Bad Feng Shui
Learn by example, don't do these...
Feng Shui Consultation Examples
Even Feng Shui practitioners sometimes forget to be conscious about their Feng Shui when busy with day-to-day activities. I had a beautiful fountain in the north to inspire flowing career opportunities. When it clogged, sputtered, and soaked everything within a two-meter radius, it was turned off and a mental note insured that it would be promptly adjusted. Of course, within seconds, it promptly flowed out of my mind....
A few weeks later I sat down on the adjacent bench and was eye-to-eye with the stagnant water. "No wonder why everything seemed to be double work, taking twice as long, or at a standstill. I'm glad it was only a few weeks!"
We need to regularly pay attention to our Feng Shui and to the symbolic representations of the objects we place in our environments. As with the most important and primary Feng Shui premise, everything in life is always changing, as you change-and hopefully you are, your Feng Shui may also need to change. With so much attention to traditional Feng Shui cures and their significance, such as in my fountain example, remember that everything in your environment has an effect on you. And Feng Shui symbols are found in everyday items that we create ourselves, personally select and purchase, that are given to us, and/or that just somehow accumulates. Regardless of how items show up in your home, they need to have beneficial representations and be appropriate to your current needs and desires.
Consider the following ways that items have materialized in your home, their symbolic representation, and how they may be effecting you. Depending on the conscious or unconscious meaning the item has for YOU will determine its influence. After reading these few examples, periodically walk through your home and "assess the story" of your objects to determine its benefit or if it has become unsupportive and perhaps detrimental clutter.
"I made it myself." Items that you make yourself are one of the most powerful symbols in Feng Shui as they contain personal-creation energy, your very heart and soul is in the item. In this consultation, notice how the symbol and its location was effecting this very talented artist and author.
At this stage of life, Rachel's greatest life desire was to be recognized for her writing, teaching, and artistic contributions. However, hanging in the entry vestibule of her home was a self-portrait that she painted while in college over twenty years ago. In addition to the fact that the painting held the personal-chi of a specific time in her life, symbols in the entry of any environment are very significant because it is the room of first impression. Not only did the painting influence the way she unconsciously saw herself, but also because it was seen by all who enter, it influenced her impression of how the world saw her.
To make the "young, just starting out" symbol even less beneficial to current desires, the painting was positioned on the south or Fame wall. As a person who continually develops her personal chi (a very important aspect of Feng Shui that we'll talk about in a later article) as soon as I mentioned the painting and its location, Rachel identified its effect and said, "It is time to get rid of it, that is not who I am anymore, and my life as a college student will not help to be acknowledged or receive fame for my adult work."
"Pay attention to the symbols that you grow out of." It doesn't matter how old you are to potentially grow out of some of the symbols that surround you.
I don't know how many consultations that I have done where adolescents still have their room full of stuffed animals. Sure, they can keep a favorite or two (I've got my 20, er, 30-year-old teddy in the west to keep creativity and spontaneity alive!), but all those childlike eyes keep young adults from seeing grown-up responsibility. Additionally, often there are so many of them collected over the years that they become more clutter-like, leaving no room for independence, new ideas and opportunities.
Adults hold on to items that no longer serve them as well. Sometimes the hardest items to get rid of have the strongest negative associations and once letting them go, the void creates the most transformational and beneficially life-changing Feng Shui. While sometimes emotionally painful, I call this process "choking up a fur ball!" It is a perfect analogy. While a cat getting rid of all the hair accumulated from cleaning itself certainly doesn't look like any fun, when it is over, Kitty definitely looks like it feels much better. So, how about an adult, stuffed animal, fur ball?
During a consultation, a married couple had way-to-many stuffed animals. When I asked about them, she explained that "those were her kids" and that every now and then she and her husband would bring a new one home. Basic psychology suggests that as children, we emulate Mummy and Daddy by taking care of our baby dolls (or stuffed animals) as a learned condition of wanting to love and beloved.
