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Feng Shui: The Ultimate Guide to Boost Your Energy and Home Value (Includes Checklist)

Feng Shui

What if Feng Shui eased the mental fog of your daily tasks and worries? Is this Feng Shui trend powerful? The modern practice of Feng Shui is to boost your energy and your home’s value. Have you ever walked into a relative or friend’s place and immediately felt ‘this is home’? You sensed a change in your mood. It’s about the subtle energy all around you.  

This Ultimate Guide is to help you get the most out of your home using Feng Shui that is both attractive, low maintenance, and when the time comes, ready for sale.

Plus, decorating, organizing, decluttering tips for homeowners and real estate agents.

In the end, you will have a holistic understanding of Feng Shui through its:

  1. History: Its Origins Has Stood the Test of Time
  2. Design Esthetics Heals Mind Body Connection and
  3. Eternal Abundance: Health Benefit

So, let’s suspend beliefs of Feng Shui being a religion.

In Feng Shui, it is about the function of each room and what each part of the home represents metaphorically.

Be open to the idea of universal connection – even if it’s for the eight or ten minutes it takes you to read this article.

The hope is, without watering down or oversimplifying Feng Shui, to encourage you to apply this principle (s) for yourself when you are ready.

History of Feng Shui

Feng Shui has stood the test of time – try 3500 years. The popularism of Feng Shui as a ‘new age’ contemporary design tool is minimizing the historical eloquence of this ancient art.

This traditional practice finds its origins in ancient Chinese astronomy. Literary and archeological evidence find there are two Feng Shui techniques based on (1) form and (2) the compass.

First Technique: Form

Feng Shui Form
Photo by Sebastien Gabriel on Unsplash

Ancient cultures survived by aligning with the energetic movement of the sun, moon and stars in relation to the shape of mountains, rivers and surroundings.

The earliest known evidence is the Yangshao and Hongshan cultures.

According to the Feng Shui Institute, the history begins with the three Wandering Tribes who settled in China. First, the Animal Tamers’ knowledge of hunting and music resulted in geometry and mathematics. The Fire Starters’ knowledge of fire, metallurgy, and chemistry enabled the discovery of cooking food. Then, the Holy Farmers’ knowledge of agriculture and farming led to innovation of Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture and today’s Farmer’s Almanac.

Also known as Chinese geomancy, the term Feng Shui was interpreted from the passage of the lost Book of Burial recorded in Guo Pu‘s review.

Feng Shui is one of the Five Arts of Chinese Metaphysics.

By assessing the outer appearance of structures, the ‘invisible forces’ that unites earth, humanity and the universe, known as qi, this helped rulers of ancient China plan spiritual buildings and graves (often built on north-south axis) with bodies of water and stars. This is prior to use of the magnetic compass.

Second Technique: Compass (Science of Feng Shui - Early Instrument)

Eventually, reliance on celestial movements led to the evolution of instruments and techniques. One of which is the compass. The Compass branch is comprised of eight cardinal directions. Each direction is believed to have its own qi.

According to the Zhouli (Chinese ritual text),  the original Feng Shui instrument is known as a gnomon. One example, a lacquered, two-sided board with astrological sight lines called the liuren astrolabes, also known as shi, was used in Feng Shui. A diviner (spiritual or high priest) studied the conditions of the sky and set the device to mark the location.

Other instruments to come along are the Luopan, a disc etched with formulas, concentric rings around a magnetic compass; a south-pointing spoon, the magnetic compass in use today, and later a Feng Shui ruler.

With these instruments, ancient practitioners developed deep wisdom of life and how it relates to the environment, likely without knowing this would become an integral foundation to our modern way of life.

Their respect for the flow of energy is truly a wonder. 

So, then…

What is Feng Shui?

Feng Shui (pronounced fung shway) means ‘wind and water’. It is an age-old Chinese system designed to balance your physical environment and personal well-being. In other words, harmony with flow (‘wind and water’).

Why Feng Shui Is Important?

The why of contemporary Feng Shui is to place man-made structures in areas with good ‘qi’.

Qi (chee) is a positive or negative energy core to Feng Shui.

A familiar example is the polarity of yin and yang. 

