Feng Shui is one of the 8 rays of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). These rays are:
- Acupuncture & Moxibustion
- Herbal Medicine
- Wushu (Chinese Martial Arts)
- Qigong (Breathing Exercises)
- Food Energetics (Nutrition)
- Feng Shui
I love that Feng Shui is included in this list, because it shows that the organization of your home can have a significant effect on your health. For good health, you need to create an environment for your body to be able to relax, restore, and renew itself. You also need to allow chi (life force energy) to flow optimally. Think about what happens when your arteries get clogged, or you can’t move because you’re in a crowded room (or stuck in traffic). Your body tenses up. This is what happens when you’re in a home full of clutter. Not only can you not think straight, you won’t have the energy to do the things that you love to do that feed your soul. You’re so preoccupied with the “urgent and important” matters, that you don’t have the mental or physical space to work on those longer term projects that help you expand your personal identity. Feng Shui helps you create your own destiny in the way that you consciously want it be. Not only can Feng Shui can help you heal your health, it can also have an effect on relationships, finances, career, and your spiritual connection to the divine.
The first step in optimizing the Feng Shui in your home is to clear clutter. The next step is to understanding Sheng Chi and Sha Chi, and being able to maximize the Sheng Chi and minimize the Sha Chi. One great way to do this is by understanding your relationship to the natural elements, and the seasons. In fact, we are the seasons and we are the elements. “Nature is without and within us at every moment.” -Roger Green. Springtime is governed by the wood element. By noticing the wood element around you, and engaging in actions that help nurture and support your own wood element, you can begin to live in harmony with the seasons. By living in harmony with the seasons, you will experience less resistance in your life, which will positively effect the Feng Shui in your home.
How to nurture the wood element in your home and within yourself
- Move upwards. The wood element is “yang”, meaning the energy has an upward and rising motion. All elements have both a “yin” and a “yang” side to them. An example of yin wood would be bamboo. An example of yang wood would be a tall oak tree. The shape that represents the wood element is a tall, vertical rectangle. Do stretches that mimic this motion, such as an arms raised “power pose” for 2 minutes a day. The color that represents the wood element is green. Notice how your personal energy lifts when you wear a bright green shirt. It will even uplift the energy of the people around you too!
- Plant a garden. Seeds sprouting and growing upward are a sign of this yang energy. Spending time with your hands in the dirt is also very grounding and beneficial for your health. If you don’t have an outdoor garden, try planting some seeds indoors, or even just purchasing a potted flowering plant, so you can watch it grow and evolve.
- Go to bed by 10 and wake up between 5-7, every day. The morning is also governed by the wood element. It’s got that waking up and getting moving quality to it. By going to bed beofre 10, and waking up between 5-7, you will be in tune with the forces of nature, which will make it easier to move through your day. If you’re going to bed late (after 11) and then sleeping in late, you will find yourself fighting resistance to be productive, simply because you aren’t in the current (or flow) of the natural calendar. If you’re going to bed late, but still waking up around 6 or 7, you may be sleep deprived, and not able to function optimally. It’s amazing to think that if you are able to get an average of 1 extra hour of sleep per night, that’s 365 hours in a year! Think about all of the healing your body can do with all of these extra hours. If you’re dealing with chronic illness, autoimmune issues, chronic stress, low concentration, or any number of other issues, your body will certainly thank you when you can click it in to the natural rhythm of life.
- Protect yourself from wind. Each element has a “thief”. The thief of wood is wind. Even though the weather is starting to get warmer, make sure to wear a windbreaker, and wear a hat or an ear warmer to protect your ears and head from enduring too much wind. Signs that wind is out of balance are that you will feel too much movement, like lots of jitters in your body, or an inability to relax. Excessive anger and shouting is another sign that you’ve got too much wind in your body. You may also experience cold hands and feet. Drink plenty of warm (non-caffeinated) beverages. Going for walks can also help balance wind, since this gentle movement can allow the wind to move out of your body.
- Check your anger. Healthy amounts of anger help us understand when our boundaries have been crossed. When you can experience your anger, but not be overwhelmed by it, that is healthy. You can communicate in an assertive and direct manner. When anger is unhealthy, you will find yourself consumed by it. You may communicate sarcastically and react aggressively (either passively or overtly). Be especially aware of how you can process your anger in healthy ways. Take some time out to use for journalling, exercise, and developing your communication skills. When you internalize anger, it will manifest in your body, and could cause illness.
- Nourish your liver and gallbladder. Each element governs an organ. The organs for wood are the liver and gallbladder. Nourish these by eating lots of green leafy vegetables, probiotics, fermented vegetables, and enzyme rich foods. Each element also has a flavor. The flavor for the wood element is “sour”. Be sure to add some sour foods into your diet to expand your palate.
- Optimize your home, paying close attention to the east. Notice which part of your home is in the east. What’s going on in that area? Have you decluttered? How can you give a nod to the east? Perhaps you could add some green curtains, start an herb garden, or use imagery that evokes that upward lift such as bamboo or abstract vertical rectangles. How can you harmonize this area of your home to be more in line with the natural flow of the seasons?
What are you most excited about this Spring? Send me a message, I’d love to hear about it!
By Jean Prominski, Certified Professional Organizer
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Photo Credit: Nik Ramzi Nik Hassan