Feng Shui Basics

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The ancient Chinese art of Feng shui (pronounced fung-shway) employs the principles of yin and yang to guide the flow of Qi (or ‘chi’, meaning ‘energy’ or ‘life force’) throughout our living world. Literally meaning ‘wind and water’, Feng Shui was historically concerned with the positioning of forms and structures like buildings or gravesites to maximize good chi.

In contemporary Western culture, we’ve appropriated the Feng Shui principles and applied them to interior and exterior design in order to encourage harmony, balance and peace within our homes and places of work.

If you’d like to experiment with Feng Shui in your own home, you can hire a consultant who will examine your living space and detect where the energy flows freely, where it gets trapped, and advise you as to which elements may be considered ‘poison arrows’ (such as a corner pointing to a bed) or simply ‘bad feng shui’ (such as a bed that only has access from one side, not allowing the energy to flow around your body completely while you sleep.) Or you can apply the feng shui principles yourself by using one of the many do-it-yourself guides available like Feng Shui Your Life or Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui.

Either way, you’ll discover first hand whether you achieve your desired results of increasing wealth, health, love, or any other human benefit that good feng shui may encourage.

Through techniques that involve the rearranging of furniture, objects, color, light, mirrors, crystals and the implementation of the five essential elements – wood, fire, earth, metal, water – Feng Shui practitioners can ‘cure’ almost any negative energy issue that you might unwittingly be encouraging, as well as introduce a new, optimized flow of good energy that will bring calmness to your life.

Let’s look at what you can do for at least one important room in your house – the bedroom!

No Television

All feng shui experts agree that the presence of a television or computer workstation is extremely detrimental to creating calming, sensual energy within the bedroom. For one thing, you spend a third of your life in this room replenishing your body and soul with sleep – let it be free of electronics. If you absolutely must have a screen in your bedroom, adorn it with fabric or some kind of covering when it’s not in use, so that its ‘face’ is out of sight.

Let The Air Flow

Fresh air is conducive to a good night’s sleep, and a sexually energized feeling. There is a “calm excitement” you’re aiming for in your bedroom, to maximize your sensuality. Relaxed, but sexually charged. One way to accomplish this is to have proper air flow in your bedroom. You can invest in a purifier, or simply open the doors or windows in the bedroom for about half an hour each day. This will exchange the flow of air and energy and keep your oxygen levels charged.

Light, Color, Image!

These are essential elements that you can control in the feng shui bedroom. Indirect lighting in varying locations is recommended in general, and non-toxic candles specifically, to draw a gentle, organically calming energy. The goal is a glow, rather than glaring spotlights.

There are many feng shui schools of thought on color and how it represents the natural elements, but everyone seems to agree that neutral tones are calming, and that the color red signifies arousal, luck and happiness. So it would follow that in your ideal feng shui bedroom you could choose taupes and chocolate colors for your walls and bedspread, and then bring in the fiery, passionate color for accent pillows, candles or a throw rug.

Finally, take care in choosing the images that decorate the walls of your bedroom. Always choose images that soothe and make you happy. Feng shui practitioners believe that the images we gaze at will manifest in our lives. So if you have images surrounding you that are full of angst or discontent, then you are drawing those negative emotions toward you.

Mirrors are another important element in the feng shui bedroom. For maximum harmony between a couple, do not have mirrors that reflect your bed as this ‘invites’ other people into your bed and can cause disruption in your relationship. Rather face the mirror in a different direction or place it facing out from beside your bed.

Put It Away!

Feng Shui does not work with clutter. If your dresser top is crowded with creams and jewelry and change and knick-knacks, take a moment to sort through it all. Usually people are able to toss away half the contents of such messes instantly, then the rest can be easily tucked away into attractive boxes, put in a cupboard or closet in the house somewhere, or put on display as an object you truly desire to look at on a daily basis in one of the most important rooms of your house. Clearing clutter clears the mind!

The Main Attraction

How do you make the bed itself adhere to the feng shui principles? For one thing, it’s not acceptable to have the bed jammed in the corner. Rather, there should be space around both sides, with your head protected at the end by a solid wall. This is called the ‘command position.’ Place a night stand on either side of the bed for optimum balance and harmony. You should be able to see the door to the bedroom from where you are sleeping, but not be aligned with the door, as the chi coming from other rooms is too strong and not calming.

Finally, try to avoid sharp angles ‘pointing’ at you. These are called ‘poison arrows’ and are not good feng shui. Another no-no is the ceiling fan or chandelier over the bed. Ideally you have nothing but a soft canopy over your head – nothing menacing.

Sometimes it’s impossible to keep all these guidelines in mind without buying all new furniture or moving house! So don’t panic. There are alternative solutions to every feng shui challenge, including remedies with fabrics, crystals and other organic elements. You can research your particular challenge and find a solution that nurtures your soul!