by Alice Inoue
I received an email the other day asking me for suggestions about what to avoid for better feng shui in the home. What a great question! Even in well feng shui-ed homes, things in the background can work to undermine success and bring down the energy of the home. The following are some important things to avoid whenever possible.
• Avoid mindless television playing
Leave the television off when you are not watching it. If you do leave it on without watching it, be mindful of what is playing. The television has become the centerpiece and focus of many homes, treated almost as a member of the family, so it is often left on even though no one is watching it. Keep in mind that everything that is broadcast on the TV is energy and effectively “spills” into your home and contaminates it. From soap operas and the wacky guests on the Jerry Springer Show to negative news reports – it all streams into your home when the TV is on.
• Avoid always entering through the garage
In feng shui, the architectural front door of your home is where all the energy enters. The front door governs your career and life path, and if you constantly enter through the back door or the garage, it can contribute to losing sight of your purpose and path in life. Always enter your home through the front door, and if you prefer not to, make a habit of entering through your front door at least once a day, even if you have to go out of your way to do so.
• Avoid overstuffing your closets
Your closets represent your capacity to receive. Even if no clutter is visible in your open environment, what is unseen has an impact. Closets jammed to overflowing with equipment, clothing, basic junk, and unused items can contribute to burdens and overwhelm. When you clear your closets to about one third empty, you will soon feel some burdens in your life start to lift.
• Avoid keeping unwanted gifts and heirlooms
Your auntie gave you her favorite paintings and your sister gave you a vase that clashes with everything you own. Whether these things are on display or stored in a box, they keep you tied to the past and to unwanted things in your life. Donate them to help you move on.
Many people feel “guilty” or “bad” about disposing of things that were given to them by friends or loved ones, but by keeping them, you allow what others want for you to be more important than what you want for yourself.
• Avoid having “active” energy in the bedroom
The bedroom represents renewal, relationship and relaxation. Avoid placing water fountains or an excess of water images and symbolism in the bedroom. Moving water is “active” and the bedroom is “inactive”, so the less active energy, the more restful your sleep. Water also represents emotions, and too much water tends to disrupt your emotional energy, taking you away from peace and restfulness.
Remove photos of children, parents, in-laws, friends, and past events and relationships from your bedroom and replace them with photos of your partner, or other symbols of love and partnership.
Remove exercise equipment, irons, strewn laundry, computers, and anything else that does not promote rest, renewal and relaxation.
• Avoid kitchen “no no’s”
The kitchen is considered the heart of your home, so if you do not use your kitchen, it affects all areas of your life. The less you use your burners the lower the energy of your home. To generate warmth and vitality, use your kitchen often, even if it’s just to boil water.
Avoid displaying anything sharp, such as knives and scissors, as they create cutting energy that symbolizes conflict and anxiety. Store knives in a wooden knife block, or better yet, out of sight in a drawer.
• Avoid a “single-spaced” home
As my former teacher, Mary Swick, says, “You want your home to read like a double-spaced letter rather than a single spaced one.” It is easier to read a double-spaced letter because the white space between the lines gives your eyes freedom and “breathing space”, allowing them to absorb and move over the content more efficiently. Use this analogy in your home. Too many things in a space create an energy traffic jam. Open space avoids stagnation and allows movement and flow. Dispose of pieces of furniture or items that make your home look single-spaced.
It’s that simple! You don’t have to “do anything” to improve your feng shui! Just make a conscious effort to avoid a few of the things I mentioned and you will increase the positive energy in your home.