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House Hunting for Good Feng Shui

House Hunting for Good Feng Shui
    Look for a house with a square or rectangular shape.

    Looking for just the right new home is an overwhelming task! There are so many considerations, so many things to think about that it’s easy to get distracted and not notice features of the home and its location that could be problematic. And, if you’re not very sensitive to energy, you could inadvertently buy a home that is a feng shui nightmare–a place where it would be very difficult to feel comfortable and thrive.

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    Following are some suggestions for insuring that your house has good feng shui.

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    • Look for a house with a square or rectangular floor plan. Houses with irregular plans may be dramatic and interesting to visit, but ultimately have serious energy challenges and may not be optimal places to live. Those with square or rectangular plans are easier to arrange, have better energy and fewer major energy problems.
    • Look for a house that is set squarely on its lot so the front of the house is parallel to the road. Houses set at an angle to the road look charming, but a dissonance is created when the main axis of the house runs at an angle to the street.
    • Avoid houses located at the end of a street. The road ends in front of the house, but the energy flowing down the road keeps coming and slams into the house with great force. The intensity of the energy can be harmful to the occupants.
    • Avoid houses with the main door located on the side of the structure. The front door is the main mouth of life nurturing chi (energy). It is best if the mouth is easy for energy to find. A house with a door on the side is like a face without a mouth.
    • If you are looking for a garage built into the house, a house with garage doors facing the side or rear of the house are preferable to garage doors facing the street. When garage doors are the main feature of the front of the house, occupants of the house find themselves on the go all the time.
    • Avoid houses where a central stairway runs directly to the front door. Energy coming down the stairs rushes right out the front door, depleting the home of life affirming energy.
    • Look for a house that is on level ground or slopes from the back of the lot down toward the front of the lot. Avoid houses where the lot falls off behind the house creating an energy sink and lack of support in the areas associated with wealth and prosperity, fame and reputation and love and marriage.
    • Avoid houses that have heavy beams overhead. Unless the ceiling is extremely high, beams create a heavy negative energy, an uncomfortable weight overhead.
    • Avoid houses with bedrooms that have slanted ceilings or walls built on an angle. Slanted ceilings, like beams, have a weight that makes restful sleeping difficult. Walls built at an angle tend to spin the energy of the space setting up the potential for the occupants to experience  accidents. People sleep best in square or rectangular rooms that have a human scale, typically 8 feet high with flat ceilings.
    • Avoid houses that are mostly glass. It is difficult to place furniture in those houses so that people feel comfortable. People are most comfortable and empowered when they can sit or sleep in spaces where they have a solid wall behind them and a full view of the main door of the room.

    If you live in a house that has one of the problem features listed above or if you’ve found the house of your dreams and it has some of the above issues, know that in many cases there are actions that can be taken to mitigate the problems. Check out some feng shui books available in bookstores or hire a feng shui consultant to assist you.

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    Last Updated on July 8, 2020

    3 Techniques for Setting Priorities Effectively

    3 Techniques for Setting Priorities Effectively

    It is easy, in the onrush of life, to become a reactor – to respond to everything that comes up, the moment it comes up, and give it your undivided attention until the next thing comes up.

    This is, of course, a recipe for madness. The feeling of loss of control over what you do and when is enough to drive you over the edge, and if that doesn’t get you, the wreckage of unfinished projects you leave in your wake will surely catch up with you.

    Having an inbox and processing it in a systematic way can help you gain back some of that control. But once you’ve processed out your inbox and listed all the tasks you need to get cracking on, you still have to figure out what to do the very next instant. On which of those tasks will your time best be spent, and which ones can wait?

    When we don’t set priorities, we tend to follow the path of least resistance. (And following the path of least resistance, as the late, great Utah Phillips reminded us, is what makes the river crooked!) That is, we’ll pick and sort through the things we need to do and work on the easiest ones – leaving the more difficult and less fun tasks for a “later” that, in many cases, never comes – or, worse, comes just before the action needs to be finished, throwing us into a whirlwind of activity, stress, and regret.

    This is why setting priorities is so important.

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    3 Effective Approaches to Set Priorities

    There are three basic approaches to setting priorities, each of which probably suits different kinds of personalities. The first is for procrastinators, people who put off unpleasant tasks. The second is for people who thrive on accomplishment, who need a stream of small victories to get through the day. And the third is for the more analytic types, who need to know that they’re working on the objectively most important thing possible at this moment. In order, then, they are:

    1. Eat a Frog

    There’s an old saying to the effect that if you wake up in the morning and eat a live frog, you can go through the day knowing that the worst thing that can possibly happen to you that day has already passed. In other words, the day can only get better!

