Navigating your own health challenges can be one of the scariest seasons.
Baked sweets containing sugar contributed to my many health issues.
This might be for a few reasons: 1. It often commands we address how we might have contributed to the cause of the health issues, 2. It brings up any issues we have regarding independence, and 3. It sometimes makes us confront our own mortality.
As a child, I was sick most of the time. As I’ve gotten older – and wiser – I’ve discovered I am highly allergic to sugar. My mom was always baking cookies, pies, cakes, etc., that I loved to eat! They all contained massive amounts of sugar. My body reacted with sore throats, sinus infections, and pneumonia.
At the time I didn’t know any better. Through trial and error I discovered this allergy. Now I stay away from those sweets knowing what the result will be.
Fear of loosing independence
About a year before my mother died, I became aware she couldn’t balance her checkbook. Then she couldn’t find things and forgot whether she had eaten or not. I had to find what was called a nursing home at that time. Although she couldn’t remember many things, she knew she was being moved from her home. Many seniors have this fear about loosing their independence.
Often an illness will occur for which there is no known logical reason. How should a person handle those situations? The answer: It depends! It depends on many things.
Let me share how I coped with one of mine.
Water-Babies & Moon-Faces
One morning I noticed a few red patches around both my elbows. The next day they had spread, plus there were now the same type of red rash around my knees. The following day it had spread to most of my arms and legs. I got an appointment to see my doctor, a gynecologist, the next day. When I awakened, I was having trouble moving and could barely walk.
Prednisone induced Moon Face
When she saw me, she immediately asked the neighboring dermatologist to fit me in. Biopsies were taken without any answers. By the time they got the results back (which had no conclusive answers), I couldn’t walk and was told I probably would never walk again!
Massive doses of prednisone were prescribed and taken. Slowly I was able to move a little. I started doing water exercises. I lasted 3 visits, then quit!
The reason wasn’t that I couldn’t do it. It was I couldn’t handle being in that environment!!!
Every one of the people in the group were unbelievably negative. They joked about “moon-faces” because the prednisone caused our faces to be big, fat, and round looking, like the moon. They only talked about how horrible they felt and how they felt more worse as time went on. AND they were accepting and integrating into their lives the words they were using to describe themselves.
I couldn’t stand their depression and lack of optimism.
Tomorrow I will continue with what I did to support my own healing.
Sometimes I am in a fog as to how I should handle something. I can’t see in front of me the steps I need to take.
Scary times happen in our lives. How are we supposed to include “self-care” during those times?
Scary times can include an unexpected financial expense. Maybe the loss of a job throws you into stress and scare: “How can I make it through this?” or “What next is going to happen?” Often a health issue, yours or a loved one, changes life forever.
I wish I could say I don’t know about these times, but I have. Most people I know have had these situations.
I’m going through one now. I realized I have tools to cope, yet I had forgotten them for several days at the beginning of this event.
It was then I decided to go through memories of “Scary Times” searching for tools. I gently removed protective layers the years have built to find and excavate what I’d used.
Reflecting on life, all the ripples in it, sometimes it is hard to see the reflection or the Light guiding us.
What worked in each situation? Were there common threads? Who were the people I relied upon? Who undermined me and my energy? What tidbits of knowledge did I learn? Did I use that knowledge sometimes and ignore it at other times? If I ignored it, was that a good thing or bad thing? When did I feel most empowered? Where did I go, if anyplace, to find quiet time to think – and feel – the emotions?
In disseminating this information, what protocol could I create for this scary time? How could I weave the information together to create a SafetyNet or warm, fuzzy blanket to comfort me through this journey?
And just what is self-care? Am I being selfish to think about ME during this time? Or is this exactly what my life path has taught me – that the only way I can truly help someone else is if I do take care of me with whatever “self-care” tools I have, whether longtime standbys or newly discovered.
Hence this series of articles has surfaced. It’s an archaeologically dig of my life. I am remembering memories buried deep within my mind. I’m feeling emotions I thought were healed. They aren’t, but they aren’t as painful. In fact, in many cases there is no attachment to them, just the vague memory of a time long ago.
My Feng Shui training has given me many tools to use. The masters I’ve had contributed to an awareness of energy and how to use it – and to use it ONLY FOR GOOD!
We should never interfere with another’s life. Words are powerful. “In the beginning was the Word!” Understanding I am one with the Universe – the One Mind – connects the energy fields. My hope is to raise my vibration – and yours – to a higher-level using words while sharing these stories of how I’ve navigated scary times.
WHY SHOULD I CONSIDER USING FENG SHUI?
Feng Shui includes many principles and suggestions, yet the main point is to create an environment that supports your daily life, health, aspirations or dreams, and lifestyle. Unfortunately the way I was taught Feng Shui nearly 40 years ago, it didn’t make sense to me nor was the essence of it boiled down to the main purpose or reason for doing it.
FUNCTION! BALANCE! ORDER! BEAUTY!
Heavy “weight” of the piano is balanced on the other side of the room with the cabinet – and a triangle with the large, dark coffee table distributes the weight of the pieces around the room.
