Saturday, December 30, 2023

 Preparing for 2024 - Year of the Dragon 

Are you ready for 2024? I'm planning big change on many levels and if any year is the year to do it, it's this year. Not only are we about to start a New Year, an ideal time to start something new, releasing the old and starting fresh; we're about to enter the Year of the Dragon, the Wood Dragon to be exact, kicking off the Chinese Lunar Year on February 10th.

In Chinese Astrology, there are 12 animals marking the energy of each year. We're about to leave the Water Rabbit year, considered a gentle year of receptivity (reinforced further by the strong yin Water element).

In contrast, Dragon energy is powerful and disruptive. It can mean big ideas and big change. The element Wood represents growth and expansion -- think of branches extending in multiple directions and roots going deep into the earth for strength during strong winds. All that said, this can be a phenomenal year for abundance and success. 

I've been thinking about what to do to prepare for the days ahead, wanting to make the most of the energy and create as smooth a ride as possible for 2024. Here are three things I recommend you do in the weeks before the Year of the Dragon begins:

  1. Beautify Your Entry: The front door of your home is the entry point for Chi and the primary source of Chi in your home. When your front door is difficult to see or in disrepair, it is not as welcoming to the chi. If the walk to your front door is littered with garbage or dying plants or even holiday decorations that no longer seem to light up the space, it also diminishes the chi entering the home. Take some time to look at your entry and find ways to make it beautiful -- repaint the front door, remove trash, take down old decorations, add fresh plants, a new welcome mat or even a welcome sign.
  2. Clear Clutter: This is a big one. Clutter becomes a significant obstacle to moving forward with ease, defining our goals and creating a path toward our own success. Start in your bedroom, but you can start small, like a drawer or dresser. Then move on to other areas of your room, then your closet. You may be able to get it all done in a day or a weekend, but if it's too big a job, set aside 10 to 15 minutes a day just for clearing out that clutter. 
  3. Journal: Each day, write what you're feeling, what's happening or anything you want to get off your chest. Allow yourself to process your day. If you find one day you have nothing to say, just write "I have nothing to say" multiple times until a new idea comes to mind. By journaling you are clearing your mind of things taking up a lot of space in your head. This allows you to free up space for new inspiration. You'll be surprised at the insights. Whether a special notebook with a beautiful cover or a spiral-bound school notebook, makes no difference. And no, you do not need to show it to anyone or even keep it once it's filled. 

I hope you find these helpful, and if you try any of these, know that I will be doing each of these in the next several weeks also. Here's to our success in 2024 as we release what no longer serves and welcome the mighty Dragon!

If you'd like to learn more about feng shui, or would like a home, business or phone consultation, contact me  at

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Abundance is about the Why, not the What

What does abundance mean? It’s a word that has a certain expectation to it: money, money, money (cue Broadway’s Cabaret).

While it may feel like money makes the world go around, does money in fact tie directly to abundance? How many stories have we seen that show the lottery winner who is bankrupt in just a few years, or the wealthy who are living well beyond their means despite having more money than 99% of the population?

That said, of course it can. If you suddenly receive an influx of money, and you are wise and take a hard look at your spending and debt and all that stuff a financial planner tells you to do, then yes, getting more money can lead to greater abundance.

The bigger question is WHY do you want abundance in your life? Is there a big-ticket item (a car or a house) that’s been just out of your reach? What about that trip overseas you’ve always wanted to take? Maybe you’ve had your hopes set on starting your own coffee shop?

Still, these are just what you want to do with the money. So the next question is, what would you feel if you had any or all of those things? Secure? Free? Accomplished? This is key – that feeling you’d have once you achieved what you would do with more abundance.

Why is this important? Because when we think about abundance, we often tell ourselves the ONLY way to achieve our goals is through more money. In fact, there are many ways to achieve abundance. I’ll give you an example.

My parents are retired teachers. They loved those jobs and were very good at them. They worked at a prep school in New England for 35 years. In all that time, they were incredibly abundant – and not because of their salaries. They worked on campus and were dorm heads for much of my childhood. This meant that they were responsible for watching at least 40 to 50 students (boys) of varying grade levels every school year in their dorm. No small task. It also meant they lived in the dorm on the first floor in a spacious apartment with floor-to-ceiling windows that overlooked a beautiful New England campus.

