Chances are you’ve heard of feng shui – the Chinese discipline that teaches us how to mindfully arrange our homes and workplaces to enhance our life energy (called chi) for a happier, healthier life. But how do you know what’s working and what isn’t without formal training?
Answer these eleven questions and find out:
- The most-used TV in your house is:
- a) In your bedroom, discreetly hidden
- b) Tucked into a corner in the living/family room
- c) In your bedroom in full view
- d) The main focal point in the living/family room
- When reviewing the art on your walls, you would say:
- a) There isn’t much of it, but what is hanging you love
- b) It is left over from the last tenant or just something you stuck up haphazardly
- c) It is a true reflection of you, or what you want to be in life, and the things and people that are important to you
- d) It is full of symbols that you do not wish to associate yourself with (such as a single girl because you’re looking for love and do not wish to be single, or an open bottle of alcohol and you are an alcoholic failing at recovery.)
- The plants in your house are:
- a) Plentiful and doing pretty well
- b) Mostly placed in one room or area of the house
- c) Meager — Only one or two have managed to keep alive
- d) Not to be found – because there are no plants in your house
- The chair you sit in for work:
- a) Has no arms or back
- b) Has no arms or back, and wobbles
- c) Has a back but no arms
- d) Has arms and a tall back
- In your office:
- a) Your back is to the office or cubicle door when you are sitting at your desk
- b) Your desk is in line with the door or hall as if you’re a pin at the end of the bowling lane
- c) The door to the office is to your side when you’re at your desk
- d) You can see the door as you sit at your desk but you are not in line with it
- Your bed:
- a) Has no headboard and is up against a solid wall
- b) Has a sturdy headboard and is up against a solid wall
- c) Has a headboard with a window above it
- d) Has no headboard with a window above it
- Your front door:
- a) Never gets used
- b) Is dusty and a little squeaky, but people use it
- c) Is hard to see from the outside because of all the plants and other objects in front of it, but people still find it and use it
- d) Is uncluttered, inviting from the street, and people use it as their most common was to enter your home.
- Your stove:
- Has four or more working burners and is always kept very clean
- Has four working burners but sometimes it is left dirty
- Has four working burners and is usually dirty and greasy
- Has at least one of broken burner
- When you’re cooking at the stove, your view of the kitchen door is:
- Almost full
- Nonexistent (you cannot see the door)
- The closest description of your bedroom would be:
- a) An extension of your closet — filled to the brim with stuff
- b) Your favorite and most nurturing place in the world!
- c) The place where you do more work and working out than sleeping
- d) A very efficient place to get ready for the day
- Your bathroom is best described as:
- a) Neat and organized
- b) Bright and cheery
- c) Dark and moldy
- d) Dusty and filled with clutter
Scoring: Give yourself the following number of points for the answer you chose:
- a) 2 b) 4 c) 1 d) 3
- a) 3 b) 2 c) 4 d) 1
- a) 4 b) 3 c) 2 d) 1
- a) 2 b) 1 c) 3 d) 4
- a) 1 b) 2 c) 3 d) 4
- a) 3 b) 4 c) 2 d) 1
- a) 1 b) 3 c) 2 d) 4
- a) 4 b) 3 c) 2 d) 1
- a) 2 b) 3 c) 4 d) 1
- a) 1 b) 4 c) 2 d) 3
- a) 3 b) 4 c) 1 d) 2
Fabulous Feng Shui
You are on the right feng shui track, and should be seeing the benefits. You probably have a satisfying job and are respected by those around you. Maintaining a clean, dust-free and unobstructed front door is a good way to stay on the right career track. Your love life is probably not so bad either, since you manage to keep most non-love-related items out of the bedroom (workout equipment, work-related items, laundry). And while your friends may think you’re crazy to dust your plants, the healthy greenery in your home is just another reason for the positive energy in your life!
Life is probably good, but why stop there? Maximize your energy reserves by creating a consistent power position in life (face the door in all positions — while you cook, work or sit up in bed), and you will see even better days. Keep up the clutter-clearing, and make every room in your home a place that you feel good about.
You can boost your feng shui even further by adding some of the elements (fire, water, earth) in specific areas of your home. For instance, add a water feature (picture of snow, tabletop fountain) to the front center area of your home to improve your career. Or add fire (some candles, an image of fire, or the color red) to the back center of your home to enhance the way people see you.
Stay diligent about keeping the clutter away, keeping the functions of the rooms consistent (make sure the bedroom is just the bedroom — no distractions like work or workout stuff), and keeping your home light and cheery. Be very mindful of any changes you make in your home, so that you do not lose your good feng shui.
Insufficient Feng Shui
Sluggish is the word for your chi (your life energy). It’s moving, but not at an optimal pace. No doubt your life feels unexceptional and unexciting. Your home décor could be to blame. For example, if you have rooms that have incongruent uses (do you use your dining room as an office or your bedroom doubles as a workout space?), reconsider this and create separate spaces for each function, using screens and plants to divide the room if necessary. Or clear some clutter elsewhere in the house (attic, basement) to create additional space.
It’s also important for you to pay more attention to cleaning your home. Dust and dirt slow down chi as well, so be on the lookout for dust bunnies and grime. One great way to get a good start on the day is to position your bed so your head is next to a solid wall (headboard preferred) and you can see the door but are not in line with it. Do this for your desk chair at work too and you’ll be that much farther along the road to career success and a possible promotion!
Another great way to kick up some prosperous energy is to give your oven and stove a good cleaning and make sure the burners are always intact. Oven burners are a symbol of wealth in the feng shui world.
Lastly, to increase the good feng shui in your home, make sure that everything you allow in your home is at least one of the following:
- Has been used by you or someone in your family in the past year
- Beloved by you
(And yes, garages and attics are a part of your energy space, especially if they are connected to your home, so be aware of the clutter build-up and collections of junk in those rooms.)
Poor Feng Shui
Your home and office décor is definitely not helping you lead a positive and satisfying life. In fact, you may have noticed that people don’t respect you the way you think they should, or that you get overlooked in your relationships or career. Perhaps opportunities don’t present themselves to you. Don’t worry–little changes can net big results. Simple things like placing a mirror so that you can see the door as you cook can make a big difference, because it will put you in a more powerful position. In feng shui, it is important to see who is coming through your door (or walking into your life, for that matter). Getting a new desk chair—one that isn’t falling apart and allows you to sit up straight–will also improve your chi, and your chances of career success! In the feng shui world, your surroundings, including your furniture, represent you–including how others see you, who you are, and what you think about yourself.
You should also address the clutter in and around your home, and clear some out to invite opportunities to enter your life. Broken, old, out-of-date stuff is like a logjam in the river of chi (your life energy). Looking for a mate? Get the old pictures of ex-boyfriends and single women out of the bedroom. If you want to feel closer or more aligned with your significant other, decorate with matching pairs of items, such as night stands, lamps, picture frames, or candles. Light is another traditional way to rev up chi just about anywhere, so consider getting higher-wattage lights. A small nightlight can go a long way, too.