We've watched them go from playing ring-around-the-rosy to different roles as they prepare to enter the "real world." They're our 2010 graduates, and this year, maybe we can help all their efforts at garnering opportunities by playing our own version of ring-around-the-graduate!
See, gold rings are believed to be one of the best and most magical graduation gifts any student can recieve. In fact, symbolizing completion of studies by wearing a heavy ring was a tradition first begun at West Point as it established the first-ever class ring for its graduates in the early 1800s. The idea took off, and there's a customary reason why.
The ritual of wearing rings and pins dates back to ancient Egypt, where people believed that specific seals and signets on rings could conceivably ward off evil, bad luck and sometimes even death. Other ancient cultures even believed that wearing specific symbols would bode well for overcoming myriad circumstances that cross many boundaries of everyday life. This is why the tradition of wearing signet rings has such special significance for graduates -- they carry with them at all times everything they've learned at their alma mater.
Now, many philosophies hold true that a gold ring in particular represents nobility, wealth, prosperity and success, especially if this ring is worn on the third finger of the right hand. And when worn this way, a gold ring is also believed to bring strength, courage, health and abundance -- all gifts that any graduate can use in anticipation of great days to come. And that's better than a gift card any day!
Let's talk about some empowering wedding gown chic -- with an emphasis on the first three letters of that last word. That's right -- there is such a thing as wedding gown chi!
Now, if you have the luxury of owning a wedding gown made especially for you, the fact is, very few hands will have touched your special garment before you pull it over your head. However, if you've gotten your gown from a retail outlet, chances are high you're probably not one of the first to leave any sort of energetic imprint on that fabric.
Vintage gowns in particular are said to carry a trace of the previous owner's energy, or chi. Obviously, this isn't too much of a concern if the bride who wore the gown before you enjoys (or enjoyed) a long and happy marriage. But what if you don't know the disposition of the bride who wore it before you? Or of anyone who tried on your great gown before you decided it was the coolest couture for your special day? That's when it's time to perform a little pre-wedding day Shui!
Pass a ringing bell over the gown at least nine times to clear away any unkown predecessor's energies, as well as to calm your own jangling nerves. Then, at any time prior to your nuptials, leave the dress next to a bowl of sea salt and uncooked rice overnight. This will absorb any negative energies that could adversely affect your own happily-ever-after. After all, there's a reason that throwing rice is a hearty tradition of good luck at weddings across the globe. This time, though, the only thing we're tossing is any nasty vibes!
Cleanse your couture and be perfectly sure your dress is dazzling, deluxe and delightful -- just like you and your sweetie on your perfect day!
June. Swoon. Moon. Spoon.
Well, spoonfuls of stress relief, in any case, since June is a month so often dedicated to watching both brides and graduates alike walk gingerly down an aisle. Nerves can sometimes get the better of even the best of us, but we can certainly sideline them with simple, but time-tested -- and entirely effective -- de-stressing techniques.
One of these tips involves bathing in your bliss, all while watering down your nerves. And here comes the use for that aforementioned spoon!
Place one tablespoon of rose petals, one tablespoon of wheat grains, and ten chopped prunes (dried plums) in a net. Suspend this net in a bath full of warm water, then add ten drops of essential rose oil. As you do this, try your best to rid your mind of any worrying thoughts.
Then, close your eyes and shift your full concentration to the bottom of your collarbone. Keep your attention on that same space while gently massaging your temples. Try to do this for at least five minutes as you soak for up to 20.
This beauty bath comes from ancient acupressure traditions, and it should leave you feeling healthy, happy and well. Now that's something to swoon over!
Whenever I think of the month of June, I think of weddings and graduations, as well as similarly wonderful, but potentially life-altering transitions. Then I think of all the ways anyone facing these game-changing events can stay cool as a, well, cucumber.
See, cucumbers actually do have a "cooling" or purifying effect on our bodies, both inside and out. We've all heard that putting small slices of chilled cukes on swollen eyes will reduce the bloat and return the area to normal. Well, this restoration of the entire eye area is due to the fact that cucumbers help replenish elasticity to the skin surrounding the eye, as well as alleviate sore muscles in the same area.
