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Available September 17, 2011

I created the EcoChi system of design because I needed it in my own life. EcoChi is a lifestyle shift that meticulously blends the powerful ancient and modern lessons of classical feng shui, green and sustainable living and environmental psychology to revolutionize how people feel when they are in a building.

In Eastern philosophy, it is believed that life and the natural world are inseparable from one another. As we become more attentive to nature, we become more aware of ourselves. During my studies, I realized that if I could find ways to bring nature’s elementsinto indoor spaces, it would change the energy and the effects on the inhabitants and would be extremely positive with the following benefits:

  • Attainment of personal goals such as wealth, love, happiness
  • Physical and mental well-being
  • Moving forward after a loss or crisis
  • Taking back the reins of control over one’s life
  • Living in harmony and balance

When applied to businesses, it adds other benefits:

  • Improving ROI (Return on Investment)
  • Happier employees resulting in lower turnover
  • Healthier working environment and reduced absenteeism
  • Satisfied customers and brand loyalty
  • Environmental responsibility for our planet and lower energy costs

Energy patterns are affected by many factors, all working in tandem. This can include the colors and shapes wechoose, the positioning of furniture, lighting, floor plan, the site, and even the size and location of doors and windows. The way the space will be utilized also factors in as does its history. What has happened in that space? Were toxic paints, materials, finishes or adhesives used in building or renovating? Was there success in that space, or did the last business fail? So many variables enter into the equation, including the basic fact that energy isalways in a state of flux. For this reason, making sure an office has good nurturing energy, enhancing that positive energy, and, when necessary, containing or eliminating the stressful energy, is an essential part of the
EcoChi process. Here are some tips which you can implement yourself:

Tip 1- The energy of water is most closely linked to prosperity. Place a water feature, such as a fountain or a miniature waterfall, in the southwest corner of your office and watch greater abundance enter your life. Remember to always keep the water and the fountain clean.

Tip 2- Clutter clogs up potential! Organize your office and you change the energy flow and clear the way for new business, success and prosperity.

Tip 3- Position your desk chair so that your back is up against a wall and you can see your office door. This position is called the “Mountain Energy” in
feng shui. This is the energy of support and protection for you and your business.

By implementing the EcoChi system, you can open doors to new energy that will advance you professionally
and bring greater joy to all aspects of your life!

Written by Debra Duneier for the Women’s Leadership Exchange

We all have the opportunity to have several homes. No, I am not talking about buying real estate. I am talking about the public spaces available to all of us. Sometimes we lose sight of the fact that there are many opportunities to find the energy and balance we need right in our own city and surrounding areas. The real blessing of technology is that we can do our work anywhere—on a blanket in a state park, on a seaside rock, in a library, restaurant, museum or even a sculpture garden. Most cities have a rich plethora of environments to choose from. I love my city apartment in Manhattan. It is perfect for me in many ways. However, living in the heart of “the city that never sleeps” is not generally the most relaxing place to be. New York’s fast-paced, vibrant, 24/7 energy is very “yang.” On the positive side, it offers endless activities, opportunities and cultural events—a diverse, ever-changing smorgasbord of people, places and things. But whew! Sometimes just thinking about it can exhaust me.

To help keep my life in true balance, I also have a second home, one that slows me down and helps me connect and stay in tune with “yin” energy- nature’s moons, tides, rhythms and seasons. Our yin and yang (masculine and feminine) energies are interdependent and complement each other, representing
the polarities of the universe and the ever-changing balance of life. One EcoChi principle is that a second home can and should be an opportunity to create a natural balance between these two opposite but complementary and equally
necessary energies. My second home is on the North Fork of Long Island just 1 ½ hours from the city. Over the last 10 years I have stayed at friend’s homes,
rented motel rooms for a night, did weekends at a B&B and even have taken rides out just for the day. Eventually I rented a tiny house for 2 weeks and ultimately bought a “handyman special” that is a short walk to the beach surrounded by trees, vineyards and organic farms.

However, what I am talking about here does not require the deed to an actual house! A viable option, and one that may even be preferable, is to

make an agreement with yourself that you will explore nearby neighborhoods and the outlying community until you find a public space—or several spaces— that offer you the balance you need. Change your energy—and thus your mood—by heading out to a café, museum, library, park or beach. Vary your environment from time to time and I promise you that you will be pleasantly surprised. The only limit is your imagination and willingness to explore other areas both near and far to find the balance of yin and yang you desire in your life.

