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A manual to help you
get back into balance

Our Feng Shui Cures for the Life Areas Book Comes with a Line of Healing Products Designed by Monica P. Castaneda and Bill Austin. To enter the store please click here.

Feng Shui Journeys for
the Nine Life Areas

What are Feng Shui Journeys?

Feng Shui Journeys consist of simple weekly assignments designed to be done in the recommended sequence to improve the circulation of chi energy (life force) in an area of the home related to a particular Life Area (check the graphic below).

To check out the journeys just click on the box with the name of the Life Area you are interested in and it will take you to the set of instructions for that particular journey.

TESTIMONIAL: Remember the instructions get a picture of you at your earliest childhood and put it in the left corner over your desk for affluence [Spring Journey for Wealth]? Sure enough, I just celebrated my 80th birthday with a surprised visit from two long time friends from Sitka Alaska and having only one bedroom here, Two Motels about two blocks from here had our friends and my youngest son and mate for my birthday. All took off for Thanksgiving and Carl's friends returned to celebrate his 59th. It was the most wonderful time in years and gifts galore from everyone. I told Jo, 'See that picture on the left hand corner. It is supposed to be lucky for money. I think it is lucky for bringing back the past good times and memories which is a wealth in itself, plus the realization of how wealthy someone can feel with so many people who love you. The whole house is rich with benefits that will always be remembered. Thank you for your suggestion. Love.

Defiance,
Oregon Shore

OR CLICK ON A LIFE AREA TO FIND THE RELATED JOURNEY
ONE STEP TO CONNECTING WITH YOUR LIFE MISSION

(The best timing for this is in the early Winter)

Take a one hour walk, by yourself and in silence (no companions, no walk-mans!).

It is better that you walk outdoors, properly dressed so you will be comfortable in cold weather. If you have no other choice, you may walk at in indoor track or at your local mall, you might even walk on a treadmill.

When you are done with your walk, read this out-loud one time:

The Creator [or God] has designed

the Perfect Occupation for Me.

It fills my heart with joy,

It gives peace to my mind,

And is a pleasure to perform.

I am Happy,

I am Thankful

I am Safe.

If due to your belief system you feel uncomfortable with the term "Creator" you can replace it with the following alternatives:

- "God has designed..."

- "The Universe has designed..."

- "Life has designed..."

- "Love has designed..."

Make no other substitutions to the text.

TWO MONTHS [FIVE WEEKS] TO ENHANCED LOVE RELATIONSHIPS

If you are not currently involved in a romantic relationship but would like to have a loving partner, go ahead and follow the advice in this journey. In Feng Shui we believe that creating the right environment for love helps attract it.

THE BEST TIMING FOR THIS JOURNEY IS THE LATE SUMMER

WEEK ONE:

Argument Breeders

There are certain features in a home that remind the unconscious mind of potential dangers and in doing so create a mild state of irritability. This can in turn increase the tensions within the home. That is why these features are called "argument breeders."

NINE ARGUMENT BREEDERS

1. An entryway or hallway that is too narrow or constricted (it is a place for potential collisions). A big mirror may ease the impression of closeness, light colors and artwork of landscapes will help too. Avoid placing any kind of furniture where people could bump into.

2. Doors that open against one another so that their door knobs hit each other. You can paste up rubber stops on the doorknobs to cushion the clash, or, if it is convenient to keep these doors open, you may tie the knobs together with a red ribbon of length in multiples of 9"

3. Doors that squeak. Oil the hinges.

4. Drawers that get stuck, are too full or do not close properly. Fix them or clean them up.

5. Element conflicts, especially in the kitchen, when the sink (water) is too close or in front of the stove (fire). Hang a 40 mm crystal sphere from the ceiling in between the sink and stove. You can find these crystals on my website for only $15!

http://www.fengshuiforus.com/Pages/Marketplace.html#Anchor-FACETED-37516

6. Furniture with sharp edges where people get hurt when they aren't paying attention.

7. Artwork with violent themes or content, this includes abstract art when the lines are too chaotic or form sharp angles.

8. Cabinet doors, closet doors and drawers that are left opened, toilet lid not put down.

9. Too much white (metal) or green (wood, tree) in the master bedroom, but even more so green and white combinations.


THIS WEEK'S ASSIGNMENTS:

Assignment #1:
Check out your home for argument breeders. Choose two you can work on to reduce or eliminate.

WEEK TWO:

What's behind... what's in front?

On the wall behind your headboard you should have something that is beautiful and so soft and light that if it ever fell on your head it wouldn't hurt you. Therefore mirrors, big paintings or photographs and shelves are big NO-NOs for that wall. Tapestry, posters and silk flower arrangements are adequate, as well as two oriental paper fans, or one
oriental paper fan that has the image of two flowers or two birds.

Against the wall that you see in front of you when you are sitting up in bed there should be a piece of furniture no taller than the headboard of your bed. A love seat or sofa are good choices, as well as a low dresser (with no mirror, never place a mirror where you could see yourself from the bed). Above this piece of furniture place a beautiful poster, photograph or painting that both you and your partner LOVE. This helps the couple share the same viewpoint. If you are single, then choose an image you love and that you would like your partner to love too.

THIS WEEK'S ASSIGNMENTS:

Assignment #1:
Remove heavy items from the wall behind your headboard.

