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Using Feng Shui To Improve Your Life

Updated on June 1, 2010

Feng Shui involves improving the "Chi" (the flow of energy) in your surroundings. Based on this, all aspects of your life can benefit. Feng Shui practices can range from simple activities such as rearranging objects to more dramatic procedures such as moving to a house that is facing in a more desirable direction. 

How Does Feng Shui Work?

The Yin and Yang theory is prevalent in Feng Shui. This is based on the idea that there are two opposing forces that govern everything within the universe. Yin is the feminine force that is related to darkness, relaxation and silence. In contrast, Yang is the masculine force that is related to loud noises, lights and colors. Both exist in relation to each other. The Yin and Yang forces need to be in balance with one another to create the right environment. In the Western world, it is common for Yang energy to be found in abundance due to the faster pace of life. At the same time, Yin energy is often low, which creates an imbalance which affects diverse areas of everyday life from relationships to household finances. Understanding even the basics of Feng Shui can be challenging as it can be complicated. 

The five elements of Feng Shui are the elements of Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. Each element is associated with different colors. Typically, Wood is represented by green and brown; Fire is represented by red, yellow, orange, purple and pink; Earth is represented by light yellow and light brown; Metal is represented by white and gray, and Water is represented by blue and black. 

Using these colors to balance your environment requires an understanding of the Feng Shui energy map. This divides your space into separate areas such as fame and recognition. The easiest way to determine which area of your home falls into these specific areas is to draw a rough plan of the layout of your house onto a piece of paper and then drawing lines on top of this to divide the drawing into areas. To do this properly, you need to find out which direction your house is facing. This is easy to determine if you have a compass, as you can simply stand at the front door and let the compass inform you of the direction. 

In an ideal scenario, each room of your house would fit into one of the areas, which would make it relatively simple to use the aforementioned colors to redress the balance of energy in your house. Depending on the layout of your house, you may find that rooms fall into more than one area. If this is the case, you will need to use a combination of different colors to redress the balance of energy. 

 There are eight separate areas on the energy map. The Career and Life Path area is found on the north of the energy map and is associated with the Water element; the Spiritual Growth area is found on the north-east of the energy map and is associated with the Earth element; the Health and Family area is found on the east of the energy map and is associated with the Wood element; the Money and Wealth area is found on the southeast of the energy map and is associated with the Wood element; the Fame and Recognition are is found on the south of the energy map and is associated with the Fire element; the Love and Marriage area is found on the southwest area of the energy map and is associated with the Earth element; the Creativity and Children area is found on the west of the energy map and is associated with the Metal element, and the Travel area is found on the northwest of the energy map and is associated with the Metal element. Once you have worked out which room links to these areas, you can use the colors associated with the relevant element to redress the energy balance. 

As well as colors, the five elements are also have shape associations. As well as using colors to alter the balance of energy, you can use shapes too. For Wood, use rectangular shapes; for Fire, use triangular shapes; for Metal, use round shapes; for Earth, use square shapes, and for Water, use wavy shapes. It works best if the color and shape match each other. For example, a round mirror that is gray in color would work well in an area that is associated with the Metal element. 

To further strengthen a particular area, you can use the Feng Shui productive cycle. The Water element feeds the Wood element, which in turn feeds the Fire element. The Fire element feeds the Earth element, which then feeds the Metal element. For example, you may find that you need to strengthen the Fire element in one of the rooms in your house. While you will already have introduced Wood colors and shapes into the room, you can go a step further by bringing Wood elements into the equation. This can be done by introducing items that are literally made from food, but you can also use the colors associated with the Fire element. 

Improving Your Home Environment Using Feng Shui

When energy enters your house, it is absorbed in the hallway. Because of this, you need to ensure that there is a good flow of energy in this area of your house as it will impact on the rest of the house. There are several ways to improve the flow of energy in the hallway. This can be done through the color of your front door. The color depends on the direction that your house is facing (based on the compass reading). For example, if your house faces south, it is ruled by the Fire element and needs to be one of the colors associated with this element. Alternatively, you could paint it in one of the colors associated with the Wood element, as Wood feeds Fire in the Feng Shui productive cycle. 

Your bedroom needs to have high levels of Yin energy as it is supposed to be a place in which you can relax and recharge your batteries for the following day. To do this, you need to get rid of anything that disrupts the flow of energy in the room. This includes electrical appliances such as televisions, computers and radios. There should also be some degree of Yang energy in the room too, such as deep red candles. Overall, the color scheme should be fairly neutral and soothing to create a restful sleeping environment. It is considered to be bad Feng Shui to have a mirror directly opposite your bed. 

Your bathroom should also be a room in which Yin energy is the predominant energy. As bathrooms are notorious for negatively affecting the flow of energy in your home, it is highly beneficial to make sure that your bathroom has good Feng Shui. Small water fountains are often incorporated into bathrooms as a way of promoting peacefulness and relaxation. This is not as difficult as you might think as it can amount to little more than an ornamental feature. 

In the living room and the kitchen, Yang energy should be high. Bright colors such as yellow will satisfy this, along with the presence of electrical appliances such as televisions and computers. If you have an office area at home, setting it up in the living room will increase the flow of Yang energy in this area of the home. At the same time, Yin energy needs to exist to some degree. Installing comfortable seating arrangements in your living room to promote relaxation will do this. Keep electrical appliances to a minimum in the kitchen

Problem Areas

You will often find that rooms will fall into "problem" areas within your Feng Shui energy map. For example, your bathroom might be located in your Money area. In Feng Shui terms, this is considered problematic as you are literally flushing your finances down the toilet or plug hole. Common Feng Shui techniques for solving this problem include using colors associated with the Fire and Water elements, and placing a bowl of Feng Shui crystals and eight stalks of lucky bamboo in your bathroom. 

As Feng Shui is rather complicated, these tips are designed to offer a basic introduction to the practice and its benefits. For a more in-depth look at Feng Shui, you can consult a book or hire a Feng Shui consultant to provide a service that is specialized to your individual circumstances. 


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    • yesitsushere profile image

      J Blanchard 

      8 years ago from Atlanta

      I agree on the fact that Feng Shui helps. Got rid of the mirror facing the bed. Thanks!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      10 years ago from London, UK

      The first ime I had a really comprehensive article about it. Thank you very much


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