The goal is to align a home, building or object with the yin/yang energy. Especially, when the desire is to heal mind body connection which impacts how you feel.

With this in mind, what ways do you apply Feng Shui into design esthetics?

Image by rawpixel.com

Feng Shui Basic Principles

The History of Home

Feng Shui quote

One Feng Shui master told Reuters,

“Feng shui is a Chinese ancient art of living in harmony with the environment. Feng shui is not a miracle. Feng shui is not magic. Feng shui is like a catalyst.”

The way to do this is to follow the basic Feng Shui principles.

There are five principles to be aware of:

Principle 1 - Chi

Qi or Chi (chee) is the constant flow of positive or negative energy. Feng Shui allows for the shift of energy from leaving an area to moving gently throughout the space around you and through a room.

Principle 2 - The Five Elements

The five elements (Wu Xing) are earth, metal, water, wood, and fire. The significance of these elements is centered around energy needed for human life. This comes from Taoist philosophy.

Check to see whether you have too many of one element in your home. Why? What can you do to counterbalance this?

Each element is incorporated into design based on its unique quality; how each works together, adds balance and…

“… does for space what the Chinese lunar calendar does for time, seeking the most auspicious arrangements of the material environment.”

Principle 3 – The Bagua (Eight Trigrams)

The word bagua’ means eight areas. Also known as trigrams.

Each of the eight areas – heaven, earth, water, fire, wind, thunder, mountain and lake are connected to different aspects of life.

An area is placed with its opposite around the center in the shape of an octagon or square. The yin/yang symbol often appears in the center.

The Bagua in Feng Shui is an energy map.  It is layered over entire structures, usually main floors, single rooms and even your face (little known fact).  The energy shrinks and expands yet continuously remains in a three-by-three grid.

Feng Shui energy
Image for illustration purposes only.

Principle 4 - Yin and Yang

Yin/Yang is the constant cycle of change in nature – the very essence of Feng Shui and Chinese philosophy in general. It’s a duality of polar, opposite energy.

Feng Shui Yin Yang
Photo by Ahtziri Lagarde on Unsplash

Yin feminine energy is soft, nurturing, and dark.

Yang masculine energy is hard, aggressive, and bright. 

Both these energies are interconnected, and inseparable. For example, if you’ve seen the Hancock movie – the Will Smith and Charlize Theron characters balance and counter each other’s superpowers.

As shown below is a table of common examples of how you experience this at any given moment.

Feng Shui

Principle 5 - Continuity and Connection

The belief in this principle is a calm, natural environment deepens your feelings of connection, and likewise, you influence all that is around you.

Feng Shui, more specifically, is an art of living designed to help you reach enlightenment. It is a process; it’s not about getting to a specific point, but rather about striving for continual improvement toward your ideals. In staging and real estate, this means making your own environment with the five principles discussed so every room in your house has certain emotion (s) attached
to it.

How Do I Feng Shui My Home: Complexity vs Expensive

With these five principles in mind, the process to Feng Shui your home need not be complex or expensive. Before you even begin to move furniture, or scour online stores for items, take a deep breath and consider the tips below:

  1.       What do you want to create for your life?
  2.       In what ways can this be reflected in your current home – one room at a time?
  3.       Are you bumping into things in your home? Think about ways to inspire rearranging pieces for greater efficiency of flow –        make it as easy as possible.
  4.       What can you do to add a sense of order, less stress with daily cleaning of your home? Time for a new habit?
  5.       Where can you add height with the use of lights, a tall bookcase, or a tree plant? Vertical lines represent growth and      expansion.

Feng Shui Rules for the Living and Dining Room: Create An Oasis For Your Hectic Life

Like most, you spend a lot of time in your living room and bedroom.  Without a doubt, you look forward to relax.

Living/Family Room: This area of your home is central to happiness and your family’s growth. When applying feng shui, you want to maintain strong energy. You can achieve this by adding floral patterns and lots of light. Also, ensure a sofa or chair’s back is against the wall and not facing the door or entrance. Your aim is to feel at ease by blending green, gold and blue colours along with adding a wooden item (for example, a furniture piece).

Bonus tip: Feng Shui best practice is to avoid metal objects in this area.