(EcoChi: Designing the Human Experience,Chapter 10) www.EcoChi.com

Take a few moments to share with me stories of your favorite second home!

Every space has a life of its own,and impacts us as we go about our lives. Our actions, energy and thoughts, as well as our physical well-being, are all profoundly influenced by our surroundings. The design, color scheme, textures, light, furnishings, accessories and placement of each item in our indoor environments impact our senses from moment to moment and shape how we feel about ourselves and others I created the EcoChi system which meticulously blends the powerful ancient and modern lessons of classical feng shui, green and sustainable living and environmental psychology to revolutionize how people feel when they are indoors. We spend about 99% of our time inside so it is easy to forget our connection to the outdoor world. Still, some of the happiest moments of our lives are spent outdoors. With EcoChi I bring nature’s elements into indoor spaces. The effects on the inhabitants are transformative and the added bonus
is that it is also great for the planet.

East Meets West

Eastern philosophies are based on awareness of nature as an endless cycle of transformations, rather than as a succession of unrelated phenomena. In Western culture, we name and categorize things and put them into boxes. Animals are in one box, the ocean in another, seasons in another, and human beings in yet another. This compartmentalization distances us from the reality that we are part of something much larger and grander than our daily lives. Look at the bigger picture. See the stars, the galaxies and observe how small our Earth is—a mere speck of dust in the vast horizon of space. When we accept our small part in the order of the universe, we are truly free to celebrate our place in the natural world. By shifting our perspective this way, we are able to see our planet for what it
truly is, a spiritual place, our mother, our temple and our ultimate home. I believe that this is where the solution to the environmental crisis lives. When
we love something this deeply we act responsibly to keep it safe—forever.


The Eco-Chi Circle

As an interwoven system, all three of the disciplines described earlier and briefly summarized below have been integrated into the EcoChi System. The purpose of this new design for living is to help you establish and materialize your goals, nurture your health, and bring you greater harmony and prosperity.

  • Classical Feng Shui is an ancient art form and system of purposefully arranging an environment so that it has a positive effect on the people who live or work there.
  • Green and Sustainable Living protects the environment and sustains its natural resources for today and for future generations by choosing environmentally friendly lifestyles and practices.
  • Environmental Psychology is an interdisciplinary science focused on the interplay between humans and their surrounding environments.
  • Healthy Choices is a bonus category that I added to this list, because optimal health is one of the core objectives of EcoChi.
  • Far eastern cultures believe that our minds, bodies and souls are intricately connected. The components of EcoChi are linked together in the same holistic manner.

Begin looking at this diagram at any point in the circle and you will see that the result is always the same—each sphere overlaps and influences the other. Each is strong enough to stand on its own, but together the whole creates an undeniable force, one that has the power to revolutionize the way we live.

by Debra Duneier as seen on www.GreenCityChallenge.org

For more information about EcoChi and Feng Shui visit www.LivingHomeByDebra.com and www.EcoChi.com

When we connect with nature we feel happier and regain our natural rhythm. All ofour senses become alive and we are reminded of our innate ability to heal ourselves.I created the EcoChi® system-because I was searching for ways to heal in my own life. I am excited to share this new concept with you blending both the ancient and the modern disciplines of Classical Feng Shui, Green and Sustainable Living and Environmental Psychology. EcoChi allows you to design the healthy life that you desire by bringing nature’s elements indoors in a whole new way.

Sight

“What you see is what you get.” What do you look at every day?

Art: beautiful pictures of nature on your wall will create a peaceful, healing environment.

Plants: Indoor trees and plants are not only pleasurable to look at but bring additional health benefits. Plants purify the air through tiny pores in their leaves that act as air filters.

Hearing

  • Nature: Listening to the sounds of nature on a CD has a healing affect on us-very soothing…  If you are in the country or close to the beach open the windows or doors so you can listen to the birds, ocean, wind and rain.
  • Music: Play music that makes you happy, and smile. Studies                          

 have shown that smiling improves your health, your stress level and your attractiveness!

Touch

Infants cannot survive without the human touch. For maximum health human beings need to touch and be touched.

  • Massage: Bring home massage oil from your favorite spa      warm it over a candle and massage your feet, legs and hands before starting your day. 
  • Clothing: Choose natural fibers. You will feel the difference when it touches your skin because organic fabrics are gentle and breathe.

Smell 

Healing with aromatherapy is so pleasurable and easy.

