In  the staff room the other day, a couple of teachers were discussing Feng Shui, and on way back to class one of my colleagues suggested it would make a good post topic for my blog…so this is for you, J! (Although I’m not touching the whole ‘hammer-under-the-bed-for-fertility’ thing.)
I have to warn you that some of my points will be a little tongue-in-cheek. Although I certainly agree with several of the more practical principles, I’m not a huge Feng Shui believer. In terms of an “energy” in the home, I believe that the Holy Spirit surrounds us, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t discriminate based on cardinal directions or birth numbers. Now, to fully analyze my house, I would have to choose a particular type of Feng Shui and compare it to my floorplan, but for the purposes of this discussion I’m going to stick with the more general recommendations which you can apply to your own abode.

First off, a fundamental element of Feng Shui is that our homes should be clutter-free, and I am all over that one. Neatness and I go way back, and minimalism suits me…a little too much. Ready for another one of my true confessions? I have this thing about leaving some drawers and shelves empty…I consider it a sign of success if I’m not using every last storage option in my home (or classroom). So, check, I pass the ‘clutter-free’ criterion. (Mentally healthy? Maybe no checkmark for that one…)

Next: good air and lighting. We’re in the country, and except in the winter when we shut the house up tight and crank the furnace, we get a lot of fresh air, and tons of natural light in the home. Another point for me.

Here’s where my grade starts slipping: the importance of the positioning of objects within the home. Let’s go room-by-room to assess my shortcomings.

Okay, fellow Moms, when you put blood, sweat and tears into the decorating of your baby’s nursery, did you keep the principles of Feng Shui in mind?
The baby’s room shouldn’t share a wall with bathroom (whoops) or storage closet, and should not be over a storage area or a garage. It should have a window (an example of where Feng Shui = common sense), and bedding and products should be as natural as possible. Contrary to popular practice, primary colours are not the best choice; baby should be surrounded by pastel walls and a white ceiling. (Because, duh, if the ceiling is the same colour as the walls, the energy won’t flow.) Our nursery has yellow walls…but they’re a soft yellow. Half a point?

When decorating, you should steer clear of wild animals, and prints with sharp looking objects such as arrows, crosses, triangles or diamonds. Water motifs are also to be avoided. (We went with stripes.) Electronics are discouraged because of the subtle hum they give off, but when it comes to the crib mobile and CD player, I’m not worried about subtle; I’m actually aiming for noticeable and soothing.

Oh, another important tenet to keep in mind: hand-me downs should be accepted only from happy people — so stay away from the Kijiji exersaucer unless you have a psychological assessment of the seller! Also, make sure not to keep anything your child has outgrown in his or her room, as it can stunt mental development. (Come on, seriously? I mean if you’re forcing your eight year old to play with rattles while wearing a onesie there might be some damage done, but really.)

The head of baby’s crib should be on an East or North wall for a boy, South or West for a girl…and here’s the fascinating thing:  all this time I thought we had such great techniques for teaching our girls to sleep through the night from an early age, and instead I find out that the reason they sleep so well is because the head of the crib is on the North wall of the home…wrong for their gender, but perfect for deep sleep. West is also recommended, but early rising kiddies tend to have their heads on South or East walls.

Nothing should be stored under a child’s bed, even if there is a storage compartment, as it may affect sleep. I don’t have captain’s beds for my girls for no reason, and there is a big Rubbermaid bin full of blankets under the crib. And how could my kids possibly sleep any better? I guess tonight I have to empty everything out and see. But wait! No sweeping or vaccuuming under the bed, for fear of disturbing the energy.

An interesting point I came across is that when baby is born, mom should stash away any unfinished products, in order to reduce stress. I actually did that, without even having any knowledge of Feng Shui. Our walk-in closet became the catchall for hospital paperwork, bills, baby gifts, and any other paraphernalia that piled up in the first couple of weeks before I had time to look at it. The whole out-of-sight, out-of-mind thing was actually helpful, rather than having a small pile of clutter in every room of the house.

As for other rooms, the master bedroom should be located far away from front door. Well, we have a bungalow, and although it’s spacious, about a dozen steps would get you in to our room. I also learned that a
person sitting in bed must be able to see who is entering the room…I can’t even visualize a room layout where that wouldn’t be the case. And the foot of the bed should not face the door (check) or a mirror (which ours does.)

In the kitchen, Feng Shui proponents assert that someone using the stove should be able to see who is entering the room…I knew we went with open concept for a good reason! BUT the stove should not face the front door, which unfortunately ours does (it’s on a peninsula). Don’t worry though: I figure that you only get bad luck if you actually stand at the stove (i.e. cook), and I almost never do that!

Our regular-shaped (rectangular) living room is lucky. Our tables are wooden (wood and metal are good), yet angular (corners are bad)…but I have been thinking of replacing them. And finally, the dining room in the corner of the home, which is perfect, since of course we want to encourage the pooling of ch’i. Doesn’t everyone?

So…are you already a Feng Shui master? Anyone out there who has applied the principles with great success and is now highly offended by how lightly I have treated the topic? Anyone worried about your luck now that you’ve read my blog? Anyway, gotta go rearrange my furniture. Or maybe just shop for new stuff.

Oh, P.S., I’m now on Twitter! Follow me @thismomloves!

2 comments on “I’m A Feng Shui Failure”

  1. I find feng shui very interesting, and am gradually trying to 'apply' good feng shui to my home. I've never come across the hammer under the bed tip…I'm not entirely sure that's feng shui advice. Elephants, fish, birds, dragons…yes. Hammers? Hmmm. I agree that some of it is a bit far-fetched, but I no longer have dried flowers anywhere in my house, and I'm on the lookout for new neutral bedding. I don't think I'll ever go as far as knocking out walls so as to encourage the flow of positive energy…..unless it happens to be the wall where I want my walk-in shoe closet.

  2. I love Feng shui and reading all books on the topic . We even took down a mirror that was facing towards the front door and i said to hubby all our savings will go out the door so he took it down 😉 gosh i cant think right now but our house is so NOT feng shui in any way LOL…

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