©iStockphoto.com/slidezero_com Credits: ©iStockphoto.com/slidezero_com
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.
Photography by David Wile Credits: Photography by David Wile
|This story was originally titled "Many Steps Forward" in the October 2014 issue.|
Subscribe to Canadian Living today and never miss an issue!
Photography by James Tse Credits: Photography by James Tse
Apple and Cranberry Lattice Credits: Jeff Coulson
Take advantage of the abundance of apples at harvest time by trying some of our best apple dessert recipes. From Classic Apple Pie to delicious Apple Fritters, we have the best apple recipes to help you enjoy the best of the season.
Ooey, gooey caramel buns give plain old cinnamon rolls a serious run for their money. A bit of whole wheat flour lends a hint of wholesomeness to these otherwisenutterly indulgent treats. They are delicious any time and best served warm.
A fluted lattice top is all you need to transform a bubbly, fruit-filled pie into a bakery-worthy treat. Its filling combines the best of the season with a mix of apples and fresh cranberries.
Family and friends will be amazed at how impressive these treats look and taste. (How easy they are to make can be your secret.) Look for pressed cottage cheese in the dairy case of the grocery store. Use 10% cheese for its rich and creamy taste. This is not the place for low-fat cheese – you won't get the desired creamy texture.
These scrumptious treats are a must during apple season. But who are we kidding? They're a welcome indulgence any time of year – especially during the holidays. These fritters are best served warm, so gather everyone in the kitchen to enjoy them as soon as they're ready.
The combination of sweet-tart apples and salty Cheddar cheese is a match made in heaven. The grated and diced apples in this moist quick bread are key to the bursting apple flavour and tender texture.
There is just enough batter to hold the apples together in this French-style apple cake. Use any baking apple you like; just make sure it can hold its shape when baked.
Be sure to use in-season apples that are firm, sweet and somewhat tart. The cake alone is dairy-free. If you're making this for a kosher meal or for someone with a dairy intolerance, drizzle the cake with warmed honey rather than the honey caramel sauce.
These individual galettes are spiced with the warm winter flavours of cinnamon and allspice. For a spectacular restaurant-style finish, serve each one surrounded by a drizzle of sauce on the plate and finish with a dollop of whipped cream.
A cinnamon-infused cream cheese icing graces the tops of these ultramoist cupcakes. The mix of apples and fragrant spices makes them an ideal harvest dessert.
Enjoy all the pleasures of crumble-topped apple pie in a delightful hand-held size. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream for an even more indulgent dessert.
Adding fresh apples to this muffin batter is a nice way to incorporate fruit in a baked treat. Dried cranberries add a touch of tartness, but you can use raisins or any other dried fruit.
When leaves begin to change colour in the fall, it's a reminder that freshly picked apples are in abundance. Serve a slice of this classic treat topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.