An Introduction to Feng Shui

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Most people have heard of ‘feng shui’, but many people have very little understanding as to what it actually is.  To many people, feng shui is ‘only for Chinese’, ‘mere superstition’, ‘new age hippy thinking’ or even ‘something to do with a religious cult’!  The reality, however, is quite different.  Many of the principles of feng shui are simply common sense ideas that can be applied to any property in order to improve its appeal and rental potential.

If I asked you what words come to mind when you think of your home, what would you say?  Would you say that it brings you peace every time you walk in the front door?  Would you say that the items in your home inspire you and bring you joy every time you look at them?  Would you describe your household as organized and calm?  A peaceful, calm household that is organized and filled with happiness and laughter is the type of home anyone would love to say they own.  But how do we ensure that we can describe our homes this way?

It’s actually easier than you think, but you need to take the first step.

Feng Shui is the ancient art and science of creating balance and harmony in our lives by the effective management of our environment.  The benefits can be felt almost immediately. Applying simple feng shui principles to your home is the best way to make quick, effective changes to the dynamics of your life.

Read the following descriptions and note how you feel as you read each one:

Home Number One:

  • Unkempt lawn with weeds, no flowers.
  • Front entry with shoes strewn around.
  • Kitchen with dirty dishes in the sink and crumbs on the counter.  Stack of unopened mail piled high on the counter.
  • Living room is filled with toys, some lying on the floor, some piled high in the corner of the room.
  • Bedroom has mismatched furniture, clothes on the floor or on a chair. Books and magazines stuffed under the bed, bed linen that is old and faded, dresser tops cluttered with gadgets, makeup, jewellery.

Home Number Two:

  • Tidy green lawn with white lilies lining the house.  Favourite potted plants on either side of the front door.
  • Front entry is clear with shoes neatly placed on a rack and coat hooks for the coats.
  • Kitchen is clean, bright and the counter tops are sparkling.  Only a few daily used items are displayed and three fresh green plants or herbs rest on the window sill.
  • Living Room is tidy and has labelled organizer baskets and tubs for the children’s toys. Special candle sticks bought on a wonderful holiday are displayed on the mantle and two dark green plants sit in different corners of the room.
  • Bedroom has neutral calming colours with splashes of a favourite decorative colour.  Current books and magazines are stored in the matching bedside tables and the fresh, crisp bed linen is made up nicely.  The only items on the dresser are a photo of you and your partner, a fresh bouquet of flowers and a jewellery box that holds the items you wear often.

Just by reading these two descriptions, you can probably already feel how different it would be to live in each of the properties. Home number two gives a feeling of calm, joy, and beauty, whereas home number one gives a feeling of chaos, depression and stagnancy.

The basic principle behind feng shui is that our environment is a reflection of our lives, either good or bad, because we are connected with them. Where we live is the external representation of who we are.  Therefore, if we change or move something in our home, we will experience a corresponding change or shift in our life.  In essence, people can use feng shui to get more of what they want and less of what they don’t want.  So, if we want to feel less-stressed, to have more balance in our lives and to experience joy and happiness on a regular basis, then we first need to set up the environment for that to take place.

Some people hire experienced feng shui experts to thoroughly survey their home and offer suggestions as to what needs changing, but there is one easy thing that you can do immediately that won’t cost any money at all – clear your clutter.

Look at your possessions with fresh eyes and ask yourself if each object reflects you and the home you want.  If not, it is time to let them go.  By removing the old, you create more space for the new – items that you truly do want.

If you weed a garden and just leave it, the weeds return stronger than before.  But, if you weed a garden and then plant it with gorgeous plants and flowers, then the weeds have no room to return.  Exactly the same approach should be taken with clutter.  Make sure you know what you want to fill your newly created space with, be it more joy or more balance.  This way you will stop the clutter from returning.

Good questions to ask yourself when tackling clutter are:

  • Do I really love this object?
  • Does it enhance my life?
  • Do I use it?
  • Is it time to let it go?

Just as it is necessary to build walls and lay floors and a roof to build a house, so is it necessary to prepare your home to build the type of life you truly desire. So, clear the clutter, create the feeling you want in your house using feng shui principles, and then allow a more stress-free life to begin flowing in.

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