How to use Receding or Emerging

catducksThe #animal world can teach us so much about good and bad feng shui.  Most animals have an innate sense of what’s good and what’s not. (here’s short video I did about our four legged feng shui masters.. But a friend posted a visual essay which shows just how masterful the world of #owls are at disguise. In their case, it is the same a Joe Remington and his #camouflage suit going out to hunt elk or deer – you don’t want to be seen so you can capture what you are hunting. Owls do us one better, they can flight without making any sound, which means they can hear mice under ground or in the grass and theme can’t hear them! What’s the lesson here? What do you want to do with the energy in a room, or a business? Up it? Calm it? Quiet it? Make it more lively?  You can do it all using some of the subtle tools of feng shui.  And the result doesn’t need to look like Chow Fun’s carryout!  Not sure how to get there? Give Sugeet a call (541 488-1777) and leave a message. The conversation will explore what might need to happen to get you what you want!

The Blog or Facebook?

Friends, I need your input. I’ve been doing this blog for some years. I’ve had a #Creative Visions FB page for a shorter time period. I have to wonder, since my FB posts seem to get wider distribution (thought they contain less content) is it better to let the blog slide into the background? Not sure, Like mot of us, I don’t spend alley time on the web, and I want what I post to be meaningful, helpful and hopefully entertaining. So here I am soliciting your comments. You might take a look at the FB page and possibly do a like there. But if you prefer this, let me know! With gratitude…SugeetFB logoFB logocreative visions feng shui

Lose 10 Pounds in one hour!

If you thought – BS! You’re right – almost. This is a diet that’s not about not eating, Signature - 1nor incredible exercise (although it does involve an exercise!) and, true enough, it only takes one hour. I’m posting useful hints and short bits about starting to get rid of your excess stuff.  It is about losing weight – the cleaning, the storage $, the insurance to protect it, the stolen time justing thinking about where something is.

While I’ve run courses to help people lost their excess, I want to try now a slightly different tack.  I want to help you enjoy yourself as you’re down to what’s really important. So the link I’m giving you here is just a very small start. But the reward can be so enjoyable that you’ll want to follow along and do more -bit by bit. So check out the latest newsletter.

And do leave a comment!

The Possibilities and Limitations of Feng Shui

As powerful and effective as Feng Shui can be, it is not a cure all. It’s important to know what this Key in bookancient art and science can do and what it cannot do. Some folks feel Feng Shui brings good luck.
If one’s fortunes change, I guess you could call that good luck.  That’s a bit too indefinite for me.  Others say the changes appear to be mystical. Yes, if by just moving furniture around, everything in the home goes better-it would appear to be mystical.

Anyone can move furniture around, but the energy of a place doesn’t always change -and sometimes not for the better!  Yet, properly applied, the changes can be profound. With Creative Visions I try to pass along simple techniques that can affect your harmony, your prosperity, your health and your relationships. Then there also comes a point where you need professional help, and that’s when a complementary conversation determines if my services can effectively make significant changes in your life.

Where is your belief? Would you care to make a comment?

Expanding Feng Shui – the good news!

As I study Feng Shui, the tradition, rules, and guidelines that have come down to us in the West,  I have questions.  Sometimes trying to figure out how particular ‘cure’ should be applied. Sometimes the poetic nature of the base principle becomes downright confusing as how to use it. The entire scheme of Feng Shui is steeped in a culture most of us here in the west find foreign – we don’t have the context. The poetic way it is expressed doesn’t fit our love of specificity.

The wisdom of Feng Shui made me wonder, what was here in the West that could also be called  “feng shui”? Surely there had to be things that have been developed here that reflected the wisdom of the East but rooted in the West.

Our local paper, Sneak Preview, just published a notice that a Permaculture Design Course would be offered beginning in February. Many of the principles contained in Permaculture includes what a sustainable or regenerative lifestyle looks like.

This is NOT a Western middle class style. Permaculture incorporates what happens as climate change takes it’s toll.
At it’s base, Permaculture teaches how to synergize with Nature.

The article defines Permaculture at “a system of land use planning and a design protocol for creating human habitations that embody three ethical foundations: care of the Earth, care of people, and the reinvestment of surplus to support those ethics.” It’s basis is positive approach to see our place in nature – not as dominators and controllers – but as an intelligent contributing part.  If successful, is that not also the results of successful Feng Shui?

I’ve been invited to talk Saturday, Feb 27, at the Chinese New Year’s celebration in Jacksonville. I will tease out some of permaculture practices that I term Western Feng Shui and how we can use them now. I will demonstrate the interconnections between Fng Shui and Permaculture. Of course, many will say that Feng Shui is about the placement of items INSIDE the house. Originally it was used to site the grave sites of the ancestors. Hardly inside stuff! We can use it when siting a house, deciding whether or not to buy certain land, how to lay out an effective landscape. For those who feel Feng Shui is only for how to paint the wall and where to put the couch, I doubt that the talk will have any interest, but for others, I hope you will make it. The talk will be in the Old Jail in Jacksonville.

