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Learn how feng shui techniques can declutter your home and create positive space in your life.
Do you want to bring happiness, good fortune and wellness into your life this year? Turn to the positive energies of feng shui as your guide. The ancient Chinese art of living in harmony with your environment can help spruce up your home and simultaneously create balance and joy.
Bridget Saraka, the Saskatoon-based owner of Feng Shui by Bridget, says the practice offers life-changing benefits. "Feng shui is about creating a space that's not only pleasing to your eye, but also pleasing to all your senses, so that your home supports and enriches your life," she says. "How we live has a profound impact on what our experiences will be. When you apply feng shui principles to your home, you can attract a great new year."
If your home is cluttered, dimly lit and has poorly arranged furniture, feng shui principles state that your life will be filled with obstacles and present few opportunities for growth. As a result, your job, relationships, finances and health can become stagnant. By making a few small changes, you can revitalize your space and your life. Here are six simple tips to get started:
1. Make your front door visible to receive blessings
In feng shui, a hard-to-read house number or a blocked walkway to a door will prevent positive energy from entering the home. "Have an address that's easy to see from the street and a path from your front door into your home that isn't cluttered with obstacles," says Saraka. "If the universe can't find you, how can fortunate blessings find you?"
2. Add colour for good health
Taupes and other neutral colours are popular in home decor, but they might contribute to low moods and energy levels during Canada's long, dark winters. "They're the wrong colour palate for Canadians because many of us suffer from seasonal affective disorder," says Saraka. From a feng shui perspective, these colours absorb the winter light, leaving Canadians feeling depressed and directionless.
To boost health and energy, start by painting your walls. "Choose a colour that's warm yet still reflects light – soft yellows, soft greens – colours that give a feeling of the sun and nature," says Saraka. "Green makes all colours pop, plus it's about life, vitality, growth and new vibrations." If you can't afford to paint, use colourful accessories—accent pillows, throws, live flowers, lighting in dark corners—to ignite powerful energy shifts in your home. "It's the easiest and most affordable way to do it," says Saraka.
3. Edit your belongings
Clear the bad vibes that accompany clutter. "Go through your home with a keen eye to what no longer serves you. If you haven't worn or used it within a year, donate it," says Saraka. "If it's broken and you're not going to repair it, remove it from the space. This editing practice opens up your home so you have room to experience a new chapter." Items that hold upsetting memories should be removed, too.
4. Let indoor plants and water bring prosperity
¨Want to attract wealth this year? Bring plants and a water fountain into your home. "Jade plants and fountains are symbols that represent wealth and finance in feng shui," says Saraka. Your health may also benefit from plants and flowers inside the home. "They purify the air," says Saraka, "And as you nurture the plant, you're nurturing yourself."
5. Position furniture for safety
If you don't feel safe and comfortable in your home, your furniture placement might be to blame. "Feng shui is first and foremost about comfort and safety," says Saraka. "Make sure that the largest piece of furniture in any room is in a position where you can see the door. If the sofa or head of the bed is against the same wall as the door, you can't see who is coming in. This creates a sense of vulnerability."
6. Use essential oils to attain happiness
Essential oils can help clear negative energy and add happy vibes to your home. "Put distilled water in a spritzer bottle, add three to six droplets of oil, and then spritz the air," says Saraka. If someone has been ill, Saraka recommends a blend of frankincense and cinnamon. ¨"To infuse a space with joy, use rose and orange essential oils. Rose is about love. Orange is about joy. So you're infusing joyful love into your space." Essential oils can be purchased from most health-food stores.
For more feng shui tips, check out how you can declutter your car.
The Sex and the City veteran and Canadian-bred actor opens up about her new show and how it's shaping her views on aging.
Whether it’s a part on the big screen or a theatre stage, Liverpool-born, Canada-bred Kim Cattrall owns them all. And her newest role? Executive producer for a TV series. The actor not only plays Davina Jackson in HBO Canada’s Sensitive Skin but also gives input for every detail that goes into the series’ fictional world, from scripts to casting to location. After shooting the second season in Toronto, Cattrall opened up about her passion for the show and the ways it’s made her rethink aging.
