Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Five Books I've Loved Lately

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

Did you ever see this Ted talk about shame and vulnerability? I did, and loved it, and then was overjoyed to discover this book (thanks to my friend Natasha) that went into the concepts more fully. This book helped me to open my heart, feel my feelings, and generally live a braver and more fulfilling life. (So basically all the things you'd want out of a book.)

The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level

This book is about how we can consciously evolve into a constant expansion of positivity and positive experiences. Based on research and experience as a psychologist and business coach, Gay Hendricks discusses our human tendency to expect failure and challenges, and shows us exactly how we can recognize this tendency and let it go. One of my favorite parts of the book is something he calls the "ultimate success mantra," which is: I expand in abundance, success, and love every day, as I inspire those around me to do the same.

E (Squared): Nine Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality

Now that we have quantum theory, the whole Law of Attraction thing (which so many of us have known inherently to be valid) has so much more potential for scientific explanation. And it is fascinating! Especially when Pam Grout leads you through exercises that prove unequivocally that our thoughts do indeed create our reality. More scientific than spiritual, and more irreverent than sacred, this book is a must for anyone who would like a clearer understanding of exactly what the Law of Attraction is and how it works.

At Home with Madame Chic: Becoming a Connoisseur of Daily Life

Jennifer L. Scott, blogger at The Daily Connoisseur and author of Lessons from Madame Chic, has done it again! I love this book about living everyday, and performing everyday tasks, with reverence, mastery, and joy. Because you know that a book is right up my alley when it not only counsels that we eat our lunch mindfully and meditatively, but also shows us ways to interweave joy into our everyday tasks and coaches us in folding towels like they do at the Ritz!

The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself

Speaking of Jennifer L. Scott, she's the one who told me about The Untethered Soul! And I'm so glad she did. You know how sometimes a book just hits you? It's the right book at the right time for the head space you're in? The Untethered Soul was that for me. It helped me take a step back from the "little me" and connect with the eternity beyond and behind all the little finite experiences with which the ego tends to identify. And I mean, connecting with eternity: what could be better than that?

Monday, November 3, 2014

Rosemary Blessing for Mind, Body, Spirit, and Home

Am I the only one who loves the beginning of November?

Samhain/Halloween is when the veil between the worlds thins. Then we have the Dias de los Muertos, as well as All Saint's and All Soul's Days (November 1 and 2), when beloved beings who have crossed over are honored, as they are perceived to be more substantially present in our world of form during this time.

And then we have today, and the following couple of weeks. Daylight Savings time has drawn to a close as we continue to sink cozily into the darker, colder half of the year. The Halloween decor has come down, and yet the winter holidays have not yet arrived. Thanksgiving plans and holiday preparations are still a comfortable distance in the future.

Now is not a festive or a flashy point on the Wheel, but I think it's just divine. It's a time for letting go of the extras and reveling in elegant minimalism. It's a time for raking leaves, cleaning behind the sofa, donating clothes and food to shelters and other charities, and for generally getting the clutter out of your mind, body, and spirit. And, as a subtle and humble genesis of a new cycle, it's also a time for blessing your home, kindling hearth fires, creating space and stillness within and around you, and celebrating all the simplest and most wonderful things there are: friends, family, shelter, warmth, food, silence, and the essential joy of being alive.

So here's a little outline for how you might go about riding this particular energetic tide by performing a comprehensive blessing ritual. In a relaxed way, and as the opportunities arise (even over the span of a few days to a week, if desired), do the following:

1. Clear your clutter, pare down your belongings, and donate the extras.

2. Clean your house thoroughly.

3. Light a white candle and take a sea salt bath, into which you've added a bit of sea salt, a few sprigs of fresh rosemary and/or a few drops of essential oil of rosemary (if you're not too sensitive).

4. No matter what the weather is like, stand outside for at least a minute or two (bundling up if necessary), letting the open air cleanse and recalibrate you, aligning you with the energy of this moment in time. Also let the weather and celestial bodies add their unique flavor to this cleansing, whether this involves sunshine, moonlight, starlight, clouds, rain, snow, wind, breeze, or stillness.

5. Safely smudge with a bundle of dried white sage (carry a dish underneath), or mist with rosewater into which you've added essential oil of sage, cedar, or eucalyptus. Move in a counterclockwise direction throughout each room and area of your home, paying special attention to the front door area. Open the front door and smudge it inside and out, and also smudge the threshold itself.

6. Bless your home by anointing the front door with essential oil of rosemary. Place a drop or two in a central location just above the outside of the front door as you say, "This home is filled with happiness, love, abundance, and luck." Then move through your home, repeating this process (anointing and saying the blessing) with each interior and exterior door and entry.

7. Finally, stand in a central location. Place your hands in prayer pose, close your eyes, and visualize your home completely filled and surrounded by a sphere of blindingly bright white light. Say, Thank you, thank you, thank you. Blessed be. And so it is." Briefly kneel or sit down and place your palms flat on the floor to ground any excess energy.

Enjoy this time of minimalism, generosity, warmth, and introspection!

Many Blessings,

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

GREAT GIVEAWAY: 2015 Llewellyn's Annuals

Happy Autumn Equinox!

