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Published June 27th, 2018
Feng Shui
The Helpful People area includes gratitude, especially for the Divine, the most helpful of all. Photos provided

Summer is upon us and while backyard "staycations" are a popular alternative to boarding passes, the warmer temperatures can beckon, inviting us to parts unknown where personal learning adventures await.
Summer travel fills our senses with memories of Ferris wheels on boardwalks along with salt water taffy storefronts and festive balloons floating up, up, up and away. We remember as long as water was in abundance for swimming, water fights, or a relaxing hot tub under a canopy of glittery stars: all was well in the world.
The Taoist animal sign of the Dog rules the Bagua area that includes travel, helpful people and heaven. In this 2018 Dog year, especially, travel is most definitely a favored activity, but remember to be generous and kind on the journey and express gratitude to all you meet along the way. Other Earth Dog qualities will serve you well, such as being honest, fair-minded, friendly, gentle, grounded and balanced.
I felt a close-to-home certain sadness after the world recently lost a wonderful travel journalist (although he didn't consider himself a writer) - CNN's relevant Jersey Boy and travel cuisine king, Anthony Bourdain. Like many of his fans, he intimately welcomed you into his world, and I borrowed the show's many culinary secrets. Watching the last episode of his show about Buddhist Bhutan was beyond words for me and so may he be swiftly carried to a place of peace. We will miss him in our home and certainly, along with the world who knew him.
What always struck me as so necessary about how Bourdain traveled is more than just a curiosity for adventure but the importance of having a solid crew of travel partners. The world opens up to us through cuisine, film, music, language, art and literature, and for many world travelers, especially in summer, food is a major inspiration for leaving home comforts and getting onto the road.
The Feng Shui Bagua Area that rules travel also includes helpful people and also heaven, source, and universal values. Helpful people include benefactors, mentors, guides, teachers, helpers, supporters, fans, and any person you meet along your journey who shares great grace. Not having this ease with the cheery help of others can clearly make one's life dreary and challenging, to say the very least, and so cultivate a fresh tribe of those you help this year, and ensure the help you receive in kind is abundant. When you are traveling, those friends you haven't met yet are on energetic standby to be of service to you. It's balanced karma, to a degree.
Heaven is more than just divine intervention, although that in itself is truly marvelous to experience and to have on one's side, but heaven in the feng shui sense is more of a quality. Heaven creates clarity and a lifting of uncertainty and confusion and chaos. So, especially as the 2018 Earth Dog year continues to progress into summer, clarity can assist our personal choice for a summer travel destination.
The Travel, Helpful People and Heaven area of the feng shui Bagua is located along the front entrance door wall, on the near wall as you look into the space. This is often overlooked area, which is relevant for a healthy life area of the Bagua map, is governed by the metal element, which can be activated with colors like white, silver, grey and metallic, or inspirational, helpful or grateful sculptures made of bronze, like of Ghandi, Buddha or Arch Angel Michael. Place a photo gallery of your family or friends who are also helpful to you in this area, but avoid placing any reminders of people here who made your life difficult. Place symbols of who and what you feel gives you a sense of deep gratitude.
Helpful people regularly improve your quality of life and are the ones you care about - and can even be dogs and other pets. Placing travel art or a photo gallery of places where we love to travel is also an excellent activator of this Bagua area.
The earth element "creates" or produces the metal element, so by placing the earth element in this area, we strengthen the metal governing travel, helpful people and heaven. To keep the feng shui strong and vibrant, minimize the fire element in this area, such as the color red, since it melts or destroys the metal element.
Remember that this Bagua area also rules gratitude. As we gather our helpful people together for a trip around the globe this summer and intermingle with other cultures, cuisines, music or art, many miles away from home, remember to be humble and travel gently as our souls experience the unexpected moment. This is made all the more sweet when we return home to where our heart is, feeling grateful for the good in the world and the good we have also created inside our welcoming homes.
May all travel in 2018 be safe journeys!

Traveling often involves stopping and smelling the flowers. Placing a photo like these colorful poppies enjoyed on a trip to Big Sur recently can help activate the Travel, Helpful People and Heaven Bagua area.
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 2018 Feng Shui Consultation, contact Michele at (520) 647-4887 or send an email to spaceharmony@gmail.com.

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