How to use Feng Shui to improve energy flow in your life
Feeling unbalanced? Depleted? Check out these top tips on using Feng Shui to improve energy flow in your life.
Occasionally being out of control is a fact of life. No matter how hard we try to manage our responsibilities and keep our life clear of negativity, we’re only human. And that means we can’t always govern how things are going to go. But that doesn’t mean we’re completely at a loss. How we manage the energy in our lives can help ease those inevitable feelings of chaos and disorder, and aid in the achievement of peace and stability.
Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese art in which physical changes to your surroundings help smooth the flow of energy (aka “chi”) in your life, ultimately bringing harmony. Literally translated, Feng Shui means “wind and water”. These two natural elements exist fluidly in nature, constantly circulating the planet. Similar to wind and water, an ideal human life is one that moves sinuously over all of life’s ups and downs, effortlessly traversing any obstacles that get in the way. People, financial burdens, loss, anger – whatever those obstacles may be, balancing our energies through Feng Shui can help manage how we react to them.
So what is it, exactly? At a basic level – I’m sure one could spend a lifetime studying the intricacies of the practice – the purpose of Feng Shui is to align your environment with your intentions in life. In other words, Feng Shui is about harmonizing your internal energies with the external energies that surround you. There are countless ways to achieve this and, at the end of the day, the more aspects of Feng Shui you employ, the more results you’re going to see.
But as with anything, it’s important not to bite off more than you can chew. Delving into Feng Shui wholeheartedly is fine, as long as you don’t allow the practice itself to cause you stress. After all, that’s defeating the entire purpose! The following tips are designed to help teach you the basics of Feng Shui, and guide you on your journey toward balance. Take it slow, remember to breathe, and let the magic of harmony transform your life!
Feng Shui in your body
What if I told you that the first step to balancing energy in your body was as easy as simply being? Stillness, solitude and relaxation are vitally important for your body and your mind, and can make a huge difference in your physical and mental wellbeing. Meditation is the obvious way to enter this state of stillness, but it can also be achieved by paying closer attention to your energy expenditure. What are you spending your energy on? How often? What drains you?
Once you’ve determined the “energy sucking” aspects in your life, you can start to make some changes. This doesn’t mean quitting you job or getting rid of your children, it just means making a few subtle adjustments to your schedule. Make time for self-care. Take a weekly Qi Gong or restorative yoga class. Permit yourself to sleep in for an extra hour on Sundays. Whatever you decide you can swing, do it. Remember, if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t have any energy left to give to others.
In addition to physical depletion, there’s probably a large chunk of emotional energy stuck somewhere in no-man’s-land. Whether it’s lingering in the past or worrying about the future, this energy could be put to much better use elsewhere: here and now. The solution? Learn to let go. Easier said than done, of course, but everything can be achieved with dedication. Start to harness your misplaced energy, wherever it may be, and use it for nourishment rather than worry. Worry does not help you – it eats you. So let it go.
Balancing energy in your body eases stress, decreases risk of disease, boosts confidence, minimizes self-doubt, provides mental clarity, aids with sleep, clears skin, speeds up metabolism, intensifies creativity, and ultimately increases happiness. Worth a shot, if you ask me.
Feng Shui in your home
First and foremost, declutter. It should be pretty easy to determine which of the things you’ve accumulated over the years no longer serve you. Gather them up into two piles: donate and sell. Both actions will offer you more than the things themselves. Less clutter in your space = less clutter in your mind = more productivity.
Beyond decluttering, there are quite literally hundreds of ways to apply Feng Shui in your home – nearly as many as the number of how-to articles and blog posts available on the topic. So I won’t waste my time (or energy). Instead, I’ll tell you a few ways that I’ve personally increased the flow of energy in my living space:
1. Plants. Too many to count.
Studies have shown that adding a little greenery to your home will cultivate compassion and reduce fatigue. Plants also purify the air and deepen your connection with nature – extremely important in Feng Shui. Look for plants with large, round leaves and avoid sharp plants like cacti and Aloe Vera (despite their appeal). I place all my plants in the main room of my home to better reap their benefits.
It’s also important to note that dead or dying plants attract negative energy, so know when it’s time to say goodbye.
