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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? Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and the Chinese New Year often drives folks crazy. 

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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? Here's a few FENG SHUI STOCKING-STUFFER TIPS FOR A HEALTHY WINTER.

Winter Feng Shui: now the season of darkness increases as the season of Light diminishes in strength. Each plant and bough bears profound witness to the power of endurance, authenticity and personal beauty—and, inspires us to do likewise.

The gospels proclaim it, and the songwriters second the notion: the Kingdom of Heaven is right here, on the planet. It’s where you live: your home— the only paradise you’ve got, according to the ancient philosophy of Feng Shui (pronounced fung schway). Our homes are more than address— they are directly hooked to our life. A person and their habitat are not two. This global belief proclaims that space and the placement of furniture and decor carry force, either favorable or not. Colors and shapes, location and where you toss your furniture can either add to your strength or drain it away.  

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December is the Feng Shui month for peeking outside your front door & policing and prettying-up what lies at your immediate front entry door.

Does your front door need a fresh coat of paint? — Well, temps may be too chilly for exterior painting for many, but consider adding a colorful, live wreath, or garland of flowers to "lure" the always-wanted effervescent ch'i energy (pronounced chee; meaning 'energy,' and 'life.'  How about polishing up the address numbers, and make them shine? And, by all means, you must consider a clean and welcoming front door welcome mat.

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Are you an apartment or condo owner with no front lawn, so to speak? Consider the "welcome mat area" directly in front of your main door in the building hallway your front lawn and treat and embellish, accordingly. Here, it's very important to keep your foyer uncluttered and clear, at all times.

Like a business card, your front door and entrance connects the outside world with your own. It’s the “mouth” of your home, your public image. Its condition, color, and maintenance empowers or diminishes the health and happiness of everyone who lives there. When a door squeaks, the roof leaks, or basement reeks you feel poorly, too. A well-kept home affects those who dwell there, and makes waves in the neighborhood.

Keep your sidewalk, driveway, doorway and welcome mat clean and uncluttered to invite opportunity, freedom from limitations. At least once a year, slap fresh paint on the door to attract new business, lubricate every spring and hinge regularly to keep you active and mobile, and liberate you from outside restrictions. Windows, garages, walkways, doors and walls symbolize the eyes, mouth and limbs of residents. An unkempt, messy front porch or entry way is as attractive as an unbrushed, unflossed presidential candidate is to a baby.

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For home-owners, take a look at the “live green” in your winter front and back yards. Naturally healthy spaces where birds feed and squirrels frolic portend good fortune. Dying plants near any entrance is said to erode the health of elderly family members. If a shrub, tree or limb breaks, remove it pronto. Outside obstructive vistas beget arguments indoors. The more life on your lawn, the more life in your home.

Sound strange? Perhaps. “The soap in the bathroom, the flowers in the garden, the book on the bedside table are all strong symbols of life in progress,” notes writer Charlotte Moss in A Passion For Detail. “You look at all the details and a world unfolds.” Each day we create ourselves anew through choice. By paying attention to the details— your authentic gestures— you give expression to the most personal of arts: making your imprint on life.

The season of regeneration and replenishment is upon us. Whatever you are waiting for— peace of mind, inner awareness, contentment, grace, abundance— it will surely come, but only when you are ready to receive it with an open and grateful heart. And, an artful dose of Feng Shui!

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“It’s a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.” --Somerset Maugham

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