Since my post on KonMari was such a success, I decided to take a look at another Eastern, a little more ancient science, called Feng Shui. There are 3 key Feng Shui principles, each of which is really, really, REALLY important. Understanding and using them will help to give you a very good idea of how Feng Shui works. Plus, they are things you will want to use all over your life. Get ready for some powerful ideas!
Balance Your Chi
Sounds fancy, maybe. But Chi (chee) is just another word for energy. It is everywhere to some degree; sometimes you can feel it and sometimes you can’t.
Having loads of energy sounds like a fabulous thing. But have you ever accidentally had too much of something? Like desserts or soda? If so, then you know too much energy can be a very bad thing. And the opposite is true, too. If you have had the experience of a text war with someone until three in the morning and then tried to look alive for your first class of the day, you also know what it is like to have too little energy.
Just like in your body, it is possible for a space (like your bedroom, or a classroom, or your freaky neighbour’s backyard) to have too much chi or not enough chi. It is the goal of Feng Shui to have a good balance of energy in every space – a good flow. That will create harmony.
A room with good chi has the right amount of stuff in it; the contents are well placed so you can get the balance you deserve. With good chi, your space won’t feel too empty or too full; it won’t be too dark or too bright. The energy will flow freely, and when you walk into it you will totally know you belong.
Find Some Flow
Flow refers to how easily you move through your surroundings, your situations, and life in general. If you have good flow through your spaces, you will have better flow in life. (Your chi needs to flow, too.) After you’ve cleared all the pathways in all your zones, you will know you’ve got it right when your life is smooth, and things go even better than you’d hoped.
An example of how good flow might work: You are on the way to the mall to buy your best friend a birthday gift. You are so nice that you are buying her the iPod that you wanted for yourself! On your way to the bus stop, you find $20 on the road. Still smiling widely when the bus-driver opens the door, he thinks you are being friendly and tells you that “the ride is on the house.” And when you get to the mall, the sales clerk just putting up the 40% off sign. You have enough cash to purchase TWO iPods. See the pattern here? It is about you getting what you want -easily. Remember, your environment and your successes are intertwined.
Be sure that things work properly and that you can find all your stuff. Make sure your drawers can open easily without getting stuck, and that you know where everything is without having to search or move other things. If you have to kick piles of clothes (or your cat or dog) out of the way to get into your bed, or rummage through the mess in your purse to find your cell phone, it is time to create a better flow.
Things that block good flow:
- clutter, piles, areas that are crammed with stuff, messy cars, procrastinating
- things that have sharp edges, undeleted spam, overflowing inbox
- spaces that are dark or dusty, anything broken, spills
In your life, when flow is working for you, things are simple, natural, and almost effortless. You will kit green lights instead of red, your boyfriend will answer the phone instead of his mother, and you will find the answer you need in your textbook without spending two hours looking.
Toss the Clutter
Clutter is your enemy. It is an absolute brain drain, clogs up precious energy, plugs up your time, and even if you don’t know it on a conscious level, piles of stuff that you have been ignoring are hurting flow and blocking good chi. Bottom line: If your spaces are cluttered, you might invite unwanted obstacles to complicate your daily life.
Clutter includes things that are uncared for, unnecessary, and unloved – like piles of laundry, stacks of paper, the crowded spaces under your bed where you have kicked the mountain of stuff you didn’t want in the middle of the room anymore (and the spot where you eventually discover the overdue library books that you thought the dog ate ). Clutter is all the extra stuff that you keep but you are not sure why.
The bad news about clutter is that it affects Feng Shui whether it is visible or hidden. That’s important. So, the tried and true method of shoving stuff in your closet or under your bed REALLY doesn’t work (and you knew that already, didn’t you?) Even if you can’t see it, deal with it!