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.


Earth Day Redux – Again

(I wrote this last year and because it was SO good, here it is again!)


It’s #Earth Day once again! Same day every year April 22.  The Nation adopted this day in the seventies to promote being green.  Now it’s hip to be a greener but in the 70’s the notion of hippies – long hair, free living and loving souls who ate organically and grew their own food and other stuff (Uhum!) was not really in.  We’ve come a long way.  Or have we?  It shows in the faces of these two children – one feels the need to smile at the beauty, and the other is more serious, her face says, “This is a magnificent rose bush, can all of us live up to growing such a beautiful bush?  I don’t think so.”

The rose bush in my picture and the lawn was well cared for by my father.  Not just pruning and watering but fertilizing, organic when we could, and rose feeder pellets put in the ground around it to grow. Sprays for rose bush spiders and rose dust to protect it from everything including spiders.  My father sweated and toiled over the lawn and garden.  He loved doing the work and work it was.  I tried lifting the shovels he used to make those perfect circles around bushes when he planted them.  Heavy! That rose bush was most appreciative of his work. How do I know? Well, when he passed away in December two years ago, that rose bush in the picture still was blooming those gorgeous pink flowers, and had buds. No it wasn’t warm.  Average temperatures in the 40’s for that time of year during the day and dropping to 30’s in the night and even some days.  I believe the rose bush was still saluting the work that someone gave to it to make it live, thrive longer and better.  It was also saluting the individual.

How many people do you know, regardless of age who toil and spend hours at a time in the hot summer sun toiling for soil sake?  They toil and toil for perfection sake until they can no longer stand on their God given legs.  No, I don’t mean the farmers who make living from the land but the average person, or not, who does it for the love of the beauty it gives off and other people benefit from this beauty.  The oxygen we know helps to resuscitate the carbon dioxide we give off.  The beauty and taking time to smell the roses – priceless!  My family has always been green. My fathers parents my grandparents were green back in the 60’s composting and fertilizing with the best.  Their roses and gardens were a thing of beauty which also made the air a little cleaner too.

On this #Earth Day I hope you can plant a tree, flower, herb and dedicate it to someone you admire, loved, love, or feel was a great mentor.  May you live up to the standards that the earth has lived up to for us.  Sustaining life and beauty at the same time, and not getting paid for it, is what the earth does everyday for all who live on it.  Let everyone do their part to sustain their own little piece of earth.  Oh, and for all those born on this glorious day Happy Birthday!  We are an earthy lot – I’m 70% earth signs myself.  🙂

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.