Dreaming of Japan

I’ve been talking about Japan in my last couple of Feng Shui Fridays in reference to their design aesthetic. The images I’ve been perusing for my recent Feng Shui Fridays makes me long to go back to Japan. After all, Japan is where I first heard of Feng Shui and subsequently began my studies of Feng Shui. 

Many of you don’t know that I lived in Sendai for 2 years after graduating from university and I haven’t been back since. I was an English teacher at a private school teaching English to Japanese students of all ages. I also studied Aikido, earning my black belt, and learned how to speak Japanese… seems like a lifetime ago.  

Japan is a magical place, with beautiful, historic architecture, delicious, gorgeous food… I mean, like, works of art gorgeous, colors I’ve never seen before, and the Ohanami Festival(Cherry Blossom)❤️ I wish I could find all of my old photos, but here is one from my daughter’s trip with her school in 2013. 

The further away I am fromMy time in Japan, the more I realize the country is the embodiment of Feng Shui. Clean, uncluttered, and a balance of elements, Japan is the real deal. 

I’ve been dreaming about traveling again and Japan is at the top of my list to visit. 

Where are you dreaming of going? 

Can Anything Protect Us From 2020?

evil eye from greece FSF

We have an evil eye above our front door. We got it in Greece in 2012, and, according to legend, it offers protection against evil across many cultures and religions. I’ve hung it above every front door of everyplace we’ve lived. 

The evil eye finally went up on Floyd a couple of weeks ago, and I can report that, to my knowledge, nothing profoundly evil has landed on our doorstep since.

Do I believe they work? In a word, yes. I believe in stacking the deck in our favor, and if it’s Evil Eyes, horseshoes, or religious objects, I think we choose items that we believe will help protect us, and maybe the act of buying them and placing them makes it so. 

We have to be aware of danger in order to protect ourselves from it. Once we are aware, we may change our behavior, which can change the outcome. 

In Feng Shui, it’s ok to keep items that we link to protection. It isn’t harmful in Feng Shui. More is not better; and I’ve seen people go way overboard. Thinking about protecting your home means that you are thinking about your home, and that does affect Feng Shui In a positive way. 

Stay well! 

Water and Feng Shui

Last Sunday, Tom and I went riding around our house-OKA Henry Cowell State Park. We ended up having to cross the river to get where we were going. Tom rode across of course! I walked in bare feet.

Water is one of the most powerful elements in Feng Shui. In fact, the type of water features that exist  around your home have a huge impact on the Feng Shui of your home. 

Meandering water, like this river is the best water, neither stagnant nor rushing. 

Contrary to popular belief, living next to or above the ocean does not bring good Feng Shui to the home. You may be wealthy enough to buy a home beachfront, but the rushing water creates instability and overwhelm and clashes.

Stagnant water creates inertia, being stuck, and health issues along with it.

The best is meandering water, like this part of the San Lorenzo river pictured below. Roads also represent water so it is best to live next to roads that are curvy with little traffic. 

Meandering Water

And yes, I made it! 

Yin and Yang and Feng Shui

Yin and yang is a basic tenet of Feng Shui but is often difficult to observe. Now that we are relegated to our homes, it is helpful to see what kind of home you live in. Mountains are often considered yin as they do not move, and are balanced by water, which is always moving and yang. If you have freeway bypasses near your home, that is a representation of fast moving water and is often too much yang. If you have a winding street with slow traffic, that is an ideal representation of water-meandering and more yin.

The idea is to create a balance of nearly equal yin and yang. 

yin and yang

The Phoenix, Nepenthe and Feng Shui

Ok, so this is an interpretive Phoenix carved of wood at Nepenthe, Big Sur, one of my favorite spots on the planet. Nepenthe is a drug derived from a plant during Greek times to produce forgetfulness (lots of us would like this drug at the moment). The Phoenix represents coming back after great catastrophe.

What does this have to do with Feng Shui, you ask? Classic Feng Shui uses animal forms to represent the land forms in nature; mountains, water, the sun, soil and minerals, trees. Traditionally, the Phoenix is associated with fire and rebirth. 

We are in the midst of one of the most challenging years in memory, to say the least. Feng Shui masters the world over had predicted something huge, catastrophic, and far reaching/worldwide. Here we are, learning to really live in our spaces, learning to live with others in these spaces more often than ever before. 

Pay attention to how you feel in different parts of your homes, Now that you have more time to do so, observe. You may have angst in some areas and peace in other areas. In Floyd, we have dark, cold and dusty everywhere, except for the secret room, more on that next week. 

There will be changes, there will be loss, then there will be rebirth. Hopefully, we will learn some valuable lessons about ourselves and the space we occupy and how to care for ourselves, others, and these spaces. Stay tuned and good health. 

Floyd’s New Fridge!

Floyd got a new fridge today-thank goodness! Much more efficient and cute too!!! 

Feng Shui tip – it’s best to rid your house of old appliances that don’t work properly or are broken. 

The Color Yellow in Feng Shui

We went for our traditional New Years Day ride on Jan 1, and I finally spotted the elusive indigenous banana slug! He is bright, bright yellow as you can see and it got me thinking about colors and Feng Shui.

The color yellow is associated with communication and improving communication. It is associated with the element earth, which this not-so-little guy is sitting on, so yellow is used to ground people and things to the earth and to help communicate with others. This color is great in the center of your space but can also be used in the Northeast of your space to improve skills and knowledge. 

The elusive indigenous banana slug


We recently rescued these from our kitchen demo of Floyd. They were clearly handmade, and everyone who saw them seemed to love them. 

They are ceramic and represent the element Earth. In Classic Flying Star Feng Shui, my birth element, or core element, is earth. 

In Feng Shui, Earth people demonstrate stability, strength, being centered. Earth people are sociable, agreeable and want to “belong.” They are the peacemaker and are reliable, nurturing and supportive. 

In applied Feng Shui, Earth can do the same to a space, but too much Earth can bog one down, creating slowness and an inability to move forward. 

Kitchen Ceramics
kitchen ceramics 2

Birds and Feng Shui

These two guys are straight from Floyd’s entry. Another great gift from our generous new, old house (108 mighty years) named Floyd.  They were on piers and were literally toppling over. 

Wright Lighting and Fireside, I’m putting you on notice because I’m bringing these two in for a lighting makeover, STAT.

They are metal but are, or were, fitted with sockets and bulbs, a fire element, and meant to light the driveway. They are also animals, which are considered a fire element in Feng Shui. 

Metal and fire do different things to wood in Feng Shui. They each are a pretty severe way of quelling wood, or killing wood. But, when you have a house that is made entirely of wood and is literally in the woods, you need extreme balancing. We do not want to encourage too much fire, but rather cut the wood element down to scale in small ways, a little at a time. 

These two will be restored to their former glory and act as fire and metal guards for the wood house, and give it the balance it thirsts for.

Now, what to name them? 

What Homes Reveal

America’s exuberance with “the perfect home” is affirmed by the myriad of pins, boards, blogs and sites dedicated to reaching this goal. 

Sometimes, we fight a space in our efforts to tame it and have it yield to our taste. We do this by layering material over material generationally until it is forever lost under an Atlantean sea of plywood, tile, linoleum and glue. 

We are doing it differently. Our house’s original floors are Douglas Fir,  under no less than 5 layers of the materials listed above. 

Our house is trying to tell us, in many ways,  to lighten its load-a basic tenant of Classic Feng Shui. 

We are exposing all of the wood floors, in a tedious effort to restore it to the way it was over 100 years ago. We are the stewards of our home, and we plan to tread lightly. Stay tuned