simple shui | incense 101

a couple months ago, Well + Good reached out to me for an interview and we talked all things incense. the conversation was a treat because it combined two of my favorite things: an understanding of every room’s power + purpose AND my daily use of scents (via incense, essential oils, and plants) to curate + cultivate nutritive vibes around us.

so, how about we open that vault and i give you all the things we discussed so you can grab yourself a few sticks or scents to keep the air clear and energy in high gear as we wrap 2017?

Kitchen: when we fill our kitchen with food and conversation, the universe delights in our irrepressible dance of resources. and our intentions to feed ourselves and others literally shapes what we manifest – which translates into the convergence of more wealth in our lives. so, to keep the company coming back, a few good sticks to keep handy include: Frankincense, Pine, Cedar, Sage, Palo Santo, or Bergamot.

 

Living Room: this space is a gathering spot — and when it’s garnished with love notes of our personalities, life has a tendency to go well and feel good for all. however, if the room is energetically cluttered, those low vibes have a plucky tendency to show up in our conversations + interactions with our loved ones. so, keep the air quality clear with these scents: Cedar, Sage, Vetiver, Rosemary, or Eucalyptus.

 

Bedroom: we spend a third of our lives in bed, so if any room deserves our whole-heartedness, this is it. as a guide, let these three words shapeshift your sacred space: sleep, sensuality, and stillness. everything else – work, exercise, even the TV – is a torrent interfering with our reservoir for rejuvenation. to put self-care back in the air, grab a stash of any of these sticks: Vetiver, Sandalwood, Lavender, Juniper, or Palo Santo.

 

Bathroom: even though bathrooms often get bad press when it comes to feng shui, they play an essential role in our well-being. and since they both begin and end our days, they deserve to be cared for like a sanctuary, too. so whether you wield your daily intentions as you get ready for the day here OR you settle into the evening with a long soak and silence, any of these scents are ready to take you to higher ground: Pine, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Juniper, or Yerba Santa.

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Frankincense: Frankincense is a personal favorite. it is a spiritual warrior, kin to prayer and protection. whether you burn its resin or spritz the essential oil through your house, frankincense beautifully penetrates the air and encourages intense energies to move along. Bottom line: when in doubt, use frank.

Pine: Pine is a pro at eradicating unwanted odors; it also is a very protective and nurturing scent. Use it to feel empowered and invigorated.

Cedar: Cedar is nature’s signature scent – it’s both rich and woody. Its notes root us to the earth’s grounding energy, making it an excellent choice when bringing people together. Use it to revive you mind, body, and spirit.

Sage: Sage has the dynamic ability to make quick changes – an excellent choice for removing unwanted vibes. Use it to transform energy and invite change.

Palo Santo: Palo Santo – or holy wood – has been used since ancient times to purify space. Use it as part of a daily ritual to get energy moving and bring good fortune your way.

Bergamot: Bergamot creates a feeling of freshness, joy, and energy. It is powerfully pervasive and can eliminate many unwanted odors. Use it to relieve stress or anxiety; or use it to simply lift your aura.

Vetiver: Vetiver eases tensions because it is a grounding, calming scent. It helps us stay calm, cool, collected. Use it to enhance concentration or gain clarity.

Rosemary: Rosemary is both healing and clarifying, and it is a great aroma to stimulate recall and memory. Use it to re-establish healthy energy and restore well-being.

Eucalyptus: Eucalyptus is a purifying and delightful mix of sweet and camphorous – an ideal remedy when our well-being requires a little TLC. Use it to lessen tension and breathe easier.

Sandalwood: Sandalwood helps us feel calm and mentally focused. Use it to claim a moment of peace and harmony.

Lavender: Lavender will always reign as the tranquil peace-maker, day or night. Use it to promote relaxation +/or drowsiness.

Juniper: Juniper is both purifying and curates sacred space in its wake. Use it to disinfect unwanted energies +/or clear your mind of worry.

