It's that time of year again -- time to renew, restore, revivify and, yes, spring clean!
This year, though, I want you to concentrate your clutter-clearing energies on three specific rooms: the bedroom, kitchen and entryway. Why? Because this trio of spaces wields such enormous influence over your life! When collectively cleared, they'll provide a fresh burst of energy, as well as the kind of fortune and luck that will put the proverbial -- and literal -- spring back in your step!
Your bedroom, kitchen and entryway are the single most important spaces in your home, according to Western Feng Shui. Cleaning and clearing your bedroom -- or even only your closet for now -- can lead to your dreams coming true. Your kitchen represents abundance and wealth, as well as how others perceive you, so clearing out its clutter can bring increased career opportunities and wealth. And your entryway, or "Room of First Impression," is the only place through which vibrant and positive Chi enters your living space, so of course it needs to be welcoming and clear for that to happen!
Addressing these three spaces with a healthy spring cleaning intent will allow you to almost immediately experience real and positive change. Couldn't you use some cosmic assistance in moving your life in the direction you desire? I'd say that's worth clearing out the cobwebs for!
April showers always bring out the umbrellas, so a brief explanation of the bad luck and superstitions surrounding this rainy-day accessory is definitely in order!
It appears that the bad juju attached to the umbrella began as far back as ancient Egypt. As our golfing buddies already know, umbrellas were not designed to protect against rain, but rather, to serve as a shade against the sun. Early Egyptians designed the umbrella to resemble the canopy of the sky, which they believed was formed by the body of the celestial goddess, Nut. No surprise, then, that the shade cast by the umbrella was considered sacred -- so sacred, in fact, that if a commoner came into contact with it, it was considered a sacrilege, as well as an omen of bad luck to come.
So, the next time April showers require you to carry an umbrella, make your own good luck. Wait until the sun shines once again, then stand in the shade of your handheld canopy and say a silent prayer for fortune and luck. Pretty soon, a shower of blessings will rain down upon you, too!
16th century English poet Thomas Tusser famously wrote, "Sweet April showers do spring May flowers." It's no secret, then, that we can often expect April to be a damp, and even dank, month.
If you're prone to the April cold and the runny nose, sneezing and chest congestion it totes along with it, here's a helpful beverage suggestion that will clear you right up and put you back on your feet again in no time at all!
Green tea with a tablespoon of organic honey can flush out your flu-like symptoms as you sleep overnight. Simply drink a piping hot mug of this cold-killing concoction before you start counting sheep, and you'll be counting your happy -- and healthy -- blessings in the morning!
Julius Sterling Morton, the so-called Father of Arbor Day, once remarked: "Other holidays repose upon the past. Arbor Day proposes for the future." Isn't that sentiment lovely? He, of course, was discussing the majesty of trees and how they impact the spirit of humankind.
In fact, trees were worshipped as far back as ancient times, when Earth's earliest inhabitants believed that the gods "owned" the trees. And so, one of the earliest forms of worship -- that of trees -- was born. Mythology abounds with tales of tree worship.
The fruit of one such tree was believed by many to be the one that signaled the downfall of Adam and Eve -- and it was not, as so many have been taught, an apple. Biblical scholars have shot holes through that theory, maintaining instead that the fruit in question was actually an apricot!
So much legend and lore attests to the mythical power of love that the apricot embraces. This month, as everything springs to life from the soil, bring a true love anew -- as well as a lovely apricot sauce that can be poured over ice cream, or even angel food or pound cake.
APRICOT SAUCE OF LOVE
Yields 1 3/4 cups
2/3 cup of dried apricot halves
2/3 cup of sugar
2 cups of water
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Pinch of ground cinnamon
1. Combine water, sugar and apricots in medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium; simmer until apricots are tender. This should take 20-30 minutes.
2. Remove pan from heat and allow it to cool for 15 minutes.
3. Transfer mixture to blender, then puree. If necessary, gradually add more water until the blend forms into a smooth sauce.
4. Add vanilla extract and cinnamon, then blend well. Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate.
Sticking with this month's spring cleaning theme, I want to share a few age-old and time-tested -- but really easy and effective -- ways to clear what Feng Shui calls "predecessor" energy from hotel/motel rooms, or any other space you might be calling home immediately after someone else has. Undertaking a quick cleaning of any room that's just housed anyone on spring break is especially important, since the energies left behind by alcohol (or other "spirits") can stick like glue!
Whenever you take up residence in any temporary space, whether for a day or a year, it's crucial that you clear out all the energies of anyone else who's been there before you. One quick and tremendously easy way to do this is to simply light a match and let it burn approximately halfway down before blowing it out. The smoke will naturally act as the cleansing agent you need.
Of course, you can always tote along your own sage or sandalwood incense to achieve the same effect. Alternately, you can pick up a few packets of salt, pour them into an open container and let the salt absorb any and all leftover energies in the place.
Lastly, if you can procure a fresh orange, add some of its juice to a glass of water that you'll be blending into the mack-daddy of room cleanses! To do so, allow the water and the orange's juice to mix for at least 20 minutes, then head to the door to the room. As you stand and look in, flick the orange water everywhere in a clockwise direction. It won't stain, but it will cleanse all predecessor energy, leaving you with a completely fresh perspective -- and a fresh start as well!
Coming off a cold winter, it's sometimes hard to work up enthusiasm and optimism for what comes next. Often, once the winter blahs have made you blue, you simply can't help but feel stuck or stalled.
This, of course, is exactly the time to place a wind chime in the center of your bedroom!
The chime itself should consist of five hollow metal rods or tubes that sing out a sweet, clear sound. The five rods represent the power of Feng Shui's five elements, and should be hung from red ribbon, string, yarn or thread in some multiple of the number nine.
Once the chime is in place, don't forget to invoke the invisible energies of the cosmos by repeating the Six True Words Reinforcement Mantra: "Om mani padme hum." Repeat this blessing nine times to receive the greatest amount of health, happiness, fortune and luck this philosophy promises!
This particular Feng Shui adjustment not only uplifts your chi, but also offers a positive attitude adjustment as well. It's a good way to alleviate depression and laziness, so if you're feeling as if you can't accomplish or achieve anything, give it a try!