2. Mirrors. Again… too many to count.
I’m sure many first-time guests in our home get the impression that we’re extremely vain people. We have mirrors everywhere. Known as the “aspirin” of Feng Shui, mirrors are extremely powerful and offer many benefits if used correctly. Use mirrors in your home to make rooms seem bigger and reflect more light. Placing them across from each other will increase this effect. Mirrors are also very calming, so they’re a great addition to chaotic homes.
If you have children, invest in at least one full-length mirror. This will allow them to see themselves completely rather than “chopped”, contributing to an improved self-image.
Colour has more of an effect on your mood and energy than you might think. Earth tones, for example, promote stability and calm. Whites and silvers support clarity. Red stimulates passion and warmth, while green attracts money. There are countless articles and books that have been written on the power of colour and how it pertains to your life, so do a quick online search to determine what hues will best suit your needs.
If you’re like me and live in a rented space, painting may be out of the question. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use colour in other ways. Items like pillows, accent rugs and even clothing can be chosen based on what colours you require more of in your life – plus, they’re a great way to spruce up your space!
I’ve never been a fan of curtains. The privacy factor is nice, but I find them a bit dingy so they only reside on a few of my windows. It goes without saying that natural light is extremely important for our wellbeing. It makes us more productive, calms us down, enhances our immune systems and combats depression.
In homes with less windows… wait for it… buy some lamps! Purchase a few coloured shades for a different feel, or get an essential oil diffuser with interchangeable coloured lights built in. Salt rock lamps are also great – they add soft light and pull toxins out of the air, especially those associated with technology.
5. Fresh air – a top Feng Shui priority
This isn’t an aspect of Feng Shui that I’ve applied to my home, per se, although I do tend to open the windows the moment the temperature rises above zero. Rather, I make nature my home. During the summer months, I camp and hike and spend countless hours on the balcony soaking up the sun. It’s harder when the weather is cold, admittedly. But there’s something about those bitter days that makes the air seem so pure. Try walking to work every once in a while, especially when the days are short and it’s your only chance to breathe some fresh air. It goes without saying that fresh air works wonders when it comes to stimulating chi and finding balance.
Not a nature lover? I highly advise you start to cultivate a relationship with mother earth but, in the meantime, invest in an air purifier. It’s a simple way to remove toxins from the air. Using essential oils through diffusion is another great way to improve air quality, and reap the benefits of some additional health-enhancing properties to boot.
Other ways to promote the flow of energy in your home? Throw away anything that’s broken. Don’t allow electronics in your bedroom. Always keep a bowl of fresh fruit (never rotten!) in the kitchen. Keep toilet bowls closed (yes… according to Feng Shui, toilet bowls are considered “energy sucking”). Keep your front entrance clean and tidy.
Feng Shui in the workplace
Chi is everywhere. Even in your stuffy little cubicle. And considering you spend almost as much time here as you do in your own home, maximizing the flow of that chi is extremely vital to your wellbeing. While I don’t recommend that you take it upon yourself to Feng Shui the entire office (especially if you’re the new kid on the block), how you organize your own space can have a profound impact on the energy you cultivate between nine and five.
When it comes to an office setting, small changes are the key. And don’t let the word “small” fool you – these subtle alterations can have a major effect. First and foremost: organize. Tidying up will create space for vital energy and new ideas to flow. Once the clutter is gone and the dust has cleared, bring in a plant for your desk. It’s a simple, decorative way to add some fresh oxygen to even the stalest area. I recommend that you choose a plant that requires limited light, especially if your office has no windows.
Next, tap into those high school “locker decorating” vibes and bring in a small mirror to hang above your desk. As we learned in part 1 of this blog, mirrors brighten up small spaces and have a calming influence. They also reflect positive energy and repel negative energy when positioned correctly, and who couldn’t use a little less negativity in the workplace?
Thirdly, add some colour! Even if it’s just a picture frame or a vibrant mug – bring some lifeto your grey space. Choose objects in different hues that will allow creativity to flourish such as a knickknack that reminds you of home, or stylish framed quote about success. Every object in your proximity has an effect on you, so make sure it’s a positive one!
I keep a few colourful healing stones at my desk, which serves multiple purposes. There are hundreds of different healing stones available that all have their own benefits – stress relief, compassion, productivity, etc. – so find the ones that will serve you the most. They’re convenient, colourful and more beneficial to your health than you might think. Please note that this particular energy cultivating practice might turn a few heads and prompt a few questions from puzzled co-workers but, unfortunately, being happy sometimes comes at the cost of mockery.
