Feng Shui has become an increasingly popular way to rearrange a room and, in some ways, one's life. With its origins in ancient China, it's become a mainstay in popular culture, as more people have begun to resonate with its theories. The benefits of Feng Shui are numerous and it can, on a very basic level, serve to de-clutter and organize a living space. On the philosophical plane, it can even bring happiness, luck, and success to the practitioner. While Feng Shui practices may have changed slightly since its inception several thousand years ago, its fundamentals remain the same. Read on to find tips on how to incorporate Feng Shui into your life and home.
What is Feng Shui?
Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese practice of balancing the energy in any given space using the items within it. "Feng" is the Chinese word for "wind", and "Shui" is the word for "water." Practitioners and proponents of Feng Shui believe that the balancing of energy in a person's life is as fundamental as these two elements to all living creatures. The successful, harmonious alignment of items to best balance energy can lead to good fortune, happiness, and luck. Contrary to popular belief, Feng Shui is not a religion, a meditative experience or part of New Age sect tenets.
Theories of Feng Shui
Feng Shui operates under the assumption that everything has its part in one whole, grand order in the universe. The essence of Feng Shui is that all elements of the world are connected through energy, and that all elements can be influenced by each other. Even the arrangement of inanimate physical objects can affect people's lives. Feng Shui has its roots in Taoism, a philosophical and religious belief system that purports that everything is composed of energy, and should remain in harmony with all else. The theory of yin and yang, or the belief in equal yet opposing forces, is also a signpost of Feng Shui.
Purpose and Benefits of Feng Shui
Since Feng Shui assumes that all things are part of a natural order and that they are all composed of vibrant energy, the practice is meant to use spatial relations to help keep the flow of energy between all objects harmonious. The specific and purposeful arrangement of items in a space can lead to successes in life. These can include those that are professional, monetary, romantic and health-related. On a very basic and practical level, Feng Shui can help de-clutter a living space and help reduce stress.
Traditional and Modern Practices
For many thousands of years, the Chinese incorporated Feng Shui into their daily lives to help protect their families and worldly items from natural disasters – they even practiced Feng Shui when picking and maintaining tombs. Over time, the design and placement of modern conveniences, like windows, doors, and fireplaces, began to be considered as important aspects within a living space. The recent Western adoption of Feng Shui has brought about new considerations, as the ancient practice has had to adapt to the modern world. For example, it's believed that computers and televisions should be left outside of a bedroom because of the excess energy they produce, and because of their mercurial nature.
Feng Shui Tips and Techniques
One of the most important aspects of Feng Shui is to attempt to create as open of a space as possible. Excess furniture scattered about a room can disrupt the flow of energy, so it is advised to keep an area as clear as possible. Windows and doors are thought to be conduits for energy, so encumbering them with materials may also be detrimental to energy flow. Placing a bed in the direct line of or up against a window or door is advised against. It can be important to choose rooms that are painted in bright, inviting colors – according to some, white is the best color for walls. Rooms should have materials, such as drapes and curtains, also in bright or neutral colors that are close to skin tone colors. Dark rooms should be lit up with soft white lights that are capable of being dimmed, and candles should be used as much as possible. Pictures and paintings in the room should only reflect positive ideas and experiences such as happiness, love, and fortune.
Written by Adam Watson