September 2nd, 2009

Health Environnentof Trees, Plants and the Environment.

Years ago I visited the rose garden in a north Indian state in the peak of summer; goes without saying given the extreme heat in this region; I was sadly disappointed. What I saw was rather scary. The rose bushes looked like a mangle of thorns. It gave an extremely sad feeling; more so because I expected to see it otherwise. It sure was not negligence on part of maintenance but simply a natural cycle of season.

This led me to think; the flora and fauna of a home should be chosen carefully and be kept in good maintenance; selection of plants that bloom all year round and trees that sustain on ground water is important. This so explains that we must stop felling trees immediately; treating them as our treasure. Allowing natural vegetation to co-exist with us is for our benefit. Spending time with Nature is grounding and calming.

Wood products should be maintained and sparingly used and wood by products like paper should be recycled.

Avoiding plastic packing and conserving paper leaves us the option of going back in time and think of the good old cloth bags.

Conservation of Nature is the only way of life. It is mutually productive and directly related to our lives.

A Green Planet is our way to nurture our Abode.

A thought about some things we can contribute


  • Plant as many trees as you can
  • Support groups opposing felling of trees
  • Animal life and bird sanctuaries need our care and attention
  • Believe in recycling goods made of natural materials
  • Create awareness in children about Nature Conservation
  • Encourage children to go on treks and Geographical Tours
  • Show compassion towards stray animals
  • Include Program’s to support natural conservation in all community activities
  • Domestic kitchen waste can be successfully recycled in your own garden
  • Create your own ‘Best from Waste’ goods
  • Take long walks in natural environment, soak in as much as you can

The Extra Zest to Life

June 20th, 2009

The Family Environment/ the extra zest and zing to life

When we refer to the word environment we associate it instantly with living conditions within and outside The extra zest to lifethe home. On deeper level environment constitutes the entire process of changes we experience while we grow, of conditions, physical mental and emotional, people, neighborhood, natural geographical conditions and to an extent the social and economic environment too. Our cultural fabric and its evolution through times affect our lives.

Socio-economic conditions to a large extent determine our lifestyle, the amount of time we spend with family, there is no such thing as quality time if we have very little of it to begin with. If we are not present at the right needed time no other can compensate it. Taking your family on a holiday does not make up for your absence in the growing years of your children; for that you have to make space at that time. Our chase to accumulate enough to keep ourselves in comfort zone leaves little or no time for family. It is absolutely necessary to squeeze in those precious moments as and when we can to bond with our flock. We all need a comfortable life; what better if we can add some zest and zing to it. Since charity begins at home here are some pointers. Even if you can use a few you sure will experience the change around

  • Having breakfast together
  • Attending school functions
  • Maintaining a diary of family events, birthdays, anniversaries etc.
  • Taking time out to sit with your parents
  • Involve elders and parents in decision making; it’s very important to use their value of experience and it also makes them feel worthwhile
  • Visiting relatives if you happen to visit their hometown; even if it is for a few minutes
  • Playing or swimming with family
  • Playing indoor games on holidays
  • Making plans together
  • Taking suggestions from children when planning holidays
  • Taking note if any family member is quiet or self absorbed (it can avert something likely to cause a lot of harm in future)
  • Organize Karaoke with family or at family functions; its fun
  • Cooking together and involving your children in the process
  • A hug, a pat on the back or a smile at bed time can go a long way in creating bonds whose strength will amaze you
  • Avoid relating your own experiences if someone is excitedly telling you something
  • Do not jump to conclusion with insufficient data available; it makes you judge other people
  • Never scold or punish children if they make a mistake; point out the consequences to them they will never repeat them
  • Allow your children to make small mistakes; generally it’s only in matters pertaining to using cosmetics, a shade of clothing, eating or not eating food, over sleeping or may be the study time spent watching television; remember they can learn only by experience. The consequences of these mistakes will be smaller than when they falter as adults.
  • Believe in setting an example; for it is easier to change one self than others
  • Act and stop reacting
  • Be proactive in making plans for the family
  • Appreciate verbally what you like all things are not just understood
  • Talk out problems; solutions are round the corner normally
  • If talking is difficult or impossible about problems write and communicate
  • Never run down your children before others; it hurts their self-respect; talk to them in private instead; it makes them feel secure
  • Avoid sibling enmity by checking yourself of praising one too much; it demeans the other by default; celebrate instead the achievement of one so that the other feels proud too