  • Incense and Candles:  Utilize them to recreate the healing scents of flowers, fresh rain and the ocean air which are essential to our well being.
  • Food: Nothing reminds us of good times like the smell of chocolate chip cookies in the oven. Try a variety of ingredients like vanilla or cinnamon and experiment with baking an old family recipe.

Taste

Your path to healing can begin right on the tip of your tongue!       

  • Sweet, Salt, Bitter or Sour: It takes all kinds of tastes to keep us happy and healthy. Give in to your cravings within reason. Your body tells you what you need. Choose healthy options like fruits to satisfy a sweet tooth or sea salt to gratify your desire for salt.
  • Organic produce: There is nothing like the taste of home grown vegetables and fruits. Live in the city or have no garden?   Grow           food and herbs in organic soil near your window. They smell great, taste good, nourish and heal you!

  “EcoChi: Designing the Human Experience”  AVAILABLE SPRING 2011

Is your hotel room truly your home away from home? A few easy tips will lead to better sleep, a healing atmosphere and a position of power for a successful meeting.

EcoChi is a lifestyle shift that blends Classical Feng Shui, Green and Sustainable Living and Environmental Psychology to revolutionize how people feel in their spaces. Whether you are home, in your office or in any other indoor space, EcoChi attracts prosperity, harmony, health and happiness—while simultaneously propagating environmental integrity.

  1.  Choose your room with care.
  • Make sure your room has windows that open and air out the room before you go to bed.
  • Location, location, location…Choose a room that is away from vending machines, elevators, bars or restaurants, street noise and any electrical hubs such as air conditioning or heating systems.

   2.  Electromagnetic Fields can interrupt a good nights’ sleep and affect your health.

  • If you must keep your cell phone turned on overnight, keep it at least 5ft away from you. From that distance the Electromagnetic Fields are much less likely to disturb you.
  • Unplug all unnecessary electronics in the room including the alarm clock next to the bed before you go to sleep. This helps the planet by eliminating phantom energy loads and keeps you healthier by cutting down your exposure to unnecessary radio waves and EMFs. Bring a small battery alarm clock with you and call the front desk for a wake-up call instead.

   3.  Small touches from home bring a sense of calm after a long day of traveling.

  • A small travel photo frame with a picture of your love partner, friends or even your pet, will bring a smile to your face and an inner feeling of peace that is necessary for you to be at the top of your performance.  Place it where you can easily see it when you are dressing for your meeting.
  • A piece of clothing that you “love” should be a staple in your overnight bag.  It could be a beautiful scarf, tee shirt, or a zippered hooded sweatshirt from the Super Bowl 5 years ago! Where it while you hang in your room and then use it to cover the television before you go to sleep or the mirror if it is directly facing the bed. Seeing your reflection when you wake up from sleep can make you uneasy and jumpy. You need to be as calm as possible before a big meeting!
  • A small scented candle is a mood changer! Relax with your candle burning, a glass of wine or an herbal tea, and classical music (a great tool for your brain function) as you glance over your outline for your morning meeting.

   4.  If you have to work in your hotel room, power up!

  • Position your chair so that your back is up against the wall and you can see the door to your room.  This is called the “Black Turtle” position in Feng Shui. The wall symbolically supports you and your business.  Seeing the door keeps you in power.  The will be no unexpected surprises. You are in control.
  • If your hotel stay is more than an overnight, buy a small bamboo or jade plant and place it on your desk.  Bringing nature indoors makes us feel grounded. Plants naturally clean the air of toxins, absorbs electromagnetic fields and these particular plants are known to bring money and success.

     5.  Will they love you in the morning?

  • Get up early enough to take a short run, walk, practice yoga, Qi Gong or Tai Chi or a short trip to the gym. 20-30 minutes is enough to get your blood circulating without draining your chi energy.
  • Listen to your favorite music as you get dressed for the meeting.
  • Have breakfast. Stick to a meal that is easy to digest. If your body is working too hard you will not be clear headed for your meeting. Limit your caffeine intake to one or two cups maximum.
  • Choose a power position at the meeting whenever possible. “Black Turtle” (solid wall) behind you with an easy view of the door.

EcoChi for travel, leads to a good night’s sleep, a healing atmosphere in your room and puts you in the position of power at your meetings, increasing your odds for successful business.

