I hadn’t intended to post today, but I learned this afternoon that February 5th is World Feng Shui Day. (Click here for an introduction to Feng Shui by guest blogger Carol Olmstead of Feng Shui for Real Life.)
I can barely keep track of my own anniversary, let alone World Feng Shui Day. But I will honor the occasion with a slightly rushed post, since I had already been planning on sharing how Feng Shui recommendations have helped reboot my home environment after the holidays.
(This piece applies to the “shelter” portion of the food, shelter, mind, body, and spirit reboot that I put into motion a couple of weeks ago. Click here to read more about it.)
For the record: I’m posting this shortly before midnight, so I hope to get extra Feng Shui credit from whoever doles that out.
Another thing for the record: I am a fair weather Feng Shui practitioner. I do what’s easy. I avoid the hard stuff (like knowing when it’s World Feng Shui Day). I have no interest in reading the T’ung Shui almanac, which has been produced for centuries as a guide for deciding the best times to move, switch jobs, or even bathe.
I haven’t tried the ultra woo woo Feng Shui cures, though I once came close to carrying out the “Orange Peel Ceremony” to clear bad chi after I discovered my muddy son in my brand new soaking tub.
But personal experience has convinced me that we do have influence over positive and negative energy flows in our surroundings. And even though I have neither crystals hanging in windows or incense burning on alters, I do believe that when I slam my knuckle on an ill-placed door latch, I spew negative energy into the environment along with whatever four letter word passes my lips.
On the flip side, the delight I take in opening my refrigerator to find fresh food on sparkling shelves adds to the positive energy in my home and the world at large. Feng Shui, in my view, is just one more form of community service.
So, in honor of World Feng Shui Day, here’s a list of my most recent round of functional Feng Shui fixes:
Collecting and depositing coins. The little pottery pitcher (a son’s art class project) that holds excess change under my bathroom sink had been overflowing for months. Every time I opened the cabinet and saw the growing mess of coins, my jaw tightened and I closed the door as quickly as I could.
Tired of feeling that annoyance (and negative energy), I finally scooped the money into a plastic bag and headed to the bank (it amounted to over $25!). Carol Olmstead confirmed that this not only symbolized getting my finances in order, it was also important to fix anything “overflowing”, since we had had several odd floods in our house over the years.
Cleaning out the linen closet. The linen closet had become an overstuffed mess that set me on edge every time I even approached the door, let alone opened it. I recruited my 16-year-old son to help with this project. He did the leg work of clearing every shelf and organizing the towels, sheets, etc. into their own piles. I pulled out torn and unused items to donate, then put everything else back in place.
From a Feng Shui perspective, cleaning a closet makes room for new opportunities to flow into your life. From a mother/son perspective, we both feel great when we open that baby!
Organizing the kitchen utensil drawer. My 14-year-old son was tasked with this job. It was another case of letting the disorganization get to the point of making me crazy whenever I opened the drawer, where a messy hodgepodge of serving spoons and rubber spatulas taunted me. I left him to it, and I when I came back he had reconfigured the drawer organizer, vacuumed out the accumulated crumbs, and replaced everything in size-appropriate compartments. Boom!
As with cabinets and closets, Feng Shui recommends clearing out drawers to create space for new opportunities in your life. More immediately, the clean drawer just makes me happy. And when Mama’s happy, everybody’s happy, right?
New plants for the kitchen window ledge. Since our kitchen is located in the fame/future/recognition area of the home as designated in the Feng Shui bagua, I drew from recommendations to symbolically support this area, including bringing in the fire element (via candles and red and orange pots for the plants).
Jade plants and African Violets symbolize wealth and abundance in Feng Shui, so I chose those to replace the shriveled cactus that had been there for years (word has it that spiky, thorny plants cause arguments). Once again, the effect of the new plant display soothes me somehow, and is a great way to bring a fresh start to the new year.
Who knows if all of that symbolic decorating really works? What I do know is that my Feng Shui fixes invariably leave me feeling better in my home, for whatever reason. That’s enough for me. So happy World Feng Shui Day!