When it comes to finding your ideal home, good looking decor and good Feng Shui are not the same things. Beauty is only skin deep, and this is especially true in Feng Shui.
Granite countertops, expensive appliances, elaborate wall mouldings, soaker bathtubs and the right colours are all very nice, but not Feng Shui in the classical sense. These things are more simply associated with decorating.
What is the difference between decorating and Feng Shui?
The difference is good decorating has a psychological effect whereas Feng Shui is about finding good Qi, harnessing or tapping into it and then circulating it.
Imagine a nicely decorated room with no windows at the end of a long dark hallway. When a room doesn’t have Qi, it doesn’t support you and leaves you feeling tired, depressed and unhappy over time, regardless of how beautiful it is.
A home filled with trendy high-end features, but devoid of healthy Qi is like a well-decorated vault, void of energy. No amount of good decorating can change the energy of a space to be supportive or have good Feng Shui if there isn’t positive energy present in the first place. When a building has good natural energy, it is the job of a designer or decorator to enhance it effectively.
The Qi of Buildings.
When we live in buildings with supportive Qi, our lives are more productive, we have more opportunities, our health is better and overall we are successful.
A desirable building with good Feng Shui should consist of the following:
- A good location
- A wholesome, regular form and desirable shape
- A smooth flow of Qi throughout
- And an overall good feeling
A house should have a wholesome shape and form.
‘Wholesome’ means complete, full and regular in contrast to fragmented, irregular and strange. For a residence, the ideal form is basically square or somewhat rectangular, since a residence is a place of support and rest. From the outside it should be clear that the home has a stable foundation and structure.
This is easy to understand with dramatic examples. Which one appeals to you?
Building Interiors and Qi.
The inside floor plan for each room should also stay with square and rectangular forms. Historically most homes have been built along these lines. It is only in the recent years, the homes and condos have come to be increasingly fragmented and irregular, reflecting the chaos and turbulence of the world today.
Wholesome forms and regular shapes bring forth wholesome energy. Chaotic and irregular forms reinforce unstable, chaotic energy. People confuse chaotic energy with creativity.
In my consulting over the years, the spaces that I visit with irregular shapes and forms consistently reflect lives of financial and emotional uncertainty.
A good house should have a smooth Qi energy flow throughout the house. There should be clear and clean passageways and connections between the rooms. The movement of energy should not be too fast or too slow. In a house that is too open, with poorly defined spaces the flow of Qi is too fast. A house that is too partitioned, blocks and stagnates Qi, correlating to lack of growth and feeling stuck.
Does the building have a good feeling?
You don’t have to be a trained Feng Shui expert to learn how to see and feel Qi, but you do have to be present, observe and ask yourself questions. I’ll show you how with this simple exercise.
Take a moment and imagine a recent happy event or someone you love who makes you happy.
Do you feel your chest expanding, did you take a deep breath, do you feel your stomach flutter? These are all ways our body responds when we feel good. We relax, we expand, maybe you smiled. I want you to remember what this feels like.
Now, take a moment and imagine you’re stuck in traffic, late for an event, worried about money and feeling really stressed.
Did you feel your stomach sink, did your shoulders pull in, are you frowning? Very different feeling isn’t it?
One of the secrets of working with Feng Shui, is learning to listen to what your body is telling you versus what your mind is saying.
The next time you’re out there house hunting, your mind may be saying I love these granite counter tops and high end appliances, but your body is telling you the energy of the house doesn’t feel right.
A good house should make you feel good. This seems like common sense, but most people today confuse something that looks expensive with something that feeling good.
We all have immediate responses to a place whether warm or cold, tense or relaxed, or comfortable and uncomfortable. It is not unusual for the Chinese to bring a young child under two along when house hunting. The child acts as the ‘feeling barometer’. If the child is happy and content inside the home, it is one sign of good energy being present.
The criteria of good location, wholesome form, smooth Qi flow and good feeling are fundamental Feng Shui principles when searching for an ideal home.
Understanding the fundamentals is essential before learning and considering the specifics such as overall design, front door, bedroom, kitchen location and design.
Each and every building has a ‘life.” Some are blessed with fortune and others with misfortune. With awareness comes choice. Learning to see “Qi”, is the first step.
Next week – Highlights of my Feng Shui study trip to China in Sept 2015