1

Spring Really Is Around the Corner….!

I thought I’d post some happy photos that I took on a Spring day a year or two ago to remind us all, that indeed, Spring is imminent!

I think we all need a reminder of that, as this Winter is seeming slow to thaw out….

(Plus I’m going to be making a little “Spring-y” announcement soon and wanted to give you a visual peek.)

Enjoy!

Can you tell I like tulips?!

(All photos taken at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, except the last one, which is my dining room table…)  

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Is This Painting Good Feng Shui For $$$?

Here was the question:
Hey Katie!  My parents gave me this drawing when they downsized. I love this artist, love the drawing (it’s all pencil!), and love the way it is framed. But it is a ship on a stormy sea! Not the best feng shui I’m thinking! If I can hang it, what section of the bagua would it work????

Alright.  Here’s the deal.  Sailboats in motion are AWESOME feng shui in the Money section of the bagua.  I have one in my Money corner, in fact, a pencil drawing as well, and I love it.

But, Oh, this is a tricky one…
…because there is definitely a storm a-brewing in this picture.

Or is it a storm a-waning?

Regardless, it’s a mighty boat on a mighty sea with a mighty sky.  That boat is absolutely harnessing the power of the wind, and that’s exactly what the Money sector is all about — harnessing those Winds of Fortune, in fact.

My advice to this client:
 Since you love it, I will say Yes, hang it in your Money sector, and only in your money sector.  But be forewarned — you may have quite a strong wind of sorts coming your way, so please prepare yourself.   According to the size and strength of the boat in the picture, you are prepared!

This is a case where I would have you hang it, but pay extra special attention to what happens in the days and weeks after hanging it.  This is a riskier piece than some, given the storm, but if you feel like “playing” a bit with the feng shui, then I say go for it…. but learn as you go!  And I 100% support you in taking it down if things seem a little rocky for you after you do hang it.  

And, by all means, let us know what happens!

P.S.  This is a little bit more advanced feng shui, but it should be noted:  Remember that each room has a Money section in it — so if it doesn’t really fit aesthetically in the home’s Money section, the back right corner of any room will do!  Especially an office!

