Western Feng Shui offers practical, useful suggestions for creating an inspiring, safe and inviting home. It adapts the centuries-old philosophy and brings it into the modern world. It is culturally neutral; you won’t be using Chinese Dragons, frogs, wind-chimes, or symbols from cultures not your own. It does not promote superimposing customs or superstitions from other cultures. It does invite you to find the things that you personally resonate with and place them in strategic places in your home to keep them fresh in your memory and intentions. This part is called the teaching of the Bagua and I write about it in earlier blogs.
The rest of Western Feng Shui promotes simple, practical and useful ways to create a home that will enhance your life. Imagine places you have gone that inspire you. Now imagine this is where you live!
Here are 10 key Western Feng Shui tips that will help you create a home where you will feel supported and inspired and look forward to coming home to each day. A place that rejuvenates rather than depletes you. Your own personal sanctuary from the world.
1. Make your entryway entrancing - The entryway is considered the mouth of chi where all of your opportunities come in. It is also the place you enter. Make it inspiring and it will make your heart sing every time you come home. Add a fresh door mat, greeters – such as colorful pots of flowers on the sides of the door, paint the door the color you love, clean the cob webs, replace broken bulbs and make it look like you are proud to live there. This is the first impression others get of who you are and what you have to offer, make sure you are sending the message you want! I loved this top photo of an apartment I walked by yesterday- what a happy time you would have walking up to your front door! See How to Welcome Opportunities
2. Arrange your key pieces of furniture in the empowered position, i.e. where you can see the entrance from where you are sitting or lying, but are not in direct alignment with the open doorway. The bed, desk, and place where you spend the most time reading or watching television should always be in this position. If not, you will be spending most of your time feeling disempowered. This reflex comes from the reptilian brain and you will never feel truly comfortable if you can’t see what is going on in the room.
3. Hazard-proof your home by removing unfriendly furniture. Anything that you bump your head on, stub your toe or bruise your shins on is unsafe. The message to the reptilian brain is that home is not a safe place to be. Replace sharp-edged furniture with those that have rounded edges and remove from sight anything that is – or even looks like a weapon. (i.e.sharp poker-like curtain finials, knife racks in kitchens, pan hooks extended from the ceiling or walls, razor-edged glass table tops)
4. Clutter Clear: This is a big deal! Feng Shui promotes that we are energetically connected to everything we own. Having an overwhelming amount of stuff to deal with sucks our energy and brings us down. Have you ever said … wow I feel so much better now that my home is a disaster area? Our homes are a metaphor for our lives and will always reflect how in or out of balance we are. Learn to downsize, buy less and become conscious of the foot print you are leaving on the earth. (See the Story of Stuff and Why we’re Addicts)
5. Replace or fix anything that is broken, cracked, molding, rotting or in any kind of disrepair. Care for your home the way you care for yourself. Often if we are not caring for ourselves, our homes reflect this as well. They are a mirror to our inner and outer worlds and if we pay attention will give us profound clues to where our lives are! Mold is also very toxic and needs to be addressed immediately in the home.
6. Move furniture you spend the most time on away from beams or ceiling fans. Ceiling fans register to the reptilian brain as spinning knives overhead, and beams as a heavy object about to fall on us. Especially move beds, desks and favorite chairs away from under these, or remove the fans all-together (replace with friendlier looking blades) and cover the beams over beds with fabric. Feng Shui addresses the subtle things in our environment and the belief that they energetically affect us a great deal because of the amount of time we spend there. Consider the analogy of water dripping on a stone … over time a hole is created where the stone once was.
7. Live with what you love! Remove anything you feel obligated to keep for what ever reason. Update your home to reflect who you are now – not who you used to be. Honor who you are and give yourself permission to surround yourself with things that inspire you and use the things you love rather than saving them for the guests affirming that you are the most important person here!
8. Bring in Nature! We come from 100,000 generations of ancestors who lived in the natural world. Nature realigns our energy field and makes us feel whole. Therefore, it would make sense that our homes will make us truly feel at home when we bring nature in. (And I do include the beloved four-leggeds, winged ones, etc) . This is called the Five Elements theory in Feng Shui and you can read more how to incorporate them here.
9. Update your color scheme to reflect your current taste and style. Color has a huge impact on us. We actually need to surround ourselves with certain colors at certain stages in our lives. Pay attention to how you are responding to colors and the ones you need to surround yourself with now to feel nurtured, happy and inspired. Learn more Empower your Life with Color
10. Create the right amount of activity and rest depending upon the use of the room. Bedrooms are passive spaces and home offices active spaces. It only make sense that creating an active bedroom is not going to support getting a good night’s sleep and a too relaxing home office will make you want to take a nap instead of getting things done. This is called the concept of Yin and Yang which teaches how to create a balanced home that will support everyone who lives there and the activities that need to be performed in the best possible way. Read more about how to create balance using Yin/Yang concepts
These ten Feng Shui tips make up the basic teachings of Western Feng Shui. You don’t have to know when you were born or do the astrology of your home to apply these powerful yet simple core Feng Shui principles. I named my own Western Feng Shui Book Small Changes Dynamic Results, Feng Shui for the Western World because it only takes small changes to your home to experience the big shifts in your life. Give yourself the gift of loving your living space and your quality of life will increase exponentially!
Erica Sofrina is a nationally recognized speaker, teacher and author of the book Small Changes Dynamic Results! Feng Shui for the Western World. She is the founder of the West Coast Academy of Feng Shui which offers Practitioner Certification Training Programs on-site in California and in Home Study on-line courses. Find out more at www.ericasofrina.com