You may expect me to offer some Feng Shui tips to underscore your sense of thankfulness this month since -- let's face it -- that attitude of gratitude pervades all the energies around us. (Or it should, at least.) But I think I'd rather offer a secret Shui tip that will give you reason to be oh so grateful by the time November comes to a close.
See, this whole Thanksgiving feast day began when the Pilgrims planted their crops in New England upon arrival from the Old World, doing so much later in the crop season than is the norm; this explains why our country's harvest festival falls so late in the calendar year. If you look at all the harvest festivals in the world that start as early as August, you'll see how our American Thanksgiving is really just a tardy example in sheep's -- or as in this case, turkey's -- clothing.
But that doesn't mean we're not right on time to attract fortune and luck where seasonal Shui is concerned. Do this by hanging several dried ears of corn by their stalks on your front door to invite another year of prosperity, abundance and, of course, luck. You can also keep a cornucopia of dried ears of corn on your dining room table in order to enact those very same energies -- as well as their spectacular results.
And if that's not a reason to be grateful, well, I don't know what is! Happy Thanksgiving!!
If there's one specific color that's most aligned with the energies of this late autumn month, it is without question the sweet, uplifting and depression-dispelling hue of orange. More than just the predominant color of the leaves as the seasonal wheel spins, orange has a more mystical meaning as well. Truly the color purple might get more media attention, but orange has a deeper influence on our health and happiness -- and even our prosperity -- than we realize. After all, it's long been told that even Lady Luck wore only orange in her efforts to maintain her moniker. And if that fashionista saw fit to use orange to invite luck along for every ride, that's good enough for me!
Orange is considered a "power" color in the Feng Shui realm and a healing one in others. Wearing it is believed to encourage creativity and bring emotional balance during times of undue stress or even severe shock. Orange promises a willingness to embrace new and rewarding ideas; it's said to also offer a sense of exploration, enjoyment and play, and to bring about an upbeat and optimistic attitude. Overall, it stimulates enthusiasm, endurance and vitality, and can really spice things up when life becomes too serious!
Consider donning some orange this month whenever you hope to radiate warmth and energy out into the world! Now, orange you glad you stopped by?
Due to November's tendency toward family, friendly festivities, reunions and meals, this time of year can sometimes be very hard on those lacking that social aspect -- or worse yet, who are missing a departed loved one. Melancholy and moodiness can become more prevalent during the holidays, with moods ranging from mild grumpiness to worse ones that make mountains out of molehills and small steps seem like enormous strides.
Of course, before advising any course of action where distress or depression is concerned, I strongly advise seeking the aid of a qualified professional. However, if you think you're simply suffering from a mild case of seasonally disaffected disorder -- or what my friend Jonathan Ellerby calls "inspiration deficit disorder" -- then you might just benefit from cutting down a cherry tree.
No lie! A flower essence therapy that relies on the fruit of a cherry tree is said to help dispel surface layer moods, while also restoring optimism, cheer and -- my personal favorite -- hope.
It's actually all very sensible. The fruit of a cherry tree can taste both sweet and sour, and the tree has shallow roots -- all indicative of different states of the human temperament. Cherries themselves are high in iron and act as a tremendous blood-building tonic; they also have a mild laxative effect. The juice is a known remedy for gout and is also used to dispel hacking coughs and counteract food poisoning, especially when caused by fish. Taking a few drops of cherry flower essence under the tongue a few times a day has been believed for eons to bring light-hearted optimism and good cheer, even under challenging circumstances.
So this holiday season, why not forego the cranberry and try some cherry instead? I swear I cannot tell a lie -- this stuff really works!
"Dia de los Muertos," or Day of the Dead, is a mourning celebration that happens every November 2 in Mexico, and it carries with it favorite ancestral foods cooked to tempt the appetites of the dearly departed from beyond the veil -- as well as the appetites of those still living. This ritual stems from ancient Aztec culture and stresses how important it is to truly enjoy life while we still have the great fortune to do so.
