What better time than the height of summer to start carrying your own money bag in order to grow your own fortune?
Simply find yourself a small red pouch, then add three or nine faux Chinese coins tied together by nine or 18 inches of red ribbon, thread or string. Then, add some fake paper or "spirit money," as well as bit of sea salt and a pinch of dried basil.
To activate the energies of your new money bag, add a crystal of some sort, then either carry this talisman with you or position it in the "wealth" area of your main floor, bedroom and/or office.
Uh-oh! Summer has crept upon you ever so slowly and, gulp, now's the time to pull out -- and try to squeeze into -- that itty-bitty bikini!
Well, one way to quickly shed extra winter weight is to wear the perfect summer color: white! Indeed, my Feng Shui master, Lin Yun, always recommended that anyone who wishes to lose weight should clothe themselves entirely in white.
Why? Well, the reasoning behind this Feng Shui fashion dictate is that a white outfit really does make a person appear heavier, thereby serving as a motivating reminder to step away from the buffet and, instead, step it up on the Stairmaster.
Lin Yun also wisely speculated that wearing white clothes forces a person to eat more slowly to avoid spilling food or drink onto an outfit that would otherwise tell the tale without words ... even those you might have to eat! Furthermore, using a white plate, a white tablecloth and eating bland (or "white") foods will also lend energy to your weight reduction efforts this summer. (As for the white bathing suit, however, not so much.)
So, get your white on, get those pounds off and slip into that teeny-weeny bikini!
I'm more prone to eating raw foods during the summer months, so I was grateful to recently learn of the benefits the body receives when including raw broccoli sprouts in a daily diet. These wonder veggies shoot up from three- to four-day old broccoli plants and very much resemble alfalfa sprouts. And while they can certainly be steamed or added to smoothies, they are most efficient when simply eaten raw.
The reason broccoli sprouts are currently gaining such popularity in the holistic community is because they're now known to be stuffed with phytochemicals, the same antioxidants that play such a critical role in reducing the risk of cancer development -- or so says research conducted by the Stanford Comprehensive Cancer Center in California. One of the most prominent phytochemicals in broccoli sprouts is glutathione, which not only protects cells, but also stimulates the body's immune system in a major way. In fact, a Johns Hopkins study says that the concentration of immune-stimulating, cancer-fighting agents are 20 times higher in broccoli sprouts than in a fully grown broccoli plant itself!
One more reason to enjoy broccoli sprouts during the summer months might also be to rid yourself of the after-effects from that extra mojito you had while sitting on the dock of the bay and listening to Otis Redding. Indeed, glutathione is not only a critical antioxidant, but also a tremendous liver and kidney detoxifier. So, the next time you reach for your old friend Tom Collins, make sure he's married to a little appetizer topped with broccoli sprouts. That way, you'll escape the harmful effects of an overtaxed liver and a pair of exhausted kidneys!
Sunflowers ... glorious, magnificent, giant sunflowers! July is the perfect month to find fields of these natural light-loving flowers growing in the wild, so why not bring some of these spectacular and magical stems into your own living space?
Feng Shui suggests that placing fresh sunflowers in the "fame" area of your home will surely heat up your own recognition factor. Other ancient traditions dictate that making a wish as you eat the seed from the head of a sunflower will allow that dream to come true. In fact, sunflower seeds have been used in medicines, rituals and healing recipes since they were first discovered in the Southwest region of the U.S.
And so, in the spirit of the summer season, this sunflower and squash salad will bring both a full tummy and all the protective energies associated with the shining sun!
SUNFLOWER AND SQUASH SALAD
1/3 cup of sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon of sunflower oil
1/2 red pepper, chopped and diced
2 small zucchini, julienned
2 small summer squash, sliced in small rounds
3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely minced
Sea salt and ground pepper
1. Toast the sunflower seeds for 15 minutes at 250 degrees F.
2. Blend half the seeds in a blender, then add sunflower oil, apple cider vinegar and garlic, as well as a healthy pinch of salt and pepper. Blend the mixture into a dressing, then put aside.
3. Arrange the diced red pepper in the center of a salad platter; place the julienned zucchini around the edge. Place the sliced summer squash between the two and pour the dressing over all the veggies. Sprinkle on the remaining sunflower seeds.
4. Refrigerate for two hours. Add one more pinch of salt and pepper before serving chilled.
A bit of planning can go an awfully long way where summer fun and vacations are concerned -- or so says Feng Shui, anyway. So, here's some adjustment advice for enriching summer's most popular getaways!
One of the first things you'll want to consider is the presence (or lack thereof) of any elements -- Fire, Earth, Air, Water -- associated with your holiday. For example, if you head anywhere desert-like and dry this summer, then of course be sure to carry extra water with you ... and not only to quench your inevitable thirst. Conversely, if you plan to take a cruise, you'd be wise to keep a bit more of the Earth element around -- a rock, a stone or crystals will bring balance and keep positive energy flowing. Feng Shui also dictates that sleeping with an Earth element under your pillow will allow you to sleep more soundly overnight.
Now, if you'd like to carry one all-purpose Feng Shui cure for any vacation agenda, then be sure to tote along five small mirrors on your trip. Once you arrive at your vacation space, position one mirror facing outward against each of your room's four walls. Rest the fifth mirror face-down on the floor to help deflect neighbor noise.
Lastly, don't forget to purge predecessor Chi from your vacation space. You can carry your own sage or incense to cleanse these energies, or you can simply open a few packets of salt, pour them into glasses you can then spread around the room, and allow them to absorb any negativity, bad luck or ill Chi left behind by prior visitors.
Finally, if you're unable to find incense or even salt, you can still flush out bad energies by clapping your hands, loudly, with that same intention. Begin at the door and walk in a clockwise direction, clap-clap-clapping all the while.
Now you're ready to enjoy your excellent adventure. Give yourself a hand!
Whenever I think of heat -- as many of us surely do throughout July -- I also sometimes think of people getting a little hot under the collar. External heat can sometimes lead to internal overheating, so this month I'd like to share a "many blessings" meditation that can help cool down any complicated situation -- past and/or present.
Firstly, find a cool and quiet place where you will not be disturbed for at least ten minutes. Once you've done this, get yourself comfortable by either sitting or laying down, with your back straight and your shoulders and neck relaxed.
Next, close your eyes and pay careful attention to your breathing. As you inhale (either silently or aloud), intone the words "many blessings" and, as you exhale, recite the name of someone to whom you would like to send blessings. This could be someone you know and love, or it could be someone with whom you have shared some of that aforementioned heat and, therefore, would like to enact a healing. Eyes closed, continue this meditation for approximately ten minutes, or until you feel lighter and more at peace.
You can extend these blessings to friends, family, colleagues and cohorts; you might also find that as you intone their name(s), their image will appear before you. With more committed practice, you might even begin to feel the essence of their energy as you extend your bright blessings to them.
The promise of peace is inherent in this meditation, as is the potential resolution with anyone to whom you extend blessings. This is a personally powerful way to connect and share love -- and a perfect exercise for a quiet July day!