Monday, December 2, 2013

The Harmony of the Holidays

Feng  Shui  is based on ancient principles that were set into place by man watching and
listening to the sounds of the environment.  When you are able to  duplicate this,  the natural flow of energy that we all strive to have,  will arrive on a daily basis.

When you are setting in place your holiday decorations, you increase the energy of a space (Yang energy) or decrease the energy of the space (Yin energy) in order to suit your particular goals.  If you have set into place goals for the year and you ignore the positioning of your holiday decorations, you are missing out on a great opportunity of anchoring in your wishes for the year.

If you want to light up your life, your way, try these tips to help you along!

·        Start at the outside entrance way and light it up and it will take care of bringing in the great chi energy from outside your door straight into the house.
·        Decorate early and take down late to keep the highlighting of you and your family going on for the rest of the year.
·        Add a colorful Welcome mat to the door area as it will increase your company.
·        The addition of aromatherapy right at the door sets the tone of others coming in to your house.  This can be done easily by adding cinnamon to the wreath on the door or it can be placed in plants that are closest to the front door.
·        The inside entrance should have a colorful rug and if you want to work on your wealth, place Chinese coins underneath the rug.
·        If you feel the need for safety or security in your home, light up your protectors, whether they are Foo Dogs or Lions.  This can also be two large plants at the front door.
·        Place your Christmas tree in the area you want to increase the energy. 
·        Use all the ornaments that you really like and give pleasure to you.
·        As your life changes, change your décor as appropriate.
·        Candles create the fire energy, so use appropriately.
·        Keep décor in bathrooms minimal because this is the area of Water and you don’t want it to be increased.  It is symbolic of you losing money.
·        When creating new seating arrangements make sure you are making them inviting and comfortable for your guests.
·        Utilize the colors of the year to enhance your home.  The year 2013 is Emerald green by Pantone.
·        Use Poinsettias (fire energy) to increase your wealth and if you place them in front of mirrors; you will double this intention.
·        Do not over decorate your rooms as you will create an off balance.
·        Place artwork that creates a good memory or feeling that can enhance an area of your life. 
·        The addition of coins decorated with ribbons can be placed on your trees for increased prosperity.
·        Want a special person to be a star in your house?  Make lots of star cookies.
·        Need heavenly help?  Make angel cookies.
·        Do you want a house in harmony & balance?  Bake a gingerbread house and place a light inside to increase the chi energy.

Belief makes everything possible!  The only thing that stands between you and what you want in life is the will to try and the faith to believe it is possible.

If you think you can, you can! 
Motivation Mentor

Monday, November 25, 2013

Energize your Thanksgiving Day with Feng Shui Tips

The very first Thanksgiving Day event was not considered an event, it was a happening!  Everyone came together and brought their best displays of food and sat down for a meal that provided them with soul comfort and celebration for the end of the harvest season.

Today we still celebrate with our family and friends and even those who are far away from their families usually have a family to support them, whether they are the college student or one of our military who happens to be stationed in our area.

People were integrated with the earth because they harvested their own fresh food, they baked their own breads and of course, used everything locally.  They used vines to make baskets and they used gourds for drinking cups and they used straw for mats.  What a concept for us now as we try to bring this back into our lives!  So many look at the buy local as something new! Our décor today is mums, gourds, corn on the cob and straw and they are all of the earth.

When you think of our baked brown turkey and stuffing and acorn or butternut squash and sweet potatoes; they all represent these same traditions as in the past. Some tips that will insure that everyone has a comfortable relaxed atmosphere are:

A round table or an oblong table will create good family relationships and great conversations.   No worries if you only have a square table, the softness of a tablecloth and round dishes will also help your family to have a good experience.  The elements of Feng Shui are, metal, earth, wood, fire and water.  If these elements are in our surrounding area in the room this will also support a good balanced environment.

If you happened to use green placemats and have a salad in that location, this would cover the wood element.  If you would add to the table the white dinner napkin, it is symbolic of the metal element.  The addition of lovely candles and now you have the fire element to keep people energized.  By placing a goblet of water on the table, you will have covered that element also.  Your food will be the best of all of these elements as it is of the earth! 

Here are the basics:
Create great seating arrangements.
Set lovely dinner table décor and settings. Now is the time to use those dishes in the China Cabinet and the real silver.
Complete the whole process with the addition of the 5 elements of Feng Shui.
Have a wonderful 2013 Thanksgiving Day!
If you would like to know more about Feng Shui or would like to schedule a consultation or training with Yvonne, please call 412-215-8247 email

Friday, October 4, 2013

Getting Your Fall Look Going

Spring brings forth the large energy force of Yang because of all of the growth in nature. It is needed to encourage all plant life to stand up and shine for us!  In the fall, the weather shifts and changes into a Yin energy which is a lot softer and easier for us to navigate.   All of a sudden children are back to school, work becomes more serious and we start are winter journey of being more of a private person.  During the summer days we are out and about in public places and see a lot of people and that shifts once the weather changes.

