Even if you’re not a very superstitious or religious individual, you have probably wished for luck at one point or another in your life.
In fact, (thus, the phrase “good luck”)! But what if you knew that you could improve your fortune by re-arranging furniture in your home? Or that you could sleep better at night, stay in good health, and attract more money by placing specific objects in the right places in your room?
This is the ancient art of Feng Shui.
Feng Shui Defined
Literally translated as “wind water”, Feng Shui is an old Chinese philosophical system that teaches us to live in harmony with our surroundings – instead of against it. You’ve probably heard of Qi, which according to Chinese culture is our life force.
Qi flows in and around us; but if we don’t learn to work with it or we block its natural path, we could experience “bad luck”. This could be in the form of ill health, troubled relationships, or even not getting that promotion.
Imagine a ship sailing across a wide ocean, and the wind is the Qi that flows in and around the vessel. Should the ship then ride with OR against the wind that they cannot see but only feel?
For instance: if you like surrounding yourself with depressing elements and you allow yourself to think only of pessimistic thoughts, then you will negatively affect the Qi around you as well. However, if you learn to surround yourself with beauty and you begin to practice values of kindness, then you will attract positive Qi that should help you on your path towards success.
Feng Shui practices are based on many principles, including metaphysics and traditional superstitions. It’s usually utilized for huge buildings (typically commercial ones), but residential homes can benefit from it, too.
Several special tools, like the bagua and compass, are used to identify problematic areas in a given space. A Feng Shui expert will then give recommendations based on these observations to improve positive energy flow in a home and thus, attract good luck.
Is There Science in Feng Shui?
One of the many arguments behind Feng Shui practices is if the system has some scientific truth. However, if we explore the roots of the belief, we’ll find that it’s just about simple logic as well as man’s natural instincts.
When Guo Pu, known as the founder of Feng Shui theory and a popular Taoist scholar, wrote about water being the bringer of wealth, he was most likely referring to how people had thriving communities near bodies of water.
If we look at history, we’ll find that early successful civilizations (such as Mesopotamia) were built near abundant water supplies like rivers and lakes. China’s own Huang He society along the Yellow River flourished. Residents were able to domesticate animals, use metals, and develop educational and class systems.
This had nothing to do with superstition or luck – rather, it was because water is one of the human body’s prime needs. Without it, we would all perish.
Guo Pu’s idea that homes be built near bodies of water has now evolved to having Feng Shui practitioners bring in water structures in their residences. These come in the form of pools, fountains, or man-made ponds. While it adds to a home’s pleasing aesthetics, it could also be functional. Pools, for instance, help cool us down during hot summer days.
Another important factor of Feng Shui is Qi, or the supposedly “life force”. What is it exactly and how did the Chinese come about this principle? According to Stephen Field, a scholar of ancient China, his readings of 2nd century BC text led him to an analogy of Qi as “mutual resonance”.
For example: if you pluck one of the guitar’s strings, the others will soon vibrate. The Chinese believe that this Qi is contained in everything, and it continually flows in and around the earth. Could the ancient philosophers be referring to magnetic waves?
Field seems to think so. Science has already proven the existence of magnetic waves as well as how they affect human beings. Even some animals, like dolphins and birds, are sensitive to these invisible forces. In fact, they use it to help them navigate during their travels.
Like Qi’s description, magnetic forces in the earth are unseen (only felt), are continuously moving, and are present in every matter (living or not). Just like the negative counterpart of Qi (which is called “Sha”), prolonged exposure to magnetic waves could cause our bodies unwanted stress. So if your Feng Shui expert suggests you move your microwave somewhere else, he might be on to something.
However, REAL evidence to support Feng Shui practices is still elusive. Although scholars may make truly intelligent analogies and explanations unless scientific proof is present, Feng Shui can NOT be established as science – yet.
But neither is the system a religion because its components have nothing to do with gods or spirits. One thing’s sure though: Feng Shui helps you make sense of your surroundings and how to live in harmony with it.
Sample Feng Shui Practices
Just because Feng Shui is not real science doesn’t mean you can’t put a few of its practices into action. After all, we could use a bit of harmony in our homes!
Today, more and more people apply a bit of Feng Shui into their lives. Contrary to what most folks think, you don’t have to follow an expert’s advice to the dot! Feng Shui is very flexible: you can ask a specialist for practical, easy tips to improve positive Qi in your home without spending a lot or having to completely renovate your place.
For example: if you’re having trouble sleeping (or you feel fatigued even after 8 hours), then maybe you’re letting good Qi out of the room. It’s important to note that your bedroom should be a safe, comfortable haven for relaxation – NOT an extension of your workplace. Feng Shui experts give this advice for a more positive energy flow that would be conducive to better sleep:
- Think about the position of your bed. Avoid placing it under a window, low ceilings, or angles as this is believed to drain away good Qi.
- Choose bedroom furniture with soft or curved lines to keep away from “sharp, pointed energy”. If your existing furnishings are pointed or have sharp edges, you can drape soft fabrics over them as a Feng Shui cure.
- The saying “less is more” applies best to Feng Shui practices. Get rid of excess items that would remind you of negative emotions or anxious feelings (such as items your family hated or gifts from past lovers). Clean clutter to induce the positive flow of Qi around your bedroom for a peaceful night’s rest.
- Pick décor that would inspire or motivate you. Do you dream of a vacation house by the beach in 10 years’ time? Hang a large painting of the beach opposite your bed so that it’s the last thing you see before you sleep. This not only improves good Qi, but it also helps encourage you to work hard and make your dream come true.
Again: Feng Shui is all about living well with our surroundings. Clutter in the bedroom, for instance, not only looks messy, looking at it makes you worry about tomorrow (which hasn’t come yet). Anxiety before sleep is known to lessen the quality of rest OR lead to interrupted sleep.
The better you snooze, the more energized you are to face another day!
Luck or Real Life?
If you’re interested in following a few Feng Shui methods, you can study these lucky elements in depth.
There are plenty of good instructional materials online. My family and I, for example, have been following several Feng Shui practices for years now and it’s given our home a positive, more balanced feel.
One thing we love doing is placing crystals in specific areas of the house. My mother and I collect crystals, so joining these two interests was certainly a logical move.
Quartz is a versatile gem that you can put in any part of your home where you might need clear, refreshing energy in. We have a quartz crystal rose in our dining room because we want to talk about positive things while enjoying our meal as a family.
Who doesn’t want a little luck every now and then? Whether you need it for a promotion, a huge test, or to win someone’s heart, a bit of luck could go a long way. But don’t forget that our good fortunes alone are not enough: NO ancient system will be effective if you don’t practice hard work, diligence, and patience! Let Feng Shui be your guide in living harmoniously with your surroundings – but don’t let it run your life.
At the end of the day, how you carve your way towards your dreams is still what matters most.
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All those yellow leaves make me so happy.