Do you want your home to be more in tune with your life? Do you want your domestic surroundings to add energy to your world? Ancient Chinese belief may have the answer in the form of feng shui – and there are simple steps you can take towards achieving its goals.
Feng shui is the ancient Chinese art of harmonising our environment with our lives. The idea, formulated over many centuries, is that our domestic surroundings should support whatever happens in our home. Its believers say feng shui can bring extra peace.
It’s all about energy and movement. In the home that means taking a careful look at the objects we share our lives with, the condition they’re in, how furniture is placed and what colours we’re using.
Step One: Clear The Clutter
Feng shui is about promoting positive energy. All of the old, unnecessary energy has to be cleared. That’s why the first step towards promoting good energy, or si chi, in the home is a thorough declutter, getting rid of everything unnecessary. Feng shui ideally needs a clutter free – or almost clutter free – backdrop, with plenty of light. Damaged or dirty items add bad energy.
Although feng shui rests on age-old Chinese wisdom, these simple ideas make obvious contemporary sense. We live in a time when, as never before, we’re filling up our lives with more and more unnecessary things, leaving less space to breathe, to be mindful and at peace.
Step Two: Start At The Beginning
Sometimes feng shui can seem obvious. Certainly its essence is easy to achieve, starting with the front door and hallway. In feng shui, the front door is critical, representing wealth. Give it a clean, or if necessary a new coat of paint. Keep it well lit and add a plant to give extra energy.
Your hallway is about opportunity. Keep it as uncluttered and ordered as possible. Remember, you don’t need to believe in feng shui for these ideas to work. Simply feel the peace at the new calm and energy from an uncluttered entry to your home. Remember too that attaining the right feng shui throughout your home may take a while. Proceed with great kindness to yourself.
Step Three: Remake Your Living Areas
Quietly and mindfully assess your living room. Furniture needs to be on a scale to fit the room, in keeping with the feng shui principle of harmony. Make sure no doorways are blocked as this blocks the energy flow. Place sofas against the wall, for extra support. Floor lamps should be in corners, to promote extra wealth.
The dining table is key. You could place a mirror to reflect the table and keep fresh flowers in a vase on it. In feng shui, eating is a mindful activity. It’s the activity, after all, that keeps us alive. Respecting that and eating mindfully and calmly in a serene and peaceful space is another step taken.
Step Four: A Tranquil Sleeping Area
We sleep to give us energy for a new day. How we design our resting areas, suggests feng shui, is critical. Headboards are considered crucial, with the bed placed against a wall. Consider the decor. Choose restful, neutral colours for sleeping areas. Avoid bright primary tones at all costs.
Ideally, use this principle of neutral tones when selecting the colour scheme throughout the home. In feng shui our domestic decor doesn’t need to shout. A quiet, comforting whisper will do just fine.
At the bedside, add candles and low lighting to encourage romantic energy. Keep everything not needed for relaxation outside the bedroom or neatly stowed in cupboards. Waking up to a peaceful environment is just as important as falling asleep in one.
Step Five: Peace In Your Kitchen And Garden
Water and fire are central to feng shui beliefs. They should never clash. In the kitchen this means, if possible, making sure the sink and the cooker are not opposite each other. Ideally, for maximum nourishment, the cooker should not be under a window. Just as in the bedroom, avoid statement colours. Black and red, for example, can create another undesirable stand-off between fire and water which can lead to arguments.
Nurture your greenery as you would nurture yourself. Indoors, place plants with care and mindfulness. In the bathroom, feng shui has it that greenery can help stop wealth draining away. In the garden a quiet order, with firmly fixed fences to provide support, is the recommendation.