As healing arts go, Feng Shui (pronounced Fung Shway) is about as organic as you can get.
The ancient Chinese system literally means “wind and water” (in Chinese culture, wind and water are associated with good health), but an easier interpretation is that Feng Shui is the art of placement.
Feng Shui helps us align and arrange our “universe” into more manageable units (i.e., our homes, property, offices, living rooms, bedrooms, and more) that help ease the way for energy flow. We may not be able to control the Feng Shui of the world at large, but Feng Shui can certainly help us to design our personal environment according to the same universal principles of energy flow by which planets spin in their orbits and galaxies propel through space.
We experience organic beauty and wellness when pure, vibrating energy—also called chi, ki, prana, ruah—can flow effortlessly through us and around us. When this energy is disrupted, or blocked in any way, inner and outer balance may be compromised, and that is when mis- fortune, discomfort, or dis-ease may set in. True well-being—wholeness in mind, body, spirit and environment—exists when this life force energy is optimized, creating the sacred space for balance, harmony, growth, and success to flourish.
SPRING CLEANING WITH FENG SHUI
Have you ever experienced a heightened lightness and bright- ness, a joie de vivre, if you will, after spring cleaning? Or perhaps life seemed to “flow” a bit better after rearranging certain design elements within your home or work space. There’s also the intui- tive aspect of sensing the impact of your environment on the way you feel. For example, when you walk into a house with a long, dark hallway as the entryway, you may feel a little bit claustro- phobic or anxious? For every situation that suppresses energy in some way, there are Feng Shui enhancements or ways to update your space through color, furniture, accessories, etc., that will remedy the “afflicted” area and create movement or “flow.”
DECORATING TIPS FOR FENG SHUI
In order to create good Feng Shui in your home or office, here are a few things you can do:
• Clear out clutter It makes no sense to decorate a cluttered home, does it?
• Optimize lighting Full or natural spectrum lighting, candles and light-reflecting surfaces like mirrors or light-refracting items like cut-lead crystals will all activate Chi. When mirrors are placed properly, they can shift the flow of energy in any space dramati- cally. Mirrors can also bring a sense of expansiveness and calm.
• Choose color Color is powerful, as it is an expression of light. The colors you choose should be meaningful to you. In China, yel- low is the color for longevity, red is a most auspicious color, and green is a cleansing color that symbolizes renewal and growth.
• Optimize air quality To move good energy through a space, make certain air is pure and pollutant free. Consider an air-filtration system.
• Be aware of sound Sounds can greatly influence the Chi within a space. This includes music, whether soothing or stimulating. Wind chimes will “cure” negative energy, and move positive energy through a space via their melodic sound.
• Integrate texture Decorate with soft surfaces (drapery, upholstery, carpeting) that absorb noise. Install baffles if needed to modulate loud or toxic sound. Pillars, beams, or sharp-edged corners can interrupt energy flow. Wrap these in broad swaths of soft fabric, surround with mirrors, place plants, wind chimes or crystals to move energy around these “obstructions.”
• Floral arrangements and plants Plants and flowers bring vibrant Chi or energy into any space. Bamboo, considered lucky, is one of the most popular Feng Shui “cures” and a beautiful addition to any home. Bamboo reminds us to be flexible and hollow (open) on the inside, so that the spirit can freely flow and heal our being and our space.
• Consider water Moving water ionizes the air, accentuating its health-boosting quality. Water gardens, fountains or falls, Feng Shui favorites, all bring in the soothing water energy and create a peaceful and sweet energy.
• Art works The use of art can considerably improve the energy of any space. Create the energy and mood you’re looking for through an artistic style or colors (i.e., soothing and sensual in the bedroom or active and vibrant in the kitchen or office).
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LEARN FROM THE EXPERT: JAYME BARRETT
Jayme Barrett, best-selling author of Feng Shui Your Life (Sterling Publishing), has a simple philosophy. When you display symbols of beauty, abundance, success and love within your home and work environment, it creates a manifestation of the life you want to live: a blue- print for your destiny.
In her book, Barrett takes us on a personal tour of homes with exceptional Feng Shui, and explains the techniques she uses to create “positive space.” Room by room, she illustrates the deeper purpose of every aspect of design,
demonstrating how the simplest adjustment— placing a plant in the right corner—can make a world of difference in your daily mood and, ultimately, your life. “Feng Shui,” says Barrett, “is not just about the spaces we occupy. It is a philosophy and way of life that begins with our mental, emotional and spiritual enhancement.” Lush photography and hundreds of tips and sug- gestions–from her own experience and gleaned from the wisdom of the ages–take us ever closer to the revitalization of home, health and spirit. jaymebarrett.com