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Feng Shui Success (Love) Story!

The quote below is from Sheri, a long-time client.  A couple of years ago, she signed up for a feng shui-based teleconference class that I was teaching, and well…the rest is history. 

She’s a great example of a client who runs with the cures and who is truly dedicated to creating the life of her dreams.

This is her “thank you note” (a.k.a. testimonial) to the power of feng shui!

“Katie’s Feng Shui class changed my life!! When I enrolled in her class, I was lonely, depressed and had given up on love. However, I knew the power of Katie’s Feng Shui so decided to give her class a chance. I reprioritized my personal obligations so I could take the time needed each week to focus on the different life areas in my house….”

“…I won’t kid you, it was a lot of work and a bit scary at times but Katie couldn’t have been more supportive and helpful and it was well worth it! I rearranged furniture, sold items on Craig’s list, donated items, passed along items to friends and family and even purchased a few new items with the money I’d received from the items I sold. I gave 110% to completing each and every task from each week’s class. Six weeks in to the 9 week course I met the love of my life, my soulmate and as of April 6, 2013 my husband! I’ve never been happier, more at peace, or felt more secure and fulfilled than I do now. Thank you Katie!!!!!!!!!!!”

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How to Get High

Thankfully, somewhere along the way, I’ve learned the true meaning of “high.”  As cliche and cheesy as it might sound, it’s true:  the natural high is, by far, the best high.

So how does one get this so-called “natural high”?  What is it?

One of the definitions on Urban Dictionary reads:  “Something that getz u really happy or feel like ur high without using drugz.”

I personally like the phrase: Blissed Out.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, or it’s just been a long, long time since you’ve felt this way, chances are you’ve been going about things the wrong way just a tad.

Let me help.  Here’s what works for me:

Secrets to a Natural High
by Katie Rogers  

Source

1.  Eat well.  I consume smoothies and salads almost daily.  In fact, I’d say that, when I’m donig my best, my diet is about 75% raw, organic, fresh food (some days way less, and some days, I eat all raw!)

YUM! (source with recipe)

The rest of my diet mostly consists of “whole” or “real” food.   Basically, I stay away from meat entirely and processed stuff that passes for food.  Bottom line: when I’m eating extra-well, it sends me soaring!  I’ve also been taking some B vitamins, iodine drops (for a healthy thyroid), and adding spirulina and chia seeds to my smoothies lately — definitely extra zing!

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2.  Exercise.  If you’re not getting the oxygen flowing through your blood, it’s going to be difficult to get high.  My personal favorite high-inducer:  YOGA!!!!!  Yoga, yoga, and more yoga.  Seriously, this is where I shoot out the roof! (Not always during the class, I admit — sometimes!– but afterwards, YES!)

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I’m obsessed.  It’s absolutely a mind, body, spirit exercise.  If you’ve done yoga and didn’t like it, try, try again until you’ve found the right teacher for you.  If you are a beginner, I recommend you go to a beginner’s class, as you’ll get the foundational elements to last you a lifetime.   If ever I’m resistant to going (which is rare these days, because who doesn’t want to feel high?), I have a mantra:  “It’s always a good idea to go to yoga.”

Besides yoga, a good, long bike ride, a nice invigorating swim, the occasional jog, and a great hike are my other favorite ways to get the O2.  Options for exercise are endless:  find one or two you like, and do it as much as possible.

3.  Get enough sleep.  Finally!  I saw the Dalai Lama in 2005 and then I saw him again in May 2013.  Both times, he sang the praises of sleep as a key to happiness.  I’m finally taking this seriously.

Sleeping Beauty (source)

To promote the best sleep possible, my bedroom is feng shui’d with very little electronics (i.e. just my lights!).  I have a headboard for support.  There is nothing under my bed.  And I try my best not to get on the computer (or look at any sort of screen for that matter) past 8:30 or 9, as it’s harder to fall asleep that way.  And I go to bed early!  Also, I’ve been taking more breaks — naps are great — throughout the day.

