Let’s Ring In 2021 with Better Feng Shui
Creating Positive Energy
As 2020 draws to its close, I think it is safe to say that we all cannot wait to kiss this year goodbye! Who knows what 2021 will bring us but I plan to kick her off with some changes within my living environment. I have spent this past year inside due to Covid and a compromised immune system resulting from major surgery so I am definately ready to bring some fresh energy into my home. In 2021, I will be practicing better Feng Shui.
Feng Shui, which translates to “Wind-Water” in English, is a placement art that originates from ancient China. The idea is to optimize positive Chi, which is the animating life force that is everywhere to harmonize individuals with their surroundings. Chi is broken down into two types: Sha or negative Chi and Yun or positive Chi. By tapping into the positive Chi and maximizing its usage, obstructions can remove or disrupt, freeing the flow.The initial usage of this pseudoscience in China was for siting graves. It was extremely important that ancestors laid to rest were unaffected by floods (water) and typhoons (wind).
Today Feng Shui is quite popular in the western world. Homes, gardens and offices are typical places where people incorporate this art of placement. Information on a site or room gathers by sensing the balance of the Yin & Yang (feminine & masculine) energy. When appropriate balance is into play Yin & Yang energy will flow endlessly into each other. By measuring the front door of a home with a compass, the facing direction can be determined. Contrary to popular belief, a driveway or large window is inaccurate in determining facing position. The actual front door also called the “mouth of Chi” is the correct spot as this location determines a home’s ability to absorb the chi energy. Of course, this can be adapted for a smaller living area such as an apartment by finding the face direction with the front door to the apartment not the main building door.
A bagua energy map is an essential tool used in Feng Shui to evaluate the energy in one’s environment. Bagua means “eight areas” therefore means eight areas around a center. Each gua(or area) represents different aspects of life. As you can see from the map below, each area also has multi-layered meanings relating to color, elements, shapes and so forth. All the ideologies are around nature to balance how humans can live in harmony with the natural world. Multiple philosophies of ancient China were used as the foundation for bagua with a few being the five elements, I- Ching and Yin & Yang.
Simple Tips For Beginners
Do not worry if the above information seems a bit overwhelming. There are indeed many intricacies involved in Feng Shui but there are some simple ways to get started to create better energy within your living space. Now is as good as a time as any to begin as 2020 quickly is coming to a close. What a great way to help kick off the New Year with an improved vibe of our surroundings. Here are some tips to help get your started:
1. Declutter. The very first thing that you should do no matter how simple or detailed you plan to delve into Feng Shui is to declutter your living space. I hear the moans and groans but this is a necessary step. Think about it. How can you improve the energy within your space with a bunch of stuff that is lying around that you will never use or need? Clean out those closets and drawers, donate clothing to charities, and utilize bins for space saving; give all of the unnecessary junk the good old heave ho. Also clean and uphold an obstacle free walking area.
2. Maintain a clean and clear entrance way. The entrance to the home is called the" mouth of chi" so in order to ensure positive incoming energy, a path that is pleasing and free of debris is essential. Keep stairs swept and walkways free of dirt, leaves, snow etc.. The entrance way area also includes right inside your doorway so if you tend to keep a pile of stuff by the door as many of us do then tidy it up. Shoe racks, small stands and hooks are a good way to keep everything in its place while accommodating yun or positive chi.
3. Get some plants. Plants always invoke positive energy and make us feel connected to nature. Some recommendations are aloe, bamboo and jasmine. Aloe is known to combat negative energy and clearing the air reducing toxic chemicals. The fragrance of jasmine helps to soothe a stressed mind. This flowering plant helps strengthen friendships and boost romance. Bamboo has long been a favorite of Feng Shui experts. A peaceful energy comes with this plant and it is very easy to maintain, not requiring a lot of sunlight. Plants soften the hard angles of a home evoking a feeling of being in nature. Cacti and plants covered with thorns produce the opposite effect so these are advised against.
4. Incorporate some metal. The element of metal helps with clarity, productivity and sharpness of mind. Adding some decorative bowls, small statues and figurines is a nice addition especially for a home office area. It is something to really consider with so many people working now from home.
5. Clear your space. We can also call this "clearing the air." It is important to keep a continuous flow of positive energy and living rooms tend to be the busiest room in our homes. Opening windows can help clear the space as well as diffusing essential oils and ringing small bells. A technique called smudging is also helpful in ridding an area of negative energy. This is done by burning a specific dried herb and letting the smoke float throughout the area, ensuring the smoke reaches all four corners of a room.
There really is a wealth of information when it comes to Feng Shui. I gave you some simple ways to get started above which are all relatively easy to do. There are some great books with a ton of information for those who wish to explore more. Speaking of books, this brings me to my gift choices section for this holiday season. I am a bit of a Feng Shui newbie still but I personally chose the following five gift ideas as great gifts for family, friends, coworkers, maybe even for you.
1. This wonderful book from Barnes & Noble is a great gift for the beginner who wishes to explore Feng Shui. It is available with both online and in store options.
2. This live bamboo plant is simple to care for; ideal for people who are the deemed “brown thumbs”. Available on Etsy and comes with a beautiful ceramic elephant vase.
3. These pair of ducks is a simple decorative piece. It is said that gifting things in pairs is luckier. Mandarin ducks are thought to be lifelong couples. They are regarded as a symbol of conjugal affection and fidelity, often displayed in Chinese art.
4. This set of dragon bells is for the entrance door. Bells herald good news and prosperity. The red knot is an added bonus raising energy.
5. For the next one I could not decide between the incense burner and abalone smudge burning style so I am showing both options.
Each of the items on my list I chose as if I were shopping for myself. Barnes & Noble and Etsy are pretty popular brands familiar to most people. Unique Feng Shui I found doing an online search and was pleasantly surprised. I have subscribed to their mailing list and am amazed by the diversity of the site. Shopping comes in a multitude of categories with reasonable prices. There are some items on the higher end but much can be found in an affordable range. In addition to shopping, Unique Feng Shui has a blog and 2021 zodiac to read. It is pretty neat stuff and I recommend checking it out!
As the year of the Rat winds down to its closure and the year of the Ox lies before us, it can a bit overwhelming to think of what is to come with all the events of this past year. I have chosen to focus on the lessons learned from a trying time and build by creating a more positive living space for myself. Although Feng Shui entails some complexity; there is a lot of information to learn, it does not mean that one needs to upset their entire living space. Feng Shui can be the smallest of steps taken to produce a more positive flow of chi. Often I have found that it is the smallest steps that I have taken in life that have returned the greatest results.
To everyone: I wish you all a happy, healthy and safe holiday season. May you bid 2020 its long awaited farewell and ring in 2021 with positive thoughts, solid health, and better energy; Feng Shui!!