As without, so within. What is our home trying to tell us that we don’t hear? Our homes are a mirror of our lives. We express ourselves in many ways in our homes (and to a lesser extent for many of us in corporate and individual offices) through our choice of furnishings in shape, style, period, color and texture, wall color, window treatments, accessories, artwork and clutter. The shape of our homes and offices, the adjacencies of different rooms, the use of rooms and placement of furniture all have an energetic effect on those living or working in the space. Pets, plants, family members who live with us as well as visitors of any kind all contribute their individual energy to our environments. The energy of those living in the space will, of course, be more long lasting than that of visitors.
Feng Shui gives us a common vocabulary, a common denominator to use in viewing our world and in evaluating our life. That is the vocabulary of energy or “chi”. Each of us has our own personal energy. We recognize when we feel really “up” and when we feel “down”. This is a reflection of our personal chi in action. When we meet someone for the first time there can be an immediate connection upon finding someone with whom we feel quite comfortable. Sometimes there is an electric-like shock upon meeting a very special person. Those are energetic connections we have all experienced and enjoyed and another example of our personal chi in action.
There are homes, public buildings, offices and hotels that are welcoming at first glance and that feel really good to us when we enter them. The use of the space is pleasing and functions well or perhaps the colors or the style appeals to us. There may be fountains and beautiful plants which will enhance the appearance of any environment. Then, of course there are people and there are environments that have just the opposite affect – a person with whom we do not have a positive rapport or a place where we do not feel comfortable. There may be no discernable reason for our reaction and in all of these instances, it is simply chi at work.
Knowledge of Feng Shui principles enables us to analyze our personal spaces and determine why they feel good or why they do not. Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese philosophy, science and art, the use of which is intended to create balance and harmony within our personal spaces and thus bring greater balance, harmony, joy and peace into our lives. For anyone, creating a more harmonious balance within our home and work place will increase our personal energy. That energetic increase results in our having an enhanced ability to experience increased joy, benefit, productiveness and harmony in our lives and therefore bring an increase to the lives of every individual with whom we come into contact
Attention is the partner of intention. There are many ways to initiate a feng shui approach to our home or office space. Bear in mind that this will not be an overnight accomplishment. It is an ongoing process during which our awareness grows, we pay more attention to our environment and we formulate new intentions. First, ask yourself which areas of your home feel and look really good to you. This is where you like to spend your time. Then, ask yourself what areas are not so pleasing to you. These will be spaces that you avoid and you may or may not know why. Some of the answers will be:
- Colors that you like or dislike. This can be color on the walls or the furniture, artwork or accessories. Color is very important in Feng Shui analysis.
- Patterns in fabrics or in wall coverings that resonate and lift your spirits or that conflict with your aesthetic sensibilities.
- Size, shape and condition of furniture. Is it comfortable and in good repair or dilapidated? Is the scale appropriate to the size of the room?
- The function and layout of the furniture. Does it work in the best way possible for you and other members of your family and guests? For example, are there chairs where there should be places to sit and lights where you need to see?
- An overabundance of one element in one room (or the entire space), such as all wood furniture on a wood floor in a room painted green.
- Ceiling heights and space. Are there too many angles, either in the ceiling design or room designs? Is a room too open or too confining for you? We have different needs for different activities.
- Are rooms where they should to be to serve your needs? Are the bathrooms adequate – is the laundry room convenient?
- Physically this can be messy spaces, old outgrown clothes, things you “may need” someday, unwanted gifts or abandoned projects, and more.
- An unappealing or beautiful view from your windows.
These are all considerations that can contribute to the good chi or negative “sha” energy of your home/office and ways that you can begin to analyze your space. These are not all things that would necessarily be considered by a feng shui consultant – some are more from the interior design perspective – but awareness on all these levels will contribute to enhancing the pleasure you experience in your home and office, thereby increasing your personal chi, the energy you have for your life.
The more time you spend in a particular environment, the greater the impact on your life in terms of emotions, attitudes and behavior. When there is, for example, a disagreeable paint color on your walls, an uncomfortable bathroom, an awkward arrangement of furniture, a lack of natural light, a broken window, a loose door handle, a dysfunctional kitchen, doorways that are too narrow….every time you encounter that “thing” you don’t like – all of these lower your energy because of the frustration factor.
A friend of mine said, “I’ve gotten along without feng shui in my life so far” but he really hadn’t. Feng Shui is with us whether or not we are aware of its existence. It is a fact of life because it is simply the energy around us. Actually I anticipate that some day it will be as commonly acknowledged as gravity. The choice is ours. We can ignore our environments regardless of how well, or poorly, they serve us and continue our lives without creating change. Or, we can pay attention to our homes and offices and intentionally improve them.
When we make changes to improve the feeling and function of the spaces in which we live and work our lives come into better balance, our emotions harmonize, our opportunities expand and we enjoy an ever increasing connection with the universal flow of energy, joy and abundance. Change and growth is up to us. It is a choice that we make within the parameters of our comfort (or discomfort) levels and our awareness of universal laws. As it is within, so it is without.
William Morris, a philosopher/designer the early 20th Century, said “Have nothing in your home that you don’t know to be functional or believe to be beautiful.”
Copyright Peggy Cross 7/07/17