Feng shui: Tips for creating a calm space
State of mind and state of home are intrinsically connected. Everything in your home is an reflection of your character — chosen and positioned by you. According to an ancient Chinese philosophy, the reverse is also true: your immediate environment can directly affect your life on many levels.
So, can transforming your home space transform your head space? We look to the 3,000 year old notion of Feng shui to find out.
What is feng shui?
Feng shui is the art and science of organising your surroundings to create a particular atmosphere in the room. This is said to have a genuine impact on your physical, mental, emotional, and even spiritual wellbeing.
Jan Cisek (FSSA, MSc), an Environmental Psychologist gives us a little more insight into the power and significance behind Feng shui:
“Colours, shapes, layouts, placements, objects and personal possessions will affect how you feel and can also affect your performance. Psychological principles of priming and anchoring will also be at work. By optimising your environments you’ll create empowering settings that will work for you and support your goals and dreams.”
So, if you’re looking to create some positive change, calm and clarity in your life, the home may be a good place to start.
How to feng shui your home
1. Energy flowing entrances
The front door is the first and last thing you come into contact with when entering and exiting your home, so it can set the tone for your mood and lay the foundation for positive change. In Feng shui, your home receives its chi (energy nourishment) through this portal. So keep it clean, clear and easy to access. The interior directly behind the front door should be a focal point, as it gives way to the ambience of your whole home. Decorate this space with something that triggers positive feelings.
2. Clear space = clear mind
The basis to all feng shui is clear space. This lays the groundwork for a calm and focused mind. It will allow chi to flow more freely through your home, without becoming entangled in old objects or trapped in stagnant formations. Decluttering your environment can help detox your mind from any harmful or negative thought patterns. To keep on top of this, set aside 15 or 20 minutes every week to throw out anything that no longer serves a purpose — in your head space or home place.
3. Find your sleeping sweet spot
In feng shui, the command position involves placing the main piece of furniture used in each room (such as a bed, seat or desk) where you can see the door without being in direct line with it. This enables you to be the commander of your own energy, so that you’re best positioned, both physically and mentally, to deal with what comes into your life. This position is of particular importance in the bedroom, where you’re often at your most vulnerable — resting and sleeping.
4. Purify with plants
Clean air is an essential element to feng shui. House plants absorb pollutants and toxins, whilst emitting oxygen. This purifies the air you breathe, helping energy flow through and revitalise your body. Avoid lots of small plants as they can build up as clutter. Instead, choose larger, low maintenance varieties, like areca palm — an indoor palm tree which is also pet friendly and NASA approved. It’s nurtutred by nature, so open the windows regularly to let in fresh air and natural light.
5. Energy map your space
The bagua, or the feng shui energy map, will help you discover which areas of your home are connected to specific areas of your life, and perhaps where you may be lacking. For example, the northern part of your home is related to your career and the flow of water. If this is an area that feels blocked, you may want to introduce a fountain into that room, which is said to bring balance, flow and progression into your career.
6. Introduce the elements
For a harmonious home, you will need a balanced blend of all five feng shui elements to bring vibrant energy to all areas of your space and life. However, these don’t necessarily need to have an equal presence in every room. For example, you may choose mainly wooden elements for your kitchen, or the eastern side of your home, to promote health, growth and creativity. The more energy you allow to flow through your home, the more it will enrich and renew your wellbeing. A good place to start is to think about which areas of your life you want to work on and what kind of energy you want to attract. Use the bagua to identify where in your home you can release any blockages or imbalances to help you move forward.
7. Repair and replenish
What’s broken must be fixed in both the home and the mind. By repairing broken furniture, leaking pipes, or even holes in fabric — you’re healing what’s around you and within you. As Winston Churchill once said: “We shape our buildings, thereafter they shape us.” So by repairing and strengthening your environment, you can replenish and revitalise yourself.