Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Feng Shui Foyer

When I visit a home or a business, I am stepping into my client’s shoes, seeing how their surroundings are influencing them. I am looking at how their environment is affecting the circulation of chi within a dwelling.

The entry door is known as the “opening” or “mouth” of chi. Not surprisingly, one of the first areas I take into account is the entrance. The entrance is our first impression and experience of the home or workplace. Both the entrance door and the entry foyer should be gracious and to scale to allow chi to enter in a smooth, balanced flow.

In Feng Shui, the main entrance into your home is the portal through which your good energy flows. The amount of healthy living energy that you can bring in the front door makes a huge difference in the overall Feng Shui of your space. The first step is to create a clear, open and beautiful entrance for energy to move through and to circulate in your home. Feng Shui promotes the belief that your opportunities come in through the front door.

It is the threshold for all good things to come your way. For convenience, many people use their garage, laundry room or back doors to come and go into their homes and neglect the importance of their front entrance. So, if you enter through an alternate door, you must evaluate and beautify it with the same enthusiasm as you would the main entrance. Just as important, remember that your visitors receive their first impression about who you are and what you’re about by observing the gateway into your home. Ideally, the entrance will be both safe and beautiful with no clutter to block the flow of the nourishing chi energy.

The foyer is the room into which the main door opens and is the first room that your guests see. It is also the first room the energy entering your house has to cross, before it sees the rest of the house. It is obvious that the energy spreading within the house carries the flavor of the foyer. The foyer is often called the place of transition, as it may affect the career, social life and link with the outside world. The entryway should be open, useful, beautiful, clear, and expressive of you. It should reflect you in a personal way. If you don't have an open foyer area, be sure to light the space well and leave it as clear as possible.

Good lighting activates energy. Mirrors are complicated in Feng Shui, but you might try adding a mirror to open up the constricted space. Everything around your front door and inside your entryway should work well and look attractive. Doorknobs should turn easily; doors should open and close freely; and the rug should be firmly on the floor. Dark narrow foyers should be brightened up with lights and mirrors. Narrow, constrained, or dark entrances oppress our chi and can choke our luck, causing life to be a struggle. You can cure a proportionately small entrance door by hanging a mirror on both sides of the door to give the effect of a taller and wider entrance. Have the entrance as open as possible in order to enhance beneficial energy.

As important as the front door is in Feng Shui, so too is the pathway leading up to it. It should be well-lighted and clear of obstructions, including overgrown bushes or unrepaired sidewalks. Beautiful greeters such as brightly colored flowerpots, carved statues, fountains or outdoor art, should welcome you and your guests. Mark your front door with your house or apartment number. If a tree or bush is blocking the front door, there is not a way for the energy to enter harmoniously.

A clean, open pathway, preferably not in a straight line if it can be helped is the best way for energy to flow easily into the home. Some recommended treatments for pathways are solar lights, which literally light up their way into the home an the area outside of your door should be attractively landscaped, plants must be healthy and well trimmed.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Feng Shui: The Demystification

Feng Shui (pronounced "fung shway") is the Chinese practice and philosophy of object orientation, placement, and arrangement. The phrase literally means "wind water”, and operates on the premise that our living environment can help or hinder the flow of energy in our lives.

Followers take into consideration the energy flow throughout a structure, arranging furniture and decorations to enhance the wellness of a home or office. To get it all flowing, we need to have a living space that mimics the productive cycle of the natural world. To many, Feng Shui is a mystifying jumble of Baguas and compass points. But some of the most basic lessons of Feng Shui are easy to understand and supported by research.

According to the philosophy, energy (ch’i in Chinese) enters a home or office through the front door, which is considered “the mouth of ch’i." That energy is then dispersed throughout the dwelling, helped or hindered by objects placed within certain areas. In the practice Feng Shui the use of an ancient map called the Bagua determines the relationship among a number of "elements”, including health, knowledge, travel, and partnerships. Items such as, living plants and water features are placed strategically throughout a structure, as signs of life and movement generally are believed to improve energy flow and provide balance. However, creating the correct path for ch’i flow takes skill and patience, and many are unable to grasp the underlying principles.

While some disruptions in ch’i can be remedied by furniture placement according to the principles of Feng Shui, the accumulation of clutter is a big issue. People are so conditioned by society that more is better, but unfortunately, if your house is full, then so is your life, and there's no room for growth. Clutter can also symbolize a person's lack of trust in the future. Keeping your home filled with things you no longer use or love, or because 'you may need it someday' indicates your lack of trust in the universe for it to provide for you.

The spirituality surrounding the practice of Feng Shui does not appeal to everyone. The most important part of feng shui is the intention and belief behind it. Moving objects around doesn't automatically revitalize a person's life. There's a psychological aspect – it taps into your subconscious because you're surrounded by it, making a decision to adopt the principles of Feng Shui is a solid, physical affirmation.