Feng Shui (pronounced “fung-shway”) is the ancient Chinese art of arranging rooms, furniture, objects, and space in your home to create balance and harmony for attracting more positive energy into your life, including enhanced wellbeing, productivity, success and even, more money.
Feng Shui literally translates as “wind” and “water”. The concept is that we’re all connected “as one” to the environment and nature. It’s about inviting and directing a healthy flow of energy (or “Chi”) throughout your home, to not just survive, but thrive.
1. Breathe life into your entryway
The entryway and front door in Feng Shui represent the “mouth of qi” – how all energy enters your home. An inviting entryway will attract opportunities and abundance. Interior Designer, Julie Schuster says, “It shouldn't be dirty or messy on the outside, it should look welcoming and pleasing when people put flowers or plants or paint their front door and auspicious color, all of these things are manifesting the invitation of good energy into our mouth of Chi.”
Use the front door regularly to circulate new energy symbolizing your openness to receive opportunities. A cleansing ritual like sweeping clears old dust making space for renewed energy and vibrancy – a refresh for your home and mind to make way for new beginnings.
Once inside, set the tone with lighting and space. Keep it bright and airy to maximize that sense of expansion. Utilize natural sunlight wherever possible, or mimic natural light with warm light bulbs. Mirrors are also a great way to bounce light around, giving the illusion of space. Schuster says, “The door should function smoothly and quietly on the inside. It should be uncluttered and you should be able to open the door fully.”
The entry should welcome an opportunity to pause and reflect before continuing on the journey through your home, so adding a striking light-fitting or piece of art could encourage you and your guests to find a moment of peace without rushing through the house. A hurrying energy can interrupt the Chi.
2. Clean your windows
Traditionally, it’s thought that energy flows in and out of a space through the windows and doors. Practically, they invite fresh air in and allow for any toxic air and energy to dissipate.
Windows are considered the “eyes” of the occupants and therefore dirty or blurry windows can cause us to experience clouded perceptions of the world around us, while clean windows inspire clarity. Make it a part of your routine to clean the windows for razor-sharp focus and awareness.
Where possible, avoid windows and doors being in direct alignment to one another which can create a ‘whooshing’ of energy in and out. Letting natural light seep into your house will add warmth and brightness – an instant pick-me-up. Sunlight increases serotonin in the brain making us feel happier and calmer.
3. Take the Commanding Position
The Commanding Position is a key principle in Feng Shui, and it refers to how, from the main spot in the room – the bed, desk, stove, or sofa – you should be able to see the door, ideally on a diagonal, to be the “commander” of your life.
Advanced Feng Shui Practitioner and Interior Designer, Amanda Gates says, “Commanding position is important because it taps into our evolution. The goal is to always be able to see the door. If out of command, you can't see the door. This triggers fight or flight, wreaks havoc on your parasympathetic nervous system, and fires up our adrenals.” This state of unease, whether subconscious or not, can cause anxiety and insomnia.
It stems from the beginning of humankind when we all lived in caves. The door could be a source of danger when we were at our most vulnerable. Our brains are programmed to warn us to react in whatever way keeps us safe. This “all-seeing” viewpoint allows us to have the optimal amount of time to assess any danger or bad spirit approaching.
Arrange your room with the command position in mind so that you're fully prepared for whatever comes your way. Your bed – representing you, your stove – representing wealth, or your desk – representing your work, will ideally be against a wall, so you’re always supported in whatever life throws at you.
4. Declutter and fix those squeaks
For energy to flow freely through your home, it’s best to remove any obstacles that could interrupt or create a barrier. Clutter can build up and cause stagnant energy which could be a reason you feel stuck. Decluttering is a foolproof way to make space for new opportunities in your life. Look to Marie Kondo, renowned author of “The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up” for inspiration – let go of anything you haven’t used for a year, ask if each item brings you joy, and be ruthless.
The bedroom should be a sanctuary where you go to rest, revive and rejuvenate. This isn’t always possible when electromagnetic fields from digital devices and harsh blue lights from screens are buzzing around interrupting the Chi. If you can, make your bedroom a device-free space, or if that’s not possible, put any phones, tablets, or TVs out of sight and out of mind, away from your bed or hidden away to aid a restful night’s sleep.
Been putting off fixing those repairs around the house? The squeaky door? That broken handle? “The more things that aren’t working in our home environment lead to more things in our energy, that aren’t working,” Schuster explains.
Your home represents your life; you want it to be in full working order to always be ready to receive opportunities and abundance. Focus on fixing up one room at a time to make it manageable. Clutter can often form in gardens, but when the front garden represents your future, and your back garden represents health and wealth, they should be healthy spaces to be in. Keep borders well-maintained and add vibrant plants and flowers to create a calming oasis.
5. Use plant power
Spending time in nature is proven to have positive benefits on our mental and emotional wellbeing. We all feel calmer, happier, and kinder when we’ve spent time in the great outdoors, and we can channel some of that feel-good energy by bringing some lush greenery indoors. Adding vibrant plants breathes life and vitality into the room (literally) sowing seeds of prosperity and uplifting mood.
Gates says, “Plants bring vital Chi to our home and personal Chi. They can act as powerful adjustments. For example, they can soften knife (sharp) edges and grab Chi if you’re out of command.” Accessorizing plants in the bathroom can bring balance to slow the draining of water, which, in Feng Shui, represents wealth, prosperity, and cash flow. Leaving the toilet seat down and the bathroom door closed can slow down this energy from escaping too.
While some plants, like Aloe Vera, have air-purifying properties (an instant detox!), others are thought to bring good luck and fortune – Lucky Bamboo and the Chinese Money Plant are great starting points.
How could a beginner start to incorporate Feng Shui?
Schuster advises focusing on one area of your life at a time. She says, “Feng Shui has many, many layers that you can delve deeper and deeper into. But the key thing is that, even if you just peel off the top layer and start tinkering around with what you find, there you are: you are creating auspiciousness.”
Attracting positive energy through Feng Shui in your home doesn’t have to mean a complete makeover. Start with these small changes, set that intention, and go forth to refresh and renew.