How to Expand into Your Best Self

How to Expand into Your Best Self

 

“If you have the ability to dream it, you have the capacity to fulfill it”

-Jack Canfield

Your dreams are not there to taunt you, they were given uniquely to YOU so that you could fulfill them. When you feel discontent, it’s because you are ready to EXPAND. True happiness comes from allowing ourselves to grow. When we reach for new heights and accomplish our goals, we feel fulfilled. So follow your heart and go for it! The only person holding you back is yourself. This post will teach you how to get out of your own way by changing your thoughts to attract more of what you want into your life.

Intention is the secret ingredient in feng shui.  When you make adjustments with intention, you are setting a purpose for what you are doing.  The adjustments that you make to your environment will be more effective, and your desires will manifest more quickly.  

 

How to Set Your Intention

Here are three suggestions on how to set your intention every time you feng shui a room. It is something you will want to do during the feng shui process, as well as after the room is completed.  It is also something that you should do during maintenance.  For example, after I applied feng shui to our bedroom, if I had cleaned out our closet or added a picture to the wall, I would set the intention for what I wanted.  The more intentional and purposeful you can make every change you make to your environment, the better the results will be!

 

Prayer

After making any external movement to your environment, you may bless the shift with a prayer from any religion that you identify with.  Remember, feng shui is not a religion.  It honors all beliefs, even non-believers so to speak. If you are Christian, you can say the Hail Mary or a prayer to Jesus. If you are Buddhist, you may say a prayer to Him.

 

Affirmation

 

  1. Affirmations are in the NOW:  Even if you don’t have exactly what you want right now, say what you want as if you already have it.  For example, if you are looking to accumulate more money so that you no longer have to be stressed out about paying off your bills, you would say, “I am grateful that I always have enough to pay my bills.”  Or “The universe supports me financially in everything that I do.”
  2. Affirm with gratitude or a positive emotion: When you say what you want, say it with a grateful heart. In addition, always say what it is that you are wanting to attract.  Avoid using any negative words such as “no” or “do not.” For example, if you are hoping to heal your relationship with your partner or another family member you could say, “I am thankful for our lifelong friendship and joyous relationship.”  Or, “I find great joy in talking with my partner about my feelings.  We listen to each other and feel deep fulfillment in our relationship.”
  3. Imagine the affirmation is true.  What does it feel like?  As you say the affirmation, imagine how you would feel if this really became true?  How does your body feel knowing that all is well?  How does your head and heart feel now that this area of your life is healed?  Say it.  Mean it.  Feel it. Dr. Laura Berman has elaborate research on the study of quantum physics and how this particular step, “feeling as if,” is so vital to the process of attracting what you want into your life.  Our body’s cells respond at the molecular level when we visualize what we want and act as if.  The Universe matches our vibrational frequencies and delivers exactly what it is that we are giving out.  

Praying and Affirmation Combination

Gratitude attracts more abundance. Try praying in using a positive affirmation. Act as if God has already blessed you with your desires and it is on its way.   An example of this would be something like, “Dear God, I am so grateful for the abundance of money and friendships that you are sending my way (right now).”  Remember, The Universe, or God, says “yes” to all of your hearts desires, as long as it is for the greater good.  He wants you to be happy and experience all of the blessings the world has to offer you.

affirmation-bagua

There are official mudras or affirmations that have been passed down from our ancestors to feng shui practitioners.  These mudras are sacred and are only to be passed from teacher to student or from consultant to client. These are powerful tools that are available to you if you decide that you want to take your feng shui journey a step further.  However, your personal prayers and affirmations are still very powerful and important, and you WILL experience accelerated results by setting your intention in your own unique way.

I hope you have found this post helpful. My book which is anticipated this Spring will also feature ways to set intentions for your classroom, as well as how to teach students to think positive and believe in themselves.

I invite you to join me on Facebook for a daily feng shui tip, or follow me on Instagram or Twitter!

