We know not everyone is aware of Feng Shui, so allow us to explain: it’s a time-honored Chinese practice of harmonizing everything in your environment, so that you can feed off energy generated by that positive environment. Our homes reflect the state of our lives, from messy desks to color choices to how we fold the laundry. The ways we arrange our possessions and interiors, and how we decorate and maintain them, can affect our psychological energy. Purposefully doing so means practicing Feng Shui — aligning our environment with who we are and who we want to be.
Feng Shui Doesn’t Mean You’re a Neat Freak
It means you’re thinking how you react to your environment. If you adore cheerful wall color, but every wall in your home is white or beige, you’re likely frustrated. Perhaps you collect vintage quilts, yet they’re stacked in a closet because you have nowhere to display them, you’re likely frustrated. If you put off vacuuming because it’s a pain to remove storage containers from under beds, you’re likely frustrated. All three examples are negative energy drains. Do you have a piece of art that makes you smile each time you pass it? That’s positive energy.
Take Five: The Feng Shui Elements
An easy way to practice Feng Shui is to include some aspect of its five elements in your home. Here’s a quick look at each and a suggestion of how to harness it.
Earth: this element represents solidity, especially for relationships. This one’s easy to cultivate — literally. Try potted flowers or plants (in terracotta containers) on your porch or patio. A fun terrarium in the family room also works, as do paintings of landscapes or any art that depicts them.
Fire: because it represents power, fire is the most impactful Feng Shui element. Use it wisely! It promotes energy, accomplishment and productivity. It also represents passion between partners. A cozy, glassed-in gas fireplace is a perfect fire-element option in cooler Florida weather. Red walls in an office or activity room can boost flagging energy levels.
Metal: this element represents your financial well-being. Be sure to account for it! Think decorative and useful (pots and pans don’t count). A metal wall sculpture, plant stand, brass fruit bowl or wrought-iron light fixture all qualify. You also can use metallic paint colors — gold, silver and bronze, for example.
Water: if you have a pool or garden fountain, you’ve aced this Feng Shui element. Water flow represents good communication between family members. Try an aquarium in kids’ rooms, especially if the kids argue with each other.
Wood: another easy Feng Shui element to master. Those wooden rocking chairs on your lanai qualify. Wood flooring and furniture are other options. Wood in your home represents creativity and inspiration — two qualities valued by master woodworkers.
Banishing Clutter Balances Your Home
Another way to tap into Feng Shui is to zap household clutter. Its messiness drains your mental energy (remember the vacuuming example above?). Tackle those overflowing closets, drawers and cabinets and host a garage sale. Donate to charities. Supply consignment shops. Focus on favorite, meaningful items and people you love — decor that positively affects all of you.
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