There’s no denying that life can often be chaotic. Some people wrestle with this by organizing their days down to a list of tasks, while others may take a more go-with-the-flow approach. But at the end of the day, we all want to come home to a stress-free environment where we can relax.
While achieving complete Zen-like states all day is a stretch, our homes do provide an advantage in this race for relaxation; our homes are our sanctuaries. It’s the only place we can kick our shoes off, grab a cold one, and zone out without judgment. Granted, our family members can judge us, but if we keep it cordial, relaxation can be achieved at a marginal cost.
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So, What Exactly Is Feng Shui?
Feng shui has been around for awhile, and by awhile we mean, 3,000 years. An ancient science and art, the word “feng” means wind, while “shui” means water. Wind and water in Chinese culture are positively associated with good health, so those that adopted feng shui were thought (and still are) to be in good fortune.
Another important part of feng shui is “chi.” When something has the right balance, that person or thing has found balanced “chi.” At its core, feng shui is the interaction between us and our environment. The underlying assumption that feng shui rests on is invisible forces drive the world – we’re not talking about ghosts or anything supernatural, so don’t worry. Rather, there is energy and corresponding forces around us, enabling those forces to flow freely, thus creating balance in life.
Feng shui calls on symbols and five core elements – earth, fire, metal, water and wood. Chi moves through these elements, and its ultimate objective is to move as freely and unobstructed as possible. Architects and city planners in ancient China designed entire cities with these concepts in mind. In the western world, early adopters of feng shui were hospitals, believe it or not.
Hospital corridors used to be long, straight, and narrow. Feng shui experts pointed out to hospital administrators that long passageways created accelerated energy. When walking down them, the natural tendency or desire was to move faster because one could see the end of the corridor off in the distance. Instead of patiently progressing, folks would walk quickly and often with a high degree of stress. That “stressful energy” was multiplied across staff and patients and did not create a harmonized environment.
Soon after that, feng shui made its way into offices and homes. It was quickly adopted to achieve harmony and balance with the five core elements (water, wood, fire, metal, and earth) front and center. Colors and physical things associated with all five are incorporated into the design and the placement of objects with the ultimate goal of striking balance and harmony, no matter your physical location.
How to Make Your Bedroom Feng Shui
Folks usually jump into feng shui head first, literally transforming the house room by room, in a maddening state. These are the “feng shui fanatics” – the ones that have gotten a taste of the sweet science and must apply it to everything immediately. But, this is a small minority. For the rest of us, the typical first question is, “Where do I start?”
The answer is – the bedroom. The bedroom is a natural first room to feng shui. Everything from the use of calming colors, to minimizing clutter, positioning your bed and more, the bedroom is an excellent jumping-off point in the home. But the first step is employing calming colors; if you currently have a bedroom with blood-red walls and a bright yellow bedspread, be prepared for some changes.
Warm earth tones such as cocoa, copper, cream, or coral are perfect for creating a welcoming and naturally pleasant atmosphere. While the addition of reds can enhance this feeling, make them decorative side pieces like pillows rather than the entire bedspread.
Second, your bed’s position is critical. Feng shui tells us that placing the bed as far away from the door, but also in clear sight upon entering the room, is crucial. This provides the sleeper a feeling of protection or safety while resting. If you have a pitched ceiling or a ceiling fan, do not place the bed directly under either. That feeling of security is undoubtedly compromised if you’re staring up at metal blades spinning incessantly above your head.
Headboards made of solid wood are good because they provide support (strength) to an area cherished and prized by most of us – our heads. And lastly, lots of folks like having their bed under a window, but this is not good feng shui, either. A solid wall provides more symbolic support than a window does. While the view is nice, there are some unconscious “costs” to having your bed so close to an open space. The Feng Shui Society has more information about making your bedroom feng shui.
Can Feng Shui Make You Rich?
The million-dollar question – will having a feng shui home and lifestyle make you rich? Feng shui, in itself, cannot make you rich. However, feng shui, properly applied, can put in place environments and a mind-set that naturally attract prosperity and enable you to generate more wealth than you might otherwise would.
Ever heard the phrase, “a strong front-door is everything”? It’s not firmly entrenched in our lexicon, but feng shui advocates live and die with this phrase. A strong front door of your house is referred to as the Mouth of Chi. Its strength attracts auspicious energy and brings good luck, abundance, and of course, protection.
A strong front door sits alone, is not cluttered with recycling bins nearby and does not squeak. Get rid of the bin and fix that squeak. As you enter your home, you enter through a source of strength and harmony.
Another excellent feng shui tip to set the scene for attracting wealth is “preparing your money area.” This is the area in your home where you work. Granted, many of us have offices or work environments away from home, but nowadays work can often follow us home after hours. So keeping the money area uncluttered and neat is critical.
In line with having your money area in tip-top shape is also displaying images of wealth. Feng shui symbols like the classic money ship or items colored in gold or purple will help to stimulate the creative juices to keep your checking account bursting at the seams. Purple is a wealth color, and anything where you can combine gold and purple with things like rugs, pillows, or paintings, is a nice touch.
And to round it out, a personal favorite, the feng shui fountain. A fountain with a pump will filter the water, bringing new energy and new ideas to light. Wealth doesn’t arrive just by wishing for it. You need stimulation, and a feng shui fountain is a fantastic complement for this.
How to Find Your Feng Shui Birth Element
Remember the five feng shui birth elements we talked about earlier (water, earth, metal, fire, and wood)? Now, you might be reading this and immediately think, “But of course, I knew my Uncle Larry was fire all along. The guy is constantly popping off at everyone come Thanksgiving. Larry’s got a short fuse!” This could very well be true, but no one person is one specific element. As human beings, we encompass all five, but depending on the year you were born, one of these five is more aligned with you than the other four.
To find your feng shui birth element, you need to consult the birth element chart. A quick Google search will reveal it, and the birth years are according to the Chinese calendar. Once you identify the element, decorating your home accordingly will align the chi and round out an ideal feng shui environment.
For example, if you discover your birth element is wood, decorating your home with an excessive amount of metal or fire elements is a bad idea because we burn wood to create fire, and we cut wood with metal knives.
You might find yourself in a bit of a bind if you are wood, for example, and your partner is fire. Some sort of compromise will need to take place, but the idea again is to identify your element and incorporate it into your personal living space.
To Sum it Up…
Feng shui has been around for more than 3,000 years, and its harmonizing elements have been used in everything from hospitals to office spaces, and of course, homes. A home that is balanced and harmonized, according to feng shui principles, can lead to a more prosperous life both spiritually and economically.
Feng shui has been adopted by millions worldwide with positive, lasting results. We all want serenity in our lives, and it all starts with you and your home. Best of luck, and may the “chi” be with you!
Thinking of getting an indoor fountain? Check out The Best Indoor Water Fountains For Relaxation.