By Margaret Sanders

The flow of “Chi” (energy) from one entity to another is the basis of Feng Shui. The Chi energy in your environment influences your moods, emotions, physical energy and, over time, your health. Chi energy is carried through the environment by wind, water, the sun’s energy, light and sound. It flows in and out of buildings mainly through the doors and windows, but come Chi can enter and leave through the walls. The basic aim of Feng Shui is to enable you to position yourself where this natural flow of Chi helps you realize your goals and your dreams in life.

Your home must say to the world, “I am ready for success and happiness to find a clear path into my home and into my life.” With that said, where should you start?

Start with the entrance to your home…

The first step is to create a clear, open and beautiful entrance for energy to move freely and circulate through your home. When your entrance radiates positive energy, it opens the door to your destiny. Feng Shui promotes the belief that your golden opportunities come in through the front door. Think of the door as the threshold for all good things to come your way.

You should embellish the formal entrance since it is ordinarily seen from the street and maintains your public image. However, it is possible that you don’t use this entrance on a daily basis. The door you do use most frequently is significant in allowing the majority of the outside energy to flow inside the home. If you enter through an alternate door such as a laundry room, garage or side door, you should evaluate and beautify it with the same positive energy as you would the formal entrance.

• Create a path leading up to the home that’s as easily accessible as possible. Curved, windy paths leading to the main entrance are auspicious.

• Trim those shrubs, remove any items, such as trash bins, from your driveway or lawn and let people see your home first, not your clutter.

• Notice the upkeep of the paint, roof and landscaping. A home that is clean and well cared for will leave a lasting impression.

• To encourage positive living energy into the home, place two wide-leaved plants next to the main door. Having two on either side of your door encourages balance and good health and will help entice the energy in.

• A beautiful picture placed on the wall opposite the main door is used to encourage energy into the home and therefore opportunities to come into your life.

• Your main door should always open inwards into a wide space to invite the Chi and therefore opportunities into one’s life.

• The location of the door with regard to the sectors of the home indicate a priority to the occupants therefore if the door is located in the North sector, you will find that your career is a priority to you.

• Avoid facing a dark room, a direct interior staircase, mirror, stove, sink, fireplace, the door of a toilet, laundry, bathroom or bedroom. To remedy this, keep the doors closed or place a screen between the doors.

Aphrodisiacs—Do They Really Work?

Aphrodisiacs—Do They Really Work?
Lately, in one form or another, we are continually surrounded by love (or lust). Endless advertisements claiming that help is available; find the perfect partner, improve our sex lives and have an endless sex drive. It is based on the mere suggestion that a particular product can lead to the possibility of sex. Of course, claims like that are certain to boost sales and suppliers know this.
So… is there such a thing as an aphrodisiac, or is it all just a myth?
Aphrodisiacs actually provide sexual desire, but don’t—as often thought—improve performance in the bedroom. It is hormones in the body that actually make us feel sexually aroused and more receptive to the idea of making love, but if the balance is not right, we are obviously not going to feel in the mood.
Lack of sexual interest can also be due to many other factors: fatigue, stress, depression, anxiety and occasionally some serious medical conditions—it may be wise to seek the advice of a doctor.
Many believe that eating certain foods and taking specific supplements will provide them with the “magic” properties they need for a night of passion. Unfortunately, there is not sufficient evidence to prove this theory either way. It could be that certain people need higher quantities of products to make them feel passionate. It may just be that some products work better on some people than they do on others.
It is also thought that as the first signals of desire are actually sent from the brain, aphrodisiacs may act as a placebo and simply relax the body in preparation for lovemaking—drugs and alcohol can also produce a similar relaxed feeling.
Although many foods and supplements have been cited as aphrodisiacs, two of the well-known ones are probably chocolate and oysters—not necessarily together.
Oysters are high in zinc, which is thought to improve sexual potency in men. Clams, muscles and oysters all contain compounds that may help to release sex hormones, such as, testosterone and oestrogen.
On the other hand, chocolate contains phenylethlamine and senotonium, which produce “feel good” chemicals in the body. They occur naturally in the body, and are released by the brain when we feel happy or passionate.
Bananas are rich in potassium and the B vitamins, which assist in the production of the sex hormones.
Ginger and Garlic
Ginger and garlic help increase circulation, helping to improve the body’s overall sense of health and well-being.
During medieval times, honey was used to make mead (or honeywine), an alcoholic drink. Mead this was believed to enhance sexual desire.
Along with foods, there are a number of supplements that are thought to act as aphrodisiacs.
Ginseng is a well-known aphrodisiac, as is rhino horn. Rhino horn actually contains a large proportion of calcium and phosphorus, which is thought to increase general health and help combat fatigue.
It is also thought that certain scents can lead to sexual desire. Again, everyone is different and a scent that attracts one person may repulse another. Sometimes it may be because a certain scent reminds you of something you feel comfortable with and therefore relaxed and open to passion.
The same could also be said about music. Exercise can do the same, by helping you unwind and get the circulation going. Exercise also releases endorphins into the brain, which helps give you the “feel good” factor.
So, perhaps so-called experts are not entirely satisfied with the use of aphrodisiacs and feel that you would be better off with regular exercise and a balanced diet.
Still, why not turn up the heat in the kitchen? Cook a meal for you and your partner that includes an assortment of aphrodisiacs. Let nature take its course, and hope for a night of passion to follow!

A (not so) untenable situation…

I knew it was too good to last…

After finding myself at the threshold of a new and exciting phase of my life, I the rug has been abruptly pulled out from underneath, through a series of “cutbacks.” I suddenly found myself back on the market, looking everywhere for writing work, copy writing, editing, free-lancing, full or part-time. Not to say that my situation is untenable, as certainly has been the case at various times throughout my career.

I have only myself and my bride to worry about, not small children and an ex-wife who was relentlessly adverse to contribute (the minute she landed a job with decent pay, she left me and the kids – but that is ancient history).

So mine is a story repeated throughout the American landscape – hardworking corporate employee loses position due to budgetary constraints and shrinking profits. I should be in good company. But is that really the case?

I look at the response rates of my work for my previous employer, and found that my creative output continues to contribute to a large segment of the business. In fact, there has been little drop in earnings. I would think that performance alone warrants a more benevolent separation – at the very least – instead of the abrupt dismissal I actually received.

Yes, I did get a little in the way of severance, with promises of good references and the hope of free-lance work. I am not bitter, nor angry at my circumstances. As I have said, my situation is not untenable.

So now I have some hope, looking around with some promising results. I must keep believing new opportunities will present themselves soon.

At least I have my health and my good looks… right?