4.  Get outside.  I call nature the Great Healer.  Seriously.  Humans are designed to be in very tight relationship with nature.  I believe that trees and rivers and oceans are literally healing us as we “commune” with them.  Horticulture and pet therapy are VERY real things!

exercise, nature, time with friends and daughter = awesome

5.  Living MY Life.   I’m doing feng shui and I’m making a movie and I’m a mom to the best little girl in the whole world.

I love my job — a client’s floor plan + bagua 

In other words, I’m living my life’s passions.  I have found my dream careers, and I am doing them!

CarLess in LA, the movie!  

And I tell my daughter I love her at least 15 times a day.  (I sort of made a vow to myself when she was born that I would do this.)  Reiki, art, writing, and trees are all part of my career path too, and it all ties together, but right now, I’m fully editing my film, and my feng shui career is flourishing…and so much fun.  And no, my life is not picture-perfect — whose is?! — but it’s uniquely and beautifully mine.

6.  Fun, rest, & play.  I admire flowers on walks.  I go to the movies.  I pet the neighbor’s dog.  I love my friends so I make time to hang out with them.  I spend as much quality time with my daughter as possible (key word being “quality”).  I take the day off, and I take vacations.  I have a drink or two now or then.  I have my cake and eat it too, if I want it.  I laugh.  Look, if we didn’t find pleasure in things, what would be the point of all the other stuff we do in life anyway?  HAVE FUN!  Chill out.  Right?

Not photoshopped one bit — gorgeous, right?!

Now for the definite buzz kills:
1.  Hanging out with the wrong crowd.  (You really can get new friends.)
2.  Ignoring your soul’s callings.  (You are alive on this planet for a reason — find out what it is and do it.  We will thank you for it.)
3.  Being judgmental or worrying about being judged.  (So middle school.)
4. Caffeine.  (You’re just going to crash and want #5 or a sleeping pill at night.)
5. Alcohol.  (You’re just going to want caffeine, bad food, and Advil in the morning.)
6.  Sugar.  (Really is a drug.)
7.  Meat.  (Takes a lot of energy to digest, and that energy could be going to other things.  Plus, poor Wilbur.)
8.  Too much dairy.  (Slows us down.)
9.  Hating your life.  (If this last one applies to you, take the day off, make a vow to be really honest with yourself as you assess your life, and make the decision to move in a new direction.  Because hate is strong word and nobody’s going to change your life for you, except for you.  Be bold!  Be courageous! Say some prayers, and make the leap.  Trust me — many, many of us have been there too — face the fear and see what happens.)

The point is:  we can use our own energy to fuel ourselves.  With the right mix of the good stuff, we can all be as high and happy as the Dalai Lama himself.  Okay, maybe not all the time, maybe not every day, BUT don’t you WANT to feel good — like, really, truly good?  (Just don’t try too hard to get high– that’s a buzz kill too.)

a new painting I did for fun

After all, the only HAPPILY ever after is the one you’re going to give to yourself.

No peer pressure though.

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Why Going Green May Be the Most Important Feng Shui Cure of All

Last night I gave my first “Green” Feng Shui lecture at the library in Homewood, Alabama.  Here are the highlights as well as my inspirations along the path of living “green”:

1.  Appreciating nature.  
When you have lived and visited the most beautiful places in the world and take the time to get to know the nature there, you can’t help to want to protect it…and be moved by it.

the Grand Tetons, Jackson Hole, WY (source)

Kauai, Hawaii  (Source)

2.  The Redwood Forest and Julia “Butterfly” Hill.  Once upon a time in the 1990s, a 23-year-old woman sat in a Redwood tree because she was tired of big companies cutting them down.  After all, only 3% of these 1000-year-old (plus) magnificent beings were left in the U.S. (the only place where they grow), and she (like me) was touched and awed by their beauty, mystique, and wisdom.  Once up there, she knew that she could not come down until her job was done and her message was loud and clear.  It was TWO YEARS before she set foot upon the ground.

