Most people think first of therapy, coaching, medication, or maybe even herbs for depression. But did you know that feng shui can help you get unstuck, lift your spirits, and get you moving again? In Chinese medicine depression is seen as a type of stagnant qi (energy). Since feng shui is all about establishing good energy flow in your home and work environment, it stands to reason that it can powerfully affect your mood. Here are five ways to stimulate the flow of energy in your home, and get your own energy moving.
1) Make sure the entry way to your home is bright, beautiful, and welcoming. This is where energy and opportunity enter. There should be no obstruction or stagnation here, either around the front door or along the walkway up to the door. The door should be in good repair and should open easily and fully with nothing blocking it either from the front or the back. Make sure it is polished looking and sports fresh paint and hardware. The path up to the door should be clear, open, and inviting. It’s best if it has a “meandering” feel to it so the energy arrives at your door in a gentle way. Healthy plants along the walk will soothe your spirit as you approach your home.
When you enter your home, look around and notice what you see. There should be something simple and beautiful to greet you. If the first thing you see when you get home is clutter or a pile of bills to pay, your spirit will drop every time you come through the door.
2) Next, pay some attention to the center of your home. This could be literally the physical center, or it could be the area of the most activity, where people gather. This is the heart of your home. It is symbolic of your own center, your own heart. Make sure that the center of your home is uncluttered, and open enough so energy can circulate freely. This will support the free flow of emotion in your own heart.
3) Where in your house do your stash all your unused, unsorted stuff? Closets, garage? Take a fearless look at these areas and the stuff that is stored here. This is where you’ll likely find your own “shadow” material–all the deep unconscious feelings and unresolved issues that can keep you stuck in habitual patterns. Try opening up some of these areas and going through the material. Get a helper or professional organizer if it seems too overwhelming. Creating movement in these areas by sorting, filing, discarding, giving away, selling, or otherwise shifting your accumulated stuff can create a powerful shift in your mood.
4) Now check out your kitchen. Is it a place where you can create nourishing food for yourself and others? Does it have vital life giving food in it? Is there enough clear space to prepare your food? If your kitchen is dirty, cluttered, and filled with junk food, it’s very unlikely that you will be inspired to take good care of yourself. A kitchen that is warm, comfortable, uncluttered and conducive to creativity and cooking makes the life affirming statement that you care about yourself.
5) And finally, a word about color. I’ll be writing in more detail about color in future posts. But for now I just want to alert you to the problem of too much white in the home. White corresponds to the Metal element in Chinese medicine, and is associated with the end stage of the life cycle. It tends to crystallize our feelings and point us towards decay rather than creativity. If you live in a house that is painted predominantly white inside, try painting at least some of the walls in warm colors, especially the areas where you spend a lot of time.
Don’t attempt to do everything at once. This will just make you feel overwhelmed and helpless. Try picking one simple adjustment to make, then notice how you feel in the days or weeks after making the change. Feng Shui is powerful. Simple changes can create big shifts in your life.
Above all, have fun and follow your instincts. And consider calling in a Feng Shui consultant to help you. Professional consultants have training in very sophisticated systems of analysis and adjustment that can create profound results.