I had the fortune of experiencing the benefits of feng shui while staying at a hotel in Singapore. Accustomed to running my motor at high speed, I was amazed at the calm I felt. I was certain something subtler was affecting me beyond just the warm sunshine, luscious mangoes, and the break from the ubiquitous laptop.
A product of Western tradition, I tend to discard anything that cannot be scientifically reasoned. Not surprisingly, I viewed feng shui in a similar vein. The popularity of the ancient Chinese practice of arranging space in harmony with nature seemed to me to be yet another nutty fad. So it was until I had the fortune of experiencing the benefits of feng shui while staying at a hotel in Singapore. Accustomed to running my motor at high speed, I was amazed at the calm I felt. I was certain something subtler was affecting me beyond just the warm sunshine, luscious mangoes, and the break from the ubiquitous laptop. The Basic Premise When I got home from Singapore, I did some research to find out more about feng shui. Grounded in the harmony of five elements in nature: earth, fire, water, wood, and metal, feng shui enthusiasts believe what you place in your environment and how you arrange and balance those objects can enhance–or hinder–your sense of well being. Taking as its basic premise the idea that invisible energy fields, or chi, exist in every environment, feng shui seeks to enhance chi by organizing an environment to be in harmonious alignment with nature. Feng shui is certainly not a panacea to the chaos that life throws at us sometimes, but a few tricks can prove magical for your home. Here are some suggestions that can easily be put into place. To kickstart your chi, clear all clutter from your home. According to Nancy Santopietro, the author of Feng Shui and Health (Three Rivers Press, 2002), clutter is like having high amounts of cholesterol in your blood. It clogs the flow of energy through our homes in the same way as cholesterol clogs our arteries. Pacify Your Home Once you’ve chucked the visual noise aside, pacify your home with the echoes of nature. The sound of gurgling water activates chi, breathing life into the environment. An aquarium placed near the entrance is auspicious to enhancing chi. Tropical plants such as lucky bamboo, dracaena, and ivy are easy to keep alive and to keep energy moving throughout the house. Bathe your home in a sufficient amount of natural light. Sunlight–the ultimate life giver–uplifts and soothes the mind, while fluorescent light drains our energy. If you don’t have access to natural light, full-spectrum light bulbs will do the trick. Open drapes and add mirrors to draw sunlight in, but be sure not to hang mirrors opposite windows, as they will repel energy. Create a serene area reserved solely for meditation and soul-searching. Decorate this area with furniture with smooth edges to allow energy to flow; remove electronics as they may hinder energy movement. Add flowers, silk cushions, and essential oils such as bergamot, rose, or sandalwood, all of which foster a deep sense of relaxation. Adopting these simple ideas brought a bit of Singapore to my home. Making these subtle changes in your home will help to create a nourished environment for you, bringing you to a higher spiritual plane by honouring Nature. What are you waiting for?