1

My Surprising Insomnia Cure

About two months ago, I quit sleeping.  Not altogether, mind you, but I was only getting about three to four hours a night.  And I’m an eight-hour-a-night gal.  At least!
It was torture.  The slightest thing would wake me up, at one or two, or three or four in the morning, and then it was all over – there was no way I was getting back to sleep.
This lasted at this intensity for about two weeks.  Sure I had had little bouts of insomnia before whenever life was a little more stressful than usual, but nothing like this!  I coughed it up to a surge of creative energy (which I really was having with some work projects) and some other fun things, and yes, the usual stressors, and eventually, I just said to heck with it, and went with it, working in those early morning hours only to be spacey and weird the rest of the day.  It did start to subside for a bit, after trying some of the following:
1.     Feng Shui – I already had this going on, but it’s worth mentioning.  I have very little electricity in the room, and it’s decorated in calm colors.  There’s no clutter and absolutely nothing under the bed.  In other words, it’s made for sleep.
2.     Bach Rescue Remedy for Sleep – I had used this before with success.  This time it wasn’t cutting it.
3.     Lavender essential oil – again it was a nice smell, but it wasn’t making me go back to sleep in those wee hours.
4.     Eating heavier at night.  I usually have dinner with my little girl before 6 PM and I usually keep it light, but maybe I needed a little more to keep my energy grounded?
5.     Exercise.  This is not a problem for me.  I am very active, running my own business, being a mom, and fitting in a workout every day.  Still, was I exercising enough???
6.     No computer near bedtime.  Again, I already practiced this, but it’s worth mentioning.
7.     Melatonin.  A couple of people suggested this.  I had never heard of it.  Sure enough, it worked!  Yes, I was drowsy the next day on it, but I liked the drowsy.  It was such a relief after the constant buzz I was on!
8.     No caffeine.  I don’t drink the stuff except when I really and truly feel like I need it (like maybe once a month), but I tell you what, if you are complaining of insomnia and you have even one cup of it a day, I suggest you re-evaluate.  Read more for why.
So the melatonin became my friend, and I got a few decent night’s sleep…but then the insomnia came back and this time, the melatonin wasn’t really working and just making me feel ill.  Two months of this!  I was going nuts.
So I talked to a sleep doctor.  He told me to keep a sleep journal.  He wanted to see if there was a pattern.  I knew this would be pointless because it was the holidays, and I was traveling and there were celebrations, and I was not going to be on any sort of schedule.  But I vowed to do it at the new year when things settled down.  I had to try!
However, the conversation did inspire me to pay attention.
Sure enough, the next day after the talk, I woke up around 3:30…and I was wide awake after about two minutes. Yes, I had a zillion thoughts running through my head, but I noticed something else.  It was as if I got a surge of energy when I was awake just enough.   I FELT this.  I felt my blood start to run faster. 
It dawned on me:  “This is something physical.”  It’s amazing how this did not even occur to me before.  After all, I knew myself well enough – with my immensely healthy sleep patterns from the past – that my thoughts were not the only thing keeping me up!  I have always had a lot of thoughts and a lot going on….
What could it be?  Why this physical “rush” early in the morning?
That next day, I let myself ponder this.  I thought back to when it began.  I thought about any changes that happened then.  I thought about this and that and….
…LIGHTBULB!
When did I start taking those Vitamin B vitamins every morning??!?!  (I hadn’t taken vitamins since the Flintstone kind in grade school, but I had recently gotten on the bandwagon.) 
It was two months ago!!! 
Could it be?  Could it be that…. easy?!
I quit taking the Vitamin B to test it out.  Within two days, I was sleeping soundly through the night, and I have been ever since!  Even when I woke up to use the bathroom or my three-year-old crawled in bed with me, I remained in that naturally drowsy state of sleep and fell back asleep immediately upon waking, even sleeping later than I had slept in MONTHS.  (I’m typically a somewhat early riser.)
Really and truly, my insomnia was kicked.  And sleep has never felt so good!
Moral of the story:
Sometimes the solution is easier than we think.
Look to the source first.
Pay attention. 
Our bodies are sensitive.  Don’t buy what they are selling! 
And pay attention again!

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Clutter: What It Is & What To Do About It

CLUTTER!  Biggest feng shui no-no of ALL!

Here’s a peek at last night’s lecture on de-cluttering and organization:

The following lists are inspired and/or borrowed by Karen Kingston‘s book, Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui, because why reinvent the wheel? — this book is GOOD.

WHAT IS CLUTTER?

1.     Things you do not use or love.
2.     Things that are untidy or disorganized.
3.     Too many things in too small a space.
4.     Anything unfinished.  
Source
WAYS CLUTTER CAN AFFECT YOU:
·      Make you tired and lethargic
·      Keep you in the past
·      Congest your body
·      Fear of being poor
·      Fear of living your true path
·      Fear of letting good things in your life
·      Can confuse you
·      Can affect the way people treat you – respect
·      Affect your weight
·      Can make you procrastinate
·      Can cause disharmony
·      Can make you feel ashamed
·      Can put your life on hold
·      Create excess baggage
·      Can depress you
·      Can make you more disorganized
·      Be a fire/health hazard
·      Cleaning takes longer
·      Having clutter can dull your sensitivity and enjoyment of life
·      Create undesirable symbology
·      Can cost you financially
·      Can distract you from important things – does your stuff own you?
·      Lack mentality- make you poorer
·      Stuck in your woundology – identifying with a sad part of your life
WAYS TO DEAL WITH CLUTTER:
1.  Get rid of it.  No really.  JUST GET RID OF IT.
2.  Organize it. (From Sharon Stasney:  Decide if the item is Priority 1 — needs to be accessible easily and often; Priority 2 — still needs to be accessible but not, say, on the countertop; Priority 3 — doesn’t have to be readily accessible — can be in more of a storage type space.  Then give the item a “home” accordingly!)


