Ten Practical Feng Shui Tips That Will Transform Your Environment — and Your Life.  By Melissa Cook

Prepare to open your “Feng Shui eyes!” Once you do, you won’t take your personal space for granted ever again. That’s because Feng Shui (pronounced fung shway) calls up what you already intuitively know—that the way you live is a reflection of who you are. Think of your home and office as mirrors that reflect your inner self. They are barometers of your current state of mind. They tell your story. Are you surrounded by clutter? Perhaps you feel the need for protection, or you don’t want to let go of certain memories. Are you obsessed with neatness? You may have the overwhelming need to be in control.

Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese practice of arranging our physical environments to enhance the quality of our lives. Room layout, design, décor, colors, shapes, symbols, possessions, and personal intentions all affect how we live and work in a space. The underlying principle of Feng Shui is to balance the energy, or “chi,” that flows in and around us in ways that promote our mental, physical, and spiritual well-being.

Once you begin to understand that your environment affects your quality of life, you will learn how to make your home or office an active partner with “whom” you can effect positive change. For example, if you have been feeling sluggish or if you are lacking motivation at the office, introduce warm, active colors to enliven the chi of the space. Bring in vibrant, healthy plants and inspirational photos. As these “chi enhancers” uplift the energy of your environment, you will feel a sense of renewal as well. Be sure to remove any dried plants, which represent dead or stagnant energy.

You can start the Feng Shui process by taking inventory and asking yourself some fundamental questions: How do I feel in my space? Do I love what I see, feel, hear, and touch? Does this space reflect comfort and safety? Does it reflect my goals? Does it represent who I am and who I want to be? You may be surprised by your answers.

Below are ten tips that will help you incorporate Feng Shui into your life today. They are really “tips of the iceberg,” for Feng Shui is like an onion--peel one layer and several more layers appear. Similarly, the more you know, the more you will want to know. Trust that even a subtle change in your environment will begin moving the chi in a positive, life-affirming direction. If you become overwhelmed, make one change in each room of your home, and observe the results over a few days. Then when you’re ready, continue making more changes.

The more intention you bring to the process of implementing Feng Shui solutions, the deeper the transformation. You can increase the power of your actions by visualizing the intended result and offering thanks. Let go of your reasoning mind and accept that Feng Shui works in mysterious ways. At its core is the flow of energy--unseen but very much there. Enjoy the process and make it a fun journey!

1) Everything you possess is alive with energy that affects your quality of life. Chi animates all things. However, sometimes chi can lose its nourishing power. Look around your home and/or office. Do you see items that bring you joy; or are you seeing items as if for the first time, items that you now realize you’ve merely been tolerating? Even though you may have owned an item for years, once it loses its positive meaning for you, it also loses its chi--and you lose its beneficial effect. Our preferences can change over time, so allow yourself to let go of anything that represents the “old you” and invite new ideas, experiences, and possessions into your life. They will strengthen your inner chi.

2) Your entrance to your home or office is the “Mouth of Chi,” so let it be welcoming. Valuable chi enters through your front door. The more “inviting” your entrance, the more life-affirming energy you invite into your home and your life. There are many ways to call in chi: Hang a windchime at the entrance. Light your entrance for warmth and safety. Use flowers and plants liberally, but make sure they don’t block your doorway or have sharp leaves that can create obstructions in your life. Paint your door a color that you really like and that lifts your spirits when you approach it. Repair a sticky door: A sticky door may suggest that you’re in a sticky situation, or your business may become stuck. Doors should open all the way (or most of the way), and items should not be stored behind them, or you may be missing valuable opportunities. Create a curved pathway from the street to your door to welcome visitors and capture chi as it meanders toward your home. Chi that rushes down a straight path directly into your home bombards the doorway, affecting your ability to make wise decisions. 

3) A view of your door – whether from your desk, the stove, your bed, or favorite chair in the living room – puts you in the “command position.”  This view is essential if you want to experience personal power, control, and safety. No one can sneak up on you and startle you, which may result in loss of control or attention. If you’re unable to move your furniture or stove into the command position, place a mirror or a reflective object that reflects the doorway so you can see who’s coming through the door. 

4) Slow down chi in long hallways. Chi is the life force. When it meanders, it enhances everything it touches. But when it rushes quickly, its benefits are lost. You can capture chi in a long hallway through various methods: Hang lighting fixtures or round faceted crystals from the ceiling. Lay rugs throughout the hallway. Hang artwork or mirrors along the walls. However, avoid hanging mirrors at the end of a long hallway, as mirrors will double the length, and chi will flow even faster.

