“In feng shui, these trucks just gave off a form of Qi. It is this type of Qi that gives you the edgy feeling when you drive next to it. It is the kind of invisible pressure you feel when you’re right next to a bigger object or within a narrow space. Low ceilings, low hanging chandeliers, and huge furniture also tend to give off this form of Qi, but you will feel it only when you’re right under these objects or very close to it.”
From painting the walls yellow in the Health Area of your home (for better health and physical well-being) to positioning a healthy green plant in the Family Area of your home or lot (to encourage unity and a stronger family bond), Feng Shui encourages the use of color to enhance your life energy. The following table shows you how to apply color to magnify the energy of each Life Area.
However, do NOT place your bed directly facing the door (in the same alignment as the door) as this is believed in to be the position of the dead ("to go feet first"). It is also best to avoid placing your bed directly underneath a beam or a window. The window will deprive you of the feeling of security we all need when we sleep, and the beam will have a "cutting" effect. If something cuts you from above, you will feel subconsciously threatened by it.
The Chi Lin is a mythical Chinese creature with the head of a Dragon, the body of a Horse, and the scales of a Carp fish. Also called the Dragon Horse, or the Chinese Unicorn, Chi Lin brings strong, protective feng shui energy with blessings of good health and prosperity. Chi Lin is very loyal to its owner and will protect the house from evil spirits. This mythical creature has a higher royal status than other feng shui guardians.
4. Declutter. From a feng shui perspective, clutter symbolizes unfinished business and impedes forward progress. Keep your furnishings to only the necessary pieces and keep clutter contained to allow chi to flow freely around the room. Clutter under your bed has its own type of energy that can disturb your sleep as well. This “less is more” approach applies to your closet too. Make sure your closet is clean and organized, which will help you give you a sense of control over your life. Add plants in the corners of your space to help prevent energy from stagnating there.
Locate your feng shui money area and take very good care of it. Typically, this is your home office where you manage finances and other work. You will want to include elements like wood, which represent money and wealth. The color blue and pictures of rivers, lakes, and oceans represent water, which nourishes the wood. You can also use mirrors, plants, and small icons that symbolize prosperity.
Where you place your bed is very important in feng shui. Choose the wrong wall and you risk a long string of restless nights. The path from your bedroom door to the window has the strongest flow of energy; keep your bed out of this path if possible. Positioning your bed in front of a window is a big feng shui no-no. Ideally you should have a solid headboard or wall behind your bed (no diagonal placement either), a small table or chair on either side for support, and a low bench or a trunk at the foot of the bed.
Astrid Madsen is the editor of SelfBuild & Improve Your Home magazine. She previously held the same role in an Irish trade publication, before that she worked at the National Standards Authority of Ireland. She graduated with a BA in Urban Studies from Columbia University in New York and holds an MBA from the Instituto de Estudios Bursatiles in Madrid. France of origin, she now lives in Portarlington, County Laois, where she's taken on the task of renovating a listed building! Email [email protected]
Finally, the health and vitality of your houseplants mirrors the health and vitality of everything in your life, including your finances. This means that if one of your houseplants is struggling, do your best to revive it, and if you can’t seem to do so after a reasonable length of time, give it to one of your houseplant whisperer friends, or release it with love to a compost bin (trust me, it’s best for both you and the plant). And if you seem to have trouble with houseplants generally, you might try lucky bamboo. All you have to do to keep it happy is keep it in bright, indirect light and change the water every week or two. (Here are some hints and tips for keeping lucky bamboo extra healthy.)
The Five Elements or Forces (wu xing) – which, according to the Chinese, are metal, earth, fire, water, and wood – are first mentioned in Chinese literature in a chapter of the classic Book of History. They play a very important part in Chinese thought: ‘elements’ meaning generally not so much the actual substances as the forces essential to human life. Earth is a buffer, or an equilibrium achieved when the polarities cancel each other. While the goal of Chinese medicine is to balance yin and yang in the body, the goal of feng shui has been described as aligning a city, site, building, or object with yin-yang force fields.