Why were you attracted to Sensitive Skin?
A lot of women my age are facing challenges, and I wanted to bring those to a story about a woman who is at a crossroads. She’s a mature woman in her 50s, looking at the next 30 years and what they could entail. She’s leaving behind the roles of wife and mother and starting to understand who and what she is. As Bette Davis said, “Old age ain’t no place for sissies.” It doesn’t look the same as 22. Getting older is celebrated in most of the world, but youth is championed in our society.
Has working on the show changed the way you think about aging?
It’s making me a lot easier on myself. And I love that so many of the actors in our show are of a certain age, because there’s camaraderie. We have survived in this business, which is pretty tough, and created a supportive enclave in telling this story.
Have you changed your beauty regimen as you’ve gotten older?
I’m wearing more and more sun protection. I protect my hands as well as wear a floppy hat on my kayak [at my home on Vancouver Island].
Watch for season 2 of HBO Canada's Sensitive Skin, airing spring 2016.
What’s it like to work with Patricia Field, the stylist and costume designer for Sex and the City?
What I love about Pat Field more than any other designer or stylist whom I’ve worked with is that she’s not a snob. She takes inspiration from anyone and everyone. She loves to see what the kids are wearing on the street and to interpret that for her client.
Over 50 and fabulous? Our guide to aging gracefully helps you choose the skincare, hair and makeup products that are right for you.
This article originally appeared in the April 2016 issue of Canadian Living Magazine.
When it rains and snows, Jamal Burger of @jayscale (a play on grayscale) runs out to capture Toronto in all its glory.
Toronto may be Canada's best-known metropolis, but daredevil Jamal Burger (@jayscale)—who's known for scaling the city's skyscrapers in search of the ideal shot—has managed to put his own spin on this much-exposed city. Instagram is already crowded with Tdot snaps, so the 23-year-old photographer knows he has to go the extra distance to snag that special photo. "If you really want a shot, you might have to hop a fence or wake up at 4 a.m. to catch the sunlight," he says.
That's why, when he's not climbing to great heights for bird's-eye views of the skyline, he's ditching his bike at the side of the road and running across a bridge to get the perfect angle of the CN Tower at the perfect moment. Even crummy weather—think pouring rain and sleet, gloomy fog and whiteout snow—gives him a thrill. "Some people like to stay in when it rains or snows," he says, "but that's when I get excited to run out."
Jamal's a risk-taker, but he's also a perfectionist, taking up to 800 photos in one day and only ever posting a handful, if that. His passion comes from a deep-seated love for his city. "Showcasing Toronto through my lens has always been important to me; it'll always be something he takes pride in."
His moody shots expose the steel and pavement of Canada's concrete jungle, transforming the Big Smoke into a hard-edged yet enchanting place at the mercy of the elements.
Jamal's fast four:
1. Neighbourhood: Queen Street East
"Queen Street East is an area of Toronto that's often overlooked. There are so many good things: cafés, secondhand furniture shops, amazing restaurants. Start at Broadview and walk east."
2. Restaurant: Rasta Pasta
"This restaurant is in Kensington Market. You can get an authentic Jamaican lunch like jerk chicken for super cheap."
3. Bakery: Bobbette & Belle
"It's the best spot to pick up cupcakes, cakes and other baked goods. They have friendly service as well."
4. Campus: University of Toronto
"If you have a day, walk around the University of Toronto campus. It's fascinating to see the buildings and learn the history [with a tour]."
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CLICK HERE for your chance to win 1 of 5 Emma Donoghue's The Wonder novel.
In Emma Donoghue's latest masterpiece, an English nurse brought to a small Irish village to observe what appears to be a miracle-a girl said to have survived without food for months-soon finds herself fighting to save the child's life.