Their school also offered programs abroad if teachers were willing to take students with them. They leapt at the opportunity and were surprised when the school often found it difficult to find teachers to participate. Because of this program, they were able to visit Morocco, Turkey, Egypt, Greece, Australia, and New Zealand on multiple occasions – to this day, the friendships they formed in Australia have resulted in nearly annual trips there. Again, not because they were wealthy, but because they saw an opportunity and went for it.

Furthermore, when they decided to move on from being dorm heads, the school let them stay in a house just off campus that had a pool and a pool house, with some beautiful big trees in the backyard. There are stories upon stories about the time spent in that pool, including a wedding they hosted of my best friends (my dad married them).

They have always lived the most abundant life. Never because of their money but because of their openness to the opportunities around them – sure they required hard work along the way, but they never saw that as an obstacle, in part because they loved what they did.

So how do you approach the world – open to the abundance around you or unable to see abundance in front of you? Is it full of opportunity for adventure or do you only see the obstacles abounding? Do you know that when one door closes, another will open? Or, are you locking your door to keep what you do have safe and sound?

Abundance is a feeling – and when you feel abundant, even if for just a moment or two a day, it can make all the difference. In feng shui, it is this feeling – of already being abundant — that then becomes a beacon for more abundance to come your way. This is why it’s so important to surround yourself at home with what feels abundant to you.

In your kitchen, does your pantry have half-empty jars of rice or beans or nuts? Fill them up. Does your bedroom feel outdated or lackluster? Buy some new sheets or throw pillows that feel luxurious. What about your eating space – can you enhance how it feels with a table runner and a few candles?

Take a look around your home. What does it tell you about abundance? What it tells you is a good indication of how you feel about your current state of abundance. And if you want that to improve, feng shui can help.

Monday, January 18, 2021

It's Time for a New Beginning, but Where to Start?

How do we start fresh, begin anew? It’s a question that comes up every year in January, sometimes in February (Chinese New Year or Imbolc). In these days, especially in the United States, it’s a poignant question. So much has happened in the past year that has tested us on so many levels that it’s hard to even recognize that there is an opportunity for something new to begin.

Thank goodness for nature. Despite all that occurs around us, nature continues on with its cycles – sunrise continues, as does sunset; the moon continues waxing and waning; the seasons remain constant and ongoing. It’s an unending reminder that there is always a new day, always a time to begin. The holidays, like New Years, are another reminder. 

Ancient cultures recognized that the cycles in nature didn’t just represent something to inspire stories and legends – like Apollo carrying the sun across the sky – but generated a kind of energy that reflected a specific event. This energy would dictate the timing of ceremonies to benefit from this energy. 

In modern times, we recognize this too. We can feel the expectant energy rising when the sun peaks over the horizon. We can feel the peace that often comes while watching the sun set. There’s a difference in how we feel at mid-day vs. midnight. We know the energy is different, but most of us are not raised to perform ceremonies that celebrate rites of passage or honor new beginnings. 

It is this understanding, that energy changes throughout the day, that also reminds us that on a smaller scale we are surrounded by energy that changes based on the events that occur in our lives. From the tension left in a room after an argument to the celebration of a newborn first coming home or the lethargy and even sadness that sickness can often bring to a space.

In feng shui, we take this knowledge and use it to shift the energy of a space by not only allowing the energy to flow more easily but also ensuring the energy that exists in a space is uplifting and reflects back to us our dreams and aspirations.

But back to the original question. How do we start fresh, begin anew? Start by defining what it is you want in and for your life. What is your intention for your new beginning? It is not just about wanting more money, but the benefits of having that money. It is not just about having a relationship, but having what you feel represents a perfect relationship: joy, love, passion, respect, support, adventure, etc. 

You might think defining this question would be simple enough. In fact, I’ve found that this is a question many clients struggle with because they stay focused on the things they do not want. They will focus on not being sick or not being strapped for cash or not being alone. When this happens, I remind them that our intentions in feng shui act as beacons for the energy we create in our lives, so instead they should focus on things like being healthy, financially secure and a passionate, supportive relationship. 