I will be giving two talks that day. You can make sure this will be a good use of your time if you will write me a note and tell me what you would like to know by attending. use <> to send me what you’d like to take away.

The Impact of a Stand Desk

In my November note, I said there would be a piece on my new stand desk. Why did I do it? Fad? Physics? Productivity? Let me take you on a short journey…

My old office arrangement, even when I had cleared most of the clutter still looked, well . . .S's office after 4x6 (copy)

–  – cluttered.

I had recently finished working with a couple who worked from home.  She had build a rigid standing desk and loved it. He was building one for himself.  They were both enthusiastic for them. They had many positive things to say about them.  I became curious.

I saw a Kickstarter campaign to build a reasonably price standing desk that could be both – a sitting desk and a standing one. The campaign was very convincing – lots of studies extolling the benefits of a standing desk.

Research was needed.  

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Sitting is the new smoking.

What began as a curiosity has provoked a great deal of studious inquiry.  Results?

• Reduced risk of obesity

• Reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes and other metabolic problems

• Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease

• Reduced risk for many kinds of cancer

Wow! And that’s just what the Smithsonian Magazine reported. (March 26, 2014)

Sitting six hours a day ups he death rate by 20% for men, 40% for women!

That’s scary while some other research says otherwise, but the consensus indicates we should be standing/walking at least 2 hours a day and then work up to 4.

OK – I got into the Kickstarter campaign and got my desk a couple of months ago.

I had to rearrange my office.

Time to declutter.

Pounds and pounds of files into the trash, Scan others.

4 file drawers to 2.

Fewer printers, fewer everything.

And the result?

StandDesk up sm

What a difference!  Take a look just at the top:

StandDesk down SM

No, I don’t stand all the time, but I’m standing more and more and sitting less and less. I find not only has the simplification made me more focused, but much more productive.  I love the top – it’s bamboo, my favorite building material.

You can jerry-rig a standing desk for yourself and try it. I like mine because I can take it up or down, and stop it any place that suites me or my arms or my chair (all at the touch of a button.) A programmer friend just bought himself one that uses counterweights to go up or down. He has a bit of a weight problem, so this is going to be good for him as well! And a major client I just worked with we designed his office so not only could he have a standing desk, but combine it with a treadmill!

If you want to see the one I bought, (also because I support new companies) go to

If you do try one, or have one, what about sharing? Post a comment. And I’ll stand for it!

Oh – Happy holidays too!

An Ode to the Overwhelmed

At a time when there is so much to do, so many little things to be taken care of, and solitude time, I wanted to pass along this wonderful poem from another Clutter Cleaner Coach (how’ you like that onomatopoeia?) Samantha Bennet. There’s a link to her site after the poem. Enjoy. And, of course, comments are welcome!

And as you stand there Overwhelm

Late again

Because you forgot to allow time to park

And the elevator was slow

And you left 10 minutes late to begin with

With your shoes that pinch

And your pants that are a little too small

Since you started eating white bread again

And as you paw through your bag

Looking for the suite number

That you’re not sure you wrote down to begin with

Let us now praise you.

You, the untidy.

You, the careless.

You, the easily distracted by sparkly things.

The money you spend on late fees alone

Could feed a family in Africa – Which reminds you that you meant to send in the kids’ Unicef money and


And that despite your best efforts,

You rarely eat a square meal,

You almost never get enough sleep

And exercise seems like a word that magazines have developed

Just to make you feel bad about yourself.

But you are good and brave. Superwoman

You, flying by the seat of your pants

Making it work

Putting out fires

Saying your prayers

And dancing your dance of now and later and maybe and


As innocent as each morning’s sunrise,

You are a fount of good intentions.

Your good humor is as graceful as a baby giraffe,

Even if that joke you were trying to make to the hotel clerk fell flat

And your toast at the wedding came out sounding a little…funny.

But you have gifts that no one knows about.pyke 044

You have the strength to bend in the wind

You have the joyful spirit that loves a good belly laugh,

You have the wisdom to understand that everything will all come out all right in the end and

You have the faith to light a candle rather than curse the darkness.

That is, if you could find the book of matches from that romantic restaurant that you went to for your anniversary but since you didn’t have a reservation they made you wait at the bar for half an hour during which you had two appletinis and the rest of the night is a bit of a blur. 

So much for the overpriced lingerie.

You are beautiful.

You are beautiful.

Frazzled and overworked and underpaid

You are the one who forgot your wallet

And forgot your receipt for the dry cleaners

And forgot your keys which you just set down five seconds ago, so where could they possibly have gone? 

But you never forget to say, “I love you”

And you never forget to give a big smile to that nice parking guy

And you never fail to show endless patience when the

Too-tightly wrapped and overly-conscientious start to offer their

Oh-so-helpful suggestions about how you might feel better if you would just learn to alphabetize your spice rack.

Approving staff
You are beautiful.

So, wear the lingerie on Monday for no reason.

And why not just refuse to participate in the bake sale this year?

And give yourself a compliment for something you did well today. 

Because you are the most beautiful person I’ve ever known.

