Feng shui is not about simply placing a decorative bowl of water in the room or hanging a wind chime from your window sill. While feng shui does literally translate as ‘wind-water’, it is really the study of ‘qi’ or ‘energy’. Let me be your guide…
Before I begin, you must understand your environment [living space]. It is divided into two halves—external and internal. External feng shui features would include your main gate, nearby buildings, roads, man-made or natural structures and features like bridges, lakes or ponds. Internal feng shui features are your immediate living space, of which the three most important factors to consider are the main door, bedroom and kitchen.
Visualise your home as a human body, the main door/ gate would then represent the mouth. Just as our health is dependent on what we eat, similarly the quality of feng shui of a house is determined by its main entrance. This area is considered a yang feature as there is constant activity with people going in and out of the home. It is generally responsible for the wealth aspect and the quality of qi that enters your home. The bedroom and the kitchen are considered yin features and play a vital role in maintaining harmony and health.
The Living room
This is the first room your guests see when they enter your home, so it should be inviting and pleasing to the eye. It is an area where you entertain guests, do business negotiations or host parties. According to feng shui, the living room is not considered an important area of the house, unless you use the room constantly. Nevertheless, it should be clean and clutter free. Guests shouldn’t be stumbling over clutter to get inside your living room. Ideally it should be located in the outer half of the house preferably the first room after you open your main door. It should neither be too small nor too big and should have a regular shape, either square or rectangle, avoid unusual shapes.
The first factor to check is the door of the living room—in most cases this is also the main door. It should not be directly opposite a window or another door. This leads to qi being dissipated before it can meander through the whole house. The remedy to this problem is to shut the window or the other door. Watch out any form of sha qi [negative qi] outside the living room windows, like dead trees or electric posts. If so, use beautiful curtains to avoid the view. If you have a lovely view then keep your widows open and let the good qi flow in. In the living room, place your furniture in a manner which looks comfortable. Try to place your sofa such that there is a wall behind it. This makes people feel secured and they will definitely want to spend time in your home. Avoid placing your chairs or sofa with their backs to the door. This makes people edgy as they don’t know who is going out or coming in.
Once you’ve arranged the furniture in your living room, stand at the entrance and look at the living room and walk around it. You should be able to navigate smoothly without any obstructions.
The worst kind of bedroom is the messy one—cobwebs, dust, litter and, even worse, a stench. Well, if you live in such a room you don’t need a feng shui consultant to tell you that you could be suffering from health issues. Clean your room, going by the thumb rule: if you haven’t used it in a year, chances are you will not use it at all.
Now let’s take a look outside your bedroom window, what do you see—a garden, a car park, a road, or an electrical post? The view of a garden or any quiet [yin] place like a hill is ideal outside the bedroom window, as it will help you to rest well. A car park or a road with heavy traffic flow is too active [yang] and could be the reason why you wake up tired and irate. You need to keep your windows closed and put up heavy drapes.
After you have checked the windows, look at your bed. Does it have a solid wall behind for support? Does it have enough space on the side? The bed should be ideally placed on the opposite side of the bedroom door with a wall behind and windows on one side.
If there are windows behind your bed and you are suffering from sleepless nights, then close the windows. If your bed is located between two doors or a door and a window, you could suffer from sleep deprivation. Close one of the doors or windows to get peaceful sleep.
Avoid having too many yang features like the TV, computer, harsh lighting or an aquarium in your bedroom. For you to be able to unwind after a hard day’s work your bedroom should be a balance between yin and yang features.
Next, lie down on your bed and look up. Is there an exposed ceiling beam right above your bed? This beam can create health issues. If possible move your bed or opt for a false ceiling.
Your kitchen rules the health and the temperament of your family. According to feng shui principles, it is one of the top three important areas in your house.
If it is messy and dirty, clean it up. Organise your kitchen so that it is free of clutter.
The most important item in this space is your stove/burner. It should ideally have a solid wall behind. Even though the island stove looks great on television and commercials it is not recommended by feng shui. An island stove is located in the middle of the kitchen with no protection from any side. The stove is a yin feature; like the bed in a bedroom, if it is exposed from all sides it will cause instability in your family.
There should not be an exposed ceiling beam over the stove as it disrupts the qi flow and could create negative qi which inadvertently affects the family members. Similarly a chimney/exhaust fan, placed right above the stove, creates family conflicts. I know you cannot do without it; most of my clients have one in their kitchen. So I advise them to place the stove/burner a little away from the chimney. In my kitchen I have fixed an exhaust fan on the side.
Now you have to check the position of the stove in relation with the sink. Is your stove placed directly opposite the sink, it could be the cause of disharmony in your family. The stove belongs to the fire element and the sink to the water element. Fire and water element clash and may lead to confrontations and heated arguments.
Similarly your stove/burner should not be located too close to the sink. There should be a minimum gap of two feet between the two.
The next point to check is the location of your stove in relation to your kitchen door. Most kitchens have an attached balcony or a yard. If this is the case then your stove should not be directly opposite any of the doors. It is worse if your main door is directly in line with your kitchen door and the stove is directly in line with both. Remember doors are active features and the stove is an inactive feature; a clash between the two could create turmoil amongst family members. Similarly the two doors should not be directly opposite each other; this creates restless qi especially if both doors are open. My advice is to keep one door closed at all times, only opening in time of need.
This was first published in the October 2012 issue of Complete Wellbeing.
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