Oct 032012

By Alice Inoue

During these unprecedented times of great personal and collective change, one thing that everyone needs in his or her home is personal space. Whether a private sanctuary or a mini area you can call “yours,” having somewhere in your home where you can retreat and collect your thoughts is essential to your wellbeing.

With no private space of your own, living in your home will be difficult no matter how beautiful or spacious, or how aligned your feng shui is, and you may not even realize why. Without a private space, staying connected to yourself and your needs is more difficult. You may overextend your energy by giving in to what others want before considering yourself, resulting in overwhelm, burnout, a build-up of resentment, and even depression.

Client Story

Recently a client called me, feeling out of sorts and disconnected from her new four-bedroom home, even though it had “everything they needed in a house.” She worked full-time, had two children and a husband who ran his business out of a room in the house. She told me that their home was perfect in every way – great location, wonderful neighbors, and lots of space, yet for some reason, her love for it was waning, while her family’s was growing.

During my visit, the first thing I noticed was that she had no private space, or a room to call her own. Each of the children had his or her own room, and her husband had his office, which doubled as his private space, where he could go to spend time with himself. When I asked my client where her “private space” was, she realized she didn’t really have one. Until I brought it up, she never noticed that she had not even a corner of a room to call hers.

Men need their space too

Generally, but not always, the person who is home the most takes up the most space. Often, family members spread out, and the man of the house is left with nothing more than his side of the bed. I’ve been in many homes where the male partner had no place to call his own, other than a shelf in the garage where he stored “his stuff.” In some cases, he used the bathroom as his refuge. Sound familiar?


Personal Space



Every person living in the home should have a space to call his or her own. It helps one feel a part of the life of the house. Without that private refuge, the individual tends to stay out more and is more short-tempered and irritable when home. While having one’s own private space is not always feasible for each person in the household, even a small clutter-free, clean, and comfortable “area” or corner will work.

Include some or all of the following physical features when creating private space:

1.  If possible, find an area removed from the main flow of traffic in the home.

2.  Preferably find a space with a door that locks or at least a partition of some sort.

3.  Have a comfortable chair or lounger.

4. Use your favorite colors or choose colors that you can find in nature – greens, yellows, earth tones, and blues.

5.  Place inspirational items in your space such as books, a personal journal, photos or objects that represent happiness.

The private space ideally will make you feel:

1.  Supported

2.  Inspired

3.  Safe

4.  Peaceful

5.  Centered

Set an intent for the space


Plan to use this space as a getaway, to be still, meditate, breathe, read, journal, celebrate successes, and reassess your life. Do this for yourself and watch the love for your home grow.


Alice Inoue is a life guide that uses the modalities of feng shui, astrology and spirituality in her work. Her offerings include award-winning, mind-body-spirit themed books, as well as a series of feng shui instructional DVD’s. For more information visit www.aliceinspired.com. Sign up for her newsletter to receive monthly articles on feng shui, astrology and life wisdom.


Jun 172012

by Alice Inoue

Happy Fathers Day! Today is the perfect day to talk about what you can do to best support the man of the house using positive fengshui actions. For the most part, men are uncomplicated and need very little to make them comfortable. Energetically enhance Dad’s life, and make him a happier, healthier, and more productive person on Father’s Day.

Most females reading this column are probably thinking, “As if I don’t do enough already!” Yet, by strategically supporting the man of the house, you may just inspire him to be an even better partner or father! Sometimes you have to give a little to receive more.

The Yang Father

In fengshui, the ultimate yang symbol comprises “male” energy, representing all that is projected outwards in the form or activity, drive, strength, giving, and expansion. Men are traditionally considered the breadwinner, the leader, the main provider, and the patriarch, and even though nowadays females share the role, men still energetically feel that they are responsible for everyone in the family.

This may not be appropriate for every man of the house, especially nowadays with so many men already acknowledging and embracing their divine feminine energy. But for those who are still more yang, an infusion of yin energy may be just the thing to tip the balance.

Yin characteristics are directed inward as peace, rest, receptivity, reflection, and nurturing. The more “yin” the environment (including the people in the environment) the more centered the yang energy will become.

As a Father’s Day “gift,” try infusing yin energy into dad’s environment for a week or a month to see what happens! At first my suggestions may seem shocking and outdated, but they will change the dynamics of your household and can turn into a win-win for all.

Rule Number One: Give him Peace and Quiet and Privacy

To be balanced, the yang male needs periods of peace and quiet in order to recharge and rebalance his energy.

How does your family do this?

When he comes home from work, greet him with a calm and serene “Hello! Nice to see you home!” Make sure to avoid accusations, negativity, or requests for action. Let him relax and decompress in his favorite spot.

Rule Number Two: Give him some nurturing

After he decompresses and emerges from his private cave of choice, shower him with yin energy.

How does your family do this?

Treat him like “king for a day.” Prepare his favorite foods and support his desire to watch sports on T.V. or engage in his favorite pastime with or without you.