Feng Shui is common sense. Make your home functional. Create rooms that feel balanced. Clear the clutter. Make it beautiful in your eyes – not your mom’s, neighbor’s, or friend’s eyes!!!
For years in my interior design and Feng Shui classes I told my students that using “Feng Shui” principles and objects is actually the last step.
First the home has to be FUNCTIONAL. If I told you to do something within your home, but in doing so it made it difficult to walk through your home or you couldn’t accomplish the necessary tasks within your home, you would be irritated with me. You might even send me “bad vibes” – intentionally or unintentionally. Use your common sense when doing anything in your home.
Second, we want BALANCE in the home. There are many ways to create balance, especially when we use Feng Shui. But let’s talk about balance through the eyes of interior design.
Look at your room. Do you have all the furniture against one wall? Maybe distribute items around the room. Does one wall hold all the TALL pieces of furniture? Or maybe there are several “heavy” pieces on one wall or one side of the room. Again, move them around. Try to have some tall or big pieces on opposite sides or maybe even placed in a triangle within the room like they are in the picture above.
The same goes for low furniture, dark items, or any items that “command” attention. Balance the room in order to have pieces of furniture placed around the room, not just in one area or side. What about artwork? Is it all on one wall? Try to make arrangements that have about the same visual weight on opposite walls. This also applies to having equal weight on both sides of a piece of furniture.
Order & organization in the entry or mudroom
Have any accent colors distributed around the room. Having all the color just on a sofa or one wall throws the room out-of-balance. We want visual balance in heights, colors, accessories, and style within each room. When we add Feng Shui into the mix, we often will incorporate the Five Elements or Yin/Yang Theory.
Creating ORDER throughout the home brings a sense of peace into the space. CLUTTER is a big issue in many homes. Often it is because the function of the task doesn’t have the proper furniture or layout to complete the task easily. File cabinets, containers, lighting, seating, and other necessary tools are usually missing or not conveniently located to handle the situation.
Setting up a regular time schedule to work on decluttering and organizing is often a tool used to help. I block off the needed time for these tasks on my calendar. When doing the work, I set several short time segments back-to-back instead of one LONG time to accomplish things.
As the phrase by Margaret Wolfe Hungerford in her 1878 novel, Molly Bawn, states: “BEAUTY is in the eye of the beholder.”
What do you consider beautiful? What style furniture do you like? Is it the comfort factor, sleek lines, or big & masculine? What colors do you like? What colors do you dislike? Do you like lots of objects on shelves and flat surfaces? Or are you a “less is more” kind of person?
This is a discovery process as we are constantly changing and growing. As we mature, are exposed to different cultures and lifestyles, and expand our consciousness in the world around us, our tastes and preferences evolve.
Creating a living room that is functional, beautiful and reflects your style is the goal in Feng Shui.
COMMON SENSE, STYLE, & REFLECTION OF YOU
The challenge with our lifestyle and way of thinking these days is we don’t use common sense. We are bombarded with advertisements and other people’s agendas to the point we often forget common sense. We have become brainwashed into thinking we “need” the latest product or device to make us happy and complete.
What’s your style? Do you even know? Many of the women I have worked with during my career as an interior designer have not a clue what style they like. They see a room display at a store or in a magazine and they try to mimic it in their home… but not quite! The cost, size (of the furniture or the room), color, or material doesn’t work for some reason. Hence, they are forced to change parts of the overall image. Bottomline, it just doesn’t work.
Why do you have the furniture you have in your home? Did you inherit it? Find it at a garage sale? Brought it from your college days? It was in your husband’s friend’s house, he didn’t want it, and told your husband to take it? These are just a few of the hundreds of “mistake” furniture my clients have had in their homes.
Ultimately with your home, using these common sense qualities of interior design – AND FENG SHUI – will improve your life. Yes, Feng Shui is the common sense aspect of interior design.
Make your home a reflection of who you are at your core essence. What are your values? What do you believe? What do you cherish? Where do you want your life journey to take you? How do you see yourself? Does your home reflect that image?
If you follow these principles, you’ll understand why considering and utilizing Feng Shui in your home will make you happier and help you achieve the life you desire.
Enough with the fear-based climate change pictures and stories. Negative motivation has not been my way of taking action for 4 decades! I respond to positive thoughts, ideas, and co-creation. What about you?
This photo is from a 2021 article from International Well Building Institute. (The link will take you to it.) It mentions how seeing smoke-spewing factory stacks and polar bears clinking to the last piece of ice don’t move people to action.
In sharing approaches used in educating parents about climate change, a couple words about the fear-based approach with which I could resonate were: paralysis, sacrifice, & scarcity. We often see and hear so much it causes overwhelm, especially with all the other issues we deal with day in and day out.
The only message that resonated with parents about making healthier choices for the students was: “A green school can offer your child that extra opportunity to succeed.”
As a parent – and now grandparent & great-grandparent – I’ve seen firsthand how the health of everyone is affected by poor IAQ (Indoor Air Quality), lack of sunlight in rooms, and other building/construction techniques once thought to be traditional “good design/build practices,” yet are outdated by newer technology and scientific data.
