Feng Shui Tip for August. 26: 'National Dog Day'

How apropos that ‘National Dog Day’ falls during the traditional dog days of summer. If you suspect that Fido is overheated, don’t immerse him in cold water. The water trapped in the haircoat will warm and act as insulation against the cooling intent, actually working in reverse. Rather, station him in front of a fan and mist him with ice cold water. Do this briefly and then stop all cooling efforts — the process continues even after you stop. I cannot emphasize this enough. A very brief effort is all it takes to get a dog’s temperature down. Obviously, the best way to prevent overheating is to keep Spot in a controlled and cool environment. You’ll be the coolest owner around if you just do that.

By Ellen Whitehurst for Astrology.com


Love the Earth With Feng Shui

by Erica Sofrina

By Erica Sofrina,Founder of Earth Spirit Adventure Travel

In celebration of Earth day I thought I would talk about how important this element is a part of the ancient teaching of Feng Shui and give you some ways to celebrate this energy by bringing it into your home and life.

Every summer I take a group of people to the Big Island of Hawaii on what is called my Five Elements Immersion Retreat. It is a way for people who yearn to experience their earth connection to spend 10 days opening to a deep and personal experience of water, earth, fire, metal and wood by being being taken into a powerful experience of them with some incredible teachers. One of my favorite parts is our earth adventure where we climb deep into an ancient Lava tube where we drum and open to the sounds of the earth. Our Hawaiian guide sings a hauntingly beautiful Hawaiian chant, and we begin to hear the voices of the ancestors. With each experience I gain a deeper understanding of our connection to mother earth and the wisdom she has to impart. Being in the earth like this and hearing the heart-beat of the drum , seems to awaken something deep within me that is beyond the limitation of words. I understand how we came from and go back to the earth and feel deeply appreciative that she continues to sustain us in spite of how we have abused her gifts to us.

In Feng Shui the Earth is represented by the TAI CHI (Yin and Yang) symbol and relates to our Spiritual, physical and emotional stability. It is about balancing the opposite forces in our lives and remaining grounded and centered. The Earth is a nurturing and stable energy and the hub around which all the areas of our life evolve.

Earth is the base and considered the most stable of the Five Elements, the rest of which are fire, metal, water and wood.

The places we live and work are built from earthly materials such as wood, clay, brick, and stone. The foods we eat that nourish our bodies come from the earth.

When we want to get centered in our lives the best thing we can do is to get out into nature. No matter how we feel our energy field often comes back into balance by just spending 10 minutes in a beautiful natural setting.

When we can’t be in nature, wherever we are we can do a grounding exercise to connect us to the earth (found at the end of this article) When I do, my sense of stability is restored and what ever is going on in my life comes into perspective.

The energy of earth is downward as well as a gathering inward motion like the energy of the soil which holds things in place, making them more solid. It’s effect is one of nurturing, providing a sense of peacefulness and stillness.

Whenever we are feeling scattered in our lives we can also bring the Earth element into our homes. This is a part of the Five Elements practice that comes out of Chinese medicine and is at the heart of Feng Shui.

We can do this by adding squares and cubes, long flat horizontal surfaces and heavier objects. The colors would be the more ‘toasty’ versions of yellows, gold’s and earth tones. The materials that are more earthy would be materials that come from the earth such as tile, stucco, brick and ceramics.

The heavier the object looks, the stronger the Earth vibration. Cushy fabrics such as velvets, chenille and corduroy in earthy colors as well as earth-toned area rugs and carpeting will create a more earthy atmosphere.

Low ceilings will hold the energy in and give the room a calmer feeling as opposed to vaulted high ceilings that will life the energy upwards and energize it. We can visually lower the ceiling with fixtures and objects hung around the room at the same level, creating a ‘line between heaven and earth’. This will bring the energy back down into the space rather than sending it upwards as in a cathedral.

Bedrooms, Living Rooms, Dining Rooms, Family Rooms and Bathrooms are room that would benefit from having the calming influence of the Earth elements. Add colors and objects in earth tones and made of earth along with more muted lighting. Our earthy spaces should feel like we want to curl up by a fire with blanket, a hot cup of tea and just chill.

The Earth is at the center of the Bagua which is the map used in certain schools of Feng Shui to chart the energy centers of the home. The center of our home should feel solid, yet be open and uncluttered enough to allow the energy to flow easily around it.

For my readers who would like more information about the Bagua and how to apply it to your home floor plan click here for your own free Color copy with instructions.

I invite you all to spend some time this week connecting deeply to the earth. Walk barefoot on her, go for a hike, lay on your back and meditate on all of the bounties that she so graciously brings to us each day. Express your gratefulness for how abundantly provides for all of her children.

