By Susie Cortright
Simple Feng Shui: Eight Quick Ways to Redecorate for Your Spirit
The ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui is making a comeback in the modern world. But is it really possible to change your attitude just by rearranging your living space?
Many people say yes. Feng Shui is an Asian philosophy that dates back some 5,000 years. Practitioners strive to find the proper arrangement of objects and furniture that will best suit your personality and lifestyle. The goal is to arrange a home in such a way as to maximize feelings of safety and comfort, which will in turn positively affect your health, attitude, even your level of success.
Traditional Feng Shui revolves around placement and symbolism. More contemporary Feng Shui also considers a number of psychological factors, including the use of color, aromatherapy and air quality. A Feng Shui consultant locates the various energy centers of your home, suggests new arrangements and may use crystals, mirrors, and chimes to achieve certain effects.
Do it yourself
Like anything that’s been around for thousands of years, the practice of Feng Shui has a number of variations. While the ancient art is complex, many of the concepts appeal to common sense. Before you call in a consultant, there are a few tricks you can try on your own.
Optimum Feng Shui occurs when the life force (or ch’i) is permitted to move freely around the house. Clutter is an obstruction to this life force. Finding a place for clutter may be first on your agenda.
People tend to feel uncomfortable -- even unsafe — when their view is blocked. Does your home have any seats that don't allow you to see who is entering the room or that block you from being part of what is taking place in another part of the room?
Feng Shui is about living in harmony with the earth. You can do this, in part, by changing your decor to reflect the seasons and by bringing natural elements inside. Plants, for example, can have a calming effect.
Annoying sounds such as creaking doors and dripping faucets can disrupt the ch'I of your home.
In the bedroom Your bed should be positioned so that you have a clear view of the doorway. Your headboard should touch the wall, many practitioners say. And don’t place the bed against the window or your ch’i might escape.
Some Feng Shui experts point the head of the bed north to induce sound sleeping, but different headboard positions produce different effects. For example, a headboard pointing west can make one lazy, while a headboard pointing south is said to worsen family arguments.
In the kitchen The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the home because of the link between food preparation and the nourishment of the body and spirit. For example, Feng Shui practitioners believe that the flavor of food will change if the cook is startled, so they recommend placing a mirror nearby so you can see who is entering while you are busy at the stove.
In the family room Attract more light in the family sector of your living space with crystals and mirrors. Position family room furniture so your guests face either south or east when sitting, and make sure no seats position your guests to stare at the wall.
In the dining room Choose a round, oval or octagonal dining room table, because angles on tables create shars (negative energy zones). Feng Shui practitioners also say that these rounded tables create a more welcoming environment.
© Susie Cortright
Susie Cortright publishes Momscape.com, a website devoted to helping busy women find balance. The site features resources for conscious living and soul-based parenting, including Susie's popular "Soul Snacks": creative ways we can nurture ourselves -- and others -- in 15 minutes or less. Susie is also the author of More Energy for Moms, a mind-body-soul fitness book, program and community, and Rekindling Your Romance After Kids. Susie lives in Breckenridge, Colorado, with her husband and three young children.