Rule Number Three: Give him some appreciation

To balance any challenges he may have had outside the home that day (challenges stimulate yang energy), help even out his temperament with positive energy.

How does your family do this?

Take some time to tell him how much you appreciate him, pointing out his physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual strengths.

Women, this column may sound like something out of the 1950’s, but even when the man of the house has embraced his feminine side, balancing the yang energies with yin energy can shift the dynamics of the family so that everyone gains.

Next column? What the family can do to help balance the females in the home – of course!


Alice Inoue is a life guide that uses the modalities of feng shui, astrology and spirituality in her work. Her offerings include award-winning, mind-body-spirit themed books, as well as a series of feng shui instructional DVD’s. For more information visit www.aliceinspired.com. Sign up for her newsletter to receive monthly articles on feng shui, astrology and life wisdom.

May 162012

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.

©istockphoto.com/aliceinoue. http://www.uluart.com/

What does your kitchen say about you?

The Stove

  • 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.

Stove Symbolism

  • 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.

The Refrigerator

  • 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.

Refrigerator Symbolism

  • 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.

Honor the Yin and the Yang ©istockphoto.com/aliceinoue. www.uluart.com

Take some time to “honor” both the male and female elements in your kitchen to create a greater sense of balance in your life.

May 092012


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!


Alice Inoue is a life guide that uses the modalities of feng shui, astrology and spirituality in her work. Her offerings include award-winning, mind-body-spirit themed books, as well as a series of feng shui instructional DVD’s. For more information visit www.aliceinspired.com. Sign up for her newsletter to receive monthly articles on feng shui, astrology and life wisdom.

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Apr 252012

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.

Reduce your exposure at home and see if you don’t sleep better. What do you have to lose, except perhaps some wrinkles and stress?


Alice Inoue is a life guide that uses the modalities of feng shui, astrology and spirituality in her work. Her offerings include award-winning, mind-body-spirit themed books, as well as a series of feng shui instructional DVD's. For more information visit www.aliceinspired.com. Sign up for her newsletter to receive monthly articles on feng shui, astrology and life wisdom.

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Apr 182012

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!


Alice Inoue is a life guide that uses the modalities of feng shui, astrology and spirituality in her work. Her offerings include award-winning, mind-body-spirit themed books, as well as a series of feng shui instructional DVD's. For more information visit www.aliceinspired.com. Sign up for her newsletter to receive monthly articles on feng shui, astrology and life wisdom.

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Mar 222012

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?


Alice Inoue is a life guide that uses the modalities of feng shui, astrology and spirituality in her work. Her offerings include award-winning, mind-body-spirit themed books, as well as a series of feng shui instructional DVD’s. For more information visit www.aliceinspired.com. Sign up for her newsletter to receive monthly articles on feng shui, astrology and life wisdom.


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Mar 142012

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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.

The Bagua
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?


Alice Inoue is a life guide that uses the modalities of feng shui, astrology and spirituality in her work. Her offerings include award-winning, mind-body-spirit themed books, as well as a series of feng shui instructional DVD's. For more information visit www.aliceinspired.com. Sign up for her newsletter to receive monthly articles on feng shui, astrology and life wisdom.

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Mar 072012

By Alice Inoue

While going through security at the airport last week I was asked by the woman me behind me if there is such a thing as “hotel feng shui.” She said that she travels often for work and although she has applied many of the feng shui suggestions I have given for the home, was there something she could do when she was away from home and staying in a hotel?


The answer is yes! Creating a home sanctuary in your hotel room that allows for an easy flow of positive energy is easier than you may think. Applying feng shui principles to a hotel room is simple. If you travel, here are some basic guidelines that you can use when you go on your next trip.

What to bring

Pack a few framed photos of your family, pets, and loved ones; some scarves; a few tea lights or travel candles; your favorite music on a CD or iPod, and some lavender soap.

When you first arrive

• If you notice any unpleasant odors when you walk in, do not hesitate to request another room. Smoke, old food smells, backed-up sewer smells, and so forth, will linger no matter how much you change the visual appearance of the room.
• Open all the windows to exchange the existing air with fresh air. This will remove anything left over by a previous occupant.
• Light some candles to clear the atmosphere of anything that isn’t serving your needs.
• Place the photos you brought with you on the nightstand or place them around the room to keep your energy connected to your loved ones and to give your room a homier feel.
• Make sure you unpack fully and put your clothes in the closet or in the dresser drawers immediately. Don’t live out of your suitcase, even if you are there for only one night. It is unsettling.
• Take a hot shower, being aware that the movement of the water is helping to “cleanse” and promote the flow of good energy into your hotel room. Use your lavender soap, which will help you let go of the traveling stress and tension.
When you leave the room
• Many hotel rooms have large windows that let in a lot of light. They also have large mirrors over the dressers to reflect the sun and make the room look bigger. These features create a lot of “yang” energy, which is great for stimulation, but not for sleeping. When you are away, pull the shades and darken the room to prepare it for “sleep.”
• Keep the bathroom door closed so as hold in the “good energy” you created in the room.

