Feng Shui Basics

What is Feng Shui?

We like to think of Feng Shui as "Chinese energy therapy for your living space."  Use it when your place is screaming for a makeover that goes much deeper than solving a fashion emergency.  Feng Shui saves you from bad "chi."  Here, we're talking about "chi" as energy, analyzing the many profound effects of subtle energy flows in interior design.  In China, it's an art and a science that's more than 3,000 years old.

You know that negative feeling that sits in a room and makes you just feel grumpy or lethargic just being there? That's bad chi in a room, and it can hold you back in many different aspects of your life. When all the elements in your place are in their best possible position, then following the rules of Feng Shui gives you lots of extra positive chi. You'll start feeling everything fall into place as it should, bringing order, harmony and happiness back into your more-balanced life.

Being conscious of Feng Shui practices is a fun way to add an extra dash of mindfulness into your life because it makes you think wisely about what you have, making space for new higher energies by getting rid of old things you don't use that are holding you back from achieving growth.

How Does Feng Shui Work?

Among the several major schools of Feng Shui out there, let's focus on the easiest one to understand, shall we?  In "form school" or the "three-gate-school" of Feng Shui, it's all about working with the Bagua Energy map.  You align the map to the main entrance of your home because that's where the most chi energy enters your environment.  Then the map instantly helps divide your home into nine main sectors to show you optimum placement for your furniture.

Each square on the Bagua Energy map represents one of the major priorities in your life.  The concept behind this is how you maintain and use these spaces will energetically have a direct effect on that area of your life also.  The goal is to create a healthy balance between all these various priorities and energies in your home.

These areas of your life also correspond to the five elements in Chinese thought:

• The metal element has the qualities of focus, wise decision-making and organization, representing what you produce.
• The wood element stands for your growth, both personally and professionally, as you make new beginnings in life.
• The fire element represents your enthusiasm and inner drive and how others perceive you in the world.
• The water element stands for cash flow and your social connections.
• The earth element is a symbol of your security, stability and relationships.

What the colors mean and how to use them in Feng Shui

Each of the nine energy sectors of the Bagua map has its own color, illustrating where it's best for you to put each of these color elements in your space to create harmony. In this way, you will optimize the energy flow in your environment.

  1. Red is the color of the fame area of your Bagua map, associated with the element of fire. Adding red somewhere boosts passion, achievement and more inspiration in that aspect of your life.
  2. Yellow is the color of the health section of the Bagua, associated with the earth element. Include yellow and gold to attract the energies of peace, balance and happiness. Similarly, orange brings in openness, fulfillment and joy.
  3. Green is the color of new beginnings and family, associated with the element of wood. Use green colors wherever you need to attract the energies of healing, growth and unity.
  4. Blue is the color of knowledge and self-cultivation, associated with the earth element. Use shades of dark blue to enhance the energies of reflection and deep concentration. Another color with similar benefits is turquoise, which brings in feelings of serenity, boosts accomplishments and helps you understand what you learn faster.
  5. Purple is the color of riches and prosperity, associated with the element of wood. Adding purple somewhere brings in the energies of abundance, appreciation and leadership.
  6. Pink is the color of marriage and relationships, associated with the element of earth. Adding pink anchors the energies of intimacy, love and emotional nurturing.
  7. White is the color of children, joy and future aspirations, associated with the element of metal. Use white wherever you need to attract mental clarity and more meaningful activity.
  8. Grey is the color of travel and helpful friends, associated with the metal element. Use greys and pastel tones to attract more synchronicities and favorable connections in life.
  9. Black is the color of careers and life journeys, associated with the element of water. Adding black brings in the energies of truth, introspection and detachment to see the bigger picture.

How to use Feng Shui to achieve specific goals

To boost your cash flow, put your favorite green plant in the left-middle section of your space to attract more business; where the new beginnings and family section of your place is. Also, work in the back-left corner of your space to increase your chances of a greater income.

To enhance your career, keep the entrance of your office open and clutter-free. Keeping a water element or fountain there also attracts more wealth too.

To attract better relationships, try to arrange your home so that the back-right corner room becomes your bedroom. If that's not possible, at least try to put some pink or red colors in the marriage and relationships area of your place, along with any artwork showing happy pairs and relationships.

10 Quick Feng Shui Tips

  1. To reduce stress wherever you work, align your desk so that it faces the door or entry into your space.
  2. When studying, sit with only a wall behind you to avoid uncomfortable distractions of activity behind you.
  3. You have better chances of making more money at your office work desk if you choose a wooden desk, not a glass one. Also, go with rounded edges.
  4. In the office, work on a good chair with wheels to add the much-needed elements of flexibility and freedom to your career.
  5. In the kitchen, try to position yourself so that you can see all of the main activity in the rest of the room while cooking. If you face a wall while cooking, then place mirrors on that wall so that you can see the activity behind you when necessary.
  6. Out of every room in your home, try to keep the kitchen clean and organized at all times since it directly contributes to the health, wealth and happiness of the entire home.
  7. In the master bedroom, arrange your bed so that it faces the door. Keep everything out of this room that isn't "restful." That means no office work, spare toys, tools or workout stuff lying around here!
  8. Avoid putting a TV in your bedroom, or at least cover it when it's off. Mirrors in the bedroom can also be distracting and prevent you from relaxing.
  9. Always keep the main entrance to your home clear and clutter-free.
  10. In each room, identify the main purpose of that room. Try to only keep the things that directly serve the purpose of that room in there; everything else should move to a more useful place. If you haven't used something in a long time, then you probably don't need it. Sell it or give it away already!


Now go and create a more inviting space that will support your life goals.  Consult a Feng Shui specialist to get the answers on all the finer points about the best Feng Shui combinations.



About the Author: Suzanne Leopold started Living Mavens in 2016 to share some of the products and techniques that help her focus inward and transform her life.  With over 15 years of exploring energy and manifesting modalities, she is passionate about creating a life she loves and sharing her discoveries with others.  To learn more on how to consciously create a life you love, go to www.livingmavens.com