I'm going to guess that if you're reading this right now, it's likely that you've also been the recipient of the viral "July Moneybags" email that has seemingly circled the globe three bajillion times. You know the one I'm talking about, right? It's a chain email that suggests, because July 2013 has five Fridays, five Saturdays and five Sundays -- and because this only occurs, according to the email, once every 823 years -- prosperity and power will come to all those who forward the missive to at least four other people.
Although this email attributes its information to Feng Shui, it has nothing to do with this age-old philosophy. Firstly, ancient Feng Shui masters never depended on chain emails for their luck; rather, they created their good fortune themselves and taught others how to do the same. As for July of this year having five Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays ... a little research shows that this has happened four times in the last three decades: 1983, 1988, 1994 and, most recently, 2005.
Still, why not take advantage of this month's extra weekend by 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.
Finally, 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.
Now, go ahead and send this to four friends, for doing so will earn you some invaluable karma points. Either that or a home in their spam folder!
Some may like it hot, but this summer you'll be too cool for the pool if your swimsuit or sarong is all-white!
White is considered the coolest color in the Feng Shui spectrum, so if you want to look like a lovely oasis, wear it! But if you'd rather dress a bit more flamboyantly, gold swimwear is equally stimulating and will make you shine. After all, gold is a precious metal, and who knows -- if you wear gold, someone who thinks you're perfect and precious might come calling....
Your living space is definitely influenced by the fiery energy associated with summer, for it's this same force that impacts everything in the universe. So, naturally, this means the chi of summer will have an active influence on your health as well!
Feng Shui dictates that fire energy is associated with the heart, so now is a smart time to eat bitter foods -- a simple act that can strengthen and protect your heart. See this month's recipe (below) to take tarragon to, eh, heart!
If you'd also like to engage sounds for that same heart-caring purpose, then consider ascribing to the theory that musical scores which approximate the rhythm of the resting heart (70 beats per minute) can slow and help heal an anxious heart that's beating too rapidly. A few suggested musical meditations include "Mother Goose Suite" by Ravel, Bach's "Orchestral Suite No. 2," and Holst's "Venus, the Bringer of Peace" (from "The Planets Suite"). Indeed, marching to the beat of these pieces will help keep the beat in your own heart healthy!
"Vive Le France!" was the cry heard on July 14, 1789 -- more commonly known as Bastille Day -- when the French stormed that despised place and initiated their famed revolution. To commemorate this crucial event in world history, this month's magically delicious recipe highlights the herb most associated with French joie de vivre: tarragon, long considered an essential herb in French cuisine.
VIVE LE LEMON / TARRAGON CHICKEN SALAD
2 cups of heavy cream
2 tablespoons of melted butter
4 skinless chicken breasts
2/3 cup of creme fraiche
1/3 cup of mayonnaise
1 fresh lemon, juiced
4 teaspoons of freshly chopped tarragon
1/2 cup of chopped red onion
Steamed asparagus cut into half-inch pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
A pinch of sugar
1. Poach chicken in cream and butter. Allow to cool before cutting into quarter-inch slices.
2. To create dressing, combine creme fraiche, mayonnaise, lemon juice, tarragon, onion, asparagus, salt, pepper, and sugar.
3. Blend chicken and dressing. Serve at room temperature.
Whenever you pack up and head off on a summer vacation, Feng Shui suggests you should take into account the main element (Fire, Air, Earth, Water) associated with the area to which you're traveling. This way, you can tote along any and all applicable items to help balance your body, mind, and adventurous spirit!
For example, if you're traveling somewhere arid, make sure you'll have extra water in and around your temporary living environment at your destination. This could be as intentional as installing a small fountain, or as easy as simply ordering a few extra bottles of water. If, on the other hand, you plan to hit the high seas, you'll want to bring along a bit of earth to supply natural balance to the abundance of water energies.
So, the next time you're readying for some R&R, don't forget the F&S -- Feng Shui -- to make your trip truly memorable!
Whenever I think of heat, as I often do in July (who doesn't?), I sometimes also think of getting hot under the collar. External heat can sometimes lend itself to internal overheating, so this month I'd like to share a "many blessings meditation" to help cool down potentially heated situations!
To begin your meditation, find a cool and quiet place where you won't be disturbed for approximately ten minutes. Then, make yourself comfortable by either sitting or laying down with your back straight and your shoulders and neck relaxed.
Now, close your eyes and pay acute attention to your breathing: breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out. As you inhale, intone the words "many blessings"; as you exhale, recite the name of someone to whom you would like to send blessings. As you keep your eyes closed, continue this meditation for about ten minutes, or until you feel lighter and more at peace.
You can extend these blessings to present (or past) friends, family, colleagues, and cohorts -- including anyone with whom you have shared some "heat" and would like to enact a healing. In fact, you might find that, as you intone individuals' names, their image could appear before you! With more committed practice, you might even begin to feel the essence of their energy as you extend bright blessings their way.
The promise of peace is inherent in this meditation -- as is the premise of resolution, bringing balance to difficult issues and concerns. This is a personally powerful way to connect and share love, while also a simply perfect exercise for a quiet July day.