Moving The Bad Stuff With Feng Shui

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Use living plants and flowers in your home to enhance your life energy.

Feng (wind) Shui (water) is an ancient Chinese art that promotes peace and balance in your personal space by strategically placing items and omitting clutter. The Chinese believe that luck, when created, can enhance wealth and happiness in your life.

Ch'i, one of the most important aspects of Feng Shui, is the energy force in Feng Shui and is in constant flow. Practitioners eliminate obstructions to flow, such as clutter or blocked doors and windows, and ensure easy movement in and between living spaces. You can also alter the flow of energy to maximize good fortune.

The Chinese believe the movement of Ch'i creates blessings in our lives.

The goal of Feng Shui is to promote movement throughout everything. Organization, adequate lighting and eliminating clutter are the basic fundamentals of Feng Shui.

Feng Shui assigns characteristics elements (fire, earth, metal, water and wood) and compass directions, often tied to color. Fire, for example, is passion and energy. Its direction is south, and its colors range from strong yellow to red.

Although Feng Shui is a complex practice with many schools, you can easily take advantage of its major principles to create a harmonious environment. These tips will help you to create a positive energy flow in your home.

• The foyer is the first focus area. Because the foyer welcomes visitors into your home, ensure that the area has positive energy. Make the front door accessible. If there is clutter in the way, get rid of it. Install lighting so that visitors can see clearly if the area isn't well lit. Paint your foyer a soft yellow or peach to invite sunny dispositions.

• Use colors appropriate to a room's function. Use a soothing blue in your bedroom, and save the energetic, bright yellow for the kitchen.

• Bring vital things into your environment such as light, water, green plants and flowers. Get rid of anything dead such as dried flowers and taxidermy.

• Add motion to outdoor spaces with wind chimes, flags, gazing balls and even a pond with a waterfall or fish.

• Surround yourself with items that make you feel good. If an item evokes bad memories, toss it or give it away. Imagine ridding yourself of the bad experience along with the item.

• A comfortable living room invites warmth and encourages friendships. Arrange furniture so that everyone faces each other to encourage conversation. Do not block doorways with large pieces of furniture. This allows everyone to move around from space to space without feeling confined.

• The kitchen provides nourishment for our bodies and souls. Organize kitchens so that they are clean and efficient. Check your appliances to make sure they are operating correctly. If not, replace or repair them to eliminate frustration. Omitting clutter helps prevent accidents. In addition, adequate lighting will ensure that you are operating and cooking safely.

• The bedroom can promote peace and happiness. Make it comfortable because this is where you spend a third of your life. Position your bed away from the door so that noises outside of your door will not disturb you. Omit needless clutter and dust collectors. A dimmer switch to control bedroom lighting is a great addition.

• Finally, keep bathrooms clean and neat. Leaky shower heads or faucets create waste so repair these items immediately. Organize medicine cabinets and storage areas neatly. Throw away any bathroom products that are no longer used.

For more Feng Shui tips, pick up "Clearing the Clutter for Good Feng Shui "by Mary Lambert. (Sterling Publishing, 2001, $9.98). The book is filled with tips and beautiful motivational photos.


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