The phrase “You are what you eat” has been around since 1826, believe it or not. The meaning is two-fold: (1) that the food we eat is a reflection of our state of mind and health; and (2) that to be fit and healthy we need to eat good food. The better health we have the better choices we tend to make and vice versa.
A natural extension of this adage is “You are where you live,” too! The places we choose to live is a reflection of our state of mind and well being. And to have a good state of mind and well being we need to live in a good feng shui place!
It's no surprise that our homes have an impact on how we feel. We can paint a room a color that we love and immediately feel good in the room. We can move a table that was blocking our path and now we feel more open and comfortable in the room. But we may not have thought about the impact of our environment on a higher level. We may not notice that our homes actually have an impact on our lives, in general.
Why? Everything possesses energy, or chi, that merges and influences everything else in our home including us. This invisible chi can be more powerful than physical matter. It comes from everything in our spaces, including color, material, texture, lighting, window views, pets, books – you name it.
In feng shui, we recognize the impact of chi in our lives. We can learn how to make some simple changes in our homes to attract positive chi.
In the last few decades, much research has been done on energy at a quantum as well as macro level. Studies demonstrate the impact of different environments on our thoughts, feelings, and behavior. On a basic level these concepts have roots in the ancient practice of feng shui.
What Can You Do?
We can use feng shui principles to influence positive thoughts, words, and behavior which will improve our lives. The ancient Chinese knew much. Our homes have a good deal of influence on our day-to-day lives and experiences.
Think About This...
Imagine that the front door is where everyone dumps their shoes, backpacks, mail, etc. When we come home, every day, we have to walk over or around this clutter and feel frustrated. That daily stress would influence our mood, emotions, and reactive behavior.
Reflect on This...
Right now look around your home as if you are there for the first time. What do you notice? What are the sights, sounds, smells, lighting, textures, colors, etc. What kind of artwork do you see? Is it inspiring or depressing? Does it promote joy or sorrow? Or are there bare walls? Do you feel affection for this home or alienation? Is there beauty and playfulness?
“What are our homes saying about us and how we feel and experience life?”
Feng shui provides a wonderful language to connect to the energy of our homes as well as the tools to help improve your spaces.
Here are Important Feng Shui Concepts to Consider
Chi – Being mindful that everything possesses chi, be it positive, neutral or poor chi. Second-hand objects and furnishings can be carrying a lot of chi, which can be negative. We should be aware that we will pick up those energies and carry them with us. So, is the chi in your home stagnant (creating blocks) or too chaotic (creating stress)?
Yin & Yang –The easiest way to understand Yin & Yang is the Goldilocks fairy tale. She was a feng shui master, forever looking for what was in the middle and “just right.” Following the "middle path," or balance is so important in all aspects of our lives, be it nutrition, exercise, hobbies, work, play, etc.
It is also important to incorporate the balance of yin & yang into our homes. Yin represents dark, soft, curved, and cozy. Spaces that are too yin would feel stagnant and suffocating. Yang represents bright, hard, straight lines, and energetic. Too much yang would make us feel unable to relax and too chaotic. Consider if the rooms in your home are either too much yin or too much yang. And then, integrate aspects of the opposite to create more balance and harmony.
Five Natural Elements – In Eastern philosophy there are five natural elements – wood, fire, earth, metal and water. These elements brings the variety of the natural world and makes us feel whole and refreshed. Each element symbolizes natural materials, colors, shapes, and patterns.
To increase harmony and joy in our lives we need to consider how our homes might be blocking us from experiencing that. We can create beautiful, harmonious spaces that will nurture and support us by working mindfully with the concepts of feng shui.
Initially published in OM Times.