Tag Archives: harmony

The Tale of Two Choices – Decks vs. Covered Patios

When you live in a place like Texas, where summers are akin to one version of hell, the general consensus is that a covered patio is the preferred option. Why?  Shade of course.  We will park a 1/2 mile away from any store if there is a spot of shade to hide our car under in the summer.  This same rationale holds true for our homes as well.  Shade is a commodity that helps ease the stifling 100 degree+ heat that we have come to expect here during the summer.

Even though my Texas roots go way deep, I cannot, in good faith, recommend that anyone choose a covered patio instead of a deck, regardless of their location on this planet.  My reason for this trumps the Texas heat and goes all the way to my Feng Shui roots.  In Feng Shui we have guidelines and rules that give us insights and potential outcomes.  Ideally, a house will have a completely even line across the back of it.  In other words, there will be no missing chunks, i.e. incomplete life areas.  One reason this is important is because the back of any home contains the life areas related to Wealth, Fame and Love.  Where there is a missing chunk in one of these areas, imbalance is probable.  Clearly, imbalances in other areas of the home are also important, but I consider these the Big Three, and they frequently impact our lives the most.  I have personally lived in a home with an added area that cut out the Wealth and Love areas of the house and it was no small feat to bring it back to balance!

When a house is complete in the areas of Wealth, Fame and Love, and its owners build a covered patio halfway across it, they have most likely created at least one missing area.  When this happens, it can take a year or so before the repercussions are felt, but they will be felt and they will have to be balanced in some way.  However, if a raised deck is added to the back of an otherwise complete house, as the photo below clearly shows, no missing areas are created.  Shade can be added in the form of large table umbrellas, a gazebo or a pergola.  You get all the benefits of mowing less grass, and none of the imbalances that can develop with a covered patio.  What do you do if you already have a covered patio? Well, that answer will follow in another blog!

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Houses Even A Feng Shui Consultant Couldn’t Love

While it is true that most homes can be adapted to Feng Shui principles of balance and completion, it is equally true that there are some houses that are way more work than they are worth.  Even when I am not consulting on an individual client’s home, I am always observing and mentally correcting the Feng Shui imbalances that I see around me, and it is my observation that some houses have so many Feng Shui issues that even a Feng Shui consultant couldn’t love them.  Here a short list of my top 5 least lovable house designs:

  1. Sometimes a house is just fine, but there is something around it that is causing a problem.  One thing that comes to mind involves things like giant electricity transformers and huge city water towers.  These type of structures have a very ominous energy about them, and they can cast a sha-chi or poison arrow shadow onto a home which has a cutting effect.  When we see this type of issue, it can be helpful to notice what part of the home receives the shadow being cast or where the structure is located within the property’s bagua by focusing on the area of your life is receiving the disruptive spike of energy from the sha-chi.
  2. A house with a yard that slopes down in the back, and due to city ordinances involving water drainage, cannot be corrected by adding dirt to level it.  This is a biggie!  When you consider that the back of a yard encompasses the Big 3 sections of a bagua, including Wealth, Fame and Relationships, these are some of the key areas of life that need stability and balance.
  3. A house with a major freeway on the other side of the fence is a Feng Shui nightmare.  I have actually seen an example of this in person.  I’m not sure which came first, the massive toll road or the subdivision that had a row of houses backing up to it, but I know that no number of wind chimes could alleviate the noise or disruption created by this type of structure, and thus, it belongs on this list without a doubt.
  4. A house shaped so that either Abundance or Relationships is excluded under the original roofline requires a lot of mental and physical shifting and changes.  While it is possible to activate missing areas by creating living areas such as a covered deck or garden when a home’s original design left these areas out, it would not be my first choice for a new home.
  5. And finally, we have the classic Feng Shui no-no’s such as waterfall stairs in line with a front or back door, front and back doors that are directly aligned and opposite one another or all of the above with a road pointing at it as well.  Why go there?  With the number of houses that do not have these structural imperfections, there is only reason that someone would chose a home like this.  They simply don’t know any better, or they don’t believe it will matter.  If you fall into that last category, let me know how that goes for you.  The fact is, some things are true whether you believe in them or not.

Logynn B. Northrhip is a Professional Feng Shui Consultant in Austin, TX offering local and remote consultations.  She can be reached at http://www.fengshuidesignconcepts.com, fungschwaygirl@yahoo.com or by calling 512/496-9232.

Do You Have What it Takes to be a Hoarder?

I am pretty sure that I met a certified hoarder last week, and you would never know it by looking at him.  I was on my morning bike ride, roaming through an unexplored neighborhood, when I saw a garage that was so full, that it seemed to be defying gravity by not falling out.  Naturally, I pulled my bike over and reached for my camera phone.  However, before I had a chance to snap a photo, a slender man in his mid-60’s walked up, shook my hand and started talking to me. Within the space of 5 minutes, I knew all about his 20 year career as an air-traffic controller, a real estate deal he just helped close, that he is now single but used to be quite the ladies man, and that he was indeed the owner of the garage that I was about to photograph.  Needless to say, I did not get my picture, but I did feel as if the amount of information that verbally spilled out of him was relative to an avalanche of stuff that wanted to fall out of that garage.

I did not tell the man that I am a Feng Shui consultant, and I did not ask him about all the clutter that he stores in his garage because I know that the psychology behind a person who hoards is delicate and I wanted to proceed with caution.  The entire experience got me thinking about why people hoard, and what role that Feng Shui can play in the process of healing.

I found an amazing website that is dedicated to clutterers at http://www.clutterless.org, and it gives a great definition of the difference between hoarding and cluttering.  The truth is that they are not one and the same.  Even though they are both often a manifestation of deeper psychological issues like anxiety or depression, that is where the similarity ends.  According to Mike Nelson, author of the book, “Stop Clutter from Stealing Your Life”, while cluttering is a self-diagnosed condition, hoarding is not.  Hoarding must be diagnosed by a psychiatrist and medications are often prescribed.  He goes on to say that a hoarder “cannot make rational decisions about what is useful and what is not.  A hoarder obsesses about their stuff and is compelled to collect it, yet they are usually unaware of anything being wrong.”

I am doubtful that Feng Shui can be used to help a hoarder unless they start to recognize that they have a problem.  Just like an alcoholic must admit that they have a problem with alcohol before healing can take place, I believe this is also true for a person who hoards.

Using Feng Shui tools to allow a clutterer to shift their space is a much more likely solution and it starts with a Feng Shui bagua.  You will need to virtually  place a Feng Shui bagua over your space, oriented to the front door.  Once that is in place, you will be able to determine which of the rooms in your home or business have the most clutter or hoarding tendencies.  For example, you may notice that the only place in your home that gets cluttered is in your Money area.  It is dangerous to over-simplify why that is the case, so don’t try to figure it out unless you notice a repeat pattern.  If you clean it up and then a few days later, it has somehow managed to get just as bad if not worse than it was, there could be something more than clutter going on here.  Or, there may be some issues around money that you need to shift within your own thinking process in order to eliminate it for good.

Regardless of whether you have borderline hoarding tendencies or you are a plain ‘ol clutterer, the bottom line is that you will start to know your own inner workings better by becoming an ardent observer of your surroundings.  The fact is that your external surroundings REFLECT your inner world.  If it is cluttered or full of broken things that no longer have a purpose, you can use the tools of Feng Shui to learn to let go.  It may not be easy, but it will change your life, if you let it.