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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!

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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.

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