One item that's always included in this celebration is the mystical chile pepper, and one ancient chile-related legend in particular addresses fears of your partner sowing their oats in someone's else's pasture, so to speak. If such concern is yours, find two large dried chile peppers, cross them together and tie them with ribbon, yarn, thread or string -- red or pink work best. This is said to keep the unfaithful at bay.
Alternately, if you feel you've been given the evil eye, scatter red pepper flakes around your home to break the curse or spell. Never sweep them up; rather, vacuum up the pepper after at least 24 hours, then dispose of them outside your home.
And now, your chilly November chile recipe!
LOVE YOUR LIFE CHILE CON CARNE
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1-1/2 pounds of lean stew beef, preferably cut into small cubes
1 large red onion, peeled and rough-chopped
4 cloves of garlic
3 teaspoons of chile powder
1/2 teaspoon each of dried cumin, dried oregano, cinnamon and mint
1 12-ounce can of plum tomatoes
1 one-pound can of pinto beans
1 one-pound can of black beans
1 small can of green chiles
Lettuce, chopped tomatoes and sour cream for garnish
Heat oil in large pot and brown the meat lightly and slowly. Add the onion and garlic, then sautee for another five minutes. Add the herbs and spices, stirring slightly to blend the mixture together, then cook for another three minutes. Add the tomatoes, then cover and cook for 15 additional minutes. Add all remaining ingredients, then cook for another 45-60 minutes. Serve hot. Garnish with lettuce, tomato and sour cream.
Over the river and through the woods -- on planes and trains and in automobiles! Indeed, the day before Thanksgiving is notoriously not for travel amateurs, since it's reportedly the most heavily trafficked travel day of the entire year.
Now, we know you're supposed to step onto a plane with your left foot first in order to ensure fast and friendly skies. And we also know you should always carry an image of the mystic knot while on the road, in order to keep travel complications at bay. But this month, we focus on car Shui to make this month's trip to grandmother's house (or that of any loved ones) an excursion to be remembered fondly for years to come!
First off, Feng Shui says that your car -- just like your living and work spaces -- should be completely clear of all clutter. This even includes any bottle caps and straw jackets that have found their way under or in between the seats!
It's believed that playing classical music during the holiday drive will have a calming effect on everyone in the car, as will placing three drops each of lemon and lavender essential oils onto a cotton ball and centrally positioning the cotton where everyone can absorb a soothing whiff.
But by far, the most promising of all Feng Shui tips for car travel dictates that you place some feathers in the glove compartment of your vehicle. Peacock feathers in particular are believed to bring fortune and luck when traveling in the family vehicle, so see if you can add three or even six feathers to guarantee happy trails. And let's face it: By the time you're driving back from whence you came, you may have had enough turkey to last a lifetime, so a little peacock might just be a welcome relief.
Safe journeys to all! And of course, happy Thanksgiving!
Here's some really random Thanksgiving Day Shui from my book, Make This Your Lucky Day:
1. Try to always use yellow mums as your choice of floral decoration, and be sure to place them strategically throughout your home. Along with bouquets of freshly cut florals, these plants are known to usher in both tranquility and peace, while also bringing buckets of recognition to all of your efforts, both in and out of the kitchen. If you're visiting others, be sure to bring a yellow mum to your host or hostess, as this will add a heaping helping of harmony and happiness. Karma will then boomerang right back to you -- three times, in fact!
2. Use side-lighting table lamps instead of overhead ones, as harsh overhead lights can create subtle shadows that promote depressing or even tense energies. Overhead lighting is also believed to create anxiety in the atmosphere, and that's not a guest you ever want at any happy holiday gathering.
3. Cover your table with a cloth cover -- as opposed to paper covers or runners that don't completely cover the surface -- as this is thought to absorb not only negative vibrations, but free-floating discord as well.
4. And lastly, don't forget to serve almond rice cookies alongside pumpkin pie for dessert. This Feng Shui secret not only brings sweetness to the day's events, but also adds an extra dollop of fortune and luck ... according to all those ancient eastern bakers, that is.
Using any or all of these advisos at this season's gatherings promises happiness and harmony -- and there's something that really warrants gratitude!