Ask most anyone in the West, and they’ll tell you that they believe that we’re all products of our environment. Only, most Westerners believe that one’s family andsocial influencers have the greatest bearing on our development. For the Chinese, that belief is that we’re also products of our environment, but they mean what literally surrounds us. The Chinese believe our surroundings directly impact our productivity, effectiveness, and happiness, and that’s influenced by what you look at every day of your life, where you sleep, or the way your office is arranged.
Feng shui creates comfort
Part of being happy and healthy is being comfortable. This is good feng shui. Feng shui means that a home is clean, well-ordered, and attractive. It doesn’t
take a stretch of imagination or belief to know that we all feel better in a home where we can find things, a home that we find pleasing to look at, and a home that’s well maintained.
Too often feng shui is associated with Chinese superstition, such as the belief that a lucky frog will help you win the lottery. This isn’t feng shui. Feng shui is also associated with Zen decorating or Asian design. This also isn’t feng shui. Feng shui is about harmonizing your home so that everything is more comfortable and functional, from having sofas face one another for better conversations and so they are not “at odds” (45 degrees) from one another, to placing a desk or a bed so that you can see the door and not be surprised when someone enters the room.
Acupuncture for your home
One of the things feng shui does the best is to make sense of your home by diagnosing its ills. One common problem with homes is a negative entrance. Many people enter the home through the garage, kitchen, or laundry room. These rooms represent work and are often messy and unattractive. If greeting a mess or seeing ‘work’ the minute you enter the door, you might find that your mood turns down when you walk in the door. One of the quickest ways to turn this situation around is to enter the front door, where you most likely have created a pretty scene to greet your guests.
Another technique that’s good feng shui is removing sad objects. One client I worked with looked at a blue painting of a woman crying every day she left her bedroom. It was at eye level as she went downstairs to the living area of her home. She suffered from depression and low vitality. I suggested she move the picture and put something happy and vibrant, such as flowers, in the same spot. After two weeks, she felt much happier and had actually lost a little weight. Who wouldn’t feel down if you saw a sad, crying woman every day of your life as you went out to greet the world?
Planning is good feng shui
So you see, feng shui, isn’t just “incense and woo-woo,” it can also be about common sense, by looking at your home in a new way. This is just one part of my design work, but one I wanted to share with you while I was away in Singapore. By the way, Singapore, a city-state, is one of the most heavily feng shui-designed cities in the world. What does that mean? Plenty of balance between urban and green areas, lots of flowing, beautiful fountains, and thoughtful, careful city planning so that all the residents are more comfortable and productive.
You can do the same with your home with good design, which is what I try to bring you in every column I write. In the meantime, look at your house again with an eye toward making your home more attractive, more functional, and more supportive for you and your family.
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