A BALANCED LIFESTYLE
The ancient Chinese science of Feng-shui that balances all aspects of our physical environment to promote harmony and a sense of well-being is today a well-known and respected sidebar in the lexicon of most modern interior designers. From the natural surroundings of a living or work space down to its furnishings and decor, Feng-Shui practitioners believe that everything has a certain energy and how we arrange those objects can affect our lives, including specific areas like, health, wealth, careers and relationships. While Feng-Shui may seem mysterious, or even mystical, its guiding principles are quite simple. On a practical level, it simply means there’s an optimal place for every object.
The etymology of the term is itself fascinating. Derived from the Chinese words: feng or wind and shui or water, it embraces two natural elements that flow, move, and circulate everywhere. They are also the most basic elements required for human survival. Without the combined qualities of these two elements, the very basics, which much of our life is pinned upon – climate, food supply and our lifestyle, health, energy, and even mood – would be in distress. These two fundamental and flowing elements profoundly yet subtly influence human individuals and societies.
For the Chinese, the essence of these life-giving elements is chi, or life force. Wind and water are direct carriers of chi, as their flowing quality reflects their essential nature and all living organisms are largely composed of these two elements. Thus, Feng-Shui is the art of designing environments in harmony with the flow of chi through one’s living space, and this flow supports and enhances one’s personal chi or life force.
WHERE THERE’S YIN, THERE’S YANG
One of the fundamental principles of the discipline is Yin and Yang, which represent the balance and continual change in one’s life. To explain it in layman’s terms, Yin and Yang are dependent opposites that must always be in balance. They flow in a natural cycle always replacing the other. Just as the seasons have a cycle and create a time of heat and cold, Yin and Yang cycle through active and passive, dark and light, etc.
As mutually dependent opposites, Yin, often described as the female and Yang, the male, cannot survive without one another. At the root lies the concept of duality, the principle that all things have two states. Most religions believe in duality where one state dominates over the other, as in good over evil, but the Chinese believe that equilibrium between the two states is the most desirable.
So once you know what it is all about, setting out to Feng-shui your space can be easy and fun. As you start out you realize that many of its principles are what you already know at some sub-conscious level.
De-Clutter your Life
Rid yourself of everything you do not love in your home, office or workspace, though often a time-and-energy-consuming process. Clearing clutter can feel like therapy, but it is a stress-buster and will help clear the air and lighten the load. In Feng-shui terms, what it does is create space for energy to flow freely.
Air and Light up your Home
These two elements are essential to introduce good Feng-shui energy or Chi into your home. Open the windows often, introduce air-purifying plants or use an air purifier. Allow in as much natural light as possible, and for dull, gloomy areas even consider using full-spectrum lights.
Map the Energy of your Space
Define the Feng-shui energy map or Bagua of your house by using one of the two main Feng-shui methods – the classical school bagua or the BTB grid. We all know there are certain areas of the home which we tend to use more often, certain spots towards which we naturally gravitate. Once you define the energy map, you will know which areas of your home are connected to specific areas of your life.
Find your 5 Basic Elements
In order to balance the vibrant energy in all areas of your home find out your basic elements. For example, if you are working on attracting prosperity, you will introduce elements of Wood and Water in the Southeast area of your house. If your need is to improve your health, you will place lush wood elements, such as plants or pieces of wood furniture in the East area.
Be Mindful of the Energy in your Home
Watch how energy influences your well-being. Make a habit of paying close attention to the so-called Feng-shui “trinity” that is deeply connected to your health – your bedroom, your bathroom and your kitchen. Nothing is static in the world of energy, so it is entirely in your hands to make your home healthy and happy.
Attracting Strong Chi Into your Home
When a house has good energy circulating throughout, the people who live in the house experience higher levels of well-being. Good Feng-Shui at your main entrance, through the use of affirmative elements, will enable the direct flow of good and positive energy into the house. Place a tall, healthy plant on either side of your front door without blocking the entrance. To attract opportunity hang white lights around your front porch. Install a water fountain on the right side of your main door to bring positive energy in every time you open the door.
SOME EASY FENG-SHUI FIXES TO PUT IN PLACE
Fix your squeaks!
Does your entry door squeak or whine when you open or close it? The entry door is the first and last thing you encounter when coming or going from your home. The noise sounds like the door is crying, which can affect your mood and well-being. It is helpful to oil any door hinges throughout the home, but the entry door is the most important.
Use your front door
Many people live in homes where they drive up into the garage and use the back door to get in. While this is very convenient, from a Feng-Shui perspective this may limit good energy and opportunities in your life because again, the entry door represents how chi enters your home and life. Start using the front door; the more often the better! Just open and close it when you go get the mail, or maybe to take a walk. Write it into your regular routine.
Use the Space above kitchen cabinets
The space above the kitchen upper cabinets attracts dust and stagnant energy. But there’s a Feng-Shui adjustment for that! Place some lighting, green plants (live or very realistic looking) or a treasured object in this location to bring life and transform the energy of the area.
Keep that bathroom door closed
Since water is related to wealth, we don’t want our money being flushed away. Water does flow back in as it is being drained, but to be safe, keep the toilet seat cover down and the bathroom door closed to reduce this effect.
Ban the TV from your Bedroom
If you have trouble sleeping it or even if you don’t, it is a good idea to cover the television if you have one in your bedroom, when not in use. The active energy of the television may be disruptive to the calming, quiet energy conducive to sleep and bedrooms. Find a scarf or a pretty fabric and just drape it over the television.
Clean all windows
A good place to start your spring-cleaning is the windows – symbolic of your eyes to the world. Clean away the grime, open your eyes and brighten your space.
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