Archive for June, 2009

The Extra Zest to Life

Saturday, 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

Wednesday, 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


Monday, 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.