Literally translated, Feng Shui means “wind and water.” But is it a philosophy, a science or an art? In essence, this ancient Chinese wisdom is all three. The effects of Feng Shui are felt in the mind, body and spirit in ways that enhance or diminish one’s personal “chi.”
Chi (pronounced “chee”) is the Chinese word for energy. Chi flows through everything and is always with us. Personal levels of chi, or inner energy, fluctuate from high to low. Extreme fluctuations in this inner energy can affect your health, mood, work and relationships, so it’s important to maintain balanced chi. Using the art of Feng Shui, you can consciously arrange your exterior (your home) to help balance the chi in your interior (your body).
For example, have you ever visited a home and had a bad feeling that was difficult to describe? The rooms may have been flawlessly decorated, yet felt cold, tense or uncomfortable. Most likely, the longer you stayed, the more uncomfortable you felt. Your body responded to a low level of chi.
Now, think of another house you’ve visited that felt warm, uplifting, and inviting – one where you instantly felt “right at home.” Again, there wasn’t any specific element that made you feel comfortable. You just felt good being there. The home had a more balanced level of chi.
Take a heartfelt look at your own home. When you walk through the door, do you feel the stress of the day wash away? Do you feel self-satisfied, lighter, energetic, and motivated? Or do you feel tired, restless, out of sorts and overwhelmed? Maybe it’s time to do a little balancing act with Feng Shui.
Feng Shui offers added benefits worth testing. Its techniques can be applied directly to specific life situations, such as prosperity, fame, family, relationships and health. Again, it’s balancing your surroundings to bring about more of what you want in life.
You wouldn’t build a house without a blueprint. And to be effective, Feng Shui requires its own blueprint called a bagua (pronounced ba-gwa). The bagua is divided into a total of nine areas representing specific life situations.
Think of the bagua as a transparency, which can be placed over the floor plan of an entire home or single room. To position the bagua correctly, look for the main door used to enter the house or room. (In some cases, the main door could be a garage or back door.) The door’s position should always be located in one of the three bagua areas: skills and knowledge, career or helpful people. Now that you know where the areas of your home or rooms fall in place on the bagua, you’re ready to apply appropriate Feng Shui rechniques to each area.
As you study the bagua, look for items within specific life areas that symbolize your feelings. If you’re stressed about your finances, take a close look at the room that falls in your prosperity area. Is it dark and uninviting? Does the room contain a wilting plant you’ve neglected or an heirloom clock that doesn’t run properly? Little things you take for granted or that go unnoticed can affect your chi in big ways.
One of the greatest benefits of do-it-yourself Feng Shui is self-awareness. In addition to creating home improvements, when you apply Feng Shui principles to your home, you gain a wonderful opportunity to evaluate your life’s situations, state your intentions or goals and move into action.
Intuition, simplicity and good taste are always in tune with Feng Shui. Personalized touches (things that are especially meaningful to you) provide an added punch to your balanced environment.