9 days into the year of 2018 and I wonder how many have well intentioned resolutions have already been forfeited, reworked, ignored, dismissed, redefined or perhaps lost in translation. I was reminded of the power of the Four Agreements and I felt if these could be everyone's resolution what a remarkable year we could have together.
"Be impeccable with your word"
"Don't take anything Personally"
"Don't make Assumptions"
"Always do your best"
If you read the full explanation below it perhaps could help with all those well meaning aspirations. I have spent the first two weekends on Vashon Retreats helping groups of people creatively lay down their visions for this coming year. All these four agreements are an excellent guide for success and are an intrinsic component for personal success.
,The Wealth corner is the one area that everyone wants to focus on seems it has everyone attention in every home. The fact is with feng shui all the sections need to be in balance so that each aspect supports the other, each one cannot stand alone. One example is to have the helpful people section energized in your home or office space so it naturally is beneficial for wealth, for best results all corresponding locations will need attention. To help boost the wealth section there are the five element cures that should be applied. It is important to understand the relationship and the interactive nature of the generative cycle whereby there is a continual cyclical process, energy is constantly being transformed, hence the creation of wealth and prosperity when all parts are dancing in a harmony. Wood, earth, metal, water and fire a continued cycle for replenishment. At Vashon Retreats and Elan Experiences you can see this cycle working to generate a healthy and wealthy climate for wellness and creativity.
One of the most healing and balancing cures that a home can have is a pet. The very essence of their presence brings more chi into the home it is healing helps relieve stress and anxiety. It is said that is can lower blood pressure, improve immunity and even decrease risk of heart attack or stroke. Studies have shown that when conducting a difficult task, people are less stressed when their pets are with them than when a spouse or family member or close friend is nearby. Pets can help in dealing with chronic pain it is mother natures natural valium. Pets help with mood elevation and increase laughter. Dogs and cats in particular are a wonderful gift to ease loss and grief and to offer comfort with their loving non- judgemental presence. For a loving Vashon retreat Niven the dog is here to offer such a good Feng Shui balance. His gentle nature and his warm black solid body has offered lots of comfort to clients and friends at Elan Experiences. He is the perfect tonic for over the holiday season to help anyone who might be feeling blue.
There are a number of silent conversations that happen in the home. These dialogues are not always with people but more with the invisible or what we refer to inanimate objects. There are days when we have become so unconscious of our surrounding that we do not allow ourselves to really make the time to relax or meditate. One way is to build a special place in the home designated for quiet reflective time, a personal sanctuary a sacred space. In this area of the home add some objects that that "speak" to you. Stones, crystals, rocks, pebbles, pine cones, driftwood, add a candle or some incense. This is your own special altar designed for you where you can sit and just be. You can even build a larger zen garden in your courtyard this helps soothe the mind and is great for contemplation. Japanese gardens would always include the placement of rocks and gravel in a very specific pattern. The notion of collecting these found objects in your sacred space is as mnemonic artifact to remind you of your connection to a world that doers not include material possessions but to all things. Bringing nature into the home and let yourself explore a sacred pace slowing down the busy mind and exhaling out the constant self chatter that is often filled with less than loving thoughts. Make a sacred space in your home and your mind.
The yearly cookie baking marathon has begun with mountains of flour and avalanches of powdered sugar dusting the counter tops and floors. Every conceivable type of cookie is created chocolate, almond, ginger, pistachio, Italian, Syrian, Mexican the list is of ingredients are endless. Lashings of butter, tablespoons of molasses, delicious delectable mouthwatering crisp melt -in your -mouth biscuits and bars. However, the key ingredient that is very very rarely listed is LOVE. Please include this special and most important aspect to your gifting cookie bag. In Feng Shui the kitchen's is the junction for health, harmony and associated with the all the elements of Fire and Water, Air, Earth and Metal. Symbolically addressing love, warmth, nurturance and the interaction of all that is required for a perfect chi balance. The kitchen is the epicenter of the home most often the best room in the home for having all the elements interact creating a balance of yin and yang. Adding the love chi can bring the best result for the perfect cookie and bring sweetness and comfort to those who are gifted a present..........oh and don't forget the gluten free variety that is extra special love. At Elan Experiences on Vashon Christmas cookies are infused with tons of love.
