I have practiced a watered-down version of Feng Shui for six years, to help me improve the look and feel of my home.
Feng Shui, pronounced fung-shway, is an ancient Chinese practice of utilizing the Laws of heaven (astronomy) and earth (geography) to improve one’s life by receiving positive chi or energy. Having more positive chi (pronounced chee) in your life means having greater prosperity, peace, and well-being.
My first inclination was that Feng Shui was just a bunch of ancient Chinese mysticism. I couldn’t understand how changing the position of my bed or keeping a goldfish, could make the least bit of improvement in my life; even so, I was skeptically optimistic.
Things as simple as putting a wind chime near my back door, adding more live plants and re-arranging my furniture to be more conducive to the flow of energy in my home has made a difference, not just in the look of my home, but how I feel about my home, also.
What I have come to learn through Feng Shui is how my environment affects how I feel every day. I realized that pockets of disorganization here and there in my home, like my closet and the laundry room, were sucking the energy and desire out of my life. I realized those areas were contributing to a feeling of being stagnant and not being able to move on to other tasks.
I know I am not alone in this. I have talked with many women who feel they are stuck in a rut, especially women who spend most of the day at home. Moms need to understand that their home needs to be a place that energizes, inspires, and creates peace. Sometimes you need to step back and ask yourself, “Am I depressed because my house is a mess or is my house a mess because I am depressed?”
I’m not talking about clinical depression; I am talking about feeling un-motivated, un-inspired, and listless when it comes to your environment.
When I started practicing Feng Shui, I couldn’t tackle every area in my home that bothered me at once. I wanted to keep it simple and take small steps. I decided to start at the front door.
I learned that in order to attract peace and prosperity, you have to create an environment that attracts good chi, or good energy, to flow through your home.
Look at your front door. Is it dusty or dirty? Is the front walkway to your door obstructed by tricycles and footballs? Are there cobwebs and dead leaves? All these things send a signal to “the universe” that you are not ready for good things to flow into your home. You must make a clear path to the front door in order for good chi to enter freely into your home.
The Feng Shui philosophy also suggests painting your front door an attractive color. I chose “Riverway” from Sherwin-Williams.
Here are a few more Feng Shui basics from the book, 365 Feng Shui Tips, by Lillian Too, to get you started on a more “Zen-like” atmosphere in your home:
• Keep your bathroom doors closed. Negative energies tend to accumulate in the bathroom. Make it a household habit to keep all doors going to the bathroom closed.
• Pictures of women in bedrooms cause problems. Remove all pictures of females from the bedroom. This includes glamorous women, paintings of nudes, and so forth. Their presence makes a marriage crowded. Annie’s note: For all the husbands out there, trust me on this. To all the wives out there, you are welcome.
• Sound therapy for your space. Sound therapy inside the home is created by the use of wind chimes, bells, bamboos, and other natural sounds. The sound of flowing water will also attract vibrant fresh chi into your home. Make an effort to never leave your home silent for too long. When you go on vacation, keep the radio turned on as this is the best way to keep the chi flowing. Annie’s note: This is just a suggestion, don’t send me the bill.
• Throw out chipped glasses and cups. Chinese matriarchs are strict about this. Eating and drinking from chipped plates and cups not only is bad luck for you, but shows disrespect for your guests, also.
For as much mysticism and superstition that is found in the philosophy of Feng Shui there are also practical and pertinent applications that can be used to enhance the home of even the most skeptical practitioner.
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