Natural Living — Feng Shui

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Going Green Starts at Home 4

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="300"]Space-filling model of a part of a PVC chain Space-filling model of a part of a PVC chain[/caption] Did you know that the EPA not only considers indoor air to be much more polluted than outdoor air, but it is one of the top 5 human health concerns? It is no wonder when you consider that most homes contain toxin soaked carpeting, formaldehyde soaked particleboard, toxic household cleaning supplies, PVC, offgassing, dry cleaning, plastics and much more. If it was manufactured in a lab, odds are it is not good for you or your family. The short and long term dangers are compounded if you have children or pets. The good news is that it is not terribly difficult or expensive to start going green at home. Gaiam has a nice article called 5 Easy and Cheap Ways to Green Your Home and the list includes: 1. Take your shoes off at the door to avoid tracking in lead, pesticides and other contaminants. The good news is, your home will stay much cleaner too. 2. Get rid of vinyl (PVC) which is commonly found in shower curtains, kids toys and backpacks. Look for the #3 or letters PVC. Why get rid of it?
"PVC frequently contains notorious phthalates to make it soft. According to the Children's Health Environmental Coalition, these phthalates are known to cause liver and kidney damage, endocrine disruption, reproductive system damage and, possibly, cancer, and they can easily leach out of PVC. And finally, harder PVC often contains lead and cadmium, two heavy metals that have also been linked to a host of health issues, including cancers." Gaiam.com
3. Switch to green cleaners because traditional household cleaners turn your indoor air and surfaces into toxic hazards. There are many green cleaners on the market today and they are a step in the right direction but making your own cleaners with vinegar, baking soda and salt is the most healthy, inexpensive, non-toxic and earth friendly way to clean your home. 4. Use indoor plants. They look great, are positive feng shui and yes they absorb toxins from the air. The best plants for toxic absorption are ficus, spider plants and English ivy. 5. Open your windows even if it is for a few minutes a day and yes, even in the winter. Even adding a little fresh air to the mix will help dilute the toxins in your household air.
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Video: Introduction to Feng Shui 2

This is a basic video introduction to feng shui and covers the history and basics of feng shui such as the use of colors and the bagua map.

Feng Shui Life - Declutter With A Yard Sale 2

by Laurie Raphael As you may already know, the first step to obtaining a feng shui life is to rid your home and yourself of all the stale and dead energy around you by getting rid of all the clutter. One really good way to do that is by having a yard sale. There are many great reasons for having a yard sale. Some people have yard sales before they move so they don't have to pack and ship belongings they aren't using. Sometimes they are updating the look of their home and sell their old belongings to make money and room for the new ones. Sometimes your children just grow like weeds and rapidly outgrow both their clothes and their toys. It could also simply be the desire to purge all those items you've held onto for so long, thinking you'd find a use for them but never did. No matter what your reason, having a yard sale is a relatively easy goal to achieve and requires just a few hours of preparation and a few more hours actually selling your wares. You'll reap both financial and emotional rewards from it. Getting rid of the clutter is your first step towards attaining a feng shui life. Decide on a date for your yard sale. Visit your local liquor store for boxes or use heavy duty garbage bags to put the items for your sale into. Start by surveying the items you have. When you are going through your house, you will need to be brutally honest with yourself. If you haven't used it, don't like it, don't see yourself using it or don't know of anyone personally who could benefit from it, then it's a yard sale item. Sort through every dresser and kitchen drawer, every clothes and linen closet, every cupboard and toy box you have in your house. Don't forget your basement, attic, pantry, entertainment center, buffet and outdoor tool shed as well. Get your family involved so that if an item belongs to one of them you won't be making the decision for them. Get their input before placing an item in your yard sale box. Regardless of the time it takes to sort through all your items, make the commitment to stick with it and remind yourself on a continual basis the monetary profit and emotional relief you'll feel once your clutter has been cleared from your home. Once the sale is over, make another commitment to yourself not to bring the unsold items back into your home. Make arrangements with your local charity thrift store to donate the items. Most will be happy to make arrangements to pick up large donations.Yard Sale If you don't have a local charity who will pick up the items just use my method and put a big "FREE" sign out at the end of the day. You will not believe how fast those items will disappear and it will save you a trip to the second hand store or from being tempted to bring the items back into the house. Once it's all said and done, you'll have a few extra dollars in your pocket, and can breathe an emotional sigh of relief that the clutter that's been weighing you down for so long has been purged from your home. Renew your commitment to remain organized and to combat the clutter on a continual basis. About the Author: Visit my Alternative Medicine website featuring Feng Shui life and Herbal Remedy Medicines, Chinese Herbal Medicine and much more: http://www.AlternativeMedicineBasics.com Buy the Book: Yard Sale [affiliate] Image Source: http://flickr.com/photos/opticallyactive/81438260/

Feng Shui Your Kitchen - Top 10 Tips 11

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="300"]Feng Shui Your Kitchen Image via Wikipedia[/caption] For those who are not familiar with the meaning of "feng shui", it literally translates to mean "wind and water." Feng Shui is about how the "chi", or the energy of the life force, flows around us and influences our lives. The main aspect of this energy is that it should be in balance. There are five Feng Shui elements. There are no good or bad elements but each one has its own influence on the other. The five basic elements are metal, wood, water, fire, and earth. The Chinese believe that these are the basic elements of the universe and everything in our world is an amalgam of the five elements. There are colors associated with each element. They are: Element and Associated Color Metal - White, Aqua blue Wood - Green, hunter green Water - Black, navy blue Fire - Red, light purple Earth - Yellow, light brown Here are Ten Top Tips to Feng Shui your kitchen for better health and prosperity. 1. The kitchen should not be the first room you want to see when you enter your house. 2. The kitchen should not be located below a toilet or adjacent to it. 3. The kitchen should have several levels of lighting, creating an airy and spacious, clean, bright and welcoming environment 4. Keep the kitchen simple and do not overload it with gadgets. 5. De-clutter worktops and cabinets alike. 6. Fresh flowers bring uplifting energy to the kitchen. Place a bowl of fruit, a vase of flowers, or a living plant in your kitchen. 7. Always use bright Yang colors like oranges, greens, browns and bright yellows as this is the Yang sector of your home. Yellow (any shade) is very good for digestion. 8. The oven should not face the front door under any circumstances. The Feng Shui Kitchen9. Fire and water should not be aligned side by side or directly opposite the each other. Separate the two with a partition made of wood if you don't have a choice. 10. The kitchen is a perfect place to grow herbs and vegetables. Any green growing plant will vitalize your space; growing food increases your ability to generate wealth exponentially. Whenever you water your plant, visualize that you are investing in your future and caring for your financial needs. We hope you enjoy your newly energized space. by Ian and Jo Ludlow About the Authors: Ian and Jo Ludlow have worked in the home improvement industry for many years. They can be contacted through any of the following websites. http://www.design-ideas-for-kitchens.com http://www.home-and-garden-ideas.com http://www.sales-and-management-training.com Ian Ludlow's background is in sales training and coaching with a specialization in supporting companies that sell direct to the public. Buy the Book: The Feng Shui Kitchen [affiliate link] Image Source: http://flickr.com/photos/loremipsum/82848198/
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