in Feng Shui. Gather there for holiday meals…not in front of the TV. And, even if your celebrations are smaller this year, bring out the good china and crystal. If you have it…enjoy it and use it!
Consider a re-gifting tradition
In Feng Shui, re-gifting is an accepted practice because it removes things you don’t want from your home and sends them to a place where they are welcome — with one caveat.
When considering what to re-gift, you should be careful not to gift something that has a negative energy attached to it. Otherwise you may pass that energy on to the receiver.
Take a 10-minute breather
There’s always time to escape the pressures of 2020. Get outside and take a walk, no matter the weather. Breathe in the fresh air and unplug from the stresses of the moment. Not only will you feel better, but you will find your mind better able to cope with the world and the tasks at hand when you return.