Grounding Exercise:

  • Take off your shoes and sit on the ground or floor in lotus position or on a chair with both feet planted solidly on the earth.
  • Envision a chord, like the roots of a tree, moving downwards from the base of the spine and/or from the bottom of the feet, deep into the earth. Spend some time envisioning them as they move through the earth pushing it aside and reaching deep into the center. Breath slowly and deeply in and out as you do so.
  • Once you feel your connection deep in the center you may want to envision wrapping them around a huge boulder for stability.
  • Feel the loamy rich brown earth energy coming back up from the center of the earth and entering your body through the base of the spine and/or the bottom of your feet.
  • Bring this energy slowly up into your body and feel it anchor in the heart area and move it around your body, feeling the healing energy stabilizing and connecting you.
  • Do this exercise for five or ten minutes whenever you feel scattered and disconnected in your life and see the difference it makes!

Erica Sofrina is the Founder of Earth Spirit Adventure Travel which takes people to powerful places like Bali and Hawaii to experience their Earth/Spirit connection. To find out more about Erica Sofrina’s Earth Spirit Adventure Travel Retreats click here.

Applying the Feng Shui Five Elements to Your Home

Applying the Feng Shui Five Elements to Your Home

  • Erica Sofrina

By Erica Sofrina- Author of Small Changes, Dynamic Results! Feng Shui for the Western World.

Bringing nature into our homes is a key component of the teachings of Feng Shui. The goal is to have all of the five elements of fire, earth, metal, water and wood balanced in every room of of our living space. By studying the Feng Shui Five Elements theory we can gain valuable insights as to why our lives are out of balance by looking at the elemental imbalances in our homes.

I have worked with many clients to improve their young children’s sleeping habits along with teens who were suddenly out of control. The culprit is often found in the elemental imbalances in their bedrooms. By bringing these into balance the child or teen comes back into balance as well. Clients think I have worked magic but I am merely applying these ancient, tried and true principles (also used in Chinese medicine) to physical environments.

The five elements can also be used in a powerful way to heal health issues, and to assist in personal growth. If we find we are staying ‘too small’ in our lives, our environment will often reflect too little of the wood element. We would want to both wear and bring into our living space objects and colors that reflect this element as shown in the chart below.

Please see the list on the next page of what the elements mean and what we experience when we have too much or too little of them in our lives and take advantage of my free offer to send you information about working with the elements at the end of this article.

If you are feeling over expanded and overwhelmed, you are experiencing too much of the wood element. In this instance you would benefit by bringing into your living space objects and colors that represent the element that cuts wood, which is metal. An example of too much of the wood element might be found in an all-green bedroom with floral prints and wooden furniture. What you thought would be soothing actually feels overwhelming.

The metal element is represented by white and cream colors, pastels, circular shapes, rocks and stones and metal. By changing the floral bedspread to a pastel or cream color and accessorizing with whites and pastels, you will begin to bring the room back into elemental balance.

Below is a Five Elements Map that will show you how they work together to balance each other.

The elements when closest to their natural state will contain the most vibrant ‘chi’ or energy. However, there are colors, objects and shapes that represent these elements as well. Some are subtle and some more obvious. A tall cylindrical shape (reminding us of a tree) represents the wood element, along with medium blues and greens, anything made of wood, plants and trees and pictures of them.

Here is a short summary of what we experience when the elements are out of balance:

Wood is about growth as reflected in trees and plants. We want the right amount in our environment, not too much or too little. Too much wood = over-expansion and overwhelm. Too little=staying too small. Bring in objects, shapes textures and colors of the metal element to cut the wood, or those of the water element to increase it if there is too little. See the controlling and nurturing cycles of the chart.

Fire is about passion. Too much, however will result in aggression and overly impulsive behavior. Too little will reflect as lack of enthusiasm, motivation and warmth. Add water to douse the fire when there is too much and wood to increase the fire when there is too little.

Earth is about staying grounded and being present. Too much= overly discipline and conservative. Too little= spacey, ungrounded as well as infertility issues. Add fire to increase it when there is too little and wood to decrease it when there is too much.

Metal is about mental clarity and determination. Too much= rigidity and inability to compromise. Too little=lack of back bone and indecisiveness. Add earth to increase it and fire to melt it when there is too much. There is a reason those who live in all- white houses tend to also be rigid… bring in fire and warm it up!

Water is about connection to spirit and synchronicity in our lives. Too much= not enough structure and being ‘wishy-washy’. Too little =the need to dominate, lack of flow and connection to spirit. Add metal to increase it and earth to dam it up when there is too much.

Please note that you can also just take away items in a particular element to decrease the amount of it in a space, or add it when you need more, you do not necessarily have to use the elements that either control it or nurture it.

I encourage you to learn more about these powerful concepts and utilize this powerful knowledge if you or your loved ones are experiences any of the imbalances as described above. I have seen profound shifts in my own life and those of my clients when applying these tried and true, age-tested principles that come out of the ancient practice of Chinese medicine and Feng Shui.