Secrets/Lies and Meditation

Secrets/Lies and Meditation


Take a deep breath…

Last week I touched on what was a week packed full of emotions for me. Well, I made it! So how do I/we/you weather these crazy times? Bad weeks, bad years? 

First, I’m going to share another secret about me. I suffer from chronic anxiety. My trigger: If I wasn’t able to breath through my nose (cold, allergies etc), I’d have full-blown, gasping for air, paper bag breathing episodes.

But if you ask me, I was fine. I’m fine! 

For years, every mentor, practitioner, doctor kept telling me “you really should meditate.”

I finally said yes to a 6 week program which my Dr referred me to that is run through Stanford.

When I lived in Japan, I did learn how to meditate in my Aikido classes. I didn’t continue the practice once I got home, but really wish I had! 

I could go on and on about the benefits of consistent daily practice, but here are some facts:

After 8 weeks of consistent daily meditation, the structure of your brain changes…yes, really. 

You can repair your DNA through consistent meditation

You can extend your natural life by years through consistent meditation

You perform better on standardized tests

You can lower your blood pressure with consistent meditation

The list goes on and on and is quite impressive.

Almost anyone CAN do it-it’s a question of whether they will and when. 

There’s never a shortage of bad stuff going on, this is an inexpensive way to help mitigate our responses to the bad stuff.

So that’s my big reveal… my big advice. Don’t wait to get started if you want to see some positive change.

There is no shortage of free apps and videos that will guide you in meditation. I use Insight Timer (free) and Oura because the app accompanies purchase of an Oura ring. Oura ring is outstanding, btw. 

The Trifecta of the Week


Yom Kippur, Anniversary of my mom’s death, my birthday. 

Some weeks are more challenging than others. I’ve been feeling under the weather for a few weeks after a mountain bike crash on an exceptionally challenging trail way above my ability.

Turns out, post-crash, I was drinking too much of an electrolyte drink in order to rehydrate, and now I have too much potassium in my system. Too much, it turns out, is as dangerous as too little.

So what does this have to do with Feng Shui? It’s all about balance, and when we are out of balance, things don’t feel great. It’s easy to get out of alignment. It’s difficult to get back in. 

So how am I going to do this differently this year? Stay tuned…

Water Element and Feng Shui


What are You Drawn To?

People who need the water element often seek out lakes or oceans to visit or to live. My daughter really needs the water element; she traveled almost 2 days both ways on a bus to get to the ocean in Argentina…that’s motivation! 

I would never choose to live on cliffs over the ocean or on the ocean. I love to see it, but too much time near it makes me nervous. But I know plenty of people who spend all their time in the water. So how do you know? Looking at a destiny or birth chart reveals a lot about a person’s elemental structure.

Me, I need fire, dry earth (mountains, which is where we live), some wood-no metal needed for me and I’ll never run out of water, so I’ll never need to live in it, or next to it, that would be too much.

What are you drawn to? It may be something you need, and it may not be. See how you feel after a day in or near the ocean…calm, revitalized, anxious? These are all things to pay attention to. 

Meet Irmgart, My Metal Rooster


It’s the month of the metal rooster! Meet my rooster Irmgart! He hangs out at Floyd, guarding the property. The metal rooster is associated with Fall/Autumn and the West. For me, metal is an element that represents output, which is work, and activity. To balance this, I need fire, my resource element, to give me strength, or I’ll get exhausted faster.

For my husband, metal is wealth, which is great! So Irmgart is great for Tom, but a little draining for me. We each have a combination of all 5 elements, and need some more than others, and at different times, which is what makes Feng Shui so complicated and confusing!

Often, we are attracted to elements we need, and sometimes, it’s the opposite and we surround ourselves with elements that drain us. Some of us love the ocean, but what we need is fire, or earth. Pay attention to spaces that drain you versus spaces where you feel revitalized. Also note what time of year it is in each of these instances and you may be able to see patterns.

California Dreamin’

Is Your Top Blowing? Lid Flipping?


Is your top blowing? Is your lid flipping? Your clients, children, friends, and otherwise convivial people? Rage, specifically road rage is the theme of the last few weeks going into next week in September.

I’ve been noticing this EVERYWHERE!!! In fact, I saw an altercation in moving vehicles on the road today! It finally dawned on me we are in a monkey month in a tiger year. Monkeys and tigers clash hard, so this Monkey month is usually pretty contentious! This month is no exception. 

