Directly connected to the concept of a clutter clear space is clear organization. If you do not have an organized house, chances are you will start quickly accumulating clutter again. Each item in your home deserves a space of its own, no matter how small; this makes for a peaceful house with strong and clear energy. Think about it and look for the best organizational systems you can find; there is an abundance of them out there, from Ikea to California Closets and everything in between (Home Depot, Bed, Bath and Beyond, The Container Store, etc).
Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese system of natural laws which are supposed to govern the spatial arrangement orientation of your furniture and décor in relation to the flow of energy (Chi). The word ‘feng’ is Chinese for wind, and the word ‘shui’ is Chinese for water – together these symbolise the flow of life that one should aspire to have in one’s home.
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]
What if rejuvenating your life was as simple as moving a few things around? According to the ancient Chinese art of feng shui (pronounced "fung shway"), it is. Based on the idea that your living space reflects your life, feng shui strives to achieve balance in both. Feng shui holds that all objects possess an energy called chi, and that you can use this chi to bring luck, wealth, and opportunity into your home. "With feng shui, you don't have to spend 20 years on the couch [with a therapist] to change your life – you just have to move the couch," says Ellen Whitehurst, author of Make This Your Lucky Day: Fun and Easy Secrets and Shortcuts to Success, Romance, Health, and Harmony (Random House, January 2008). Try these ten tips to get that energy flowing.
Place grounding and balanced energy on both sides of the bed. Place two nightstands on either side of the bed to create balance while you sleep. Ideally, you can also place the same lamp on both nightstands, to add some soft lighting to your bedroom. This balance is important for keeping you centered, and especially for maintaining equality in a relationship if you share the bedroom with your partner.
It might be tempting to treat your bedroom as a storage unit, but Cerrano warns against having too much stuff in your in there. In fact, studies conducted by St. Lawrence University in 2015 suggest a correlation between excessive bedroom clutter and sleep disturbances, which could lead to depression and irritability. "Feng shui principles invite you to remove electronics from inside the bedroom: TVs, computers, and cell phones emit the largest amounts of electric and magnetic fields, which could disturb your immune system and sleep," explains Cerrano.
Imagine if that happens to you in the middle of the night. How would you feel? Though sometimes your kids or your pet may have created the clutter by your bed, make it a habit to keep your bedroom free of clutter. Further, a clean and organized bedroom is more visually relaxing and less likely to invoke frustration and agitation that lower your sleep quality.
Still others are simply skeptical of feng shui. Evidence for its effectiveness is based primarily upon anecdote and users are often offered conflicting advice from different practitioners. Feng shui practitioners use these differences as evidence of variations in practice or different schools of thought. Critical analysts have described it thus: "Feng shui has always been based upon mere guesswork". Some are skeptical of feng shui's lasting impact. Mark Johnson:
Looking for an easy way to incorportate feng shui principles into your bedroom décor? Home accessories offer a low-cost, low-commitment way to test them out in your space. "If you are a feng shui minimalist in how you approach enhancing your bedroom's energy, one area that could be utilized as a soft focal point is with the bed accessories themselves," says Cerrano.
This energy she speaks of, also known as chi, is the foundation of feng shui. Good quality chi in your home is believed to promote strong relationships, support health and wealth and contribute to a better sense of well-being. If your bedroom is cluttered, has too many bright colors and is positioned poorly, your feng shui (and sleep) will suffer. Here are some of Cho’s feng shui tips for building a peaceful bedroom for better sleep.
Feng Shui practitioners from many cultures believe that displaying objects around your home in specific number combinations can enhance your life and help you attract wealth, harmony, and love. The origins of Feng Shui are Chinese, and the Chinese meaning of a number is often associated with its pronunciation. This means that numbers can be misinterpreted in Western culture if the meaning given to them is based on the way they sound in Chinese.
On the surface, Feng Shui is the simple interaction of humans and their environments. Taken a step further, Feng Shui enables you to influence these interacting energies to achieve specific life improvements. This influence is achieved by positioning or designing your surroundings in harmony with principles of natural energy flow. As a result, you (and your life) can achieve harmony with your surroundings. Feng Shui is practical and grounding, and it helps you right where you live and work.
According to feng shui expert, Rodika Tchi, Chi is manifested in yin yang characteristics, or the idea that our universe is made up of two opposing yet deeply interconnected forces of Yin and Yang. It is important to identify sources of imbalance and create once again the right amount for those that occupy a particular space and also for the space's original purpose. For example, a bedroom should be a place of rest and not of entertainment - at least not of electronic entertainment anyway - and there are specific feng shui guidelines you can follow to ensure this.
