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Most people are familiar with the concept of feng shui but not many understand its origins and deeper meanings. Feng shui is a term whose literal translation is "wind water." Feng shui is based on the Chinese belief that spiritual forces affect everything in our surroundings, and that there are certain arrangements of common objects that can help maximize harmony between people and the environment.For thousands of years, the Chinese have practiced feng shui in their daily lives but it wasn't until the 1990s that it was introduced and practiced widely in the Western world.According to feng shui beliefs, all objects exude a spiritual energy and depending on the way these objects are arranged, these energies can either work to your advantage or cause misfortune.

If you plan on incorporating the ideas of feng shui in your lifestyle, you will first have to learn about the different energies that are present in practically anything in the world, both living and non-living. You will also have to learn about the various ways of arranging these things in order to attract the good energy and ward off the bad.There are two basic instruments used in feng shui: a compass and a Ba-Gua, which is a chart of I Ching symbols that are the foundation of Feng shui principles.These symbols are classified into eight different categories, each of which has a corresponding color scheme that will encourage the influx of good energy into your surroundings. If you practice feng shui properly, experts say that you will be able to experience a lot of positive changes in the different aspects of your life.

The Basic Elements of Feng Shui

Feng shui is believed to be an effective way of attracting harmony and positive energy into one's environment. This is done primarily by acquiring a healthy balance of the five basic elements of feng shui: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. These elements are equally important and each of them has distinct characteristics that contribute to the attraction of positive energy and the warding off of negative energy.

The first element is wood. Contrary to what some people might think, wooden furniture does not really do much in terms of feng shui because the wood in these objects is dead. Instead, you need to surround your area with live plants and trees. The best position for wood is towards the east side. If you are redecorating your home, make sure you place plants and trees in the east. If you are looking for a new home, find one with the garden in the east.

The second element is fire. Fire is represented by the different sources of heat and light, as well as by various shades of red. The south side of your home is where you should concentrate on fire elements.

The third element is earth, which is represented by neutral colors. Furniture and decorations made of stone and clay have a lot of earth energy in them, and would sit well in the northeast area of the home.

Metal is the fourth element and this is associated with gold and white. This is probably the easiest element that you can infuse into your home because a lot of items today are made of metal. The western part of the house is where these items can generate the most positive energy.

The fifth element is water. This element is connected to shades of blue and it represents winter. Water is usually in the form of aquariums, ponds or fountains and is best placed in the north. If positioned properly, water will be able to unite all the positive energy in the house.

Feng Shui and Your Home

* Using Feng Shui to Decorate Your Master Bedroom

Most interior designers and homeowners believe that the master bedroom is the heart of the house. The state of this room is highly reflective of the personalities of the residents. It also greatly affects the financial, emotional, and mental states of the people living in the house.In order to maximize the positive energy you can get from the bedroom, there are four factors you should take into consideration: the shape of the room, the placement of the bed, the location of the room in the house, and the decorations used.

According to feng shui principles, the best shape for a bedroom is square or rectangular. For irregularly shaped rooms, you can use pieces of furniture or room dividers to make the room assume a rectangular shape.Do not position the bed with the foot facing the door or a protruding wall. This is said to attract negative energy into the lives of the people living in the house.Other things that you will want to avoid includemirrors that face the bed, beams that are over the bed area, and the bed's headboard against a window. All of these arrangements attract bad energy into the room.

If you are buying or designing a new house, make sure that you get one in which the master bedroom is located in either the northwest (Patriarch area) or the southwest (Matriarch area) of the house.It is also believed in feng shui that bedroom decorations should be kept to a minimum. Over-decorating will not only make your room look cluttered but will also confuse the various energies in the area.

* Feng Shui Tips to Improve Your Kitchen Experience

Many families consider the kitchen to be the most important part of the house. It is in this room where meals are prepared and food is kept. According to feng shui beliefs, the kitchen represents abundance and wealth for the family.With this very important role, it only follows that the kitchen should be located at the center of the house, where it is well protected from the escape of good energy through the front and back doors.

The arrangement of kitchen furniture and appliances also plays a significant role in providing all members of the household with positive energy. It is said that if the food is cooked in a well-structured kitchen, the amount of good energy that each family member can get from the food will be maximized. Another important thing to consider is the kind of lighting used in the kitchen. You should allow as much natural light into your kitchen as possible but if this cannot be done, full-spectrum lighting would be your best choice. Also make sure the kitchen is an open space where air can flow freely, as opposed to being a cramped and enclosed room in the house.

You can also increase the positive energy in your kitchen by placing a few potted plants and flowers near the window where they can get natural sunlight. On your kitchen table, you can put yellow flowers in a vase or yellow fruits in a basket because this color is said to be helpful for digestion. Finally, you should try to keep harmony in the kitchen as much as possible. If the people milling around in the kitchen are happy, this will further enrich the positive energy in the area.

