My kitty Oreo has this little habit. He jumps from the
coffee table onto my chest (ouch) as I lay on the sofa then crosses over my
tummy, down to my feet, back to the coffee table. Rinse and repeat. Several
times. Then he settles down for a nap by my side.
Other times, my cat Pyewacket endlessly circles the house.
Like 3 or 4 full circles. Do any of your critters do similar? They’re not just doing aimless antics – they
are helping your home’s energy (and yours).
Animals are highly sensitive to, as they say in Star Wars,
a “disturbance in the force.” When something is subtly off kilter, they will
use their unique power to help re-establish the balance. This can be in a
physical space or a physical body; how often do you find a pet curling up next
to you when you’re feeling under the weather?
You might notice that, after a visitor has been to your home
–even just the cable guy –your pet will walk around the space with a sense of
purpose. He/she is reestablishing the energy balance.
Animals are deeply sensitive to the vibrations that course
beneath our feet. They are closer to the ground, both literally and
figuratively. They are all about balance, so they utilize their unique radar to
seek out spots that need a reboot. For example, if you ever notice a cat who
has decided to crawl into a spot in your closet, he is sensing some stale
energy that needs to be broken up. They’re like little energetic housecleaners!
So next time there’s a change in your home, pay attention to what your pet is doing. And thank them for helping keep things in check.
This is the time of year when we start getting that “spring cleaning” itch. As the weather warms up, we want to open the windows and let in some fresh air, banishing the stale old winter vibe. You can tell when a room “feels” funky, can’t you? I know I sure as heck can. So cleaning — spring or otherwise — has a calming, healing effect on us.
Whenever you’re vacuuming, washing windows or flipping a mattress, you’re doing a version of “space clearing,” moving molecules (not to mention cat hair) around. But there are some other tools you can add to your bucket to really bring some energetic freshness to a space. Here’s what I like to use.
SAGE: This is the classic clearing tool, breaking up anything negative and resetting things back to neutral. You can buy sage in several forms, but I like the stick form myself.
Sageing – or “smudging” as its often called — is easy. Light the end of the sage bundle, then blow out the flame. The sage will begin to smoke. I go room by room, walking in a counterclockwise motion and moving the bundle up and down to thoroughly cleanse the area (in nature work, counterclockwise is the direction used to reverse or undo something). I pay particular attention to corners, since stagnant energy can hang out there, just like dust bunnies. BIG SAFETY NOTE: Keep a fireproof container under the sage, to catch any random sparks. You can use a shell, like this:
I carry a ceramic dish filled with sand under my sage stick; when I’m done, I extinguish it by grinding it into the sand.
When smudging, open a window to carry the stale vibes out of the room. Oh, and one more note: sage smells kinda like pot. So be prepared for some funny looks from your neighbors. And maybe a Cheech and Chong joke or two.
SALT: Salt has long been known for its power to ground energy and keep negativity away. After a good vacuuming, I’ll put a pinch of sea or kosher salt in the corners of a room. You can also sprinkle a bit near your front door to keep bad vibes from entering your home or office.
SOUND: I love the sound of bells and chimes. There are windchimes all over my backyard — and a few in my house, too. Chimes have the power to break up stale energy. Tibetan singing bowls can do that, too when you use them in a space clearing.
I’ve gotten so many questions on how to make the bowl” sing,” and there is a trick to it, so here’s a quick how-to demo (and please pardon my Bad Hair Day)….
Once you’ve gotten the bowl to sing, walk around the space counterclockwise, hitting corners and closets to break up old energy. If you don’t have a bowl or bells, clapping your hands can also clear a space.
WATER: We wash our faces, dishes, clothes, floors and dogs with it. And it clears away energy funk nicely, too. I fill a spray bottle with water and a drop or two of lavender oil (just ’cause it smells nice). Then I hold my hands over the bottle, putting an intention into it to purify whatever it touches. I spray this energized water into the corners of a room, again moving in a counterclockwise direction.
Anyhoozle, doing a regular space clearing will make a huge difference in how things flow. People will be less cranky, animals will behave a little better , everyone will just feel …better. And by the way, don’t limit these techniques to your home. Clearing your office and your car, anywhere you spend a lot of time, is a good habit to get into.
So put down the Swiffer and get your sage on, already. ‘Cause this is the only kind of funk you want around you…
Any other ways you get rid of unwanted funk? Share it in the comments!
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?
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.
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.
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).
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.