So what to do? Avoid confrontation. Seriously, don’t take the bait, count to 10-this too shall pass. If you get involved, it will not end well. 

Just take a walk, literally or figuratively. This will ease in the second part of September. In the meantime, let the ragers rage and stay out of the way. 

What a Difference an Hour Makes:  Destiny Chart and hour of birth


I had to double check.

My Feng Shui Master had plotted my Bazi chart the old-fashioned way; looking at almanacs and lunar calendars. My Day Master was Weak Yin Earth-I didn’t like the way that sounded!

So, I do as I aways did; I researched the hour thing, as it is complicated and involved GMC, time in China, and time and exact longitude of birthplace. Like a scientist, I replicated the experiment on different websites, and my Bazi is totally different based on the hour entered.

With the online calculation, which I did it on no less than 5 websites, I’m solid Yin Earth! This is quite a different destiny than Weak Yin Earth and involves using and avoiding entirely different elements than I’d learned from the first reading.

When I interpret each one, they are different because the animal and element are different from each other for the hour. Fire Tiger(Tiger is wood) rather than Wood Ox (earth)

So, my entire identity changed because of one hour! I guess the question is: does it matter, and would I do anything differently? Yes, maybe, yes…

Knowing your birth chart gives you some great insight into strengths, weaknesses, and challenges and level of ease in one’s life. You can always change what you do as you move through life knowing these things.

Moral of story-If you want an accurate birth chart, KNOW YOUR STATS and embrace technology.

Three Coins and a Fountain


A couple of months ago, we installed, with great precision and cost, a water feature to help Floyd, us, and the Feng Shui.

So far, it seems to be doing some good! We’ve added some water plants, and some plants around. We are trying different accents. The fountain stays in place, but stays running all the time. It’s a nice sound and complements the natural sounds of the birds and crickets.

It also helps it feel a little bit cooler when we are near it. The birds love to bathe and drink out of it, and since it’s always moving and filtering, it’s probably fresher tasting for them. 

The extent to which it’s protecting us and our home is not measurable, simply because we don’t know what would be happening were the fountain not in place. 

We trust it’s doing its job! We really do. You kind of have to; there’s not a way to do a controlled study. Things do seem to be going more smoothly🤞🤞.

I’ll keep you all posted, but we do really love it! 

I Ching – The Magic 8 Ball of Feng Shui


Feng Shui and Bazi are derived largely from “I Ching”-the book of changes. I just found this app on my phone this AM and have been playing with it. 

It’s the Eastern philosophical equivalent of a Magic 8 ball. You ask a question, it gives you an answer, but far more detailed and precise than the Magic 8 ball… ahhh, technology. 

I’ve found I’m not very lucky at this game! It keeps telling me the same thing in different ways over and over – I’ll have to work hard to get what I want, and maybe even then, I won’t get it.

I want a different fortune, but no matter how many times I shake it and how many different times I ask it, it says the same thing.

Maybe there’s something to this? I read the entire “I Ching” in college, but I never really consulted it when I had a life question or any question, for that matter. In Feng Shui and in Bazi, it’s all about the hexagrams, so I think it’s time to dust off my I Ching book and get busy. 

Today is our 2 Year Wedding Anniversary


melissa and tom wedding day

It’s our 2 year wedding anniversary! I can’t believe how quickly 2 years has gone by. I remember this day like it was yesterday, and all that we did in preparation, and all the people who helped us along the way. 

Marking time like this is fun, and a little scary! It reminds me to try to make the most of the day, and enjoy it, even if it’s doing yard work or a Netflix binge. I don’t, by the way, make the most of my days, but it’s on my list!!

Knuckles in a Half Shell


knuckles the cat in a bike helmet

For this week’s Feng Shui Friday, I’m sharing my husband’s new YouTube channel:  Knuckles in a Half Shell.

He named it after one of our cats, but the theme is the film of his mountain bike rides. Why is this unique?

Tom had an emergency heart transplant in April of 2020. He was an avid mountain biker before, and his dream and goal was to be able to ride like he did before the transplant.

With a great deal of practice and patience, he’s flying on the trails on his analog bike, covering 1000ft ascents and descents. Truly amazing and incredibly inspiring. 

Please check out his channel, and catch some of his joie de vivre (that’s chi in French)!