Debra Duneier is President of Living Home by Debra, LLC, and is a LEED® GA, Certified Feng Shui Practitioner, Certified Eco-Designer and Real Estate Broker in New York. Her business serves business owners, corporations, hotels, spas, developers, architectural and design firms, real estate investors and individuals who live or work indoors.  debra@LivingHomeByDebra.com   www.LivingHomeByDebra.com

Avatar was the star of this past holiday season and a wonderful “Ming Tang” or entrance, into a new decade.

Photograph by Debra

Peel away the layers of adventure, digital brilliance, and political messages and what do we find? At its core, it is what Feng Shui Practitioners call the San Cai: heaven, earth and humanity. In this trigram, “heaven” sits on top, humanity in the middle and “earth” on the bottom. Simply read, it shows how humanity is sandwiched in between “heaven” and “earth” and influenced by both.  “Heaven” represents all we cannot see; air, love, energy chi, and the cosmos. “Earth” represents the physical world: all we can see. The Navi in the movie, are in touch and connected with “heaven” or Mother Nature. They enjoy the beauty and respect the gifts of the natural world including the dangers and even death. The humans are in touch with and believe in “earth” which symbolizes only what they can see. Money is the goal of humanity and possessions are our addiction.

The movie also possesses both the Yin and Yang energies. The Yang is represented by strong warriors, the cacophony of war and destruction of the natural world. The Yin is represented by beauty, love, and the female’s intuitive response to “heaven” or the spiritual and energetic world.

Chellis Glendinning’s is quoted by Ralph Metzner in his essay, “The Psychopathology of the Human-Nature Relationship”; “the human relationship to the natural world was gradually changed from one of respect for and participation in its elliptical wholeness, to one of detachment, management, control, and finally domination.”

James Cameron may have opened the door to our unconscious just a crack, with Avatar. It is my hope that this decade will be the turning point for humanity. That we return to the seed within and embrace conscious living and the joy of both “heaven” and “earth” as a species.

Acoma Pueblo

Acoma Pueblo

In baseball when the man on first base runs toward second this is an attempt to steal the base. When the other team is unconcerned that the runner will advance to second base and does not try to get him out, this is called, “defensive indifference”.

Are you guilty of “defensive indifference” when it comes to your home? Are you just letting it “slide” when it comes to your living and working environments? Take control and make the right moves so you and your family can live a healthier, happier, and more harmonious life. Simple Eco-Friendly Feng Shui techniques can make a world of difference.

Today’s Element…AIR

Start today and feel the immediate results:

  1. Clean your air vents and wash air conditioner filters monthly.
  2. Ventilate your space by creating an “Air Bath”. Open the windows and plug in a fan!
  3. Make your home/office a Tobacco Smoke Free property.
  4. Music changes the air vibration in our homes. Play your favorite tunes for energy renewal.
  5. If energy feels stagnant, hang a pleasant sounding wind chime by a door or window. It will keep the air moving and is relaxing to listen to.
  6. Aromatherapy changes the scent of the air and boasts the energy in a room. Incense, scented candles, and potpourri can be a wake-up call to our senses and improve our moods.
  7. Bring nature indoors. Plants purify the air by naturally removing toxins.
  8. Use “people-friendly” cleaning products. Your environment should be a safe place to breathe.

Our civilization has changed dramatically. Today our feet are on cement instead of earth. We unknowingly eat genetically engineered foods, instead of natural garden fresh foods. We breathe pollution instead of fresh air. “Defensive indifference” has a place in baseball, but has no place in our homes and work places.

Debra Duneier, President

Living Home by Debra, LLC

The Stable House
The Stable House

I believe in the law of attraction when it comes to real estate. Like a magnet, unique Manhattan properties that are rich with history, find me. I have always found beauty in diversity and a desire to wander off the beaten path. Mother of two brilliant artists, I know beauty when I see it. My son is a gifted writer and director, my daughter a talented jewelry designer.  I am thankful every day that I am lucky enough to work in the world’s capital, New York. Even in this challenging market, I am grateful to be able to show properties that I love. These properties have a life of their own:

3 Great Jones Horse Stable-Noho

Built in 1844 this 2000 Sq Ft Loft is magical. Walk through the private gated alley and toward the original 14ft barn doors which still serves as the entrance to the Stable House. Since the 1950’s tenants have included Charles Mingus-jazz musician, Mark Rothko-painter, and the puppet maker Kermit Love who was contracted to create the puppets of Sesame Street. Kermit the Frog was born here.  Old New York tales of Shinbone Alley are shared in many city narratives. This was the site if one of America’s first comic strips, Archie and Mehetibal. Written by Don Marquis, this was a story of a cockroach and a cat that lived in Shinbone Alley. The alley was also a location for many movies including two Spike Lee movies and the First Wives Club. With the wood burning fireplace, it has the feeling of a private home and has the added plus of being a Live/Work property.

