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FSIM Summer Quarterly News

June 13, 2013

  Spring Flowers

Greetings FSIM Members & Friends,

Approaching Summer – the season of the Fire element – we prepare for a season of activity. Fire is vital nourishment for our passions. Participation in activities which feed us is key, but in keeping with Feng Shui principles, it is in our best interest to remain balanced by:

  • not over-doing activity (which can lead to burn-out), and
  • incorporating the Water element into our daily lives (tempering Fire with inactivity and quiet)

We hope this newsletter issue informs you of opportune activities, ones that will nourish you in a balanced way...whether that’s coming together in community, satisfying hunger for knowledge, or attending events that enlighten, there’s lots going on!

We’re happy to be a Feng Shui community resource. Please forward this issue to friends or colleagues with whom you'd like to share.

Here’s to Summer!


Next FSIM Meeting: Let's Get Together


Quarterly Meeting
Date: Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Location: The Marsh
Time: 6:30 pm - 7:00 pm Networking/Socializing
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm Meeting and Program
Speaker: Vara Kamin
Topic: Hope Builder: The Embodiment of Change

Members $0
Guests $27


Register Now

space Children's Hospital In the evening’s presentation, Artist, Author and Former Nurse Vara Kamin will provide an opportunity to explore how one cultivates the concept of “hope-builder” within oneself and within others, and, as she says, “The potential for hope, growth and change that, as Feng Shui consultants, you so generously and compassionately provide to your clients.” She will incorporate visual references from some of the healthcare-related projects she has been involved in during the past 15 years. space
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Image above provided by:
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, King of Prussia, PA
Specialty Care Center - MRI Suite
VKI Image: 12' round, Sacred Passages-Equanimity©
Project Facilitator: CHOP/Phoenix Medical Construction Co., Inc.


Hope Builder: The Embodiment of Change
By Vara Kamin


A couple of months ago I received an email from a friend and former neighbor. Her 12–year-old son had been given an assignment in Religious Education class to select someone who he thought possessed the attributes of what his teacher referred to as a “hope builder”. Once he discovered the who part of the assignment, a written essay was required as well, explaining why this particular individual could be deemed a “hope builder”.

A challenging assignment for anyone of any age to answer, but even more so for a thoughtful, sensitive 12-year-old boy. Although initially he may not have been able to articulate the underlying concept of a “hope builder”; as his exploration continued he was able to grasp, at a fundamental level, the emotions of hope. Further, he was able to embrace feelings of empathy for those who may find themselves in opposite states of being from hope: fear and despair.

Initially, he and his mother talked about some of the more obvious and recognizable names: Gandhi, Mother Theresa, etc., but no one caught his attention. His mother then tried to make it more personal: perhaps his Aunt, she suggested, who is definitely a “hope builder” in their family, as she cares for a disabled child. “No” he said, although he loved his Aunt very much, he had to give this assignment “more thought”. Finally, he made his decision. “What about Vara?” he asked. “She gives hope to lots of people when they are scared and helps them feel calm.” In that moment, in the eyes of a 12-year-old boy, I was selected as his “hope builder”.

When his mother wrote to me, I was deeply touched; receiving this designation was inspiring and humbling: reminding me of the impact one may have on another, most often, unknowingly. And with this designation came a sense of responsibility. I spoke with the Religious Ed teacher, and asked if she would like me to come and speak with her class – not about my being selected as a “hope builder” – but to explore with her students how they themselves can become “hope builders”. After recently addressing the students, I was undeniably surprised by their insightful, thought-provoking and touching comments; they were the true teachers that afternoon.

When gathering my thoughts for this article in advance of my presentation at the July 9th FSIM meeting, I could not help but make the connection and correlation between the concepts of being a “hope-builder”, and the potential for hope, growth and change that, as Feng Shui consultants, you so generously and compassionately provide to your clients. During the evening presentation, entitled: “Hope Builder: The Embodiment of Change”, I will provide an opportunity to explore how one cultivates the concept of “hope-builder” within oneself and within others. During the discussion I will incorporate visual references from some of the healthcare-related projects I have been involved in during the past 15 years.

