I was introduced to feng shui through a giant book full of pictures and wildly promising tips. I had no idea that your home could affect your life, and yet it sounded rational enough to make this home-life connection. I was game for some magical experience, and I dove right in!
I decided to implement every single big-payoff tip to see what would happen. I put a cool-looking symbol under my bed that was supposed to bring me a husband (nope), did a ceremonial orange peel water sprinkling around my house to create good fortune (couldn’t tell the difference) and buried coins in rice in a big vase to bring money (also, no dice). I couldn’t understand why this stuff didn’t work for me.
I was looking for the payoff. I wasn't looking to create a lifestyle shift or make a real change. I guess I picked the lazy and greedy person’s feng shui tips! They didn’t do much of anything that made sense to me, and I let it all go.
A few years later I found feng shui again, but this time with a new viewpoint: a Western viewpoint, grounded in tradition but also in science, so it made new sense to me. I tried more feng shui tips from this point of view, but this time the tips seemed to have more of a connection to my actual living space and lifestyle. They forced me to readjust myself in my space and see things in a new way.
It worked! More interestingly, I saw the difference as my life shifted and real “payoff” came.
As I went deeper into the art of feng shui, I began to see that at it works best when you make it your own. I apply feng shui now in a very personalized fashion, because there are no “one-cure-for-everyone” solutions to creating a powerful environment.
That said, over time I've discovered some solid feng shui tips that anyone can implement to see the “feng shui” flow and feel the power of connection between life and space. If a few simple shifts at home might make a big difference and they make good sense to you, I encourage you to dive in!
Here are six feng shui tips I recommend to everyone:
1. Eliminate clutter.
If you can get rid of even half the unnecessary stuff in your home and office, you'll feel lighter, and may even drop some weight and get rid of headaches in the process.
2. Keep your toilet lid down.
Why? It’s like inviting a sewer into your home. There's nothing inviting about an open toilet. A traditional feng shui perspective on this is that the toilet is a drain, and by leaving it open you allow good energy (and money) to literally drain out of your home.
3. Get two nightstands.
Nightstands aren't just to create “love” in your life. I don’t care if you want to live alone forever; two nightstands create a more supported and balanced bed for everyone. Look at a bed with one nightstand. It feels off-kilter. If you want to have — or do have — a relationship, two nightstands, if nothing else, signal that you want another person to feel more comfortable in your space as well. These nightstands do not need to match, and they don’t need to be traditional nightstands: chairs, stools, benches and card tables can work in this regard.
4. Try not to work with your back to a door.
Working with your back to a door puts you in a compromising position, even if you don’t realize it right now. If you reposition your desk and work facing a door, you may be surprised to feel how much more powerful that position is in space. If your desk is positioned so that your back has to be to a door, or if there is no way to change the desk position, put a mirror above your desk or a reflective surface on your desk that enables you to see the door in the reflection. In essence, no one can “sneak up on you” when you face a door or can see it.
5. Get plants.
Plants are nature, growth, creativity and even air purification all in one beautiful package! Get great plants that you can manage. You don’t have to overdose on this tip, but I will say that if you have lots of electronics, get one or two more plants than may seem logical but still look lush and wonderful, and you'll feel the difference.
6. Fix what's broken.
Broken things have no place in your home. Everyone I know would be upset about a broken car, but they have broken door handles, broken appliances and all sorts of broken architecture everywhere in their living environment. Your space is a mirror of you. Don’t let it stay broken! While fixing things in your home you may find it easier to confront and fix other lingering issues or problems in your life at the same time.
My parting notes for getting started with feng shui tips: Do what feels right to you. If it feels wrong, it is wrong. Also, an investment in your home — even a time investment — will make your whole life feel richer and bring you a more balanced sense of home. Even small shifts can make a big difference!