Yerba Santa: Yerba Santa purifies and protects our space, both physically and energetically. Use it to hold better boundaries.

simple shui | a fresh take on back-to-school

social media has been chirping this week with photos o’plenty {mine included} of little birdies leaving summer’s nest for school. whenever the winds of change howl, i use a little shui magic to carry me and my canaries along the way. so, if you feel your brood could use a little more courage and a little less roar in the days + months ahead, these shui moves will pamper those intentions!

 

BEGIN WITH A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP.

fears at bedtime competing with sweet zzzz’s? have a conversation with your little, and encourage her to pick out a ‘protector.’ this could be a stuffed animal, a statue, a photo, a flashlight – anything that says safety to her. place it near the bed. and if she fancies the idea, move her bed into a corner – for anyone under the age of 10, sleeping against two walls offers the reassurance of being safely nestled into a nook. punctuate the room with happy photos of you, grandparents, or loved ones – this is a subtle reminder of her secure place in a happy family. and it creates a loving embrace for her to sink into at night.

if your little is more tween to teen-ish, it’s time to pull the bed away from the wall {if he hasn’t already}. when wings start flapping with burgeoning independence, open space on both sides of a bed provides a feeling of freedom. and if clutter is camping out around him, resist the urge to invade! clutter in adolescence fuels a sense of security. teenagers have little control at this point in their lives – school, money, and personal independence are all dictated by others. so, allow him this rebellion. if you clean it up, it leaves him feeling exposed + powerless. instead of battling the room, set some house rules that are non-negotiable to you; insist the clutter stays within his space; and trust this phase will pass.

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MASTER YOUR RATIOS.

in shui, the number of doors to windows in a home is believed to affect family dynamics. why? doors represent the voice of parents; windows represent the littles’ and not-so-littles’ voices. and if there are more windows than doors {by a 3:1 ratio}, you might notice competing opinions + back-talk coming from your kids. likewise, if the windows are bigger than the doors, the kids could ignore your input + seem rebellious. a quick fix is to hang a set of bells on a door so that when it opens, the ‘door’ is heard by the ‘windows,’ giving your voice the widest range of them all.

feng shui + simple shui + doors + bells + parent voice

 

LAY A GOOD FOUNDATION.

on average, we spend a third of our lives in bed – so, if you’d like a simple, go-to space clearing for the kiddos’ bedrooms, let’s take it to the mattress. fill a mason jar with baking soda. add in several drops of your favorite essential oils, if you’d like – we use lavender + rosemary. put a lid on it and shake well.

strip the bed(s) – everything that is washable, pillows included, goes off to be laundered.

sprinkle the baking soda mixture generously over the mattress and let it sit for at least an hour {i sometimes leave it for several hours}. when you are ready to vacuum up the mixture, visually section off the mattress into 4 quadrants. vacuum each quadrant in 3 different directions. not only does this ensure all the powder is removed, this deep cleanse draws out moisture + dirt + energetic mites.

once all the bedding + linens are washed, make the bed with your little. as you fluff the bed, encourage your sunbeam to set some intentions. i’ve been guiding our lovelies through this for years using the shui map as goal + life aspiration inspo. what feels wonky at first, if used as a yearly ritual, soon becomes a natural part of their thought process. the time they spend one-on-one with you becomes a simple way to reset their energy. and it re-calibrates the promise and potency of a fresh start. a perfect concoction as the new school year bell rings!

feng shui + life aspirations + bagua + feng shui map

 

and from our house to yours, here’s to a year filled with peace + LOVE + all that good stuff in between! xo

 

p.s. with the kiddos back in school, now is the PERFECT time to make most of the calm before the holiday storm. so, if you’ve wanted to invite some magic your way, polish up your soul goals with one {or all} of my workbooks! each one is filled with plenty of shui ideas + home inspo to get your house in great shape + energize YOU! and for all of you who’ve dived into them, i feel like putting on a party dress when i hear the delicious deets about shui in your world. thank you!

p.p.s. i’m tweaking my newsletter template, adding in a few new sections. while i am elbow deep in that process, i would LOVE to hear from YOU! talk to me — what would you like to see included? email me or reply in the comments below! and if you haven’t signed up yet, somersault on over + join the fun!

