Image from our Present Moment 2018 wall calendar published in partnership with our friends at Sounds True. Photo © tomertu. Click for more info.
Hygge (pronunced HOO-gah) is the Danish way of embracing winter that embodies loving connection and ease. Dwelling. Savoring. Slowing down. Making ordinary everyday moments more meaningful, special, and beautiful.
I love how this philosophy mirrors the Taoist, Feng Shui and Chinese Medicine paths of being in alignment with the season. With winter being so yin (cold, dark, wet and damp), it’s a time for deep rest, relaxation and restoration. We can balance this with some strong yang chi — fires, light and warmth!
Here are some simple ways to create your own at home experience of hygge…
- Slow down and really relax! Take a nap by the fire. Turn off our phone, tv and computer and connect. Share food, music or poetry with loved ones without distraction. Watch the sunrise or moonrise. Enjoy pure “being” and presence!
- Create warm, cozy spaces — use faux fur throws, flannel sheets, soft sweaters, slippers, a blanket tent and so on.
- Decorate only with what you love. Go natural and organic by hanging fresh or dried tree branches and fresh flowers or greenery in every room.
- Illuminate with soothing light. White candles in clear glass jars. Mirrored sconces. Fairy lights. Fires in the fireplace. White paper star pendants.
- Savor comfort. Love your favorite people. Create comfort and shelter for yourself and others. Cuddle with your cat and dog. Light a candle at breakfast. Take a hot bath. Stick cloves in a fresh orange.
- Create sacred sanctuary and community. Enjoy the good and simple life. Savor the present moment. Walk in the woods. Have a bonfire outside. Make snow angels.
- Eat warm foods — soups, porridge, congee, stews. Drink hot chai, tea or cocoa. Enjoy artisan chocolate or chutney. Bake bread.
- Declutter. Simplify. Be content in simple things. Enjoy BEING instead of doing!
Gwynne Allyn Warner is the founder of 10,000 Blessings Feng Shui and practices Black Sect Tantric Buddhist Feng Shui as a disciple of Grandmaster Professor Lin Yun. She was certified as an Advanced Feng Shui Consultant by Helen and James Jay of Feng Shui Designs. Gwynne began her studies in Buddhism in her early twenties while living in London where she became enamored with Kuan Yin and thereafter received her Bodhisattva Vows with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Her expertise has been treasured by creative small businesses, service professionals, performing artists, Chinese medicine practitioners, healers, and interior designers among others. For more information and to sign up for her newsletter, please visit her website.
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2018 Calendars — Art for Everyone
Image from our Gardens of the Spirit 2018 wall calendar featuring photos by John Lander. Click for more info.
Late Summer is the season of abundant harvest associated with the Chinese element of Earth, bringing tidings of grounded, nurturing, peaceful and compassionate chi. The Earth element encourages us to nurture ourselves and others as well as create the most loving, supportive, stable, sustainable and peaceful home and life that we can live.
In our bodies, it’s related to the stomach, spleen and pancreas. In our physical spaces, it’s related to the center of the Bagua, known as the Tai Chi or Health Gua, as well as the Relationship Gua (Kun).
When earth is balanced inside of us and our homes, we feel grounded, stable and calm and enjoy loyal, reliable and compassionate relationships. Our romantic partnerships, career, business and children feel stable. Continue reading
Image from our Present Moment 2018 wall calendar published in partnership with our friends at Sounds True. Photo © jared ropelato.
The fire of incandescence and luminosity is here! In nature the Fire Element is related to the season of Summer when yang energies are at their greatest with the heat and long sunlit hours.
Just like the flames of a fire, this season’s energy gifts us with dynamic enthusiasm, movement, joyful expansion, charisma, activity, desire, passion, laughter, love, and ecstatic bliss.
It’s the season of numinous and luminous light, warmth and affection burning on the altar of our hearts. When our fire element is healthy and balanced, we feel happy, compassionate, light and playful. Continue reading
Photo by Warren R.M. Stuart / Flickr
Please don’t get overwhelmed, just choose a handful of preparations from below that thrill and excite you!
