Originally appeared in elephantjournal.com
Pulling up to my house after grocery shopping, I park the car and grab the grocery bags from the trunk.
I struggle to my door and open it. I’m home. But I entered through the side door. So, what’s the problem? According to feng shui, I am limiting my potential. Let me explain.
Feng shui, an ancient Chinese art, provides tools to help arrange our spaces to welcome positive chi (subtle life force energy) into our homes and lives. It also helps protect us from harmful chi. Chi enters our homes through all of the windows and doors, but the formal front door is the primary “mouth of chi.” It is the most important gateway to our spaces.
So if we don’t use our front door often, it will not function well for our homes.
The front door represents our connection to the world. The world (being everything outside of our house) is yang chi. Yang is the creative force, stimulating and energizing and contains all possibilities and opportunities. Our homes are yin chi. Yin is the receptive energy, quiet and rejuvenating, with limited possibilities.
The front door is our portal to the yang chi of the cosmos.
The front door connects or bridges our inner world to the outer world. For this reason, the front door has tremendous significance in our lives—furthering our careers, connection with community, opportunities for wealth, health and relationships.
All opportunities come to us through the front door.
Feng shui uses a language of symbolism.
The symbolism of our front doors is an important metaphor for the opportunities we receive. If the front door area is filled with clutter or is blocked by some structure, it can limit our opportunities in all areas of life including prosperity, career, health and relationships.
Improve the chi of your entire home and, therefore, your life by following these simple suggestions.
What would happen if you visited a home in the evening and the front door area was dark? You may not know where the front door is located. You may be afraid of tripping. And you may actually feel neglected. Be sure that the light near the front door works and is adequate to illuminate tripping hazards and instill a sense of safety.
2. Opens easily.
What if you had trouble opening the door? This seems pretty intuitive, but oftentimes I find that my client’s doors are difficult to open either due to the door frame or hardware. One of my clients installed a new door in her renovation and she never opened the door from the outside before I visited (they used the side door, as many people do). So, when I visited her for a consultation, I went outside and attempted to open the door, but the latch was broken. Be sure that your door opens easily to allow the good chi inside.
3. Opens at least 90 degrees.
What if you open the door but it does not open fully and you have to squeeze your way into the house. Coats, shoes, book bags or other objects may be keeping the door from opening all the way. This is frustrating and sets a bad tone. It also limits the amount of chi into the home, stagnating your opportunities. Be sure that the area behind your door is clear of furniture and other items so that it can open easily into your home.
We all know how important curb appeal is when selling a home but don’t forget that an attractive entry also welcomes us home every day, too. Be sure to have some live plants in decorative pots, a pretty wreath, a welcome mat, a fountain or statues; whatever you love. First impressions are so important to us as well.
It is important to be able to see the door from the street. If people (and opportunities) cannot find your front door it causes delay and confusion in your life. Stagnation can set in. If the placement of your front door is not obvious from the street, light the pathway to it or add moving objects such as flags to attract attention to the placement of the door.
6. Manage any “blocking” chi.
Perhaps there is a large tree or shrub blocking the view of the front door. You may consider cutting the shrub or tree back to open and expand the view. However, if this tree is beautiful and well-loved, you can actually give a blessing to the tree as protector of the home. Add moving objects such as flags to attract attention to the placement of the door.
7. Use the front door.
Now that your front door has basic feng shui, use it. It is important to open the front door daily to allow the maximum chi (and opportunities) into our homes. If it’s more convenient to use the side door, I suggest using the front door to get the mail, walk the dog or check the weather.
8. Leverage its direction.
Stand at the front door facing outside and notice which direction you are facing. (If you are direction-challenged, use the compass app on your phone). Check below for tips on how to make the most of the direction your front door faces:
East is associated with new beginnings and family, great direction for young couples and families. Enhance with potted plants, bamboo wind chimes or water fountain: use the colors black, dark blue or green.
Southeast is associated with prosperity and abundance. Enhance with a bird bath, potted plants, bamboo wind chimes or water fountain: use the colors black, dark blue or green.
South is associated with being out there in your community and/or career. Enhance with potted plants, bamboo wind chimes or red flowers: use the colors red, orange or green.
Southwest is associated with the nurturing qualities of mother and relationships. Enhance with a female statue, red flowers, stone or pottery: use colors red, orange, brown or yellow.
West is associated with children, joy and creativity. Enhance with statues of children, stone, pottery or metal wind chimes: use colors brown, yellow, gray or white.
Northeast is associated with heaven and helpful people. Enhance with a statue of a deity, stone, pottery or metal wind chimes: use colors brown, yellow, gray or white.
North is associated with career and life’s path. Enhance with metal wind chimes or water fountain: use colors gold, gray, white, black or dark blue.
Northwest is associated with study and spirituality. Enhance with statue of a deity, stone, pottery or red flowers: use colors red, orange, brown or yellow.
We enter our homes every day and so does the chi of our land and neighborhood. Make your home a welcoming space for you and to absorb the wonderful chi available to you.
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock