Feng shui principles provide a road map we can use to find peace, tranquility, and positive energy at home—and it isn't a difficult one to follow. Here are the common mistakes that I see feng shui beginners often make in their homes. Rest assured that there is a quick fix for each one, and your space is not beyond repair if you've been getting things "wrong" for a while!
1. Your bed, sofa, or desk chair isn't facing the door.
You may not feel this consciously, but in order to feel totally safe, you need to be in a command position where you know that no one is going to come and surprise you. Our amygdala—the part of the brain that controls fear-based survival instincts—is conditioned to be on alert when we can't see what is behind us, so make sure you're never sitting with your back to the door for long periods of time. If you cannot change your furniture position, play around with mirrors so you can always see when someone enters or leaves a room.
2. You didn't declutter properly before you installed feng shui remedies.
Most of us are scared of throwing away something we'll one day miss, so we dread the idea of decluttering. However, it is absolutely necessary to create a clean slate before you work feng shui into your home since clutter completely drains your chi, or life force energy. The practice has "eyes" in every nook and cranny, so you really can't hide anything! For example, one of my client's homes was completely spotless, except for the garage, which was piled high with gigantic mountains of stuff. It was only once we cleared this space that she was able to manifest the future she wanted.
3. You have large art hanging above areas you sit or lie down.
Hanging large, burdensome paintings and photos over your bed, couch, or chair is a no-no. Feng shui is all about feeling safe and secure in your space, and it's hard to feel safe with something heavy hanging directly over your head.
4. You don't prioritize comfort.
It's easy to be seduced by beautiful items that aren't necessarily practical or comfortable, but sharp edges, wobbly furniture, and prickly cacti all mess with the energy of your space since we subconsciously react to threatening objects and situations.
5. You have low-vibe art.
Always question what the objects, art, and photography in your space are communicating to you. Everything around you should support your intentions in some way, so consider removing imagery of people who are sick, lonely, or unhappy.
6. You design with one intention in mind.
Say you really want to attract financial wealth, so you place all your attention on the wealth gua (the rear left area of the home that responds to blues, purples, and reds). This is only part of the puzzle since you also need to enhance the other guas that will help you attract this type of abundance. Are you going to get wealthy because of your impeccable reputation at work (the career gua)? Are you going to call on the help of a mentor or a boss (the helpful people gua)? Everything is connected, so take a more holistic view of your home and don't place all your attention in one place.
7. You overuse one element for the sake of creating a color palette.
Some people have a very strong preference for one or two of the five elements of wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. However, balanced homes showcase all of them. Too much metal and metallic shades can cause tension while earthy homes with lots of neutral tones and ceramics can start to feel stale and stuffy.
8. You focus too much on a specific outcome.
Say you want to salvage your relationship, but you activate your romance gua and it still falls apart. What happened? Feng shui works in mysterious ways, and you never know what's going to happen when you renew the energy flow of an area. Don't hold onto a specific outcome too tightly, for in doing so you might miss out on the opportunities being presented to you. After all, having that relationship fall apart could be exactly what you needed.
9. You treat your home like it's not made to be lived in.
Steer clear of the desire to create a "perfect" interior. Just like you want to avoid elemental imbalance, you want to avoid decorating with materials and furniture that are so precious that you feel anxious or guilty sitting with them. Your children, pets, and guests all carry wonderful life energy of their own, so let them run around and plop down anywhere they please as well.
10. You keep broken items in need of repair.
If an object is not usable, it shouldn't be in your home. Never write something off for later. If you don't care enough to repair something right now, consider donating or selling it instead.