January 4th — New moon & Solar Eclipse – Start a new project
18th — Full moon – finish up a project
February 3rd — New moon & Chinese New Year of the Rabbit begins – have your 2011 Feng Shui temporary cures in place. The next post will address Chinese New Year for the Metal Rabbit.
Lighten Up January
In January, as the days begin to lengthen (and the cold begins to strengthen) the topic of lighting often comes up. Perhaps it is because of the surge of energy or perhaps it is because February and March (sometimes) are coming and seasonal defective disorder will get worse before it gets better. This is the time of the year when our Vitamin D levels are low due to lack of sunshine and because we spend more time inside to avoid the cold often snowy or nasty weather. This leads to the condition called SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). You don’t need to get this but if you do, there are ways to adjust your home to make it more manageable. According to the Mayo Clinic, the symptoms of SAD are:
- Loss of energy
- Social withdrawal
- Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed
- Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates
- Weight gain
- Difficulty concentrating and processing information
According to the Mayo Clinic, if your reaction is severe, you may need medications, light therapy or other treatments to manage seasonal affective disorder.
However, there are some measures you can do on your own that may help, such as:
- Make your environment sunnier and brighter. Open blinds, add skylights and trim tree branches that block sunlight. Sit closer to bright windows while at home or in the office.
- Get outside. Take a long walk, eat lunch at a nearby park, or simply sit on a bench and soak up the sun. Even on cold or cloudy days, outdoor light can help — especially if you spend some time outside within two hours of getting up in the morning.
- Exercise regularly. Physical exercise helps relieve stress and anxiety, both of which can increase seasonal affective disorder symptoms. Being more fit can make you feel better about yourself, too, which can lift your mood.
You can sit in front of a light box for some time every day to feel better. You could make your own but be sure they have the following:
- 10,000 lux of illumination at a comfortable sitting distance. Product specifications are often missing or unverified.
- UV Filters -Fluorescent lamps should have a smooth diffusing screen that filters out ultraviolet (UV) rays. UV rays are harmful to the eyes and skin.
- White Light Only – The lamps should give off white light rather than colored light. “Full spectrum” lamps and blue (or bluish) lamps provide no known therapeutic advantage.
- Minimize Glare -The light should be projected downward toward the eyes at an angle to minimize aversive visual glare.
Here is an example of some light therapy boxes you can purchase and other light therapy product information:
ELEVEN FENG SHUI DESIGN TIPS FOR LIGHTING*
- Do a room by room analysis of lighting
- How many lights do you have in each room?
- Where do you read, compute, spend time in that room? Is it well lit?
- Do you have an area where you have to walk in the dark in order to get to the light switch? Some people do. These people avoid those rooms. Rather than redo the wall switch, why not use a motion activated light (great for basements and outdoors) or floor lamp near the entrance. Let motion detectors pave the way.
- Replace any burned out bulbs – “bad” feng shui.
- Check the dust factor on shades and bulbs (don’t forget hanging crystals). They usually aren’t a part of routine house cleaning.
- Could you improve on your lighting? Do you like it? You could create a new mood just by changing out a few things.
- New lamps shades or new table lamps? (You could go to resale shops or check out lighting on line)
- New light fixtures can update the house, make it your own. If you are still living with what came with the house and it isn’t you, read the ads, look in the stores, watch the sales for what speaks to you. That is what you deserve.*
- Change out light bulbs. Get a jump on the demise of incandescent light bulbs by changing them out now or stocking up on the old ones, if you prefer.
- Consider investing in full spectrum desk or work lights in areas where you spend a lot of time.
- While it is best to sleep in a completely dark room, you might need some dark –sensing navigation lights (night lights) in the hallways, bathrooms or children’s rooms if they don’t do well in the dark.
- To avoid that “nobody’s home here” look, install an automatic light that goes on at the same time every day. Start using it now before you go on vacation.
- Consider putting in solar tubes or skylights, if done correctly, preferably when the weather warms up a bit.
- In feng shui lighting is considered a fire element. It is associated with fame and reputation. As you working with your lights visualize that this is helping your fame and reputation. It is a good PR move in business and at home it will get you a little more recognition and support from your family. It adds energy for all.
- Get out your bagua and find the area of your life that needs more energy – love, money, health, knowledge, etc… and add a crystal there.
- Replace the existing finial with a crystal lamp finial for added energy
- Use a crystal pull chain on your middle of the room ceiling fans to energize all areas of the bagua – especially health.
- Dig out old crystal vases, glasses and decorations and empower them with the Three Secrets Reinforcements to achieve your goals.
*These tips come from an light-obsessed someone who has moved her favorite hall and foyer lights from house to house, has a crystal empowered house, is building her own crystal chandelier, has a small lighting “store” in her basement and changes out her lampshades and lamps regularly.
Clients, don’t forget to ask for the annual updates for 2011. Many of you have already.
Have a great January!
p. s. Last word(s) on lighting:
The world of lighting is changing. I am not an expert on this scientific energy. In the past, feng shui tends to prefer full spectrum lighting because it mimics natural daylight better than incandescent lighting and found previous florescent lights irritating to young children and sensitive people who react unknowingly to the possibly stressful emissions.
Halogen is hot, very hot.
LED is the most economical and seems to be where lighting in going.
How efficient is your lighting? Madison Gas and Electric (MGE) has a website that compares the lumens of lights and costs.
Think a crystal chandelier doesn’t fit your lifestyle? Check out these informal contemporary sparkling fixtures by Schonbek that will change your mind, add elegant crystal energy in a modern scene. Both chandeliers in the photos in this post are available from Schonbek Worldwide Lighting, Inc., 61 Industrial Blvd. Plattsburgh, NY 12901-1908 | Tel. +1.800.836.1892
Not wanting to spend thousands? Add a crystal ball ($8-$60) to your current fixture. See our Shop section.
Crystal wearing – on your person or in your house is the latest in fashion and design.
It’s all the rage, even in the movies, like Black Swan. Wear light catching jewelry to bring light to your personality