Last night, I made my bed at 1:00 AM.
I have to admit, this was not the first time I’ve found myself putting my home back into balance after a crazy day. As I made my bed, a part of me thought to myself “What’s the point, if I’m going to sleep soon anyway?!” But, as I put all judgment aside, I decided to listen to what made me feel good. So I finished and climbed into my freshly-made bed.
I’ve practiced the art of Feng Shui for years, and last night’s impulsive bed-making was a beautiful reminder of how Feng Shui can be sneaky and intuitive, while leading us to feeling good. Result? Going to bed feeling accomplished, more relaxed, and ready to settle into a blissful slumber—and then waking up to a home that greets you with a new day, instead of yesterday’s leftovers.
For many people, Feng Shui is all about where you place things in your home, like the placement of your bed. This is part of it, but it’s only a piece of the complex puzzle that is Feng Shui. It’s also about engaging in a deeper conversation with yourself, and seeing your external world as a metaphor and supportive tool for the desires generating inside you.
The point is to practice paying attention to how things make you feel, and opening yourself up to interact with your environment differently in order to honor your deeper interests. Where there is placement and interaction, there is also purpose.
Surprisingly, most people implement Feng Shui into their daily lives without even knowing it! For example, you place a coat rack next to the front door so you can quickly reach for your coat as you head out for the day, and then later easily hang it up when you come home. It’s so logical and intuitive, you don’t even think about it; it just makes sense! Coats are also objects associated with the outdoors, so having it as close to the entrance is supportive to its purpose. That’s Feng Shui hiding in plain view.
On the flip side, when items are placed counter-intuitively, they can inspire some unwanted ripple effects. Let’s say you keep your coat in a closet upstairs instead of by the door. How often would you find yourself laying your jacket over an empty chair, or setting it on your dining room table? Maybe you tell yourself you’d put it away later. As the days pass, additional items join the coat, which is now anchoring a landing pad of “I’ll do it later” clutter.
This process unconsciously invites behaviors of avoidance, which doesn’t help you feel motivated to get things done. The more you procrastinate, the worse you feel about yourself–and who wants that? When this becomes commonplace, a deeper question to ask yourself would be “Where in my life do I feel cluttered or overwhelmed? What else am I avoiding? And what emotional patterns are currently resonating with me, perpetuating unwanted outcomes and feelings about myself?”
You are probably thinking to yourself, “Whoa. All of this, just because of a COAT?” So often the seemingly insignificant habits of our daily lives influence us, and once adjusted, they can generate such positive outcomes.
To help inspire habits of feeling good, I have some tips for those who are new to Feng Shui. You may already find yourself doing these, so keep your intentions in mind, and enjoy doing them now with a deeper sense of consciousness and purpose. Be reflective and aware of your habits.
Make Your Bed Everyday
Aim to make it in the morning, but if you don’t, don’t worry; you aren’t failing at Feng Shui. Feel free to give yourself permission to do it anytime (like I did!). It’s like hitting a reset button. Instead of crawling back into the bed you left in the morning, you are now getting into a bed with a fresh start into tomorrow’s opportunities. Sweet dreams!
Open Your Shades
Let there be light! Even if it’s cloudy, open your blinds/curtains to allow the medicine of the outdoors activate your home. Showering your space with a feeling of life and light from the outside world will have an incredible effect on your mood and energy. Your pets (and plants!) will also appreciate the gesture.
Bringing the outdoors into your home is one of the fundamental elements of Feng Shui. A favorite is having fresh flowers in the house. What’s sweeter than gifting yourself with some living color? Refreshing your flowers regularly helps invigorate your space, perpetuating the cycle of feeding your home with new harmonious energy. Can’t justify your budget for flowers? Do a small $4 bunch (a little goes a long way), or better yet, check out your own backyard!
Question Your Clutter
Dear pile of mail, am I leaving you on the piano because I haven’t found you a home yet? Start noticing the areas of clutter. Are they the same items, time and again? How are they ending up there? Are they accumulating in the morning or evening? Are your routines helping or hindering? Reflect, and ask some deeper questions.
This works interdependently with questioning your clutter. Designate a ‘home’ for your items and aim for consistency. Make an effort to put things back in their place before you’re ready to relax. Things WILL accumulate, but making time to restore the balance of your space by picking up and putting things away has some incredibly rewarding effects. Clear your space, and help clear your mind.
Less is More
Pick one thing (everyday) that you don’t use or need anymore and get rid of it. Choose anything! This helps you get comfortable with the process of “letting go” and relieving your space of dead weight objects that no longer serve you. Doing this habitually with simple household objects will help you to be brave when letting go of complex things in your life, like unhealthy relationships, food choices, jobs, or past traumas.
Photos by Rebekah Molloy
Written by Rhiannon Birdsall