Once you define what it is you do want, it’s a matter of aligning the energy around you to reinforce it. For instance, if you are looking for a new job, there is a place in your home that is tied to the energy of your career, and if that space is filled with representations of your current job (e.g., files of current projects) or is a storage space filled with clutter, it works against the energy of you finding a new job. Changing this space can be the first step toward a new beginning.

So take a note from nature, that change is constant; and a new beginning is happening every day. And listen to the ancients who honored nature’s events as harbingers and supporters of different kinds of energy. And take action with feng shui, but considering the energy you want to bring into your home and your life by focusing on what it is you truly want in your life. 

And if you’d like to learn more, or would like some support for creating your new beginning, reach out to me at 

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Finding the Moment

A beautiful hummingbird at rest

This morning, the hummingbird sat still. As I was on the deck drinking tea, I spotted out of the corner of my eye, the little beauty hovering near one of our feeders. I had just refilled it with a homemade concoction. It got closer, tasted its prize – once, twice and then it sat still.

Considering the energy of the hummingbird and the 80 beats per second required of those wings, it seems like an unusual thing to witness. The wings stopped, as it clung to the small plastic extension created just for this purpose. It was a peaceful moment; and I can’t help but think what it must be like for this miniature creature to finally get a chance to rest. I imagined this must be a celebrated moment to take a breath for this always-on-the-go bird.
I also realized, as this happen just a few feet away on the kitchen window, that I was taking a break as well. A break to wonder and admire what was in front of me. I unknowingly took a moment to breathe, took that moment to focus solely on one small, beautiful aspect of nature, and it felt unusual.
In these times, the unusual is anything that takes me out of the head space of worry, frustration and anger that appears to be a constant presence. The unusual is anything that I don’t intentionally do to take my mind off the pandemic, the social unrest and injustice so apparent today – like working heads down to produce something at work, going for a walk, making a special coffee or using social media to divert my attention to name a few.
This moment was a treasure. These moments, as small as they might be, are what we all need right now. With all the change happening in the world right now, these small things are what will help us to stay balanced.
Not everyone has a chance to see a hummingbird in a day, but everyone has a chance in the day to see something that makes them stop, for a moment, and breathe. It may be something in nature, like a beautiful cloud or a gentle breeze, it could be an unexpected find in your home of something you thought you’d lost, it could be a memory triggered by a song; it could be a thank you out of the blue from a co-worker.
All we need to do is be open to experiencing these moments. And when they occur, because they will, recognize them for what they are: an unexpected gift to you, a break from the world of worry or stress, a chance to breathe.
Imagine, all of us, taking a break, every day, for a moment.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Finding Gratitude In These Times

These days, it isn’t always easy to find gratitude, especially when facing our own individual challenges or, as is the case now, seeing and experiencing the anxieties and fears that come with a global pandemic and social unrest.
In these times, it’s more important than ever to find way to stay grounded and focused on what fills us with gratitude so that we may find balance in our lives.
This can be a daunting ask. When I am filled with frustration, anger and uncertainty, it’s difficult to feel grateful for what’s happening in my life. Especially for those activities where I spend much of my time, like my sometimes high-stress job.
I’ve found a key, though, that makes all the difference. Start small.
Instead of trying to feel grateful for a life that is dependent on 10- to 12-hour days spent in frustrating situations doing work that does not always feel aligned with what brings me joy, I focus on tea.
You see, since I’ve been sheltering in place, working from home, I try to have a cup of tea every morning. It’s green tea. I pour it in a cup that my daughter made when she was three. The cup comes with a saucer. I hold that cup and I am grateful. Grateful for her. Grateful for my wife who took her to the ceramics class and likely held the mug so my daughter could get her little painted fingers all over the cup. Grateful to be able to have a moment to think of them and enjoy the tea before starting my day.
The nice thing about starting small is it’s easy to find other small things that bring me joy: my dog stealing my shoe because she wants to play; standing in the middle of nature and accidentally capturing a beautiful image of trees above; spending time with family on a recent vacation that included visiting my youngest daughter’s college she’ll be attending in the fall. And yes, it’s the same daughter who designed my cup.
When you combine all these things, it is so clear how lucky I am and why I have so much to be grateful for no matter what may be happening in a given day or even in these times.
Sure, the fears, anxiety and frustrations still exist, but I have a touch stone of gratitude that is always there.
So what small things in your life are you grateful for so you can find balance?