Fear-based Earth Day
Several statements in the article resonated with me. Here’s one:
“The effect is magnified because we know that there’s a great deal of overlap between what’s good for people and what’s good for the planet. Investing in electrification, selecting low emitting materials and optimizing natural light are climate mitigation and human health strategies. It’s an approach that benefits all of us.”
As a woman who has experienced the death of a child, personal health issues due to toxic chemicals, and loved ones who have been victims in different forms of climate-related disasters, my focus for several decades has been to create healthy and nurturing environments for businesses and families to thrive.
As such, I leave you with this heart-felt quote from the article:
“In order to be effective, climate messages must tap into our intrinsic motivations. It’s our universal aspiration for ourselves to be healthy, for our families to be well, for our businesses and communities to thrive. That’s what moves us to act.”
#EarthDay #ClimateChange #HeartfeltEarthDayMessage #HealingOurPlanet
New Year 2023
Does it seem as though one year flows into the next without any sizable changes happening – even though you want change?!!! Think you’ve tried everything to make a better life for yourself? Wonder how others seem to achieve success (however you define it) and, yet, you aren’t reaching your desired dreams and lifestyle?
Until a few years ago I had often felt that way about my life. I think of myself as a GOOD person, yet I didn’t have the finances, health, and respect I felt I deserved. Then several things happened.
One that had a major impact on my life is most appropriate to learn and follow RIGHT NOW!!! It has to do with how I start the New Year. I’ve never been one for writing down resolutions. That’s just not how I plan, process, and produce in my life.
To Understand the Universe, think in terms of Energy, Frequency, & Vibration ~ Nicola Tesla
Maybe you are like me – a more “go-with-the-flow” type of woman. I believe in a Higher Power, intention, and intuition!
What happened for me was the conscious setting of intention through rituals I choose that have meaning to me. Many have come from the Chinese culture and their traditions for preparing for, and honoring, the New Year. I’m not saying you have to follow ALL the cultural aspects. Just pick one or several that speak to your heart or sense of purpose.
They all have to do with ENERGY! Everything is energy!
Imagine the type of energy in these situations:
- You picked up takeout at the fast-food drive thru where they are understaffed, plus the food is processed to keep it edible longer. By the time you get home it is cold. Instead of reheating at this time, you put some of it in the fridge to have later on.
- Arriving home from a trip – or long day at work – you find a beautiful meal prepared by a loved one with your favorite beverage and music playing in the background.
- After spending hours working on a project and expecting to be paid for your services, the client or employer says they don’t have the money to pay you.
Road sign pay off debt and blue sky.
- When you open your email you find a notice from your bank, Venmo, or PayPal showing a check has been paid to you or an invoice has been PAID IN FULL.
How do each of these make you feel? What is the ENERGY you think is surrounding the food, the money, or the mental and emotional health you’re experiencing in each situation?
These are just two of the examples I have shared in social media recently as things to do to improve the START OF THE NEW YEAR:
- Remove/toss any leftover food from the refrigerator, and
- Pay off, or reduce, your debts.
In my next post I’ll share more traditions, thoughts, and things to consider doing in preparation for the Chinese Lunar New Year – the Year of the Rabbit – which starts on January 22, 2023.
Be sure to sign up to receive blog post notices as to not miss any of them.
Day of the Dead
It is Dia de Muertos. A time to honor the loved ones who have died. It is a time to make your home a healthy place for you and your family to live!
Although there are numerous items in and near a home that can cause issues, I’m focusing on the less obvious or well-known situations.
Part 1 – Hidden Hazards: HOME
A few days ago I shared numerous issues I’ve personally experienced in my homes. Now I’m going to share issues known to cause SBS (Sick-Building Syndrome), many of which can cause serious health issues in humans.
Sick-Building Syndrome: HEALTH
Ghoulish Greetings Pumpkin house
There are several possible contributing factors that can cause SBS. In some cases, the way the building is constructed, the materials used in the construction (new or remodel), or the location (like close to a major highway or next to a parking garage) create the issues. Toxins and chemicals can get “trapped” inside a home causing health problems. Often when the person leaves the building the symptoms reduce or go away.
Some building factors are:
- Vehicle exhaust
- Plumbing vents
- Formaldehyde (found in almost all home furnishings like carpet, upholstered furniture, and glues holding plywood and pressboard/MDF board together)
- Pollen, bacteria, fungus, even insect & bird droppings
- Inadequate ventilation (“sealing the envelope too tightly” for energy efficiency causing less outdoor air ventilation)
- EMF – again
- Office machines (duplicators, copy machines, heating system exhaust, etc.)
- Humidity (sometimes causes mold in simple things like plants)
Electrical wires & chemical fumes
Some complaint factors at work can add to the situation (this is one of the things that happened to me with my chemical toxicity):
- Preexisting illness or allergies
- Job-related stress or dissatisfaction
Other interesting facts are:
- Symptoms more common in clerical jobs than managerial positions
- Happen to females more than males
Heart surrounding FULL moon
The affects these unseen toxins can produce are SCARY! Let’s investigate our homes to see if we can detect any issues.
The “Day of the Dead” celebrations are to honor the spirits of our deceased loved ones. Let’s not have our home contribute to the passing of anyone we love.