Feng Shui

Bedroom:  This space reflects your personality, as well, is your retreat to rest and sleep (passive ‘yin’ energy). The first step in feng shui is to remove any items from under the bed (things like blankets can remain). In your resting state, you want to absorb the supportive and nurturing energy around you. Next, position your bed in the commanding position where the bed faces the bathroom. This avoids bad (‘sha’) energy from flowing from the bathroom to the bedroom.



Bonus tip: Add earth element for support and nourishment with a square earth-colored rug under your bed.

Feng Shui Rules for Other Rooms to Inspire Wealth

Show the money in subtle, inspiring energy.  There are four areas of the home you can start with to attract wealth in small steps.

  1.  Kitchen. The hub of home. In general, the wealth of nourishment is done through regular removal of expired items and also, to clean/wipe down the inside of your fridge. In addition, you can display nourishment with a fruit bowl on the counter.
    Bonus tips: (a) Hide sharp objects like knives (bad luck) and; (b) Place a wood element between the sink and stove. Water feeds wood, wood feeds fire. Wood is represented by the colour green in feng shui (in place of the actual material).

  2. Bathroom. Water is downward energy. To prevent money/wealth from flowing away from you keep the door closed and toilet seat down (use this on your husband who thinks leaving the seat up is convenient for you know what!)

  3. Lighting. Light represents inspirational energy (yang). Rooms that need more light consider a warm desk or floor lamp for ambient lighting or incandescent. If you are an early bird, position room east. Likewise, as a night owl, position your room west.

  4. Entrance. If doable, add a water feature that flows toward the center of your home. This means wealth has the opportunity to flow into your life.

Another way to attract wealth into your life is to explore your neighbourhood. The next time you go for a walk or plan to move, check for the conditions and make a mental note of the Yin (low) energies for the following:

  1.       Is the curb appeal of homes warm, welcoming, well maintained?
  2.       Explore your neighbourhood:
                a.  Do lawns look well mowed and lush?
                b.  Are trees, trails, greenery vibrant?
                c.  Or are there vacant lots, cemeterie

Did you know T-intersections impact Qi energy?
Too much energy is directed at you like a sword – beware.

Tips to Create Positive Energy: Be Not Afraid of Being Still

Your home is an expression of what is closest to your heart. For example, an art collector will have unique, one-of-a-kind paintings or sculptures. A travel buff will have maps or photos of places visited.

Meaningful pieces set you on the path to good vibes.

The way you express this is to ask yourself what room (s) to begin with?

In what ways can you start fresh or what do you do if a room is already decorated?

Here are DO’S and DON’T tips to help you with these questions.

DO:

  1. Make an entrance with a pattern rug, artwork or round table at the front door or foyer (work with the space you have).

                a. There are two benefits to this:
                       i.   This slows the energy flow and;      
                      ii.  Gives family and friends a reason to pause and reflect. A definite conversation starter!

       2. Keep the front door area (inside/outside) clear of clutter.
                 a. Creates a healthy, efficient environment
                       i. Sweep, shake out mats
                      ii. Have a place for shoes, hats, keys etc.
                    iii. Use bright lights (fire element)

      3. Windows allows natural sunlight in
                   a.  Clean regularly    
                        i. Metaphorically you are more energetic and see the world with more clarity, precision and vibrancy.

       4. Doors opened 90 degrees enable you to receive all good things, plus opportunities in life.
                        i. Fix squeaks, hinges and check a door closes properly in its frame

       5. Are there pieces in your home which make you feel negative?    
                  a. Replace them with items you want to attract such as wealth, harmony etc.
                       i. Walls – do you bump into them? Is this a sign you’re up against a wall each day?
                      ii. Mirrors – do they reflect self esteem issues in the way they are hung?

Invite good vibes with your free
NewStart Colour Checklist List – Feng Shui!

DON’T:

1.  Place active objects like bells in the center of the home.

2. Hold onto things which drain your energy:   
                   a. Declutter/Remove items such as:
                        i. Old photos (even if they hold poor memories)
                       ii. Furniture / accessories without a purpose
                      iii. Junk (gives you heartburn and overwhelm)

Ultimately, you want to create open spaces to rebalance and let energy flow.

