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Feng Shui Basics

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Learning and applying basic Feng Shui principles can bring a sense of harmony and balance into your living space. Simple tasks such as de-cluttering, disposing of things you really don’t like, and fixing or getting rid of broken items, can lift a load off your shoulders and make you generally feel better. The idea is that if you get rid of the negative things in your home and replace them with positive things that are in harmony and balance with the natural world around you, that you will bring good things into your life.

Developed in ancient China, Feng Shui is a spiritual philosophy focused on the balance of nature. Feng Shui literally translated means “wind and water,” which are natural energy forces. Everything, including ourselves, consists of energy. Feng Shui seeks to balance the energies in a space to enhance health and good fortune for those inhabiting the space. When Feng Shui principles are used, the energy flow where we live is opened and living space is empowered. Empowering our living space in turn empowers us. Feng Shui works on three basic principles.

1. The basic rules of Chi (energy)

Energy cannot be stopped, it can only be redirected. Energy cannot be destroyed, it can only be transformed.

2. The five elements (earth, metal, fire, water, wood)

Earth represents grounding and stability and is associated with the shape of a square and the colors yellow and brown.

Metal represents strength and independence and is associated with the shape of a circle and the colors white and metallic.

Fire represents passion and emotion and is associated with the shape of a triangle and the colors red, orange and purple.

Water represents relaxation and inspiration and is associated with curvy shapes and the colors black and blue.

Wood represents growth and expansion and is associated with the shape of a rectangle and the colors teal and green

3. The Bagua

An energy map, called the Bagua, depicts nine life areas represented below.

Power, wealth, abundanceFame, future, reputationRelationships, marriage
Family, health, communityWell-being, balanceCreativity, children, legacy
Knowledge, wisdom, harmonySelf, career, workCompassion, travel, helpful people

The map is placed over a drawing of your living space and is used to analyze the energy you currently have in these nine life areas.  Disarray in your life is reflected in your environment. The map can help you determine what changes, if any, you want to make in those areas. Once the living area is analyzed, energy can be improved and redirected through the strategic placement of objects and colors representing the five elements.

While Feng Shui is complex, you can start making some immediate changes that don’t take an in depth study.

Get rid of clutter so that you like the things you see. Continually looking at things you don’t like brings negative energy.

Water is related to wealth. Losing water is associated with losing money. Repair leaks and keep toilet lids down. An open toilet drains positive energy.

Broken things have bad energy. Fix or get rid of anything broken that is still sitting around.

While some plants have good energy, some, like cacti, have bad energy when placed inside your home. The cacti needles are sharp and associated with pain and harm. When placed on the outside, near windows or doors, cacti are good energy and protection. On the other hand, the jade plant, otherwise known as the Feng Shui money tree, has good energy and is a great plant to keep indoors.

Your front door should look inviting in order to attract positive energy.

Use color and shape to balance the five elements.

Use sound to uplift energy.

Use natural light and fireplaces to bring more energy into the environment.

Use art to express positive feelings.

Use wind chimes and flags to attract energy.

Use mirrors and crystals to stimulate energy movement.

People study for years to learn this ancient philosophy. The key is to start small with one room at a time. Eventually, your entire home can be welcoming and inviting, inside and out. Whether you believe in this Chinese philosophy or not, de-cluttering and organizing is a good thing by any means. The result of removing things that make you feel negative? An overall better quality of life.