The concept of feng shui comes from an ancient poem which talks about human life being connected to, and flowing with, the environment around it.
Feng is Chinese for wind, shui for water. Wind and water – vital for life – flow and swirl and eddy around our homes, our gardens, our lives, our countries and the world, and the term – pronounced “fung shway” – refers to optimising “chi” or energy.
A good flow of energy is believed in Chinese philosophy to lead to physical and mental health, success and good relationships. It should never be blocked.
Feng Shui can be applied in all areas of life. We want the chi to flow into our homes and energise us, and we certainly don’t want to block it, because this represents blocking areas of our lives.
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The five main elements of feng shui are wood, metal, earth, fire and water. Wood also represents growth and creativity, metal stands for logic and intelligence, earth is stability and balance, fire is passion and energy and water is wisdom and serenity.
We have the basic elements of feng shui in our homes: wooden furniture, metal frames; earth in the form of stones or landscape paintings; fire as candle flames and water in the form of ponds, pools and even mirrors.
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Here are some tips to cultivate good feng shui:
Entrance: The chi flows in through the front door, so the hall should not be cluttered with jackets or shoes or bags. It should be light and bright. The front door should also make a good impression to attract energy.
Commanding position: This is the spot in a room furthest from the door and not in direct line with it. It puts you diagonal to the door. Ideally, you should have a clear line of sight to the door.
Three major elements of the home that need to be in commanding positions are : the bed – which represents us; the desk, which represents our career or purpose; and the stove, which represents our wealth.
Flow: Walk through your home looking for anything that could stop the flow of energy – occasional tables in the wrong place, doors that don’t open properly. Windows should be clean to let in the sunshine.
Plants: Introduce green plants, plants that connect us to nature and bring freshness into our homes. A natural element such as a house plant – or several – will improve our home’s energy and purify the air we breathe.
Other calming tips
• Use crystals, such as rose quartz for love, tourmaline for protection or citrine for healing and wealth.
• Ensure air and light can get in.