Monday, November 25, 2019

Gratitude Offering

Gratitude Offering

Thanksgiving is an expression of gratitude for harvest blessings - a celebration of peace and plenty. It is a coming together to share a gratitude feast with family and friends. Setting the energy of the home, the day and your mood will do wonders to the environment and the experience that others will have while sharing this day with you.

There are many simple things you can do to bring in the sacred to make this day a special one for you and your family. Here are a few suggestions. Hopefully you will find one or more of these ideas to inspire you.

1. Gift to Mother Earth: Make a gratitude gift for Mother Earth as a thanks for the countless ways She supports us. The photo above depicts such a gift. Take a 30x30 natural paper source and lay it flat on your counter. Then, creatively place various grains, seeds, herbs, berries, sweets, and any other foods that come from the earth as part of your gratitude gift. Place two incense sticks as a cross in the center to demarcate the four cardinal directions which represent the guardians of the land. Add any other biodegradable objects to your gift. Once you are finished with your design, fold in the corners to the center and tie your gift with string. As a final touch, lay a few leaves under the string bow. Take your gift outdoors and present it to Mother Earth. Then, place your gift into a fire pit as your offering. The smoke that rises represents your intention and prayers ascending to the heavenly realm.
2. Gratitude Circle: Right before eating dinner, go around the table and ask each person to share what they are grateful for. You can start the gratitude circle and then the person next to you continue the sharing. You may experience resistance, but forge ahead anyway.
3. Sacred Space: Create your environment with a sense of sacred space. Put candles everywhere, even if it is daytime. Float some fresh flowers in bowls of water. Feel free to add some feathers as part of your d├ęcor. Feathers represent the element of air, or the wind that picks up its energy this time of the year. Air corresponds to the words we choose as we communicate. Choose wisely and notice the quality of your conversations as the day unfolds.
4. Give Thanks to God: This is a powerful way to show gratitude for family, friends, the roof over your head, clothes on your back, and the food you will eat. There is nothing that can match an attitude of gratitude.
5. Gratitude Walk: Taking a walk with your family can be a wonderful experience and a perfect way to digest your food. Walk through the neighborhood and notice all the beauty that surrounds you from the colorful leaves to the wonderful smell of pumpkin pie wafting through the air.
6. Giving Thanks to Your Guest: Albeit you will be busy hosting, make a point of spending time with your guests and let them know how much you appreciate them.
7. Listen to Your Own Heart: Remember to be present and embrace mindfulness gratitude. When you do, it will lead to a direct experience of being connected to life and the realization that there is a larger context in your personal story unfolding. Cultivating thankfulness is part of life blossoms into a felling of being blessed.

 
"Be mindful. Be grateful. Be positive. Be true. Be kind."
-Roy T. Bennett

2020 Home Reading

The incoming year (2020), will be represented by the trigram Dui. This trigram on the loshu feng shui grid represents yin energy. In nature, it represents the cardinal direction West, the setting sun, autumnal season, smaller waterways and the element of metal. It corresponds primarily to the mouth, teeth and skin in the human body. It is also a representation of life's simple pleasures. Dui is playful at heart and acts as a reminder to discover what makes your heart sing. This trigram will move to the center of the loshu grid, and as a result the remaining 7 trigrams will rotate in a specific sequence. This has a powerful impact to the inherent energy within your home. Find out how this shift can impact your life in 2020. 

Life Astrology Reading

4 Pillars of Destiny is a Chinese system of astrology that ascertains a person's strengths and weaknesses and how to navigate through life with them. The written report is based on the 4 pillars of energy determined by birth data (year, month, day and hour) as well as birth location. From this information, I will analyze how these pillars interact with one another, how they react to the present 10 year pillar and the annual pillar. The assessment is approximately a 30 page report that covers family background, society, personality traits, personal relationship, soul's mission or what you are meant to be doing in this life time, elder years, children, health assessment and what you can expect throughout your years. Refer to this newsletter and receive $50 discount on report analysis.

   Vegan Thanksgiving

 


Here's a nice recipe that will satisfy even the non-vegans!
Beets with Citrus Mint Dressing:
  • 7 medium golden beets, scrubbed well
  •  10 baby red beets, scrubbed well
  •  6 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  •  2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  •  6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  •  Course salt and freshly ground pepper
  •  2 teaspoons freshly chopped fresh mint leaves, plus stems for garnish
Instructions:
Place golden beets in medium saucepan, and baby beets in small saucepan; add water to cover beets 2 inches. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce heat to medium low; simmer until beets are tender, 40 - 45 minutes for golden beets and 15-20 minutes for baby beets. Drain beets and let cool.

Peel beets and cut golden beets cross-wise into 1/4 inch think slices, and cut baby beets half length-wise. Arrange beets in serving platter.

