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Published Februray 25th, 2015
Chinese New Year and Feng Shui
A tidy entrance with an activated red door allows for Chinese New Year's prosperity to flourish at this Moraga home. Photos provided

More people are celebrating Chinese New Year, which began Feb. 19, than ever before. This is the year of the Female Wood Sheep/Ram, which will help to usher in a peaceful, calm, artistic, creative and kind energy. Attention to feng shui is the best way to prepare your home for the blessings of this year.
First, clean your home thoroughly and completely. Move any piece of furniture that has not been moved during the year to clean behind and all around. This first step is the most important of all preparations. It is most auspicious to start a new year and a new cycle in anything but a messy or dirty home environment. Remove any items you no longer use. Clear out all closets, drawers and storage areas if they have clutter. Focus on organization and tidiness. Spruce up your front entrance with lively plants, paint the door red to activate this powerful area of your home and rid this area of clutter, too. Also, make sure you throw away broken furniture or china, and repair what needs repairing around your home and yard.
Next, fill your home with an abundance of fresh fruit and flowers. It is a special time of year, so treat it like a special occasion.
A large bowl of oranges placed prominently in the kitchen welcomes wealth blessings into our homes. A home that has an abundance of healthy whole foods attracts more nourishment and abundance for all who live there. Since 2015 is the Wood Ram year, plants carry an especially lucky energy. As we activate wood, we activate the new year with prosperity and abundance. Many flock to markets to prepare gifts and decorate the house with traditional "lucky plants," such as:
 Orange trees
 Mandarin or kumquat trees
 Lucky bamboo
 Money trees
 Branches of cherry blossoms
 Stalks of pussy willow

Consider painting a room. The Self-Knowledge, Contemplation and Wisdom area (the near left area from the front entrance) is a great room to paint to welcome the more reflective Sheep/Ram energy. Use shades of blue or pair with bluish green to create an environment for contemplative growth. Add the imagery of mountains, which symbolize knowledge, to activate this area for greater success in 2015.
Last year was the Horse's year to gallop and take off. The 2015 Sheep/Ram year will be one of contemplation and appreciation of what has already been accomplished. Think about bringing goodness to others. Take a deep breath and calmly look at what's ahead. Focus on the mantra of forging a steady path, of healing, generosity, nurturing relationships and keeping the peace.
Wishing you much health, prosperity and success for the Year of the Female Wood Sheep/Ram.

Feng Shui Basics
Feng shui (or Wind and Water) is the practice of arranging your environment so that energy or "Qi" flows gently and smoothly through your home or business. The principles of feng shui are founded on traditional Chinese medicine, which is based on the dynamic opposites of yin and yang, together with the five elements (water, wood, fire, earth and metal) as well as form, landscape, space orientation and time. Feng shui is about creating a natural equilibrium, while promoting health, harmony, stability and prosperity. Feng shui is not a meditation practice, a religion or a New Age cult. In fact, its origins are thousands of years old. Feng shui is based on the concept that everything in your environment has a life force or energy called "Qi." Just as Qi flows through your body, Qi also flows your through living environment. When the energy flow is stagnant, stuck, obstructed or moves too quickly, unbalanced Qi may lead to ill health, domestic strife or financial concerns. Professional feng shui advice, adjustments and blessings help create nurturing energy in the spaces and places we spend the most time - our homes and offices. The goal are sustainable good luck, good health, harmonious relationships and prosperity.
Oranges properly displayed in a Moraga kitchen
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 your own feng shui consultation, call (520) 647-4887 or send an email to spaceharmony@gmail.com. For more info visit www.mandalafengshui.com.

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