It is very important that we make allowance for these changes and help the energy move in the right direction now.  All of the great chi earth energy comes right through the front entrances of our homes.  I strongly encourage you to walk outside and stand back at the curb and look at your front entrance way.

Check out the gardens or bushes or trees that are located in this area.  How are they doing? 
Most of the profusely flowering bushes have settled down and are in need of pruning and cleaning up of the dead leaves and flowers that have fallen to the ground.  I have started this process and I can hardly wait to bring out the jewel tone colors of the chrysanthemums.  Their brilliant colors will create the pop in your garden and surrounding your house with the warmth of fall. The deep oranges, the brilliant purples and bright yellow colors will lift our energy.  Be sure to take a look at them when you come home from work!

I always see the autumn as a wonderful time of the year.  The weather is perfect, kids are ready to get back to school and there is excitement in the air when the first bus pulls up to retrieve your child and move him back in to the world of education instead of the world of play.  This is a hugh transformation to undertake for all of us, schedules change and we have to get back to a regiment and most of us would prefer not to do this yet.  We want to hang onto our summers just a little bit longer.

While you are at the curb area, look at your front entrance way, what is going on there?  Are the flowers dead; is anything in need of de-cluttering?  Have you thought about what is next for your gardens?  Now is the time to purchase the flowering tulip and daffodil bulbs that you love to see in the spring.  A front door entrance way looks great with the addition of two tall plants at the door or two large statues.  They then become protectors’ of your front door and your family.  It is just as if you have placed two large Lion Statues in the space.

Now take a look at the front door, is it in need of painting?  Replace any Welcome Mats if necessary, anything with a touch of red is great.  Pull out those wreathes and make sure that they are looking good!  If not replace or re-glue anything that needs repaired.  Check out the bow, maybe it is time for a new one!

Are your light posts clean and have new bulbs in them and is the brass cleaned on the front door and light post?  Remember this is what others see when they come to your home to visit with you. 

Now move into the entrance way into your home.  Is it welcoming to everyone that walks through the door?  If not, add some great artwork or floral arrangements that give your guests something to look at when they walk in the door.  A subtle touch of aromatherapy here works wonders!  All of these details will help anchor in the fall season quickly and easily for you.  Happy Fall!



Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Feng Shui Vacation

We plan all year to go on that vacation of our dreams, but is it always one of our “dream vacations”?

Here is my take on a recent trip to Mexico as a Feng Shui  & Foodie expert.

I was met at the entrance by a hotel bellman with a pleasant smile, and he immediately asked me how he could assist me.   Ahh very nice start, my shoulders start to relax from the airplane and shuttle journey to get to my final destination.  He gives me the details on how to register and he would be very glad to handle my baggage until I was registered.

·         The entrance to your home brings in the good, healthy chi energy.
It will also give the same results if you pay special attention to the   area.

On my way to the registration area, a lovely lady met me with several cocktails of my choice.  I didn’t want to be rude, so of course, I helped myself to a cool looking Mohito.  Yes, it was just a perfect start of the holiday vacation!  This was a gracious, hospitable beginning and I was eating it up as I have worked in the hospitality business for a long time.

The registration area was well manned and I was given immediate attention to handle my check in and my accommodations for the week.  It went smoothly and I was taken back to the gentleman who had my luggage and he escorted me to my room.  Thank goodness, as it was a maze of different pathways to navigate with my luggage.

I am a very visual person and all the sights and colors and sounds captured me immediately and I couldn’t wait to explore the resort.  All of my Feng Shui senses were at full attention.  The seating areas in the open gathering spaces were colorful and had uplifting music to help weary travelers start the transition from home to vacation.

All of the elements of Feng Shui, water, earth, metal, fire and wood were present everywhere I looked.  The beautiful, well designed swimming pools, the well maintained tropical forests were just wonderful and made me smile immediately. But then there was a big surprise waiting for me on the other side of a curved walk way.  Right in the middle of
my path was the most extraordinary peacock I had ever seen and for some reason I was shown the glorious color display.

·         The symbolism of a peacock is good luck and rejuvenation

Chi – This great energy is achieved through having winding pathways that replicate streams of water.

