Get out the grill! We're coming up on one of the biggest barbecue weekends of the year! But before you invite your friends over, you'll want to get your outdoor space in tip-top shape. Did you know you can attract more positive energy and give your BBQ celebrations a boost by preparing with Feng Shui?
Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese art of balancing the flow of chi (or the "vital energy") in your environment to create beneficial effects in your life. You can use Feng Shui to set up any place where you spend time. The "cures" Feng Shui prescribes are inexpensive and they can have a big effect.
Set a welcoming table
Regardless of the event -- Memorial Day, a birthday, anniversary or promotion -- you will want to gather your friends and family around a welcoming table. If possible, try to find a round one. Sharp angles cut chi -- the positive energy you want to enhance. At the very least, drape a soft tablecloth over your table to soften its edges, and try to avoid seating anyone at its corners. Make sure the grill is a safe distance away -- you don't want to overheat your guests! -- but keep it near enough so the aroma from the sizzling food will rouse their appetites.
Choose the right space to chill 'n grill
Feng Shui prescribes cures for relationships, health, career and prosperity, all by directional sectors. Depending on the event you are celebrating, you'll want to enhance specific areas for the best effects. If you're not sure about the directions on your patio or in your yard, simple compasses are available at convenience stores, or perhaps your phone has GPS.
Decorate with greenery
If you are using a barbeque to celebrate a marriage, anniversary or new relationship -- or perhaps looking for a summer fling yourself -- the southwest is the area you want to concentrate on. Place patio pots or a planter filled with pink and white flowers in this sector. Geraniums are always a good choice because they withstand heat and last a long time if you keep them watered.
Nurture through nature
Everyone wants to shape up for summer, right? A barbeque is the perfect way to kick off your new healthy lifestyle! In Feng Shui, the east is tied to health. To feel your best all summer long, try creating a simple piece of nature art for this sector. Gather ten smooth pebbles or rocks and place them eight in a line, with one on top and one on the bottom in the center. This symbol means earth and can be a cure for whatever ails you, especially lung and respiratory problems (summer allergy sufferers, take note). And don't forget, vegetables are great for grilling.
Let the chi flow like water
Barbeques are also great ways to celebrate a friend or loved one getting a new job or a promotion. In this case, concentrate on the career sector located on the north side of your patio or yard. In this area, water and its symbols will keep the chi flowing. Place a water fountain here and enjoy its cooling sounds along with the healthy negative ions it diffuses into the air. Place some crystals in it to increase its beneficial effects. You can also hang a small mirror in this sector, or try metal wind chimes or a mobile made from shiny objects. These all reflect light like water.
Increase financial prosperity
Hoping to win the lottery, get a raise or simply beef up your savings account this summer? The southeast sector of your patio influences prosperity. A simple cure involves wrapping three coins in purple fabric (a wealth color) and tying it up with a red ribbon. Hang your little packet from a basket filled with purple flowers, like heliotropes, whose sweet scent once earned them the nickname of "cherry pie plants."
Clear the clutter
Finally, keep in mind that clutter blocks the flow of energy in any environment, so your outdoors space needs to be clean and clutter free for your backyard celebrations. You don't have to get all anal about it -- after all, summer is the time to lay back and relax -- but a simple sprucing up before any social event is always a good idea. Use your hose to spray off any debris and water your planters. Don't forget to deadhead your flowering plants (pinch off their dead flowers) to keep them blooming, and give them a shot of fertilizer now and then.
Feng Shui offers a way of achieving better quality of life by unblocking and balancing the energy that flows through our surroundings. In turn, this creates balance inside us, which enables our bodies and emotions to heal. Following the law of attraction, when we are balanced and healthy, good things come our way and our lives improve. Take Feng Shui beyond the barbeque and start practicing in the all of the environments where you spend time -- you may be delighted by more good things flowing your way.
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