We're nearing the time when those three little words many of us love to hear make their annual appearance. That's right, I'm of course talking about "back to school"!
But since returning to school -- at any age -- is likely to stir up a bit of stress, I thought I'd offer some simple advice for making this annual transition easier.
According to Feng Shui, a student's bedroom has an impact on his or her studies and grades. In fact, a student's environment can create supportive energies -- or conversely, complications -- to educational, emotional and even social growth.
To create supportive energies, place a globe of any size in the "knowledge and self-cultivation" area (the near left corner) of the student's bedroom to promote and sustain healthy social growth, as well as an interest in world affairs. The presence of the globe will not only help ground the student, but will also invite positive chi into the student's academic life. Believe me, I've seen Ds turn into Bs as quickly as you can spin a globe nine times in a clockwise direction (hint, hint)!
Furthermore, by placing a symbol of recognition in the bedroom's "fame" area (center of the back wall), you'll be inspiring the student to reach their academic goals. Whether those goals are getting into graduate school or simply getting through third grade, letting students know that you're proud of them will foster a sense of self-pride and go a long way towards building lifelong confidence. Displaying items such as handmade artwork, trophies, merit awards and even highly graded papers will ensure more of the same good fortune.
Lastly, educational artwork and maps of any sort should be added to the "fame" space (or anywhere in the student's bedroom, really) to nurture a sense of wonder!
Let's face it: During this time of year, things get hot! So this summer season, why not put a luminous glow in your aura?
All throughout summer, aggressive yang energies are at their zenith as the sun shines brilliantly almost each and every day. The heat of these days can create charisma, joyful expansion, passionate encounters, ecstasy and bliss!
But, of course, this overabundance of heat can also cause tempers to flare and arguments to arise seemingly out of nowhere.
One way to assuage those aggressive energies and cool down is to wear "cold" colors such as white or ice-blue. In fact, blacks and blues are considered an antidote to the heat emanating from fiery reds. When worn with the right intention, these hues will allow everyone to just chill.
So, forget about that itty-bitty yellow polka dot bikini! Throughout August, you'll want to wear a white, black or blue one. And then you can chillax, baby, chillax.
According to Feng Shui, each month has a flower or plant to complement the energy of its days. And the flower that contains the vital essence of August? It's the pear blossom!
Pear blossom flower essence is believed to help heal reproductive issues for women, while also offering a healthy smattering of self-nurturing energy -- not to mention a few inspirational feminine qualities! Using pear blossom flower essence is also said to provide peace of mind and stability during major life changes.
This special essence effectively addresses any disharmony, such as feeling thrown off-balance due to an accident, illness, injury or emotional crisis. It allows one to truly live in the present as it balms trauma -- especially if that trauma is related to childbirth, miscarriage, abortion and or any other anxiety- or grief-producing state.
Taken four times daily under the tongue, four drops of pear blossom flower essence will promote strengthening of the nervous system and a decrease in depression, all while assuaging common fears associated with feeling vulnerable to uncontrolled insecurities and other emotional earthquakes.
As always, check with a qualified medical professional before embarking on an alternative protocol such as this. Once you do, this special flower essence can turn into a real ally -- particularly in August, the month of the pear blossom!
This month, we're going to celebrate the age–old Celtic harvest festival of Lughnasad by enjoying magically delicious food during the holiday!
Lughnasad, also known as Llamas, Festival of the Breads or simply First Harvest, falls on August 1 or 2. In olden times, the Celts would gather on Lughnasad to celebrate the Sun King as they anxiously awaited the upcoming harvest.
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All forms of corn (particularly corn grain) are considered a mainstay of this holiday, as corn can provide nourishment across cultural lines -- a multi-national comfort food of sorts. And now is the perfect time to offer gratitude and thanks for this life-giving gift from the heavens!
POTATO CORN CHOWDER
8 ounces of regular corn (canned is fine)
8 ounces of creamed corn (canned is fine)
2 cups of peeled and diced potatoes
1 cup of finely chopped onions
1/2 cup of diced celery
2 cloves of garlic
1 cup of heavy whipping cream
3 cups of milk
1/2 stick of salted butter
4 cups of vegetable broth
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon of white pepper
2 teaspoons of minced fresh basil
2 teaspoons of minced fresh oregano
1 teaspoon of minced fresh thyme
1 teaspoon of minced fresh rosemary
1. Mix together cream, half the potatoes and creamed corn in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
2. In a large soup pot, melt butter, then add onions, celery and garlic. Saute until soft, taking care to not burn.
3. Add all remaining ingredients, as well as the smooth potato blend. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 35 minutes.
4. Serve warm ... and remember to give gratitude and blessing before enjoying!
Since August is traditionally the month when resort bookings are in greatest demand, it's safe to speculate that many of you will be staying in a space other than your own this month. So, whether you're keeping close to home or heading further afield, here are some Feng Shui travel tips to keep in mind as you hit the road for the final days of summer!
Firstly, make sure the bedrooms in your own home are clutter-free before you depart. Elsewhere in the house, don't forget to empty all garbage cans, dishwashers and dryers. This philosophy maintains that, even though you are going away, you're still strongly connected to your home on a subtle, energetic level.
Upon arriving, make Feng Shui-friendly adjustments to your temporary living quarters. Begin by placing fresh flowers around the space, as this will introduce healthy new chi to the environment. Immediately open all windows and doors to allow for a healthy flow of fresh air. And in order to refresh (or even negate) bad predecessor chi, light some incense.
While you're at it, why not bring a little piece of home with you? Even if this is your time to get away from your regular home life, research has proven that you'll sleep better if you bring something from your own house to make you feel a little more at home on the road. A pillow is usually the preferred accoutrement, but if you can't create enough space in your suitcase, a specially scented candle will do. You may also want to bring a framed photo from a great bygone summer trip to lend a bit of subtle psychological motivation, for doing so could help you tap into the same sort of happiness this time around!
And lastly, don't forget to keep a little grounding energy on hand while you're out and about by carrying a smooth stone or clear quartz crystal around on all your adventures. No matter where you are, this will connect you with your Earth energy, while also allowing your own energy to root you in your current space.
So, if you'll be traveling this month, these tips could be considered as important as remembering to pack the sunscreen and towels. Happy trails!
Long ago, a 1960s band called the Happenings echoed this age-old (and mostly teenage) sentiment for summer:
"Have a good time but remember / There is danger in the summer Moon above / Will I see you in September / Or lose you to a summer love?"
If that last line in particular catches your eye, read on to learn how you can best mine the danger and love that lies waiting in that summer Moon above!
Feng Shui says that positioning an image of the full Moon in the "relationship and romance" sector of your home -- the far back right corner of your bedroom -- will shine a bright light on your intention to find that perfect partner.
Alternately, you can harness powerful lunar energies by filling a small glass or ceramic bowl with crystals, stones and/or glass beads on the next full Moon. (A red glass or bowl filled with red or purple crystals, stones and/or glass beads works best.) Once you've done this, place three pink candles in (or right next to) the glass or bowl, then light them for the three nights of the full Moon. This will illuminate a path to your heart and make your love life burn as brightly as any star in the summer sky!
One last Feng Shui tip is to write your true love's name on a yellow balloon -- and write your wishes on it as well! Be sure to use red ink, then release the balloon on the first night of the full Moon.
Following these hints could land you a late-summer love to last through all the seasons of your life!
Sherene Schostak is a Jungian psychotherapist, author and metaphysician who specializes in helping creative artists transform their addictions and blocks. She has been in private practice in New York City for the past 13 years consulting, writing and... read more