Category Archives: Alice Inoue Feng Shui Series
By Alice Inoue
In feng shui, the kitchen, considered the most vital and important part of the house, nourishes us and sustains life. We embrace the energy that feeds us physically through food, financially through money, and emotionally through our connection to our family.
What does your kitchen say about you?
- The stove, considered “male energy” and the “wealth generator,” is the single most important symbolic factor when using feng shui to analyze the ease with which you prosper financially.
- The stove represents fueling the engine of abundant manifestation and the physical energy needed to be productive. Pay attention to the stove if you have been feeling unproductive lately.
- Burnt out burner: An inoperable burner means your ability to manifest new avenues of abundance and opportunities is limited. To regain your energy, replace any burnt out burners.
- Unused burner(s): Not using all your burners is symbolic of being in a rut, lacking vitality, and limiting your ability to benefit from financial resources. Consciously using burners that you haven’t used for a while will energize you and help you break free of old patterns.
- Grimy burners: Dirty burners suggest a lot of wasteful and unnecessary expenses and a lack of clarity about where your money is going. Cleaning off the dirt and grime energetically opens your eyes to new strategies to manage your finances and optimize your personal energy.
- Blocked burners: Blocked burners represent blocked opportunities. Use the top of the stove to cook, not to store food, empty pots and pans, or boxes. A clear stovetop suggests that you are open to opportunities coming into your life.
- In feng shui, the stove receives so much attention that the refrigerator, a necessary part of our food storage and an appliance we cannot live without, is often overlooked, yet is equally important.
- The refrigerator, considered “female energy,” represents our feminine side and has a nurturing quality, “hugging and holding” our food. We take from the refrigerator and she never complains. Maintain the health of the refrigerator, by keeping it clean and well stocked, especially if you are feeling drained by others’ needs and wants.
- Cluttered face: Many refrigerators resemble billboards or photo albums with magnets, which have “sucking” energy, and other paraphernalia on the door. In feng shui this shows who or what is draining your energy. Removing all paraphernalia from the refrigerator door will help restore your energy. If you feel compelled to place something on the refrigerator door, make certain it is energetically supportive.
- Clutter on top: The top of your refrigerator should not be used for open storage. Anything placed in that area that is not decorative or beautifying represents burdens you may be carrying and cannot let go of. Clear the top of the refrigerator and energetically remove heaviness in your life.
- Expired food: Storing expired food energetically holds you in the past and drains you of the energy needed to live an inspired life. Keep the contents of your refrigerator current and create the energy to nurture the right opportunities.
Take some time to “honor” both the male and female elements in your kitchen to create a greater sense of balance in your life.
Here’s another feng shui fave by our expert Alice Inoue…
Clearing Out the Chaos
by Alice Inoue
Do you have too many things in your home and not enough room? It may feel that way when you live in a disorganized space or fail to make a regular practice of clearing out the old to make room for the new.
We are connected to everything in our environment, so when physical things in our environment have no “home,” we mirror that internally and feel unsettled emotionally and mentally, becoming frustrated and irritable. Putting some thought and effort into the organization of your environment is a key to mental and emotional peace.
Organizing from a feng shui perspective…
Hiring professional organizers or finding helpful-hint sources to maximize every square inch of a closet or shelf is a great start, but you can create even smoother energy by looking at storage and organization from a feng shui perspective.
With awareness, you can move toward your dream of “having a place for everything” and getting the energy flowing again by looking at supportive feng shui organizational solutions.
Here are some guidelines to keep in mind:
• Refrain from putting shelves over a door or on a wall where the shelf hangs over your bed. These shelves create energetically challenging downward-pressing energy that symbolizes a person or a situation hanging over you or oppressing you in your life.
• Avoid filling all your storage space completely. When your shelves or closets are completely full, energetically you leave no space for something new. Full shoeboxes block new sources of support and prevent new movement. Full kitchen cupboards block new opportunities for wellness; full bookshelves block new sources of wisdom, promoting stagnant thinking, and full bedroom closets show that you are not open to new relationships or new ways to relate to those in your life.
