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Spring Cleaning with Feng Shui

by Kristi Vanator

Occasionally, we have the opportunity to enter a space so comfortable and peaceful that we are drawn to it like a siren's song. This space calls to us to relax, rest, and nurture ourself; to wrap serenity around us. We have all also experienced an uncomfortable, uneasy, or unwelcome feeling upon entering a space. We hurried through our business and left at the first opportunity.

The study of Feng Shui, the art of placement, provides an understanding of what makes a space appealing or repelling to us. Feng Shui has its beginnings in ancient China. Feng is wind and Shui is water. These two important elements determined the life and death of crops, livestock, and people. Gentle winds and timely and appropriate amounts of rain, or the lack of it, set the course for a year of abundance or drought. Careful observation of the cycles of nature has evolved into an intricate science including aspects of the I Ching, the Chinese Zodiac, yin and yang, Taoism, Wu Xing (literally "five agents" which are wood, fire, earth, metal, and water), the four directions, and the all important Chi, as well as other considerations. The proper harmonious blend of these elements can create an environment of "Heaven on Earth."

One extremely important aspect of Feng Shui is in the free flow of Chi throughout a home or business. Chi is the universal energy force and should circulate unimpeded in our living spaces. Let us imagine Chi as water for a few moments. Picture a clear bubbling spring on a gently sloping hillside. The spring slowly curves and flows its way to lower levels. There is no mad rushing and crashing of water, just a gentle, easy meandering flow. This evokes a peaceful, nurturing space. Now imagine Niagara Falls with its thunderous, powerful water flow. The strength and force of its energy is the opposite of the gentle spring, yet both are merely water in motion. So it is with Chi.

When the Chi is moving too rapidly and gaining momentum, it is called Sha Chi. Chi following a straight path and increasing in speed is undesirable. Feng Shui seeks to create a gentle, easy flow of Chi. Stagnant, brackish water is another example of Sha Chi. Where there are blockages, the life force cannot move freely. Good Chi can be established by placing furniture, lighting, plants, and other accessories properly in one's home or work space. Clear, unblocked lines of travel through spaces are essential. A clean and uncluttered environment is one of the basic tenets of Feng Shui.

Look out the windows. Are they clean? What do you see when you look out the windows? Do you have stacks and boxes of things in your space that you haven't gotten around to? Is your closet full of clothing two sizes too small or twenty years old? A cluttered up, stacked up space is as deadly to your living environment as plaque is to your arteries! Clean it up, give it away, recycle it. After you have done this, notice how your space feels. The air is fresher, lighter, and feels much better.

A Feng Shui consultant will evaluate your home or work space and then make suggestions, called cures, for ways to improve the flow of Chi in your environment. The process can be simple, working with the elements currently existing in the environment and dealing only with placement or rearranging. More can be added according to an individual's budget.

For example, the purchase of wind chimes or the installation of indirect lighting would work for a person with modest amount to invest. A fine time to utilize a Feng Shui consultant is when a major redecorating or remodeling project is in the planning stages. Then, the elements of Feng Shui can be incorporated from the start.

One of my favorite Feng Shui cures involves the use of aromatherapy. This is a delightful way to invoke a healing atmosphere in any space. If your office is subject to the afternoon heat and sun, and the sleepies attack you, a diffuser with lemon and grapefruit oils can perk you UP and keep you going.

Sound is an important consideration in Feng Shui, and soothing sound is often applied as a cure. As you go through your spaces with your eyes wide open to evaluate the Chi, don't forget to keep your ears open, too. Sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste are necessary tools. Play with them as you enter the world of Feng Shui.

Kristi Vanator is a Feng Shui consultant and counselor who places special attention on encouraging others to rise to their highest potential. Serving the Central Fla. area, she may be reached by email at kristivanator@hotmail.com

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