February, Yang Wood and Offices

Remember my office reveal last week? Well, my office has a lot of it! Wood holds the promise of Spring and February, the Tiger month is charging toward Spring and growth. Wood inside an office or home in the form of flooring, furniture and baskets is Yin, whereas the tree outside and the growing flowers are Yang as they are alive. Wood inspires ideas. 

What’s the difference? Yin wood is more subtle and does not have as strong an effect as Yang wood-Yang wood is more powerful and not as much is needed to change the balance of our elements.

Each of us is a mixture of the 5 elements: wood, fire, earth, metal, water. 

I’m told that I need more Yang wood, and luckily we have a bunch of redwood trees growing outside. I also need wet earth, so I should garden, that or roll around in the dirt during a rainstorm. 

Getting the balance right is not easy! I love my office, but it looks like I need more earth there too. 

Balancing Elements

Tom and I both grew up in Palos Verdes. We are back, staying with Tom’s parents as we were evacuated from our house in Mount Hermon in the Santa Cruz Mountains. 

It’s scary to leave your home not knowing if you’ll see it again, having to choose what to take and what to leave behind. 

In the Santa Cruz Mountains we have a lot earth and wood, some water and some metal. Right now we are heavy in wood, fire obviously, and earth. Wood produces fire, fire feeds earth and eventually, earth creates metal. 

In Palos Verdes, we have a better distribution of all the elements. It’s by the ocean, so lots of yang water, earth, some wood and some metal. Physical fire is weaker here, but Palos Verdes is in the south, which, in Feng Shui, is the direction of fire.

Though we love living in the forest, we are mindful that, with this imbalance, comes a cost. We are happy for the reprieve from the fires and smoke, and know that when the earth is out of balance, so goes nature. 

Wood Houses

Houses built from wood are really the most common, our house Floyd being the example for today. Wood is great for inspiring ideas and action, but it needs balance. Too much wood, and you get tension and fighting in the home because all you have are ideas and no action. 

To balance wood, we need metal and earth elements. We are adding these elements to Floyd to keep the ideas coming without the added tension and arguments. 

Take a walk on the wild side

The Japanese have a word for it-Shinrin-Yoku or Forrest bathing. The Japanese believe it is important to make an effort to regularly connect with nature. Feng Shui loves a balanced being, and this is a perfect way to balance the body and soul. Get your nature on! 

The scientifically-proven benefits of Shinrin-yoku include:

-Boosted immune system functioning, with an increase in the count of the body’s Natural Killer (NK) cells.
-Reduced blood pressure
-Reduced stress
-Improved mood
-Increased ability to focus, even in children with ADHD
-Accelerated recovery from surgery or illness
-Increased energy level
-Improved sleep

Just as impressive are the results that we are experiencing as we make
this part of our regular practice:
-Deeper and clearer intuition
-Increased flow of energy
-Increased capacity to communicate with the land and its species
-Increased flow of eros/life force
-Deepening of friendships
-Overall increase in sense of happiness

Crows, crows everywhere!

Animals are good Feng Shui in the right place (south), at the right time, and in the right quantity (not too many).
Hoarders and lots of animals in close quarters are not so good. Pets are good and can absorb negative energy and add balance to a space.
Recently, I’ve been noticing the crows, and they seem to be holding meetings! I’m not paranoid, at least I don’t think I am, but they seem to be everywhere recently.
They get a bad rap, these charcoal birds with the same color eyes. They are smart and organized. A group of crows is called a murder, so are they good Feng Shui? Hard to say, but we do need animals in our environment for balance.
As the summer begins to come to a close, take stock of your animal energy and what kinds of wild animals you attract as well. For me, it’s the crows, and I’ll let you know how that turns out.


Beware-Mercury Retrograde is Coming

Mercury Retrograde is the phenomenon when our neighbor, Mercury, passes earth at a slower speed than we are traveling and looks as if it is moving in the opposite direction.

When we pass each other, this is a Retrograde period. Retrograde begins July 26 and will end August 19.

Retrograde is a great time for any verb beginning with RE:

Reassess, reorganize, release etc. MR is also a time to hear from those you’ve not spoken to for awhile.

MR is not a good time to purchase something new, sign contracts, have elective surgery or begin a new relationship or business venture. It’s also more difficult to communicate, both physically and interpretively. Flights are delayed more often, calls dropped more frequently, emails lost in the ether.

Personally, I hate Mercury Retrograde! It’s at the very least a pain, and more often for me, very painful.

So how is MR related to Feng Shui? Feng Shui is all about the RE, so this weekend is a great time to reassess your space, reorganize, release physical things we no longer need and things in our head that no longer serve us.

Once we start moving in this direction, we are able to see what can fill these spaces we’ve RE’d and how to achieve balance, which is a primary function of Feng Shui. To maintain the Feng Shui balance, we need to RE about as often as MR occurs, about 4 times a year…… so hold on to your hats, or RE-linquish them, whichever best serves you.


This is art, this is light!

This art installation is from one of my manufacturers, PureEdge Lighting at a lighting show I recently attended in Chicago. I love it because it captures the essence of everything that we aspire to in Feng Shui.
Feng Shui is about movement, balance and balancing the flow of energy in a space, but relies on one’s own energy and drive to understand and accept one’s self and to thrive. And live. And dance through life. This is art, this is light!

Seeing Red…

Red, long the color of romance, is appropriate in reasonable doses in your bedroom according to Feng Shui. If a little is good, a lot is better does not apply here. Feng Shui is about Balance.

A pair of red candles is good, but you must light them and they should burn fairly equally.

Red artwork, preferably with a pair of something depicted in it is good as well.

A pair of red pillows, great!

No red beds-that’s too much.

Too much red and somebody will get burned.