Here is her book about her experience:

3.  TreePeople.  I was smart and lucky enough to work for this non-profit when I lived in Los Angeles.  Andy Lipkis started it when he was only 15 years old, when trees were being killed by — guess what — smog.  He had a vision to replace the trees….and build community at the same time.  Today, forty-three years later, TreePeople is “planting the way” to greener, healthier cities everywhere.

TreePeople park planting in LA (source)

4.  Diet for a New America by John Robbins.  I didn’t touch on this in the speech, but becoming a vegetarian has not only been the healthiest choice for my body, it’s also been a major contribution to the planet.  This book sealed the deal for me.

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5.  Documentaries.  There are so many people putting the message into the world on what is really happening on our planet, socially, politically, economically, and yes, environmentally.
Here is a short list of the ones that have influenced me:
The Corporation
FLOW: For Love of Water
The End of Suburbia
Gasland
Who Killed the Electric Car?
The 11th Hour
Dirt: The Movie
Wall-E  (not a documentary, but a cartoon with a strong, smart, and very real message)

And here’s an extremely thorough list that I stumbled upon:  http://www.filmsforaction.org/articles/films_for_action_presents_the_top_100_documentaries_inspiring_the_shift_to_a_sustainable_paradigm/

6.  Anna Cummins and 5 Gyres.  I met Anna when I was filming CarLess in LA.  She and her husband are on the front lines when it comes to plastic, plastic, plastic, having personally been to sea to research.  Check their mission out here:  http://5gyres.org

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7.  Senor Enrique Penalosa.  Another inspiration from my CarLess in LA days, he implemented bike lanes, parks, better public transportation, and car-free days in Bogota, Columbia, where he acted as mayor.  His work has opened my mind to the importance of building cities for people rather than building cities for cars.  Today, his message is worldwide.

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8. Costa Rica.  When I was 19, I volunteered with some friends at various places throughout the beautiful country of Costa Rica.  First we helped with the endangered sea turtles, then at an animal rescue reserve, and finally, on an organic farm.  Being exposed first hand, and helping first hand, was fulfilling and wholly educational.  And fun.   No book, documentary, speech, or blog can replace being on the front lines yourself.

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9.  CarLess in LA.  This is the documentary that I’m in the process of making.  Again, front lines.  Again, priceless.  I’m proud that I accomplished this feat and of the amazing, inspiring, brilliant, and caring people I met along the way.  Here’s a glimpse:

So what is “Green” Feng Shui?

In other words, how does feng shui apply to our greater, collective “home,” the planet Earth?

Bottom line:  When you practice feng shui in your home, you are in the process of raising your vibration and consciousness.  When your vibration and consciousness are at their peak, you are living in joy/peace, which is what we all are ultimately after.

Similarly, when we being to become more conscious of our actions affecting the Earth, we are in the process of raising our vibration/consciousness and moving towards greater joy and peace….

….even if we have to “endure” a bit of “inconvenience” in order to do so.

So yes, recycling, reusing, and reducing is good feng shui.

Driving less and turning off your lights is good feng shui.

Insulating your home is good feng shui.

Making a vow to never buy plastic water bottles ever again is good feng shui.

After all, what if the Earth is crying out to us?  What if all the anxiety, depression, addiction, etc. that our society is prone to has a root cause:  that we are freaking out because we subconsciously know that we are messing up?  Could we all be blocking out her call by our busyness, our pill-popping, and our shopping?  (Note:  This theory inspired by a section in a book called Dream Tending by Dr. Stephen Aizenstat.)

There are many, many people who aren’t satisfied blocking out her call, and they are leading the way in the ways of green.  But the tipping point hasn’t happened yet.

After all:

Source

So now that your mind has been stretched even just a tiny bit, what choices will you make?  I believe the tipping point can and will happen.  And how cool is it that this generation gets to be such a huge part of it?