Assignment #2:
Visit an arts and hobby shop and choose an image you and your loved one would like to see when you first wake up and right before you fall asleep. Your assignment is to choose, not to buy. (whether you do or not, that is your choice)

WEEK THREE:

Marriage, Furniture and Appliances

Shortly after getting engaged or deciding to live together as partners, couples start thinking about furniture and appliances. The kind of furniture that you would get as an established couple is quite different from what you would get as a student getting through college, or a single person setting up a first apartment. It is especially important that the furniture in the
master bedroom reflect the couple's intentions for their relationship.

The basics of Master Bedroom Furniture:

- It should last a long time, just as you want your marriage/relationship to last for the rest of your lives. This doesn't mean that you cannot change furniture over time if you want to change styles or upgrade, but from the beginning your furniture should look like it could last a lifetime.

- It is of higher quality, which often means it is more pricey than what you would have gotten as a single person.

- A couple's bed should be Queen or King size. Twin beds, even if pushed together to resemble a king size bed carry the intrinsic idea of separation. A full size bed is really for a single person [who might have an ocassional lover visit], but not wide enough for an established couple.

- A headboard, wooden, solid and with rounded edges adds stability and comfort to the bed and the relationship.

- The bed and mattress should have no history of past relationships.

- It is best if night stands match the headboard, but in any case they should match each other or be similar in size and functionality.

THIS WEEK'S ASSIGNMENTS:

Assignment #1:
Does the furniture in your master bedroom reflect your wish for a loving, equal, long lasting relationship? If it looks like a room in a college dorm or if it looks like it is a single person's bedroom, then those are signs that you need to change the symbolic language of your bedroom. Your first assignment this week is to assess your bedroom furniture. If the result is
not satisfactory, then check out prices, preferably at stores but you can also do it online, of your dream bedroom furniture. Please keep in mind that your assignment is not to purchase, but just to price the furniture.

WEEK FOUR:

"Romantic clutter"

Clutter is never beneficial, but some kinds of clutter may affect a certain life area more than others.

In the case of Marriage, Relationships and Partnerships, these are the items that can block the flow of chi in this life area:

- Love letters/special ocassion cards from a past romantic interest kept in the home.

- Teddy bears, Valentines or any other knick-nacks given to a person by a love of the past.

- Photographs of previous marriages/relationships [except in the children's bedrooms].

- Gifts imposed upon either partner by a third party, including parents and in-laws.

- Romance books that give an unrealistic depiction of love, and that may make real relationships seem uninteresting or dispassionate or too conflicted in comparison.

THIS WEEK'S ASSIGNMENT:

Let go of any and all romantic clutter you may find in your home. Photos of a previous failed marriage can be given to the children. Photos or mementos of a highschool sweetheart can be kept at a parent's or another relative's place if they seem to you too important to give up. The thought or belief that clutter can be beneficial in any way is as thinking that kidney stones
could somehow be benefitial to the kidneys or that a fibrome is beneficial to a woman's womb.

WEEK FIVE

The Relationship Corner in the Master Bedroom

Stand at your master bedroom's door looking towards the inside. The
relationship corner is the farthest corner to the right. It is very powerful
to enhance that corner in this room in addition to enhancing the corner that
represents relationships for the whole house.

THIS WEEK'S ASSIGNMENT:

Enhance the relationship corner in the Master Bedroom with one of the
following:
- A picture of you and your partner where you both look handsome and happy.
- A painting/poster of a romantic couple.
- A figurine/small sculpture of an embracing couple.
- Two small square ceramic boxes, either in pink or yellow.
- A vase with two roses.
- A pair of crystal hearts.

THREE WEEKS TO ENHANCED HEALTH AND FAMILY RELATIONS

(The best timing for this journey is the early Spring)

FIRST WEEK
The welcome rug is a necessity, a transition between the outside world and our homes. When we see it we pause and wipe our shoes. We realize there are things that we track from the outside that should not come into the house or apartment. Symbolically, it is a ceremony that helps us make the shift between out-of-home and at-home activities and it also helps us leave behind energies that do not belong in the home.

The welcome rug should welcome us. In order to do this it should be in good condition and it should look pretty.

ASSIGNMENT FOR THE THIRD WEEK:
Check the condition of your welcome rug. Maybe it needs replacing, maybe it
needs to be cleaned. By next Monday your main entrance should have a pretty
welcome rug that is in good condition, it doesn't have to have the word
"welcome" printed on it, but if it does the letters should point towards the
outside so that you can read them as you come in. If yours just needs
cleaning, then that won't cost you any money, and if it needs replacing you
may spend from 7 to 30 dollars, depending on your choice. Remember that Feng
Shui doesn't have to be expensive, but if you do have to buy a new welcome
rug, get one you like, do not base your choice on cost.
SECOND WEEK
CHECK IN FOR LAST WEEK'S ASSIGNMENT:

Does your main entrance now have a pretty welcome rug that is in good condition and clean?

SECOND WEEK:

Health and Family are closely related, they are the background of your strength. A key element of health is nutrition.

ASSIGNMENT FOR THE SECOND WEEK:

This week clean and organize your pantry. If you do not have a pantry, clean and organize three cabinets where you keep food. Be mindful to throw out any food that has gone bad or is past its expiration date.

