While mantras and the dedication to more self-care and health practices are a beautiful way to press reset year-round, a lot of us forget how important it is to nurture our most sacred space. And by that I mean, our homes. While the outside world comes with stresses and responsibilities and chaos, your home very much embodies the eye of the storm. There you find peace, tranquility, and solace. And because it does, you shouldn't be afraid to elevate the way you think about it and how you make it work for you. Dare to do something different as you set your intentions for the rest of the year. Turn your home into a place that takes care of you.
Give these 10 feng shui tidbits a try and ignite a positive and nourishing energy shift in your life for 2022.
1.Keep Your Entryway Clutter-Free, Well-Lit, and Laced With an Inviting Aroma
Everyone who enters your home will take on the attitude and energy that greets them when the front door opens. Your entryway should inspire guests to bring only the happiest, healthiest parts of themselves into your home. We all have baggage, but bright paint and a fragrant scent will encourage your grumpiest neighbor to leave their negativity at the curb. Clutter-free means no trash, no stacks of mail, no piles of shoes, no shovels, and no raggedy coat racks in the doorway.
Make sure your home's entrance is saying, "Girl! Come on in here, so we can relax and have fun" as opposed to, "Ugh! What took you so long? I'm drowning in here!"
2.Designate a Place for Guest To Leave Their Shoes
For centuries, ancient Chinese feng shui pioneers have followed this rule: do not wear shoes in the house. Shoes carry gum, mucus, feces, and much more from the street into your home. Allowing people to walk around your home in their shoes is the equivalent of walking through Times Square barefoot. Secondly, letting shoes be worn in your home energetically represents people carrying their problems into your residence. As you can imagine, other people's issues to settle into your space can seriously interfere with your home's peace and positivity.
Do yourself a favor and always have the guests leave their shoes and their troubles at the door.
Tip: Keep a small basket of ankle socks on hand to offer those girlfriends whose toes haven't seen a pedicure in a while.
3.Protect Your Kitchen
The kitchen nourishes the family both literally and energetically. Anything that sustains you is worth protecting. It is best if you cannot see into the kitchen from the front door. Do something to cover your kitchen doorway. Energetically, visible access to the kitchen from the front door gives way to problems with nourishment-related health problems.
Tip: Use all four fires on your stovetop when cooking. Most people (especially singles) tend to use the same jet repeatedly. In feng shui, putting all stovetop jets into action energetically balances your body's health.
4.Shut the Bathroom Door (and Put the Toilet Seat Down)
Bathrooms are physically and energetically set up to "get rid of" what we no longer need or want. We all use the bathroom to wash away dirt and release other bodily things we are too ladylike to mention here. But did you know that bathrooms will energetically wash away your finances as well? Keeping your toilet seat up and the bathroom door open is the energetic equivalent of saying, "Here, take my money, I don't need it." So next time bae heads to the bathroom, tell them to put the lid down because your bank account depends on it.
5. Be Sure the Living Room Doesn’t Feel Like a Museum
Living rooms should be set up for conversation. It is the room where "living" (being with loved ones, communicating, enjoying good company) is supposed to take place. Seating should be set up fairly close together, clutter-free, cozy and inviting. Furniture set far apart or lined up along the walls does not encourage "living" or togetherness. It's okay for the living room to look like the cover of ArchitecturalDigest, as long as it doesn't feel like the Smithsonian.
6.The Bedroom: Sleep, Sex and Solitude
There are lots of fun, feng shui facts about the bedroom, so take note. Bedrooms are the lungs of the home where deep breathing (relaxation) should take place. Bedrooms are best when placed at the back of the home, where the energy is more yin. Every bed should have a headboard because, when we rest at night, energy from the universe enters our bodies through the tops of our heads. Too much cosmic intake can be overstimulating and disrupt your sleep. And lastly, do not store items underneath the bed. Doing so symbolizes underhanded, sneaky, or backstabbing behavior from others.
7.It’s Electric! (And Unhealthy.)
Electrical currents are harmful to our human bodies. In modern times, it is hard to avoid. Nevertheless, there are things we can do to decrease our electrical exposure. What your grandmama said about not sitting so close to the TV is correct but the most vital place to reduce your contact with electrical currents is in your bedrooms. Free your bedroom of all electrical items like TVs, radios, and electrical alarm clocks.
