Friday, January 16, 2015

What is Feng-Shui Anyway?

I know, I know, we all should know what it is by now. It's only been popular since 3000 BC. Don't feel bad if you don't know - I didn't know until my real estate agent told me that my home needed to be more "feng-shui" in order to sell it. So, I did what anyone would do, I turned to the internet, which did not give me the best answers, but after compiling information from dozens of sources, here are my top findings: 

Feng-Shui pronounced fung-shway 
(think Sean Connery)










Originated from China in 3000 BC 
 I had no idea Feng-Shui has been around that long. That's probably because it wasn't popular in the Western parts of the world until much later - the United States didn't even see feng-shui until the 1970s! Originally, feng-shui was created to provide a peaceful afterlife for the deceased! It wasn't until later that people started taking feng-shui rules and applied them to every day life to provide a peaceful life. 


The way of thinking that harmonizes people with their environments. 
Like many philosophies from China, feng-shui connects people with their environments. Basically, your surrounding affects you. Originally, they wanted to ensure that the deceased would have a peaceful afterlives, so they took knowledge from the (now lost) Book of Burial and created a system to do just that. However, it was soon apparent that it would be great to not only have a peaceful death, but have a peaceful life too. 

One of the biggest parts of feng-shui is qi (pronounced "chee"). Qi translates to "energy". According to feng-shui, qi is your life force, and you want it to be at peace. In order to acheive a peaceful qi, there are some rules you can follow to promote a feng-shui/positive qi environment. Many of the rules of feng-shui are about bedrooms, and this comes from the origin of feng-shui (laying in graves). Thankfully, feng-shui does not promote death, just a peaceful qi!



There are rules that you must follow
 1. Bed placement
The bed should be as far away from the door as possible and at an indirect angle, but the door still needs to be visible. This rule is to achieve a safe slumber. 
Your bed should also not be directly underneath a ceiling fan, window,  or at a lower angle of a arched ceiling.

Your bed should have a headboard, but not a footboard. The only exception to the no footboard rule is if the only way to position your bed in your room is by having your bed directly in front of your door. This is considered the death position, and a footboard or other piece of furniture between your bed and door, provides a buffer.

2. Get rid of corners
If it's possible, find furniture that has a lot of curves and few square corners. Square corners create a "sharp environment" and negatively affect your ability to sleep. If you do have a lot of square shapes in your room, try covering them with table clothes or putting a healthy plant on top. 

The corners of your room count too! It's best to put healthy plants in the corners of your room so that good energy can flow around the room, instead of getting stuck in the corners. 

3. Get rid of clutter
Everything has its own energy, and adding lots of work clutter or clutter in general can cause feelings of irritation, confusion and leave you overwhelmed. Get rid of anything that causes you stress or brings up bad memories - this will greatly improve your qi. That includes anything under the bed or in your closet - they should be clutter-free too, otherwise you risk energy getting stuck.


 
4. If it's not relaxing, get rid of it.
According to feng-shui beliefs, your bedroom should be a place of rest, meditation, and intimacy, so get rid of the treadmill, electronics, and desk. If you must work in your bedroom, make sure you put up a room divider, or put everything away (in drawers or in cabinets) so that the energy is not transferred.




5. Colors are important
You want the room to be warm and inviting, so feng-shui experts say to use rich earth and skin tones. Also, reds and pinks are good for promoting romance and can increase the romance in our relationships. Romantic colors are recommended more for accents than the main color.



6. One is the Lonliest Number
Even if you are single, don't decorate your room for one person. Feng-shui practitioners believe that if you surround yourself with a thought, you will achieve it. So if you surround yourself with a single life, you will be less likely to find a romantic relationship, but if you buy two night stands and even put pictures of groups (flowers, shells, etc.) on your wall, you will be more inclined to find the relationship you're looking for in life.



7. The Lighting is Important
You should have lots of natural light first thing in the morning and during the day, soft light in the evenings, and darkness while you sleep. So, it's recommended that you have curtains on your windows and the appropriate lighting fixtures in your room to promote a nice soft light.