THIRD WEEK
CHECK-IN FOR LAST WEEK'S ASSIGNMENT

Did you clean and organize your pantry or three cabinets where you store food?

THIRD WEEK:

Think of your parents as you would of Ambassadors to the United Nations. Each of them represents a Nation of your genetic Heritage, the collection of experiences and information about the world passed on to you by many generations of Ancestors. No matter how difficult your relationship with the personality of the Ambassadors, do not reject your ancestral nations. Bitterness or resentment towards parents is bitterness and resentment towards the self.

ASSIGNMENT FOR THE THIRD WEEK:

This week, work to restore love and forgiveness in your original family relationships.

Choose one of the following three options of photographs:

- A wedding photograph of your parents

- A photograph of your original family (parents, siblings and yourself)

- Three baby photos, one of your father, one of your mother and one of yourself.

Put your choice of photograph(s) in a rectangular light green frame and place it in your dining room. The photograph should be no bigger than 5x7".

FOUR WEEKS TO INCREASED WEALTH

(The best timing for this journey is the late Spring)

I invite to walk with me in this path of improvement of the general level of energy in your home. I will give you an assignment for every week which will be simple, fun and effective. It will cost you little or no money.

No matter how desperate you may think your case is, just follow the simple instructions and fulfill the assignments.

Think about this journey as a game. These are the rules of the game:

- The assignments need to be performed in consecutive order to obtain the maximum results. If at any time you fall behind just continue to do them at your own pace.

- If you miss an assignment one week, you don't have to wait another week to catch up as long as you do the two assignments in the right order.

- I would love you to share any unexpected blessings you receive during this
period. Please share your feedback writing to monica@fengshuiforus.com
- If at some point I ask you, for example, to polish a door-knob you may feel like polishing all the door-knobs in your home. If this happens, go ahead, but stop as soon as you feel a resistance (tired, cranky, overwhelmed, or uncomfortable in any way).

- Follow the advice literally. No substitutions or interpretations. If you have any doubts, write to me asking for clarification.

FIRST WEEK
A required condition for the health, happiness, harmony and balance of a home is that of receiving plentiful quantities of meandering beneficial Chi (translated as Life Force).

Chi, being an intelligent, joyful force, is attracted to anything that would attract a toddler, mainly:

1 Things that shine
2 Things that move
3 Colorful things
4 Things that make some kind of noise
5 Life
6 Water
7 Mirrors
8 Light
9 Whimsical objects

Your assignment for WEEK 1 is to place a pretty object close to your main entrance on the outside. It doesn't have to be new, it doesn't have to be expensive, it just has to be pretty. It may even be a trinket you got at the dollar store. There is another requirement though: This object should be so pretty that a todler walking on the sidewalk (or hallway if it is an apartment building) would start pulling his or her caretaker's hand in order to take a closer look at it.

If at any time during this 10 week period the object gets lost or damaged in any way, you are to replace it immediately.

Suggestions of objects to place:
- flags
- mobiles or windchimes
- flowers
- plants in colorful pots
- garden art
- painted stones
- any other object that is pretty and attractive

If you already have a pretty object by your entrance, add another.
SECOND WEEK
CHECK-IN FOR FIRST WEEK'S ASSIGNMENT:

- Did you place a pretty object by your main door?
- Can it be seen from the sidewalk (or hallway if it is an apartment building)?
- Would a toddler be attracted to it?

Remember that we are using the toddler image as a way to remind us of the things that attract ch'i, the life force, so it doesn't matter whether any toddlers will get to see it or not.

If you placed something pretty but it cannot be seen from the sidewalk or hallway, or if the object would not attract the attention of a toddler you have still improved the Feng Shui of your entry, but you have not taken the first step in this journey.

WEEK 2: DECLUTTERING

Get ready for some major decluttering. Of course I'm kidding. Let's use the springy energy of the season to get started with a small decluttering project that might take from half an hour to two hours, so just in case set
aside two hours in your schedule this week to:

- Place a sheet or blanket on top of your bed, then gather ALL the contents of the top drawer on your night table and spread them out on the sheet or blanket.

- At a glance, remove and throw away any items that are indisputably trash (business cards of people you can't remember, invitations to events that already took place, odd pieces of paper, dress tags, etc.)

- Then choose one of the following tasks:

For extroverts:
• Invite a family member or close friend over and picking up each remaining object tell him or her why you had it in the top drawer of your night stand.

For introverts:
• Make a list of all remaining objects and tell yourself or write down the reasons why you've kept them there.

- When you are done, put back only the objects that are in good condition, the ones that you love and those you use.

- Find a place for all items which you do not put back in the drawer.

If your night stand doesn't have a drawer, choose another drawer in the bedroom.
THIRD WEEK
CHECK IN FOR LAST WEEK'S ASSIGNMENT:
Did you clean up and organize the top drawer in your night stand? Did you stop to tell yourself or another why you kept each item in that drawer? If you did, you have confronted one of the greatest organizational challenges in the home. After this, you should be able to tackle any decluttering project.

The way we relate to wealth and prosperity is closely related to our sense of self worth. Our sense of self worth is influenced by our reflection in the mirror. Any other person that looks at us knows what we look like, we don't. We have to rely on photographs and mirrors. Only the mirror gives us instant feedback on how we look.

