Bringing Feng Shui into Your Life

by GuestContributor on July 1, 2011

Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese philosophy used to select the location and design of manmade environments. Based on eastern philosophy, Feng Shui is not a religion, but rather a chance to look at our connection to the heavens and the earth and the benefits that that connection can give to our spiritual lives.

Feng Shui Precepts:

  • All is connected in the universe
  • We are one with Nature
  • Chi (life force energy) is a major force in our environment that can nurture and support us or sap our energy
  • Yin and yang are polar opposites that need to be in a comfortable balance
  • Everything in our universe possesses characteristics of at least one of the 5 natural elements – Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water – and restoring these natural elements into our built environments creates better harmony and well-being
  • A metaphorical language that links between our subconscious, our homes and our lives

All is connected in the universe
The Chinese believed that all is connected in the universe – that there is a web of interconnection between all plants, soil, rocks, and living beings. That anything done to one will affect another.

Modern science now understands that this belief is true. Many things that we do to the earth have unintended consequences. For instance, we now understand that monarch butterflies need the milkweed plant as their host. They can only lay their eggs on milkweed, a native plant in many parts of the U.S. that homeowners, developers and landscapers remove as a common weed. But without milkweed, there will be no monarchs.

We are one with nature
Opposed to the western ideology that has reigned for several centuries; we do not have dominion over nature. Many natural and manmade disasters that we experience today are due, in large part, to the falsehood that these outdated views foster. We are part of the natural world and need to experience a sense of respect, honor, and awe that it deserves.

Chi is a Major Force
The entire universe is filled with chi, or life force energy. It is unseen, yet we feel its effects in a subtle way.

Our homes are filled with chi – be it positive or negative – and the energy affects the behavior and mood of everyone in the household. Clutter, electrical or plumbing problems, undone repair projects, and poor positioning of beds, are just some of the contributors to negative energy, which can lead to stress, career and financial trouble, illness, and relationship problems.

Yin and Yang in Balance
The concept of yin and yang is very important in Feng Shui design. Yin, meaning the feminine quality, and yang, the masculine qualities, are both necessary to have a space with balance. Yin and yang are dynamic opposites that are relative to one another. You cannot have yin without knowing what yang is.

Yin qualities include soft, quiet, dark and receptive. Yang qualities are hard, loud, bright and creative. Nature naturally has a balance of yin and yang. But in manmade environments, we need to strive for a balance.

In all yin environments, we would feel lethargic, lazy, unmotivated. In all yang environments we would feel chaotic, stressed, and confused. Balance brings peace and calm to our spaces.

Harmonizing the 5 Natural Elements
Everything in our universe possesses characteristics of at least one of the 5 natural elements – Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water – and restoring these natural elements into our built environments creates better harmony and well-being.

Wood can be incorporated through furnishings, wood paneling, flooring, and plants. Wood energy is considered greens and blues as well as tall vertical shapes, like a bookcase.

Fire can be incorporated through a fireplace and candles. The color red and orangey-red, as well as star-shapes and herringbone patterns are Fire energy.

Earth is represented by soil, pottery, ceramics and stones. The earth-tones colors of beiges, browns, and peach, as well as low horizontal shapes, such as a coffee table are Earth energy.

Metal is represented by using the metal materials in sculptures, furnishings, decorating items. The colors of metal (silver, gold, copper) as well as white and gray and round shapes evoke the energy of metal.

Water is represented by water features, like aquariums, fountains and mirrors. The colors of black and dark blue and flowy, paisley patterns are water energy.

My rule of thumb for a room
You should have a representation of all the 5 elements, but don’t make this a chore to figure out. Are you comfortable there? Do you use the room? If not, you might want to see what is missing. Chances are that one or two of the elements dominate without a counterbalance of the other elements.

Feng Shui is a tool that illuminates the subconscious metaphor in our environment and strives to create psychologically healthy spaces. How does that broken front door affect your potential for increased income?  How does that artwork given by an old love limit your chances for moving onward and finding romance? Your home and workspace is a reflection of what is going on in your life. An objective Feng Shui consultant can help illuminate potential blocks, stagnation or chaotic energy in your space and allow the proper flow of chi in your environment, and therefore, your life.

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Maureen Calamia
Maureen K. Calamia | Luminous Spaces | BBA, CFSP, BBP
Maureen works with commercial and residential clients to create spaces to enhance and maintain well-being — through working with new structures, renovations, or just looking for low-cost solutions to enhance their current space. Read more about Maureen on our Contributors Page.



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