All about Feng Shui

    Abdulaziz Sobh

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    All about Feng Shui

    Advantages of Applying Feng Shui in Your Life

    Many people are fascinated with Feng Shui and with many good reasons. While others generally believe that it is just some oriental superstitious set of paradigms on interior design (but that is just part of the extensive definition for Feng Shui), the Feng Shui that we know now is actually comprised of various schools of learning and incorporates the different cultures under which it is housed.

    The good thing about the different options pertaining to Feng Shui is that even the layman can actually be able to understand and apply it immediately in their homes without having to spend too much. And apart from that, there are other advantages that only Feng Shui can bring if you can actually open up your mind to try it.

    Advantage Number 1: It brings balance to one’s life

    Have you ever found yourself completely overburdened with clutter and unnecessarily stressed out of your wits? Chances are, you are suffering from a visual imbalance of some sort in your surroundings. Now, the best way to introduce some sense of balance is by incorporating elements that provide you with a sense of control in the outer balance of things. If you are able to get some semblance of balance even in things as menial as your furniture, you are bound to find balance in other aspects equally manageable.

    Advantage Number 2: It helps you become more mindful of the little things

    Mindfulness in the little things can actually be a good thing. Some of us tend to be heavily focused on the big things of life that even the minor details like the home arrangement and office ergonomics no longer come to play. When these “minor” aspects of life continue to take a backseat, they tend to accumulate and produce a very stressful environment which can add up to other problems and worries of life.

    Advantage Number 3: It opens up possibilities of meeting new people

    Meeting new people is another bonus of being a Feng Shui enthusiast. When you are applying Feng Shui, chances are, you will be able to find another person within your social network who likes the same stuff and can even help you expand your knowledge on Feng Shui, no matter how limited it is, to begin with.

    Advantage Number 4: It gives a fresh perspective on things

    At any given time, a fresh perspective is always welcome. This positive perspective can invite changes for the better. A new way of looking at home arrangement, for example, may actually serve to benefit you in the long run. The fresh perspective brought about by Feng Shui can actually bring about an enrichment of one’s mind.

    Advantage Number 5: It invites prosperity and success

    The main objective of Feng Shui is to invite all the good things to one’s life. Prosperity and success can be more easily within reach and a positive disposition may be expected if Feng Shui is practiced well.

    Advantage Number 6: It has aesthetic appeal

    On top of all the enumerated benefits of Feng Shui, the best would probably be its beauty. The physical appeal of a well-decorated home, interspersed with good Feng Shui techniques, is actually something that you can call a personal heritage that can transcend generations and promote beauty in all aspects, including the design of the home and the office.
    Affordable No Sew Curtains for Your Home
    If you're looking into adding some fresh decorative touches to your home, a good place to start is with your window treatments. But it can be a bit daunting to your budget to purchase window treatments for an entire room. However, there are many window treatment options available that you can do yourself, and you never even have to pick up a needle or thread a sewing machine. With a little imagination and some simple connectors, any piece of fabric can easily and quickly be transformed into a window treatment. So find a fabric that suits your home décor and personal style, and choose something that already has finished edges, such as a vintage linen or printed sheet. Then choose a grommet, clip, hook, or cord to hang it with, and you'll have a beautifully simple and inexpensive window treatment that reflects your personal style and creativity.
    Grommets, slipped over wall hooks, produce a simple, crisp window treatment. Generally, a hammer and a grommet tool works at least as well for setting just a few grommets. The grommet prevents the hook from tearing through the hole. You can thread rayon cording through grommets and tie behind the grommets to create loops to hang from a wooden dowel or hooks above the window.

    There are also stylish clips that can be found at flea markets and antique stores that simply latch onto the fabric. Home decorating and import stores also carry clip-on rings to hang curtains from.

    You can even use buttons on curtains. Simply thread the fine wire through the holes and sections of ribbon and simply twist the wire on the back side to create simple ribbon loops to hang the curtain with.

    Let your creativity be your guide, and you can craft window treatments that reflect your personality and style. You're only limited by your own imagination.


    Attractive Arrangement of your Furniture Enhances your Room's Décor

    Arranging the furniture in the right manner ensures that the room area is efficiently used. A clever furniture arrangement can also highlight a favorite piece of furniture. However, figuring out the best way to utilize space and create a comfortable atmosphere can be a difficult chore. But with some planning and creativity, it can be accomplished easier than you think.
    Before you move anything, you have to decide what the focal point of the room is going to be. Focus your efforts on that location or item. Before arranging furniture in the room, decide on what will be the focus of the room. Center your furniture arrangement around that focal point. It can be anything; a fireplace, a picture window, a home entertainment center or a wall painting.
    Chairs should be placed within about eight feet of each other to encourage conversation. Position a table in such a way that it is easily accessible from every chair. Keep a light source near the seating area. Coffee tables should have a clearance of about 14 to 18 inches from the sofa. Side tables should be at least as tall as the arm of the chairs or sofa to make serving easy and discourage accidental spills. When arranging furniture, make sure you provide enough space to move around the room.
    In a multipurpose room, arrange furniture in a way that you divide the room into separate living and dining spaces. A strategically placed screen or curtains hung from the ceiling are simple and inexpensive ways to accomplish this. Make sure the room stays balanced and that the sections or divisions don't fight one another. Area rugs are a great way to define areas and groupings. Small pieces can easily get lost in a large room, so be sure to group them with larger elements.


