Feng Shui 101: Basic tips

What is Feng-Shui?

Feng: Wind + Shui: Water = Feng Shui = Wind Water

Feng shui is an ancient art and science developed over 3,000 years ago in China. It is a complex body of knowledge that reveals how to balance the energies of any given space to assure health and good fortune for people inhabiting it.  -About.com

Feng Shui for beginners: The basics for a quick start on creating better energy for your home

1. De-clutter Your Home, an important step in creating a harmonious feel to your abode. Out goes everything you do not love or need. This process can be time-consuming if you've picked up the habit of saving everything, but with a little bit of patience, a good pace and your favorite music playing in the background de-cluttering can be therapeutic. The whole idea is to "lighten the load".

2. Fresh Air & Natural Light, an important step for good chi (the universal energy that permeates in everything around us) including your abode. Open the windows and the blinds! Let the fresh air and the sunlight in. Very much the same way a good walk can help us recharge and feel positive, allowing fresh air to circulate in your home and natural sunlight to brighten the inside of your home will have the same affect.

3. Define the Bagua, which is also known as the 'feng shui energy map' of your home. Knowing the bagua to your home will help you to know which areas of your home can be altered in order to achieve success in certain parts of your life (ie. health, money, love and etc.) There are two different ways to define the bagua of your home, the simplest way (I found) was to define the bagua by using the Western (BTB Feng Shui) method; you will need a floor plan of your home, paper (tracing paper is ideal) and a pencil. Create a grid with nine squares (or rectangles) that will fit over your home floor plan (the grid will consist of three boxes in each three rows equalling out to nine squares or rectangles). Align the lower row of your gird with the wall of your main door.

In the first row (the lower part of the grid, from left to right):
Personal Growth & Cultivation, Career/Path in life, Helpful People/Blessings < since the grid is always aligned with the wall of the front door, your front door will be in either of the three areas listed above.

Second row (middle row, from left to right):
Health/Family, Center/Heart/Yin Yang, Children/Creativity

Third row (the uppermost row, from left to right):
Prosperity/Abundance, Fame/Reputation, Love/Marriage

Once you know which areas of your home are connected to which areas of your life you can then in more detail feng shui rooms where needed.

4. The 5 Elements & Corresponding Colors, placing the correct colors in the correct places can strengthen and balance the energy of your home. The five feng shui elements and their colors are:

For the element: Wood use Green, Brown
For the element: Fire use Red, Strong Yellow, Orange, Purple, Pink
For the element: Earth use Light Yellow, Sandy/Earthy, Light Brown
For the element: Metal use White, Gray
For the element: Water use Blue, Black

The 5 elements and the corresponding color is a subject that would need further exploration as the teachings are in depth. However, for beginners you may want to keep it simple and take into note these tips when trying to utilize the 5 elements and colors:

Green = improving health and balancing family life
Blue = career growth
Strong yellow = good times
Pure White = creativity

Simply introducing these colors into specific areas of your home are not good enough, remember that the room and home as a whole need to connect harmoniously together as well, this includes making it work with other decor items, art pieces, furnishings and etc.

Using your bagua (the feng shui energy map of your home) place colors as needed in specific rooms.

6. Most importantly, feel your home. How do you feel in your own home? Comfortable? Relaxed? At peace? Or do you feel somethings amiss? Not quite right? Does the placement of the sofa to everything else in the home make you feel uncomfortable when sitting on the sofa? These are all good things to keep in mind. Pay even closer attention to the rooms you will spend the most time in, these tend to be the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen.

*For more interesting & helpful information on Feng Shui check out About.com


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