The application of traditional Feng Shui practice and principles into your life can undoubtedly be of major benefit. Living as we do in a yang phase of humanity's development where science is the dominant leader, most theories have to be subjected to the rigorous testing of Cartesian and Newtonian laws. However, Feng Shui and its associated disciplines come from a more yin appreciation of ourselves, our environment, and our destiny. It is hard, though not impossible, therefore to measure much of this valuable wisdom from today's analytical yang perspective.
Much of the following is common sense, and many people are already intuitively practicing it. All these systems are intended to enhance the vibrational level of the home and to promote a supportive atmosphere that can pervade our health, fortune and journey.
Every possession in the home has its own vibrational quality. Everything we buy, every gift we receive and any family heirloom we inherit all contain their own particular frequencies. In an ideal world, we surround ourselves with artifacts, furniture and possessions that have either a functional use or are aesthetically pleasing to the soul.
Surrounding ourselves with objects that we are not happy with, that are broken, out of date, or that we seldom use are simply taking up space. Excess baggage in the home has the potential to slow down our chi, limit our perspective of a new bright future and, to a certain degree, connect us more with our past than with our future.
I highly recommend Karen Kingston's book Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui which gives an excellent overview of the benefits of keeping your home clear of unwanted possessions. Before making any well-intentioned Feng Shui changes in your home, clear the decks of all excess baggage to maximize the potential for new changes to occur in your home and your life. There are three stages to undertaking this important task:
- Dealing with the physical excess baggage in your home.
- Dealing with the vibrational or outstanding emotional issues in your life.
- Begin to work on your health and well-being.
You need to be ruthless. Make a note of your possessions, going through the house, room by room, and be clear about what you use on a regular basis. Excess baggage is material that is either redundant, broken or has been waiting several months or years to be repaired! Old clothes, unwanted gifts, out of date magazines, old college notes, broken gadgets all fall into this category.
Clothing, utensils and tools that you use on a seasonal basis are not regarded as excess baggage and can be stored away conveniently and brought out when appropriate. Try to avoid an old mistake of filling your attic or basement with boxes of junk that you promise yourself you will go through one day. Be ruthless!
If you are young or single, living in rented accommodation, think where you may have stored your excess baggage. Did you leave it in your parents' attic? Have you left it in the basement of your brother's home? If so, you need to work on this as well as, in the long term, it is not going to do them any good.
Have friends, a neighbor or relative taken a job abroad and left trunks and suitcases of their baggage in your loft? If you are unclear how long you are expected to store their 'excess', contact them and clarify this point. If it looks like it is going to be a vague ongoing process, you need to be clear and get it sorted.
We can easily slow down our progress in life by being too caught up with the past. On an emotional or vibrational level, reflect on what outstanding business there may be in your life. Pay particular attention to any outstanding or incomplete conversations you have had with a friend, relative, business colleague or an ex-love. Unresolved issues in our lives are very similar to untidy desks with mountains of paper work!
Clearing the air, clearing the desk opens up possibilities. Take a moment to draw up a list of those you need to phone, write to, or have coffee with to resolve any misunderstanding or outstanding issues.
The Metal element in Oriental healing relates to the lungs and large intestines. Both of these organs are responsible for absorbing aspects of the external world within us, as well as being responsible for the elimination of excess. The health and the efficiency of these two vital organs is naturally reflected in how well we deal with excess baggage in the world around us. Chronic breathing difficulties or digestive problems inevitably lead to a deeper physical stagnation within us and a darker, gloomier outlook on life. In other words, stagnation sets in.
If you feel this is an issue with you, make cleaning a daily ritual rather than a daily chore. Done briskly, on a reasonably empty stomach, energetically and with some uplifting music in the background, you can get the job done while at the same time recharging your chi.
For my first year as a student of the Oriental healing arts in the 1970s, I had a part-time job as a cleaner. Looking back, it was the most care-free, enjoyable, invigorating and satisfying job I think I have ever held. Although a humble position, in many ways I was responsible for setting the tone of the building. It is not uncommon today to find monks who dedicate their lives to spiritual practices in monasteries, interspersing their days of study with bursts of energetic cleaning.
Naturally, prevention is considered the best cure among all the great healing systems. Keep your home brightly charged and clear of unwanted baggage and you open the doors to new possibilities. Surround yourself with junk, debris, dust and old chi and you simply attract more of the same.
Do you recall as a child that you would never dream of walking across your parent's sparkling clean kitchen floor? However, if it was dirty and covered in smudge marks, you wouldn't think twice about it because your muddy footprints would not be noticed so much!
Walking through a leafy litter-free suburb, you would not expect to find anyone throwing rubbish on to the pavement. However, if there is a vacant plot where somebody has already dumped some rubbish, before long you will find everyone else is doing the same. Simply speaking, this is called 'big yin attracts little yin!'
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Destiny Books, a division of Inner Traditions Intl.
Feng Shui for Life: Mastering the Dynamics between Your Inner World and Outside Environment
by Jon Sandifer.
Discover how much more effective Feng Shui is when it focuses on the self as well as the room. By integrating the energies of your inner and outer environments, you can reach a stage of harmony that brings balance to all aspects of your life. Learn to improve your home, health, and astrological influences by manipulating energy flow.
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About the Author
JON SANDIFER was a longtime consultant in Eastern healing traditions including Feng Shui, 9-Star-Ki Astrology, Oriental diagnosis, acupressure, and shiatsu. His other books include Feng Shui Astrology, and Zen and the Art of Cooking . He was the chairperson of the Feng Shui Society and lived in London.