Other Problem Areas

There are two areas you and I take for granted in the home. One is electronics. The other is mirrors.  

Let’s start with electronics.

Electronics are pervasive in your life. There is little escape. Whether you’re in the mall, traffic, airport, restaurant, public washroom, sports complex, electronics ring, buzz and dazzle for your attention.

They are always on.

(Unless, of course, you intentionally go off the grid for a couple of days – heaven or hell – it’s all perspective).

Electronics impact your sleep patterns.

If you are like me, you check your cell phone for those last-minute emails, and text messages before setting it aside.

In order to promote the correct Feng Shui energy, make it a daily habit to keep tablets, mobile phones two feet away from your bed and preferably turn off. Notice I said habit!

Research shows that light exposure can mess with circadian rhythm.

Any exposure to disrupted sleep can lead you to experience the following problems:

  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Struggle to stay asleep
  • Wake up several times during sleep cycle
  • Get up too early and unable to go back to sleep.
  • Most common effect – insomnia
  • TV – if this is you, cover with a colourful fabric
        i. A cover will prevent the electronic energy from disrupting your peaceful sleep. 

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall or Not?

The second problem area is mirrors.

Mirrors are great. However, they create double the energy.

As a result, feng shui experts recommend placing them behind your closet doors or removing them from all bedrooms completely.

Kind of counter intuitive since you want to make sure you’ve got the matching pants to a suit on before leaving for work, huh? 

Like electronics, mirrors can distract.

True story, I went into two different homes. As soon as I entered a wall of mirrors from ceiling to floor. It was the first thing to hit the eye. It didn’t add or expand the living room space to look larger nor did it add any additional light. However, a definite disco vibe for those who remember disco.

In either case, the purpose of keeping them from your living space or bedroom (s) is to ensure optimal rest and relaxation.

Assess where and why mirrors hang, and ask yourself:

  • Do my mirrors reflect an expansive beautiful space?
  • Do I see a pile of bills (clutter) reflected back? 

When you hang a mirror, make sure it reflects more light, or provides an expansive, serene view of the room or bedroom. 

Moreover, be mindful of how this small change adds to the overall value of your home..

Why Feng Shui is a Must Have Value Add of Your Home

An article from Yahoo Finance looked at home investment in Australia. The report found that “there’s real monetary value attached to good feng shui: nearly three in five (57 per cent) reckon feng shui ups the value of their home”.

Sunlight, air circulation, proximity to water, and wide gates are some of the sought-for features, according to Hong Kong-based feng shui master Philip Wong.

“It’s something homeowners can’t afford to be blind to, indicated HSBC Australia head of retail banking and wealth management Jessica Power. “Property owners should take every opportunity they can to enhance the value in their homes – small changes really do make a big difference when it comes to achieving harmony,” she said.

Feng Shui quote

According to feng shui master Edgar Lok Tin Yung, the Chinese art is more than what people might assume.

“Many people think feng shui is just a design tool to make your home look better, when in fact it’s a powerful ancient practice that has the ability to improve not just the environment within the home, but also the health, wealth and longevity of those living in it,” he said.

Likewise, a Home and Garden survey showed:

  •  86% of respondents stated feng shui will play a role in future home buying decisions
  •  79% of respondents are willing to invest more for a home that incorporates its feng shui principles
  •  Respondents are willing to pay an average of 16% more for a home that complies with feng  shui philosophies

Feng Shui Do It Yourself Tips

Have Good Health in Mind

Self-care is important to your mental and physical well-being.

Stress is a major cause of high blood pressure, hypertension, and anxiety. The ‘always’ on environment of today requires a conscious effort to pause and take a moment to rest.

Harmony is inspired from anywhere.

  • A walk along a trail
  • Yoga
  • A spa day with Epsom salt and bubble bath
  • Play music while reading
  • Nap, even better

With Feng Shui, finding a space to call your own is a great place to start.  You can incorporate some of these ideas into your space. Treating yourself to rest gives your limbic system, parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems the ability to re-balance.

Photo by Madison Lavern on Unsplash

A positive mindset can improve blood sugar balance, lower depression, anxiety and make your immune system stronger (less susceptible to disease like cancer). 