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simple shui | a few bedroom moves everyone should know

if you’re not getting along famously with your bedroom, it’s time. everything is energy + everything is connected. and when we desire any improvement in our lives – that coveted promotion, a little extra va-voom to workout, a thick-as-thieves social circle, or even establishing beyoncé-like boundaries for ourselves – this space deserves to be your main squeeze.

as a practitioner, i know how protective we are about our private spaces and not wanting to reveal what’s behind the closed door:

i didn’t make my bed this morning.

it is a laundry/work/clutter minefield in there.

the kids built a fort and moved in – we still haven’t cleaned it up.

if chaos is loose in the bedroom, it’s likely there are disruptions percolating in your life. why? a bedroom is where we are most vulnerable. this is where we sleep; express ourselves sensually; and if we are lucky, seek refuge when we need an escape from the battalion of daily demands.

however, when we funnel our resources exclusively to the social areas of our home, it’s a good indicator we care more about the people around us than we do ourselves. and if we don’t prioritize ourselves, why should others?

we all are familiar with airplane etiquette – put on your mask first; then your child’s, right? same scenario. we cannot possibly attract twice as nice circumstances if we don’t give ourselves the necessary attention {and compassion} of being fully refreshed. and guess what? you cannot multi-task your own well-being.

so, my smart cookie, here are a few of my favorite gang changers. and instead of looking at this list as what shui expects in a room, simply rock what works for you. because a happy YOU leaves little room for anything else!

 

COUNT BY TWOS.

even if you’re not in a relationship or seeking some sizzle between the sheets, bedrooms are synonymous with all relationships. back to the beginning of this post, when we are in pursuit of something we really want – a business venture or a social opportunity – we can anchor the concept of partnership easily + eloquently in the bedroom by keeping things in even numbers. so, a pair of nightstands, a pair of lamps, or an even assortment of pillows – you know, it takes two to make a thing go right. . .

feng shui + bedrooms + love (3)

 

CONTENT MATTERS.

if your walls are adorned with kids’ photos, all eyes are on you. almost like you are being watched – a-hem. so, if your love life is barely flickering, try taking those precious faces down for 9 days. see what happens. and if things heat up, replace the family portfolio with something that brews romance.

feng shui + bedrooms + love (2)

CREATE BALANCE.

i’m talking yin and yang, black and white. they are not mutually exclusive – an excellent metaphor for relationships. so, a touch of these colors in a bedroom is a worthy nod to equality and balance in our partnerships. plus, it’s fun to play with this unexpected detail! and the options available will tickle your idea box: art prints, photography, books, jewelry boxes, lamps, rugs, vases. . .

feng shui + bedrooms + love (7)

our focus determines so much of where we end up, and given that the bedroom bookends our days, it matters. so do something to dress your room with LOVE and watch how the universe shows up spectacularly, scattering sunshine + stars all around you.

and, if you haven’t signed up for my newsletter, whoa! you’re missing out BIG. this week i’m sharing a glimpse into my refuge and how shui works for me! plus, i’ll share a few more tips + tricks to keep your retreat cozy + cooing! so, hop over + sign up!!!

xo

simple shui | house love

i busied myself all weekend nesting.

when the temps {finally} start dipping, it’s less about the places to go + people to see and more about cozy comfort. for me, anyway.

and since my benedictions have shui roots, it seems a few might fancy you + your space in coming weeks.

{1} FLIP THE RUGS.

come into my space + you see rugs. everywhere. why? they soften our steps + provide a clear path into our home + hold boundaries. not a bad metaphor for life, eh? but to keep the path from getting too well-worn and familiar, i flip them around when things get stale. the same idea applies to anything that sits in the same spot for a good stretch.

