It’s that time of the year when families are anticipating the start of the school year with either cheerful enthusiasm or a sad goodbye to a fun and unforgettable summer. It may trigger the occasion to see the family doctor or dentist for a check up prior to a family member resuming a full academic schedule. Health and wellness doesn’t stop with a daily vitamin or meals rich with organic vegetables and low-fat protein. Your environment is also a direct connection to healthy living, and now is a good time to look at your surroundings to see if necessary changes are needed to rejuvenate your spirit and nourish your soul.
Feng Shui teaches us the importance of cultivating good physical health as a solid foundation to nurture good family relationships and friendships. The healthier we are, the more we feel like participating in family activities, walking the dog, traveling and socializing with friends. As a direct result, the healthier our relationships are, we draw in their loyal support and friendship when challenges present themselves. Unexpected problems can surface much like a hurricane can develop just when you booked your fall vacation. We survive the turbulent times best when we are physically and emotionally strong.
One of our greatest challenges is to simplify our lives by organizing our possessions. My dad’s garage is a sea of tools, boxes, and things to be “fixed.” I dread going in there to retrieve any item I had been sent in to fetch, for fear of never finding my way out! You can begin to tackle the chaos of any room, including the garage, by setting up a system. Start with three boxes and label them: to be repaired, to gift away, and to consolidate or move to better location. Your fourth “box” is a garbage can to throw away anything that you deem as “junk” or is not recyclable. Now you are ready to face the de-clutter process by deciding immediately that you are only going to live with the basics. We can all live without much of the contents we have accumulated in our home and “downsizing” is a way to streamline your life.
As you select a room that needs the most attention, remember that you can start with one drawer and devote 15-30 minutes on the process. Small steps ease the mundane task at hand and once you get into it, you’ll find it therapeutic! You might discover the set of keys you misplaced or old letters and photographs that bring back special memories. It’s easiest to take everything out of a drawer and put back in only what is essential. Use your labeled boxes to get rid of possessions you no longer find are functional or that you don’t really need. A good way to evaluate each item is to ask yourself each time you pick something up, “Do I love it? Do I need it? What positive or negative thoughts or memories do I associate with it? Is it time to let it go, and sell, lend, or gift it away?”
Once a drawer or closet is empty, it’s a good opportunity to add shelf paper, paint a dingy closet and organize your stuff by grouping like items in containers. For closets, group your clothes according to season, and by color. You will find a sense of order and calm if you choose the same kind and color of hangers, and group all the clothes facing in the same direction. When it’s time to get dressed in the morning, you will easily find everything by the color coordination and enjoy the timesaving treat that all articles are clean, repaired and ready-to-wear.
With your box of “gift” away possessions, you now have an opportunity to turn what you consider your disposable items into treasures for someone else. Make an appointment for a charitable organization to pick up your items, arrange for a yard sale, or simply “gift” forward to a friend or relative something they may need. This process creates room for something new to come into your life, as the ripple effect attracts positive opportunities.
Having the constant reminder of repairs that need to be done takes valuable time away from enjoying life to its fullest. It’s also perpetuating negative thinking each time you give attention to a task that has not been completed. By grouping all of the repairs needed on a notepad, you can decide what can be done immediately with tools and supplies you already have on hand, and what you would need to purchase to finish the job. Once you tackle the repair list and restore it’s function, the reward is knowing that every item can be used to its intended purpose and your creative expression can be used in other ways to enhance your life.
Cleaning and maintaining your home will become much easier when you have less clutter to work around. Simple arrangement of your furniture and accessories keeps the cleaning process manageable. Of keen importance to healthy living is having natural light add warmth to you house. Clean windows play a key role in creating a bright feeling and adding good cheer to any environment. Clean to a sparkle, inside and out, and remove all things from the windowsill to give way to an uncluttered and peaceful view of your exterior “living” art, especially if you have a great view.
Live plants are valuable energy enhancers when they are healthy and vibrant. Not only do they add beauty to your home; they provide us with the fundamental benefit of cleaning the air around us. Choose plants with a friendly appearance such a jade, fichus, and palms. Avoid plants with unfriendly appearance or that are prickly in the line of traffic flow that can scratch when people pass by. Be sure to keep plants healthy and change the soil yearly to insure the plant’s growth and contribution to your overall energy and vitality. Silk plants are an alternative as long as they look healthy and alive. Use a blow dryer to dust silk plants on a regular basis to restore their appearance and replace them every 18-24 months, as they lose luster after a period of time.
If you feel overwhelmed at the prospect of organizing and eliminating clutter, ask for the help of a friend or family member. Or, if you are just too busy, hire a professional organizer to help you. Your good health is the key to maintaining the foundation for happiness. Your environment acts like a huge magnet or anchor, holding old energy and thought patterns in place. If you want to improve your health, take time to organize your possessions, and witness the transformation of creating space in your life for things you want to achieve. Feng Shui views your home as a living entity that you are either in harmony or discord with. What you keep around you needs to change and grow as you do, so that it reflects who you are. You can restore a sense of balance by using these simple Feng Shui principles.
For more information on Cheryl or Feng Shui, visit www.ggRedecorating.com