For many people the best part of the day is getting home from work, when they can flop on the couch and relax. However, it is often never that simple.
As soon as the threshold is crossed, reminders of the unfolded laundry sit on the dining room table, dishes are piled in the sink, and stacks of bills torture you from the coffee table. At times like this, you realize how decor can impact your life; when your home is messy and frazzled, you often feel the same way.
Feng shui is a Chinese discipline utilized by numerous homeowners to reduce the clutter and improve their home atmosphere by attracting and enhancing life energy (chi). The bagua is a feng shui road map, typically octagonal in shape. One uses it to divide your home or designated space into 9 zones (8 guas wrapping around the center), each corresponding to specific aspects of your life.
To apply the bagua to your home, begin by standing at the front door and facing into your home. Hold the bagua diagram so the grey, black, and blue guas are closest to you. This should make the bottom line of the bagua lay across the front of the home where the door is situated. Irregularly shaped homes can be more difficult to apply the bagua, but have patience and determine the guas as you see fit. It may be best to use blueprints to determine how to divide your home.
Let's examine each feng shui zone, beginning at the top of the bagua and moving clockwise:
Fame & Reputation – Red (back center of home, 12 o'clock)
When you find yourself needing courage or respect while interacting with specific people, it is time to look at the Fame & Reputation gua. Enhancing this section can help improve how others perceive you:
- Items that misrepresent who you are should be removed.
- Add items that instill pride, such as diplomas and awards.
- Use light and the color red in this gua. A simple candle adds flair and can spark admiration.
Relationships & Love – Pink (back right of home, 1 o'clock)
This gua applies to all relationships, from minor acquaintances to loving marriages. Proper attention to this area is certainly needed when there are struggles to overcome in order to advance a relationship:
- Pairs of things symbolize the importance of both players in intimate relationships. For example, two nightstands flanking the bed in a couple's bedroom symbolically promotes equality, keeping the room and relationship in balance.
- An item (or items) with personal meaning attached can consciously be placed in this gua to showcase healthy relationships.
- Solitary or lonely images should be avoided as they suggest hostility to new relationships, friendly or otherwise.
Creativity & Children – White (middle right of home, 3 o'clock)
Children are blessed with limitless thinking. Their minds are open to anything because impossibilities do not exist! When your creativity is feeling drained or your children are troubling you, take a look at this gua and see what needs changed:
- This gua is a great place to show off those candid shots of children at their best. Photos can be displayed in metal frames to use the feng shui element best for this gua.
- Artwork and other inspirational items should be kept in numerous quantities. Do not limit yourself! Remember that what is inspiring is different for everyone.
- Keep whatever creative element you love best right at hand. This is the place for clay and plaster, brushes and watercolors, or simply crayons and paper! Take the time to play with these daily, keeping the chi flowing in this gua.
Helpful People & Travel – Grey/Silver (front right of home, 5 o'clock)
When life is out of balance everything feels like an uphill struggle. If you are in need of help and fair treatment, come to this gua to see what can be done:
- Angelic symbols are often found here to bring miraculous help when needed most.
- Reminders of the helpful people currently in your life will overshadow those that are missing momentarily. Show you are thankful for what you have, and what you need is sure to follow.
Career & Life Path – Black (front center/entry of home, 6 o'clock)
This gua is especially helpful when you need new opportunities brought your way. Job hunting, stagnant business, and raises are often what bring people to focus on this area:
- Water, mirrors, and the color black are all great to utilize in this gua. Each has their own power to promote flow of chi.
- Check your front door to see what shape it is in. If it sticks or is unused it can reflect onto you. Keep it unblocked by objects, and open it occasionally to allow new chi into the home.
- When in the office, sit with your back to a strong wall. If this isn't possible, make sure your chair is sturdy and supportive. With strength and support, productivity is not an issue in any aspect of life.
Skills & Knowledge – Blue (front left of home, 7 o'clock)
The Skills & Knowledge gua often affects other portions of your bagua and home. Issues pertaining to education, decision making, or improvement of an aspect of your life can often be traced to this gua:
- The best advice for this gua is to create a mediation space. Clearing your mind allows you to focus on the issues at hand and grasp a better knowledge of what solutions can be executed.