I have an abundance of 2015 annuals (in which articles I wrote appear), and I feel like giving some away to TWO lucky winners - might you like to enter to win either of these lovely prizes? 

The grand prize will be SIX annuals. These ones, to be exact:

And the second prize will be THREE annuals. These ones:

To enter, simply follow the directions in the widget below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, September 21, 2014

"What If My Relationship Corner Is in The...?" (Feng Shui Solutions for Every Love Corner)

As you may be aware, I am of the "don't panic" school of feng shui. Because, hey: if you find yourself panicking about anything feng shui-related, you know that feng shui is doing the absolute opposite of what it's supposed to do: chill you out and activate positive flow.

That's why I wanted to write this post. I often get concerned emails from people who think it's possible that their love corner is in the wrong place. But guess what: there's no such thing! Wherever you are is exactly perfect for you right now, and no matter what, there is always something that you can do to improve the flow and get into an even more positive momentum.

[Quick note to those who are wondering what the love corner even is and where it may be in your space: you might want to watch this video. You can also find more detailed info in the DIY Feng Shui Series.]

So, without further ado, here are all the places your love corner may be, and what you can do about them:

Bedroom: Consider warm, deep red for the bedding, and/or pink, peach, white, and cream. Sensual textures, ambient lighting, and romantic images of couples or pairs of things (such as two trees or two animals who appear to be in a loving relationship) are ideal.

Romantic imagery is always a good plan
Bathroom: Consider painting pink or pale peach, if possible. Then add a romantic image or two, and perhaps two plants, two candles, and/or two rose quartz hearts.

Office: If it doesn't feel good to switch the office and the bedroom, just make sure to keep only romantic imagery on the walls, and frame a picture of you and your partner (if applicable) for your desk. Warm and romantic colors like red and pink are ideal, as are pairs of things like two plants or two rose quartz hearts.

Kid's Room: If it doesn't feel good to you to switch your kid's room for your own room, make sure to accentuate the other relationship corners throughout the house - i.e. the far right corner of each room when standing at the main door to the room, facing in. You might, for example, place some kind of romantic accent, such as two plants, a romantic statue, or two rose quartz hearts in each corner. (Select according to what feels right in each room.)

Simple solution: a pair of rose quartz hearts
Guest Room: If it doesn't feel right to move your own bedroom into the guest room, or at least to change your guest room into an office or meditation space (many people have guest rooms but rarely have guests), make sure the guest room feels very romantic, with Valentine's day colors, sensual textures, and romantic imagery. If you have a partner, you might also frame a picture of the two of you and place it in this room in order to symbolically occupy it with your energy.

Living Room: Excellent! Again, romantic imagery. Maybe pictures of you and your partner (if applicable) rather than family pictures. Also, be sure to cover the TV when it's not in use to discourage excess TV watching and to make sure that your primary relationship is not with the television.

Kitchen: Cozy it up! You might be noticing a theme here: warm and passionate colors and romantic imagery is best. Also, pairs of things: two candles, two towels, a romantic/whimsical salt and pepper shaker duo (you know, like in the shape of a pair of cats).

Dining Area: Create the visual affirmation of romance by having it ready for a romantic dinner for two. Two chairs in this area are far better than three, four, or any other number. (If you use more chairs regularly, however, keep them: I don't want you to inconvenience yourself for the sake of feng shui - again, that would be defeating the purpose!) Keep flowers on the table, and/or maybe a couple of red candles.

When possible, create a romantic affirmation or nook for two
Backyard: How about two trees, red and pink flowers, and/or a love seat or porch swing for two? Two chairs angled toward each other can also be a lovely affirmation of romance, or a romantic statue of some sort.

Deck/Patio: Create a romantic nook for two, and make sure there is the option for ambient lighting. Red and/or pink flowers are great, and how about a fire pit?

Garage: Can you paint it pink or red? If you just wrinkled your nose in horror or shuddered at the thought of all that work, maybe just a romantic poster of some sort for a symbolic affirmation of romance. Also, make sure to keep that clutter cleared!

Laundry Room: Again, I would love for you to paint the laundry room pink or red: hey, why not? It's pretty casual as far as decor goes, so why not have a little fun? OK, if that doesn't sound good, how about just some romantic decorations, or even just one super romantic image on a postcard, taped to a cupboard to open your heart to love.

Closet: Feel like painting your closet red or pink? Doesn't that sound adorable? Not really? OK then, you might place a romantic postcard image in your closet, and be sure to keep it super clutter-free.

Outside of Floor Plan: If the relationship area is completely outside of your home, and you don't even have any outdoor space that you can designate, accentuate the love and marriage corners of each individual room and area (the far right corner of each room when facing the room from the main door to the room) with something romantic: a statue of a couple, a romantic picture, two plants, or two rose quartz hearts for example.

It's all about intention, and feeling! As long as you feel good in your space, and you have sufficient visual and/or energetic affirmations of a healthy and nourishing love life, you've got your romance energies flowing. Think quality (of the image/feeling/intention) rather than quantity.

Oh yeah, and for more love corner coaching, watch this video if you haven't already:

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