Plant a tree.
Buy at the farmer’s market.
And spread the word.

It’s our collective home, and it will take a collective effort.  And it will be well, well worth it.  I promise.

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“Sex & the City” Had Feng Shui All Over It!

I indulged in a few re-runs of Sex & the City this weekend.   Total guilty, girly pleasure, but it must be done on occasion, right?

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It was the episode (episodes– they run together, don’t they?) where Carrie and Aiden (hottie) break up, and then she has to buy her apartment because he served her papers, yadda yadda.  Basically, we find out that she’s totally broke.  She’ll be out of the street unless she gets some major money fast.  Oh no.  What will Carrie do?

So—where’s the feng shui in that?!

Ah-ha!  It’s there.  It’s so there.

Get this:  the show opens up with Carrie fixing her toilet!  It was “flushing” by itself or something and she had donned those yellow cleaning gloves yet still managed to look cute trying to fix a toilet.  Very dramatic.

So?  Hello!  In feng shui, a broken toilet represents broken finances!  i.e. Money flushing down the toilet.

And it just happened to be an episode about Carrie having money issues!

So that’s feng shui clue number 1.

Feng shui clue number 2:

Charlotte is recently divorced, yet she is holding on to her ring “because she loves it.”  It is quite a rock.  The poor dear secretly wears it when she’s at home alone — yes, on her ring finger on her left hand — and just walks around her fancy NYC home…wearing it.

Later, Charlotte decides to help Carrie with her down payment by — guess what — giving Carrie the ring!  (Ta-da, happy ending!)  By letting go of the ring, not only is she helping out her buddy, but she is moving past and letting go of her failed marriage.

SO feng shui, right?!  Objects hold energy– especially a freaking engagement ring from a marriage that didn’t stay put.

I wonder– especially with the toilet aspect — were the Sex & the City writers schooled in feng shui?  Did they draw inspiration from it?   Or are they tapping into the universal consciousness where all feng shui knowledge lives, and it just sort of oozed its way into the creative process?  I mean, come on — was that toilet intentional or not!?

I’ll probably never know… but if I start seeing more feng shui sneaking into TV shows and money, I’m going to have start making a few calls to find out.

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Awesome Feng Shui Books

Perhaps you want a little more info on feng shui?  Well, there are some great books out there to get you started.  Below are a few I recommend.  All these authors use the Tibetan Black Hat sect school of feng shui over the Compass school, like I do.  Keep these schools in mind when you are book-shopping, because it’s easy to get confused if you are reading about both schools!

Enjoy!

Awesome Feng Shui books
(anything by these authors really, but…)
Sharon Stasney (my teacher!):
Feng Shui Chic
Feng Shui Living
Etc….

Karen Kingston:  Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui

Karen Rauch Carter:  Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life
Sarah Rossbach:  Interior Design with Feng Shui
Terah Kathryn Collins:  Western Guide to Feng Shui

Denise Linn:  Feng Shui for the Soul

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Where Oh Where Are Your House Numbers?

So….what’s going on with your house numbers?

Are your they displayed clearly…or are they practically non-existent?

If FedEx can’t find your house, chances are that “all things good” (aka, positive chi/energy) can’t find it either.

Remember, everything about your home is symbolic.  If you have a cheerful front entrance with a well-lit porch and highly visible numbers, you are sending out the vibe: Hello world, I’m here!  Bring me good things, please, and more good things!  (Like money, awesome people, opportunities, fun, etc.)

If your entrance is dingy, cluttered, and your numbers are hidden, you “confuse” the chi, and therefore the good stuff simply goes to the next house or comes in weakly.

Check it out:
Which house numbers do you think has the more welcoming chi?  (Displayed here on mailboxes, because I’m having a red mailbox obsession lately.)

No brainer, right?  The red mailbox is cheerful and recognizable.  The gold letters are highly visible and displayed on the horizontal.  Imagine saying to your friends:  “Hey, just look for the red mailbox.  I’m so easy to find!”

