Sunday, August 25, 2013

PODE!: Feng Shui Basics for the Home

It's Sunday, which made me get to thinking about a new Project: Overcome Domestic Entropy! post since I haven't gotten around to doing one this month. Moving into a place of my own and living independently is quite the grounding and growing experience, although it can be quite stressful at times. I have to say, I'm pretty proud of myself. I know of 30-year-olds who are married with three kids that still live with their parents - which is just a sad predicament to find yourself in, no matter what country you live in.

After moving my sparse amount of furniture around, trying to get a better feel of the place, I realized how old habits die hard and how Asian traditions live on forever. I got to thinking, "My place looks great, but how does it feel?" Shit like that feels important, especially when I've had such a heavy handed Chinese influence. My ex's mom was all over me with her 'this-is-how-we-Chinese-do-it' schtick, and it stuck.

With my living space being my home, my studio, and my office, I have always found the basic Chinese practice of feng shui to come in handy - if not with bringing in more luck and money, at least in keeping my place organized. And with businessmen and women shelling out thousands of pesos to feng shui masters, there must be some validity to it.

Feng shui incorporates the age-old principles for maximizing positive vibes in the home. While some laws of feng shui call for more elaborate considerations, moving a few things around and re-organizing your bookshelf may be all it takes to attract good luck in business or love.

Those stacks of papers and piles of odds and ends aren't just eyesores, they're also energy barriers. Feng sui dictates that positive energy or chi can only flow freely once clutter is eliminated. By clearing your space, you'll allow for greater mental clarity and a better sense of well-being . If de-cluttering your entire house, apartment, or condo feels a little too ambitious, start with the room you're always in - like the bedroom.

My entryway is currently lined with my shoe rack, so that has to or Lady Luck may think I'm giving her the boot. The front door is considered a vital element of feng shui because it serves as the energy gateway to the home. So, a balanced entryway is the key to a balanced space. To achieve this, keep the path leading up to your home free of unsightly obstructions such as trashcans, cracked flower pots or dead plants. Also, make sure the door itself opens smoothly - no squeaking! - and is well-maintained.

A common feng shui view is that the sharp edges of knives contain a negative, cutting energy. Because of this, some practitioners suggest that kitchen knives should be kept out of sight. Others take a less conservative approach and simply recommend that kitchen knives be kept in a places that is safe and accessible. Makes sense.

No matter how hilarious the latest episode of the Big Bang Theory may be, the television itself is not conducive to good vibes. If you have feng shui on the brain, it's best to hide your TV altogether in an entertainment cabinet or behind a concealing screen. At the very least, make sure it isn't the focal point of the room by arranging it off to the side or camouflaging it on the wall among the other framed artwork. I just did away with the TV completely and stick to watching my favorite series on my laptop.

The rule for peaceful bed placement can be summed up in one word: space. Position your bed in the so-called "power spot," which is directly across from the bedroom door. Then, make sure there's an even amount of room on both sides. Avoid pushing your bed against a wall, unless you want to trap both your partner (if you have one) and negative energy. Maybe that's why couples who live together start to fight a lot - blame it on the negative feng shui jujiu!

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