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Feng Shui for Summer travel and entertaining.

Catherine Al-Meten

As the school year winds down, the seasons near the changing point, and the days grow longer, we are beginning our summer life style. Many have already begun traveling, and others of us are preparing for the arrival of guests. How do we prepare ourselves to travel and to entertain in a Feng Shui-friendly manner?

How to be the perfect guest and traveler.

When we travel, we are often out of our comfort zone for long periods of time. When we are at home, we have some control over our environment, but when we travel we often find ourselves in circumstances that are not only draining but also difficult to adjust to. Some ways that we can travel and be the perfect guest include remembering the following:

Cultivate a positive, clear inner Feng Shui presence. It is vital that we maintain positive energy with our moods, emotions, attitudes, and behavior while we are traveling and when we are a guest in someone else’s home.
Maintain a clear, clean, and neatly organized space. When we are a guest in someone’s home, we need to maintain the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene. If we have a closet or drawers to put our clothes, keep them orderly and neat. If we are living out of our suitcases, organize and maintain them in a way that keeps your clothes and possessions neat and organized, and that is as inconspicuous as possible.

Keep your luggage and travel items in good order.Avoid leaving suitcases open and overflowing, and make sure to keep your dirty laundry in a hygienic place.
Take care of personal hygiene. Arrange to do you laundry regularly so you don’t leave dirty clothes around. Inside someone’s home, take your shoes off and wear socks or nice house slippers or flip flops (not your ratty bunny slippers) so as not to track dirt in the house. Have travel gear that protects your personal items, and carry medications, and special items (like sugar substitutes, kleenex, shampoo, hair dryers, and other special need items) with you. I do not expect my host to supply me with items I insist on eating or using. Talk to your host about what schedule they would like you to observe if you share a bathroom.

Light, air, and space. If you have problems getting fresh air, enough light, or space, use some Feng Shui tools to help you meet such challenges. Carry some crystals with you to keep in the space you use. The colors, white, gray, and black in the northwest corner (travel and helpful people) will help create greater harmony. Keep a small container of salt to help absorb negative energy in the room where you sleep. Get out and walk regularly while visiting, and if possible, air the space out. Carry a travel lamp with you, and you might also have some favorite stones and shells to bring positive energy into any space you stay in.

Be a thoughtful guest. Take your host a special gift or get a gift before you leave to show your appreciation for their hospitality. I like to take something to share (a bottle of wine, some flowers or a plant, or something I know the person likes—a special tea or candy). While I’m a guest, I offer to prepare a meal or two, to give my host a break from having to provide all the meal preparation. I get the groceries I will need, and fix something I know they like. If you don’t like to cook, you may take your host out to dinner or do something special to show your appreciation.

How to be the perfect host
To prepare for a summer of relaxation and enjoyment, including house guests, maintain good positive energy in your home.

Being a good host.

Create a nice space for guests. When expecting guests, prepare the house ahead of time, keeping in mind the need your guests may have for storage, closet space, and space and time for privacy.

Provide necessitites. Set out towels, sheets, pillow cases for guests. Let them know where to find items they may need. I always keep several new tooth brushes, small tubes of tooth paste, and assorted teas for guests. You might want to provides something you know your guests enjoy, like a type of tea or coffee, wine, or special dish.

Make guest feel at home. Show guests where they can find things, including: glasses and cups, silverware and dishes, water for drinking, tea and coffee, and let them know what is available for their use. If you are on some kind of schedule, let them know what your needs are (for example, need to leave for work at a certain time, meals will be ready at scheduled times, or days/times you will be or will not be available for entertaining. Provide a house key if you plan on being away during their stay. If you are sharing your internet access, make certain your guest has a link for their use.

Acquaint guests with your area. Provide your guests with maps, information about public transportation (local bus stops, taxi #s, or nearest stores), and show them around enough so that your guests can find important places (coffee shops, banks, pharmacy, library, museums, and local attractions).

Be thoughtful of your guests. Find out something that your guests enjoy, and then plan to include that in their visit. For example, you may prepare a meal they like, or arrange a visit to a special place, a hike, or a walk along the seaside or river. You may introduce your guests to local talent and art (attend local art walks, musical performances, or theater productions). Do something that is unique to your community.

Maintain positive energy, and keep your mood upbeat, your attitude open and friendly, and keep your emotions in check. If things do not go as well as you would like, learn to be accepting and carry on knowing that a calm demeanor and accepting attitude can go a long way to smooth ruffled feathers. Inner Feng Shui is as important as the Feng Shui of working with energy in your physical surroundings.

Remember the symbol for Heaven, that place of peace and harmony, is Chien, three unbroken lines one atop the other. Chien represents a solid foundation, inner life, and connection with the Universal energy. It is similar to the triangle which represents a solid, basic structure and strength. We carry the concept of heaven and strength within us, and we carry that concept wherever we go.

Regardless of where we are, we can create balance and harmony. While sometimes we create inner order by rearranging, clearing, or working with the energy around us, when we are traveling, hosting guests, or living through other conditions that can be challenging, we can remember that we are capable of creating peace and order through our attitudes, thoughts, and focus, and by acknowledging and learning to work with any negative emotions or upsets that arise in our lives.

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