On the contrary, the gray mailbox — besides being just plain depressing — has numbers, but they are hardly legible!  Plus they are displayed on the vertical, which represents a downward, leaking chi.

The black mailbox behind it is a step up, as it’s newer, but the numbers, while more visible than Mr. Gray’s are still super-small and just kind of blah.

So, if you’re looking for an easy cure to get some good things to come into your life, spiff up your house numbers, by golly, and see what happens next!

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Feng Shui is Not Perfection

My new friend, who had never been to my home, said to me, “Your feng shui stuff is kind of intimidating.”

I was like, what?!  How?
“Well, I mean, isn’t your home, like, perfect?”
This was a powerful moment for me.  I am so glad he asked me this because I got a peek into the psyche of a feng-shui-newbie, and I was determined to educate.

“Perfect?  Uh, no,” I replied.  

The truth is, the apartment I live in is not my dream home.  It doesn’t get enough light for my taste, I have to climb up a slight hill to get to it, and it’s not in a walking-friendly neighborhood.  (i.e. The grocery store is out of walking distance.)   
And I’m “naturally messy.”  I just am.  I’m a creative, right-brainer who tries so damn hard to be superbly organized, and even with all my feng shui training, I always fall a little short.  (Although, I’ve gotten a lot better, knowing the effect disorganization has on me!  Just sayin’.)

Source
So please — FENG SHUI IS NOT ABOUT PERFECTION.  
What it is about, is loving where you are.  It’s about putting the energy into WHAT YOU HAVE NOW, rather than pining away for what you think you want.   It’s about making the best of what you’ve got, rather than nitpicking away, waiting for the “next thing.”  It’s about raising the energy in the here-and-now, rather than longing for that maybe-some-day.

It’s about gratitude…and showing gratitude — in your current space.  

After all, how many people do you know that have their “dream home,” but they still aren’t happy.  We choose the homes we need — you know, the ones that are going to provide the lessons and wake-up calls that are going to take us further on our path.

So, for me, my apartment serves as a little-yin-haven — a respite for my extroverted nature in an overly-yang(active) world.  The hill has toned my thighs, and the walking distance thing…well, that’s a harder one to cure.  

Here’s a story:
When I first moved to Los Angeles at age 25, a feng shui-newbie myself, I moved into a nice, comfortable apartment living with a friend-of-a-friend in the Wilshire District.

The area was great in that it was central, but being a highly sensitive person (HSP) and having moved there from Kauai where nature abounds, I quickly realized that I wouldn’t last long in the high-voltage city environment unless I had easy access to nature.  

In other words, the beach was calling.  
Venice Beach by Jeffrey Stanton
But try as I might, I could not find an affordable place that fit my criteria.  I was usually so lucky with that sort of stuff!  But, in this case, I was blocked, frustrated, and feeling like my move to LA may not have been such a good idea after all.
Not willing to give in so easily (I really, really wanted to be a screenwriter), I educated my open-minded roommate on what I knew of feng shui.  If I wasn’t going to live at the beach, at least I could make the apartment we shared as high energy as possible.  I suggested we paint like crazy — the kitchen, the bathroom, the front door, and the bedrooms.  
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It took a couple of sleepless nights, but the two of us put on some music, chatted, laughed, and busted it out.  The kitchen went from bland cream to sunny yellow; the bathroom took on a fun turquoise hue; and the front door became — you guessed it — the famous red.  
It totally transformed the place.   
We absolutely loved it.
And wallah!  Not even a week later I received an out-of-the-blue email from a friend who said she knew some people who were looking for a roommate in Venice…a five-minute bike ride to the beach.  
I went to check it out, and it was happy-Venice-bungalow-awesome.  The girls and I hit it off, and within two weeks, I was in my new home by the beach!  
So what happened?  It’s simple.  I surrendered.  And I took action.  By painting the apartment (a very real feng shui cure), I told the Universe:  Thank you!  I’m going to make the best of what I’ve got! …and I’m committed to giving this LA thing a shot.   
And the Universe said Thank You right back.  
So, no, feng shui is not about perfection.  It’s not even about obtaining your dream home.
Instead, feng shui is about creating a safe or inspiring or loving space with what you have right now.  It’s about loving yourself and your life, as it is, right now!

