by Carol C. Wheelock
Feng shui is often thought of simply as decluttering, moving furniture, and/or hanging wind chimes or some other object. While these are all part of the practice of feng shui, they don't explain what it is really about. The ultimate goal of feng shui is to create balance or centeredness in a person's life and it does this through creating supportive environments. What does it mean to feel balanced or centered? It's about inner peace, feeling interconnected.
One of the primary principles of feng shui is that everything is connected. That means that you are one with your surroundings. If your surroundings are out of balance that means you will be out of balance in some aspect(s) of your life. If you are out of balance in any aspect of your life, you will not have inner peace.
Begin with the energy flow in your home or office. If it is cluttered or blocked in other ways you will not be able to receive that which you say you want. In order to feel at peace, a space has to be open enough for you to feel that you have clarity and options. If your space is totally filled there is no room for you to be in balance, to have that feeling of inner peace. You will, instead, feel blocked and stuck.
Confusion in a space always creates confusion for those who live or work there. Entrances that are not easily found or defined, rooms that don't have clear purposes, homes with bits of office work in many different places, and awkwardly arranged furniture all create confusion. Clearly define entrances and rooms, organize and rearrange. Clarity in your space supports clarity in you, paving the way to inner peace.
Yin and yang contribute to that inner peace when they are in balance. Too much yang is a space and it is difficult to settle down and focus. Too much yin and it becomes too great a struggle to get up and move. When they are in balance, the space is balanced and supports activity with ease.
The bagua is not only a template or grid that is superimposed upon any space to indicate which areas correspond to which areas of your life. It is also a reminder to pay attention to all those areas. Health, family, prosperity, reputation, relationships, creativity, children, helpful people, travel, career, and self-knowledge all contribute to the feeling of balance, of being centered. The center of the bagua represents that balance. All the other aspects of life contribute to it and they, in turn, affect all those aspects. If one is neglected or out of balance, inner peace is difficult to attain.
Never underestimate the power of color in your environment. We need color, especially the seven rainbow colors, which also correspond to the colors that support the chakras, or energy centers of the body. Each color is important and can be displayed in some way. One client placed balls of different colors of yarn in a basket. It was simple, inexpensive, and very effective. By making sure that all those colors are somewhere in your home, you will be supporting wholeness on another level. That wholeness supports the balance we are after.
The five elements are essential to bringing balance to a space. Any excess or lack of water, wood, fire, earth, or metal will create an imbalance. Spaces with too much wood tend to make those who live there feel overwhelmed and/or over committed. Too little fire and people feel a coldness and lack of emotion. When each of these elements is present, people feel comfortable. It then becomes easy to walk into a room and have that ahhhhh feeling.
Other factors that can influence the feeling of inner peace are completely unseen. Places that have leftover negative energy from arguments, trauma, death, or other disturbances will feel off balance. Geopathic stress can also create feelings of uneasiness. Electromagnetic energy from power lines and too much technology in a small space can also lead to fatigue and edginess. Both geopathic stress and excessive electromagnetic energy should be considered health risks also.
By following the principles of feng shui to create balance in our spaces, it is much easier to have balance in our lives. Inner peace comes from that balance. Our surroundings affect us and we reflect our surroundings. We owe it to each other and ourselves to achieve as much balance and inner peace as possible so that we can reflect it out into the world.
The familiar ancient Chinese proverb says it best:
When there is a light in the soul, there is beauty in the person;
When there is beauty in the person, there is harmony in the home;
When there is harmony in the home, there is honor in the nation;
When there is honor in the nation, there is peace in the world.
Carol C. Wheelock, M.Ed. of Feng Shui Vermont is a certified feng shui practitioner who has studied in the United Sates and China. She practices Black Sect or western feng shui. Carol does private consultations for homes, schools, libraries, and businesses; clutter counseling and clearing; spaces clearings; phone consultations; presentations; and teaches workshops throughout the United States. She also does personal clearings.