Every home and occupant of a home or a space should always dedicate a space for art and creativity. It can be the entire home and perhaps just one room is dedicated as an art studio, or even as simple as a small table for art projects. L Bernstein said " Art never stopped a war .... That was never its function. Art cannot change events, but it can change people. It can affect people so that they are changed because they become enriched, ennobled, encouraged - that they act in a way that affect the course of events by the way they vote, they behave, they think."
I do a little art project almost daily, either writing, cooking, designing, painting, drawing, flower arrangements. For me it is the best expression of who I am and I celebrate the creative spirit and what emerges from within my being. I created a little map box for a friend, so simply and inspired by the notion of the Monarch butterfly migration one of the most spectacular natural phenomena in the world. The more I create the more I discover what is hidden inside myself. I have only scratched the surface of what has being lying dormant. I encourage everyone to step into some self exploration in the field of creativity and just like the butterfly watch the metamorphosis, your home and space will appreciate the beauty you create.
Indeed there has been a call for more ideas for how to balance health and harmony for self and the home. I believe a crucial step is putting a large focus on self during this holiday season. This is counter intuitive for some as it is the season for giving. I believe the greatest gift is to yourself I love the Spanish proverb "How beautiful it is to do nothing and the rest afterwards." I highly suggest you occupy the a the "Wisdom and Self cultivation" corner or room in your home. Use this space to find a place to rest, a lovely cozy armchair or a if there is not room for a piece of furniture add a photograph or an image of a place that is your own "inner garden" for rest and reflection. Take time to meditate retreat and say NO if you feel you may be compromising your own well being. You can offer so much more when you own chi is full and balanced. Use the photograph below and let the colors and the peaceful image quiet your busy self even just for a few minutes a day during the Christmas carousel of events.
As the world turns it seems as though more and more is required of us to keep our balance and center. I am so glad I have Feng Shui in my toolbox it helps illuminate the connection between my busy self and my own wellbeing. Using the ancient tradition of "acupuncture" in my home I am conscious of my spaces, floor plan. color, placement of objects and furniture. All of these parts have an effect on my spiritual, emotional and physical wellbeing and when they are in balance life can flow in harmony. There is an art to keeping all these aspects in a healthy relationship to one another and I love witnessing the dance of how these pieces help me with health, wealth, flow and fun and love. My own home is the constantly being energized with cures and space clearing. It is the quintessential key to help me live with good chi and to create a retreat for others to feel the life-force.
A beautiful soul here for another Elan Experience, a gorgeous woman enjoying bubbly moments of bliss and early Xmas cheer. I Love creating great fun experiences and sculpting a sacred space for people to share to be pampered, yet feel energized. I love red dresses I once spent a fortune on a red silk dress when I lived in Melbourne. I always felt so confident, alive and feminine in the dress. I love seeing women in red no wonder Chris de Burgh had such a hit with this song and there have been a number of movies with the same title. So I think if you are feeling blue go for red !!!
Somedays it is necessary to engage in Turtle Medicine. This calls on us to slow down take everything in our stride, walk the path in peace moving mindfully but with determination. Take a break when necessary, look around, pace yourself and if it feels appropriate slide under your shell ( or covers) and rest for a while. Sleep, meditate and find deep renewal until it is time to move forward on your journey again. Oftentimes packing your bag and moving to a quiet place is the best turtle medicine you can do for yourself. Elan Experiences offers a chance to do just that, slow down, breathe, digest all the beauty that is around and sink into the wise medicine of Turtle, helping you find grounding in the midst of turmoil and chaos. Treat your self to a "Re-Treat" on Vashon Island for some quiet restorative time.