We certainly don't have to look like movie stars or emaciated models. We don't have to fit any standard, but we do need to look neat and clean, wear colors that make us look healthy and vibrant or peaceful and calm, feel the comfort of nice materials on our skins. We can do this no matter what style of clothing we prefer.

ASSIGNMENT FOR THE THIRD WEEK:

Your assignment for the third week is to try on every garment in your closet and let go of any item that does not look good on you.

Here are some points to consider when doing this:

- you don't like the color or it doesn't suit you
- the material feels uncomfortable
- it doesn't fit properly
- it used to be beautiful... a long time ago
- it looks old, faded or dirty (if it cannot be cleaned up)
- it is torn and you won't or can't fix it

Don't fall for these common excuses:
- "this is my only coat" (or jacket, or boots, etc.)
- "this is ugly but so comfy"
- "my wife (or mother, or aunt, or husband, etc.) gave it to me"
- "I might be able to fit into it some day when I loose/gain some weight"
- "it might be in fashion again one day"

Show no mercy for ugly clothing (that is, whatever you consider ugly, not what others tell you).

FOURTH WEEK

CHECK-IN FOR LAST WEEK'S ASSIGNMENT:

Did you let go of any clothing that doesn't look good on you? You have talked yourself into keeping some items that don't really belong in your wardrobe. You will probably notice them and give them away in the next few weeks. Make a habit of keeping only items of clothing that you love, that feel good and look good on you.

FOURTH WEEK:

Babies and toddlers have an innate sense of self worth. There was a time when we didn't doubt our own value, but between the ages of 4 and 10 we encountered criticism and suppression of our creativity. This suppression may have came from parents, caretakers, siblings or teachers. There is a part of our selves that always remains a child, all trust and love. That part may be hidden because of fear or a sense of worthlessness that we
learned during childhood.

ASSIGNMENT FOR THE SIXTH WEEK:

This week you will take your inner child out of the closet and unleash the creative forces that have been hiding within you.

Find a photo of yourself as a child, ages 4 to 10 preferably, and put it in a frame that you love now and would have loved as a child. The photo should be at least 3x4" and no larger than 5x7". The face should be at least one inch tall. Choose a photo where you look handsome and happy. If you can only find a photo where you are with other people get a copy made and crop the photo to show only your own image. Place the framed photo on the left back corner of your desk, or on the top left corner of your monitor. This is a powerful cure for wealth issues.

FIVE WEEKS TO INCREASED GRATITUDE - COMING SOON

A FENG SHUI JOURNEY: SIX WEEKS TO INCREASED SYNCHRONICITY

This journey activates the energy in Life Area #6: Helpful People, Spiritual Life and Travel.
The late Fall presents us with the perfect timing to start this journey.

Helpful People, Spiritual Life and Travel is also represented in the energy of the evening [bedtime] and the waning moon. It is ruled by the Metal Element.

The nature of metal is to Bend and Obey [visualize a sheet of foil, how easy it bends and takes shapes in your hands] and it is expressed in white and pastel colors, as well as in metallic shines. The shape that represents metal is the circle or the sphere. Solid stones like marble and granite are also part of the Metal Element.

When the energy of your life is flowing properly in this area you experience enhanced synchronicity, the ability to be at the right place at the right time.

Feng Shui Journeys offer you the opportunity of improving the conditions in a certain area of your life by doing "very little" and taking "small steps." The feedback provided from people who had followed previous journeys is astounding. "Very little" and "small" can take you places!

WEEK 1:

Helpful People, Spiritual Life and Travel works with the energy of Heaven, the realm of thoughts [as expression of the human spirit.] We tend to relate Heaven to things that are up high instead of things that are closer to the earth. We also relate the spiritual to Light.

This week look up at your ceilings and take a note of the light fixtures that need cleaning. Maybe you can even see the silhouettes of dead bugs through the glass. Choose at least one light fixture and clean it. [you can do more of course, clean all of them if you feel like it and can do it joyfully, but do not force yourself to do more than one]

Did you clean at least one light fixture? I hope you did. Maybe after doing that one you felt energized enough to do all of them, maybe you will do them later on in the Winter. If all you could do is just make a note of which light fixtures need to be cleaned, that is a step in the right direction.

TASK FOR WEEK 2:

Helpful People, Spiritual Life and Travel has synchronicity as its key word. Synchronicity has to do with time and timing and gears turning. Remember that in the TV series "Mission Impossible" the way to begin an important operation was to "synchronize the watches"?

Sometimes getting control of our lives and our chores and still keeping stress at a safe level seems like a mission impossible. It is even harder if you cannot trust the devices that you use to monitor time.

This week you are going to synchronize all the clocks and watches in your home, wrists, cell phones, electronic planners, computers and cars. Put simply: have them all show the same time. Which time? The RIGHT time of course!

If there is any device that cannot be synchronized with the others, either remove it from your home [say, for example, an old clock that cannot be fixed] or cover up the time display with some nice tape [for example, a vcr/dvd player that has a complicated time-setting procedure that turns itself off every time there is a power surge. However, consider plugging your vcr/dvd players to a battery backup system so that you can trust their display of time]

That's it for this week!

