Feng shui is an ancient Asian art of placement that looks at the flow of energy in our homes, and how we interact with our spaces. It’s a way of practicing mindfulness: paying attention to how our homes affect us, and vice versa.
Feng shui practitioners use cures, also called adjustments, to shift the energy of a space and its inhabitants. Many of these adjustments involve changing aspects of the physical space to redirect the flow of qi, or energy.
Here are a few of the most common and easy to apply feng shui adjustments.
One of the most foundational adjustments in feng shui is to place your bed, desk, and stove in the commanding position. In the commanding position, you have the widest view of the room; you should be facing towards the door, but not directly in line with it. It’s ideal to be in this position when you are lying in bed, sitting at your desk, and cooking at your stove.
Being in command of your space helps you to feel more at ease on a subconscious level, because you can see anyone or anything that might be approaching. It also means that you are able to see more opportunities that are available to you.
Sometimes it’s not possible to be in the commanding position, especially at your stove. If this is the case, place a mirror so that you can see a reflection of the door instead.
Bagua Activation With Color
In feng shui, we use a tool called the bagua. This is a three-by-three grid used to map the energy of a space. You can lay the bagua over a home, a room, or even a desk.
Each section of the bagua, called a gua, represents a certain area of your life. Each gua is also associated with a particular color. One simple way to boost an area of your life that you’d like to work on is to use the corresponding bagua color in that area of your home. Here are the colors associated with each gua:
- Zhen (New beginnings and family): Green
- Xun (Wealth and abundance): Purple
- Tai qi (Health and wellbeing): Yellow
- Qian (Helpful people, benefactors, and travel): Gray
- Dui (Children and completion): White
- Gen (Knowledge and self-cultivation): Dark blue
- Li (Fame and reputation): Red
- Kan (Career and path in life): Black
- Kun (Love and partnerships): Pink
To lay the bagua over your home, stand at the front door facing inside and imagine a three-by-three grid that stretches to cover the space of your home. Kan, also known as the career area, will be the front center area of the grid. When you are starting out, it’s very helpful to have an image of the bagua in front of you as you are determining which area is which.
Set Your Intention
To make the most of a feng shui adjustment, set an intention as you implement it. For example, if you’ve decided to activate the fame area of your home with a red accent wall, take a moment to consider why you are focusing on this area and what you want to call in. You can even visualize your desired outcome, or spend a few minutes journaling to get in touch with your intention.
Add New Plants
Plants represent the wood element, which encourages flexibility, kindness, and compassion. Plants also add vibrant life energy to a space, so they are a great addition if you want to reinvigorate a certain area of your home or life. From a feng shui perspective, it’s generally best to choose plants with soft, rounded leaves, instead of plants with sharp leaves or thorns. This doesn’t mean you can’t keep your beloved cacti collection; it just means you probably don’t want to go out and buy a new one if your intention is to use it as a feng shui adjustment. It’s also important to get new plants, since they bring in new, fresh energy.
Work With an Expert
There are many basic feng shui cures that you can try on your own, but if you really want to go deep, work with a trained practitioner. They will be able to more fully assess your situation and they can recommend specific cures for your unique situation. This is especially true because an expert eye will see more than you can, because they are not conditioned by living in the space.
Additionally, there are many cures known only to train feng shui practitioners. They will be able to guide you through these. These cures can be very powerful, since there are often energetic factors influencing our situations that the average person cannot see.
When you’re first getting into feng shui, it’s tempting to try to adjust everything at once. However, this can actually make your adjustments less effective. It’s better to choose one to three areas of your life to focus on, so that you can really give them the attention they deserve.
Start With the Bedroom
Your bedroom represents you, so adjustments in your bedroom can be especially impactful. Because we spend so many passive hours in our bedroom resting and sleeping, we are also taking in energy from our bedroom environment more than any other part of our home.
It can also be easier and less overwhelming to start with the bedroom, especially when it comes to the bagua. Laying the bagua over an entire home can get tricky if your home is not a perfect rectangle, which is the case for many people. To lay the bagua on your bedroom, use the same process as you would for laying the bagua over your whole home: stand in your bedroom doorway facing in, and picture a three-by-three grid laid over your room. Again, Kan will be the area that is front and center.