Feng shui is an ancient Chinese practice that has been used for centuries to dictate architectural creations and the spatial arrangements of properties, i.e their relationship with the sun and the orientation of furniture within.
Some see it as ludicrous — and may wonder why on earth having a bathroom directly opposite your front door as you enter would symbolically and literally flush away your money. Some feng shui teachings do sound rather crazy, do they not?
Staunch believers, on the other hand, see it as an absolute necessity in relation to abundance, wealth, success and a positive flow of energy in the home.
We’re more balanced in our view, though we cannot deny the power of our surroundings and how important it is to position your home and its contents so that it works – and flows – best for you.
Your surrounding environment is everything, and of course one of the central forces to your success. Surround yourself in clutter and see how disordered your thoughts become; surround yourself in a white room with a more subdued décor, filled only with things that you love and see how easier it is to meditate or action those pressing matters.
It’s also no surprise that certain colours can induce the flow of good ideas while others can block them out; the list goes on. There is definitely reason to the madness — what many attribute to the unexplainable forces of feng shui.
Paying more attention to your what you already have in your home, there may appear to be little logic to the pseudoscience of feng shui, but there are nonetheless laws you can definitely follow to ensure you are on the right side of the energy flow. Start with these three and see how better you – and your home – start to feel.
(Hero image credit: Toa Heftiba)
De-clutter, but in a smart way
Your space is meant to promote vitality, harmony and joy so if you are surrounding yourself in things you despise i.e that leather armchair that your ex-boyfriend bought you from Ikea — how could he! – then it sort of makes sense that you aren’t going to be operating at optimum levels, right? In the words of Japanese organising and decluttering expert Marie Kondo, who has been warmly welcomed by the world of feng shui, “only keep things that bring you joy.”
Look at every single item in your space and ask the three following questions: ‘Do I love it?’, ‘Is this useful to me?’, ‘Do I need it?’ Please note, you may despise something, i.e. your tax return, but you most probably will need it, so just keep that locked away in a drawer somewhere. Using these questions regularly in your home will really help you get rid of a lot of things that aren’t serving you and ultimately help your good feng shui skyrocket.
Avoid mirrors or TVs in your bedroom
Mirrors are considered to be the aspirin of feng shui and used in so many other areas of the home, but one place they certainly do not belong is in the bedroom. Why? Simply put, mirrors interfere with your ability to get a good night’s sleep. The mirror’s surface reflects every bit of light that bounces off it as well as magnifies every sound, disturbing the overall atmosphere of your room. Sleeping opposite a mirror is also bad for your health. Apparently it isn’t too good for your love life either… so all of you with above-the-bed-mirror-fantasies – or realities – re-think! TVs obviously also have the same reflective surface as a mirror, so get rid of it! You’ll find you sleep much better and your melatonin levels will also benefit.
Avoid spiral staircases
Spiral staircases are actually one of feng shui’s biggest no-nos and it’s not completely illogical to understand why. They can be so dangerous! You can never see all the way to the bottom so you have no idea what’s awaiting you and we all know that forewarned is forearmed. But actually, the main reason that the spiral staircase is frowned upon in feng shui is that it closely resembles a huge screw, boring down through the floor of your home. This symbolically translates into real physical discomfort in your body.
If you do have a spiral staircase in your home, we recommend replacing it with a normal one. If you can’t, then another thing to do would be to add a wood element, which is seen as promoting health and harmony in Feng Shui. Placing a large plant directly underneath the staircase is one beautiful way of doing this; Or, if the stairs are actually made of wood, then you are (sort of) okay.
This article first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Bangkok.