WEEK 3:

A Legacy of Six

Life Area #6 in Feng Shui, Helpful People Spiritual Life and Travel is related to all things from Heaven and it resonates with the number 6. In traditional Asian philosophy there are Six True Words or sacred vibrations [OM, MA NI, PAD, ME HUM] which are said to transform vices into virtues.

This week I want to invite you to say your personal six true "words" by making a list. This list is to be a gift for future generations, so as you write it, think of a child or young person you love and about the things that you have found to be truths in life FROM YOUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCE and that you would like to share with that young person. Now choose SIX books, authors or movies that pretty much summarize what you believe about Life.

WEEK 4:

Life Area #6, Helpful People, Spiritual Life and Travel, works with the energy of the Metal element. Metal bends and obeys, you can pretty much give metal any shape you want. One of the most positive symbols to associate with this Life Area is that of turning gears.

How are the gears turning in your life? Small annoyances or deficiencies in the way things run in our homes are equivalent to glitches in the function of those gears and cause difficulties. Fixing certain conditions or adding certain items to your home on the other hand can greatly increase your quality of life.

TASK FOR WEEK FOUR:
This week walk around your home and make a list of six small changes that might improve the quality of your life. This does not necessarily mean repairs, but small add-ons. For example, if you suffer from "seasonal blues" switching to full-spectrum light bulbs might be a small change that would greatly increase your sense of well being during the winter months. Or, if your skin and scalp feel dry and scaly, adding a chlorine filter to your shower head might give a greater sense of relaxation and relief to your daily life. If you feel lacking in energy, try adding some uplifting plants, those with tall stems and rounded leaves that point towards the sky are best.

Once you have made the list of six items that you believe would improve the quality of your life, choose one and find out what it would take and how much it would cost to get it done.

Until next week!

WEEK FIVE:

In Feng Shui, Life Area #6, Helpful People, Spiritual Life and Travel, represents our connection to the Spiritual from our present situation in the physical world. The feeling that most benefits this life area is that of TRUST. This is therefore, also the life area that has to do with prayer.

TASK FOR WEEK FIVE:
This week think of something wonderful you would very much like to have happen in your life but which you think is unlikely to happen in the near future. You may have the inkling that the thought of its being "unlikely to happen" does not help your purpose. This inkling is the first step in the right direction.

Now let's play a game.

FIRST, write down what it is you are asking from the Universe. Be precise. Ask for what you really want [not what it seems reasonable to ask for].

SECOND, imagine that you have received a letter from God [use the world Life if this feels better to you] telling you how glad the Creator is about your project and that Creation totally supports this endeavor. You are also informed that you can present this letter at any place in the Universe and that the Universe has been instructed to help you out and cater to your every wish. This is a Divine Carte Blanche.

THIRD, take a white, letter size sheet of paper and divide it into six. Cut the pieces [they should be rectangles that are close to being squares]. Now write down, one on each of those pieces of paper, what would be six early signs that it is true that the Universe is supporting your project. What could happen early on that would help you believe the Truth that the Universe is on your side?

FOURTH, cut out a square sheet of aluminum foil. With a marker, write down the words "From Highest Source for Highest Good" directly on the foil. Place your six pieces of paper one on top of the other, in the center of your square sheet of foil, then fold the foil over the pieces of paper from the four sides to cover them up. How easily metal "bends and obeys"!

FIFTH, place this wrapping inside a book that is sacred to you.

SIXTH, place this book on a high, protected shelf or in the place of your home that you have designated as sacred. Say a prayer, if you wish.

WEEK SIX:

In Feng Shui, Life Area #6, Helpful People, Spiritual Life and Travel, is ruled by the metal element. The color for the metal element is white, like spackle and caulk

TASK FOR WEEK SIX:

Spackle and caulk.

Recently a home inspector was telling me how distracted people get with cracks and crevices in homes during walk-throughs and we discussed how these details, which do not compromise the structure of a building and which are so easily fixed, can cause a person to not purchase a home or to make a lesser offer. They also drain the chi from the current occupants of a home.

This week get a tube of caulk or a container of spackle, or both, and see if you can take care of some of the cracks and crevices in your home, maybe you can even re-grout the edges of tubs, toilets and sinks/sink cabinets to give a renewed, fresher look to your home. Make sure to ventilate the area well or to use a respirator. As you do this, think about how the loving care of the Universe fills in the cracks and crevices of your emotions and restores TRUST to your life, for optimal spiritual growth and interior strength.

This concludes the current Feng Shui Journey towards higher synchronicity. As always, I would love to receive your feedback on how you benefitted from this process. monica@fengshuiforus.com

SEVEN WEEKS TOWARDS HEALING AND JOY

(The early Fall is the best timing for this)

There are no rules to follow, do what you can, when you can. However, you should know that the assignments have been designed to bring you the maximum yield with minimum effort if they are done in the order proposed. Getting them done within one week after you receive each assignment should be easier than establishing your own rhythm, because you will be tuning in to the energy of about two hundred people who receive this bulletin.

