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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 January 21, 2020

    Becoming Self-Taught (The How-To Guide)

    Becoming Self-Taught (The How-To Guide)

    Most of the skills I use to make a living are skills I’ve learned on my own: Web design, desktop publishing, marketing, personal productivity skills, even teaching! And most of what I know about science, politics, computers, art, guitar-playing, world history, writing, and a dozen other topics, I’ve picked up outside of any formal education.

    This is not to toot my own horn at all; if you stop to think about it, much of what you know how to do you’ve picked up on your own. But we rarely think about the process of becoming self-taught. This is too bad, because often, we shy away from things we don’t know how to do without stopping to think about how we might learn it — in many cases, fairly easily.

    The way you approach the world around you dictates to a great degree whether you will find learning something new easy or hard.

    The Keys to Learning Anything Easily

    Learning comes easily to people who have developed:

    Curiosity

    Being curious means you look forward to learning new things and are troubled by gaps in your understanding of the world. New words and ideas are received as challenges and the work of understanding them is embraced.

    People who lack curiosity see learning new things as a chore — or worse, as beyond their capacities.

    Patience

    Depending on the complexity of a topic, learning something new can take a long time. And it’s bound to be frustrating as you grapple with new terminologies, new models, and apparently irrelevant information.

    When you are learning something by yourself, there is nobody to control the flow of information, to make sure you move from basic knowledge to intermediate and finally advanced concepts.

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    Patience with your topic, and more importantly with yourself is crucial — there’s no field of knowledge that someone in the world hasn’t managed to learn, starting from exactly where you are.

    A Feeling for Connectedness

    This is the hardest talent to cultivate, and is where most people flounder when approaching a new topic.

    A new body of knowledge is always easiest to learn if you can figure out the way it connects to what you already know. For years, I struggled with calculus in college until one day, my chemistry professor demonstrated how to do half-life calculations using integrals. From then on, calculus came much easier, because I had made a connection between a concept I understood well (the chemistry of half-lifes) and a field I had always struggled in (higher maths).

    The more you look for and pay attention to the connections between different fields, the more readily your mind will be able to latch onto new concepts.

    How to Self-Taught Effectively

    With a learning attitude in place, working your way into a new topic is simply a matter of research, practice, networking, and scheduling:

    1. Research

    Of course, the most important step in learning something new is actually finding out stuff about it. I tend to go through three distinct phases when I’m teaching myself a new topic:

    Learning the Basics

    Start as all things start today: Google it! Somehow people managed to learn before Google ( I learned HTML when Altavista was the best we got!) but nowadays a well-formed search on Google will get you a wealth of information on any topic in seconds.

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    Surfing Wikipedia articles is a great way to get a basic grounding in a new field, too — and usually the Wikipedia entry for your search term will be on the first page of your Google search.

    What I look for is basic information and then the work of experts — blogs by researchers in a field, forums about a topic, organizational websites, magazines. I subscribe to a bunch of RSS feeds to keep up with new material as it’s posted, I print out articles to read in-depth later, and I look for the names of top authors or top books in the field.

    Hitting the Books

    Once I have a good outline of a field of knowledge, I hit the library. I look up the key names and titles I came across online, and then scan the shelves around those titles for other books that look interesting.

    Then, I go to the children’s section of the library and look up the same call numbers — a good overview for teens is probably going to be clearer, more concise, and more geared towards learning than many adult books.

    Long-Term Reference

    While I’m reading my stack of books from the library, I start keeping my eyes out for books I will want to give a permanent place on my shelves. I check online and brick-and-mortar bookstores, but also search thrift stores, used bookstores, library book sales, garage sales, wherever I happen to find myself in the presence of books.

    My goal is a collection of reference manuals and top books that I will come back to either to answer thorny questions or to refresh my knowledge as I put new skills into practice. And to do this cheaply and quickly.

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    2. Practice

    Putting new knowledges into practice helps us develop better understandings now and remember more later. Although a lot of books offer exercises and self-tests, I prefer to jump right in and build something: a website, an essay, a desk, whatever.

    A great way to put any new body of knowledge into action is to start a blog on it — put it out there for the world to see and comment on.

    Just don’t lock your learning up in your head where nobody ever sees how much you know about something, and you never see how much you still don’t know.

    Check out this guide for useful techniques to help you practice efficiently: The Beginner’s Guide to Deliberate Practice

    3. Network

    One of the most powerful sources of knowledge and understanding in my life have been the social networks I have become embedded in over the years — the websites I write on, the LISTSERV I belong to, the people I talk with and present alongside at conferences, my colleagues in the department where I studied and the department where I now teach, and so on.

    These networks are crucial to extending my knowledge in areas I am already involved, and for referring me to contacts in areas where I have no prior experience. Joining an email list, emailing someone working in the field, asking colleagues for recommendations, all are useful ways of getting a foothold in a new field.

    Networking also allows you to test your newly-acquired knowledge against others’ understandings, giving you a chance to grow and further develop.

    Here find out How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life.

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    4. Schedule

    For anything more complex than a simple overview, it pays to schedule time to commit to learning. Having the books on the shelf, the top websites bookmarked, and a string of contacts does no good if you don’t give yourself time to focus on reading, digesting, and implementing your knowledge.

    Give yourself a deadline, even if there is no externally imposed time limit, and work out a schedule to reach that deadline.

    Final Thoughts

    In a sense, even formal education is a form of self-guided learning — in the end, a teacher can only suggest and encourage a path to learning, at best cutting out some of the work of finding reliable sources to learn from.

    If you’re already working, or have a range of interests beside the purely academic, formal instruction may be too inconvenient or too expensive to undertake. That doesn’t mean you have to set aside the possibility of learning, though; history is full of self-taught successes.

    At its best, even a formal education is meant to prepare you for a life of self-guided learning; with the power of the Internet and the mass media at our disposal, there’s really no reason not to follow your muse wherever it may lead.

    More About Self-Learning

    Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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