As in most of the Mexican resorts the colors are the earthy tones of oranges, yellows, soft greens and very welcoming.  My room was no exception; it made me happy right away.  I threw the bags down and was on the search for my new island resort wardrobe that I could hardly wait to wear.  Now the trick was to find my way back along the curving pathways to the swimming pools.  Have no fear; the place is very well marked and easy to navigate.  I find Pool number 1 and it had the most amazing children’s water pool I have ever seen.  It was totally separate of the other pools and had everything that you as a parent would hope for, including two lifeguards who were actually interacting with the children in the pool.

·         The Earth element is very important for your relaxation and re-centering.

On to  pool number 2 (the adult pool) l, hmm there is a sign for a “Quiet Zone.”  Yes, I am going to check that pool out.  It was located in an area that was away from the children and any other loud activities like the water volleyball or singing and dancing that were going on.  This was my first day and I needed to de-stress to be able to enjoy my time at the resort and this seemed like the perfect location for me.  As I entered into the pool area, I saw a large waterfall with a lovely pool underneath it.  Does it get any better than this for a Feng Shui expert?  I am home and I am going to enjoy a relaxing time until it was time for lunch.

  • Water - Still or slow flowing water such as a fountain, bird bath, pond or pooled water from a stream. Colors representing water is blue makes for the most relaxing areas.

It is exactly 12 noon which means it is time to check out the food.  As I am a foodie from way back, this was very, very important to me.  There are many outdoor dining rooms to choose from, but I decided on the one that was easy to go to with their lovely buffets and well-designed food areas.  I can hardly choose my food as I am going through the area just enjoying how well they have prepared the food area for our arrival that day.  Every food station was merchandised with fresh fruits and veggies and had a great display of plants intermixed throughout the area including miniature water falls mixed in the displays.  Yes, I was happy, happy, happy!  These are areas that I work in on a daily basis in my food career and was delighted with their attention to detail. Now the real test was what to eat easily and safely for me. 

Food safety experts tell you to not eat the fruit and veggies or to drink the water for health reasons.  The main reason not to eat any items grown in the soil is that they don’t have the standards that we have here in the USA.  But that is what everyone, who is not in the food industry usually, eats.  They think it is ok, but in reality, it isn’t.

No fruit, no veggies, no water and now what.  My first day was a burger and fries, just because they were cooked well and nothing was there to upset my system until I was more used to their food.  I didn’t give them a 5 star rating on any of their dining areas, I would say more like 3.5, but I critique food on a daily basis and I always go for the gold in the food area.  Most other diners were perfectly fine with their food choices.

·         Key to successful Feng Shui is feeling safe in all that you do!

I am admiring the views and out of the forest a parade of Lemurs, jumping and interacting with me.  What a delightful surprise!  All of the animals there including cats, tropical birds, pink flamencos and lovely Lemur’s made my vacation the best.  

Good Feng Shui always delights your senses. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Feng Shui

Most people who are just starting to practice Feng Shui know that their bedroom and
their living room are very important and they focus on balancing those two rooms.  Most Real Estate Agents can tell you why—people spend more time in the bedroom and the living room than all the other rooms in the house. So it’s natural that the practice of Feng Shui makes it clear that those rooms play a vital part in determining how well peace, prosperity and harmony flows into our lives.

But although those rooms are important, there is another part of the house that is just as important, but almost always overlooked:  the entry way. Ch’i enters the house through doors and windows and the major part of Ch’i enters through the front door (or the main entrance).  The entryway, how it’s constructed and how it’s arranged and/or decorated determine the quality of Feng Shui that is experienced by the entire household.

The entrance to your house plays a huge role in creating an environment of peace, prosperity and harmony. It’s the first thing you experience when you enter the house and the last thing you touch when you leave the house. Many of the oldest religions recognize this. Judaism uses a Mezuzah on the doorframe to demonstrate that their home is a sanctuary in miniature of holiness. Catholics use Holy Water at the entrance of their churches so people can anoint themselves before they enter the sanctuary.  While the exact reasons may vary, it’s clear that the entryway is thought of as a portal of peace and harmony by many different cultures and religions. Most probably, Feng Shui, was taking advantage of this idea thousands of years before Judaism and Christianity.

The idea of Feng Shui is to create the flow of positive energy (Ch’i). Unless you pay attention to where that flow begins, it will be impossible to control that flow. Even worse, since the entry way is the largest portal for Ch’i, it literally determines how much positive energy comes into your home.

Given the importance of this topic, the next few articles I write will explain how to create an entry way that is conducive to bringing peace, harmony and prosperity into your home.

The first consideration you’ll want to make is where the entrance is. Most homes have two main doors: one that was built by the architect (the front door) and the side entrance, which is usually an entrance from the side of the house or the garage.  Most often, the occupants prefer one of the other for reasons of convenience. So the first rule is to pick one.  Decide on which entryway to use and make sure all occupants use that one exclusively.  Of course, using the other door occasionally is fine if you’re emptying the trash or if the door leads to the garden. Once you’ve determined where the portal is, then it’s time to consider how to use it in order to maximize its potential to attract and channel  the positive energy that is vital to helping you create a life and an environment that’s charged with peace and prosperity.