• If you have a bed with storage drawers built in, store only items that have “restful” energy such as linens, blankets and towels. Avoid shoes (symbolizing “movement”) and items from the past, such as photos of old relationships that symbolize emotional upset. Never store sharp objects, information in the form of books or media or exercise equipment in your bedroom (keeps your mind and chi active). You may wake up more tired than rested.
• Avoid too many storage units that hang from the ceiling. An excess of overhead storage is not only visually heavy but contributes to supporting feelings of overwhelm. If you have a lot of things weighing you down in your life, more overhead storage only exacerbates that feeling.
• Hooks on the back of doors are a convenient way to keep clothing off the floor. Hooks on the back of the bathroom door are fine to hold towels and lightweight clothing, but refrain from putting hooks on the back of all the doors in your home, especially your main and bedroom doors. Doors are the portals to the energy flow and if they are overburdened, transitioning your life from one stage to the next may be difficult. Doors should open freely and completely.
• More than anything, avoid visual overwhelm. This happens when you store everything you own that is nice, cute, and meaningful on open shelves around your home. From a feng shui perspective, it is better to have only a few treasured items on display. Store the others behind closed shelving and rotate them when you need a change of energy. Themed collections can be grouped together to create a unified energy. For example, if you have many rabbit themed items, place them in one place for a powerful visual.
• Functionality is important but also consider aesthetics. Store the things you use often in convenient but out of sight places. Open shelving promotes visual clutter. So the more you can hide (in an organized way) the better you will feel.
If you come across a storage solution and are unsure whether or not it is “good feng shui,” ask yourself how it makes you feel. Discard and donate as you go. You will create valuable physical space, and eliminate a drain on your energy. It doesn’t make sense to store items you really don’t need. Happy organizing!
By Alice Inoue
Is your cellphone charging nearby when you sleep? Is your electrical or digital clock close to your bed? Is the location of your bedroom near your wireless router, or is your computer in your bedroom and on 24/7?
If so, no matter how optimally your bed and furniture are placed, or how elementally balanced your feng shui is, you have not considered an important environmental factor that can adversely affect you – EMF’s, or electromagnetic fields.
What are EMF’s?
EMF’s are physical fields produced by moving electrically charged particles. EMF’s are a combination of electrical fields and magnetic fields. You will find these fields in your house wiring, televisions, radios, cell phones, hair dryers, microwaves, and even digital or electric clocks.
Due to the proliferation of electronics in recent years, EMF’s of various frequencies fill our homes, workplaces and public spaces. They are considered by many to be harmful to our bodies and almost every new invention adds to the electromagnetic pollution that already exists.
Why do we want to avoid them?
For over forty years, electrobiologists have studied the effects of EMF exposure on the human body. Although we are electrical beings, and our bodies are made up of various electromagnetic frequencies, the external EMF’s are far from being harmonious with the frequencies in our bodies.
Although earth’s electromagnetic field is beneficial to our body and supports optimal functioning, most of us do not get outdoors enough to counter balance the constant exposure we have to other electromagnetic frequencies.
How much is too much?
Virtually all scientists agree that 2.5 Mg (milligauss) is the generally accepted limit of EMF exposure. To give you an idea of what that means, an electric clock generates an electromagnetic field of about 5-10 Mg, and the average hair dryer or vacuum cleaner generates 300Mg or more. If you have ever experienced fatigue after a long session on the computer or had a sensation of heat or buzzing in your ear after using your cell phone, you may have experienced strong EMF exposure.
Our bodies are sensitive to high external EMF emissions. Our skin, DNA, blood vessels, vital organs, and even our cell membranes are affected. Plus, the effect of exposure is cumulative, so the sooner you can reduce your exposure the better.
Tips to reduce your EMF exposure
• If a television, refrigerator, computer or other office equipment is on the other side of the bedroom wall behind your head, consider moving your bed, as EMF’s penetrate all building materials.
• Place electrical equipment as far away from your bed as possible, especially cell phones and computers. The further away you are from the electrical item, the less impact it has on your body.
• Switch to a wind up clock or use a battery operated one.
• Turn your television off manually, instead of with the remote.
• Replace your wireless with a corded home phone, or at the very least, use the speakerphone function when using the cordless phone.
• Avoid prolonged fluorescent light exposure. (Yes, that is one of the reasons why you feel drained after a long day under fluorescent lighting.)