- Do give your home a clear out and deep clean before the evening of January 27 which is the Eve of Chinese New Year’s (January 28 for 2017) — you absolutely want to clear out the old stagnant chi and welcome in fresh new energies! As you clean, imagine you’re sweeping away all illness, obstacles, bad luck, negative attitudes, and anything causing grief, stress, anxiety or frustration to members of your household or business. Dispose of anything broken or with unhappy memories. This is a time for your spaces to SPARKLE! GLIMMER! SHINE!
- Repair and refresh any leaking faucets, squeaky door hinges, broken locks, burnt-out light bulbs, squeaking beds and so on. And toss any broken or cracked china or crockery — they bring bad luck.
- If you have a red front door, give it a fresh coat of glossy vermillion red paint.
- Schedule your hair cut and color, manicure and pedicure before Chinese New Year’s Eve so you don’t “cut” away any luck in the new year.
- Send out your invitations for a special celebratory meal or celebration to occur anytime during the two-week Lunar New Year Festival which begins on January 28th, New Year’s Day. Have a noisy, uplifting and happy party with an abundance of food, music and laughter! Especially auspicious days for 2017 would be on January 27th or 28th; February 3, 4th or 11th.
- Make amends with anyone with whom you’ve had a row or falling-out.
- Start to pay down or off all your debts as best you can. And pay your current bills so you go into the New Year feeling debt-free.
- Shop for new clothes for the New Year — ideally some red outfits or even just red accessories for the celebrations.
- Treat your home and business to one piece of new furniture or décor so you’re continually up-leveling and refreshing the energy.
- Start to find fifteen very special gifts, one for each day of the Chinese New Year, to woo your beloved one(s) and expressing your love, cherishing and care.
- Send out some Chinese New Year greeting cards—snail mail, hand-delivered or email.
- Treat yourself to a brand new red purse and wallet and fill it with lots of cash such as 108 or 27 crisp uncirculated bills or 9 or 27 gold one dollar coins. Add money from a wealthy person and 3 Coins on Red Ribbon.
Image from our Meditation 2017 wall calendar. Stone water basin with camellia © Kaz Chiba. Click for more info.
“Within your self is a stillness, a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself.” ~Herman Hesse
Simple Breathing Meditation
This simple yet profoundly powerful breathing meditation can be used for many things including bringing auspicious energy. This week, I’m using it to help improve my personal life force and alleviate stress, worry and fear. Here’s how it goes…
Take in a deep and full breath of fresh clean air and positive energy through your mouth, all the way down to your tan tien, your power center 2-3″ below your belly. I get lightheaded easily, so I take my breaths in through my nose. Allow light to fill your whole body from head to toe, as your body expands with the breath. Allow this breath and light that now fills your body to absorb any negative chi that you may have swallowed. Visualize every cell in your body is breathing in positive emotions. Continue reading
The ninth day in the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar, “Chong Yang Jie” is celebrated as the Double Ninth Festival and Chrysanthemum Day. Chong means “double” or “repeat” and yang means “bright, vital, active energy.” In 2017, it falls on October 28 in the Western calendar which is unusual and very cool!
Celebrating Chrysanthemum Day
Revered for its simple perfect beauty and medicinal properties, the gorgeous and highly regarded yellow or golden chrysanthemum (“chu” in ancient Chinese) is rich both in color and symbolism of long life and enduring luck, love and success. It’s also believed to ease the burdens of a difficult life when you wear an image of it or keep them displayed in your home. Some Feng Shui masters also believe it has the power to fight addictions. Continue reading
Photo by April Killingsworth
There’s nothing quite like the fresh, sweet and sparkling energy of an orange! As you peel, inhale and eat the fruit, you can literally feel the sheng chi (bright, auspicious and uplifting yang energy) harmonizing your energy and mood. You just feel HAPPY!
In Cantonese, the word for orange is kum which is also a homonym for “gold.” Oranges, as well as mandarins and kumquats, symbolize gold and abundance in Feng Shui and during the Chinese New Year, you’ll find an abundance of these in decor (such as placing red envelopes on kumquat trees), gift giving and ceremonies (such as rolling a cascade of oranges, coins and gold ingots through the front door). Continue reading