As new parents, there is this feeling of constant momentum inherent in taking care of a baby.  A feeling of always having to do something:  to prepare something, to do research on something, and of course to clean up something!  This article for parents is helpful in reminding us all to re-charge.  We get so used to going and going, it is often very hard to find discipline in letting ourselves rest and decompress.  Somehow we get addicted to this feeling of constantly moving and we feel we are being more productive if we keep up this momentum but it is not the case.  This last part is true for many people, not only new parents.

So, what can we do?  First make a choice to not run in that impossible race that does not exist.  Remember there is always going to be something else to do.  The house may not look close to perfect for a while and even if it does it will only last a day!   Make a conscious effort to force oneself to do nothing and to rest at times or reconnect to something that rejuvenates you.  Your vitality and good mood are equally and probably more important to the health and well being of your little bean than most of the “Tasks” we need to do.  Burnout is not something that benefits anyone at any time especially not as a new parent.  Please use this article for parents as a reminder.  There is of course true postpartum depression which is not what I’m speaking about.  If there are symptoms of depression seek professional help immediately.

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fengshuiFeng Shui is a practice  in aesthetics as well as optimal use of one’s surroundings.  Like Chinese medicine,  Feng Shui  is based on the principles of the flow of Chi energy; the life energy that is thought to be in all things in Chinese Philosophy, along with the Five Elemental Theory (Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, and Wood.  Like Chinese medicine and Martial Arts there are thousands of forms and schools of thought on this practice.  Some of these forms are very complex and use tools such as a compass or a calculator.  A professional is needed to perform these styles as they take a great deal of calculation and time.  The simplest important factor that connects most of the styles of Feng Shui is the basic principle of decluttering one’s space.  Clutter is where Chi flow gets stuck.

Feng Shui translates to wind and water-this basic premise alone is enough to understand the philosophy behind this ancient art form. It is the effect of the wind upon the water that is the image with which one is striving for.  When the wind flows across the water the water moves and curves to respond and to absorb its movement in an appropriate way just as our space which is a reflection of our lives hopefully can respond to and flow with life’s challenges and even celebrations.   The nature of wind and water is flowing or malleable.  They can both be very gentle or very powerful depending on how much force is behind them.  Feng Shui does not translate to stone and earth which are more stationary energies.  Flexibility and flowing clarity are sentiments in Chinese philosophy to practice through meditation and Feng Shui.

An example of how clutter can effect you is something most people have a challenge with-desk papers.  Every time you pass by those papers cluttering your desk,  it drains your energy because you feel negativity towards yourself (lazy, messy, not  perfect etc.) A good trick is to have a drawer that you can put all your current papers which you need to sort because they just keep coming and this way your eyes don’t have to be their victim each time you walk by.  Try to clear the drawer on a regular basis so you can use it for incoming mail and bills that need to be mailed or filed.

Another area where many of us get “stuck” is the closet-clothes!  A great tip a professional organizer friend of mine (www.simplifyou.com) gives for going through clothes in your closet are, when going through clothes ask yourself:  Does it fit?  Does it flatter? Is it in style or classic?  Does it project the image I want to project now?  If any answer is “no” release it!

It is also important to have balance in your life and to not spend time obsessing on your stuff.  Prioritize and streamline your eye level as much as possible by putting books and notebooks in the same direction as one another this is more pleasing to the eyes and gives your eyes and thoughts a rest.  You can get to the nitty-gritty work over time.  Nick knacks are best enjoyed when there is a rotation of them instead of all being displayed at once-put half away in a cupboard and when you take them out again they will seem like new.

The practice of Feng Shui is a daily, weekly, and lifelong practice and like exercise when done consistently and at reasonable levels, the best outcome is achieved.  Decluttering can be a frustrating and prolonged task but hang in there because it is worth it.  Also, I find going through old stuff and releasing what needs to be released can bring up old emotions and attachments -you may feel depressed or even anxious at times.  Honor these feelings and allow space for them.  It is natural after all that is why we hang on to things for so long.  Patience and prioritizing are key. Create specific, reasonable goals by chunking down the large goal of having a calm, well functioning space.  Remember that decluttering will help the flow and balance of Chi energy and help one’s presence of mind by keeping you in the present moment and in a better mood.