If full-on monastery mode is not your cup of tea, then at least unplug the electronics before you sleep. Just plug everything into a power strip and turn the strip off at night. For those who sleep with their cellphones, try and break that habit by sleeping with all electronics a minimum of four feet away from the foot of the bed. And, yes…that includes your cellphone as it charges overnight.
When shopping for a table, keep this in mind. The most uncomfortable tables are those with a glass tabletop. Fear of breaking or cracking the table is a visitor's worst nightmare. People can't help but feel tension when they have to place something on a glass table. The stress is distracting and takes away from good conversation and fun activities. So, when you're redecorating, swap the glass out for wood, leather, or some other less fragile tabletop.
9.Big Windows and High Ceilings
When choosing a new home or apartment, be sure the top of the window frame is higher than the tallest resident or frequent overnight guest. Short window frames give college baller bae -- that uneasy, trapped feeling. We don't want that energy creeping into our relationship.
10. Place a Protector Near the Entryway
Every queen needs protection. Feng shui suggests using a talisman at or near your home's entrance as a tool of security and an attractor of good vibes. Different cultures have different talisman items. The Chinese culture likes the Bagua or fu dogs, while a home of African descent may choose an Ankh or the Eye of Ra. The choice is yours.
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Featured image by JGI/Tom Grill/Getty Images
Originally published on October 24, 2019
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How Content Creators Hey Fran Hey And Shameless Maya Embraced The Pivot
This article is in partnership with Meta Elevate.
If you’ve been on the internet at all within the past decade, chances are the names Hey Fran Hey and Shameless Maya (aka Maya Washington) have come across your screen. These content creators have touched every platform on the web, spreading joy to help women everywhere live their best lives. From Fran’s healing natural remedies to Maya’s words of wisdom, both of these content creators have built a loyal following by sharing honest, useful, and vulnerable content. But in search of a life that lends to more creativity, freedom, and space, these digital mavens have moved from their bustling big cities (New York City and Los Angeles respectively) to more remote locations, taking their popular digital brands with them.
Content Creators Hey Fran Hey and Maya Washington Talk "Embracing The Pivot"www.youtube.com
In partnership with Meta Elevate — an online learning platform that provides Black, Hispanic, and Latinx-owned businesses access to 1:1 mentoring, digital skills training, and community — xoNecole teamed up with Franscheska Medina and Maya Washington on IG live recently for a candid conversation about how they’ve embraced the pivot by changing their surroundings to ultimately bring out the best in themselves and their work. Fran, a New York City native, moved from the Big Apple to Portland, Oregon a year ago. Feeling overstimulated by the hustle and bustle of city life, Fran headed to the Pacific Northwest in search of a more easeful life.
Her cross-country move is the backdrop for her new campaign with Meta Elevate— a perfectly-timed commercial that shows how you can level up from wherever you land with the support of free resources like Meta Elevate. Similarly, Maya packed up her life in Los Angeles and moved to Sweden, where she now resides with her husband and adorable daughter. Maya’s life is much more rural and farm-like than it had been in California, but she is thriving in this peaceful new setting while finding her groove as a new mom.
While Maya is steadily building and growing her digital brand as a self-proclaimed “mom coming out of early retirement,” Fran is redefining her own professional grind. “It’s been a year since I moved from New York City to Portland, Oregon,” says Fran. “I think the season I’m in is figuring out how to stay successful while also slowing down.” A slower-paced life has unlocked so many creative possibilities and opportunities for these ladies, and our conversation with them is a well-needed reminder that your success is not tied to your location…especially with the internet at your fingertips. Tapping into a community like Meta Elevate can help Black, Hispanic, and Latinx entrepreneurs and content creators stay connected to like minds and educated on new digital skills and tools that can help scale their businesses.
During a beautiful moment in the conversation, Fran gives Maya her flowers for being an innovator in the digital space. Back when “influencing” was in its infancy and creators were just trying to find their way, Fran says Maya was way ahead of her time. “I give Maya credit for being one of the pioneers in the digital space,” Fran said. “Maya is a one-person machine, and I always tell her she really changed the game on what ads, campaigns, and videos, in general, should look like.”
When asked what advice she’d give content creators, Maya says the key is having faith even when you don’t see the results just yet. “It’s so easy to look at what is, despite you pouring your heart into this thing that may not be giving you the returns that you thought,” she says. “Still operate from a place of love and authenticity. Have faith and do the work. A lot of people are positive thinkers, but that’s the thinking part. You also have to put your faith into work and do the work.”
