Feng shui – ‘acupuncture for homes’. Back in the 90s, it was all the rage. Well, to be fair, back in China, 5,000 years ago feng shui was all the rage – and has never been out of fashion. Here in the west, we’re so fickle. As I was reading back through Spirit of the Home, it struck me how we’ve pushed feng shui aside in the last decade or so. I reckon it’s time to bring it back.
The Chinese realised, through years of careful observation, that energy doesn’t just move through the body in specific pathways; it also moves through the environment in the same way. If that energy is stagnant and blocked, or erratic and undisciplined, it can cause bad luck and even illness. By ‘healing’ our environment (our home, our work space), we can put our lives back on track. Feng shui teaches that, by making small shifts to your home, you can affect everything in your life – from your finances to your health, from your relationships to your spirituality.
Much of feng shui works on pure human psychology and commonsense. If you work, sit or sleep with your back to the door, you’re bound to feel a little uneasy. If your house is full of clutter, it’s hard to feel focused or relaxed. Yet there are more subtle aspects too. Feng shui teaches that the house is a metaphor for self. Windows are the ‘eyes’ of the home – if they are filthy, you won’t be able to see clearly. If doors stick, your life might feel stuck too. The hall and corridors of the home are the veins and arteries of the home – so obviously it’s vital to keep them clear and uncluttered. If your plumbing is up the creek, you not only run the risk of your own ‘plumbing’ coming under strain, but it can also affect your finances (that’s where that old idea of keeping the lavatory seat firmly down comes from).
I too had rather forgotten about feng shui. I hadn’t even looked at the ba-gua of my new home. Curiously, it has the same footprint as my very first house in London. So I’m still facing the same challenges – mainly around finances. However there are other issues too. As I came towards the end of mending the house, my funds ran out. The boiler, which needed replacing, started leaking and refused to churn out hot water. I had hoped to have an open fire but when the chimney sweep came round she said the chimney wasn’t safe and the flue would need lining, and a wood burner installed. No way could I afford that. So, my home is lacking its central hearth, and its ‘heart’ is broken and leaking. Without enough interior heat, the old damp remains. Small wonder, then, that my health has been so poor since I moved in. Small wonder, too, that my career is, to put it kindly, on pause.
Fanciful? Maybe. Yet I’m not prepared to take the chance. So, come hell or high water (ho ho), I have to get that boiler fixed or replaced. I need to jump-start the heart(h) of my home – and my own health and heart too.
If you look around your own home, what do you see?