Get Organized! Feng Shui (fung-schwaay)

Feng Shui image balanceNow that Mercury is retrograde this is a perfect time to tidy up.  Review and revisit.  Feng Shui is the Chinese art of organizing a home for the right energy flow.  We all want good flow and balance is important too.  I took a free seminar at a YWCA several years back and then was placing mirrors and matches on different bureaus and desks for better flow in my home.
Recently, I met a woman who is a professional organizer and also certified in Feng Shui.  Debra Riva has been certified in Feng Shui for eleven years and a Professional Organizer for 20.  Prior to that she was an executive assistant. So I asked her what it was like to be both a professional organizer and Feng Shui certified.

KV: How did you get acquainted with Feng Shui and Organizing?
DR: I had been an executive assistant at Loews and was always helping in organizing something for years.  After spending many years in the corporate world I took my talents and skills and created my own organizing business called The Art of Order, transforming chaos.  I called everyone I knew and through word of mouth got my first clients.
KV: Are you certified in Feng Shui?  Is there a professional association for organizers?
DR: Yes.  When Feng Shui was becoming popular here in the late 90’s and early 2000’s I realized it was  a perfect match with my organizing work and I made a decision to educate myself and I got certified in the two year program at Long Island Feng Shui Institute in Oyster Bay, NY in 2004.

Feng Shui bedroomFeng-shui-bedroom-1024x759KV:  What’s it like working with clients?  Do you focus on a particular room or the whole house?

RV: It depends on what my clients’ needs are.  It can be one room or the entire home, or an office or a basement.  I ask the clients what their needs are.  Very often people have way too many material things than they really need and become overwhelmed with clutter.  I co-create with them to have a space this is supportive of how they are and what they want to achieve. One particularly memorable client was a hoarder. 

KV: That must have been difficult.  What did you do to help her?

DR: I hired an assistant to help me and we filled then removed dozens of garbage bags from her apartment in New York City.  If she didn’t clean it up she was going to be dispossessed. My assistant then became her caretaker for four years.  Frequently, there is mental or physical health issues that are part of the hoarding situation.

KV: These days as you wind down your working life what’s ideal for you in working with clients?

DR: Working virtually has made working with people at a distance very easy. They send me a floor plan, layout of the room or rooms and then I can email them back how to position furnishings, what colors to use.  I helped a man in Germany some years back and he just reached out to me again for help with something else.  I’ll be traveling to Germany in the fall too to see him and the space.

Thank you Debra Riva Debras photofor answering my questions.  If anyone has more questions about organizing or Feng Shui you can contact the National Association of Professional Organizers or NAPO, and  or, The International Feng Shui Guild, or IFSG.  Mercury turns direct again on June 12 so we all have some time to De-clutter and re-balance.  Namaste.

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New Moon, Lights Out, Social Media

With the new moon last Sunday in Virgo here on the east coast it came along side hurricane Irene.  Very intense earthly action was going on.  For me and many others it triggered lots of stress in the form on insomnia, which ends up causing other stress related issues.  Most were inconvenienced by no electricity, some had no running water, hot water, and something to cook by.  It did seem LIPA who runs the electric on Long Island took an inordinant amount of time to get everything up and running. They should have demanded 16 plus hour shifts in the beginning of the week, not just over the Labor day weekend to insure overtime pay.  How does one these days get their messages out to the people and the powers that be? Social media.

I tweeted that to LIPA and looked up other hashtags (#) words to see what others were tweeting. Sure enough I came up with someone who was updating LIPA outages.  I was also retweeted by WBLI and couple of other people insuring that my message got out to over 3000 people.  I actually did get a response and ironically, no sooner than I did, the electricity came back on in my house.  Hmm?  Makes you think doesn’t it?  As a public relations professional I know the power of the written, and spoken word and how contacting the right person, or  persons, can make all the difference in the world in getting the message you want out across the mainstream and more.  Two days later when there was a brief outage again, what did I do?  Of course, I tweeted it.  Almost immediately I got a response back too.  Power was only out about twenty minutes but after four days of none, I wasn’t going to wait another moment to find out what was going on.

LIPA in comparison to the old LILCO needs to step up their repair process.  1985 was Hurricane Gloria and we were without lights then, but I do remember the repair trucks out in less than 12 hours after it hit, working through the night and days to get people up and running.  The towns are responsible in part too by not cutting down dangerous trees with wires going through them.  On a good stormy day, forget about hurricane force winds, those trees come down, take the wires with them and then everyone pays the price.  The highway departments are responsible as is LIPA for storm damage if they don’t do their part in preventing certain calamities.  My bills are ready to be reimbursed – just tell me which official to send them to.  That should be the next step.  Better safe than sorry next time.

