Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Finding Your Balance

Many people talk about finding balance in their lives. They feel they spend too much time at work, or too much time juggling tasks at home, or feel so out of sorts they can’t pinpoint what part of their life is out of balance in the first place. They just know they are out of balance.

The challenge of correcting imbalance is not a new one. Feng Shui can be a great tool for helping you not only correct the imbalance but Identify where the imbalance may be in your life. Chi flow in your home, a primary focus of Feng Shui, represents that balance in your life. If the chi flows smoothly, it supports greater balance. If chi becomes blocked and stagnant or moves too quickly through your home, this balance can be compromised.

So the question becomes, where do you begin? First let’s start with understanding how your home reflects your inner life.

The Bagua

There is a map used in Feng Shui, the Bagua, meaning eight trigrams. A trigram consists of three lines, each line representing either Yin or Yang, and combined in three they represent different areas of your life. The life areas include:

  1. Family
  2. Prosperity
  3. Fame/Honor
  4. Relationships
  5. Children/Creativity
  6. Helpful People/Travel
  7. Career/Life Journey
  8. Self-Knowledge/Spirituality
  9. Health/Balance

The first eight are represented by trigrams and the last (Health/Balance) is represented by the tai chi. This map can be a very helpful tool as you look around your home and identify which rooms or areas fall within each of these life aspects, or in some instances, which of these aspects may be missing entirely.

It’s important to understand that another primary tenet of feng shui is that your inner life is reflected in your outer life, which includes your home. So in essence, your home can reflect where things are going well in your life and also where there may be challenges. For instance, if you have a favorite room in your house, there’s a good chance that where this room falls within the Bagua is an aspect of your life that you feel is going very well. Conversely, if there is a room in your home that you do not like, and or rarely use, where it falls in the feng shui map may represent an area of your life that is not as ideal as you would like it to be.

So now looking at your home with this perspective, it’s easier to identify not only what may be in balance in your life but also what may be out of balance. You can begin this detective work by simply walking through your home. Go first to a room that you really enjoy. Consider what in the room makes you feel good – define why it is your favorite room. In contrast, go to a room you do not like. Perhaps it’s a room that either you don’t use or one that you just don’t enjoy the feeling of when you enter.

Without telling you anything further about feng shui, I would recommend you make one change in the room you do not like that shifts how you feel about the space. Perhaps it’s as simple as adding some light. Maybe you want to get rid of a chair. Consider changing the color on the walls or adding pictures and artwork that make you smile. Once you notice a difference in how you feel about the space, you’ll also find a corresponding change in one area of your life. It could be a small change or shift, but you’ll notice it. It may be just a change in how you feel about a certain situation. In order to make a room change truly support your goals in that aspect of your life, there are some additional feng shui techniques to consider, but that would require a personal consultation.

Let’s say it’s already clear to you what is out of balance in your life: your career for instance. Using the feng shui map, you can find where in your home your career is represented. Go to this room or space in your home. As you walk into this space, what is the first thing you feel? That first impression is important, as it also can be a reflection of how you feel about your career.

As noted above, you want to make sure the chi or energy flows smoothly in this room. This means there should be a good flow of traffic and it should be easy to get to various places and things in the room. In addition, the space should support the generation of chi for this room. This means the purpose of the room is clear (e.g., how is the room used? Is that what the room is intended to be?), and there are items in the room that you actually enjoy – generating positive emotions or reactions from you.

Here are some common challenges and simple ways to address them:

  1. Clutter – not only can clutter be an eyesore, but it also can stagnate chi. The simple solution here is to remove it. Consider, though, that clutter can be many things: left over moving boxes piled in a corner, stacks of books you won’t read, collections of knick knacks that overwhelm a shelf, or a mass of disconnected photos or artwork on a wall.
  2. Darkness – light, whether natural or artificial, generates chi. When a room doesn’t have enough light it can create a lack of chi. Unless the room is dedicated to a purpose that would be enhanced by less light (e.g., a meditation space), add some light. It’s best to bring in natural light when you can, but light fixtures/lamps can be used as well. Traditional fluorescent lights should be avoided if possible.
  3. Large windows – while windows are great for bringing in natural light, when you have large windows across from the entryway, or in fact anywhere in the space, the chi can flow quickly out of these windows. You can hang shades or curtains, but assuming you’d like to let some light in, hanging 30 – 40 mm multi-faceted crystals in these windows at about eye level will help to keep the chi in the space.

These are just a few suggestions, but they can help you on your way to bringing greater balance into your life.

Now that you know about the feng shui map or Bagua and have a new perspective on your home, you can start to make real changes that start in your home and have an impact on key areas of your life.

In gratitude.

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