In the next article we’ll talk about the primary element of the entrance: the door and how to make sure it’s harmonious with everything good that you want in your life.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Chinese New Year Tips - Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Chinese Lantern Festival Shanghai
Chinese New Year starts on February 8, 2016 and lasts for 15 days. This is China’s most colorful and important event of the year. This year it is named “The Year of the Fire Monkey.” There are a total of 12 animals and they rotate throughout the years. There are many activities that happen during this time. On the first night of the celebration, there are fireworks to let go of the old and bring in the new, just like we do here in the USA. Also, on this night, they open all the windows and all of the doors in the house to allow the old year to go out! They have large parades and the lion dancing sways back and forth to the beat of the drummers. On the 5th day of the New year is the Chinese Lantern Festival and it is very colorful and beautiful. You will see paper lanterns made of the animal of the year and also large lanterns that are displayed in their parades.

  1. Clean your house well in advance of the New Year. Do not sweep or clean on New Year’s day or it will represent you sending your wealth out the door. All brooms need to hidden and not visible. 
  2. Wear red since it is believed to be a happy color and symbolizes a bright future.
  3. Give red envelopes filed with crisp dollar bills to children.
  4. Decorate your home with nuts and sweets on a beautiful tray. You can also add chocolate gold coins to this mix as well.
  5. Entertain your friends and laugh and enjoy the evening.
  6. Open every door and every window on the stroke of midnight to let out the old year.
  7. Clear your mind of “clutter” this day and keep your thoughts bright and optimistic for the coming New Year.
  8. Don’t scold your children or cry on this day, for if you do, it will symbolize how your coming year will play out for you.
  9. Postpone washing your hair this day as you will be washing out your good luck.
  10. Display large bowls of oranges on the tables to give to your friends and family as gifts. 
Lillian Too has shared her traditions with students and followers of Feng Shui during her training sessions. She has told them that early in the morning of the New Year, she brings in a truck full of oranges and she rolls them from the front door straight through her whole house. She is creating her own luck by following this ancient tradition.

Author: Yvonne Phillips 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

What will the year of the Water Snake bring to you in 2013?

The year of the Chinese Dragon was an intense year for all of us!  It was either intensely good or intensely bad, there was no in between.  However, the year of the Water Snake brings good fortune to all of the animal signs.  This only happens once in 9 years, so that is an awesome start for all of us.  This is the year to make your strategy big for your personal and professional areas of your life.  

Lots of good news this year with 2013 having all of the five elements present, water, fire, earth, wood, metal and fire.  You have the chance to make things happen quicker and easier.  Now is the time to get your thinking cap on and figure out what is most important to you at this date and time. 

We are very fortunate this year with the energies bringing forth more a sense of calmness, not like the Dragon energy of 2012.  You can now refocus your goals and intentions easier and with more success.  The young will be focusing on new ways of achieving their goals and creating a different world in how they work, communicate and interact with each other.  The older generation will be looking at how to create and keep their wealth and they also will be more focused on strengthening their previous way of life to fit in successfully with the younger generation.

Feng Shui Grandmaster Lillian Too says, “The year’s outlook will be balanced, bringing harmony and fewer problems and obstacles.” We should all breathe a sigh of relief and create the year that we want by focusing and strategizing our business plans with creativity and harmony.

She also explains the elements and their meaning this year.  The Wood element is representative of the Wealth Luck which means for all of us new wealth coming in this year.  

Earth is the element that represents Resource Luck which means support for your projects and goals.

The element of Metal indicates good fortune to all of the animal signs and things will be manifested very easily.  This is the BEST news for 2013. Add a little extra of this element and it will support your health and vitality for the year. The balancing of elements in your home and office spaces is what attracts good fortune.  

Since the “Boomers” are the generation to be reckoned with at this time, the power element of Fire will be very good for them.  This is the generation that will benefit the most as they are considered the older, wiser generation. They are the ones that will benefit greatly at the beginning of the year with this great, new, energy.  

Now for all of the young people, the element of Water comes with an Intelligence Luck in 2013.  The best ideas and creativity will come from this generation, as it should be, to move the generations forward.  Their visionary abilities will be the best at the end of 2013.

I will be studying with Grand Master Lillian Too in January and will be sharing her wisdom on the art of Feng Shui for the Chinese Year of the Water Snake in February.   Stay tuned for dates and times of her yearly Chinese Animal updates.