How Feng Shui Can Harmonize the Home
Looking to the ancient Asian art of feng shui for guidance, the home is more than merely the place where basic needs are met. Home is the foundation from which people draw their strength and tranquility. It is the place that secures families, where people can let their guards down and foster a sense of belonging, and a sanctuary for loved ones to gather and unify goals and dreams.
Others view home as a place inexorably linked to the inner workings of qi (life-force energy), which impacts people’s well-being and prosperity. There is an understanding that the cycle of everyday life is woven into the flow of the physical environment where people spend their time, particularly where they live. Home is where the tangibles and intangibles converge into one.
In feng shui, the interior décor, placement of furniture, and functions of space have a subtle yet powerful influence that both directly and indirectly impacts the dwelling itself, as well as its residents. This is felt within the cycles of everyday human experiences—the ups and downs. As such, utilizing the tools of feng shui is an opportunity to discern the inner workings of this flow. In so doing, one can properly—and deliberately—safeguard and enhance benevolent energy while also negating malevolent energy that could adversely impact harmony and money luck.
These qualities need not be linked to a single space or a temporary abode; as they say, home is where the heart is. Sometimes personal transformations prompt you to move from place to place, literally dividing you from the foundations you have come to depend on. Since home is intimately tied to the memories that define you, the shift may make you feel as if you are leaving a vital part of yourself behind. No wonder it is inherent within Chinese culture that feng shui be considered whenever there is a change in the home life, like a new family member entering the home, a death, a new career, or a new relationship. All of these can be factored into the assessment of why things happen when they do, and how the change can be managed—and optimized—with the help of feng shui.
To optimize the positive flow of energy, consider working with a feng shui professional to help you assess the strengths and potential for improvement of your home. It may be as simple as changing the color tones of the walls, adding a plant, or relocating the home office to another spare room. The act of “balancing” the ecosystem from the outside in or inside out is vital in nourishing the body and soul.
Although it’s important to work with a professional to achieve all the benefits of proper feng shui application, here a few simple suggestions for your home that you can do on your own right now:
Replace artificial plants with live ones. Adding living things to your environment can offer an abundance of benefits that cannot be duplicated by artificial ones, such as purifying and removing toxins in the air. This is a great way to bring nature inside the home. Besides, plants add to the aesthetics of the home.
Beautify the main entrance of the home. In feng shui, the main door is considered the mouth of the house, where energy from the outside world enters. While the feng shui potential of the main door varies from house to house, keeping this area well lit and groomed help ensure benevolent energy—when present—can gather and circulate, and prevent stagnant or faded energy from accumulating.
Cocoon the bedroom. In other words, create a fabulously yin (passive) space to help restore and rejuvenate the body while sleeping. The feeling of the space should mimic that of a womb—safe and enclosed. You can drape heavy window curtains over large windows, use warm-toned colors instead of bold and vibrant ones, and use floor lamps with bulbs pointing down to create an illusion that the room is smaller or the ceiling is lower. All of this simple interior design work can help to make the room feel more yin, like a nest, particularly if you have a large master bedroom with big windows and high ceilings (making the room feel more open and exposed). Finally, avoid placing large mirrors or active objects that move or make sounds—like a television set, a water fountain feature, a pendulum clock, or an aquarium—in the bedroom, because these items can inadvertently disturb harmony.
Feng shui in the West has come to play an integral part in people’s desires to create a healthier and more well-balanced environment. The energy of every home can help to contain and support you as you are transitioning or settling in. At its core, the purpose of a feng shui-designed home is to allow auspicious energy to meander and flow effortlessly throughout the home, enhancing its positive features and promoting peace and comfort.
Jen Stone is an accredited feng shui master and owner of Feng Shui by Jen. She authored The First Guidebook for Feng Shui Enthusiasts and offers formal training classes on feng shui and BaZi Chinese astrology overseas and in the U.S., including Scottsdale. She can be reached at FengShuiByJen.com.