One of the most important aspects of minimalism and learning to live with less is learning to love what you have. This is one of the reasons why I love Feng Shui. It is all about accentuating what you have and creating a sense of beauty and peace within the home. I know you have had the thought once that you just cannot concentrate with all the clutter around you. Well, Feng Shui is about decluttering and arranging furniture and other furnishings in ways that will allow for positive energy flow. I know it was a big help to me in the corporate world. By the time I left my job to stay home with my kids all my coworkers had running water fountains, mirrors, ect. in their offices because they had soaked up all my Feng Shui tips like a sponge or I had helped them set up their offices at their request. Our offices were little dens of peace we found, not prisons where we had to stay 9-5. To me Feng Shui is more than geomancy. It is also about the Law of Attraction (LOA) and sending out into the universe what you want to get back. It is like setting the stage for all the good things you KNOW will happen and openly welcoming them. One of my goals for each new year is to give my home a Feng Shui update.
It is a means by which people can feel more peaceful and content in their personal space. It’s more psychological than theological, although some practitioners of Feng Shui believe in the invocation of the god of luck. While I am not specifically religious I am spiritual. I do have a trio of Hindu dieties in my home… Ganesha, Lakshmi, and Saraswati. The first two are my background on my computer as well. But regardless of your beliefs, Feng Shui can be used by just about anyone. If you would like to bring Feng Shui into your home, here are some tips on how to get started.
Clean up – Part of Feng Shui is being surrounded by things you love, but only the things you love most. Everything else needs to go. Donate whatever you can instead of throwing it away. Ask yourself if you have used or enjoyed a particular object in a year. If you haven’t touched it in a year, you probably won’t miss it when you give it away. A tenant of Feng Shui is to make sure everything in your home is either useful or beautiful. This has been hard for me with young kids… everything is either useful or horrendously ugly. Such is the life when your young kiddos destroy everything nice you have so you just stop buying nice stuff. The lamp I have next to my computer is a reminder of this. It was a lovely thrift store find and I was so happy with it, until my 6 year old leaped off the back of the couch and landed on it, destroying the beautiful shade… sigh. I am determined to let some beauty back into my life now that my kids are getting older.
Light – Feng Shui is about energy, and opening things up to a good flow of energy. Light is an important component of this. Emphasize natural lighting wherever you can by opening all your windows. It is amazing how that simple step can be overlooked. First thing in the morning open all your windows or blinds. You can also use energy-efficient bulbs that have a daylight type of spectrum. This helps with seasonal affective disorder. If you get depressed or sad in the winter, you need a full spectrum sun light. One of my fave ways to accentuate light is to put prisms in the windows so that little rainbows dance all around. In the evening, soft lighting is recommended. Light beeswax candles and use low-wattage bulbs in lamps.
Fresh air - In addition to natural light, natural, fresh air is also helpful in bringing good energy flow into your home. Whenever weather permits, let outside air in. Consider a quiet air purifier and toxin-absorbing houseplants to make your indoor air even cleaner.
You can also purify the air by using natural essential oils. In Feng Shui, essential oil of rose, lavender or jasmine is recommended for the bedroom; peppermint or lemon for rooms where you want to be awake and energized.
Water – Having a water feature in the home is an important aspect of Feng Shui. Water in the home’s entryway is especially beneficial. A wall or tabletop fountain can fill this need. The water should be running; just a bowl of water won’t do. Aquariums are also favored in Feng Shui. Ever wonder why so many Chinese restaurants have aquariums and/or fountains? They are symbols or harbingers of good luck.
Objects – Of course you still have objects in your home. Arrange these in a decorative, organized manner so that it is pleasing to the eye. On your desk, place a small plant or desktop fountain. The color red or purple is recommended for the desktop work space, as it is associated with wealth. In your home, make sure the entryway is clear of clutter and especially shoes. Consider placing small objects in decorative boxes that can be neatly stacked. You should read a good Feng Shui book if you want to know more about specific placements and colors that should be used in different areas.
Wall Colors – Soft pink is considered ideal for the bedroom (passion). Soft shades of beige and yellow are also good for promoting nourishment and stability. Use red (high energy) in rooms where a lot of activity occurs and you want an energized atmosphere. Red is not recommended for a wall color, however, but only as an accent color. Blue is is good for promoting happiness and abundance and green and brown are good for health and vitality. For more info on color therapy I recommend How to Heal with Color.
So are you ready to Feng Shui?
Monday, January 3rd, 2011