    Avoid the Avoiding Habit and Find More Time and Less Stress
    Procrastination can creep in and easily become a habit. Once it does, it erodes your capacity to function effectively. But it can be a hard habit to break. However, with some honest self-assessment and an organized and attainable plan of attack, it can be overcome successfully.
    Be gentle with yourself when you decide to try and kick the procrastination habit. It may be so ingrained that you don't fully recognize all the ways you actually procrastinate. Start out by taking a large or complicated task and breaking it down into smaller parts that you can accomplish easier. It's important to bear in mind that the most difficult or complex tasks are simply just a series of smaller jobs.
    Make a verbal commitment to someone else about improving your time management skills and your desire to avoid procrastinating. Allow others to become involved in your efforts by reviewing your progress, helping you set deadlines or evaluating your results can be very helpful. This will most likely create a commitment on your part to fulfill the expectations they've set for you.
    Sit down and map out a plan to manage your time more effectively. When a deadline is looming, make sure you allow time each day to work on the project so it doesn't sneak up on you in the final hours or days. Learn to ask for help when you're feeling overwhelmed or overworked.
    Reward yourself for good behavior and accomplished goals. Don't wait until you've accomplished the ultimate goal, but reward yourself for your successes along the way. Make sure the reward is something you like to do. Treat yourself to the newest book by your favorite author and take the time to read it. Indulge in bubble baths or relaxing music. If you've gotten into the habit of working late, make sure you develop a new habit of going home on time each night.
    By making a commitment to avoid the avoiding habit, you'll soon be well on your way to finding more time and find yourself more relaxed and productive and less stressed in the process.
    Be Safe and Sound When Repairing or Remodeling your Home

    Home improvement projects can be dangerous. Many tasks call for sharp tools or power tools that can cause injuries. You can't successfully repair or tackle home improvement projects your home if you're not careful. With a little careful organization and forethought, even the most difficult home improvement tasks can be conquered safely and successfully.

    Be sure to completely read the instruction manual for your power tools and follow the manufacturer's safety cautions. Tighten any adjustments and check that the guard is working before you operate a tool. Keep power tools dry, and plug them into grounded electrical outlets. Take care not to cut the power cord. Never store your power tools while they are still connected to the power supply.

    Keep fingers well away from a power blade. Clamp small pieces of wood before cutting them, rather than holding them. It's imperative to wear work gloves when you're handling rough materials such as wood, glass, or metal, but take them off when using a power tool so you have complete control over it.

    Never use any kind of power tool without proper protective eyewear. Unplug a power saw before changing the blade or doing any other kind of maintenance or cleaning it.
    Learn how to properly support a board when you cut it with a power tool so it doesn't kick back towards you during use.

    Always completely shut off power or water when working with the electrical wiring or the plumbing. One of the first questions you should ask a new homeowner is where your shutoffs are located.

    When working on a ladder, don't lean out to either side. Keep your body weight on the sides of the ladder. It may take longer to get off the ladder and move it to reach farther, but it is well worth your time. Falls are one of the most common causes of injuries in the home.
    If you're not used to the physical element of doing construction, remodeling, or renovation work, you might easily injure yourself or strain your muscles. You may not even notice the aches and pains until you wake up the next day. Don't take chances and overexert yourself when lifting heavy objects, or when repeatedly lifting lighter loads. Get a helper to do some of the work, and take plenty of breaks. Listen to your body's signals and realize when enough is enough. Learn to bend and lift the knees and not your back.
    You're going to find a great satisfaction and pride knowing that you're able to safely and successfully accomplish repair, remodeling and renovation projects around your house as long as you're smart, safe, and keep yourself organized, focused and on task.


    Beginning Recycling at Home

    Every year, tons of material that could be recycled aren't, and end up clogging our already overwhelmed dumps, waterways, and roadsides. Most people think it's a difficult undertaking to organize a recycling center at home. However, with some creativity and commitment, it can be easy to do. You'll feel better about yourself doing your part to care for the environment as a result, too.

    Find a convenient place in your home or apartment for the center. It doesn't take much
    room for your recyclables. The garages, a storage closet, corner of the kitchen, or under your kitchen sink all make great locations. Find and clearly label containers in which to store your recycled materials. Plastic buckets, storage containers or even trash cans work great depending on the amount of room you have available.

    Get your family actively involved in the recycling process. Make sure they all are aware of what products can be recycled. Teach them the difference between the aluminum can bin and the tin can bin. While doing their weekly chores, teach them to be on the lookout for recyclable material lying around the house, and encourage them to place it in the proper storage bins.

    Encourage them to come up with ideas for reducing the amount of recycled material that's consumed by your household. Take them along with you to the recycling center in your neighborhood so they can witness the process firsthand. Show them how they can reuse recyclable materials in their own organizational efforts at home. Perhaps a large cardboard box can double as a bin for all their shoes, or a coffee can be repurposed as a penny bank.

    And when they learn the money that can be both saved and earned from recycling and reusing products, they'll have developed an environmentally healthy and thrifty habit for life.
    Careful Organization and Planning Helps Preserve your Favorite Photos
    Photos can be a wonderful way to preserve memories and relive favorite past moments. However, they can also become a cluttered mess without an organized storage plan.
    Probably the most important tool to have when you begin your photo organization project is a trash can. Statistics show the average person develops one roll of 24 pictures a month but only seven are worth keeping. That being said, you'll probably find many photos in your collection that simply aren't worth keeping.
    Another tool you'll need during your organization process is several manila envelopes. Do your best to sort the photos by year, and place each group in the envelope with the year clearly marked on it. Place these envelopes in a strong cardboard box or storage bin. You'll probably be able to store a decade's worth of photos in a single container.
    Collages and shadow boxes are great ways to display several photos from a selected year. Include mementos and keepsakes in the shadowbox to add a unique personality. Special photos should be enlarged and framed to be displayed around your home.
    Take special care to purchase photo albums that are made with acid-free paper. The acid used in processing everyday paper can be very damaging to photographs over the long haul.
    Scrapbooking is a growing trend and a clever and creative way to display your photos. Craft stores have an abundance of scrapbook supplies, including stencils, decorative scissors, background papers, rubber stamps and permanent markers. You can also utilize everyday items around your house such as ribbons, magazine clippings, and fabrics. Again, take care to ensure that the paper you use is acid-free or is displayed separately from your favorite photos.
    Lastly, just in case something should happen to your photos, make sure you have a backup plan to replace them. Store the negatives of your most important and cherished photographs in your safe deposit box to also protect against theft or destruction from elements such as fires or floods.

    Clutter and Feng Shui

    Part of having good feng shui is clutter management. If anything, clutter is the biggest hindrance you can have for the best flow of chi, prosperity, and goodness in your life. However, few people are able to manage their clutter wisely. On a daily basis, we get tons and tons of stuff we won’t be really using for a long time. Here are some tips for you to help reduce clutter and invite good Feng Shui.