- Utilize earth elements such as live plants to enhance your peace and promote higher thinking.
Family – Green (middle left of home, 9 o'clock)
Your family is where you came from, making them a foundation through good times and bad. Whether blood relation or not, everyone has "family" and this gua looks to the influence they have on your life:
- Place photos of all your loved ones in this portion of your home; even those whom you may not yet consider family but are looking forward to including (for example, future in-laws).
- This is a good place for family heirlooms to be admired. Without the past, no one can look forward to the future.
- Wood is the feng shui element of this gua and can strengthen the chi. Use a wooden table or cabinet for displaying family treasures. Do double-duty with a wooden item that is also a family antique!
Prosperity & Abundance – Purple (back left of home, 11 o'clock)
This gua is not only about physical abundance but also how you perceive it. A poor college student and a millionaire entrepreneur look at one hundred dollars very differently! When you find yourself in need of something specific or in need of peace concerning what you want and need, wander over to this gua:
- Every gua is at its best when uncluttered and clean, but this is especially important when your prosperity is in question. Not only should this area be well kept, it should contain no trash or trash containers. These are direct outlets for waste.
- What is a personal symbol of your abundance? Place it in this area as a daily physical reminder of what you have and what you stand to gain. A favorite piggy bank filled with spare change would be great here!
- Water is especially useful in this gua. Fountains directly represent what you have trickling in – keep this water clean and flowing.
Health – Yellow (inner center of home)
Not a gua, this portion represents the center of your home. Whether illness or something else needs improvement ands fits no other gua, look to the heart of the problem:
- Live plants and natural scenery are best to promote this portion of the bagua.
- Keep this place open and light, allowing chi to flow and improve whatever issues have been acknowledged.
Some homeowners will apply the bagua to the entire home using floor plans, and then use it again when individually arranging each room. Others choose to simply use the bagua where they spend the most time – typically bedrooms and family rooms. The basic intent is to find what areas in your home are negative spaces that lack good chi and see what needs enhancement.
You can apply feng shui as little or as much as you like. It may be best to start with rooms that bother you the most. Some homeowners would not believe where clutter most affects their lives:
Closets are often nightmares. These spaces tend to gather everything that belongs nowhere else, things that need to be shoved out of sight, as well as clothes, shoes, and other needed oddities. Applying feng shui tips to a closet creates an opportunity to eliminate a daily source of frustration:
- 50% real estate rule – allow enough space to see your belongings without fighting them
- Separate clothes by function, then color to allow easy recognition
- Pointing shoes in the same direction helps you feel put together
- Matching your hangers creates simplicity and shows respect for your clothing and yourself
- Adequate lighting and easy-to-open doors aid evaluating contents
Bathrooms are where we wrangle the stuff that keep us running day to day. Many people would have issues getting through their daily routine without their favorite toiletries on hand. Keeping these items in order and making a few changes to the room, may just get you through your day better than before:
- Mirrors, lighting, ventilation, and cleanliness all need to be the highest quality. You can best prepare yourself in a room that is at its own very best.
- Keeping the door and toilet lids closed help prevent losses.
- An earth element placed above the toilet controls the water element, helping control losses.
- Dripping faucets and dirty fixtures are signs of money being wasted; fix these without delay.
- Good color schemes include light grays, creams, and pale blues.
The average person spends 2,688 hours a year sleeping. That's quite a bit of time invested in your bedroom! To make the most of this space, it is important that it is restful and self-nurturing:
- Place the headboard against a strong wall, one that has no doors or windows, in order to maximize deep sleep and quality rest.
- Bed should face the door in order to see who enters but should not be in line with it.
- If you have trouble sleeping, be sure no mirrors are opposite the bed causing disturbances.
- Mattresses need to be kept off the floor to allow chi to circulate and promote health.
- Metal and electrical use should be minimized.
- Lighting should be well balanced, neither too dim nor too harsh for any occupant.
Feng shui is never a completed process. As your life changes day to day so will your feng shui needs. Take the time to re-evaluate your home occasionally. Remember there are many different practices of feng shui, but they are all vehicles serving the same purpose. Your environment reflects whom you are and what you think about yourself – feng shui helps you make the most of it. If something is not working for you, pick a new style and try again!
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