Until next time,

Namaste!

Kristina Hollinger

 

How to Attract What You Want with Your Home Decor

I just couldn’t take it any more!  My feng shui journey with with elements started at my South Loop apartment in Chicago. It all began with the bland, white wall in which my husband and I stared at as we watched TV.  The wall was over 20 feet high, and I just could not seem to get the “right” pictures or wall decor to fit the space.  It felt very cold and plain.

I had heard of feng shui before, so I decided to look into it before I selected a paint color for the walls.  As I conducted some “Google research”, I learned that our living room was in the wealth area of our apartment and it would be activated by the wood elements.  In addition, water represents money and nourishes the wood element.

 

This was my first experience with applying feng shui to a room, and I have not looked back since!  After applying the elements, the room simply came together!  I felt like I became the star of my very own home makeover show, and all I wanted to do was continue to apply feng shui to other areas of our apartment so that it felt more welcoming.  Each time I applied the appropriate elements to the specific gua, or area, of the home, I felt more and more at peace in my space.  Life at home was much more tranquil, and I even started to feel more energy at work.

So, did the elemental application to the wealth area work?  You bet it did!  My husband got a new job offer less than a year later. It was a significant raise and it gave us the opportunity to expand into the next chapter of our lives which included starting a family and moving into our first house!

I have since become a certified feng shui consultant, and now I am here to share how you too can transform your life with the decor you choose. You can remove the stumbling blocks of your life by consciously decorating your home, office, or classroom. There are three steps you can try today to apply elemental cures to your space and get the results you desire right now!

Three Steps to Improving Your Home with the Elements

You’ve cleared out your space and made room for the new.  Now, it is time to really activate the energy of the space.  Remember, there are nine areas of your life in which you can focus on.  For the next exercise, I would highly recommend starting with one gua, or area, to get you started.  Of course we all would like to focus on all nine areas, and ultimately that is the goal of feng shui, for all nine spaces to work in harmony. However, it is best to focus on on one room at a time.  

Step One:  Lay the bagua map (See image below) on the floor plan of your home.  The bottom of the map should be in line with the front door, so you would be entering into Knowledge, Career, or Helpful people sections.

screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-9-16-51-pm

Step Two: Identify the area you want to work on (one space at a time is recommended).  De-clutter and spend time in that space. After that, you can get started making adjustments and decorating according to the elements!  Use the shape, color, or actual element associated with that gua in order to activate the space and improve that area of your home and life!

Decor Suggestions to Represent Each Element:

  1. Earth:  Square or rectangular (horizontal) picture frames, yellow throw blanket or accent pillows, sand colored towels, sand or rocks in a square dish, a salt lamp, fresh flowers or fake flowers that look real
  2. Water: picture of the ocean, fish tank, water fountain, thunderstorm or ocean sounds, mirrors, purple drapes
  3. Fire: candles, fireplace, picture with reds or bright orange, Christmas Tree, triangular patterns, knives, weapons, fur, leather, feathers
  4. Wood: Rectangular frames (vertical), wooden sculptures or dishes, wood furniture, bamboo plant, money tree, bonsai tree
  5. Metal: Metal dishes, circular frames or clocks, metallic artwork, gray or white throw pillows or curtains

Step Three: Make changes with the intention in mind of what you want to create for yourself.  Seal this intention with a silent prayer or a mantra.  This is covered in greater detail in my next post!

There are endless possibilities when it comes to decorating with feng shui, and that is what makes it so much fun.  You will be shocked at how simple it is. It’s easy to over-think it and wonder if you are doing it right, but there is no need to worry.  Just give it a try and as you start to feel the difference, you will become more and more confident in making adjustments throughout your home.

