By Erica Sofrina, Founder of the West Coast Academy of Feng Shui and author of the book Small Changes, Dynamic Results! Feng Shui for the Western World.
Are you in a place where you feel your life is spinning out of control? Is the relentless daily treadmill wearing you down to the point where you wonder what it is you are really accomplishing? Applying simple Feng Shui principles to the center of your home can often shift your experience and move your life back into a place of balance.
According to Feng Shui, we can work with key energy centers of our home to bring into balance and/or enhance this corresponding area of our lives. In this last segment of my Bagua series, we will look at how to enhance our homes to support being more centered and balanced.
This part of our home is called the Center. In Chinese it is the Tai Chi and is the place of complete balance, the marriage of heaven and earth and can be found at the center area of the Bagua Map. The Yin/Yang symbol is often placed in this area representing this perfect union.
The Tai Chi is the source of all of the other areas of the Bagua. It is like the stone that you drop in the water that ripples out in all directions. It is about stability, being centered and grounded in all that we do.
This part of the home should ideally be open and uncluttered and feel very grounded, using a lot of earth tones. It is connected to the earth element which is represented by yellows, golds and all earth tones, materials made of earth such as sandstone, dirt, brick, tile, ceramics and stucco along with square and rectangular shapes. All of which can be used to enhance this area.
Work with enhancing this area of your home when you:
- Want to bring in more harmony and balance in your life
- Want to feel more grounded and centered
- Want to feel a deeper connection to ‘source’ energy
You can locate this energy center by overlaying what is called a Bagua map (on page 3) onto the floor plan of your living space. This information comes out of the ancient Chinese book of wisdom and divination, the I Ching and is one of the more esoteric parts of Feng Shui. To learn more about the Bagua, please see my article on Charting the Energy Centers of Your Home.
Once you locate the Center area of your home, take a close look at what your environment is telling you in this area. Can you draw parallels between what is happening or “not-happening” in your life by observing what is going on in this section of your home?
Do you find the staircase in the Center, representing a busy life that is moving too fast? Is the junk closet under the stairs blocking the flow of energy? Perhaps this is missing from your floor plan all together? (See page 3 for working with missing areas).
Feng Shui teaches that our outer environment will always reflect our inner environment. The staircase may perfectly depict your life…. tearing up and down all of the time with no sense of balance or center!
The good news is that by shifting the outer, we also shift the inner and are able to consciously direct our lives and change our experience.
Next: How to Enhance the Centered Part of your Home
Enhancements for the Center
The most important part of enhancing the Center is to make sure it feels stable, uncluttered and very earthy. If a stairway lies there you have what we call a Feng Shui splinter. This is an item that is doing the opposite of what it is you ideally want to have happen in this space. Stairways are dangerous and are like energetic waterways where the energy is rushing quickly up and down. Adding items that represent the earth element will give it a sense of stability. Here are some recommended enhancements for this area to create a deeper sense of balance:
- The ideal paint colors for this area are earth tones of golds, yellows and taupes or lighter browns.
- Carpeting is always recommended on stairways for the obvious safety reasons. Ideal carpet colors are the same as the paint color recommendations above.
- Hang pictures depicting earthy landscapes or those with earth colors or objects in squares and/or rectangles.
- On stairways, hang pictures horizontally, rather than in a manner where they are stepped down the stairs. This will create a solid line for the eye, creating more of a sense of stability.
- On stairways, put a potted plant at the bottom, provided there is room. (Silk ones are fine as well.) This will give a sense of stability.
- Hang pictures with earthy landscapes as opposed to pictures of bodies of water.
- On stairways, remove mirrors from landings and replace with a potted plant or an earthy picture. Mirrors represent water.
- Artwork that reminds you to remain centered
- Objects in the colors of gold, yellow and earth tones
- Square and rectangular shaped objects
- Create a vision board of pictures and phrases that invoke a sense of balance. Hang it in the center of the home if appropriate, or display in your home office or area of meditation.
- Pictures and photos of places in nature that bring you into balance
- If the Yin/Yang symbol holds meaning for you, display it in this area.
- This is also a great place for your meditation area.
One business I did a consultation for that was doing very poorly, had a picture of a ship in stormy seas bolted onto a pillar right in the center of the business. Needless to say this “environmental affirmation” was not serving their desire to be on a stable and steady course!
Make sure all your pictures represent what it is you truly want to bring into your life and reflect a sense of wholeness and stability. In the center of the home or business, water is not the element to be represented here. Water pictures are wonderful in the Career area which represents water, but not in the more earthy and fiery area such as the Center or the Fame area. In the five elements theory, which is intimately connected to Feng Shui, the floaty and unstable quality of water will destabilize the earth element.
Next: The Bagua Map
How to Lay the Bagua Map onto the Floor Plan of Your Home
(Note, if you find this area falls in a room or area of your home that is not appropriate for these enhancements or that you cannot put there due to that area being closed off or in a stairwell, you can do a mini-Bagua and enhance the area of a room that represents this area. See below for how to do a mini-Bagua.)
1. Draw a sketch of the floor plan of your space. This should be the birds-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 (or space) need to be within the square or rectangle. If your home is an irregular shape, still draw the rectangle or square around it. Not all homes are square or rectangular, so you may very well be missing some areas of the Bagua. Instructions on how to deal with this are below.
3. Stand at the front door 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.
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 nine key areas 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, etc.
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 that is appropriate and enhance the Center area of each room. Treat the main entrance to the room like you would the front door of the home and lay the Bagua accordingly. This energetically brings the missing area 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 Center area. The same rules of enhancement apply to all areas!
Note: I practice and write about Western Form School Feng Shui, which works with the Bagua map and is a different school than Classical Compass School Feng Shui, which uses a Chinese compass along with Chinese Astrology to determine chi or energy flow. I suggest you choose the approach that resonates the most for you and stick with it to not be confused by the different schools and practices.
Your comments are most welcome!
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Earthy Landscape Pictures courtesy of Danice Bouret