FIRST WEEK
This week search nightstand and dresser drawers, bathroom cabinets and drawers, kitchen cabinets and drawers and desk drawers for outdated medicines, vitamins and supplements. If you have a doubt throw it out. Get rid also of any unexpired medicines that were prescribed for a condition you no longer suffer from.
SECOND WEEK
This week your assignment is to purchase a hard cover notebook that you would have liked as a teenager. The pages of the notebook should be of a size big enough to fit your open hand. Estimated cost: $1 to $12 depending
of where you buy it. If you feel you are hurting for $$ you can get a notebook at a dollar store.
THIRD WEEK
This week's assignment is about keys. Start with your own keyholder. Are all the keys in your keyholder current? That is, are there all being used or are you carrying around the weight of keys whose locks don't even belong to you any more? (e.g. old keys to a home you have sold). If you find any that don't belong, toss them.
Then:
Take a look at the glove compartment of your car, night stand, desk drawers, dresser drawers and kitchen drawers and retrieve all keys you find. Find the matching lock or padlock for every key and try it once (open and close, or close and open). If there are any keys with no match, then toss those too.
FOURTH WEEK
This week, get the notebook you bought two weeks ago and walk around your home looking for items that are torn, broken or in of need repair. Write them down in your notebook. I suggest finding 7 items, include some that are very easy to correct and some that make you feel sort of overwhelmed or lost (as in not knowing how to deal with it, where to start or how you'll get the money for it). If in all honesty you find less than 7, good for you. If you find more than 7 you may write them down if you wish, but do not use more than one page in your notebook.
FIFTH WEEK
This week, choose two items in your list, one that is very easy to fix and the one that overwhelms you the most. Use one page for each on your notebook. Write down what it would take to fix the small problem on one page. Then get a phone book and open it to the yellow pages. Use the other page in your notebook to copy at least three names and numbers of people who might be able to solve your big problem. Make at least one phone call to get an estimate (many contractors will do them for free).
SIXTH WEEK
Last week's assignment might have been hard to confront. I have waited until the end of this week to give you a very easy task: open your notebook to the first page, where you drew the outline of your hand. If you are right handed use your left hand, if you are left handed use your right hand. Write the following two statements inside of the hand:
I LOVE CHILDREN
I LOVE MY INNER CHILD
SEVENTH WEEK
This week look for the meaning of the word HEALING in a good dictionary, preferably one that has the roots of words. Write down the definition of this word on the last page of your notebook.

EIGHT WEEKS TO INCREASED SELF AWARENESS

LATE WINTER FENG SHUI JOURNEY:

Week One:

Take a look at your bookshelves and select eight books that you read once but have not re-read or used as reference materials in the last year and a half. Place those books on a stack on the desk or workstation where you have your computer. During this week you may re-read them, browse through them or just ignore them until next week, when you will receive further instructions.

Week Two:

Last week you chose eight books that you read once but have not re-read or used as reference materials in the last year and a half. Then you placed those books on a stack on the desk or workstation where you have your computer.

Maybe you browsed through them or even re-read a chapter or two of one, or maybe you just ignored them. Now it is time to make a decision about each one of those books: Should it go back to a shelf or not?

Here is some criteria that might help you with your decisions. If a book does not fulfill any of the first three functions listed below, chances are that it really doesn't belong in your personal library any more:

FUNCTIONS OF BOOKS:

1 Active reading (books you are currently reading)
2 Reference (books you consult from time to time to get or make sure of facts, e.g. dictionaries and encyclopedias, but also books related to your profession or hobbies.)
3 Lending (books you love and keep so you can share with people whom you think might benefit from them)

Beware of books that fulfill these functions:
4 Future reading - if you have had them for more than five years and never got to read them
5 Fillers - just using up space on your shelves.

WEEK THREE

Check-in for Week Two:

Did you make a decision about each of the eight books you had selected on the first week of this journey?

If you have decided that some of them don't really represent who you are now or who you want to be, but aren't sure what to do with them, here are some suggestions:

- Donate them to your local library
- Sell them online or give them to someone who sells books online
- Take them to work/school and see if any of your co-workers/classmates would like to have any of those books
- Donate them to a Good Will Store or Thrift Shop

WEEK THREE:

What is your dream car? Take a minute to think about this... Ready? Imagine that the car you now drive is your dream car. Now imagine that you have just met a person who drives a car similar to the one you drive (in reality) and maintains it in the same way as you do now. What would be some of the assumptions you would make about that person based on the car he or she drives?

Here are some guidelines that might help you answer that question:

- This person probably likes the color _________
- This person regards cars as: a) utilitarian vehicles for transportation only, b) symbols of personal power, c) works of art, d) working tools, e) passports to adventure
- This person's income is probably around (or at least) $_____________ a year.
- This person's occupation might be ______________________ or something similar
- This person prefers: a) national products, b) imported products
- This person's approach to order and cleanliness seems _______________
- It is likely that this person: a) is single, b) is going through a midlife crisis, c) has no small children, d) has small children, e) has a pet
- This person likes to maintain his or her property: a) in excellent condition, b) in good condition, c) poor condition

I suggest you print out this e-mail and write down your answers on this page.

Come up with at least 8 adjectives that you might use to describe this person, based on the car they drive and its upkeep.

WEEK FOUR:

Check-in for Week Three:

Did you make a list of about eight adjectives that you might use to describe a person who drove a car similar to the one you drive now? If those adjectives were applied to you, how accurate would they be? Would you like to change any of them? If so, how? Is there anything you could do about your car now that would send out a clearer message of who you are or who you want to be?