Again, it’s just a peek, but hopefully an inspiring one.  Now get to it!

IF YOU WANT MORE, then click HERE to learn more about this 27-day online Declutter Your Way to Clarity course that I offer.  It’ll give you a kick in the pants so that you’ll never want to live with clutter again! Fun, easy, and good stuff.

2

Feng Shui for the New Year

Who doesn’t love a new beginning?   Luckily, those of us who practice feng shui or honor Eastern cultures have two chances to celebrate New Year’s!  First on the traditional calendar day of January 1st, and then again, a few weeks later when the Chinese New Year comes around.
In feng shui, the Chinese New Year is considered very important, and it is highly celebrated.  It’s a major shift in energy, marked by animals such as Rabbit, Dragon, Tiger, and Ox and elements such as Fire, Water, and Earth.   This year the date is January 31st, 2014, and we are entering the Year of the Wood Horse, moving out of 2013, the Year of the Water Snake.
It’s considered beneficial to acknowledge the changing of the years with certain rituals and acts in order to usher in good chi (a.k.a. energy) to last all year long. 
Here are 5 feng shui tips to help you do just that:
1.     Do a clean sweep.   Literally.  It’s tradition in feng shui leading up to the Chinese New Year to clean like crazy as to not bring any of the old, “dusty” chi into the new year.   The goal is to have the home in best condition as possible on the first day of the new year and then NOT do any cleaning that day and the days after.  You want to keep the good chi IN those days!   When you clean, be sure to pay special attention to your stove (it represents prosperity) and under you bed and any places that are particularly neglected.
2.     De-clutter.  Clutter is the biggest feng shui no-no of all!   Go through your things, and if it doesn’t fit with the “future version of you” or if you don’t use it, don’t love it, or it’s just not serving you, get rid of it!  It’s the fastest way to shift the energy in your space and therefore your life.  
3.    Set some intentions.   In the West, we call them resolutions.  In feng shui, we call them intentions.   There is something powerful about being specific about what you would like to experience in the upcoming year and then voicing them or writing them down.  Even better, implement symbolic feng shui cures to bring the intention further into your subconscious.  For example, if you intend to write a book this year, mock up a jacket for your book and put it on another one and place in your Creativity section of your home.  If you’d like to manifest more romance, put two candles (representing a pair) in your Love corner.   (The list goes on!)
4.     Decorate.  Traditionally, the Chinese use reds and golds to make their home beautiful and “rich” for the new year, hanging lanterns and paper cut-outs.  Again, symbolism is considered: placing candies in bowls to bring in a “sweet” year; oranges for abundance; and flowers, for beauty and love.  Another tradition is to buy something new to wear on New Years Day, especially in the color red or a hue that correlates with the element for the upcoming year. 
Source

5.     Celebrate.   There are many traditions on how to spend the first two weeks of the new year, including handing out money in red envelopes (generating prosperity), giving oranges as gifts, (also generating prosperity) and snapping firecrackers on new year’s eve (to scare away any unpleasant energies from the previous year).  Another one is to gather with friends and family in good cheer with good food, especially on New Year’s Eve.  Although these may seem like fun and games, the very act of celebrating actually generates positive chi.   So even if you don’t participate in the red envelopes, perhaps invite some friends for dinner — and make a toast to the blessings of new beginnings. 
To usher in amazing, positive energy for 2014 with the help of feng shui, sign up for Katie’s on-line 27-day program: Charge Ahead in 2014 with Feng Shui!   It’s only $1 a day!   Email Katie at KatieRogers777@gmail.com to register!  See the Event on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/events/226207920836654/?ref_dashboard_filter=calendar
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The Meaning of Nine in Feng Shui

Yes, numbers have meaning too.  (Haven’t you already discovered in feng shui, that everything seemingly has meaning?!)

In feng shui, nine (and increments of nine:  18, 27, 36, 45, and so on) is considered extremely powerful.   In fact, nine is to numbers in feng shui as red is to color.  It’s simply super-charged, energized, GOOD feng shui.