• If you are not ready to get rid of your microwave, move far away from it when it is on.
• Turn off your wireless routers at night, especially if your home office is near your bedroom.
EMF’s were not an issue even fifty years ago, but today addressing them is an essential component of feng shui practice. Although you cannot fully control your exposure to EMF’s while you are away from home, you can control your family’s exposure while you are at home, especially at night when the body is regenerating and needs its rest.
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By Alice Inoue
Each area of your home correlates to an area of your life: Your kitchen represents how your family is nurtured. Your bedroom represents your ability to renew and refresh your life. Your garage represents your independence and mobility, and your bathroom represents your ability to deal with change and transitions. Can you guess what your closets represent? They represent your subconscious mind and what is happening beneath the facade you present to the world.
Imagine your bedroom closet in its present state. Is it neat and organized, or messy and over-stuffed? Does your closet contain items that have nothing to do with your apparel? Can you see how the state of your closet correlates to what is happening in your life and in your mind?
A clear closet fosters a clear mind and supports clearing from the inside out. Here are some tips to help you “cure” your closet of whatever ails it. I follow these tips religiously.
- Let go of clothing you have not worn in a year or two.
Statistics show that we wear 20 percent of our clothes 80 percent of the time. If you have something in your closet that you never wear, you intuitively know that it no longer aligns with who you are. Ask yourself, “What does this item do for me? Do I feel uplifted when I see it or does my energy drop?” If your energy drops, drop the item.
- Can we tell how old you are by looking in your closet?
If you haven’t worn an item in a year or two, check to see just how outdated it is. Discard clothing that anchors you to past memories and emotional associations. Let go of the wide lapel jackets, the blouses with shoulder pads and the clothes that are two sizes too small. Just as you check expiration dates on food to clear out your refrigerator, look through your closet to see if anything has expired. If it doesn’t flatter you or is worn out, donate it. Keep your closet reflective of who you are now. The best way to move forward is to embrace the present.
- Saving items you never wear sends a negative message.
It is natural to want to save things, but saving anything you never wear, do not love, or that does not fit sends a negative message when you open the closet. It shows scarcity thinking rather than abundance thinking. Moreover, the items take up valuable real estate in your closet and in your head. Let go of scarcity thinking and trust that life will always bring you what you need.
- In with the new and out with the old!
From time to time you may purchase new clothes. For every new item you put in your closet, remove an unused item and donate it. This will help keep your closet uncluttered and looking abundant. Moving clothing in and out keeps the energy flowing in your closet and in your life. The more you have in your closet, the more your energy is tied up in mundane matters.
- How much clothing do you really need?
Purchasing a bargain for a bargain’s sake creates clutter. If you think you can’t afford not to buy something just because it’s on sale, think again. Never let price overrule usefulness. Don’t just buy to buy.
- Closet Awareness
Practicing closet awareness helps you realize just how much of your energy is tied up in your closets. Look at your closets with a new consciousness. Look at what you are keeping through a new perspective. Clear your closet to clear your mind!
By Alice Inoue
When people ask me what feng shui is, I usually tell them it is consciously creating an environment that energetically supports rather than drains the individual.
These days we give energy to so much in our lives (work, family, pets, worries, friends in distress, etc.) that it makes sense to invest some effort into creating a supportive environment. After all, no one wants to come home to be energetically drained by the environment.
An Interesting Question
Many people tell me they feel the positive effects of the adjustments they have made to improve the energy of their home. The other day a woman with whom I was having a casual conversation asked an interesting question: Does feng shui last forever?
At first, I wasn’t exactly sure what she meant but after questioning her a bit, I understood why she was asking. About five years ago, she had hired a feng shui consultant to come to her home. She made the changes he suggested, and though she was pleased with the results at the time, she felt that the feng shui “wasn’t working” anymore.
The Essence of Nature
I explained to her that in addition to creating a supportive environment, feng shui is based on the principles of nature, so it is important to bring nature’s essence into our homes to keep things flowing energetically.
Nature is always changing. Summer turns to fall, fall turns to winter and so forth. Your feng shui and the energy of your home can get stale if things remain the same season after season, year after year. When your home feels stagnant and as if it has lost its luster, keep these things in mind:
• Nature is alive and expresses itself through the natural order of change. Your home is living space; so keep it “alive” by refreshing things from time to time to match nature’s essence.
