As the holidays approach, our sadness around broken relationships of family and friends can become more prominent. This is the time for us to be gathering with loved ones, and we feel their absence the most during this time. As the media prominently features happy gatherings of friends and family, we become even more depressed. If we are alone, these “happy” faux families emphasize our feelings of loneliness even more.
If your relationships with specific friends and family members are not as wonderful as you would like, or if you have no friends or family around and would like to attract more, feng shui teaches that we can strengthen the energy center of our home that is directly connected to friends and family and thereby shift this in our lives in a positive direction.
The ancient feng shui masters felt there were certain parts of the home that corresponded to key areas of the lives of its occupants. By working with these energy centers you could, first, identify what was going on in that area of your life, and, second, enhance it by putting objects there that would encourage the chi (energy) to become activated.
Enhance the Family Area in Your Home
In Feng Shui we locate and chart the nine energy centers of our home by using what is called a “bagua” map. Bagua translated means eight trigrams. These trigrams refer to important areas of our lives such as wealth, health, love, career, self-cultivation, fame, creativity, helpful people, etc.
This wisdom comes out of the I Ching, the great Chinese book of wisdom that has been used over the centuries as a method of divining right action. It incorporates both yin and yang expressions and is used to study and contemplate the process of change and inner development.
Health and Family Defined
The trigram connected to the family area of the I Ching is called Zhen. This same area is also used to work with health issues, but in this article we will focus on family. Family is defined as anyone that you consider your family, whether they are your blood relations or family of choice.
The Family Gua, or area, is about our support systems when trouble or storms come our way. It is connected to the wood element represented by a tree that has roots going deep into the earth creating stability and strength. It is about the protection of ancestors, and retaining inner stability when chaos happens around us. It deals with the healing of relationships and broken circles in the family and/or family of choice.
If you are experiencing the loss or stress of a strained relationship with a close friend or family member(s), or if you don’t have close friends and family for whatever reason, working with the feng shui in your home can help change this.
The first step is to locate where this energy center falls in your living space (instructions at end of article). Once you locate the family energy center, here are some enhancements to add that will help shift the energy in a positive way and recharge this area of your home. Since feng shui works with healing the outer environment, which then heals the inner environment, don’t be surprised if healing begins to take place!
As we get older we see how fleeting life is. Why spend another moment separated from a dear one, or feeling lonely? No relationship is beyond healing and, if we have lost loved ones we can manifest new friends into our lives. No one is replaceable, but we can still forge close friendships that will fill our hearts and lives again. If we can imagine it, then we can bring it into form!
First, clear the clutter and remove sharp objects.
The first step in making room for new things to happen is to make sure the area is free of clutter (old and stuck energy) and to clear the area of sharp and unsafe objects as well as negative objects and art.
Create a healing altar.
Next you can create a healing altar and place these items either on your altar or within this area of the home or room that falls into the “Health and Family area.”
- Find a happy picture with both you and the person/persons whom you are having difficulties within the same frame. It should be of a happy time that evokes positive memories. Place a healthy plant by the picture. If you don’t have a picture of the two of you together, do a collage or vision board adding separate pictures of you and the person looking happy and relaxed. Add pictures from magazines of happy gatherings of friends and families. Add positive words that represent your wishes for this relationship. Include items depicting the wood element such as vibrant flowers and plants.
- Write affirmations about your ideal relationship with this friend or family member. Affirmations should always be with gratitude, in present tense as if they are true now. Place this in a box in the health and family area of your home. You can also place it in the health and family section of a room that you use often. Make sure it is a place you will see these affirmations on a daily basis. (See instructions below. An affirmation box can be any box that you love.)
- Always keep a health plant in this area; even if you can’t grow plants, this is the area to have at least one. (Never keep a plant that is limping along in any area of the home, especially the health and family area!) If you can’t have a live plant, pictures of plants or vibrant silk ones are the next best.
- Add to this area objects made from wood.
- Enhance it further with floral prints, wall papers and fabrics if appropriate.
- Add family heirlooms that carry a personal meaning to you related to the person of concern.
- Add personal mementos and pictures that are symbolic of vibrant good health or positive family (or friend) relationships.
- If you are working with manifesting more friends in your life, bring in pictures of happy friends gathering together, group articles together in groups of more than two objects and/or create a vision board depicting how you envision your life surrounded by friends and family. Make it personal and put your own positive chi into creating it and watch it unfold in your life!
- Volunteer to be a part of helping families and people in need at this time. Work at a soup kitchen, a shelter, and/or adopt a family in need. Nothing gets us out of our feeling of loneliness more than helping others who truly need it. We begin to count our blessings and see that we are indeed a part of the human family. As we get out and get busy doing for others, we may find a new circle of friends that will become our new family of choice.
- Look closely at the artwork in your home. Make sure there are no photos of the person in question walking away from the group or in a broken frame. Does all of your art work affirm vibrant good health and joyfulness? Does your art work depict single and/or lonely people or objects? If this is the case, find art that represents what you want your life to be like. Feng Shui teaches that everything in our physical environment carries an energy that is moving our lives forward in that direction. Make sure that everything in your space is painting a picture of the future you want! Then go out into the world and act as if it is true now!
To learn more about the bagua, see my article, The Energy Centers of Your Home, which will go into further detail. Here are step-by-step instructions for how to put the bagua map onto the floor plan of you home and locate your personal health and family area.
1. Draw a sketch of the floor plan of your space. This should be the bird’s-eye view as if you are looking down on it. Include all built-on decks, stairways and attached garages. If you live in a condo, apartment or one room, draw the shape of this as if you are looking down from above.
2. Draw a square or rectangle over the floor plan in the shape of the bagua map. Stretch it out into a long skinny rectangle if need be. All of the areas of the home need to be within the square or rectangle. If your home is an irregular shape, still draw the rectangle or square around it.
3. Stand at the front door looking into your home with the map parallel to the floor with the Entrance Quadrant touching your stomach. This will tell you the direction to overlay the bagua map onto the floor plan of your home. (As you stand at the front door the health and family area is going to be the far left middle section of the nine bagua sections).
4. Now divide your home with the bagua map overlaid on it in nine equal sections. This will identify for you where all of the key nine areas are of your home are. The wealth area will always be the far left quadrant of the home, and the love and marriage the far right section. The health and family area will be the center left hand section.
5. If your home is not a rectangle or square, you may be missing areas of the bagua. If this is the case, you can do a mini-bagua for each room of your home and enhance the health section of each room using the above suggestions. Stand at the entrance of the room facing in and the health area will be the center left section. This energetically brings the missing Gua, or section, back into the space.
6. If you have more than one floor of your home, whatever is below is above. You do not turn the bagua differently for each floor. In which case you may have more than one health and family area; the same rules of enhancement apply to all areas!
7. You can also just do a mini-bagua of a particular room that you use frequently. Do this if you find the health and family area is missing or located somewhere that is not a main room of the home such as a garage, laundry room, etc. Stand at the doorway of the room you chose and orient the bagua the same way as above. Divide the room into nine sections as described and the health section will be the center left section of the room as you look into the room from the doorway.
Free offer to my Care2 readers: For those who would like a copy of my color Bagua map with instructions on how to lay it over your home, Please click here. (PDF format)
Erica Sofrina is a Internationally recognized speaker, teacher and Founder of the Academy of Feng Shui which offers Practitioner Certification Programs and seminars on-line and on-site. She is the author of the book Small Changes, Dynamic Results! Feng Shui for the Western World.