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Published June 15th, 2016
Feng Shui
A water fountain near you front door is a strong water element. Photo provided

Graduations have come and gone along with the 2016 school year, and once again summer is in full bloom. Many people will be heading to beaches and state parks for summer vacations, either close by or near to the majestic oceans that surround our magnificent, awe inspiring coast.
If you cannot get to the beach, or you want sustainable creation of any of the Five Elements in your residence to feed your stressed-out soul, the question becomes how do we include them so our residences help melt the stress out of our lives?
The Five Elements in Feng Shui, Chinese/Tibetan Medicine and Chinese/Tibetan culture is a very vast subject, and so my aim here is to simply clarify the small but profound role applying them to your environment can play in de-stressing our lives.
The Five Elements are water, wood, fire, earth and metal, and they remain front and center in creating consciously balanced environments. Without incorporating the natural elements our residences may not be not providing the real shelter home should represent for stressed-out Bay Area residents of the 21st Century: entrepreneurs, creatives or busy moms!
Part of the challenge of working with the Five Elements for westerners is little exposure to applying them growing up in our culture. So, it is helpful to gain an understanding of the ying and yang of each of the Five Elements themselves, remembering that a ying and yang version exists for each of the Five Elements.
For example, yin water is streams and yang water is oceans, while yin wood are flowers and yang wood is trees. Each element plays a role in making our residences come alive and the interplay can adapt to different tastes, styles and decors.
The interplay of the Five Elements is not a rigid play, but rather, fluid, vital and auspicious. Feng Shui adheres to principles of ying/yang, and so to achieve balance, all five Elements are ideally present in each room and environment.
It is important to apply and place any of the Five Elements based on the Feng Shui BAGUA (see page D10) and also remembering seasonal considerations as well.
For example, place the water element (swimming pool or fountain) in the fire area (middle back) and if you are stuck with that exact scenario, Feng Shui has solutions that are easy and that fit every budget. One solution offered through a Feng Shui consultation that worked well for a Lafayette client named Kathleen was to adjust the water element in her back yard with an increase in the wood element. We added several large red ceramic potted Meyer Lemon trees and succulents and red (fire element) geraniums. Feng Shui has workable and straightforward solutions that are easily implemented. We also made sure the fire pit and grill were placed correctly in the Fame (fire) area.
We also enter summer ruled by the fire element so water is the best controller of fire and if we are feeling stress in our lives, toning down the fire element now around the home is key. It's also important to integrate personal care and wellness strategies that also include water by immersing in the ocean, a bath or a pool. That is healing, rejuvenating and creates the ultimate Five Elements balance of our personal Qi.
You may already know that one of the major unsung benefits of wellness in Feng Shui is the integrated protection of power positions in the attention to proper placement, Bagua (map) and floor plan analysis.
Five Element design includes applying the Five Elements through art, lighting, natural materials and color. Together, they play a significant role in creating calm, balanced and healthy residences room by room.
Home should always feel like when you close the front door, the stress of the day melts away and you feel inspired, invigorated and nourished in your residence.
I've mentioned water element several times because water is the most effective element to use to control the fire element of summer.
In terms of home, the water element works best in the front of the house near the front door to activate life for the entire residence, but water is also needed in the areas also governed by the wood element. The middle left area of new beginnings and family and the far left area of wealth and prosperity both need a water element to be energized.
Make sure to go to this far left area of your home and see what is here now? A bathroom might be draining your wealth, so paint it a blue, a water color. Do you have a cluttered storage room or closet? This represents a lack. Clean this area and banish clutter. If you need professional help for de-cluttering this or any area of your home, remember there are professionals who know how to help.
However you plan to spend the summer, make sure you look around your home and see that the water element is represented and placed in appropriate Bagua areas. The best part is enjoying your new water fountain while you sip ice tea with mint under a tree in your backyard. Let the summer begin!

Red colored water lily flowers bring the balance to the water element.
The Bagua Map: Front Door
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 2015 Feng Shui Consultation, contact Michele at (520) 647-4887 or send an email to spaceharmony@gmail.com.

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