While you are in the room

• Burn the candles when you are relaxing in the room at the end of the day.
• Play the music that you brought.
• Cover the large mirrors and the TV with a scarf before you sleep to calm the energy even further.


The next time you travel, apply some of these basic guidelines and notice the positive shift in energy that you can create by just doing a few simple things.
While we all know that there is nowhere like home, by making the effort to create the best possible energy at your temporary home away from home, you will create a better template of energy to support you while you are there.

Alice Inoue is a life guide that uses the modalities of feng shui, astrology and spirituality in her work. Her offerings include award-winning, mind-body-spirit themed books, as well as a series of feng shui instructional DVD's. For more information visit www.aliceinspired.com. Sign up for her newsletter to receive monthly articles on feng shui, astrology and life wisdom.

Feb 292012

by Alice Inoue

I received an email the other day asking me for suggestions about what to avoid for better feng shui in the home.  What a great question!  Even in well feng shui-ed homes, things in the background can work to undermine success and bring down the energy of the home.  The following are some important things to avoid whenever possible.


•    Avoid mindless television playing

Leave the television off when you are not watching it.  If you do leave it on without watching it, be mindful of what is playing.  The television has become the centerpiece and focus of many homes, treated almost as a member of the family, so it is often left on even though no one is watching it.  Keep in mind that everything that is broadcast on the TV is energy and effectively “spills” into your home and contaminates it.  From soap operas and the wacky guests on the Jerry Springer Show to negative news reports – it all streams into your home when the TV is on.

•    Avoid always entering through the garage

In feng shui, the architectural front door of your home is where all the energy enters. The front door governs your career and life path, and if you constantly enter through the back door or the garage, it can contribute to losing sight of your purpose and path in life.  Always enter your home through the front door, and if you prefer not to, make a habit of entering through your front door at least once a day, even if you have to go out of your way to do so.

•    Avoid overstuffing your closets

Your closets represent your capacity to receive.  Even if no clutter is visible in your open environment, what is unseen has an impact.  Closets jammed to overflowing with equipment, clothing, basic junk, and unused items can contribute to burdens and overwhelm. When you clear your closets to about one third empty, you will soon feel some burdens in your life start to lift.

•    Avoid keeping unwanted gifts and heirlooms

Your auntie gave you her favorite paintings and your sister gave you a vase that clashes with everything you own.  Whether these things are on display or stored in a box, they keep you tied to the past and to unwanted things in your life.  Donate them to help you move on.

Many people feel “guilty” or “bad” about disposing of things that were given to them by friends or loved ones, but by keeping them, you allow what others want for you to be more important than what you want for yourself.


•    Avoid having “active” energy in the bedroom

The bedroom represents renewal, relationship and relaxation.  Avoid placing water fountains or an excess of water images and symbolism in the bedroom.  Moving water is “active” and the bedroom is “inactive”, so the less active energy, the more restful your sleep.  Water also represents emotions, and too much water tends to disrupt your emotional energy, taking you away from peace and restfulness.

Remove photos of children, parents, in-laws, friends, and past events and relationships from your bedroom and replace them with photos of your partner, or other symbols of love and partnership.

Remove exercise equipment, irons, strewn laundry, computers, and anything else that does not promote rest, renewal and relaxation.

•    Avoid kitchen “no no’s”

The kitchen is considered the heart of your home, so if you do not use your kitchen, it affects all areas of your life.  The less you use your burners the lower the energy of your home.  To generate warmth and vitality, use your kitchen often, even if it’s just to boil water.

Avoid displaying anything sharp, such as knives and scissors, as they create cutting energy that symbolizes conflict and anxiety.  Store knives in a wooden knife block, or better yet, out of sight in a drawer.

•    Avoid a “single-spaced” home

As my former teacher, Mary Swick, says, “You want your home to read like a double-spaced letter rather than a single spaced one.”  It is easier to read a double-spaced letter because the white space between the lines gives your eyes freedom and “breathing space”, allowing them to absorb and move over the content more efficiently.  Use this analogy in your home.  Too many things in a space create an energy traffic jam.  Open space avoids stagnation and allows movement and flow.  Dispose of pieces of furniture or items that make your home look single-spaced.

It’s that simple! You don’t have to “do anything” to improve your feng shui! Just make a conscious effort to avoid a few of the things I mentioned and you will increase the positive energy in your home.

Alice Inoue is a life guide that uses the modalities of feng shui, astrology and spirituality in her work. Her offerings include award-winning, mind-body-spirit themed books, as well as a series of feng shui instructional DVD's. For more information visit www.aliceinspired.com. Sign up for her newsletter to receive monthly articles on feng shui, astrology and life wisdom.