With greatest sincerity, I want to thank you for taking the time to browse this post.  I have found feng shui to be uplifting and completely life changing, and I hope you can too. I am currently working on a book called “Teaching from the Heart with Feng Shui.” Not only does it cover the basics of feng shui, but it also gives suggestions on how to apply these principles to your classroom or office so that you can feel the ultimate flow from your personal to your professional life. If you are interested in how to apply the elements in your work space, please let me know.  I would love to answer any questions you may have, and I also appreciate any feedback since some of these posts will be published some day!

For a daily feng shui tip, you can find me on Facebook or on Instagram and Twitter.

Until Next Time,

Namaste!

Kristina Hollinger

KristinaHollinger.com

facebook

The Work of Healing

Some of us are experiencing life-altering twists, and things are far from the hum-drum routine. My dear friend Leslie is one of those people. A Utah native, Leslie traveled to Chicago to become a teacher. I had the pleasure of working alongside her. It has been about five years since we last saw each other, but she has left a footprint in my heart. I especially feel very connected with her since she has shared her heartbreaking, truly inspiring story on A Sunday Kinda Love.  Without further ado, here is Leslie’s story…

The Work of Healing

I told one of my friends the other day that I feel like I’ve aged 100 years in the past few months. I’m only 29, so why do I feel like this wise old grandma these days? In one word: Loss. You see, my daughter passed away this summer. It’s a long story, one in which I document on my blog, but my daughter, Hadley Grace, was born 10 weeks premature with a very serious blood infection due to Group B Strep. To say it has been a shock is an understatement. This week was my due date, I had plans to take maternity leave at work, a room in our home is a beautiful coral and aqua nursery created just for our baby girl, she had a closet full of clothes, drawers full of diapers, and a prominent space smack in the middle of my heart. I’ve always been a woman of faith: a lapsed Episcopalian who attended Catholic school for 10 years, I now consider myself a non-dominational Christian. I believe in grace, love, and faith. I believe following Christ impacts one’s life on a daily basis in the form of thousands of little decisions that say “yes” to God. But on June 18, 2016, when my sweet baby girl died in my arms, suddenly that beautiful, peaceful, often convenient faith become raw, distorted, and precarious. My heart and mind repeated the questions “how?” and “why?” over and over again. We believed in the power of prayer. We believed in miracles. But our prayers weren’t answered. We didn’t get our miracle. How do you sit comfortably with that type of pain?
 In the days and weeks following Hadley’s death I began to furiously study loss, grief, faith, and prayer. I read countless books, spoke with wise people of faith, attended counseling, and most of all, I talked to God myself. Why didn’t you listen to me? The truth is, He did listen to me and He still does. But listening doesn’t always imply that God will be doing exactly what I ask. I’ve gone back and forth over whether God has a “plan,” if it all “fits together”. I’d be lying if I told you I had it all figured out. I cried out on the way home from her funeral, “I will never ever understand.” That still holds true and it always will be. What I have discovered, though, is great wisdom and the pockets of grace that emerge in the wake of great loss. Jerry Sittser writes in his book “A Grace Disguised,” that “The screaming pain I feel over loss reflects the pure pleasure I felt in knowing her presence.” Being a mom was my greatest joy and unlocked a well of happiness I didn’t know I had in me. But even in sorrow, I know I will feel that again one day. I received my gift: I just didn’t get to keep it. I have found that life is short and wildly precious. I hope I always have a strong sense of life’s fleeting nature and what that means for my daily life. 
IMG_5492

One of the most significant things I have learned is that you have to put in the hard work of grief by being proactive. The following are some steps I have taken (along with my husband) to keep Hadley’s memory alive and help heal our hearts. The wisdom that accompanies loss can be accessed fully if one is active in the process. You must take responsibility for grief and healing and channel it in your life. If you let the pain simply happen to you, it will knock you off your feet. You must, instead, relentlessly pursue healing and wholeness. That cannot occur, I have discovered, by running from the pain, but by diving in and working with it. 

