GIMME SHELTER- Chi change: Feng Shui is the way

Peggy Woodall
owner, Simply Organized


Q: What exactly is Feng Shui and how can I use it in my house?  Can Feng Shui help me find love and make me rich?

A:About five years ago, when I was trying to sell my house down in Atlanta in a fierce market, I decided to stage the house using Feng Shui and was able to sell the house in less than a week.  The buyer was driving by and saw the sign, walked into the house, and decided on the spot he liked it enough to buy it. 

Feng Shui is a design-oriented discipline that describes the ways our lives are affected by our environment, and how we can positively impact our lives by making changes in our living and work spaces. The primary premise of Feng Shui is that we are surrounded by energy, or chi, which constantly moves through our environment and affects our well-being. In a balanced environment, chi neither moves too quickly, which can make us feel frenzied or over-energized, nor too slowly, which can make us feel depressed or leave us with low energy.

Wood, fire, metal, water, and earth are the five elements you need to balance in your home as a part of practicing Feng Shui, and I have found that achieving a balance of these elements can really help. People tend to have one element that is stronger for them. Pack-rats, for example, tend to have a lot of earth elements in their homes. One of my clients with a lot of earth elements was able to let go of things more easily (and decrease her clutter) when we added more wood elements.  Wood is also the element of growth, and she also noticed that her business grew!

Is there a room in your house that makes you feel happy and energized?  Spaces with positive Feng Shui aspects can make us more productive at work and encourage us to stay at a party enjoying the company of our friends. By analyzing the furnishings, colors, and dimensions of a room, you can discover why it might make you feel up or down.

Placement of the bed, for example, is extremely important, and clients who have changed their bed location based on my suggestions have told me they are sleeping better. Your bed should have a solid wall behind it, and you should be able to see the door from your bed but not be directly in front of it.  

The key aspects of Feng Shui include the flow of chi, the interplay of Yin and Yang, and the balance of the five elements. The Yin/Yang symbol represents the balance of opposites, and all your furnishings should have this balance- tall and short, light and dark, hard and soft, etc. An easy way to achieve a balance of the five elements is to pattern your spaces after the natural environment. Trees, sun, rocks, water, and earth can be translated into wood furniture, lighting sources, metal accents, mirrors (which reflect like water), and earth-tone colors or earthenware pieces.

But what about making your first million because your dresser was in the right place? You can use Feng Shui to support various life goals such as career, fame, and prosperity. The Bagua is a map used in Feng Shui to determine where to place items to activate your life energy and remind you of your intentions. For example, place a symbol of prosperity on the back left corner of your desk to remind yourself of the goals you have in that area.