Source

So why NINE?

Nine is considered the number of completion, the point where one cycle ends and other begins, so it’s in that wonderful in-between spot on the number spectrum, giving it a bit of magic.

It’s also charged by the mystical number three, giving it a hidden power.   After all, 3 times itself equals 9.  And of course you remember your math tables:  9 times anything yields the number 9 when the digits are added.  i.e.  9 x 5 = 45.  4 + 5=9.  

Therefore the number 9 is considered steadfast, lucky, and symbolic of higher attainment, accomplishment, and success.

When using it for feng shui cures, it holds a certain power where other numbers may seem to “leak.”  One of my favorite uses of 9 is to cut red ribbons into increments of 9, 18, or 27 inches to make sure the cure is tight and sure.

I also like to occasionally give rituals or cures that last 9 or 27 days or use 9 or 27 items or mantras, or in the case of my upcoming on-line workshop, the fee adds up to the number 9.

All in all, nine has a very auspicious energy and when using it along with traditional feng shui cures, it has a practically fail-proof effect.

Each number holds its own magic and power — which numbers do YOU resonate with?……

 [Click here for more info on the 27-day New Year program entitled: Charge Ahead in 2014 with Feng Shui — it costs only $27 — intended to help you ROCK 2014.  Email me at katierogersfengshui@gmail.com to register!]

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Red Front Doors: The Feng Shui Cliche for a Reason

even without the Christmas cheer, this door is cheery!

Oh, the famed red front door.  I can’t count the times that, when I told someone I was a feng shui consultant, they respond with, “Oh, isn’t that where you paint your front door red?”

My response?

“Actually yes it is.  Sometimes.”

The truth is, if it’s not aesthetically pleasing, it’s not feng shui.

Period.

So don’t go painting your front door red if it doesn’t suit the look of your home.  Please, don’t do that.

However………….

If your home can handle a red front door:  get ready because it’s one of the most powerful feng shui cures that you can do!

I’m such a sucker for this color combo

The color red in feng shui is considered the good luck color.  It holds a TON of energy.  Think of it as the super-charged attractor color.  Yet it’s also protective.  It’s an activator of sorts.

And when I say “get ready,” I mean it.  Because once you paint that front door red, you really should be prepared for some sort of (possibly major) shift in your life.  How big the shift is depends on how big of a shift you need in your life.  I’ve had clients paint their doors red, and suddenly all their wishes are coming true.  But I’ve also seen folks who implement this cure go through a sort of rocky period while things “shake out.”  For example, if you are in a bad relationship but just haven’t comes to terms with that….the red front door will bring a lot of it to the surface.  If you don’t like your job, then expect a change there.

this pop of red is scrumptious with the plant life

You get the idea.  If you’ve been ignoring some aspect of your life, the intense chi of the red front door won’t really let you get away with it any longer.

And that’s a good thing!

Of course, if the rest of your house has some wonky feng shui going on (missing bagua sectors; clutter; mis-use of interior spaces; etc.), then it would serve you to tend to those.  After all, the front door is a powerful aspect in feng shui and represents what kind of opportunities you bring into your life.  So once you get the door dailed in, you want your space to be able to “hold” the good and let it circulate and stay a while.

an awesome example of how a red front door can help your interiors as well

All in all, in my experience, I’ve seen the power of the red front door, and even if it’s uncomfortable for the client for a while, it’s all good in the end.  And even if you can’t paint your front door red for whatever reason, having some red near it (a door mat, potted flowers, even a ribbon on some wind chimes) is a also a simple but powerful cure that is sure to bring some good chi your way.

the yellow is still chi-raising, but look at these red flowers with it

Source:  First 4 photos from shelterness.com with thanks!  
Source:  Last 2 are from organizeyourstuffnow.com also with thanks!  

play with different shades of red…look how dreamy this entrance is with this softer shade

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Should this Client Who Wants To Get Pregnant MOVE?