* How to Build a Feng Shui Garden

Having a garden certainly adds to the beauty of your home but more importantly, it also helps you feel more relaxed and stress-free. To further enhance the energizing powers of your garden, you can use feng shui tips in arranging your greenery.The most important thing to remember in building a feng shui garden is that you should maintain some sort of balance by using a variety of plants and garden ornaments.

Before you start planting, you will first need to set up the entrance to your garden, which should be facing south. This should be an arch or an open walkway as opposed to a closed garden gate. Feng shui allows you to use any type of plants in your garden as long as you keep a balance between the different colors. The number of warm and vibrant colored flowers, for instance, should be about the same as those of cool and subdued hues.

Some people like to have overgrown hedges in their garden but this may not work very well. The most important aspect in feng shui is cleanliness and neatness.When starting a new garden, make sure that you give each plant some growing space so that they won't end up tangled in each other over time. Including all the five elements of feng shui is recommended, and is actually quite easy. Obviously, every garden already has air, earth and wood. Water can be a small pond, and fire can be garden lamps.Finally, you should make use of curved garden paths instead of straight ones. In fact, try to avoid sharp edges in all the elements in your garden.

Improve Your Health with Feng Shui

In the last few decades, people all over the world have become increasingly conscious of their health and have been doing all sorts of lifestyle changes to improve their wellbeing. One of these changes is the use of feng shui principles in their daily lives.When used properly, feng shui enables people to experience a vast improvement in their mental and emotional conditions, as well as various positive changes in their health.Cleanliness and neatness are among the most important factors in feng shui. If you want to reap the benefits of this ancient Chinese practice, you will have to keep your surroundings as clean and organized as possible.

There are three fundamental requirements in order for feng shui to work, the first of which is fresh air. Even if you don’t know much about feng shui, you will probably have noticed that it is much easier to live in an environment that is not constantly infused with smoke, dust, dirt, and nasty smells. Modern living makes it hard to eliminate all toxins in the air but you can minimize these poisons by adding some natural foliage in your home. Potted plants or even fresh flowers can contribute a lot in cleansing the air inside your house.In addition to purifying the air that you breathe, indoor plants also make sure that you have a constant supply of fresh oxygen.The second requirement is proper lighting. Sunlight is still the best form of lighting and if you want to maximize your health potential, you should get as much of it as you can. However, not all homes have adequate access to natural light. In this case, the best source would be a full spectrum lighting fixture. The last requirement is that you keep your area tidy at all times. Without unnecessary clutter around, you will feel more relaxed and eventually have a better overall well-being.

How to Use Feng Shui to Reduce Work-Related Stress

Most adults spend roughly one-third of their time in the workplace, if you don't count overtime. If your work environment is very stressful and chaotic, you can just imagine the psychological, mental, and emotional damage that it can eventually have on you. For this reason, it is very important to maintain harmony in the office, which can easily be done using feng shui.

Proper placement of furniture plays a huge role in feng shui. For example, if your desk is against a wall and you are facing the wall all day, this hampers self-improvement. You can either move your desk or put up a scenic picture on the wall to attract positive energy.Recommended pictures are those of mountains and birds, and the ones to avoid are those with images of water. However, the best solution is to reposition your desk such that your back is against the wall.

Good energy will flow much more easily around your office cubicle if you do not have piles of documents and other clutter surrounding you all day. If you keep your desk clean and organized, you will notice vast improvements in your own performance as well.One of the worst feng shui situations is when you are facing sharp edges like walls or posts while you are sitting at your desk. Do what you can to avoid having this kind of setup.If you have printers and photocopying machines in front of you, make sure that it's the smooth edge and not the corners that are pointing to you, as these will point negative energy in your direction.

Learning More About Feng Shui

Feng shui has been an integral part of the Chinese culture for many centuries but it is only in recent years that the Western world has taken an interest in this practice. Today, you can easily find feng shui schools in most major cities in the United States.Because of the growing interest in feng shui, more and more feng shui schools are being set up all over the world. There are also dozens of online classes that people can participate in if they want to learn more about feng shui.

The Internet certainly offers more convenience for most people but feng shui instructors prefer teaching the techniques in a conventional classroom environment, where the instruction is hands-on rather than just theoretical. The problem with this method is that it is not available in all places. If this is the case in your town or city, then go ahead and sign up for an online class. You do have to be certain the instructor is legitimate and accredited.

Some of the fundamental lessons you will learn in a feng shui class are the history of the ancient practice, the meanings and uses of the five basic elements, and the relation between these concepts and modern living.Most feng shui students end up experiencing positive changes in their lives as soon as they put the things they have learned into practice.If you are curious about the benefits of feng shui and you want to learn more about it, it is strongly recommended that you enroll in a feng shui class.

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