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"If you don't have charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble in the world."  --Bob Hope


Do holiday gatherings drive you nuts? Do friend and family get-togethers generate more stress than smiles? Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and the Chinese New Year often drives folks crazy. The problem may not be you, your loved ones or the same ole 'festive' food. It could be your decor and furnishings and — gasp!— the food!

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Feng Shui (pronounced 'fung schway'ch'i) is the ancient Chinese art and science of actively and intentionally balancing the energy in our environment in order to create the results we want in our lives. In other words, we take control of the invisible energies (, pronounced "chee") in order to produce what we want to experience in our visible world. The philosophy of FS is based on natural principle dating back 4-5000 years by mystics, shamans, farmers and astrologers.

So how does one begin to fend off hassles amid the holidays?  Let's talk turkey about FENG SHUI TIPS FOR A HEALTHY NOVEMBER:


1. CLEAN UP YOUR ACT

Now's a terrific time to give or toss away things that you haven't used, worn, seen or read since last winter's holiday season. Removing all this stuff energizes and attracts good ch'i energy and allows it to freely dance throughout your home, blessing all dwellers and guests. Start now and make it a habit. Don't wait for the 2015 New Year to make a junk-removing resolution! Glee here now.

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As holiday decorations come out, some everyday items may have to be stored to prevent a cacophony of competing objects. Only display things you really love. Many fall into the trap of thinking that they have to put out years' worth of decorations whether they really like them or not. When you clean away the things you do not use, love or no longer need, you create space for something new and exciting to take its place. Sometimes this comes in the form of opportunities, increased focus in your life-- if nothing else, you'll gain extra "breathing space."

2. REMEMBER MA NATURE; LET THERE BE & NOT BE LIGHT

Before your company starts piling in, either burn scented candles or spritz each room with the scent of lemon, lavender, pine or cinnamon to help relax your guests the moment they enter your home.

Candle-wise, choose "healthy" ones, like those made from beeswax or soy. Beeswax candles don't suffocate a room of oxygen when burning as do paraffin candles, nor do they create soot, but rather increase the amount of negative ions (a good thing) in the air.

Is there a dark corner in your home? Not good, especially if it's breeding dust-bunnies or cobwebs! Tea candles or small white twinkling lights hidden inside a large indoor plant or tree attracts positive ch'i and makes a calming soft light which adds an inviting feeling to an otherwise 'dead' spot.

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Candles emit natural FS-Fire (health, fortitude) energy and supplement the relaxing effects of dim lights. Fluorescent lighting, especially when added to the already stimulating effects of holiday decor, creates an energy drain and should be removed or reduced.

Place candles in what is called the Earth directions of the SouthWest (loving relationships,romance, mellowness), NorthEast (self-development, personal growth, knowledge) and in the center of your home and dining room table. 

3. BRING NATURE INDOORS 

Fresh green foliage such as spruce and pine provides fantastic Feng Shui  fragrance. The pine tree is a traditional Chinese symbol (and smell) of longevity. Because the East-most part of your home floor-plan as well as each eastern section of each room are governed by the Wood (health, vigor) element, it is an ideal location for garlands, wreaths and other seasonal greenery.

4. DINE AT A ROUND OR OVAL TABLE

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The absence of sharp corners and hard edges helps positive energy flow freely and gently through the room. These shapes foster harmony as there is not hierarchy or rank created by the 'head' of the table. Think of King Arthur and his knights' round table.  There, everyone was equally important.) By seating your family and guests at round or oval-shaped tables, no one has to sit at a sharp corner (called 'cutting ch'i'-- not good). If you do have a rectangular dining table, make sure guests are not seated too close to the corners, which can cause a FS-feeling of unease. If you have a square or rectangular table, simply cover it with a tablecloth.

– Feng Shui Astrology suggests finishing your grocery shopping finished and your holiday food menu organized 5-7 days prior to feasting. When bringing people into your home to eat for the holidays, please remember that you don't have to make all the food yourself. Feng Shui is about harmony and flow, so say "yes" whenever anyone volunteers to bring something, and engage household members to lend a hand.

5. MO' FOOD FENG SHUI 

• Gingerbread is the modern version of ancient Asian sweets made from honey and grain, which were offered as sacrifices to the goddesses and gods at the end of the calendar year. These cakes were also buried with the dead to ensure the passage of their souls into the other world. In FS astrology, ginger is governed by the planet Mars (great for Aries the Ram-born) and the element  Fire (corresponding to Aries, Leo and the Archer; spirit, action).  Partaking in gingerbread or gingersnap cookies is said to make munchers healthier and more economically astute.

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• Pumpkin (as in pie or what you carved and placed on your front porch last month) is governed by the magical Moon and the FS-element of Earth.  In addition to being delicious and nutritious (remember to dry, roast and eat the seeds!) it is also said to be a money-attractor and protector against debt. Ditto for squash, the pumpkin's sibling.  Sweet zucchini squash bread is said to increase awareness of the non-physical reality around us.  It is a fine spirituality-inducing food, and is ruled by the Sun and the Fire element.

• Those yummy orange tubers called sweet potatoes (like, yams), especially when flavored and cooked with cinnamon, ginger or nutmeg and a dash of honey is said to expand your ability to receive as well as give love. They are governed by the element of Water; its planet is Venus. Woo-hoo!

• Like pumpkin, soy products like tamari/shoyu and tofu are governed by the moody Moon and is the element Earth. Add soy to your foods to protect against un-good vibes or psychic attacks and increase your intuition to boot. Ditto with esp-protection from brussels sprouts and broccoli, each governed by Water and the Moon.  Cancer, Scorp and Pisces take note.

• Fruity delights like the fig (governed by Fire and planet Jupiter), mangoes (Mars-Fire), blackberries (Water-Venus) and the apple (Water-Venus) are said to bestow more physical strength, increase sexual desire, fertility and promote love.

When eating, always chew your food slowly, keep all thoughts and conversation upbeat and positive, and be thankful!

 Dennis Fairchild • e-mail denfairchild@aol.com • office 248. 546.6912