    Anti-Clutter Feng Shui Tip 1: Sort your mail as it comes in

    Incoming mail is one of the top sources of clutter. All those bills are not just stressful if mismanaged and stashed somewhere in your home, but it is also contributory to clutter in your home. If you are really serious about getting good Feng Shui, make sure that you are able to screen your mail. Establish a system for sorting all your mail. And this also holds true for other papers you may be keeping in your home. If you neatly categorize them and throw away the ones you no longer need, you will be much better off.

    Anti-Clutter Feng Shui Tip 2: Opt for daily cleanings than reliance on major general cleanings

    A general cleaning schedule is good, but if you are still not in the habit of cleaning on a regular basis, you may still find yourself filled with a clutter problem. So the best thing to do when you are trying to apply good Feng Shui is by exercising your cleaning powers on a daily basis, not just on a schedule. It does not have to be too rigorous if done on a daily basis. You can just start with the cleaning per day one area at a time to accomplish it effectively.

    Anti-Clutter Feng Shui Tip 3: Clean as you work

    While working on a project, clean as you go. This means that you will not just leave stuff lying around on the table as you do your work. This ensures that the workspace remains clean, and this also implies that you are open for more productive work in the future since space is wiped free of any traces from previously done work.

    Anti-Clutter Feng Shui Tip 4: Be generous about your stuff

    Give away the stuff you don’t need. This is a rule of thumb when it comes to cleaning up and freeing from clutter. Being generous involves giving away stuff you don’t really get to use. What you won’t use for a long time and collect dust may actually be an answer to somebody else’s problems. Just make sure that you are not transferring clutter but something that can really be of use to the person you are giving it to.

    Anti-Clutter Feng Shui Tip 5: Dust frequently

    Dusting frequently helps keep your place clean. Dust, when accumulated also forms the clutter which we are really trying to avoid in Feng Shui.

    Anti-Clutter Feng Shui Tip 6: Evaluate your stuff brutally

    If at all possible, have a peer to help you evaluate your stuff at home. What you may hold dear and refuse to part with is not just a sign of bad Feng Shui but may also be a sign of a hoarding problem. Aside from addressing your Feng Shui issues, the mindset on clutter may also have to be dealt with accordingly.
    Concepts Behind Feng Shui

    Feng Shui is more than just rearranging furniture, it’s a lifestyle. And lifestyles involve mindsets or concepts that are prevalent. Feng Shui experts just say no to some things without reason. Most of the things they do come with a line of reasoning that may not necessarily be embraced by many people.

    Nonetheless, it is still a point of view that among other things, require careful consideration and thought. So what are the thoughts that prevail on the onset of Feng Shui? Here are just some of these prevalent concepts that a Feng Shui enthusiast or researcher may find useful.

    Sense of Balance

    The number one thing that Feng Shui promotes is a balance. This balance comes in many forms, in the color arrangement, in the spatial factors up to the numbers that concern your working space or environment. The balance is more promoted by the five Earth elements of Feng Shui and the bagua, which is designed symmetrically and with complete reference to the different elements of the earth by Feng Shui standards. The standards of Feng Shui is made customized in every person, but it all boils down to having the right sets of things that complement and balance each other out.

    Sense of Positivity

    A sense of positivity is also what Feng Shui promotes. Positive energy is the thing most sought after by people who try to get the services of Feng Shui consultants. This positivism needs to be maintained. Conversely, it wards off all the forms of negative energy that may come in a given space. This is why there are charms that help cure the bad luck in a given place, especially those which have been established without the guidance of Feng Shui.

    A Natural Inclination for Beauty and the things that Promote It

    Beauty in symmetry and symmetry in beauty is one of the core concepts of Feng Shui. It appeals to the physically inviting and also adheres to fighting for beauty and balance in things. Feng Shui, in some ways, is a celebration of beauty in design and other physical elements of the space being designed.

    Love for Your Environment

    Feng Shui promotes the careful consideration of the environment before establishing places. Good Feng Shui respects the elements of the earth and makes the Feng Shui enthusiast more mindful of their surroundings. They don’t just work instantly in any oppressive place but strive to remove any existing negativities in the environment.

    Love for Self

    The love for self is also promoted by Feng Shui. You will detect energy based on what generally feels good to you. Love for self-involves not subjecting yourself to oppressive places or harboring negative energies that can be counter-productive to your different activities.

    Dreaming big and making the environment jive with that dream

    Finally, Feng Shui is more anchored on the greater scheme of things. When you have a dream and you intend to fulfill it in numerous ways, the best way to start is to have an environment that embraces those dreams. If you dream big and work hard, but your environment cancels all the things that you are striving for, it will be a very difficult task for you.

    Feng Shui ensures that there is alignment between the things you want and the things that are manifested in the objects you see every day.
    Conquer Bathroom Clutter Simply and Effectively

    Bathrooms seem to be notorious for becoming cluttered and unkempt. Between small makeup compacts, medicine bottles, hair accessories, razors and the like, it can be quite easy to lose things in the shuffle. Assess your bathroom and its contents and utilize a few simple ideas and you'll find more space and tranquility as a result.

    First, take a good look at your medicine cabinets. Ironically, it's probably not a good idea to store medicine in your medicine cabinet, as most bathrooms become hot and humid during showers and baths, and can be detrimental to medication that requires being stored at room temperature. Don't keep medicines past their expiration date, even if you've never opened them or have used them very little. Try storing your medications on a high shelf in your linen closet with a lock-tight lid. This will help lengthen their shelf life as well as keep them out of reach of curious little hands.

    The same should be done with old makeup. Generally speaking, most makeup will last about 18-24 months, with the exception of mascara, which lasts about three months, and liquid eyeliner, which lasts about three to six months. Nail polish generally only holds up for about a year, so if you have any older than that, get rid of them. And since many makeup products have animal-based ingredients, it's also important to pay attention to how they smell. If they smell like they've gone bad, they probably have, so toss them. Try using a permanent marker to mark the purchase date on the back of the item, so that way you won't have to try to remember just how long it's been since you purchased something.