EMAIL FROM A CLIENT:

Hi Katie – Hope you’re doing well! I have a feng shui question. I’m about to move and the place has a bath in both the love/marriage and the creativity/children corners. We are starting a family – would that hurt?
The previous tenants moved because their family was growing and she was preggo again…so obviously it didn’t hurt them. I always check the story of the previous tenants to see what kind of energy has been left behind.
What’s your take on something like this?
Thank you so much for your taking the time!

Source

GREAT QUESTION!!!

So…without seeing the space…
I told her that it all sounds very auspicious, given that the predecessor energy is right in line with what she wants to create in her life. BABIES!

What’s “predecessor energy,” you ask?

With every consultation, I ask: “Who lived here before you and what do you know about them?”

Why?

Because it’s an obvious clue to the energy of the home AND because, unless the space is thoroughly cleared, the energy of those who lived there before you is still there, having a big impact!

For this reason, homes with sickness, divorce, and foreclosure should be super-carefully considered before moving in. (Definitely hire a feng shui consultant for those!) Happy homes, however, may not need as much feng shui work beforehand!

To address the other aspect of her question: Will the bathroom in Romance/Love and Creativity/Children sections of the bagua hurt?

Good Earth  (Source)

I explained that she should make sure that there is plenty of Earth energy in both places in terms of colors (muted tones for Earth), clay items, and the like. Why? Because the Romance/Love section of the bagua is an Earth energy so adding more is good, and because the Creativity/Children section is a Metal energy and Earth feeds metal and also dams some of that Water.

But, truth be told, whatever the people previous to them were doing, it was working, so she may want to keep it just as it was for them!

Like I always say in feng shui: I don’t fix what isn’t broken!

Y’all have a great Friday and weekend. Cheers!

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Birmingham Botanical Garden Responds to “Crape Murder” Post

I was privileged to receive an email from the knowledgable Fred Spicer of Birmingham Botanical Gardens on the topic of “crape murder.”  He gives an extremely thorough take on the practice and, while he does NOT advocate it, he has many good points as to why it continues to be “acceptable” in the South.

Get educated and read on!  

Crape Myrtles — photo from Southern Living

Katie:

Source



Saw your (old) blog post just now on crape murder and thought I would add my two cents.

Believe me, I am with you 100% on strongly advocating against topping trees, and for all the reason you and the ISA list. Interestingly, though, most of those don’t really apply to crape myrtles. Actually, the only two I would say factor into it are ugliness and cost over time. Rapid growth does happen (very rapid) but the resultant branches and branch attachments are not overly very weak (plus their relatively small stature means that wind-throw does not come into play).

No doubt, you have observed countless crapes that have been topped for many years in a row, sometimes hideously. 

We’ve all seen this horrid sight before  (Source)


However, in all the ones I’ve seen treated in this manner, none have been actually “murdered,” in the sense of tree death. No shock and no starvation, either. (Perhaps, more precisely, there’s no evidence of shock or starvation, given the strong re-growth.)

As far as insects and disease go, that seems to be more a result of cultivar selection. The major insect issue – aphids – is not exacerbated by hard pruning. Nor is the major disease issue – powdery mildew. Interestingly, the crapes in one of your BBG images are ‘Carolina Beauty’, one of the most aphid- and mildew-susceptible cultivars going. The presence of the disease, worse in dry years, seems of little relevance to the overall vigor of the trees. At worst it renders the fall color moot (leaves abcise prematurely).

It seems to me that crapes have an unbelievable capacity to form the chemical walls that Alex Shigo identified, which prevent the spread of decay. The most important wall is Wall 4, which prevents decay from moving down into the center of the branch or trunk (into the heartwood). That wall is also, usually, the slowest to form, and pruning angle and branch collar seem to have a lot to do with formation. But, seemingly, not for crapes. Also, it seems that physical wound closure on the crapes happens more slowly, but when you look at the repeated wounding/pruning, there’s just no rot, in any direction. So it’s either rapid chemical wall formation or inherent resistance on the part of the crapes to the resident wood-decaying organisms, and the latter explanation seems ridiculous to me.