    Popularized in Brian Tracy’s book Eat That Frog!, the idea here is that you tackle the biggest, hardest, and least appealing task first thing every day, so you can move through the rest of the day knowing that the worst has already passed.

    When you’ve got a fat old frog on your plate, you’ve really got to knuckle down. Another old saying says that when you’ve got to eat a frog, don’t spend too much time looking at it! It pays to keep this in mind if you’re the kind of person that procrastinates by “planning your attack” and “psyching yourself up” for half the day. Just open wide and chomp that frog, buddy! Otherwise, you’ll almost surely talk yourself out of doing anything at all.

    2. Move Big Rocks

    Maybe you’re not a procrastinator so much as a fiddler, someone who fills her or his time fussing over little tasks. You’re busy busy busy all the time, but somehow, nothing important ever seems to get done.

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    You need the wisdom of the pickle jar. Take a pickle jar and fill it up with sand. Now try to put a handful of rocks in there. You can’t, right? There’s no room.

    If it’s important to put the rocks in the jar, you’ve got to put the rocks in first. Fill the jar with rocks, now try pouring in some pebbles. See how they roll in and fill up the available space? Now throw in a couple handfuls of gravel. Again, it slides right into the cracks. Finally, pour in some sand.

    For the metaphorically impaired, the pickle jar is all the time you have in a day. You can fill it up with meaningless little busy-work tasks, leaving no room for the big stuff, or you can do the big stuff first, then the smaller stuff, and finally fill in the spare moments with the useless stuff.

    To put it into practice, sit down tonight before you go to bed and write down the three most important tasks you have to get done tomorrow. Don’t try to fit everything you need, or think you need, to do, just the three most important ones.

    In the morning, take out your list and attack the first “Big Rock”. Work on it until it’s done or you can’t make any further progress. Then move on to the second, and then the third. Once you’ve finished them all, you can start in with the little stuff, knowing you’ve made good progress on all the big stuff. And if you don’t get to the little stuff? You’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you accomplished three big things. At the end of the day, nobody’s ever wished they’d spent more time arranging their pencil drawer instead of writing their novel, or printing mailing labels instead of landing a big client.

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    3. Covey Quadrants

    If you just can’t relax unless you absolutely know you’re working on the most important thing you could be working on at every instant, Stephen Covey’s quadrant system as written in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change might be for you.

    Covey suggests you divide a piece of paper into four sections, drawing a line across and a line from top to bottom. Into each of those quadrants, you put your tasks according to whether they are:

    1. Important and Urgent
    2. Important and Not Urgent
    3. Not Important but Urgent
    4. Not Important and Not Urgent

      The quadrant III and IV stuff is where we get bogged down in the trivial: phone calls, interruptions, meetings (QIII) and busy work, shooting the breeze, and other time wasters (QIV). Although some of this stuff might have some social value, if it interferes with your ability to do the things that are important to you, they need to go.

      Quadrant I and II are the tasks that are important to us. QI are crises, impending deadlines, and other work that needs to be done right now or terrible things will happen. If you’re really on top of your time management, you can minimize Q1 tasks, but you can never eliminate them – a car accident, someone getting ill, a natural disaster, these things all demand immediate action and are rarely planned for.

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      You’d like to spend as much time as possible in Quadrant II, plugging away at tasks that are important with plenty of time to really get into them and do the best possible job. This is the stuff that the QIII and QIV stuff takes time away from, so after you’ve plotted out your tasks on the Covey quadrant grid, according to your own sense of what’s important and what isn’t, work as much as possible on items in Quadrant II (and Quadrant I tasks when they arise).

      Getting to Know You

      Spend some time trying each of these approaches on for size. It’s hard to say what might work best for any given person – what fits one like a glove will be too binding and restrictive for another, and too loose and unstructured for a third. You’ll find you also need to spend some time figuring out what makes something important to you – what goals are your actions intended to move you towards.

      In the end, setting priorities is an exercise in self-knowledge. You need to know what tasks you’ll treat as a pleasure and which ones like torture, what tasks lead to your objectives and which ones lead you astray or, at best, have you spinning your wheels and going nowhere.

      These three are the best-known and most time-tested strategies out there, but maybe you’ve got a different idea you’d like to share? Tell us how you set your priorities in the comments.

      More Tips for Effective Prioritization

      Featured photo credit: Mille Sanders via unsplash.com

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