What about your dream car: Would it send out a clear message of who you are or who you want to be?

We will go back to the dream car later on in this journey and will certainly use it for the Wealth Poster in the Spring.

WEEK FOUR:

Take a look at your kitchen cabinets, where you keep plastic containers. Make an inventory of containers and their lids. If you find any odd items –containers with lids missing or lids that do not fit any container – let them go, ideally, recycle them. Of course this doesn't apply to containers that didn't have a lid in the first place.


WEEK FIVE:

This week, make an inventory of all chairs (and sofas) in your home. Are they comfortable? Do you like them? Do you find yourself slouching after sitting on any of them for more than a few minutes? Do any of them need repair/replacing? Take a look at the chairs that are in good condition. If you were moving into your dream house tomorrow, would you take them with you?

If you decide that any of your chairs need to be replaced or that you need to add a chair, recliner, love seat or sofa, visit at least one furniture store this week and see if you can find that ideal piece of furniture. If you do not have the time or energy to do this, get an interior design magazine and choose the pieces you'd probably buy, or run a search on the internet for the kind of furniture you'd be looking for if you were to make a purchase right now.

NOTE: You may, of course, purchase furniture right away if that is what you want to do, but only if you can pay cash. Otherwise, please wait until we start the Wealth Poster in late Spring.

WEEK SIX

Think about your dream car for a minute. What are the assumptions that you make when you meet a person that drives that kind of car? (Income? Regard for the ecology? Personality? Age? Family? etc) Would the adjectives that you would use to describe such a person provide an accurate representation of who you are or who you want to be?

As we walk through life our material possessions give us constant feedback on our values and how well we are doing related to those values. How do you walk through life?

This week try on every pair of shoes you own. I dare you to let go of any shoes that you don't love, that don't fit right, that don't feel right, that are uncomfortable in any way. Let go of any shoes that are not comfortable enough for you to walk two blocks wearing them. Even dress shoes that you only wear in rare occasions should be comfortable, in case you are called to dance.

Make a commitment with yourself that in the future you will only buy shoes you love, that fit right, feel right, and are comfortable enough for you to walk at least a few blocks or dance.
WEEK SEVEN

Take a look at your tape and CD archives, find those that you have not listened to in the last year and make a point to listen to them this week.

Ask yourself the following about each item:
- Do you still like that kind of music?
- What kinds of thoughts or feelings arise when you listen to it?
- Does this music evoke any memories? Are there pleasant or unpleasant?
- Will you enjoy listening to this music in the next year?

At the end of the week, make a decision about each of them, to either keep it, trade it, sell it, donate it, or give it away.


WEEK EIGHT

CHECK-IN FOR WEEK SEVEN
Did you make any discoveries as to how your musical taste has changed in the past years? Maybe you took a walk down memory lane and relived some moments of your past. I suggest you keep only the music that makes you feel vibrant and alive in your collection.

WEEK EIGHT
In Feng Shui, each Life Area is related to emotions. When we are not flowing in a certain area of life, we tend to bottle up the negative emotion associated with it. For example, when there are problems with the Children, Creativity and Entertainment Area, there is a tendency to melancholy, relieved by weeping. For Wealth, Prosperity and Self Worth, the negative emotion is bitterness, relieved by shouting. For Fame, Reputation and Social Life, the negative emotion is depression, relieved by laughter. For Career, Life Mission and Individuality, the negative emotion is fear, relieved by shrieking. For Health, Family and Community, the negative emotion is anger, relieved by shouting...

This week, release some bottled up emotions. You might go to the movies or rent a drama that will help you cry. You might go to a game and use the opportunity to shout either for your team or against the other team. You might go to a live comedy show and laugh your heart out [sticoms won't do]. You might go to an amusement park, get on a frightful ride and take the opportunity to shriek, or go to the movies and watch a scary movie [in this case I wouldn't recommend a video, as you might be embarassed to shriek at home]

If you feel you are not the "emotional kind" you may choose some vigorous excercise and break a good sweat at least three times this week [taking all the precautions for safety, of course]

As always, I would appreciate any feedback as to how you did with this Journey for Increased Self Awareness.

NINE WEEKS TO A MORE EXCITING SOCIAL LIFE

THE BEST TIMING FOR THIS JOURNEY IS THE EARLY SUMMER


WEEK ONE

Life Area #9 resonates with the energy of the Fire element. Fire crackles and goes up. The sun and the stars therefore are good symbols for Fame, Reputation and Social Life. The color of fire is RED. Birds and predator mammals [such as tigers and wolves] are also strong symbols of the fire element, as well as pyramids.

The sector of the home where this area is represented is the middle point of the back wall. It is also represented in the Family Room.

Your assignment this week is to add a touch of red to your Family Room. This may be in the form of a red cushion or throw, a red vase, or red flowers in a vase... or in any other way you decide, with the aid of your own creativity. If you place your addition close to the mid point of the back wall in the Family Room, that's even better.

WEEK TWO

"Fame, Reputation and Social Life" is an area closely related to personal appearance.

This week we'll take a look at make up and/or colognes and shaving items. If you are guy, your assignment is simpler this week.

