In this intense political climate, I, for one, would like to lock myself in the bathroom, jump into the tub and submerge myself under a fluffy cloud of bubbles.
It seems that everywhere we turn, uncertainty is afoot. We all crave rest, relaxation and deliverance from stress — especially now that the dog days of summer are upon us. In order to achieve this much sought-after state of grace, the Chinese practice an age-old system of furniture arrangement that harmonizes us with our environment and supports our well-being called Feng Shui (pronounced ‘Fung Shway’). Feng Shui helps us create balance by allowing the life force, or qi (pronounced “chee”), to move throughout a dwelling. This is what people mean when they say a house has “good flow” or a “great layout.” When energy is circulating properly, it has a powerful effect on the way we think and feel. And we realize a higher state of peace, calm and security. This may seem like a heady concept, but there really are concrete applications and outcomes to this method.
One of the most important rules for crafting a snug bedroom is to let go of the TV, computer, exercise equipment and, horrors, even your phone. Good Feng Shui energy in your bedroom is destroyed when electronics are present, because they dominate the environment with reminders of work, tension and distraction. Additionally, avoid working from bed, which invites sleep problems and troubled dreams. (Shockingly, this is not obvious to all.)
Ideally, the bed should be located opposite the door but not pointing directly at it. When in bed, you should have a clear view of the room and the door. Place your head against something solid, preferably a wall and not a window, as that’s the most grounding position for sleep. A sturdy and solid headboard rather than one with openings in its design adds an even greater sense of security. Invest in high-quality sheets made from natural fibers. Choose your bedroom art wisely, as images carry subliminal messages. Unless you feel compelled to resurrect your angst-ridden teenage self, do not surround yourself with sad or lonely works. Instead, select art that radiates nourishing, happy and loving inspiration.
Although mirrors are de rigueur, they do not belong in the bedroom. What? While this is a main primping space, mirrors visually double activity, stirring up restlessness. Move floor-length mirrors behind the closet door. Do not hang a mirror facing the bed or over it, as this can be disruptive or even startling, according to Feng Shui principles. Your bedroom need not look exactly like a spa, but it should feel like one to you.
THE HOME OFFICE
These days most everyone works from home to some degree. While we may not have an entire room to devote to office use, desk placement within a multipurpose area is key. Not all study spots are optimal. Separating business and home life is paramount in promoting serenity.
The desk should be placed in a “power position” in the room, opposite the door. This gives a commanding view, allowing you to think clearly. Also, avoid having your back to the door, or against a large window. While it may be a space-saver, positioning a desk facing a solid wall with no windows nearby can adversely affect concentration and creativity. It quite literally blocks you in.
THE LIVING AND DINING ROOMS
Feng Shui principles translate simply in these rooms. Encourage socializing within seating groups by placing furniture close together. Make sure nothing is blocking an easy entrance and exit from the room. Opt for curves, not corners and, even in warmer months, have a yummy, 100-percent cotton cable throw handy. It will become your best friend, providing gobs of security when you need it most. The creation of a safe port in the storm is peace actualized. Harmony is the reward.