Saturday, January 29, 2011

So now what?

So, now that (well, until spring anyhow) the bulk of the Feng Shui project is complete, I turn my thoughts to the “what next?” question.

On the list is:
  • (study of) Meridians
  • (study of) Vivaxis
  • (study of) Dowsing
  • Hospice / Palliative Care Volunteer Training
  • Canadian Mutual Funds
  • Insurance-related courses
OK, the last two really tie more into the work that I get paid to do, as opposed to the calling that I am trying to follow, but can’t quite see how it (my calling) would support me just yet.
I’ve been in banking for 20 years now – it’s a rather significant difference in career.

That said, if I actually got off my can and bought myself a massage table, I could start taking Reiki and healing touch patients right away - and by way of that I could actually put my calling to work at earning me an income.

Have I mentioned that I am a certified Reiki Master? Hm. I don’t think I actually have mentioned that yet.

So here it is: What do I do next? Any suggestions? Anything to add to the “what’s next” list?

With love across the waters,

Friday, January 28, 2011

Thoughts on Finances: Income Tax, RRSP’s and Understanding

Here in Canada, people are starting to gear up for the usually dreaded time of year – Income Tax Season. Personal Income Tax returns need to be completed and submitted to the CRA on or before midnight, April 30.

I have, over the years, looked at this time of year with many different feelings: frustration that my slips are so late in arriving; shock at just how much I had to pay in taxes; bigger shock that I actually owed MORE in taxes; satisfaction at finding out that I would get back what I thought I would receive and finally; glee in finding out that I had an unexpected return.

Last year, this year, and hopefully next year as well, I am in the “satisfaction” category. One benefit of being on the Very Low side of the income scale is that not only am I carrying forward deduction amounts year over year, I’m also getting back 100% of what I paid into my taxes.

Part-time employment does have some small benefit!

When I worked in Victoria, BC many years ago, I had the sad experience of seeing women, having just lost their spouses, completely at sea where their finances were concerned.  I promised myself at that point that I wouldn’t let that happen to me – nor would I allow it to happen to the women of my immediate family. The first step for me in this journey was educating myself.

That in mind, I read “The Wealthy Barber” and then, being dissatisfied with the information because at that point it was very “male” oriented, I went looking for information that would support and teach me what I needed to know in order to help me with the “female” side of things.

This led me to locate a book that I have bought and given away a few copies of: “Smart Women Finish Rich” by David Bach.

David Bach (an American) initially wrote this book directed to a female US audience, but had the foresight to understand that women in other countries have the same informational and educational needs, and so his publishing house updated the book to make it attractive to a Canadian audience. He has a number of additional publications out there that are applicable to today’s needs for many people – not just women.

What I found MOST useful about this particular book is that it isn’t a dry textbook listing “how to” – he created an easy to use book with great tools that make the whole process easy to implement AND maintain.

If you are a woman, take some time to think about your position in managing your family’s finances. Are you proactive, or reactive? Do you manage the books yourself? Do you allow your husband, father, boyfriend, girlfriend or significant other to have total control over this aspect of your partnership?

Should you?

Or should you take the time and opportunity to step up and be a partner in the process?

Every partnership is different and what works for one couple is completely inappropriate for the next, but as a human being, you have the right AND the responsibility to know how to look after yourself AND your loved ones where your finances are concerned.

Look forward to the opportunity to learn something new and exciting.

With love across the waters…

Feng Shui Update #6 – Next…?

I think that it is amazing what three frames can do!

All three frames, (shaker style, purchased from Wal-Mart for $15.00 each) filled with photographs that I took myself, have been hung. Two are in the small bathroom downstairs and the third is in the living room, over the TV set.

You may recall that the needs were for more life in the downstairs bathroom and more water element in the living room.

The bathroom downstairs is a very small 2-piece, and what was required was something green on the wall behind the toilet, and something on the counter top to add more height. I opted to hang photographs in the bathroom (as opposed to a silk plant) since photos are easier to maintain. The counter top now sports a gorgeous vase (that was given to me by my Jersey Girls when I moved back to Canada) as well as a couple of green glass bud-vases that I had sitting on top of the entertainment centre.

While very difficult to show the actual effect, (thank God for digital cameras and Photo shop,) here are a couple of photos of how it looks now:

The final frame now holds a picture that I took while I was in St. Malo, France in November of 2010. The overall effect isn’t dramatic, it’s calming.