The feng shui consultant recognizes that it's not always possible to leave the under-bed area completely clutter-free: "If you do need to store items under the bed, be mindful of who gave these items to you and what emotional content you associate with them." She adds that some items—specifically bedding, clothing, and towels—are better to store under the bed than others. A small number of books is also acceptable, as long as their titles and content are positive.
A Feng shui bedroom layout embraces the primary function of your bedroom, which is to serve such activities as sleep, relaxation and sex. Feng shui bedroom principles incorporate the right elements and furniture placement to enhance your overall health and well-being. These principles ensure the continued flow of chi energy through the balance of yin (female) and yang (male) energies.
According to Brophy, clinging to the past disturbs peace in the present. "Keeping objects out of obligation or reluctance to let go is an issue," Brophy says. "I worked with a client who kept a bed frame that her husband used to sleep in with his ex-wife. Every time she looked at that bed frame she was reminded of his past. If you have furnishings or artwork that you fought your family member to obtain, or won in divorce proceedings, evaluate the energetic cost of keeping such things."
In feng shui, chi is what we call life force energy: known to yogis as prana. And the front door is known in feng shui as the “mouth of chi.” In other words, it’s the place where blessings and abundance of all varieties enter both your home and your life. As such, abundant wealth, as well as the consistency of your financial flow, correspond with the appearance and condition of your front door. That’s why a clean, bright red door is an iconic feng shui image: red relates not only to prosperity, but also to vitality, success, and general positivity. But you need not have a red door (unless you want one). Just make sure you love the way it looks, it’s clean, it’s in good repair, it doesn’t squeak or stick, it has full range of motion (nothing is behind it), and the area around it (the entire entryway) is also beautiful and uplifting.
The best feng shui money energy foundation is having your home and business free of clutter, displaying symbols that speak to you of wealth, using specific feng shui cures such as crystals, specific images and even essential oils to raise the feng shui energy in your home. Good feng shui money energy also means maintaining high oxygen levels at all times. This means your space has fresh air with a vibrant quality to it, and decorating with air purifying plants is the easiest feng shui way to keep the energy in your space vibrant and “wealth-ready”.
"Not a single thing!" Brophy says. Because every item has its own energy, the more stuff that's piled under the bed (even if it's just extra bedding!), the less space there is for your own energy to pass through while you sleep. This can be a tough one, especially if you're lacking in the square footage department, but Brophy swears this is helpful to everyone, and particularly recommends it for people who have difficulty sleeping.
The #1 good feng shui bedroom layout is with the so-called feng shui commanding position of the bed. A bed in a feng shui commanding position is placed diagonally from the bedroom door and has a solid wall behind it. It has a good solid headboard, good grounding energy on both sides (the nightstands do not have to be identical, not at all, you can be as creative as you feel like, but be sure the bed is supported/grounded on both sides.)
Traditional, or classical feng shui schools, have many symbols used for various purposes. Some feng shui symbols are well known, such as the Mandarin Ducks for love and marriage, the Tortoise for protection and stability, or the Koi Fish for abundance. Some feng shui symbols, such as Bats or Chi Lins, are less known. This list of feng shui symbols should help you. There is a subtle line between the use of the words "feng shui symbols" and "feng shui cures", as symbols are used as feng shui cures. Be sure to read all about feng shui cures in order to understand more about shifting the energy with feng shui.
Live plants have their own chi and will draw chi to them. Don't have a green thumb? "The next best thing is to showcase high-quality silk plants and flowers — not plastic," says Varone. The best places for plants are in the kitchen (between hot and cold appliances to create balance), in the dining room (to draw abundance), and in the family room (to promote health, life, and connection).
Water represents wealth in Feng Shui. A lot of people ask me where the best place to locate a fountain for Feng Shui is. According to Feng Shui principles it’s advantageous to place a water element such as a fountain near the entry of your home. It can be just inside or just outside, but the most important part is that the water should be flowing towards the center of your home. That means that the wealth has the opportunity to pour into your life!
The diagrams are also linked with the sifang (four directions) method of divination used during the Shang dynasty. The sifang is much older, however. It was used at Niuheliang, and figured large in Hongshan culture's astronomy. And it is this area of China that is linked to Yellow Emperor (Huangdi) who allegedly invented the south-pointing spoon (see compass).