And watching how the Universe responds, in kind…

So, no, my home is not my dream home, but it is feng shui’d… and it’s imperfectly dreamy that way!

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Summer Solstice & Healing with the Sun

I’m a sun worshipper.  I admit it.  I absolutely ADORE the sun.  Not in the bake-all-day-with-tanning-oil kind of way, but in the ahhhh-that-feels-so-good-on-my-skin/face/soul kind of way, and I must have it, often.

It might have to do with the fact that I’m a Leo, with Leo moon, rising, Merc & Venus? (The Sun rules Leo.)

Regardless of why, here today, on the longest day of the year, Summer Solstice 2013, I offer you a meditation on the Solar Plexus.   It’s the energy center nestled in right above the belly button, and it has to do with personal power and is linked to the color yellow.

It seems that a lot of us are in need of healing of this center.  If you’ve ever been in power struggles with someone, or you find yourself doing things out of obligation rather than your own will, or someone is really angry at you and may be dumping some energetic toxins onto you, you may have experienced imbalances here.

I know I have!

On a mission to learn how to heal this chakra (besides being aware and making self-empowering choices), a friend and I were trading ideas, which included kundalini yoga sets for the navel, wearing yellow, and asking and envisioning any energetic cords between ill-intentioned people be cut and healed.

One of our favorite ideas was to put some water in a glass in the sunlight, add some yellow (my friend chose marigolds! And look at that big rock — it’s citrine!) and after a few hours, drink up!  Set the intention of reclaiming your power and nourishing your solar plexus…and you’re, ahem, GOLDEN!

So, in celebration of the longest day of the year, with all it’s hot, active, and yang energy, take a break, sit in some shade, set your intention, and…

…bottoms up!  Hopefully, you’ll begin to feel more centered and strong your whole life long!

(Pina coladas may work too!)

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Latest Project — “Whimsical Woodland” Mural

Here’s a sneak peek at my latest project.  The client wanted a woodland scene for her toddlers’ bedroom, complete with “lots of animals, a hiking trail, and a waterfall.”

The original palette was the turquoise, yellow-gold, burnt orange, and olive green, inspired by a combo of Sherwin-Williams “No Limits” and “Wonder” palettes.  I added “pops” of purple, blue, and pinks later to bring a more playful feel.

Here’s what she got!
(Pics are quick snapshots from the iPhone, and the furniture is temporary as they were just moving in! — They are getting custom bunk beds, and I plan to get better pictures upon installation.)

foxy!

fun little bug garden in the corner

lovebirds, a possum, bunnies, a raccoon, and a deer in this shot
waterfall flows into a little stream…

…making a home for this little guy (and a frog and some fish not shown here).

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5 Really Simple Feng Shui Cures You Can Do Right Now

1.  Tidy up, organize, and clean.  (Even if it’s one drawer, it counts!)

2.  Just move something — anything — if you’re feeling stuck in your life.

3.  Get rid of the things that are holding you back energetically.  (i.e. a gift from an ex; clothing that doesn’t fit; the bedspread you haven’t used in 7 years; stuff, stuff, and more stuff.)  (Even if it’s one thing, it counts!)

4.  Set an intention.  (Light a candle, paint a wall, dance a dance — all while focusing on what you want.)

5.  Make a list of things around the house (and otherwise) that are “irritating” you.  Choose one to take care of this week.  For the rest, imagine that a magical helper is going to take care of all of those other things for you, and thank him or her for that.  And watch these things get “magically” done!  Be sure to cross them out when so!

How’s that for simple?

Now, go!

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