    If you take a look in your favorite discount store's home organization aisle, you'll find lots of inexpensive storage containers that can easily be utilized in bathroom drawers, under the sink, and for shower and bathtub areas as well. Since bathrooms are full of small things, they can easily be organized in small bins, baskets or boxes.

    Conquer the Household Mail and Paper Demon

    Households are bombarded with paper on a daily basis. Bills, statements, pay stubs, calendars, schedules, menus and permission slips seem innocent enough individually, but when joined with the other piles of unattended paperwork, they can form an army that overwhelms even the best defenses. But you shouldn't feel defenseless against this persistent warrior. With an organized plan of attack and some disciplined strategy, the paperwork enemy can be conquered and tamed.

    First of all, take a look at the type of paperwork that's overwhelming you the most. Is it those bills that go unpaid when you can't locate them? Is it the mounds of artwork your children have lovingly created and decorated your refrigerator with? Maybe it's the constantly changing soccer schedule or troop meetings.

    Once you determined the most invasive paper culprit or culprits, it's time to line them up and sort them out. A successful filling system has three main components. A file for those things that need to be acted on immediately, one for those that are part of a household's ongoing management, and one for those that are more infrequent but nevertheless crucial, such as tax records, insurance policies, wills, and home maintenance documents.

    When conquering the paperwork monster, make a promise to yourself to deal with each item the first time you handle it. Get out of the habit of rifling through your mail and tossing it aside. Set aside time each day to open mail, go through paperwork in your inbox and sort and file appropriately. Decide if each item is something to be paid, something to be done, or something to be filed. At the end of each week, take out each file and respond appropriately by paying the bill, responding to the request, or moving items that need to be filed in their permanent locations. Of course, if you know something is urgent and can't wait until week's end, clip it to the front of your file box or place it in front in a folder labeled Urgent and act accordingly.

    Save telephone time by keeping calendars, schedules, take-out menus and phone lists into clear page protectors in a 3-ring binder. Flip through the household notebook to quickly check meeting dates or find phone numbers. Create your own forms, or use our free printable Household Notebook forms. This is also a great place to put correspondence addressed to the entire family. Organize magazines and newspapers into baskets kept near couches and living room chairs for people to look at during their free time. Be sure to keep in the habit of sorting through this on a regular basis and filing those magazines you decide to keep and tossing old newspapers and magazines you wish you toss.

    Coordinating Your Busy Family's Schedule

    If you have a busy family that seems to be traveling in different directions constantly, you know how challenging it can be to coordinate everyone's schedules. Between projects and deadlines at the office, meetings with your children's teachers, after-school activities like soccer practice and troop meetings, not to mention the household chores, it can be a dizzying and confusing task. But if each family member is committed and communicates effectively, the task of creating a combined family schedule is a manageable one for you.

    The first step is to commit to weekly family meetings. Make it mandatory that each family member is there so that the schedule can be discussed and organized. This should also double as a great opportunity to schedule quality family time together, so make sure it's held at a time when everyone is able to attend.

    Next, design a schedule that can be easily accessed by all family members, so that everyone knows where everyone else should be at any given time. This can be done by designing one yourself using materials such as poster board, markers, pushpins and index cards that can be pinned to the schedule, allowing for changes that can occur from week to week. It could also be designed on your family computer and saved onto the desktop, so each family member can readily access it and make changes if necessary. Have family members get into the habit of indicating on the schedule specific addresses or contact telephone numbers if the activity is new or changes from week to week. Be sure that care providers for your children such as grandparents and babysitters are familiar with your scheduling system and know how to use it.

    Again, with a commitment from each family member and open lines of communication, the family schedule can be a useful tool for everyone.

    Create a Unique Scrapbook with Everyday Items You Already Have at Home

    Scrapbooking has become a popular pastime through the past few years. If you've looked into it, you know that it can easily become an expensive one as well. But with some creativity, you can use the everyday items in your house to create a scrapbook that reflects your individual personality and style.

    After you've selected your favorite photos and mementos for your scrapbook, take a look around you. You've probably looked at items around your house hundreds of times without considering their scrapbook potential.

    If you've got photos from a favorite vacation, look around to see what you have around your home that reminds you of that trip. Postcards, souvenirs and even travel brochures that can be cut apart are great ways of building a great vacation page or section.

    If you're building a school days page, report cards, awards, certificates, ribbons, graded assignments, and even notebook doodles are clever enhancements. Paper clips or crayon wrappers work nicely.

    Pressed flowers, handwritten poetry, and clippings from magazines can also nicely enhance a wedding or engagement page. Be sure to jot down details of the day you want to be sure you remember. Use the fronts of some of your favorite cards and remnants from saved gift wrap as backgrounds for your photos.

    Ribbons and gift wrap remnants also work well for baby's page. Be sure to include an announcement card and a copy of baby's footprints. You might also want to tuck in a corner of a baby blanket or a page from a favorite storybook.

    Even remembrance pages can reflect your own personal memories of your lost loved one. Enhance your favorite photos with a label from a favorite perfume or cologne, food, beverage. Movie ticket stubs, buttons, newspaper articles, handwriting samples and favorite quotes or funny moments jotted down on paper can make your page special.

    With a fresh look at some ordinary, everyday items, your scrapbook can take on a personal and individual flair.

    Creating a Harmonious Feng Shui Home with Colors

    Color is something that Feng Shui makes use of in attracting positive energy into our living space. When you are planning your home’s color schemes, you should pick accordingly to the kind of energy you need. This guide will assist you in choosing the best colors for you to come up with a harmonious home.

    Red – This is the color of fire, which represents divine energy. It is advised to use red with caution. Red is best as the color of small decorative pieces in your living areas, rather than with huge furnishings or wall color. This color brings confidence, joy, courage, and passion into your life.

    Blue – Creating a feeling of serenity, blue is the color of the sea and sky. This color is best used in the east and southeast portions of your home, in the form of wall color and decorative items. Depending on the kind of energy you need, you might want to employ deep blue to promote sleep, or lighter ones to liven up space.

    Yellow – Dull spaces with little sunlight will benefit from the color yellow. This is the color of sunlight, so it evokes a feeling of warmth and cheerfulness. It also brings the fire energy, but in a much gentler way than red. However, it is said that prolonged exposure to this color causes anxiety.