5) Let your bedroom be a warm nest, dedicated to rest and relaxation. Your bedroom is the most important room in your home. It’s where you spend a third of your day to rest and regroup. Without adequate rest, we are less productive and our health may suffer. The last thing you see before going to sleep and the first thing you see upon waking up affect both the quality of your sleep and the quality of your day. For example, if you see a computer, you may never be able to let go of your work. Exercise equipment and TVs are active appliances that “call out” to be used. Ideally, your desk and exercise equipment should be in another room. But if this is not possible, separate them from the sleeping area with plants or a screen. Place your TV in a cabinet with doors or cover it with a handsome cloth when it’s not in use. Do you have a view of the door? If not, place a small mirror or piece of artwork with a reflective surface so that you can see movement at the door. Paint your bedroom in warm colors. They enhance togetherness and don’t “cool you off” as the cooler colors can. If you’re single and desire a relationship, live “as if” your lover were already in your life: Place a table and lamp on both sides of the bed and replace ultra-feminine or ultra-masculine furnishings and linens with those that can be appreciated by a potential partner. Invest in a headboard. It conveys the “power of the mountain” and supports your relationship.

6) Make your kitchen a prosperity magnet. Your kitchen is where you make the food that feeds and nourishes your family. Traditionally, stoves are symbols of prosperity. If your stove is against a wall, magnify the power of the burners by placing a mirror behind the stove. If the stove isn’t against a wall, place a steel teakettle on the burner to reflect the burners. To further enhance the stove as a symbol of abundance, use all of your burners regularly. We sometimes get in the habit of using the same burners over and over again. Avoid standing directly under pots and pans that hang on an overhead rack; you may experience aches and pains, as well as feeling overwhelmed or distracted. Keep your countertops clean, neat, and ready for the next meal. Display colorful artwork or fruit to attract positive chi. Because sharp knives can push prosperity away, store them in drawers or cabinets. If the first thing you see upon entering your kitchen is an open trash receptacle, then all of your efforts to summon prosperity may flow into the trash. Either use a bin that has a top or place your trash can behind a closed door.

7) Create a “feel good” bathroom. Bathrooms have many drains that can “drain” valuable chi from your home. While a bathroom serves a practical function, it need not be dedicated to functionality alone. You can create a relaxing, chi-filled atmosphere in any bathroom. To “lift” the chi from flowing down the drains, keep the toilet lid down when not in use, hang a crystal from the ceiling, install lighting that is directed upwards, or paint the room in soft stripes. You can also “ground” your bathroom so it holds its chi by using “earthy” fixtures and design elements such as ceramic tiles, horizontal designs, and the colors of brown, ochre, yellow, and gold. Plants and flowers, candles, relaxing scents, and soft towels and rugs will transform your bathroom into your own private spa.

8) Clear your clutter and take a giant leap forward. One person’s clutter may be another person’s treasure. However, too much of anything diminishes its value, and when chi “clumps,” it stagnates, and when chi stagnates, our physical, emotional and spiritual well-being may begin to suffer: The end result--we become stuck. Too much clutter may mean you’re hanging onto an emotion from the past, or are uncertain about the future. Begin clearing out your clutter slowly so as not to become overwhelmed by the process. Set a timeframe that you know you can adhere to. Even taking 10 minutes a day to clear off your desk, take out the trash, hang up your clothes, and open your mail can help you maintain control and keep your clutter at bay.

9) Lighten up beams and bookcases. Beams and bookcases exert a downward push of chi that can affect your well-being. If you work under a beam, you may feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders or your ideas seem to dry up. You can lighten up your workday by moving your desk, lighting the beam, painting it the color of the ceiling, hanging a crystal or banner from it, or stenciling a design that has movement on it. If your desk is in front of a tall, heavily-packed bookcase, you may feel that you “can’t get out from under” your work. Move your desk or the bookcase. Create some white space on your bookshelves by weeding out the contents and adding small pieces of artwork or “power items.” These items radiate powerful energy to your subconscious mind, providing support and strength.

10) Create your own personal sanctuary. Do you live with people who seem to “invade” your space? To keep the peace, encourage everyone in your home to create his or her own personal space. Whether it’s the top of a dresser or a hidden nook, you can create a space that’s just for you—your personal sanctuary that no one else can touch. Use this space for inspirational pictures and sayings, beautiful flowers, photos of loved ones, pictures of things that you desire, spiritual symbols, or mementoes of happy times. The positive chi generated by these items will have a beneficial effect on you and the people around you.

© 2007

Melissa Cook
  /   www.innervisionfengshui.com