Could feng shui help make your house a home?
Feng shui is an ancient Chinese practice of harmonising yourself with your surroundings. It is the art of arranging a space in such a way as to encourage positive forces (known as ch’i or qi) into your life, while minimising negative energy in your home.
It is thought that a home that has employed feng shui effectively will encourage the flow of ch’i throughout your home and therefore in your life. If your home is closed off then the ch’i will get stuck resulting in you feeling trapped; while if your home is too sparse and open then the ch’i will come and go too quickly – leaving you no time to feel the benefits of its presence!
While the more intricate philosophies might not be everyone’s cup of jasmine tea, the basic foundations certainly make a lot of sense when it comes to creating a peaceful and productive environment to call your own, whatever your beliefs!
Intrigued? We take a look at four simple steps to feng shui your home, and bring a bit of well deserved ch’i into your life.
Like it or lump it
First things first, before you start hauling furniture across the room, it’s time to declutter.
When it comes to feng shui this doesn’t mean getting rid of everything that doesn’t have a purpose, but rather deciding on what it is in your home that brings you happiness. One of the principal foundations of feng shui is to surround yourself with positive energy, and therefore if something makes you happy, whether it’s an expensive heirloom, or a fridge magnet from an incredible holiday you took five years ago – then it stays.
However, that horrible old vase that your aunt gave you that no-one ever uses and makes you wince every time you see it – that’s probably blocking your ch’i, so you should definitely find a new home for it. Preferably one that isn’t yours.
Light is our primary source of natural energy – and it’s no different when it comes to cultivating a bit of positive ch’i into your everyday life.
Dispel any darkness in your home by having lots of sources of light available in each room, whether this takes the form of raising the blinds to let in some sun, or dotting lamps here and there to make sure that the light reaches all corners of the room. It is thought that the dark areas of your home that are starved of light, reveal aspects of your life that are in need of positive energy.
Even if you’re not entirely convinced of the facts behind the feng shui, who can fail to feel the positive effects of a room that is brighter and clearer than before?
Arranging your happiness
Imagine a person walking into an empty waiting room and taking a seat – did you picture them sitting with their back to a wall? Most people do. In feng shui it is advised, if possible, to place your sofa against a wall. This is because having something solid and dependable helps those sitting in it feel supported. As well as fulfilling the unconscious insecurity that nothing unexpected will come up behind them, it also puts the sitter in the best position to appreciate the rest of the room.
Just as with decluttering, arranging your rooms is all about what makes you happy. So if you have a possession which you are proud of, or simply brings you a bit of happiness each time you see it - move it to a prominent spot in the room. This could be anything from hanging a favourite painting over the fireplace, or simply placing a much-loved ornament in pride of place at the centre of the coffee table. By doing this you are ensuring that you will always be greeted by the item that you love the most, giving you more chances to experience that little burst of happiness when you see it. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
Time to reflect
Mirrors are often called the “Aspirin of feng shui” as they are the go-to cure for any issues in a space that might just adversely affect your positive energy. For example, if a room seems small and closed off, a big mirror on one wall can help open up the room and make it seem more spacious.
When it comes to hanging mirrors for feng shui purposes, there are a few tips to bear in mind. For example, make sure that your mirror is always reflecting something positive – such as a view of your garden - that way it will bounce the positive energy back in to the room (as well as simply being more aesthetically pleasing.)
It’s also important to get your mirrors at just the right height, so that if you’re looking into them you can at least see your whole head and shoulders. This is so that you and the other residents of your home can always see your full aura when you look at yourself – it’s also much more convenient to not have to crouch or stretch up onto your tip toes to get a good look at yourself!
While we have looked at some of the more practical practices of feng shui, there is a whole lot more to be discovered from this fascinating Chinese art. If you’ve mastered these basics and are interested in taking it further, then it is believed you can influence all kinds of different aspects of your life, including relationships, wealth and knowledge! Has anyone already tried it out in their homes?