Keep in mind that while the flow of energy in your workspace can be improved with physical changes, true balance can only be cultivated within. Feeling frustrated? Stressed? Overworked? Take a deep breath and allow tension to drop from your shoulders. Tell yourself that you’re good enough; that you’re doing the best you can. And never underestimate the power of taking a day off! Self-care is important, so grant yourself a guilt-free “wellness” day when it all becomes too much.
FENG SHUI IN YOUR WALLET
Let’s talk money. I used to allow money – or lack thereof – to cause me a great deal of stress. This is common, I’m sure, for anyone who isn’t at a stable financial point in their life. But it’s important to note (and I can’t emphasize this enough) – worrying aboutmoney does not make money appear. So let go of those financial burdens and focus on balancing your energy, because where there is a steady flow of energy, there will be a steady flow of money. Yes, it’s that easy.
An exchange of money is simply an exchange of energy. You expend your energy (work) to cultivate a different form of energy (money) so that you can acquire the energy you need to survive (food). In essence, it’s really no more complicated than that. But in the western world, we’re taught that this pattern, this energy exchange that centers on money, is the be-all and end-all. And in my opinion, it’s why so many people today are unhappy.
There are many ways you can use Feng Shui to attract money into your life, but I don’t want to focus on that here. Instead, I think it’s important to concentrate on how to change your outlook about money in order to transform where it stands in your world. In other words, if money is the driving force behind every single thing you do, something needs to change. If you find that 90% of your thoughts are about your finances and how you can maximize your monetary wealth, a shift of some sort needs to happen. Energy is limited, and that means it’s not in your best interest to be spending it all on something so superficial.
1. Stop looking at the world through green-colored lenses
One piece of advice I can offer you is to accept the fact that money is inevitably and continually going to flow in and out of your life. There will be times when you have less, and there will be times when you have more. During the times when you have less, you’ll need to adjust your lifestyle. But less money doesn’t have to mean less happiness. More difficulty? Maybe. Less comfort? Sure. But the saying “money doesn’t buy happiness” rings very true here.
My outlook has changed in this particular regard. I used to read that quote and think, actually, money buys nice things and delicious food and fun activities which does make me happy. And there’s nothing false about that statement. So I think looking at this famous adage a different way will make it a bit clearer: “money doesn’t control happiness”. Some of the poorest people I’ve ever met are some of the happiest. Because they cultivate balance and energy from within, not from without.
2. Cultivate energy from within
Most of you may find that a lot of your financial stress is rooted in the future, not in the present. Chances are, your anxiety is founded on a situation that hasn’t even happened yet. If this is the case, I invite you to try and understand the freedom that comes with being in the moment. And I don’t mean “today”. I mean this very moment. This single second in which you’re existing right now. Try it: close your eyes and be here. You might start to notice your financial stress melting away. Because right here, right now, you have nothing to worry about. Money is worthless. Your wellbeing is a state of mind, not an external condition.
I think sometimes having nothing is the best way to learn this important lesson, which explains why those among us who live in the poorest of countries are still able to wake up and find joy in the world’s beauty. It’s not something many of us can understand or even empathise with, because even low-income families in our society are able to eat and travel and buy clothes. But class division aside, everyone can learn the art of letting go. Everyone, poor or rich, can cultivate the profound power of living in the now.
Try this: rather than expending all your energy on worrying about money, use it as a tool to attract money. Mindfully start to withdraw from negative feelings of dissatisfaction as you begin to draw in feelings of gratitude for everything that you have. Focus on what life has given you, not on what it hasn’t. Redirect your energy, recondition your outlook, repair your mind. Practice this act of control from within, and eventually you’ll start to notice money flowing more freely around you.
3. Put it into perspective
Next time you’re low on cash, ask yourself the following questions:
a) Am I dead?
b) Am I dying?
If the answer to either of these questions is yes, then unfortunately you need to seek advice from someone more qualified than myself. But if the answer to either of these questions is no, then all is well. So what if you have less savings sitting in the bank? One day you’ll have more. And for now, you don’t need it.
While some aspects of Feng Shui are difficult to grasp, others resonate quite naturally within us. Which of these aspects you choose to incorporate into your own life, if any, is ultimately up to you. Keep in mind that Feng Shui needs to be embraced, not just acted upon. In other words, you need to believe.