Thank you. I look forward to the opportunity to be in conversation with you.

Vara Kamin

Artist, Author and Former Nurse Vara Kamin’s broad range of experience is reflective of her background in health care and her lifelong interest and studies in literature, philosophy, meditative practices, color and design. Her published credits include: Family Circle Magazine, Ladies Home Journal and other national magazines, as well as “The Gold Key in the Mahogany Box and Other Fables to Live By”. Kamin’s original works of art have been commissioned by various health care, commercial and residential clients throughout the country. For more than a decade, a selected number of Kamin’s paintings have been replicated and placed in hospitals and healing centers throughout the country in a wide variety of adult and pediatric clinical care settings. Her Impressions of Light® images change the energy of a space by altering the intensity of light and interjecting color therapy in the form of visually-engaging, multi-layered paintings. The images provide healthcare practitioners, designers, architects and facility planners with a lighting solution that contributes to the transformation of high-stress environments into more relaxing spaces, and are appropriate for placement in a wide variety of healing environments. In February 2012, Kamin received the designation of an arts and health Distinguished Fellow for her outstanding vision, leadership and commitment to excellence in the field of Art and Healing. More at www.varakamin.com

space FSIM MEMBERS: Join us for the First Annual Feng Shui Family Picnic

minnesota landscape arboretum minnesota landscape arboretum

Saturday, June 22, 2013
11:45am – 4:00pm
MN Landscape Arboretum
3675 Arboretum Drive
Chaska MN 55318
To Register

Dwell in beauty, enjoy food and the company of Feng Shui Institute Members & families. The Arboretum offers gardens, landscapes and natural areas with paths to explore. Cost $9 for Adults, 12 & under FREE. Includes Arboretum admission and BBQ picnic lunch:

  • Pulled Pork & Pulled Chicken
  • Buns
  • Coleslaw
  • Baked Beans
  • Potato Chips
  • Cookies
  • Bottled Water

Feel free to bring your own non-alcoholic beverage. Additional beverages are also available for purchase at the Visitor's Center.

Pre-registration is required by June 15!

Register Today


Creating our Intentions for the Year of the Water Snake

Latest FSIM Blog Post by Board Member Debbie Miller


blogMonday, February 4th, marked the beginning of the Lunar Year of the Water Snake (2/4/2013 thru 2/ 9/2014). The Solar New Year began on February 10th (2/10/2013 thru 1/14/2014). The Lunar New Year starting after the Solar New Year creates what is called a “Blind Year” – causing a lack of vision and clarity.

During this year of unsettled Water Snake energies, it is even more important to keep focused on our goals, hopes and dreams and how we can better achieve them.

At our April 9th FSIM Members-Only meeting, we were able to do just that by creating Vision Cards.

Read More


Member News & Announcements


Open Board of Directors Position
The FSIM Board is now accepting applications for the position of Communications Coordinator. The ideal candidate will have strong communication and organizational skills, attention to detail, and be online savvy. Experience with Constant Contact and Facebook are also desirable. 2-year term commitment. Contact Jessica Hoelzel if you are interested. Applications must be submitted by July 12, 2013.


babyFSIM Member Kanika Babal welcomed her new baby, Mira Babal on May 14, 2013.


baby-2FSIM Communications Coordinator Jessica Hoelzel had her third girl, Aubrie Rose on March 15, 2013.

FSIM Website Coordinator Debbie Miller’s daughter Samantha has moved back to the Twin Cities area, is working at Amplatz Children's Hospital and getting married in September. Her younger daughter, Alexandra, recently graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in Mass Communications.


Member Carolyn Vinup announces the opportunity for FSIM members to experience one of her sacred sound sessions, “The Blessing” at a special price, through August 31. Sound and Ceremony are important aspects of Feng Shui and Carolyn has taken her work to a new level. Contact her at 612-325-5162 or Carolyn@CarolynVinup.com.

  What are you up to?

  • Teaching a class?
  • Hosting an event or sale?
  • Have a job change or life event that's newsy?

We'd love to hear from you!

Please contact Jessica Hoelzel by email with your submission, following the FSIM Online Newsletter Content Guidelines.

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