Fran ultimately encourages content creators and budding entrepreneurs to take full advantage of Meta Elevate’s vast offerings to educate themselves on how to build and grow their businesses online. “It took me ten years to get to the point where I’m making ads at this level,” she says. “I didn’t have those resources in 2010. I love the partnership with Meta Elevate because they’re providing these resources for free. I just think of the people that wouldn’t be able to afford that education and information otherwise. So to amplify a company like this just feels right.”
Watch the full conversation with the link above, and join the Meta Elevate community to connect with fellow businesses and creatives that are #OnTheRiseTogether.
Featured image courtesy of Shameless Maya and Hey Fran Hey
This Content Creator Gets Candid About Touch Starvation In Emotional Video
Recently, a young content creator named Mayte Lisbeth posted an emotional video about experiencing touch starvation. She expressed that she feels she is dying from touch starvation and does not receive hugs. Additionally, if she were to receive a hug, she would crumble. The nearly three-minute video continued as Lisbeth breaks down her need for touch. Healthline says touch starvation or deprivation “occurs when a person experiences little to no touch from other living things.”
According to research posted in the National Library of Medicine, “touch is a powerful tool for communicating positive emotions.” Furthermore, other studies emphasize the importance of social touch. When an individual lacks touch, they can experience the following: depression, anxiety, stress, relationship dissatisfaction, difficulty sleeping, and detachment. Moreover, people who do not enjoy being touched can also experience deprivation due to occasionally longing for a hug or handshake.
Lisbeth’s video was triggering because touch starvation is something I experienced in the past. The first time I experienced this was when I was 17 years old after moving across the country to a state where I had no family. It happened again during the pandemic. I remember going into the pandemic optimistic as I really could be.
It worked for the first several months but quickly spiraled into some of my most challenging times, emotionally and mentally. That feeling was amplified when there was no one I truly loved to hug me. Something about a long embrace from a loved one assured me that no matter how dark my world was at the time, there was a light at the end of my darkness. Being away from my support system was rough during that time of uncertainty.
I was not fully aware of what touch starvation was at the time, but I knew I longed for touch. It was not until I was visiting my best friend and randomly asking for a hug that I remember having an immense sense of anxiety and sadness.
The content creator stated in her video that the solution is more complex than scheduling a hair appointment and receiving services. The form of touch was not suitable because she had no ties to these people. It is more about receiving affection, which can come in touch from someone who cares about her, not specifically a romantic touch.
Its been five years of touch starvation. I’ll probably have some more years of it. I’m not handling this well.
First, I commend Lisbeth for her vulnerability and courage to speak on a subject many sometimes do not know about or even acknowledge. She even commented that her family was not big huggers, which did not help her touch starvation. She could count how many times she hugged her parents when she saw them last. Unfortunately, a lot of the time, this is the norm for many families. “I do not know how to heal in a community; I only heal alone,” Lisbeth tearfully explained in a follow-up video. People instantly flooded her social media pages with support and suggested solutions, including breathwork, touch work, and even hiring a professional cuddler.
Sadly, many suffer from touch starvation and do not have family or a tribe to contact. If that is your current situation, here are some exercises that copy touch sensation when experiencing touch starvation.
- Blankets – Wrapping yourself up in a blanket can provide comfort. Another option is a weighted blanket. A weighted blanket mimics receiving a hug, which can provide a sense of calm for an individual.
- Self-Touch Breathwork – The counselors at Twinpowerment, LLC taught us a five-step self-holding technique that could help remedy touch starvation.
- Body Pillows (or pillows) – Cuddling up to a body pillow can mimic cuddling and allow comfort during sleep.
- Cuddle Therapy – Like the name states, you can pay a professional to cuddle with. The Institute of Counseling in Nigeria explains that “Cuddle therapy fills a niche that is complementary to traditional talk therapy.” With traditional therapy, a mental health professional cannot touch their clients.
- Companion Animal – Dogs and cats make excellent companion animals. The endless number of cuddles and “kisses” they provide can offer comfort during hard times.
Even though traditional therapists cannot provide touch to their clients, they are a great option if your symptoms from touch starvation increase.
Since then, Lisbeth has posted videos explaining remedies she has tried or is willing to try. Some days are better than others, but she keeps moving forward. I pray she finds peace during these times.
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Feature image by People Images/ Getty Images