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Clear the Clutter and Enhance Your Chi

Updated on September 1, 2011
The Yin and Yang symbol with white representing Yang and black representing Yin. Strive to keep the two in balance in your life.
The Yin and Yang symbol with white representing Yang and black representing Yin. Strive to keep the two in balance in your life.

The balance of yin and yang

Feng shui is the ancient Chinese art of placing objects to maintain the balance between the yin and the yang. To the Chinese, all things in the universe are either the female yin or the male yang.

The black side of the symbol represents yin – female, dark, cold, introvert, passive. The white side, the yang, is male, light, warm, extrovert, active. Rather than being in conflict, the two are complementary. The yin cannot exist without the yang and vice versa. Therefore a seed of each is present within the other.

Maintaining balance through chi

A fundamental principle of feng shui is that of chi. Chi is the life force that is within every living thing and inanimate object. Chi can be positive, negative or harmful. It is the practice of feng shui that attracts positive chi to us or redirects the negative chi away from us.

Positive chi keeps our lives in balance and brings us pleasure. When this positive chi is flowing freely in our environment it can improve our lives, including our wealth, health and relationships. We’re happy, life is going our way and opportunities present themselves.

But block that chi and we start to experience complications. Problems arise and conflicts develop. We begin to feel stuck in some areas. Worse is the harmful chi called “poison arrows” that come from sharp protruding corners and straight lines. For example, furniture with sharp edges such as bookcases and roads leading directly to your front door are poison arrows.

Lucky Chinese coin used in the art of feng shui to attract wealth.
Lucky Chinese coin used in the art of feng shui to attract wealth. | Source

Enhancing positive chi

When life gets out of balance, feng shui practitioners place objects to enhance the positive chi and deflect the negative. For instance, to improve chi associated with wealth and prosperity, you might use three Chinese coins that have a square hole in the center. Tie them together with red thread and hang them in the southeast corner of your home.

One of the easiest ways to keep positive chi flowing and maintain balance in your home is to rid it of clutter. Cluttered rooms block chi, leaving energy stagnant and stale. Take a look at your life. Are your relationships with loved ones harmonious? Is your career on track? Have you been sick a lot?

If you didn’t get the promotion or raise you were hoping for, then take a look at the Wealth and Prosperity (southeast) corner of your home. Are there stacks of old newspapers and magazines? Dirty clothes in a pile on the floor? Clean it all out and you will begin to notice a change.

Clutter blocks the flow of positive chi in our lives.
Clutter blocks the flow of positive chi in our lives. | Source

Here are some tips for decluttering your home and freeing your chi:

  • Take one room at a time. Once you make up your mind to get rid of your junk, it’s tempting to start a whirlwind of activity but if you don’t pace yourself, you are likely to eventually lose steam and give up.
  • Spend 15 minutes each day in your chosen room. Pick a corner, drawer or shelf in your chosen room and start there.
  • Use boxes. One box will be marked “trash,” another will be “give away.” A third will be "keep." Make your decisions quickly. The longer you hesitate and hold something in your hand, the more likely you are to keep it even when you don't need it.
  • Sort your mail standing up near the recycle bin. Make an immediate decision on each piece. If it’s a bill, it goes in your “to pay” pile. If it’s junk, it goes immediately into the recycle bin. If you must hold mail so you can follow up or make a decision on something, then set a time each week to take action on it.
  • If you have children, it’s tempting to keep every drawing and graded paper. Don't. Get a box for each child. Save papers in the beginning and ending of each school year so you have a record of their progress. Save truly important papers such as report cards and major school reports. Take photos of exhibits and art projects rather than the objects themselves.
  • One in – one out. Each time you bring home a new piece of clothing, pan, toy, etc., get rid of a corresponding item.


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