New Year, New Style
A New Year gives many a opportunity to start new. The first day on the calendar of a New Year is an invitation to finally get that art project started, that cluttered room cleaned and organized, or to walk your dog more, among many other possibilities. However, many do not think about re-evaluating their living space. Many think their color choices for their furniture and walls are enough. But, the time honored practice of feng shui offers a unique and interesting take on how to layout a person’s surroundings in order to channel positive energy. As with meditation, the practice of feng shui is to be taken with an open mind.
The term feng shui comes from two Chinese words, feng, meaning wind, and shui, meaning water, two of the natural elements on Earth that flow throughout the planet. These two constants of the world have always influenced human society throughout the ages. The essence of the wind and water is known as chi, which means life force. Feng shui views everything- elements, plants, material objects, animals, people- as a part of the energy that flows throughout the world.
Feng shui focuses on the energy flow of the Earth and applies it to your living environment’s energy flow and its effects on your own energy. Simply, feng shui is how people interact with their surroundings, be it your work space, kitchen, backyard patio, etc. By specific designing and positioning in accordance with the natural flow of energy, you can make any setting more harmonious. Feng shui’s foundation is based on early astronomical charts from ancient Chinese astronomy. Some buildings would be built in line with the Sun’s first rays at daybreak as well as where moonlight falls. Other building layouts would be aligned with certain constellations and where they appeared at certain times of the year. Feng shui is also interpreted using the idea of the Yin & Yang theory. The Yin & Yang theory is that everything in our world is made of two opposite but deeply connected forces, Yin (feminine) and Yang (masculine). In terms of the energy of each force, Yin is considered to be relaxed, silent, soft, while Yang is fast, intense, and tough.
Our lives in the Western world are full of an imbalance of these two factors, most having much more Yang present in their lives, further purported by the very active and busy lifestyle many maintain. One of the biggest Yang factors that many have is a television in their bedroom. According to feng shui, a bedroom should be dominated with more Yin factors, such salt lamps for their subtle warm glow, essential oil diffusers for calming scents, deep colors (dark blues, greens, browns, purples), among other things. However, there should still be a Yang presence, be it brighter accent colors to contrast the deep colors, or candles to burn.
By learning and applying these practices throughout one’s surroundings, a certain tranquility should exist, one where that person feels centered and at peace in any setting, inside or outside.
Let’s go forward into the New Year balanced. ‘Till next time – M.
Written by Michael Dour