The first goal of Feng Shui is to create an environment of peace and harmony. There are a lot of rules that go along with strictly following Feng Shui principles exactly, but you can easily begin to practice Feng Shui in your home with a few easy steps. The main idea of Feng Shui is that by practicing it, Qi, pronounced “chee” (or positive energy) can move freely throughout your home, affecting every aspect of your life from your health, to your money, to your relationships. Many people dismiss Feng Shui as being a bunch of spiritual nonsense, but think about it from a practical standpoint. Try to recall three different homes you have been in: first, think of the messiest, dirtiest house you have entered.
Aside from the prospect of deadly airborne mold spores, how did you feel being surrounded by junk? If your house is very cluttered right now (if you are reading this article at home), how does that clutter make you feel. If you are at your office, and your desk is covered in papers, how does that make you feel. Would it be different if you were to organize all your documents, and have a clean workspace? Next, think of a home that was neat, but so austere you didn’t feel comfortable enough to take your shoes off, or sit down on the emaculate white sofa. This is a problem with many so-called modern homes: everything is neat enough, but there is no feeling of warmth or life. Last, think of the most warm and inviting home you have seen. In these homes, you find yourself kicking your shoes off without even realizing it, and sitting wherever you feel like it. If your host offers you a drink, you might wander in the kitchen to get it yourself. Which kind of home would you want to have? Qi, then, is definitely real – it is how you feel when you are in your own home.
The Bagua is kind of like the map of Feng Shui – it divides your house into nine different areas that represent different aspects of your life. These include prosperity, fame and reputation, relationships and love, family, health, creativity and children, skills and knowledge, career, and helpful people and travel. The idea is that if Qi flows properly through these areas, these concepts will prosper in your life. For example, one month I seemed to be very unlucky with money. I was either losing it, or losing opportunities to make it. When I tried to solve this problem using Feng Shui principles, I discovered a dead plant behind a curtain in my bedroom, with mold growing around the window seal. Live plants increase the flow of Qi, and dead plants are detrimental to it. Mold is never good in any situation! As soon as I through out the plant and replaced it with a healthy one, and cleaned up the mold with an essential oil spray, I found my financial life much more balanced. If you want to know where these areas in your home life, buy a book with a Bagua map in it, or find one online (there are many good sites out there). If you are standing in your front door facing the interior of your home, the areas listed above start in the back left corner. You may discover that your health area lies in a dingy laundryroom, or your career area lies in a kitchen that is perpetually messy. Because of this, you yourself generate negative energy when you enter these rooms – after all, no one likes working in a dirty or dimly lit environment, and you project negativity and stress toward these areas, and thus into the areas of health and career in your life. There are many tricks to improving the flow of Qi around your life, such as adding mirrors and live plants, but the first and best thing to do is make troubled areas more pleasant to be in by simply cleaning and organizing them. Next, look around to see what other stress triggers are in the room. Is there a big stack of bills in the office that you need to pay? Is there an ugly figurine that was given as a gift sitting on the fireplace mantle that you feel obligated to keep? Think about it this way – can you truly concentrate on areas in your life that need improving if you are worried about bills or feeling irritated by an object? Perhaps you have had a falling out with a sibling, and many things she has given you are all over your bedroom. Every time you look at them, you feel everything from guilt to anger to sadness. These negative emotions are projected into your personal life.
Each area of the Bagua is associated with a color or colors, and an element. Health, for example, which is at the heart of the home (and the heart of yourself) is associated with yellow and the earth element. Painting the walls a sunny yellow, or hanging a painting with this color as the background will balance this area. Place an earth-related object in this area, such as a bowl or smooth stones, or a potted plant. In the family area, wood is the dominating element, as well as water. This would be a good place for a fountain, or rustic wooden furniture. Place family photos in wood frames throughout the room. The main colors are blue and green, cool relaxing colors. These are just a few examples of how to use Feng Shui to decorate, but you don’t have to follow the rules exactly. Use objects that make you happy, and you will see elements of your life improve.