Tag: wind chimes

Grow Some Magic: Planting A Spiritual Garden

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Winter has had a white-knuckled grip on us this year, hasn’t it?  My sister in Minneapolis reports more snow….in mid-April.  But here in New Jersey, I can FINALLY see things starting to pop up  and I’m making my list of magical plants to add to my garden this year.

Lavender is one of my favorite perennials.  It smells wonderful and is good for helping you chill out.  But it’s also good for attracting love; rub some of it on your clothes to send out the vibe.

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Rosemary has protective properties, so I keep a pot of it near my front door.  I also make a bundle of rosemary and hang it on the front door to attract prosperity.

Sunflowers.  I sooooo love these flowers.  They are pretty magnificent in all their Shaq-sized glory.  When I read and sunflowers appear in my mind’s eye, I take it as a sign of spirit. They are a seriously lucky flower; let them keep watch over your yard, then bring them inside to lighten the heart.

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Marigolds are easy to grow, and they are a good flower for anyone who wants to further their career.  They bring prosperity and success, but they also help keep negative energy away.  Traditions says they’ll also repel pain in the ass neighbors or visitors (hear that, Guy-Who-Keeps-Placing-Chinese-Menus-In-My Door?)

Morning Glory draws happiness and tranquility and Hibiscus draws love.  And of course, I have Catnip for the boys to roll around in.

I have a couple of Holly around my front door, mainly because they’re so beautiful.  But they also serve as protection.  I’ve heard that putting a few holly leaves under your bed will ensure a good night’s sleep.

Dandelions usually fall victim to the weed spray, but I’m learning to make peace with them.   They’ve been used for centuries for purification and healing, and planting them in the northwest corner of your property will help bring about positive change.  I don’t plan to actually plant the little buggers, but will let them co-exist with the grass this year.

My father and grandfather had a green thumb when it came to roses.  Me?  Not so much.  But I keep trying.  Roses raise the love vibration (no wonder we give them for Valentine’s Day) but they are also welcoming to the nature spirits.  If you place some random rose petals around your home, it will take down any janky vibes.  Will it make your teenager less sulky?  Um, can anything do that?

Speaking of roses, I have a metal archway and plan to train them over it.  Legend goes that walking beneath a bramble-covered archway will cure just about any ailment.  Except maybe hangovers.

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Making a garden inviting to the nature spirits will bring a wonderfully peaceful energy.  I keep one small corner of my yard a little “wild.”  No weeding or lawnmowing allowed.  This is where those little guys can hang out.  Every so often I leave a little fruit or some crumbled cookies out for them.  Whether its the fairies or raccoons snarfing them down, no matter — the point is to let those entities know they’re welcome.

"Just leave the Fed X package....I'm in the shower."
“Just leave the Fed X package….I’m in the shower.”

For this same reason, don’t get too cheesed off if the birds eat some of your fruit plants.  Sharing your harvest is good karma.

Some of the other elements of my magical garden this year will include a simple do-it-yourself fountain (sounds nice and the birds like the water), plenty of windchimes and birdfeeders.  But the most important of them all?  A hammock, where I can take it allllll in. Preferably with a glass of wine in hand.

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Five-Minute Feng Shui

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I just did a major purge of old books, DVDs and some truly hideous gifts.  It wasn’t so much to provide shelf-filler for the local Goodwill as it was to make some feng shui fixes in my house.

Feng shui is essentially the art of placement:  where you put the stuff in your home and office influences everything from your health and finances, to the state of your relationship or whether you can even have kids.

The Chinese take this so seriously that the construction of major office buildings won’t begin without the go-ahead from the feng shui master after he/she has scoped out the lay of the land –literally. Hey, if its good enough for the Donald Trumps of Hong Kong….

Like Mid-East politics or the romantic life of the Kardashians, feng shui can get complicated. There are tons of good books on the subject*,many of which I have partially read before giving up and turning to Star magazine.  But to give you a taste, here are a few super-easy things to try in your own space.

The main principle is that energy must flow freely; when it gets blocked, your life gets blocked.  Walk into each room of your home: stand in the center, take a deep breath and see how you feel. Try and look at the room as if  for the first time. Is it cluttered, dark, dusty?  Do you trip over cat toys (wait –that’s MY living room).  Do you feel energized and happy, or anxious, sad and in need of a Jello shot?

Three –or six–of these always makes space clearing fun!

Really pay attention to how the space makes you feel.  Then make a few fixes:

HEALTHY PLANTS  Fresh greenery bring new life into a space. Bamboo plants are low-maintenance, and a traditional symbol of good fortune.  I’ve put one right by my front door, to encourage luck to enter my home.   NOTE:  Artificial or dried arrangements are frowned upon for their absence of life force.  Not to mention the dust.

MIRRORS  Mirrors are the “aspirin” of feng shui.  They can reflect good energy back into a room, or deflect bad energy away.  One of my favorite tricks is to place a mirror behind your stove.  The Chinese view the stove as the heart of the home;  a mirror symbolically “doubles” the number of burners, increasing the wealth vibe.  And you can put your makeup on while you’re stirring the marinara.

WIND CHIMES  They sound pretty – and serve a purpose.  Hang a chime anywhere you’d like some fresh energy.  Every time you move past it, that pretty sound will also move the molecules around.

LEAKS, DRIPS, CHIPS  Leaks and drips drain your energy – literally and figuratively. Items that are held together by duct tape are just a big drag on your mood. Make a list of those things that are not in good condition and either fix, toss or replace them.

Really? Just give it up already….

KITCHENS AND BATHS  According to feng shui, these are the two most important rooms in the home.  The kitchen is where food is prepared (our microwaved, if its my kitchen), ensuring our survival; the bath is where we care for our bodies, and represents the state of our health.  Keeping these two rooms clean, tidy and with all appliances/fixtures in shipshape order will go a looooong way towards making you feel good.  NOTE:  keep the toilet lid down.  This symbolically keeps family finances from being “flushed away” [hey, that’s one way to get the men in your home to finally do it!]

BEDROOMS This is where we sleep and, uh, ya know…  That’s what it should be about – so TVs, iPads and other distractions interfere with those two main objectives.  Feng shui says that the electrical energy of these items will keep you awake all night, even if only on a subconscious level.  So if you can’t ditch them altogether, store them in a cabinet or armoire. NOTE: if your own love life is lacking, encourage a fresh shot of “sumpin’ sumpin’” by getting new sheets.

….a little of THIS guy’s music couldn’t hurt either….

CLUTTER—THE BIG “NO NO” As I mentioned, feng shui is all about the free flow of energy through a space.  So clutter is not cool (another reason I just did my own closet purge).

This not Feng Shui. This is A Cry for Help.

You know how great it feels after you’ve done a major spring cleaning?  That’s what you’re going for.  Start with closets and cabinets; clearing out those little energy suckers will inspire you to go room by room until your whole house is Feng Shui Fabulous.  Or at least a little cleaner.  Have a Jello Shot to celebrate!

*One book I like is Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life/Karen Rauch Carter or anything on feng shui by Lillian Too.  She’s written a ton of books.