"Do what you can, with what you have, with where you are.” Theodore Roosevelt
In Feng Shui there are not many hard and fast rules, but rather recommendations. The most important thing is that you live with you love. The exceptions are areas that can specifically drain your Ch'i, or vital life energy. For these areas there are a few rules that when followed create a more balanced environment, and hence a more balanced life. In an ideal environment the Ch'i enters through the threshold (Mouth of Ch'i) and meanders happily and slowly through the house, moving in a circular direction through each of the Bagua areas back to the center and continuously around. It does not get trapped in closets, stumbles over clutter, or shoots through windows, down toilets or rushes down stairways.
When structural imbalances occur there are specific Feng Shui cures and corrections that when applied will keep the negative energy from wearing away at us.
I’ve discovered two basic concerns that have arisen through a number of home consultations:
1) Stairways and Hallways, 2) Large Windows Facing the Front Door
These are referred to as “Rivers of Ch'i” - where the vital energy flows too fast and out of our lives.
Stairways and Hallways – Raging Rivers
We call stairs raging rapids and rivers because they can become powerful waterfalls of Ch'i, especially if they point out the front entrance. In this case the nourishing Ch'i pours right out the door, often taking health and good fortune with it. Rooms at the top of a staircase are continually pulled with the force of the decent, while rooms at the bottom are flooded with too much energy.
Just like stairs, halls and long corridors in your home or office can act as raging rivers, moving the energy through too fast. Long halls speed people up.
Avoid mirrors facing the door at the end of hallways, rather put a beautiful piece of art to catch the eye.
Corrections: To balance these hallways need to be broken up into human friendly parts. To slow down a hallway, arrange art, mirrors, lights, furniture and carpets to suggest a series of niches to slow down the Ch'i. You can create points of interest but placing plants, furniture, art and statuary. Avoid placing a mirror at the end of a long corridor, as this doubles the size of the hallway, rather place mirrors on the side of hallways across from doors to rooms which widen the appearance of the hall.
Windows are considered the eyes of the house. They bring beautiful natural light and nourish you with the energy form beautiful views. But as with stairways, when places directly in front of the front door a pathway is created which pulls the Ch'i too quickly across and out of the room. Attractive as this may be, especially with expansive water views, this can leave the home “undernourished. Remember that ideally, we want the Ch'i to meander slowly through the house.
Corrections: When you have a large window and a door lined up directly across from each other, place something between them, such as an aquarium, a sculpture, plants, flowers or a piece of furniture. You can also soften the window with curtains or blinds. When there is no space for these things, hang around faceted crystal between window and door, or hang a small mirror above or beside the window to redirect the energy back into the room.
Furniture strategically places to block the flow of Ch'i out of windows.
“I’m always rushing. I feel like I can never catch up.” I heard someone say this the other day and it made me wonder what was causing the energy to rush through her house, and what simple corrections she could make to slow it down. Remember that, our home and work environments are alive and completely interconnected with the rest of our lives. The goal is to keep the vital energy circulating throughout in a harmonious and peaceful way, creating peace, harmony and balance in our lives.