1) In our home: We have a vase of flowers on our dresser and in the bunch of flowers, there is a single pink lily that represents our sweet girl. Another item is a beautiful blanket with her name crocheted on it. I slept with this blanket during my whole ten day hospital stay before Hadley was born. Once she arrived, she had the blanket with her. We keep this laid out on her nursery rocking chair which we have moved into our master bedroom. It’s one of my favorite reading and journaling spots. We also have a printed canvas of her hand stacked on ours and it hangs prominently in our bedroom. It’s the first thing I see when I get up in the morning.
2) Jewelry: I love wearing jewelry to remind me of my sweet girl. I have an “H” necklace from Kate Spade I wear everyday that my husband bought me after we returned home from the hospital. On the back it reads “One in a million.” She never got to wear her monogram so I wear it proudly for her. It makes me think if each word I speak, action I take would make Hadley proud. I also have some angel wing necklaces and a cherub Alex and Ani bracelet I wear sometimes.
3) Photo Album: Looking at pictures of my angel baby is such a comfort to me. I made a Shutterfly photo album for all members of our family. I truly think I healed in the creation of it. I poured over every picture and carefully selected the perfect images and words. I treasure this book and I am so looking forward to sharing it with our future children one day.
4) Good words as decor: Good, soulful words have really soothed my heart this summer. Just as everything I see reminds me of Hadley,  it seems everything I read can connect to our experience. I found two of my favorites this summer in small shops and both are featured in our home. One reads, “I believe hope rises up to meet our biggest struggles” The other is a quote from L.R. Knost that says, “Life is amazing and awful and then it’s amazing again. And in between the amazing and the awful it’s ordinary and mundane and routine. Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale during the ordinary. That’s just living: heart-breaking, soul-healing, awful, ordinary life and it’s breathtakingly beautiful.” I connected with this quote instantly!
IMG_5762 (1)
5) Books: I have poured over many books about grief and loss. They have been tremendously helpful to me. They include, “When Bad Things Happen to Good People” by Harold Kushner (this was a gift from my incredible doctor who delivered Hadley and it has flipped my faith life upside down in a good way. I cannot sing its praises enough), “Through the Eyes of a Lion” by Levi Lusko, “Ended Beginnings” by Claudia Panuthos, “A Grace Disguised” by Jerry Sittser, “Tear Soup” by Pat Schwiebert,  and “Fight Back with Joy” by Margaret Feinberg. This loss thing was so very new to me and I have loved relying on the wisdom of those who have forged this path before me.
6) Talking: Whether going on a long trail walk with my husband, crying my eyes out in counseling, or sharing our story with a college friend over the phone, talking has been greatly beneficial for me. My husband and I have reached out to two different families who have experienced the loss of a child. These meetings and conversations have been life changing and have helped to stitch up my broken heart. I have discovered new realizations and connections through conversation.

“I no longer pray like I used to…”

 

7) Praying: I no longer pray like I used to. I do not ask God for specific actions to be performed outside of myself. Rather, I pray for God to be with me and for my spirit and attitude to be positive and enriching for myself and others. For example, I would not pray “Please let me stay healthy this school year.” I would instead now pray, “Please be with me and give me grace to endure your will with courage.”
I am no expert on healing after loss. This is a whole new world for me but I have found the above items helpful to me as I navigate a world of questioning God’s plan, discovering a new sense of faith, and healing my spirit after profound loss. It is possible to have an aching, longing heart and a deep well of wisdom at the same time. Pain and wisdom go hand in hand. It takes work, though–tear-filled, gut-wrenching, mind-numbing work to make connections and achieve wisdom. But it is so very worth it, my work of grief will never end. My dream in life now is to rise from this experience and help others heal. 
There are no words that can express my gratitude to Leslie for gracing us with the greatest gift of all, Hadley’s story.  If you would like to know more about Leslie’s journey, you can connect with her on her blog A Sunday Kinda Love or follow Leslie Steele on Facebook.  My heart goes out to you Leslie and AJ. I will never understand why either…
Until Next time,
Namaste!