I am in the process of reading an ebook of a holistic nature. I did’t get past the first page before I decided to write a post to clarify what Feng Shui is and isn’t – from my own words. The book mentioned that Feng Shui is a superstition. It most certainly is not. It’s not even a belief or a religion. Official definitions aside, Feng Shui means not living in a junk heap. It means living in a space that serves you.
Living in a space filled with so much clutter you can’t move without tripping over something not only doesn’t serve you, it’s likely an indication of your mental and/or emotional health.
Someone who hangs on to every scrap of everything ever given to them, either because they might use it some day or because someone gave it to them as a gift is living in a state of internal poverty.
Using the principles of Feng Shui, one can create a space that serves by providing a peaceful space to rest (bedroom), relax (family room), entertain (living room), congregate (kitchen and/or dining room), maintain health (bathroom), and organize (garage, closets, basements).
Note I said principles. Guidelines. Not belief. You don’t have to be superstitious to know that tripping over toys in the driveway will result in frustration, if not injury. You don’t have to be religious to enjoy living in a clean organized environment.
Organized will be different for different personality types. Ask any creative type. However, there is a difference between creative organization and total mess.
In a way, I can understand why some Westerners associate the principles of Feng Shui with some spiritual philosophy. The people who first began teaching its principles didn’t express themselves in modern day scientific terms. They may have discussed cures to ward off negative energy , bad spirit feeling, or ley lines.
Those could be early ways of describing viral and bacterial diseases (there is a great emphasis on clean bathrooms), and EMFs; specifically, the electromagnetic frequencies that come out of geologic fault lines.
I’ve written extensively on how these ultra low frequencies can cause a myriad of devastating health symptoms. In my book Riding the Waves: Diagnosing, Treating, and Living with EMF Sensitivity, I write about how Feng Shui cures were helpful in relieving my symptoms. That is no coincidence. The ancient Chinese people lived close to the land, in harmony with their environment. They understood what was going on even if they did’t articulate it the way someone born in the late 20th century might.
Another reason I can understand someone associating belief with Feng Shui is because of how quickly and dramatically it can work. Perhaps someone is praying for improvement in a certain area of one’s life. They turn to Feng Shui, hoping it can fix the issue. It isn’t the furniture moving about that brings about change, it’s the change. That change mirrors what is going on within an individual, just as living in a junk heap does.
When someone takes control of their environment and implements – gasp – change, they should not be surprised when the areas they were hoping to improve do so. It wasn’t because of a prayer or belief but because of an action married to that belief. Action. Internal and external.
An example. I recently noticed I was having to deal with an incredible amount of emotional baggage. I felt as if I’d opened a closet door and a bunch of skeletons had collapsed on me. I struggled to keep my head above water, baffled by the sudden and intense shift in mental and emotional energy, until I happened to look at my living room. It’s in the Knowledge and Self-Cultivation area of the Bagua Map. We’d just completed a rather intense overhaul/reorganization using the principles of Feng Shui. Suddenly, it all made sense.
Was it the way we rearranged the furniture? Was it removing a few candles because there was too much fire element? Nope. It was clearing out various items that no longer served us. Items that reminded us of earlier times in our lives, unfinished mental or emotional housecleaning, and loose ends in terms of growth. It fostered deep conversations and a hell of a lot of soul searching. It totally made sense, not because I believed “Oh, I’m going to start going through a lot of emotional transformation because I tweaked the K & SC area of my home,” but because in clearing, donating, or relocating various items, I was inspired, if on an unconscious level, to address old issues.
I have to admit, it was swift and overwhelming, which made me consider somehow tweaking the area to calm the situation down, but I refrained. For one, simply acknowledging I needed to give myself a break influenced me to give myself one. Secondly, I don’t have some superstitious association with my living room. It’s just a place I hang out periodically. That it’s neat and filled with furniture I love is great – but how else would I have it? I’m not going to furnish it with stuff I hate.
It reflects my desire to have a place where company can feel comfortable and my kids want to play. It’s a place where my husband and I can sit at night and talk quietly if we want. It isn’t a museum where people are afraid to sit. That this all fits in with Feng Shui philosophies has nothing to do with superstition or religion or prayer or belief.
Feng Shui principles can dramatically improve the circumstances of one’s life as they mirror the changes and growth someone is in the process of making. The effects can be both dramatic and quick, in great part because the internal changes were already in progress. The outward organization is a physical manifestation of what was already inside of you.