Mercury Retrograde – Almost Over

The planet mercury has been retrograde since August 2 and will go direct Friday the 26th.  Although some say not really direct until mid-September.  Mercury rules communication, commerce, transportation.  When retrograde frequently there is miscommunication, troubles with travel, electronic devices, starting anything new, including jobs and signing contracts.  If you do sign something, or buy something of large dollar value frequently there are problems and the decisions you make will be up to being revised.  Many people will experience contact with people from their past, loves, hates, friends, relatives.  If there is someone you need to finish business with this is good time to do so. For instance,  if you had a bad surgery with a bad doctor, mercury retrograde is a good time to revisit that surgery with a good doctor and get good results.  It’s a good time to revisit past work decisions and relationships and see if there are new ways to benefit from them.  The recent earthquake, riots in England, and strong weather systems are believed to be developed from Mars, Saturn squares, lots of energy, old existing standards clashing.  Neptune is retrograde now too and ruling water you can see where that might lead to weather related disasters.  As I’ve said before, if monarchies, Presidents and their families can turn to astrology to help them along with their path in life, why not the average person too.

For me this string of experiences sums up the most recent retrograde of Mercury: Check Engine light on/off three times in one week; car has oil change then leaks oil; car to dealer for check engine light – $$$ later car is supposedly fixed; car still leaking oil back to garage where it was done-fix; not fixed – back one more time; check engine light on again!; run into ghost relationships of the past – smack across the face!; revisit old emotions – crap; contact old colleagues; reach out to old friends – good!; solidify current status and emotions; check engine light on again! $$$ expenses high this month emotions run high but everything should be leveling off at this time. Hopefully you too caught up with old friends and colleagues to ground you where you are now.  Phew!  We are done with that one!

Welcome to Astrological Squares!

Hi and Welcome!   Astrological squares is on now, sit down and relax and enjoy.  Or, you could run around in a circle screaming, stomping your feet, pounding your fists on the wall, and generally feel of ill will – let me explain. Remember Hollywood Squares?  That Hollywood game show played like Tic-Tac-Toe with celebrities or near celebrities helping contestants to win prizes and money by answering questions correctly.  Okay well this is nothing like that.  Has your personal, or professional (perhaps both) life been difficult in the last week?  Are you experiencing more obstacles than smooth runways lately.  While driving your car do you find you are getting cut off more than usual? Astrological Squares are to blame.  What exactly is going on? Well, lets see Jupiter has squared Pluto, Mars opposes Jupiter and Uranus and Mars squares Pluto and then later this week Venus opposes Uranus.  According to the astrological cognizant all these squares in the sky create blocks, stumbling blocks, slow downs at the very least of what the planets normally move along.  Mars, the planet of war, energy, when squared can cause a lot of problems globally. We have seen some significant damage with earth quakes all over the world this year and the situation in the gulf here in the United States is showing what happens when force opposes nature.  The results are strong and damaging.  There is a grand cross coming this weekend on the 7th.  What good this all will do is bring change, needed in some cases, and forced in others. How much you are affected is dependent on your own profile and planet make-up. Signs such as Libra, Capricorn, Pisces, Virgo and Cancer, known as Cardinal signs are taking the brunt of the action.  So, if you feel you are being negatively affected by what is going on in the sky, go take a walk on the land and breath deeply.  Maybe try some yoga and know that this too shall pass.  In a week or two the sky will all look different and much will have calmed down and passed.  Then Mercury goes retrograde and that means traditionally all communication, technical things will slow down or you will experience hiccups in that area of life.  Oh No!  Isn’t astrology fun!  On the bright side it allows you to “revisit” the old relationships personal or professional and allows for some reconnection and review there.  Can’t wait?  Now that’s the right attitude. 🙂

Earth Fixed, Water Fixed – Soulmate Connection or Not? What Looks Good on Paper Doesn’t Always Play Out Well

According to astrologers soul mate meetings are not always smooth sailing, sometimes they say, lessons need to be learned. 