Because emotional conditions often repeatedly show up in a person's Feng Shui, I has suspicions about the stuffed deer head hanging in the living room. While she abhorred the idea, because Dad gave it to her, the trophy was hung in a place of honor. With further thoughtful and sensitive discussion, she volunteered that she was desperate to be loved by her father. Subconsciously she hung the poor dear center stage as a false symbol to emotionally suggest to herself that she loved Dad in order to be loved by him in return. The dead head was a non-supportive symbol that had nothing conscious to do with wanting to give or receive love and obviously bad Feng Shui!
When she had the courage to let go of ALL the stuffed animals, she realized that when she gave of herself without conditions to be loved in return, she was lovable. Without the desperate feelings of wanting to be loved by her father, she was able to see that he always did. And not having to take care of her husband in the same needy way she took care of "the kids," their relationship deepened into a mutually loving adult relationship.
When we get rid of items associated with deeply-rooted emotional issues, a bad relationship or, negative experience, there is a catharsis and emotional cleansing that leaves room for healing and the greater ability to enjoy happiness.
"Someone gave it to me," is quite often a reason that we should look deeper into Feng Shui symbols.
I went into a client's bedroom, the most intimate Feng Shui sacred space. There were dozens of roosters that various friends had given her. After she had been given a few, friends just assumed she liked them! (Jeez, did I tell you communication is good Feng Shui?) They would have been great symbols if her Chinese zodiac sign was a rooster and the collection was placed properly. She could have placed the roosters in the south to support her fame (also symbolic of the phoenix in the south rising out of the ashes to create new recognition possibilities), in the northeast or knowledge area to develop the many facets of her personal chi and inner/outer self, or in the northwest to encourage the support of mentors and helpful people.
But, she was not a rooster! Worst yet, they were placed on her nightstand. As it is good Feng Shui to be sensitive to the unconscious or conscious reasons items end up where they do, again to potentially hurt someone's feelings, I asked why were the roosters placed there. She had no reason, and in fact, she didn't even especially like them. "Why?" I asked. "Well roosters are dumb, she said." As the first dumb things she saw in the morning and the last dumb things she saw at night, day in, day out, the unconscious associations to being "dumb" was not a smart way to live.
We also need to pay attention to the accessories that the loved ones we live with may bring into the house and how they may effect everyone in the household.
A young couple started having communication troubles after several years of marriage. The husband would often come home with art that he alone selected. Looking around their home, "his" collection was of female nudes with either their face in shadow where you couldn't see the mouth or the art was a nude torso. The man was bringing home art that consciously or unconsciously may have implied that he didn't want to hear what his wife had to say. What came first, the chicken or the egg? Was he unconsciously trying to sabotage the relationship by symbolically suggesting that she be silenced? Was he purposefully trying to control her?
Surrounded by naked and vulnerable women, without a voice, created insecurities in the wife. She rarely voiced an opinion or demanded to be heard. With the relationship already seriously out of balance, when she did have the courage to speak, the husband, who was also surrounded by naked voiceless women, stopped listening and giving her the mutual respect that is necessary for a healthy relationship.
While I would like all Feng Shui situations to have storybook endings, it was HIS art; it wasn't coming down to make room for mutually supportive, joint-decision objects. When it became painfully obvious to her there wasn't room for him to compromise, she got rid of her fur ball and found the confidence to leave him. Within several months she found a great job and a few years later found a great guy and is living happily-ever-after.
The Feng Shui is so easy. Have nothing in your home that you do not find beautiful, functional, or beneficially symbolic! The hard part is to consciously pay attention to your surroundings and consider how you may be in its effect Set up a schedule so you'll remember to access your home, accessories, and LIFE! I like to evaluate my Feng Shui often so I include a walk-through my home as one of my new moon rituals. The new moon is an auspicious time to plant seeds, or in Feng Shui terms, a good time make Feng Shui changes.
There are so many easy options to get rid of what no longer serves you: give items to a friend or loved one that has admired it, donate it to your favorite charity, or if it is an expensive item like artwork, let a gallery sell it for you and then buy a piece that supports you.
Look around with conscious eyes. What do your accessories tell you? Make sure they all have happy, joyful, and beneficial stories.