291 Seventh Avenue Penthouse Apartment-Chelsea

Across the street from the Fashion Institute of Technology is a discrete entrance to 291. A keyed elevator brings you up to the 4900 SQ Ft duplex loft that feels like a grand townhouse in the sky. The high ceilings and skylights create an airy, light space that takes your breath away. Wow, is the best description of this property as you walk across the glass floor of the second level that captures every ray of light and leads to the private rooftop terrace. Available outdoor space is over 2000 Sq Ft with open city views. The home of the first woman President of Ralph Lauren,  and her husband who is an accomplished artist, this property shows their flair for good living. In a city where apartments are often talked about as boxes, this space is extraordinary. I live my passion and my passion brought me here…The Penthouse.

On November 13, 2008 in New York City, high powered, intelligent and successful women gathered at the Sheraton to share strategies to navigate the economic storm of 2008.

 

As the mortgage crisis and the crumbling of our financial institutions shake the foundation of our retirement portfolios, our savings, homes and businesses-what could be the good news? Leslie Grossman and Andrea March, the founders of the Women’s Leadership Exchange are visionaries and dedicated to the success of women in business. Hundreds of women left this summit meeting with the tools, network, knowledge, inspiration and excitement for the future, to navigate their businesses in this very challenging time in our history.

 

I confirmed for myself during this summit, that every economy has its opportunities. Hard times are times for creative solutions, new alliances and businesses that offer value to their customers and clients. Within 1 day of my 12 hours spent sharing incredible business experiences and intelligent solutions I started my new company:

 Living Home By Debra, LLC  “Ancient Solutions for Modern Questions”. Along with my real estate expertise I will now offer Feng Shui consultations to improve energy (Qi) in the living environment which encourages good fortune, peace and long life.

 

One month after the Women’s Leadership Exchange Summit, I am President of a new company! Please listen for me on XM Radio on December 15th at 1:00 on Martha Stewart’s show “Living Today”.

 

The Women’s Leadership Exchange has conferences around the country. Do not miss this opportunity in such a challenging market. Prefer a Spa Weekend to connect in a more intimate setting? Go on the website and check it out. These ladies have changed my business with the WLE leadership program (LEXCI) and improved my life with new and supportive friendships.

 

www.womensleadershipexchange.com

 

Based on Feng Shui Principals

 

 1.    Wait until you are feeling strong, focused and happy. Light a candle and do some relaxation breathing. Think good thoughts and inhale. Imagine releasing that good thought into the room as you exhale.

 

2.    Sense if any areas in the room feel stale. Clap your hands several times in stagnant areas.

 

3.    Are there parts of the room that feel chaotic? Use a bell or gong to disperse energy in areas that feel chaotic.

 

4.    Energy flows very quickly near doorways and windows and often get congested. Use wind chimes as a way of slowing the energy down. Choose a sound that you find pleasant.

 

5.    Electromagnetic fields minimize your health and wellness. Move computer screens and televisions further away from you. Even a small difference in distance can make a big difference in your exposure. Pull plugs out of the outlets when you are not using them. Think of options to replace the use of some of the electric items you are using.

 

6.    You will feel unsettled when you sit in a corner. The energy moves very quickly in that kind of path. Soften the edge of a corner with plants. Rearrange your furniture so you are not sitting or sleeping in the corner of the room to avoid restlessness. 

 

7.    Best position for sitting is with your back against the wall. In feng shui the wall represents the black tortoise which protects. The front of your body will then face the red bird and you will be protected on the left with the dragon and right by the tiger.

 

8.    If  you cannot furnish with your chair to a wall, protect your back with a screen or tall plants.

 

9.    Remove unpleasant energy with sea salt. Put a bowl of water next to a bowl with a handful of salt. Be peaceful and move your hand over the salt gesturing that you are taking the bad energy out of it and putting it in the water. Do this 9 times. Spill the water out and place the bowl of salt in the room for cleansing. Change daily until the room feels fresh and peaceful.    

 

10. Purchase lavender and sage smudge stick. Light with a match and put the smoke throughout the room. Be sure to put the smoke around doorways, drawers, and electrical outlet. Feel the difference in the energy in the room as the smoke subsides.

 

 

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