Feng Shui

Feng Shui is an ancient philosophy where living spaces are arranged to be in balance / harmony, with the natural environment (nature).  In Asian-cultures people work with the energies in order to create balance in their homes, offices and their lives.  The universe, and us, are energetic beings, made up of energies.  To work with these energies, not only brings you peace, harmony and balance, but can also increase your wealth and success. 

There are a number of important things to take into consideration when you plan the layout of your house, office, room and garden, in order for these energies to flow without any obstructions.  In order to plan the layout, an energy map (Bagua) is used.  Bagua means eight areas; each area links to a different life circumstance, for example family, wealth, career and love (relationships).  You are placed in the centre and linked to all the areas on the map.  Different schools (and authors) use this energy map differently.  Colours, shapes, types of materials and the five elements (fire, earth, water, metal, wood) also play a role in Feng Shui.  Colours can energize you or calm you down, thus it is important to choose the right colours for the different rooms.  For example, red, orange and yellow are linked to productivity and energy, whereas blue, green and pink brings a sense of calm and serenity to a room (and the mood of the person). Here are a few interesting tips that I found about Feng Shui.  I am not going to go into the minute detail, but I just want to give you an oversight and a few ideas, that you can try out yourself.

The front door and / or Living room are the first impression of many homes.  Instead of having a footpath running straight from the gate to the door, it is better to have a curved path.  The latter slows down your walking pace and helps to calm you down before entering the home.  Make sure that there is no mirror facing the front door.  Ideally, the front door should face south or southeast.  Depending on where you live, the latter can be different for people living in the Northern Hemisphere and those living in the Southern Hemisphere.  Placing water with / without fish close to the front door, as well as crystals, candles and/or religious symbols, will invite positive energies into your space and create harmony.  Crystals, candles and/or religious symbols can also be placed inside the living room.  If your footpath runs straight, then place an object like a chair inside the entrance-area (if possible) or hang a crystal from the ceiling, just to “break” the direct energy-flow coming into your home.

Paintings are a great way to bring the right energies into a room.  if you don’t have Koi fish (which is used by many Asian people), then a painting is just as good.  Make sure there are 9 fishes on the painting or in your pond. If you don’t like the idea of fish, then a painting of a landscape, mountain and/or water-scene, are also perfect.  Bright peony flowers bring prosperity (according to Feng Shui); if you can’t find them or are allergic to the flowers, then opt for other bright flowers for the living room.  Just on a side-note; Feng Shui uses real plants in the house and not artificial ones.  If you want to attract more wealth, then placing a money frog in the far end corner, diagonally from the front door, at a 45° angle, is a good idea.  The Fu-dog, that you often see in Asia, is believed to protect the house and bring good fortune.

The dining room is a place where you want to relax, enjoy your meal and/or the company.  Placing fresh fruit on the dining room table, or hanging a picture of fruit and/or vegetables on the wall, are good.  Crystals, a candle, good lightning and/or a salt lamp are all used to energize the room.  Bright coloured flowers, fresh or as a painting, are another way to bring the right energies into the space.

Moving to the bedroom.  A space where you relax, meditate and sleep.  Natural crystals (pink and orange-coloured) are great to use.  If you want to balance the masculine / feminine (yin / yang)- energies of the room, hang a painting of a dragon and phoenix.  Not quite your style?  Then opt for pictures of birds or flowers; do make sure there is at least 2 animals on the picture.  Asians like paintings of Mandarin ducks, swans, doves and peach blossoms; as it is a symbol of love and relationships. 

Mirrors in a bedroom can be detrimental, according to Feng Shui, to your intimate relationship, depending where it is located in the bedroom.  Never hang a mirror (or have mirrored cupboard-doors) facing your bed, as it is believed that it will drain your energies and bring too much water into the bedroom (too much water is linked to sadness).  It is also believed that the mirror can bring the energies of a 3rd party into your intimate relationship; especially if it faces the bed. Either replace the mirrored doors, or cover them at night.  Important to note that a television is a no- no in the bedroom as well!  Feng Shui believes that a television will disturb the energies and sleeping patterns of the people.  A television in the bedroom is like a mirror; so, if intimacy is lacking in your relationship, rethink of having a it in your bedroom.  Another no-no is a mirrored headboard, as it can also attract energies and/or other people into your relationship.  If you want to have a mirror in your bedroom, best to opt for a small one that is not facing your bed at all. 

The bathroom and laundry room are rooms where we both relax and work.  Fresh flowers or plants are wonderful to use in these rooms.  Not only do they freshen the air but it is also pleasing on the senses.  Proper lighting is important, but a candle or salt lamp can also be used in the bathroom, in order to bring a sense of serenity to the room.  Instead of using plastic things like cups, rather opt for glass, ceramics or earth ware.  A properly sized mirror in the bathroom (with the correct lighting) is key.  Make sure to use good quality soap, towels and, if you want to, an essential oil-diffuser is another lovely way to invigorate the senses.

A home office or study, separate from the other rooms, are better.  Here a painting of mountains and/or water, or any landscape, are key.  The more open and bigger the landscape-painting, the better, as it is believed that it symbolizes bringing in more wealth, opportunities and success.  A dragon / dragon turtle is often placed in the office / study.  Making use of a beautiful stationary set, as well as crystals (especially clear amethyst), are great ideas.  Amethyst crystals can be placed next to your laptop / computer, to clear away negative radiation coming from your electronics.  If you, like me, love animals or the ocean, a painting of a horse, ready to jump, or a ship, ready to sail, for example, are great to use.  These types of paintings / pictures symbolize opportunities coming in and future successes.

The salt lamps, that I have mentioned above, are wonderful to use as air-filters.  If you suffer from allergies, this is a wonderful, healthy way to clear the air in your home. 

if you are lucky enough to have a garden, then make sure to add the correct lighting, furniture, plants and paths, that not only blends in to the natural environment, but also brings in balance. Nature is, as I have mentioned before, a great inspiration behind the concept of Feng Shui. In nature everything has a rhythm and works in harmony with each other and that is what Feng Shui brings into one’s life.

Feng Shui is as ancient as the land itself.  Even if you start off by making small changes, you can start to create the harmony, success and other positives in your life, that you want.  As I have mentioned before, I have only brushed the surface of what Feng Shui is and how it works.  If you have no idea where to start, opt for getting a qualified person in to give you advice.  Today there are so many books and articles written on this topic, that you can feel quite overwhelmed with all the information.  More and more interior designers, in the Western world, are incorporating Feng Shui, as more and more people realize that we are energetic beings and they want to reap the benefits of all the positives it brings.

Energy is everywhere; the universe and everything on this planet (including you) are made up of energy.  The ancient cultures worked with these energies and not against it (or seeing it another way; they worked with nature and not against nature).  Feng Shui helps you to learn how to live with, work with and be in alignment with, these positive energies. Balancing is key and this, I believe, is what more and more people want in their lives – balance!

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