You also might see sliced cucumbers sitting in chilled water at spas. That's because cucumbers are considered an excellent digestive aid, as well as a toner and detoxifier.
So, if you're heading down either the wedding or graduation aisle this month, you might want to start by de-stressing with a big bowl of ...
COOL AS A CUCUMBER SUMMER SOUP
3 cucumbers, peeled and sliced thickly
1 red onion, peeled and chopped
2 cans of cream of celery soup
2 tablespoons of salted butter
2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 cups of water
1/3 cup of sour cream
2 bay leaves, crumbled
1/4 tablespoon of freshly chopped dill
Melt the butter in a skillet, then add the cucumber, onion and bay leaves. Saute slowly over low heat until the cucumber is tender but not yet browned. Discard the bay leaves and blend the cucumber, onion and lemon juice in a processor or blender until smooth. Add the cream of celery soup, water, sour cream and dill, then blend again until smooth. Chill and serve with a dollop of sour cream and a few sprigs of fresh dill as garnish.
Now, go ahead and chill!
So here it is, the start of another summer. And this is the year, you promise yourself, that you finally take that vacation of your dreams. But with gas prices and airfares flying higher, how is a savvy and dollar-sensitive recessionista suppose to make it happen? Why, with Feng Shui, of course!
Firstly, it's important to know where you want to go so we can trigger "travel Shui" that will activate opportunities to get you there in style. Now, never you mind exactly how that's going to happen -- your only job is to make sure it does! The touristy travel Shui will do the rest.
So, the first thing you'll need to do is locate the "helpful people and travel" area of your home in order to start these proverbial engines. This can be found in the bottom right hand corner of your main living area, as well as in same area of your bedroom.
Once you've located your travel space, then comes the entirely easy and empowering part. Get yourself some symbols (pictures, etc.) of any exotic port of call you've been hoping to visit, and hang them high in this same travel space. Make sure you can see these objects whenever you pass this spot.
Furthermore, you might want to support this tangible intention with something concrete. For example, if you want to jaunt off to gay Paree, find a few beautiful pictures of that city and position them in your travel space. Better yet, put something else here that speaks of France to you as well (a tiny statue of the Eiffel Tower?). Whatever you do, make this space an active homage to the place you most want to visit.
Next, locate the special travel area in your bedroom, and let it represent where you'd most like your wanderlust to pack a passport to. And every time you look at these symbols, for at least the next nine days, envision yourself completely enjoying that specific destination.
Then, wait for your energetic travel guides to show up in the most mysterious ways. Maybe a friend will offer you a free ticket to ride. Or perhaps your parents may not be able to make that cruise they were scheduled to take, but if you could only take those tickets off their hands. See what I mean?
There you go -- and off you go, too! Have a lovely summer ... and of course, bon voyage!
In keeping with the wedding theme I've been weaving all throughout June's Shui advice, I thought I'd share some more clinking that clicks with me!
Feng Shui says there is actually a God of Marriage, and that his real name is Chieh Lin, aka the old man in the moon. He's said to have charge over all nuptials between we mere mortals, while also sanctioning special unions between potentially perfect partners. He does this, according to ancient philosophy, by figuratively tying the feet of the partners together with an invisible red silk cord.
It was this belief that gives us the origin of a tradition that's a staple at Eastern weddings, which says that a couple can seal their marriage pledge to one another by drinking wine from two glasses that have been tied together by nine (or 18) inches of red cord, string or ribbon. Another tradition says that if the bride carries some of this wine in her glass and spills it on the street as she and her mate depart, they will then enjoy their happily-ever-after, for she is now like "spilled water" and unable to return to her previous form.
Now, what if you don’t have a date with destiny that will walk you down the aisle anytime soon? Simply take two glass or crystal candleholders and put a pink candle into each one. Tie the holders together with red ribbon, string or cord, and leave them a few inches apart.
Next, light the candles daily for the next nine days, letting them enflame your intentions so you may find the true love of your life. Each day, as you extinguish the flames of your desire, move the candleholders a bit closer to one another. On the ninth day, allow the candles to burn completely down as the bases of each holder touch one another.
Once this cure is complete, it shouldn't be long before you send me an invitation or your own -- plus one, of course!