Your body and the energy surrounding you, your home is always moving; neither constant nor fixed. Depending on your home’s design, the energy can either go upstairs or out the back door.

With guidance from a Feng Shui specialist, you can work to identify areas of your life causing the most stress, and what fills your home with negative energy.  Are there any co-relations to the events in your life? What can you let go? Which of the five elements can you use in your designated quiet space?

You want your home to evolve as you change.

As you gain clarity, you want to feel in command of your life. This is where you want to be.  You will appreciate your productivity. You, then, can receive the positive energy and opportunities you want in life.

And, be aware life is not static; it’s fluid. So, when things fill up your space, know that it’s ok. Be open. Use the space to teach you how to find balance. Remember to assess the ‘stuff’ that no longer serves you and release them.

More importantly, don’t beat yourself up. The fun is in discovering what works best for your peace of mind.

The Energy of Plants

Plants are natural and vibrant.

As you plan your quiet space, be strategic in the placement of plants. Below are a few recommendations:

  1. To attract growth and prosperity, place bamboo plants on a desk

  2. Plants with round, spiked leaves are great for serene rooms.

  3. To activate energy, place plants in the east or south-east of a room. Note, southeast represents wood, whereas, north of a room means water. Therefore, wood and water work well together.

  4. Add plants that are appropriate for the lighting inside your quiet space or home.
Feng Shui Buddha
Photo by Arcot Gautham on Unsplash

Here are a few common suggestions to research and see what best fits your needs:

  •   Aloe Vera – cleans air
  •   Jade – symbolize good fortune
  •   Bamboo – peace and wisdom
  •   Ficus – add height to space

Plants offer life energy and are innate to your vitality.

In addition to the physical aspects of how furniture, plants, and accessories are positioned in your home to harness balance, you want to express gratitude each moment of every day.

Why? Gratitude is a powerful conduit of happiness.

When you take time to reflect and be present, you want to share your joy with others.

Gratitude

Offering gratitude to your home is simple. Just speak to your home with a humble heart and say thank you. (Heck, have fun, no one is watching so shout it out if you want!)

Your home is your shelter. Your home gives you a place to rest, nourish, celebrate, and so much more.  Everything is alive, including our spaces!

Every space is unique.

Feng Shui experts are healers. They look to identify problems at a deep level. Present a strategy for a client to resolve the problem. 

Feng Shui is not an off the shelf solution. Feng shui is a shamanic tradition.

Your Space Reflects Back Your Energy

Balance Feng Shui

When you reflect upon a room, you want a decorated space to display what is truly inspirational to you.  From the artwork right down to the one-of-a-kind teacups inherited from a relative.

You feel the world through your five senses – taste, touch, sound, smell, and sight which are all an interpretation of energy. Every cell in your body has an atom. You are energy.

You want the self-care you feel reflected back into your home—a warm, inviting and peaceful appeal. This in turn will make friends, family or buyers feel comfortable as soon as they walk through the door.

Feng Shui takes staging design one step further–drawing a buyer to feel “I’m home” from the energy the space emits.

Ask yourself this: If you’re willing to accept the earth spins on an invisible field of energy, why are you so willing to dismiss Feng Shui which uses this very same flow of energy?

This is the paradigm core to Feng Shui’s longevity.

However, your connection to life and with the environment is a personal choice.

And, if this helps you achieve a healthier, well balanced life, let everything about you smile.

Do you feel Feng Shui is a religion or an art for living? Share your thoughts.

Check out Glossary.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Both wind and water are associated with energy. The power of theseelements can benefit or work against us. It mainly comes down toour beliefs, and energies in our life. The main purpose is balance.

Environmental psychologists who have studied Feng Shui have found no evidence that following the principles of
Feng Shi has a measurable effect on people. The difficultyis in proving ‘chi’ exists.

Feng Shui is an art of arranging objects, space and one’s life to achieve harmony and balance. The idea is to ‘unblock’ unseen forces so energy can flow to create balance in life.

Moving? Need to declutter? Contact a Certified UltimateStager™ and Ultimate Professional Organizer™ .

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