Feng Shui and The Balance of Nature

June 10th, 2009

Feng Shui principles believe in living in harmony with the natural elements of your surroundings. The more in tune your home is with Nature the better is the Feng Shui of your life. Remaining closer to the natural flow of things you will enjoy better health and happiness.

It’s all about balance and was meant to be that way; the natural order of things has basic five elements and every aspect of life can be compared to these and measured. For instance the element of wood is provided by the flora and fauna in our environment; if these are insufficient then we rely on the color green or wooden objects. The balance of the element of Fire is provided by sunshine in the absence of which we have lights, fire place or the kitchen fire. The Earth element is the home itself the most grounding factor in our lives. The other elements like Water and Metal are generally available to us in their natural forms as jewelry or artifacts and water bodies or images of it.

The laws of Nature believe in fairness; for every give there is taking. Matter may simply transform as we know but the essence remains the same. The ‘Chi’ factor the most important life force energy rests in all around us; with us included. For every mud mound you create there is a pit dug somewhere. Save fuel

Speaking of ecological balance; for every structure we build whether it is mud, stone and concrete or wood we are digging into natural resources and transforming them into our dwelling.

The local cultural beliefs associate certain rituals performed before construction, or felling of trees used in the process as a mark of respect towards Nature. It’s time we take note and give back to Nature what we draw from it. Say ‘Each one plant one’ or restricting the use of wood, looking for alternates, for it is our responsibility to maintain the balance. Global warming and related issues are now to be dealt with on war footing.

Strange but true; we could always switch back to the bicycle, or the traditional sloping roofs to keep homes cooler. Eating fresh raw or lightly cooked foods can be healthier and save on packing and processing; besides they need less fuel to cook too. We need to take the responsibility ‘Now’ to equate the highs and lows in life. This Earth is our home.

Some of the support methods for saving our Earth are:Save your Earth

  1. Following traditional natural healing methods using native wisdom
  2. Using bio fuel
  3. Car pooling, minimizing use of private transport wherever possible
  4. Restricting the use of plastic, cans etc.
  5. Conserving electricity
  6. Recycling natural waste
  7. Using solar energy, for heaters, cooking and other house hold gadgets
  8. Imbibing in our children the love for Nature
  9. Supporting bio friendly endeavorsAvoid use of plastic
  10. Saving paper
  11. Restricting the use of gadgets, use the appropriate size to cut electricity consumption
  12. Planting more trees, smaller lawns and more plants and trees. Use bird baths to attract birds they support eco-balance
  13. Encouraging construction of parks, water bodies in urban areas
  14. Living healthy life, walk where you can it is healthier, use bicycles for local commuting needs
  15. Having your own kitchen garden, and bartering your produce with fellow neighborsYour kitchen garden
  16. Every township should be self sufficient to avoid transportation of goods and save fuel
  17. De-centralizing industries to control pollution and generating livelihood to local population.
  18. Relying on cottage industries and appreciating environment friendly goods
  19. Conserve water by good plumbing and proper storage of water; water waste from the kitchen is excellent for watering a garden
  20. Keeping beaches and natural water bodies clean
  21. Avoid wastage of food
  22. Donate old winter wear and warm clothing for recycling


June 1st, 2009

MeadowsLife in the city is paced much too faster than we intended it to be. The need to get away is constant and the search for alternatives for peace and calm is never ending. A weekend get away is generally spent in catching up with sleep or perhaps shopping.