Make-up:
(Lipsticks, eye shadows, eye liners, eyebrow pencils, blushes, mascaras and foundations.)
- Are there any that you have never used and will likely not use? Then give them away.
- Try on old lipsticks, blushes and eye shadows. Are there any colors that you don't really like or that even if you like them you don't think they look good on you? Let them go.
- Do you keep any make up items that produce an adverse reaction on your eyes or skin? If so, throw them out.
- Let go of foundations that give your face a fake look or a fake color, or that dry out your skin or produce blemishes.
Most make up has a shelf life of three years. Any items older than five years should go.

Colognes and shaving items:
Take a look at perfumes, colognes, after bath lotions, shaving lotions and creams and shavers.
- Give away any perfumes, colognes or after bath splashes that have aromas which you do not love.
- Let go of any shavers, manual or electric, that have rusted parts, or blunt edges that cannot be sharpened or replaced.
- Dispose of any shaving lotions, creams, wax, etc. that you haven't used for the last year and one season.
WEEK THREE

This week, make a list of nine friends or acquaintances whom you like, but haven't heard from them for a while. Choose at least three and either call them, or send e-mails or cards. If you can contact the nine of them in some way, even better.
WEEK FOUR

This week, take a look at your house number. Are the individual digits in good condition and complete? Broken, torn or faded numbers should be fixed or replaced immediately. If the number is on the façade, it should be easily identifiable from the street. If it is on the mailbox, then it should be on both sides, so that it can be seen by cars and pedestrians circulating in either direction.

There is a lot of nonsense out there about the importance of what digit the number ends in or what number the digits add up to, considering some numbers as auspicious [of good omen] and others as bearers of bad luck. It is better that you do not connect with that kind of thinking, as it is superstitious and disempowering. From experience and observation of many years I have seen that numbers can only have a negative effect on people when they have convinced themselves that that is the case. So...

Love your house number -- whichever it may be -- and be thankful to the Source of Life for all its Blessings.
WEEK FIVE

This week, let's talk about hair, or more specifically, hair products. As I had said before, life area # 9 [Fame, Reputation and Social Life) is directly linked to personal appearance.

Do you keep any empty bottles or containers of shampoo, conditioner, hair spray, gel, mouse or any other hair product? Recycle them if possible or dispose of them properly.

Do you keep any containers of the above mentioned products which you have not used for more than a year and do not intend to use? Give them away or dispose of them properly.

Now take a look at the products you currently use: Are they working well for you? Are their ingredients consistent with your world view when it comes to health and environmental concerns?

Most shampoos contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or DEA (diethanolamine) and other ingredients that have been linked to disease and hair loss, and some of which are not biodegradable.

My hairdresser affirms that she has seen dramatic changes [for the better] in hair health and volume in many of her clients just by having them switch to more natural shampoos and conditioners. If this is a concern for you, your hairdresser or health food store personnel can help you find better hair products.
WEEK SIX

Your assignment for week six is to check out some outdoors event, like arts and crafts shows, reinassance festivals, fishing competitions, etc. When you do, have something to hand out, either business cards, flyers, coupons, etc. of your business or any projects that you are involved with or your personal hobbies. Talk to the vendors whose work or products interest you, exchange contact information.
WEEK SEVEN

This week, have a meal outdoors (in a park, your own backyard, campground, etc), preferably by yourself.
WEEK EIGHT

On week eight, scan your home for fire clutter. The Fire element is represented in the space by candles and light fixtures. I find that many homes are burdened by candle and lamp clutter.

Some candles burn in the center, consuming the wick but leaving a nice exterior, and I see many people keep these because they are pretty, even though they can no longer perform their function. Maybe you bought a candle and then didn't like the aroma, or found out it produced black smoke when burning. Collect the candles that cannot burn any more and those that you do not intend to light again. You can give these to a person who makes candles so he or she can re-use the wax, or you may try getting wicks at your local hobby and craft store and try re-using the wax to make new candles for your home [please take all the precautions necessary if you do this]. If none of these is an option for you, then just throw them out. Glass candle holders can be recycled, even if there is some wax left in them.

Give away or sell lamps you do not use, replace burnt light bulbs on those that you do use, and repair or give away [to someone who will repair them or use the parts] malfunctioning lamps.
WEEK NINE

When people come to your door, how do they let their presence be known? Do they knock on the door or is there a door bell?

If you have a doorbell, it must be working. A non-working door bell translates in Feng Shui as lost opportunities.

If people knock on the door, are you able to hear them when you are at the back of your home? If you aren't, maybe you could install a metal knocker that will produce a louder sound, or even a wireless door bell at low cost. [prices range from $10 to $30]

This is the end of the "Nine Weeks to a More Exciting Social Life." Any feedback that you can share with us will be much appreciated.

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This site designed and built by Monica P. Castaneda
©2004-2013 Monica P. Castaneda
Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese Art of Placement and has been in use throughout the Orient for thousands of years. The complex wisdom of the Feng Shui aspects gathered in these web pages constitutes the dynamic experience of the author and is not necessarily intended to be the ultimate guide for using these principles. An investigation of these inspired words is meant to lead you to your own understanding of this complex wisdom. Neither the website nor the author make any claim for absolute effectiveness. The adoption and application of the advice or information offered is solely the readers' responsibility. Feng Shui for Us and Monica P. Castaneda are not responsible or liable in any manner for any loss or damages caused by following the suggestions in our articles, readings and other services.
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