    Orange – This color is a brilliant choice for your living room, dining area or elsewhere where lively and playful energy is needed. Orange evokes creativity, one’s sense of purpose and bubbly conversations. This is also the color of choice for those who find red too strong.

    Green – Surrounding oneself by the green color of nature is refreshing and nurturing. This color represents the wood element, evoking the healing vibrations from nature into your home. It is best for those who need growth, peace and new beginnings. Having several different shades of green in the home makes the most of the color’s effects.

    Purple – Excellent for spiritual and mental healing, purple should be used in moderation. Experts do not recommend this as a wall color, especially in the east and southeast areas of your home, since it is a very strong, high vibration color. Purple is best used in a meditation space, or go for lighter tones such as lavender in adding color to your room.

    Pink – The universal color of love, this color is perfect to soothe and fill the heart with love. Pink brings a very fiery energy into your life, especially when coupled with orange. However, too much of this color in one’s home makes the residents tend to live illusive lives.

    Black – Although it may convey a feeling of heaviness if used in large proportions, black symbolizes career and sophistication. The color is best used indoors, in the form of furniture shades, frames, and other small decorative items. Black adds depth and definition to any home space.

    White – Excellent for use anywhere in the home, especially to contrast bright colors. White soothes the mind by filling it with the energy of innocence, tranquility and a bright new future. However, try to limit an all-white color scheme in the east and southeast areas of your home.

    Feng Shui maintains that the colors used in our living environment as something that affects us physically, emotionally and psychologically. Picking the right Feng Shui colors in your home will attract the kind of energy that will work for you best.
    Creative and Affordable Ideas to Bring your Living Room to Life
    Your living room is the room in your house where most of the living takes place. It's where your family gathers to watch television, read, and generally unwind and relax after a busy day. It's also the room where company gathers during parties and holidays. But you're struggling to come up with decorating ideas and strategies for it, and you worry that your budget isn't big enough to do the job justice. But with a little planning, creativity, and ingenuity, your living room can be a relaxing environment where you can unwind or entertain with comfort and ease.
    Consider pulling pieces you have in other rooms into your living room to use. A short, double-sided dresser can easily become a buffet when a table runner and an arrangement of candles or a colorful flower centerpiece is placed on top.
    Use your furniture arrangement to define functional areas. Strategically placed floor rugs, lamps, and furniture can create zones in your home. You can arrange your seating to take advantage of a focal point, such as a television, picture window or a fireplace. You can also find affordable component pieces that combine functional storage with fashionable decorating lines. Tables with drawers and shelves add valuable, and simple desk doubles for homework, household management, bill paying and filing.
    When accessorizing your room, remember that less is more. Choose neutral colors and accent with colorfully textured throws, rugs, and other decorative and artistic elements. Keep the balance of your room in perspective. You don't want to overwhelm a small room with large, bold pieces, nor do you want to place smaller, neutral pieces in a large room where they'll get lost.
    If you're working with used furniture, try distracting from worn upholstery or a faded finish by using colorful toss pillows or table runners. Bright curtains can distract from a faded carpet and breathe new life into an old room.

    Decorating Your Home With Feng Shui

    Feng Shui is the practice of bringing good fortune by achieving a alance between various elements. In the US, more people are beginning to consult Feng Shui experts in decorating their homes. For you to understand what they say, you need to learn the basic Feng Shui areas that need your attention so you will be able to decorate it properly.

    The first step is to draw a layout of your home. When you are doing it, you are noting down the north points in the house.

    Then it is time to work on the door. Ideally, the front and back door must never line up with each other. This is because according to the principles of Feng Shui, energy that enters the house will just go out without bringing any benefits to the homeowner. If this is the case in your home, put a plant or any other obstruction with an angled throw rug to encourage a path in a sideways direction.

    To bring more energy in the home, bring in some light. This doesn’t mean turning the lights on but simply opening up the curtains so the sun can come in. You should also add green plants since in Feng Shui, the color itself brings joy and happiness. Other decorative items you can use include mirrors, wind chimes and brighter colors.

    You can also bring good fortune to the home by putting in an indoor water fountain. This is because water refreshes Chi. At the same time, you can throw in some goldfish as this also encourages wealth. Just make sure to keep the pond clean and never let it stagnate.

    Red is a very strong color in Feng Shui because it is hot, passionate, rich and celebratory. You must use this color for a living room set because too much of it may bring restlessness, a burst of anger and over stimulation. If you want to use it, use it only for details and accessories.

    When you note down the north point of the home, it will be easy for you to work in other areas such as the southwest area of the house. This area is vital because it will allow you to have satisfying relationships. You can do this by eliminating clutter and replacing it with symbolic items ideally in pairs. Some good examples are candles and other figurines. Never make the mistake of putting wooden or green items here.

    As for your dining room, the best ones to get are circles as this symbolizes heavenly blessings. The chairs should be even in number and comfortable to sit in. The décor should be simple so people will not get distracted and be more focused on having a good meal.

    Watch out for exposed beams. If there are, these should be covered up because it creates an oppressive downward energetic flow that may cause health problems and other misfortunes in your life. The other option is to have two Feng Shui flutes installed at 45 degree angles on the beam, one at each end.

    As for the bedroom, make sure that the bed is not directly facing the door. You shouldn’t also place a mirror on the opposite side of the bed as this could attract a third party into your relationship.

    Peace and prosperity can only be achieved by decorating your home with Feng Shui. You can start now with some of the basics then get help if you think you need it.
    Earth, Metal and Fire and Feng Shui?

    Good Feng Shui means you have a balance of the five elements that compose the earth. Coversely, it also involves not having these elements overpower each other. Now, how do we really go about that? The basic principle on Feng Shui is heavily anchored on the five elements of the earth. In an ideal system, the five elements complement each other in a form of life cycle. If the environment fosters this positive nature that balances the five elements of the earth, then prosperity and good luck may not be far off.