Feng Shui speaks of aligning yourself with Nature to balance and offset this divide from your natural instinctive needs. Have you ever experienced standing under a huge healthy tree in a blazing summer afternoon? Well if you have; then you will understand what we are getting at; if not then you must try it out; for you will find out how refreshing and soothing it can be.

The gentle breeze feels like a lullaby. You could actually fall asleep.

Meadows around a home have a constant soothing effect on your living space especially if you can have a good view of it.

Trees, birds, greenery in any form, even indoor plants create life force energy and uplift the environment of a house, which otherwise would have felt in complete.

The color green essentially symbolizes growth, has a sooth and healing effect on us. Indoor plants with thick rounded leaves can generate moisture which is excellent for skin. Watching a stretch of grass land can sooth the eyes. Walking bare feet on grass helps balance the Earth element in you, connects you with Nature and is excellent for grounding yourself.

For people who change their minds often or find it hard to take decisions; Grounding is very beneficial.

The remedies in a house for introducing an element of Earth and Growth are; to use features with Nature reflected in its glory. You could use the color green in your décor. Using terracotta features and clay crockery is also a good idea. Making clay objects, gardening, playing with clay are some interesting hobbies to ground oneself. However it has to be constantly renewed and moved to keep the freshness going. Posters and paintings generally energize the environment for a while and go unnoticed; in such instance the initial effect is lost. If you yourself clean and maintain these objects they get the attention and energy from you to generate further positive vibrations for your benefit.




May 11th, 2009

SunshineThe play of yang and yin, the constant change is experienced in many phenomenon’s, one such aspect can be experienced with sunshine, yang is warm, vibrant and bright where else yin is cool, calm and dark. The same place which is yang on some part of the day can become yin on another. As an example let us consider a school. On any given day it is full of children and bursting with activity so it is a yang place and at night it becomes so yin quiet and dark. Temples, churches, theaters and many other public places are an example of such change in energies making them mysterious at night.

A cemetery or burial ground is yin too. Planting trees and flowering plants can keep these areas balanced.

The benefits of sunshine are many besides the fact that it is good for health, a disinfectant and a source of warmth it is in fact a vital life force. In living spaces the presence of sufficient sunlight is of utmost importance. By sufficient we can infer that it must neither be too little nor too much.

We all know that sunshine nurtures growth and that sunshine melts the snow to fill rivers and lakes with water. But too much exposure to sunshine may be a health hazard. Over exposure to the sun Sun shine in the homecan cause damage to skin and even cause
skin cancer.

In your home sunshine brings in vital life force energy called ‘Chi’; people in such a home will be healthy, joyful and bouncing with energy. In homes where very little or no direct sunlight enters one feels lack of enthusiasm, lazy and may even face health issues. Dark damp areas in a home bring depressions and diseases.

Feng Shui principles believe that sun rays entering from the Eastern side are very positive. It supports family bonds and have the people in the household always filled with vigor and vitality. They feel confident and can pursue their dreams. The lack of sun shine in this zone can have the opposite effects on the residents. They may feel listless, and fail to nurture their dreams.

The Setting sun throwing rays on the Western side of the house has an interesting effect; especially in countries with ample sunshine the western rays are sharp and bring too much heat into the house. These rays can cause migraines, headaches and heat related issues.

Too much sunshine in a home can make the occupants aggressive and quarrelsome where else too little sunshine can cause them to be indifferent and lazy.

The living room, family room, dining area or kitchen is yang areas of the house and sunshine is welcome here. The bedrooms, study, and resting areas should comparatively be less active, so they need lesser sunlight.

The ideal substitute for lack of sun rays is proper lighting; which should be bright but covered with proper Candlesshades and covers. Direct light is disturbing. Bright objects or paintings with festive colors and mirror work can also be used to energize the area. However it must be noted that these can lift the energy well but are not the same as sunshine. Burning candles is a good idea too.

Some behavior traits of excess yang: High blood pressure, stress, quarrelsome, argumentative, unfinished work, strong opinions.

Some behavior traits of excess yin: Tired, laid back, lack of initiative, depressions, pessimism.