Feng shui is the balancing art of placement. It enhances the natural balance of your landscape, home, or business and enriches the lives of those who interact with the enhanced environment. Feng shui teaches that life force, called chi, meanders like the wind and water. Preparing an ideal path for its flow cultivates this vital life energy, the key to our well-being.
Healthy chi flows in balanced lives. We become unhealthy when either too yin – lethargic, oversensitive, and depressed – or too yang – irritable, hyperactive, and possibly hotheaded. By creating an affirmative feng shui environment the occupants become relaxed, creative, and imaginative (aspects of yin), combined with physically active, quick, decisive, alert, and able to concentrate on details (aspects of yang).
Too far in either extreme is limiting and uncomfortable. Often my clients comment on how serene and supportive their environments become after a consultation has been completed; how they seem to have more time and energy. They are describing the revitalizing effects of coming back in tune with their natural state of being. Clear spaces resolve conflicts and are reflected in clarity of thought and good health. Anyone can begin to use feng shui by consciously looking at the physical polarities of home and work.
On the dark, shady side of a house, we may have difficulty getting things done or having a sense of accomplishment, while the opposite may be true of the active, bright side. One may not seem to get to sleep, feel rested, or easily meditate when hit by uncurtained sunshine on the sunny side.
Workspace tends to be yang to encourage productivity, and home tends to be yin to provide respite after hours. But too much yang does not make a perfect business and too much yin does not make a perfect home: both can benefit from balance.
There is a need for diverse spaces in both work and home, especially given the growing trend towards home offices and livable workplaces. Rooms that are too extreme in either direction show imbalances and lack versatility.
A large room that is overly exposed and overheated, flooded with fluorescent lighting or having cathedral ceilings can become too yang. Oversized spaces are better suited for active public use than as a place where employees can work contentedly.
Extreme yang can be uninviting and distressing, causing occupants to want to seek sanctuary. Sprawling yang spaces with many skylights or floor-to-ceiling windows, such as are found in more modern architectural buildings, need to be subdued.
Place shades on windows to protect from and soften the effects of solar glare, splitting large spaces with sheltering screens, and cooling with darker tones can create intimacy in uncomfortable institutional spaces.
A small room that is cool and enclosed, low beamed and darkly shadowed, can become too yin. Darkness and quiet may be appropriate for a bedroom but are not suitable for most parts of the house. Extreme yin can be oppressive and melancholy, contributing to depression. Confining yin rooms lacking natural light can become cave-like and need to be energized and expanded.
Replacing overhead lighting that casts shadows with softer uplighting creates uplifting “fountains” of light. Similarly, art with the illusion of depth like landscapes or appropriately placed large mirrors and the use of lighter warmer colors can inject new energy into lethargic environments.
Everyone can learn to see the invisible forces of yin and yang in both home and working environments by looking with feng shui eyes.
As we develop a consciousness of the interplay of these forces it becomes possible for us to understand how to actively cultivate chi in our daily lives, directing positive change through our environments. The secret is to create an equilibrium of the two energies. Invite good chi into your life with balance and exceptionally harmonious living is yours.