© 2014 Samantha Bennett

May you get through this holiday season flying high and filled with gratitude!

Taking a Cue from Nature

Much of Feng  Shui comes from studying the way Nature works and utilizing the lessons learned.  So what does Fall tell us?  I want to suggest several things you can apply to your own life.

First, Nature is slowing down. She is bestowing her bounty on us during harvest. Lessons: First, slow down. speed:slowWe are so overloaded in a culture that pushes us to speed up faster and faster. You are a human being, not a human doing. You’ve heard that many times, but have you tried it for yourself?

Second: take gifts from the sumner and preserve them for the winter. Review your business. Take a look at your finances, especially your income and out expenses. Are they in balance? Make lists of things that need to be renovated, repaired or redecorated during the quiet time of winter. Get the items needed for your favorite hobby, i.e. scrapbooking. What about reviewing your photos with an idea of giving photo books for Holliday gifts?

More from Nature: Leaves are turning the most gorgeous colors. fall colorRich and deep.  Earth colors and rich metal colors of gold.. In Feng Shui, we use the Earth colors for grounding, and the golds speak of multidimensional wealth.  What are the portions of your life that are grounded, rich and vibrant? This is a time too look, reflect and evaluate such things both in your personal and your business life.

For me, fall has a bittersweet quality to it. I’m sad to see Summer pass. I’m reminded that change is the only constant in our world. Things are dying, and it’s time to let go. It’s time to slow down and reflect and meditate.  What are you holding onto that can be let go?

In many parts of the US, there is an ‘Indian Summer’ a time when nights are cool, days are perfect. It often shows up after a cold spell and is sort of a seasonal curtain call of summer passing. That brings me back to the bittersweet quality of Fall.

What is the shape that sums this all up? The symbol we see that even predates the Bagua energy map? It is the Tai Chi – the Ying Yan symbol where dark gives way to light giving way to dark. yinyangWhen it would appear that light is to become complete, a speck of darkness appears. And as the change continues, the dark begins to take over.  We see this in the natural world, where there is never a sharp delineation of dark or light. Rather one edges the other out only to have the reverse happen. Can you see this happening in your own life? Your own career?

And the takeaway? Harvest all the good things that have happened this year, and write them down. See how they contain the seeds for your future growth, future prosperity, further happiness. Nurture these during the coming months and be ready to plant them in new, fertile ground next spring.

How far is too far?

Let’s go too far. Let’s trivialize a 4,000 year old art and science. Let’s “brand” feng shui into a new sneaker. Ready? Here it is…but just know there are people who will gladly pay $225 and over for these when they are first introduced because there is a whole cult of collectors out there to rebid the price up. Is that good feng shui? I’ll let you decide.Here’s how “Kick on Fire” puts it. And for good measure, here’s how Jordan puts it.  Now, do they have ANYTHING to do with Feng Shui?  If you can figure it out, please leave me a comment, because I’d like to know!

Beauty is Good Feng Shui

Positive Feng Shui can be strengthened using beauty when working with any environment. Yet everybody has their own idea of what  beauty is, but not all spaces that an individual thinks beautiful have positive chi.  What makes the difference, what makes one space work while another does not?  Beauty can be in the eye of the beholder, how do we know when it’s working and when it’s not?
The answer lies in the principles of Feng Shui. Negative energy, or sha chi can remain on a site, and an energy clearing may be qrequirede. No matter what school is followed, the overarching guide is one of balance, harmony and the flow of positive energy. Engage the guidance of Feng Shui and any space can be made prosperous and peaceful.
A client approached me having purchased a long time dry cleaners and laundry business. It was being sold because the cash flow wasn’t sufficient.
Archie's cleaners T&C ext We looked at the location and found it was good, but needed to change the look and feel from industrial practical to efficient and beautiful.  This was accomplished by changing the front end of the business. The awning was replaced with one that balanced the yin and yang. Healthy plantings were added along the display windows.  Inside the clutter of hundreds of clean garments was taken from public view and the counters covered in hammered brass formica. Interior colors were kept to earth tones. 
The results made each customer feel not only welcome, but quietly showed them this cleaning service was going to be of the highest quality.  The simplicity of the public area  made the customer feel individually important. Soon after the completion of the renovation, the business became the profit center of the new owners, even though they had other branches in other towns nearby.
As time went by, the wife passed, and the widower began to become tired of carrying the whole load of the business. Many of the little touches, like the plants in front of the store, began to be neglected. T&C afterThe strip of ground between the sidewalk and the curb became full of weeds.  In other words, the ‘face’ of the business started to reflect the owner’s fatigue.  He would finally decide to sell the business and retire.  However, he was unable to attract a buyer and finally had to let the property be sold at a loss.
It was an unfortunate ending for the owner was a good man who had high standards for the quality of cleaning. But had had he paid the same attention to the physical appearance of his business he did to the cleaning, he would have potentially realized a profit not only the property but the business as well. Mies Van der Rohe, the famous architect, said ‘God is in the details.” A master Feng Shui practitioner keeps that in mind, bringing balance and harmony to each project. A refined sense of beauty is most often the result.