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Published March 20th, 2019
Welcome spring with the delightful Feng Shui wood element
Creating an outdoor oasis of greenery landscape attracts abundance and new beginnings to your home. Photo provided

Although the chilly morning temps register at a brisk 37 degrees, spring is awakening slowly and this much-anticipated season is long overdue. The backdrop of spring's bloom provides a gentle shift away from the dormancy of winter with changeable weather, increased activity and new growth. Spring's promise introduces us to longer-lasting days, new seeds planted, young daffodils bobbing in sunshine-drenched afternoons, the genius activity of birds and species of all types engaging in fresh courting rituals. Spring's activity mirrors the upward explosive growth of the wood element which manifests as the signal that the cycle is beginning all over again for another year.
Spring translates in the home as a shift to green and a refreshing transition to a lighter look and feel. Remember, Feng Shui begs us to notice the change in seasons not only as permission to finally put away the outside holiday lights or wreaths, but also to make a few important changes in our homes, as well as in our diet, sleep and exercise regimes. Last month I offered help with creating a sensual and relaxing master bedroom, since winter is really the season for lots of sleep. As the clock and light change, so must our own personal rhythms in spring. If we try to align our homes and ourselves with the spirited upward growth of the wood element of spring, we might also notice that it's easier to get up earlier, exercise before breakfast, and skip a meal once a week. As the flowers wake up, so do we.
Spring's wood element is represented by fresh healthy plants and flowers, the colors green and lavender, and also, the rectangular shape. It's time to throw open the draperies, let the fresh air and sunshine stream in and take note of all the new bustling activity.
Beyond the mundane "spring cleaning" in Feng Shui, we are asked about the purpose or the reason for cleaning. We are also asked to adjust our intention; instead of "cleaning" we "space clear" to welcome and create greater abundance, health and harmony. Part of the reason is our environments mirror our state of mind and, put simply, when we allow our spaces to be reborn we also experience new growth, opportunities and wellness. We "spring clean" to embrace the rebirth of the season, to create space for new growth, opportunities and new beginnings in our homes and lives. As the saying goes: out with the old and in with the new.
Start with the master bedroom and bath and create a spotless oasis; notice how it improves your sleeping. Do you feel lighter and more in control of your life? Clean the refrigerator and freezer, especially after all the holidays, and this might inspire a new approach to diet. Since the kitchen is tied chiefly to our health and well-being, attention here helps us adjust to increased activity. Notice if you feel more able to achieve your diet and fitness goals with a clean slate in the fridge. Clean out storage bins, drawers, closets, and simply repurpose, donate or toss. Wash the windows, declutter the attic and basement and step back and review your progress. What's opening up for you as you open up your home to the freshness of spring? You might also be called to create a zenlike online experience with new headshots, photos and color, and also be more open to new ideas.
Marie Kando has certainly raised the consciousness of our culture regarding clutter, and I thank her for that, but for thousands of years Feng Shui has asked us to honor the tao and the interrelationship of our environments and the quality of our lives. Feng Shui has always asked us to connect to the purpose of home, simplify, purge the unnecessary, love everything in our surroundings, keep the chi moving in alignment with the energetics of each season, and also remember that it's an ongoing process, as opposed to a one-and-done approach.
Beyond the decluttering and cleaning to welcome spring, here are some other ways we can align and bring spring's wood element in to create that shift in our homes:
1) What are your seasonal intentions for spring? Make them personal and achievable and fun;
2) Plant an herb garden in easy-to-care-for pots and place near the kitchen;
3) Add plants to home areas that promote healthy growth, like bamboo and jade, which are favorites for attracting wealth;
4) Bring bouquets of fresh flowers into your home on a weekly basis and rotate in the foyer, kitchen and master bedroom.
5) Make sure your home is supported with a well-landscaped garden and yard, create a butterfly and hummingbird haven and add water features;
6) Welcome spring with a new front entrance wreath and more greenery in your dining table centerpiece;
7) Refresh all bed, bath and home linens with lighter, colorful picks;
8) Infuse your space with more green, also wear more green and eat more green;
9) Open all the windows and doors, let the sunshine in and with positive intentions, and space clear with sandalwood or sage.
However you plan to welcome spring, be sure you reflect on the wonderful opportunity spring provides to allow each one of us and our homes to be better aligned with the very best springtime has to offer.

Michele Duffy, BTB M.F.S. is an Orinda resident who, since 1999, enjoys creating "Space as Medicine" Feng Shui one space at a time, as well as hiking in nature, cooking, and spending time with her family; Canyon Ranch Feng Shui Master, International Feng Shui Guild (IFSG) Red Ribbon Professional. To schedule a professional 2019 Feng Shui Consultation, contact Michele at (520) 647-4887 or send an email to spaceharmony@gmail.com.

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