    Ideal System

    The ideal system is where water produces wood, wood yields fire, and fire fashions the earth. Then, the earth forms the metal and the metal consequently produces the water. The overbearing and ugly system is when the elements contradict each other: wood burdens earth, fire destroys metal, earth hampers water, or water kills the fire. If you are able to see the visual properties of these elements, you may find that these arrangements prescribed by Feng Shui also make practical sense, even if you do not necessarily dig the concepts and foundations of Feng Shui.

    Earth

    You don’t have to be a geologist to understand good Feng Shui for earth. Earth is generally composed of ceramics and rocks. If you want a happy home, you must have a good dose of rocks and ceramics strategically placed in tune with the other elements that are present in your home. Lacking in earth, you may find yourself filled with instability and resilience that the earth is generally known for.

    Metal

    Electronic devices can actually have good feng shui as well. They are under the metal category, which not just brings in the technological advancements of this age but also the toughness brought about by metal materials in the different elements of Feng Shui. Make sure that metal is not colliding with fire elements, and this may even hold a practical significance because you wouldn’t want any of your electronic devices to catch fire!

    Water

    Zen fountains and the like form the water aspect of Feng Shui. Just ensure that water complements your metal. Overpowering your home with electronic appliances may actually appeal to the gadget junkie but not to the Feng Shui aficionado. Aside from the fact that water balances metal, you may also find that it has visual appeal if a person finds a Zen fountain in the midst of a sea of gadgets in the home which may be cool in function but not in appearance.

    Fire

    Candles and fireplaces are good examples of fire elements in Feng Shui. It may appear weird to put a fountain beside a fireplace for it contradicts that purpose, but many a movie had background sets with a fireplace and wooden furniture that is well ideal for a night of romance. Too much fire can actually drown the environment, so be very careful when lighting your environment. In business settings, it may also be advisable to tame down the effects of fire in the office. But it can be more unleashed in the personal setting, especially in romantic ones.

    Wood

    Wood is abundant in many places. Wooden furniture remain to be vintage to the Feng Shui expert. And this does not have to be only in the form of wooden furniture. Just by cultivating a garden in your home, you will be able to bring in a lot of wood that can help you balance the different elements.
    Efficiently Organizing your Small Bathroom Makes Big Sense

    Small, cramped bathrooms with little space and lots of stuff can present big problems for a busy family. With items strewn across the bathroom countertop with no designated space make it difficult to find that favorite pot of lip gloss, box of dental floss or can of hair mousse when morning routine time is at a minimum. You can conquer this problem with an honest assessment of your bathroom's contents and some creativity.

    First of all, look around your bathroom. If you have products in your bathroom that you didn't like after the first use, or that someone who previously visited left there and your family doesn't use, get rid of them. This can be a tough pill to swallow if you focus on the money that you spent on buying it, but if it's taking up valuable space in your cramped bathroom quarters, it's costing you more in headaches and stress than it's worth. You'll probably be amazed at how much space you can free up by clearing out these unused, unwanted items.

    After you've cleared these items out, assess what's left. If there's a drawer for makeup, but nothing in it is sorted, consider some small boxes or baskets to place them in. Place lipsticks and glosses in one bin, another for makeup compacts, and another for makeup applicators such as brushes and sponges. If there are a lot of hair products, consider using a larger basket to place them in and stored under the sink which can be easily removed and put away each morning.

    If you're in the habit of stocking up on those products you seem to go through quickly such as toilet paper, lotion, or toothpaste, consider storing those in a pantry or linen closet instead of in the bathroom itself. Make sure all family members know where to look for a replacement or refill should they run out.

    Most importantly, get your family to agree on using and maintaining the organization system that's been developed. It'll do no good to organize only to find things disheveled and unorganized the following week. Ask for input when devising a system, and make sure it's one that everyone involved can live with.
    Enhancing Your Life with Feng shui

    The ancient practice of Feng shui is one of the oldest forms of geomancy in the world and can be traced back as far as 3500 years ago in ancient China. The word literally means wind and water and this practice believes in the notion that qi or vital energy can greatly influence and improve a person’s life by achieving balance and harmony in their surroundings.

    To apply this practice means having to recognize the relationship between man and the environment he lives in. The key to this practice is locating the all important qi by arranging objects inside or outside of your home or even your office space so that qi continuously flows freely in the space thereby producing a positive impact in different aspects of your life. This ancient practice and belief is still being applied today and here are some methods where the art of balance and harmony can make a difference in a person’s life.

    Using the Five Phases Method

    The five phases method relies in the five elements or phases of fire, earth, metal, water and wood. These elements interrelate with each other through a creation cycle where fire produces earth, earth produces metal, metal produces water and water produces wood. Each element also corresponds to a particular direction where water is placed in the north, fire is the south, east is wood, west is metal and earth is the center.

    The best way to apply this method is to make sure that your room or the space you live in has a balance of all these elements to produce good qi otherwise too much of a particular element might go against the other elements and produce harmful qi instead.

    Using the Flying Stars Method

    Probably the most difficult method to apply Feng shui is the flying star method which takes into account the date your house or office was built, a detailed floor plan and the outside environment of the place. It is similar to having a birth sign in astrology only this time it’s your property’s birth sign.

    Although this method can be complex, it is the most accurate of methods and usually done by master practitioners of the craft. What this method aims to achieve is to harmonize your space by finding out the best elements to enhance it and the elements that need to be avoided.

    Using the Eight Mansions Method

    The most popular application of Feng shui is the eight mansions method or the Ba Zhai. This method requires you to calculate your kua number based on your birth date. This will help you determine your auspicious direction because each kua number corresponds to a particular direction.

    This method aims to find out which directions are good for you and which to avoid. It also helps you find out if you are compatible with that particular area you’re living or staying in. Finding out the best direction for you and enhancing that space can help you become more productive in terms of career, relationships, health and luck.

    Feng shui-Proof Your Life

    Testimonies of the benefits of this ancient practice are many and its effectiveness can be traced from ancient times otherwise this practice would not have survived today. The concept is simple and everyone can benefit with some semblance of balance and harmony in their lives. It’s just a matter of recognizing the value of qi and making sure everything in your surroundings brings you peace.
    Fame from Feng Shui

    Do you want to be closer to fame? Well, it may not exactly be within reach instantly upon applying Feng Shui, but it can at least help open the doors to fame for you. Ushering in the mood that is conducive to fame is one of the things that Feng Shui consultants are paid for. But if you have a tight budget and just wish to try out Feng Shui for the fun of it, you may find these tips useful for inviting fame and opportunity in your doorstep.

