[It’s a new year (which I am having trouble remembering when I have to write the date on anything), meaning it’s the perfect time to wipe that slate clean and start anew. And we’re gonna help you out. Every Thursday in January we’re bringing you advice from experts on ways to improve yourself and your life. From mental health to making the most of your workspace, we’ll all work together to get our lives, health and GPAs back on track. First up, Mary Mihaly, a feng shui expert is going to show us how to make our living spaces work for us.]
You know when your room needs an “energy boost.” It feels tired in there…it isn’t the haven you want and need it to be. There’s something about it lately – it doesn’t welcome you, and your friends don’t love hanging out there.
What you need is some good feng shui (pronounced, “fung shway”), the ancient Chinese practice of arranging a space to produce the best possible energy in that room! It’s a great way to ramp up the positive energy in a space, and the most important feng shui “cures” are easy, affordable—and fun!
Below are 9 of my favorite feng shui fixes. Incorporate some or all of these into your living space and you’ll feel the energy shift instantly. (And yes, these even work in those teeny, tiny dorm rooms many of you call home!)
1. Literally translated, feng shui means, “wind and water”—and feng shui is all about letting energy (or “chi”) meander and flow unimpeded, just like wind and water. That means getting rid of dirt and clutter—they’re the biggest obstacles to good feng shui.
2. The entry is the most important place in your space because it’s where new opportunities, blessings and fortunes come into your life. (Everything in feng shui, you’re beginning to see, is grounded in symbolism!) Make sure it works—no scraping or banging—and pretty it up with some artwork or a decoration. By doing this, you’re symbolically “inviting” fresh possibilities to enter.
3. To attract a committed relationship or love energy, “couple” things in your sleeping area. If you have photos on the wall, hang two instead of one. Keep two pillows on the bed. “Spark” a new love interest with two items that make light (a lamp and a candle?) or noise (a phone and alarm clock).
4. Don’t allow things to pile up. Where you see piles, you’re looking at stagnation. Not a great way to go through winter!
5. To attract “good money chi,” introduce the color purple into the space. It can be something small; in feng shui, a whisper is as effective as a scream. Try a purple picture frame or small candle.
6. Keep a small amount of money in all of your wallets, purses, totes and other bags. Even a nickel will suffice, or fake money from a board game. You don’t want symbols of “empty pockets” in your space.
7. Make your desk chair substantial, so that you feel supported in your work. No wobbly folding chair! If your desk chair has holes in its back, cover them with a cushion or a nice throw.
8. Banish the “energy vampires” from your life, as much as possible. Work on surrounding yourself with people of integrity who want only the best for you.
9. When all else fails, buy some fresh flowers from a street vendor or the supermarket. Flowers are the number-one way to perk up the energy in a space, and when you’ve taken just one small step toward good feng shui, you’ll find that you’ll want to keep doing more!
Mary Mihaly is an author and certified feng shui practitioner. Her latest book, The 250 Questions Every Self-Employed Person Should Ask (Adams Media, 2010), is available at Amazon and in bookstores.