A funny side note here also prompts a suggestion – before taking photos inside your home, ensure that any and all cobwebs have actually been spotted and forcibly removed. When I took the initial shot of the living room, I was horrified to see cobwebs in corner at the ceiling juncture. And I don’t mean just a couple of them!


I have just finished walking around my entire home, broom in hand, removing cobwebs from everywhere else they may have been.

I am looking forward to seeing how the new energy flow in my home impacts my world – so I’ll be back with Feng Shui related posts in a few weeks…

With love across the waters!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Feng Shui Update #5 – W. O. W.

With the exception of having a few of my own photographs framed and hung in the downstairs bathroom, I’m D O N E on the inside of my home. I think. I will still, I think, have Terri back for another lookie-loo through the place to ensure I have the right final tweaks completed, but tonight I stopped at Wal-Mart on my way home from work and picked up those last few things I needed for the inside of my home.

Taller lamps for my bedside tables. A pair of throw pillows and a big snugly burgundy coloured blanket for the end of my bed. A floor-mat for the landing on the stairs - which serves the dual purpose of adding colour and life to the landing but also, and no small thing, helps Jasmine NOT to skid and slip when she goes tearing down the stairs.

To be fair, I also picked up juice, cereal and granola bars at Wal-Mart, but they aren’t actually relevant to this update.

And in honour of having *finally* completed the inner “stuff” in my home, I thought I would post some new pictures for you. Please allow me to take you on a tour of the inside of my home.

When you come in the door downstairs you are met with a fish tank. And probably a small black dog.

Upon closing the door you can see my mini-foyer – the flowers are a gift from my gorgeous friend Linden – who has not only supported my craziness in needing a RED front door mat, but also ventured out on various scouting missions to Wal-Mart, Zellers and various other shops from Comox to Nanaimo to help me locate “stuff” so I could “Feng Shui” my place. The biggest, and yet simplest, change to this space was the addition of the Rubber Maid shelving unit to store my recycling centre in. 

An updated shot of the living room…

And then also an updated shot of my video stand, which now incorporates a lot more water element into the feel of the room.

My dining room has undergone a few more minor changes…

Going up the stairs you will now see more light with this gorgeous shaker-framed mirror (on sale at Home Depot, thank you very much!)

The view from the top of the stairs looking back down… don't you LOVE the floor mat?

Then my office – remember this?

And this?


It now looks like this:

And this:

Way better right?

Now… into the bedroom. Are you ready for this? Check out how GREAT this looks now!!!

With love from here to there!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

(mini) Feng Shui Update #4

Tonight I officially finished the final task in my de-cluttering journey. Yes, I finally tackled the closet in my home office. Now that it’s all officially done, I feel a little sad, in a strange kind of way. I actually enjoyed the process of reviewing what I have, and getting rid of the things that aren’t necessary for me to retain. It’s a little strange to think that, in the last 6 months or so, I have reviewed each and every “thing” that I own and then given away, donated, recycled, thrown away or sold the things that no longer serve me.

What was the very last thing I removed…? Well, funnily enough, it was the hardest thing for me to actually let go of, which is likely why I left it to the very end of this process. This will sound strange, but the hardest thing to remove, for me, was day timers. Yes, of all of the things I have held onto for years and years (and carted across the country 4 times, AND taken overseas and back) is 22 years’ worth of day timers.

I think that the main reason that I found it so very hard to actually get rid of them is because of what they represented to me. Relationships. They all symbolized, to me, ex-boyfriends through the years.

How does this make me feel? Truly, tonight, I feel a little hollow inside. Not sad – I want to be clear that I am not sad at all – I am actually feeling lighter tonight than I think I have ever felt. I feel a little hollow though – and strangely, very nervous.

Way back in August, I commented in my Feng Shui Update #2, that what I had been noticing was that, as I was removing old things, new things were making their way to me. As I cleaned out closets, new clothing was being given to me, and as I gave away books, new books were arriving in my hands.

Perhaps the hollowness is related to the fact that, by hanging onto the day timers, I had been hanging onto energetic symbols of those various relationships. Now, gone, there is a space inside me, finally, that I am willing to allow to be filled. Maybe now, having let go (finally) of some of my past, my future can make his way to me.

With love across the waters...