    Famous Feng Shui Tip 1: Redden your atmosphere

    Red is often attributed to good reputation and fame. So if at all possible, have a lot of red things in your atmosphere. But don’t overdo it, as success may not be exactly attractive when under some form of overdose. Make sure that you are able to decorate your office or home in red with good taste, and don’t make it clash with other furniture or things that you need to put in your home or office. The middle portion is usually the best place to have a concentration of red ojects.

    Famous Feng Shui Tip 2: Fire it up!

    Fire is good attractor of fame and favorable reputation, so make sure that you have some elements of fire all over your area. Have a candlelit area in your room, or better yet, amp up your fireplace. This way, you will be able to fire up your reputation with it.

    Famous Feng Shui Tip 3: Put wood and fire together!

    If you have fire, it may also be good to have some wooden furniture to go along with it. You don’t have to put them in direct contact with each other, because that would actually pose some hazards. All you have to do is make sure that you have a healthy balance of both these elements, for these are two elements out of the five that Feng Shui promotes you to have in your environment for a sense of balance.

    Famous Feng Shui Tip 4: Prop up your achievements

    You may have some proof of achievement. Now, if you hang these achievements on the wall, it invites more of the recognition that you aspire for. If you are really very shy about your achievements, you can at least display it in another part of your room, without being too blatant about it.

    Famous Feng Shui Tip 5: Have a visual target or symbol for success

    Aside from upholding the things that you have already achieved, it may also help you if you have some target of sorts, a symbol for your success. It is not just enough that you appreciate how much you have achieved so far; it is also equally important to look forward to things that you can still have in the future. Keep handy your symbols for success; it may be in the form of a sentimental pen if you are a budding Nobel Prize aspirant or maybe something else that holds specific and special meaning for you and your goals of success.

    Famous Feng Shui Tip 6: Keep your humility intact

    Of course, Feng Shui is no excuse for you to flaunt yourself too much in your environment. The best way to invite success is to maintain your humility. There are still other people who are better and smarter, so you do not have the exclusive right to be way above in the clouds.
    Feng Shui Arrows

    In Feng Shui, the term arrows refer to sharp objects that bring bad luck and negative energy. In a way, like an arrow, it cuts through all the positive chi or energy within an environment. These arrows are inadvertently distributed all over the world, and if you are a budding Feng Shui enthusiast, it may be helpful to know what “arrows” in life you must watch out for.

    The Arrow of Staircases

    The most popular arrow is the arrow from staircases. To locate this arrow, just try to find that space underneath the staircase of your home. From just standing there, you will already feel all the heaviness, not just from footsteps, but also from the energy that is being siphoned off in that area because of the staircase arrows.

    As much as possible, avoid hanging out underneath staircases or placing living rooms directly underneath staircases. In case this is unavoidable and you are cramped for space, you may have to buy some Feng Shui charms to ward off then negative effect.

    The Arrow of Complex Architecture

    Complex architecture may be lovely to look at but not necessarily good for business. If you are really after getting the most out of your buildings and inviting all the positive energy, avoid complex structures. By complex structures we mean architectural designs which have too many pointed edges (e.g. star-shaped buildings.). All these arrows are actually detrimental to people who will be standing directly in front of these arrows.

    The Escalator Arrow in Malls

    Getting the right stalls from malls may be quite tricky, but here’s a rule of thumb: Avoid the stalls which are directly in front of the bottom step of the escalator. This is because all the energy and prosperity is being drawn off and invited out of the stalls by the negative arrow of the escalator. While people may think that positioning one’s self directly to where customers can view the store as they alight the escalator, it’s bad Feng Shui and detrimental to one’s profit.

    Arrows from Attics

    If you have an attic, chances are, you get the irregular ceiling shapes from the walls. Try to soften the arrows from your attic ceilings by hanging chimes and other charms of Feng Shui. The arrows from attics can invite more stress and carry over negative energy from the past, especially if you are using the attic to store up old stuff.

    Arrows from Irregularly Erected Walls

    Irregularly erected walls or walls that lean diagonally forward may be dangerous. If at all possible, avoid placing the bed beside the region where the wall leans. This is where the arrows will hit you while you are resting.

    There are other arrows in the world, and you may actually name some more based from your direct experience. Whether the exposure to arrows may bring bad luck forever or not, the practical side of Feng Shui avoids complications and wants a bright space where light can quickly come through. All the other invisible elements like the energy just follow suit.

    Despite the warnings on arrows, this is not saying that we must abolish arrows in our lives. The whole key to the Feng Shui concept on arrows is consistency and ability to put the arrows in a place where it can do minimal damage.
    Feng Shui Basics

    Applying feng shui basics in the home need not be that complicated. There are some ways in which this ancient practice can be used to make the home flow with positive energy or chi. Here are some of the basic feng shui practices that you need to know and can easily apply to make your home as well as your life filled with positive chi.

    Light, Air and Feng Shui

    In order to fill your home with good chi, you may need to have good quality air as well as lighting. In feng shui, it is believed that chi flows through with the help of air as well as natural light. Because of this, it is essential to make use of these two elements to ensure that the home flows with good chi. To allow the good energy into your home, you would need to open your windows often to let natural air into the home.

    You can also use air purifying plants or an air purifier at home to make sure that the air remains clean and pure. Also try to allow as much natural light into your home to allow good chi to fill your home.

    Unclutter Your Home

    Clutter is a known obstacle to the flow of chi. It can have an effect on health as well as the overall energy levels and quality of life. Too much clutter can drain your energy as well as impede good energy from flowing into your home or life. Getting rid of the clutter can also help get rid of the negative load that affects your life. By clearing clutter, you are creating a harmonious environment in your home flowing with good energy.