Garden writers in the south have spent a great deal of energy and column-space in efforts to dissuade people from this hard pruning. Southern Living ranted about it regularly and I think Steve Bender even coined “crape murder” in an early article. Obviously, all that writing has had little impact on the practice. Most people don’t think it’s as ugly as you and I do, and the argument that topping them will kill them doesn’t hold any water at all. I think if it had, most people would have stopped doing it.

After being here – and working with and observing crape myrtles for almost eleven years now (we did not really have them up north) – I think I can add as to why people do it.

1.) Landscapers that don’t have tons of work in Jan-Feb recommend it (and introduce the customers to it).
2.) Size control (which you mentioned) and a resultant “neatly trimmed” appearance (which some people really do like).
3.) “Everybody does it – must be right”.

And, I think, the most important one:

4.) To get really huge flower panicles.


Source


I believe that is the kicker. Flower panicles on unpruned crapes tend to be rather small. Flower panicles on hard-pruned crapes can be simply gargantuan. Larger panicles will flower longer (more individual florets over time) and many people love huge flowers and almost all gardeners want longer flowering times on their plants.

Personally, I have taken a softer approach on this concept than when I first got here. I still don’t advocate it, and I still think that, in the main, it’s almost always hideous. But I do readily admit the huge flower thing and I tell people that if “crape murder” (for whatever reason they do it) gives them pleasure – go ahead and do it. They’re not hurting the plant.

However, I always follow up that discussion with a strong admonition that just because it doesn’t harm crapes, it does not mean you should do the same thing to other trees. It will certainly do all the bad things you listed. Personally, I think that’s the biggest risk with crape murder…people think it’s okay on this tree…must be okay on all of them.

Cheers!


In natural un-topped form, in winter


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Move a Plant, Get a Date

Roots Thru Rocks

I love witnessing Ah-Ha Feng Shui moments of clients.  You know, those magical episodes when they realize:  Holy #@%*!!!  Feng Shui WORKS!

Here’s one recent occasion:
I gave a free teleclass on Romance a couple of months ago and opened the floor to questions at the end.  One lovely lady commented, “I have an ugly air conditioner unit in my Romance section [of the bagua map].  I can’t stand it, but I am renting.  What do I do?  Do I cover it up?  Is this affecting my Romance.”

I responded that this would probably need to be a case where I’d have to see it, but indeed, if the landlord won’t remove it, covering it in some fashion would help alleviate the dread of seeing it every day.  Plus she didn’t want a “chilly” romance, did she?

Alas,  I ran into this lady at a fun event here in Birmingham recently.  She told me of a handsome fellow she had her eye on but that he was being wishy-washy.  (Her words.)  She then said, “But I covered up the air conditioner.  I put a tree in front of it.”

I made a face.

She said, “What was that face for?  Tell me!”

Well…

I explained that the Romance section of the Bagua is an “Earth” energy.  Each section aligns with a particular element: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, or Water.  These elements work together, either “feeding” the other, or “damaging” it.

In the case of Earth, Wood damages it.  Think of roots of a tree — they are breaking up the Earth.

Source

So no, plants and trees are not good in the Romance section (in general).

She immediately removed the tree!

And THE NEXT DAY (no lie), he emailed her committing to a weekend-out-of-town HOT DATE that he had been wavering on!!!

My client was beside herself — not only because the date was going to be HOT, but because she was amazed at how quickly the feng shui worked!

She sent me this photo with a text:  [Oh, by the way]…”When I moved the plant I put this double crystal in the corner FYI.”

Yay!  Extra points!  This crystal represents Earth (being a rock) AND it’s signifies a pair, which of course, in romance, is what we want:  a pair.

I asked her:  “Did you set the intention of romance when you placed it?”

She answered with a resounding, “Yes ma’am!”

Fool proof.  Done.

So now:
Check YOUR Romance section!  When standing at the front door to your home, looking in, what is in the back right section?  That’s the Romance section of the Bagua map.  Make sure it’s rocking!  (Pun intended.)

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