• When you do make changes in your home, set an intention as to the direction you want change to happen. We become more “seasoned” with the passing of each year, so the changes we make should reflect who we are today. For example, choose new, more comfortable furniture, select new towel sets that offer a fresher look, position items for increased convenience, and hang new, more inspirational pictures.
• The basic premise in feng shui is that our life is reflected in the space in which we live. When we make changes in our lives, we should make corresponding changes in our space, otherwise it can feel limiting. By adjusting our space, we feel a greater connection to it and can tap into its supportive energy with greater ease.
We, as human beings, are constantly changing – physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. You neither look at nor see things the way you did ten years ago. You have different clothes, thoughts, feelings and perspectives. If something in your life or in your environment feels stagnant, perhaps it is time to make a change in your space.
As long as we are alive, we are never done with change. Along with our belief systems and our style, our feng shui must be updated from time to time to continually reflect the reality of who we are. Where can you make changes in your home to match who you are today?
By Alice Inoue
Doris, one of my readers, approached me as I was getting in my car last week. She asked me when I was going to write about feng shui in regards to relationships. She shared that she and her friends could certainly use some insight in this arena.
What about you? Are you lacking a significant other and desire one? Do you feel as though your current relationship is draining you or has lost the luster of its early years? If so, you may want to try some of these feng shui suggestions and set a new intent for your relationships.
In feng shui, every area of life and everything that happens in life can be placed into nine categories that are spatially represented by areas in your home. These nine categories make up an energetic map of your home called the bagua (pronounced bah-gwah).
The “relationship area” is in one of these nine categories. By knowing where it is, and what you can do, you are empowered with knowledge that can support what you desire. The bagua is one of the most fundamental tools of feng shui and an excellent way to apply feng shui concepts to your environment.
Where is my relationship area?
When standing at the front door facing in, the relationship area is in the back right corner. Your relationship area may be the garage, an unused room in the house, such as a storage room or even the bathroom. Don’t jump to any inaccurate conclusions and judge the location as “bad.” You can improve the energy of any space in your home no matter where it is.
If your layout is unique and you are uncertain if you have located “right” area, simply apply this information to your bedroom, regardless of where it is in the bagua. In feng shui, the bedroom also symbolically represents relationships.
Use the color and feel of love
The colors of the relationship area are “romantic” colors, such as pink, red, mauve, coral, burgundy, etc., and the feel you want to go for is soft, sensual, smooth, satiny, and fresh. Anything that reminds you of romance and love is ideal. If these colors are not your style, use an accent piece or place one thing in this area that links you to what you want to manifest in a relationship.
Use symbols of romance and pairs of items
Use mirrors, figurines, candles, fresh flowers, and anything that reminds you of love to boost the energy of this area. Put a lot of focus on pairs, and remove anything that looks lonely. Pairs can come in the form of sculptures, paintings, and other images, matching nightstands, two candles, two lamps, matching pillows, salt-and-pepper shakers, and so forth.
What to avoid
Keep photos of in-laws and children and anyone not related to the primary relationship out of this area and keep the focus on the primary relationship. (If you are not looking for a partner, however, then it is all right to keep photos of you and your friends here to strengthen existing relationships.)
Avoid anything that is strongly related to past relationships so that you can “let go of the old and bring in the new.” While it is not always feasible to get rid of your bed when a relationship ends, do what you can to make it look fresh and new. Purchase new sheets and pillows, use new accent pieces, and so on.
Do not store anything under the bed that holds energy of the past, such as photos or mementos or clothes from past relationships. These are best moved out of your home. If you must keep some things under the bed, place neutral items there, such as extra bedding and pillows—things that are geared towards rest.
Avoid fountains in the marriage area or the bedroom, because they tend to move emotions excessively. If you really must have one here, make sure to place ample plants around it so that the water energetically “feeds” the plants to create stability.
What can I expect?
By setting your intention and enhancing the relationship areas of your home, you may experience an enhanced primary relationship, gain a better understanding with everyone you have a relationship with, find Mr. or Ms. Right or a see new level of commitment in your existing relationship. Isn’t that enough incentive to give it a try?