    Know Your Feng Shui Birth Element

    In order to understand better how you can use feng shui to achieve a certain balance in your life and home, you might need to know your own birth element. There is a certain element that corresponds to your birth year. Knowing what element your are born with can help you decide on what is the best approach to achieve that certain balance in feng shui. You can use your feng shui birth element to introduce the different expressions of the element into your home through the use of colors and the balance of the other complementary elements in your life and home.

    Know Your Kua Number

    According to feng shui, each person has his or her own kua number that corresponds to one's date of birth and gender. The kua number also tells of each person's energy needs. In the school of feng shui called the Flying Stars, people may belong in either one of two energy groups- the East or the West. For the East Group, their kua numbers may either be 1, 3, 4 or 9.

    For those on the West group, their kua numbers can either be 2,6,7 or 8. you can use your kua number to determine directions and orientation of structures such as your home or where you face when working in order to ensure good positive energy to flow through. These feng shui basics can help you start off in making your life and home flow with good chi.
    Feng Shui for Different Home Areas

    The Chi, a positive energy that brings in prosperity, should always flow freely through different areas in the home. The following are simple feng shui tips for the different areas in the home.

    The kitchen

    - The stove must be away from the door, but the cook should be able to see the door. If not possible, install a mirror.

    - Never position the stove opposite the sink, refrigerator, or dishwasher. A clash of the elements fire and water is not a good idea.

    - Keep your cupboard and refrigerator well stocked with food supplies. It implies wealth and abundance.

    - Avoid positioning the stove directly in front of a window. Placing the stove to the side of a window is better.


    The bathroom or toilet

    - Never place the toilet opposite the kitchen. The feng shui fire and water elements will clash in this situation.

    - The toilet must not be placed adjacent to the front door. Place the toilet somewhere far away from the front door.

    - Avoid positioning the toilet door directly opposite the front door. This may lead to wasted opportunities.

    - Place a huge mirror behind the bathroom sink. But never use the kind that is split in the middle, often seen in bathroom cabinets.

    - Make sure that the plumbing fixtures in the bathroom and toilet are not leaking, especially the faucets.


    The bedroom

    - The bedroom should not be adjacent or opposite to a bathroom or toilet. If this is unavoidable, make sure you keep the bathroom or toilet door closed at all times.

    - Position the bed as far away from the door as possible. But make sure you still have a good view of the door from the bed. At the same time, do not place your bed where your feet are pointed towards the door when you are sleeping.

    - Mirrors should not be placed where they reflect your image as you sleep. Round and oval shaped mirrors are ideal, but make sure they are larger than your head.

    - Sleeping directly on the floor is not suggested as it does not allow the Chi to flow beneath you.


    The stairway

    - Traditionally, the favorable number of steps in a stairway is an odd number. A spiral staircase is also a blunder because it confuses the Chi.

    - The worst mistake that can happen is when the staircase leads directly to the front door. This leads to the loss of opportunities, and the residents tend to be always rushing, seldom settling in.

    - A good way to slow down the flow of Chi outside the front door is to hang a wind chime on the ceiling above the base of the staircase. A heavy figurine at the floor level below may also act helpful.


    Lobbies and hallways

    - Hallways need to be free of impediments and are needed to be well lit. It should also be clear to anyone where they are to go next in the house.

    - A nice piece of art may be hung on the wall to the end of a hallway. However, never place a mirror there; it will only reflect back the entering Chi.

    - There should be no hallway in the house that leads directly to a toilet. If it is already there, just make sure the door is closed at all times.

    These are some tips to overcoming and preventing Chi flow problems, giving you a harmonious feng shui home.
    Feng Shui History

    Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese practice of utilizing certain so called laws governing the heavens and earth that can improve through what is called having positive Qi. Feng Shui history is an ancient one and covers over 3,500 years. It is even older than the invention of the magnetic compass. A main portion of its origins may stem from ancient astronomy.

    The astronomical history of Feng Shui is evident in the ancient instruments that were developed in its practice. The earliest known Feng Shui instrument may have been what is known as the gnomon. This instrument was used along with trying to circumpolar the stars in order to determine the north and south axis. This was basically used in laying down early Chinese settlements.

    The ancient Yangshao and Hongshan cultures in China provide the earliest evidences of the practice of feng shui. As early as 4000 BCE, doors from Banpo dwellings were aligned to the star called Yingshi just right after the winter solstice. This allowed the homes to be sited for better solar gain. During the Zhou era, the star Yingshi was known as Ding and had a great influence in trying to determine the appropriate time to build their capital city. This is according to records on the Shijing.

    Another example of the practice of ancient feng shui can also be found from the grave at Puyang that dates back to about 3000 BCE. This particular grave contains mosaics of the stars called Dragon and Tiger along with the Beidou, known in the Western world as the Big Dipper constellation. The mosaics seem to be oriented along the north to south axis. The presence of round and square shapes were also found at the Puyang tomb as well as at the Hongshan cultural ceremonial centers and the former Longshan settlement. These evidences suggest that the practice of gaitian astronomy (belief in a round earth and a square earth) was already present in the ancient Chinese society.

    One of the oldest instruments used in ancient feng shui were the liuren astrolabes. These ancient instruments consist of a lacquered, two-sided board equipped with astronomical sightlines. The oldest of the liuren astrolabes have been found and discovered from tombs dating from 278 BCE and 209 BCE. These ancient astrolabes show the cord-hook diagram and some those found even include the magic square of three. The markings on these instruments remained unchanged, from the ancient astrolabe down to the first magnetic compasses.

    The practice of astronomy that bears a striking resemblance to many modern feng shui devices and theories were also discovered on a jade artifact found in Hanshan that dated at around 3000 BCE. Ancient structures in China which included its palaces in the capital cities are all influenced by feng shui in their design and layout. The rules that were followed were written during the Zhou era on the "Kaogong ji", or the "Manual of Crafts".

    The magnetic compass was initially invented for the practice of feng shui and has been in use since its invention. Traditional feng shui instruments include the Luopan or the earlier south-pointing spoon or the zhinan zhen. This shows the extent of feng shui history and its long standing practice in ancient Chinese history.
    Feng Shui Home Tips

    Feng shui has been an ancient Chinese practice that has recently became popular even in the Western world. It aims to strike up a certain kind of balance in a certain en

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