Well Mr. Scorpio, you ruled by Pluto, known for intense emotions, smoldering sexuality, and you do know who you are, Ms. Taurus who loves security in all relationships, known for her loyalty and sensuous nature, ruled by Venus,  needs to vent some things off her chest.  Love? Babies? Marriage?  You stung me in the right spot.  My hooves were hitting the ground in a happy dance.  How remarkable that would be because of who I am and what you do.  A psychic years ago told me my husband would have your initials. It all came rushing back into me in less than three minutes.  And then I never heard from you again.  I’m sorry you never thought enough of me to speak to me directly.  I did reach out to you initially after the surprise, and haze started to fade, but instead of hearing from you I heard from someone in your office regarding amnesia? You know I am conscious even after being sedated 🙂  What I had thought was true was over before it began.  Or was it?  Then came our run ins and your surveillance. Was GPS involved? Playing games. Not expressing your feelings.  You made this strong bull cry and cry!
Bulls can be stubborn. You are known for being emotional and somewhat manipulative, also at times dark.   I am not.  I did trust you completely.   I wish you had referred, and let things happen naturally instead of the way they unfolded… I read lips- yes yours too – you really loved me?  I heard it repeated by others about me, but never to me.  Yet, your actions toward me said otherwise.  I did understand the guys at the restaurant, golf course, OG bar/restaurant.  What did you think I was doing?  I saw you tell your dinner companion in that Japanese SONO restaurant something you should have told me directly but never did.   I believe you had bad counsel around you and relied too heavily on that and not enough on your own instincts.  You are easily intimidated (how did you get through med school?).  You are known for your good work, financial stability (traits I do admire), but poor expression of emotions, selfishness, immaturity traits I don’t admire.  Soul mates?  I have to admit there are too many coincidences in many things surrounding us – the conversations I saw and heard, some unconscious.  A very Neptunium influence I am told.  Astrologers say the answer is in the planets. I didn’t want to believe it.  I waited for months for an explanation, or your forthright, and absolute expression of care and feeling towards me.  You didn’t.  Then came the financial claims.  That was like waving a red flag in front of me – Charge!  You should have heeded that one guy’s advice, the one who drove the white van past my house, he said to drive out here and tell me in person.  You were playing games with my life.  Did you really expect me to stop by?  Where?

Is this true that you now wear a ring?  What a surprise!  Shotgun? Is this the short, blond, escort you hired last summer? Yes – I heard you tell your friend.  Or, the short blond girl last October in Stamford?  Or the blond  in your convertible this past March? There’s a type! The same? Why go to SWG to see me last October then? I know you are not a SB fan. I hope you are happy now and that you wish the same for me.  I am seeking a ring relationship myself with someone who can express their feelings clearly, has similar morals and values – that’s not you this lifetime.  Are any of the surveillance guys single?  That one was cute and he knows where I live.   Will you ever answer all the questions I have that only you can answer in a civil, friendly way?  I do hope and pray that you do.  Remember I am a bull.

Lessons learned: Next Life time less manipulation, more expressing of feelings, more love, less drama.  Thank you.

In Many Ways it is a New Year

Well Congress has finally come back and said YES! to extending the first time home buyer tax credit of $8000.  This will continue until at least April of next year.  First time home buyers are being encouraged to keep the trend going as long as they have the jobs and income to qualify them for all the nuts and bolts of the program.  This is a small indication of  housing prices staying put for now and the economy stabilizing at least for the time being.  The stars, as I’ve written of before, have finally moved into their new places for a few years.  If monarchies, Presidencies, and the culturally educated look to astrology, or the stars for advice and timing on their strategies why not the average person?  I’ve already seen opportunities pop up for career advancement, I’ve seen better and new and improved relationships take bud.  It feels like a new year in many ways even though the calendar year tells us we have a few months to go before it is a new year.   I see a healthier outlook from many people I know relatives and others.  Are you seeing the same at your place of work and or home?  I hope so.  Knowing things are getting better is a big peace of mind indicator.  Feeling things are really getting better is priceless.

Having a tough time? Look to the Stars.

We’ve seen a lot of bad behavior lately in the news.  Some surprising winners were in the news too.  Serena blew up at the U.S. Open and was penalized and fined. It cost her the match.  A few notable men misbehaved too, even Federer got fined for cursing. What?? We saw Kanye West blurt out his own opinion when another singer was actually saying her acceptance speech on the VMA’s.  Roger Federer lost to a relative unknown 20-year-old Argentinian Del Porto. Jon of Jon and Kate plus eight has been caught with his pants down, again, and his former younger Kate (not his wife) has called him an outright liar.  And that’s just notables, celebrities and those on the news.  What’s been blurting out in your own lives, corporate offices, and social scenes?  Blame it on Mercury retrograde and some harsh planetary oppositions and conjunctions. Most people have heard of Mercury (the planet of communication) and when it goes retrograde, communications, the things it rules all get haywire some of the time.  This time more so. Also, Uranus (new, innovation, surprises) is opposing Saturn (old stalwart, conservative, trying) which can account for the Federer loss and Del Porto win. It can also account for all the unseeded players, mostly women, beating the older, seeded, tennis professionals.  Interesting?  I thought so when I began to see it playing  out.  The last time Uranus and Saturn were opposed was last year exactly on the day of the U.S. election.  Obama won, Mc Cain lost.  Who do you think represented Uranus, and who represented Saturn?  Whether you’ve seen your home lives and office lives play out in similar fashion probably depends on  your exact planetary alignment and how it is affected right now.  Mercury returns to forward position on September 29.  The other oppositions and squares, calm down by then too. Until then, keep a close watch on all your communications, what is being said, how and where your money is going.  This too shall pass.