Natural elements are an incredibly important part of Feng Shui; the ancient practice teaches us that we can enrich our lives by bringing the earth and other elements into our homes.
To harness this energy, practice the simple yet powerful exercises outlined in this post. But first, learn about what the earth means in Feng Shui.
In feng shui, the earth is represented by the tai chi (yin and yang) symbol and relates to our spiritual, physical and emotional stability. The symbol reminds us to balance the opposite forces in our lives and remain grounded and centered. The places we live and work are built from earthly materials such as wood, clay, brick and stone. The foods we eat that nourish our bodies come from the earth. For these reasons, earth is the base, and considered the most stable of the five elements in feng shui — the rest of the elements are fire, metal, water and wood.
When we want to get centered in our lives, the best thing we can do is get out into nature. No matter how we feel, our energy field often comes back into balance by just spending 10 minutes in a beautiful natural setting.
When we can’t be in nature, wherever we are we can do a grounding exercise to connect us to the earth (found at the end of this article). It will restore your equilibrium and give you the perspective you need to move forward in whatever it is that you might be wrestling with in your life.
Earth’s energy draws us both downward and inward — like the energy of the soil — to hold things in place and make them more solid. The earth nurtures us and provides a sense of peacefulness and stillness.
Whenever we are feeling scattered in our lives, we can also bring the earth element into our homes. This is a part of the “five elements” practice that comes out of Chinese medicine and is at the heart of Feng Shui.
How to add the earth element into your home
To bring earth into your home, add squares and cubes, long flat horizontal surfaces and heavier objects. Look for colors, like yellows, golds and earth tones. Earth materials include tile, stucco, brick and ceramic.
The heavier the object looks, the stronger the earth vibration. Cushy fabrics such as velvets, chenille and corduroy in earthy colors as well as earth-toned area rugs and carpeting are great objects to have in the home.
Low ceilings will hold the energy in and give the room a calmer feeling as opposed to vaulted high ceilings that will lift the energy upward and energize it. We can visually lower the ceiling with fixtures and objects hung around the room at the same level (8-10 feet up), creating a line between heaven and earth. This will bring the energy back down into the space rather than sending it upward as in a Cathedral or a home with Cathedral ceilings.
Bedrooms, living rooms, dining rooms, family rooms and bathrooms all would benefit from having the calming influence of the earth elements. Add colors and objects in earth tones and materials along with more muted lighting. Our earthy spaces should feel like we want to curl up by a fire with a blanket, a hot cup of tea and just relax.
The earth is at the center of the Bagua, which is the map used in certain schools of feng shui to chart the energy centers of the home. The center of our home should feel solid, yet be open and uncluttered enough to allow the energy to flow easily around it.
I invite you all to spend some time this week connecting deeply to the earth. Walk barefoot on her, go for a hike, lie on your back and meditate on all of the bounties that she so graciously brings to us each day. Express your gratefulness for how abundantly she provides for all of her children.
Every July I take a group to Hawaii for 9 days for an experiential retreat designed to take them into a personal and profound experience of the elements, called the Five Elements Immersion, Big Island Hawaii. We drum and chant in the Caves of Pele, swim with wild dolphins, learn how to communicate with the elementals in the lush rain forests, all with indigenous Hawaiian teachers. The great reward for me (other than the joy of going) is to see the transformation that takes place when my participants spend this dedicated time to learn how to communicate with and just exist in nature. The transformation is so great that they don’t even look like the same person who began the retreat 9 days earlier.
I would encourage you to go out and just be in nature, spend time each day doing a grounding exercise, especially when you are feeling ungrounded and stressed, bring nature back into your home, and enjoy this incredibly beautiful planet while you can.
How to try a Grounding Exercise:
- Take off your shoes and sit on the ground or floor in lotus position or on a chair with both feet planted solidly on the earth.
- Envision a chord, like the roots of a tree, moving downward from the base of the spine and/or from the bottom of the feet, deep into the earth. Spend some time envisioning them as they move through the earth pushing it aside and reaching deep into the center. Breath slowly and deeply in and out as you do so.
- Once you feel your connection deep in the center you may want to envision wrapping them around a huge boulder for stability.
- Feel the loamy rich brown earth energy coming back up from the center of the earth and entering your body through the base of the spine and/or the bottom of your feet.
- Bring this energy slowly up into your body and feel it anchor in the heart area and move it around your body, feeling the healing energy stabilizing and connecting you.
- Do this exercise for five or ten minutes whenever you feel scattered and disconnected in your life and see the difference it makes!
Erica Sofrina, Author of Small Changes, Dynamic Results! Feng Shui for the Western World, is the Founder of the Academy of Feng Shui and Earth Spirit Adventure Travel which takes people to earth power spots to experience their Earth/Spirit connection. Find out about Erica Sofrina’s Earth Spirit Adventure Travel Retreats