Creating Healing and Life-Affirming Homes and Work Spaces
The first article in this series focused on looking at the state of our homes, our offices, and our life style. It also focused on determining what you were already doing that promoted and supported your optimum health, and what you might want to change. This article takes us to the next step, and that is to pinpoint the areas of life that we want to change, and then to make some positive changes towards improving our optimum health in at least one area of our lives. As we move through the last few days of the Lunar Year of the Snake, we are shedding the last of what we want to leave behind before we set off in new directions as we enter the Year of the Horse. Use the time leading up to the new year, to get your home, your office, yourself, and your intentions in order. Start the new year, the Year of the Horse, in a state of happiness, good health, and clarity of heart, health, and mind. From positive conditions come more positive and harmonious experiences in all areas of life.
Assess your Needs. After considering how your home, your work space, and your current life are reflecting your health and happiness, you probably have some idea of what areas of your life need the most attention at this time. Our health and family sector is very important at this transition time, for without our health and without being in balance in our roles in our family, other areas of our lives suffer. Whatever area of your life you choose to make some improvements, consider also including the health and family center. Family is defined as whoever you consider family. It also includes your connection to the generations from the past and those to come that form your lineage.
Make a Plan. Begin by using the Bagua, the Taoist Cosmology symbol that uses the 8 trigrams that revolve around the Center. The trigrams represent the 8 aspects or areas of our life that include:
Wealth and Prosperity
Fame and Reputation
Love and Marriage
Health and Family
Center-Represents you and your home.
Knowledge and Self Cultivation
Helpful People and Travel
The Bagua is an essential tool for determining what areas of our life/home/office represent what area of your life. A simple way to make your own bagua is to draw a simple table that includes 9 spaces.
Wealth/Prosperity Fame/Reputation Love/Marriage
Health/ Family Center Children/Creativity
Knowledge/Self Cultivation Career/Life Purpose Helpful People/Travel
Imagine that you are looking at each room and each area of your house from a bird’s eye view. This will help you determine which area of each room is the focal point for say example, your Health and Family Relationships. The bagua can even be used on the micro level, of something like your desk or work surfaces. Decide which area or areas of your life you want to improve so as to create optimum health. The bagua (meaning 8 spaces) corresponds to the 8 areas of your life. The center of the bagua represents you and your life.
Make Peace. Making peace with the past is an important element of preparing for the new year. In all spiritual, religious, and cultural traditions, there are rituals for forgiveness and reconciliation. The process of forgiveness includes recognizing where we are holding onto emotions, memories, beliefs, feelings, and energetic connections to memories, relationships, people, and conditions where we no longer belong. It includes being able to face who and what needs forgiving in our lives, and what we need to forgive ourselves for as well. Whether you symbolically release the past in writing, art, prayer, affirmation or some type of ritual, pull your energy and attention out of those areas that drain or disrespect your life force.
Clearing and Cleansing. Begin your Feng Shui process by creating the best attitude and the best conditions for doing your clearing and cleansing. Set aside some time and prepare yourself to enter into the sacred process of creating a healthier space for yourself and others, in your home and work spaces. Clean yourself up, clean your spaces up, and enjoy the feeling of relief and affirmation that taking care of yourself and your space creates.
Honor and respect your space and time. Establish some basic practices for moving from one activity to another. Being more intentional with our time and space allows us to honor all areas of our life and work, and to be more mindful with how we live and use our time and space. For example, set aside time for nourishing yourself and taking breaks. Some of us become so obsessed with our work that we forget to take breaks, to eat properly, or to get enough exercise. Establish time to take walks, do yoga, swim as part of a daily routine. Make meals and nourishing yourself, including drinking enough water, important enough to be on your schedule. Dedicate different areas of the home as work-free zones, and if you work at home, establish how time and space is to be used and kept separate so that you give yourself clear distinctions between work and play, rest and activity. Take control of your own calendar, and schedule in time for what you need to live more harmoniously. Learn how to say “no thank you” so that you respect and honor your commitments and have time for what matters most to you. Consider whether or not you are so busy, even in your down time, that you are constantly exhausted or feeling pulled in different directions? If this is the case, you need to start saying “No thank you. I already have plans.”
Develop Clean up and Clutterfree Practice. Save yourself a great deal of wasted energy complaining, worrying, or obsessing over what you ‘have to do’. Instead, make it a habit to take care of clutter, messes, unfinished business, and ‘need-to-do’ lists now. Given that we all have the same amount of time in each day, in each year, we need to use our energy wisely. Right now thing of the 4 areas of your house/office that need immediate attention. You know what I mean. Those areas that you just keep putting off because the thought of doing it is already overwhelming? Name those areas now. I’ll start: 1) the casserole dish I’ve been soaking in the sink; 2) the bedding and my bed that need first aid; 3) The area under the kitchen sink that is getting messy; and 4) the dining room table that is starting to collect clutter. The areas I am no longer carrying around in my energy system include: my desk that is now rearranged, cleared and clean, and in a much better state than it was last week, the panty and refrigerator shelves, the bathtub and sinks, and the counter space (there actually is some) in the kitchen. No longer worrying about them because I took the little time it took to get them cleared of clutter, cleaned, and ready to use. It is such a relief. Build some practices into your daily life to take care of small issues before they become gigantic energy eaters. Build the good habits to replace the ones that are not healthy or helpful. Make it a practice to do something about whatever is taking up space in your head, and let go of the limited beliefs that choke you off from your own life force. Breathe and do what you can, and let the rest go.
Release and Let Go. Let go of what you no longer need or can do. Stop pushing yourself to meet your own and others’ expectations of what is important. Reexamine what your core values and beliefs are, and then do what you can to live in accordance with those values and beliefs. And in particular, what beliefs and values do you hold about who you are, why you are here, what your purpose in life is, and who or what you are serving. If your energy goes only to one area of your life, you are out of balance. If you are in a job you hate, or hanging onto relationships that are neither healthy or viable, you are wasting energy and time. What are you doing that is life affirming, and what are you doing that is not? No matter how much you change your home or office or what spiritual practices and beliefs you hold, nothing will change for the better if you are going against your core beliefs of what you are worthy of and what you deserve to accomplish in your life. Do what you can before the new year begins, to focus your attention, intentions, and actions on honoring what is good and precious about yourself, your family, your life, your relationships with others, and then take a look at the bagua map and make some improvements in how your are organizing, maintaining, and using your space, time, and the resources in your environment.
Be Open, Receptive, and Grateful. As you prepare to greet the new Lunar Year of the Horse, be open, receptive tor that which nurtues your highest good and optimal health. Be grateful for your gifts, resources, talents, and abilities, and respect and honor those gifts. Be grateful and express it, to others and the gifts they have within them. Be present and grateful, and enter the new year ready to move forward with clarity, intention, and a clear heart and mind.
If you want to get a Bagua and other Feng Shui supplies or books, visit Luminata Books and Gifts in Monterey on Cass Street, and owner, Emory Michael will have just what you need.