Whisk together orange juice, lemon juice and oil in small bowl. Season with salt and pepper, and stir in mint. Drizzle beets with citrus mint dressing and garnish with mint sprigs.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Mary Jane Kasliner
www.fengshuiyoganj.com

 

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Warmth and Change

Warmth and Change

Every season has its own special charms and characteristics that we look forward to, but none are considered more spectacular than the fall. As the leaves change on the trees, we are left with some of the most stunning natural scenes as the beautiful gold and brown leaves create a sense of warmth and change. Although often seen as the end, the fall represents the dawning of a new day; a new chapter. Saying goodbye to the old and hello to the new. Get inspired and stay in-spirit as you navigate through this season of transformation.

November resonates with the energy of earth, as the trigram Kun moves to the center - the axis line of creation. Mother earth is receptive, strong, yet gentle. She compliments father sky, and in doing so, fosters creation. St. Francis of Assisi preached how the whole world is a family connected through Mother Earth as care giver, sister moon, brother fire, and father God above who provide the elements of nature that lead us back to Source.

The Native American Indians also honor every part of the earth. Everything is sacred about the earth. In Native American Medicine Wheel, the season of fall sits in the west, a place of the setting sun. As the wheel turns energy moves from the periphery  to the core. Life force energy literally draws back into the roots.
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"We need a path, not to go from here to there, but to go from here to here."
Jakusho Kwong

Warrior Poses

The series of warrior poses includes three variations that could easily be considered the most iconic of the standing postures. All three are strong standing poses. Warrior 1 is oriented toward the front, with arms overhead or variation of arms can be taken in your practice. Warrior 1 is an excellent pose to practice during the fall season as it aligns to the throat chakra Vishuddha - the spoken word and the movement of air or vata dosha. All the warrior poses represent a call to action. To take pause in the heat of the moment and mindfully choose our words and actions. As we continue to deepen our experience of the posture, we can take our practice off the mat and become yoga warriors out in the world. We can use Patanjali's Yoga Sutra that gives us the tools of happiness, compassion, delight, and indifference to elevate our state of mind. Warrior poses remind us that ferocity exists not only to destroy but to also allow us sufficient strength to achieve integrity, compassion, and a loving state of mind.

Join me for any of my yoga classes at Thompson Park. My class offerings include: Yin/Yang Fusion, Vinyasa flow Lotus Style, Yin - Quiet Connection, Codes of Creation in Movement! Just ask for Mary Jane Kasliner classes for sign-ups!

Butternut Squash

Since November is an earth month according to feng shui flying star system, why not enjoy a hearty earthy soup. The element of earth will naturally assist the energy of Mother Earth (Kun) this month, while building metal chi for the autumnal season. Earth is the parent element to metal in 5 phase theory. Metal qualities include precision, organization, structure, clarity, management, financial acumen, relaxation, heavenly guidance, mentorship, helpful people, and the bodily systems of the head, neck, mouth, teeth, skin, large intestines, colon, lungs and respiratory system. Obviously it is a good idea to support these bodily systems and food is an excellent way to do that! I personally love the book Feng Shui And The 5- Element-Kitchen by Ilse Fahrnow and Gunther Sator for some great recipes following the 5 Chinese Elements.

Bathrooms



Bathrooms are often small and cramped. Yet after the kitchen, the bathroom is where we use the most resources - water, heat, and electricity. So despite its humble proportions, this room has a potentially embarrassing carbon footprint. Here are a few ways to improve that.
  • Water saving devices such as keeping showers under 5 minutes, and keep baths to a minimum.
  • Turn off faucet while brushing your teeth.
  • Fit flow restrictors to faucet valves.
  • Turn down temperature on your hot water heater.
  • Low flow faucets and showers heads.
  • Low- flow toilets.
  • Smaller bathtubs.
Incorporating environmental friendly designs is also a great way to improve the carbon footprint. Walls can be part-tile and part-paint. The tiles will allow any water to run off quickly, reducing damp levels. There are some eco-friendly paints that can be used as a good option. Floors are demanding in the bathroom but here are a few options to consider:
  • Linoleum - waterproof, relatively inexpensive, and extremely hard-wearing.
  • Cork tiles - although square, these can be cut in half and used to create interesting patterns; they are water repellant.
  • Ceramic tiles - hard wearing and cost effective, although without such good environmental credentials.
  • Solid wood -susceptible to the changing moisture levels, they can swell and contract.
  • Rubber tiles - hard wearing yet soft, with a contemporary look. 
  • Recycled rubber flooring - available in a roll to create a seamless floor.
Lighting is another aspect to consider in this room that requires multiple sources. For example, bright lighting for make-up application, mood lighting that will gently light the space for atmosphere, candles that provide a gentle flicker for a relaxing feel, and task lighting. Any of the aforementioned lighting fixtures are available in environmental friendly formats that look great and lower carbon footprint at the same time.

Other Things to Consider
  • Eco-towels
  • Natural soaps and bath oils
  • Freestanding furniture
  • Vintage mirror made from FSC-sourced wood.
Treat your bathroom like any other room in your home. Make it functional but also luxurious as it does represent a part of your life! See my eco-friendly designs under my Feng Shui Mini-Program Series and find great ways to spruce up any room in your home while protecting Mother Earth! Enjoy any of my publications. They make great holiday gifts!

Happy November!
Mary Jane Kasliner
 
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