Symbolism in Our Surroundings

by Carol C. Wheelock

We all make choices about what is in our surroundings. Even if we are not consciously aware of these choices, they reveal a great deal about us. We have the option of creating spaces that support us, rather than work against us.

There are three principles of chi, the life force energy that is both within and without us, that are at the core of how and why feng shui works. The first of these is that everything has an energy field or, as ancient cultures believed, everything is alive. The second is that everything is connected. It is possible to look at this spiritually and/or scientifically. The third is that everything is always changing.

If everything in your space has an energy field and is connected to you, then it follows that as changes occur in your space, you will be affected. Changes within you or in your life will impact the way you perceive your surroundings and the way you are connected to them. Your surrounding affect you and you reflect your surroundings.

The key is to be aware of the energy field of an object or something structural. This is what I refer to as "everything in your space is talking to you." Are you hearing what you want to hear? Is it supporting you and what you want in life? Looking at everything objectively will give you amazing insights. In this way, feng shui becomes a tool for self-awareness and positive change.

Consider how you enter your home or a room and remember the feng shui adage: What you first see most affects your chi. If you walk through an overcrowded messy garage every time you enter your home, chances are you will be immediately overwhelmed. If you have to walk around an obstacle, you get the message that it is an effort to go there. If you open your office door in the morning and see a cluttered desk, you may feel that your day is already filled and there is no room for new beginnings.

Next observe everything in each room. Is your space telling you that life is good and full of possibilities? Or do you have a picture you don't like, a piece of furniture that is uncomfortable, a color on a wall that you find offensive? Every time you see it, sit on it, or walk through that room, you get a negative message. Many times people say to me that they don't see those things anymore, but your subconscious is still very aware of everything, even though your consciousness may be in ignore mode.

People often have art on their walls because they don't have anything else to put there, not because they like a particular painting or print. A painting may be well done, but if it depressing for you to look at, it is not benefiting you. It will, instead, affect your mood, giving you a negative and depressing message every time you see it. It is much better to take it down and get rid of it with the intention that you are making room for something that does support a positive outlook on life.

Taking this one step further, think about what you do want in life. A good example is people who want a relationship or want to improve an existing one. Very often they will have pictures of single men or women in their homes, especially in the master bedroom. The bedroom will be set up with only one nightstand. All this gives the "single" message. Instead, pairs of objects, pictures of two people, two nightstands, etc. symbolize a relationship.

This can be applied to any area of your life. If you want more prosperity, be sure your surroundings aren't giving out the opposite message through things that are unkempt or in disarray. If you would like to be more creative, is there room for you to be so? If you want a greater support system, is the path to your door clear and inviting?

Collections of photographs can be potential sources of negative messages. Be sure you have fond memories of, or feelings for, the people in them. They may be good photographs, but if any of them remind you of an unhappy event or time, remove those. Keep those out that make you smile.

One of the feng shui definitions of clutter is "unused or unloved items." As you go about your own de-cluttering, pay special attention to those items that you do not love. As you walk around your home, look at everything with a critical eye. Get rid of anything that you cannot honestly say you love and make room for something you've always wanted.

As you do this, be aware of associations. You may not have another chair to put in that space, but if that one is associated with an unhappy circumstance or memory, get rid of it anyway. It is blocking what you do want and is reminding you of something unpleasant. By trusting that another one will come into your life, you are opening the door to that possibility. Be aware of those things that speak to you of joy and give them places of honor in your homes and offices.

In these troubled times, it is important that our spaces don't perpetuate the disharmony in the world. This includes the media, with its incessant video clips of violence and destruction. Consider carefully what is in children's rooms. If children's surroundings speak to them of peace, they will learn peace.

By paying attention to every item, color, etc. in your surroundings, you can create a space that supports you by sending positive and affirming messages to you. Being one with your space, you then have a more positive outlook on life. A more positive outlook affects everything else in your life.

Listen to your surroundings.

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.


Copyright 2000-2011 Feng Shui Vermont
Carol C. Wheelock