{2} REFRESH THE SOIL.

if you garden outside, you know turning + tending the dirt keeps soil nutrient dense. however, our indoor plants often don’t relish that same TLC. which is why i say boost potted dirt with fresh soil. when a plant has a healthy root system, you can almost rest assure it’ll grow, right? it’s a great reminder {and analogy} for us to tend the things we can’t see as well as the things we do. so, if you have any goals you’re nurturing or feel like the creativity well is dried up, get your hands dirty.

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{3} ADD ELEMENTS OF FIRE.

fire has long been associated with survival, so it’s no surprise we naturally gather in the hearth of a kitchen or around a fireplace. especially as the winter months move in. lucky for us, fire itself is not the only expression of fire in shui. animals are symbolic of fire, too, because of their energy + radiance + life. and to warm things up around here, i cover a few dining room chairs with faux sheepskins. simple + soft + totally stylish. you say sheepskin isn’t your bag? consider other animal textures – wool or cashmere would be brilliant, too!

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{4} PURIFY THE AIR.

when we congregate indoors because of cooling temps outdoors, the air quality gets wonky. two words: beeswax candles. they are mighty magic makers – they have a long burn time; they are hypo-allergenic because there are no additives; and they generate negative ions which make you feel more positive. keep the vibes high, and pepper a few of these around your space during the hibernating months ahead.

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{5} GROUND YOURSELF.

i often tell clients a bowl of rocks near the front door will help slow things down. while i adore the revelry of the holidays – school performances + winter parties + endless shopping for gifts + groceries + glitterati – i also crave a sustainable beat to the hustle. so, to ensure we are all grounded as the season gears up, i placed a collection of rocks in the center of our house. since this sacred space feeds into all the other areas of our home {and lives}, it is the most practical place for anchoring any dose of merciful support. plus, i LOVE seeing my rocks every day. and you know what i say about LOVE. . .

as we careen into the weeks ahead, it’s a good reminder to be selective + intentional about what is happening in our space. whether these ideas work for you or inspired something even better, remember your house is a reflection of everything happening right now. so, show your space a little extra LOVE and it’ll be more than enough! xo

simple shui | good health

even though i have a burning belief in my belly the most influential energy in a home are the people, i dedicate few posts to personal chi.

let’s change that, shall we?

you understand the healthy energetics derived from solid sleep, fresh food, and a romp of exercise + salty sweat. when we do better, we feel better and our anatomy radiates it.

but have you ever considered how our emotional geography also affects our bodies energetically waaaaaay before disease shows up?

simply said, the stories we tell ourselves become our biology.

listen carefully to the words you insert after i am. . . and you will know exactly what is managing your health.

i like to think that when disease shows up, it is an invitation to find a way back into our own luminous light.

so.

in our home, my approach to health care has 3 components.

i grab this book to help me figure out the root of any physical leak. . .

i use essential oils. . .

and i keep my health coach on speed dial.

a holistic approach to good health requires patience because we are not treating symptoms. instead, we are engaging the body + mind + spirit back into balance. so, it becomes a journey of managing personality because every choice we make affects every. single. cell in our bodies.

this book is my mental map to what emotional imbalance is behind my ailments. and the connections are always measurably accurate so i am a long time devotee. every house ought to have a copy just for that list of partnerships.

oils are natural elements in full possession of their own impressive qualities + energy. without drowning you in the science, oils interact with and nurture our bodies by increasing our vibrations. and the higher our vibration is, the healthier we are. remember, we attract at the level of our vibration so when we change our frequency, our life energy improves, too.

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and because i prefer the care and guidance of someone fluent in natural health, i honor regular consults with my health coach. using kinesiology, she tests me for emotional and physical imbalances and makes recommendations accordingly. i’ve used this as our primary form of health care for over 10 years. it works. we get results. and all our cells sigh with relief when we cater to what our bodies really crave.

everyone’s approach to health is personal. there are so many options i am still eager to explore, like acupuncture, and other rituals i need to overcome my resistance to, like daily meditation. but what i love about being open-minded to the bouquet of ways we can care for ourselves is when we approach any of them with honest intention, we become well with our souls. and that has a way of infusing us with the kind of energy that changes the air around us. always for the better.

xo