Feng Shui Basics: Finding Trouble Spots In Your Home

The wrong home shape, design, door alignment, and lighting can produce an unsettled life, physical ailments, family troubles and career and financial failures.

Feng Shui (say fung shway) principles are steeped in Oriental philosophies that have evolved over thousands of years. At their core, they assert that life and its elements are inextricably interconnected, and that human beings and their surroundings are entwined in common and mutually influenced destinies.

In feng shui, harmony and balance are central to a life exuding and taking in the positive life-force called ch'i, what Westerners would call the human spirit.

Just as humans influence the world around them in positive and negative ways, so do our surroundings and environments influence us, for good or ill. Positive influences create, enhance and circulate positive ch'i, thereby improving our chances to be healthy, happy and financially secure.

By contrast, negative influences depress and choke off ch'i, creating imbalances, disharmony, unhappiness, poor health and every assortment of disasters that we spend our lives seeking to avoid.

Because the home is the center of the universe for most people, feng shui in the home -- a harmonious, balanced daily environment -- is of critical importance in this ancient tradition. The wrong home shape, design, door alignment, lighting and furniture arrangements will create an unsettled life, cause physical ailments, family troubles and career and financial failures.

Disharmony in home contours

Because ch'i flows most freely through complete, solid and balanced places, there are two home shapes -- "U" shapes and "L" shapes -- that portend unhappiness for those who live within.

-- U-shaped homes, with their prominent frontal gap, are a feng shui nightmare, and considered unlucky for love, marriage and guests. The U-shape represents a "lock-out" that will drive the home's inhabitants away, forcing them to find the comforts of home elsewhere.

-- The L-shaped home, with a protruding wing, is also seen to be imbalanced and incomplete -- missing a large piece of itself. Since humans mirror their surroundings in feng shui, inhabitants of an L-shaped home are destined to an unfulfilled and incomplete life.

-- Equally ominous is the garage that protrudes from a home, forming part of the L-shape. If your home is built to such a design, take feng shui corrective measures or expect diminished career opportunities. Even if you have a pathway leading from the driveway to the door, your garage is blocking your home's entrance -- and the entrance is the portal that receives positive ch'i. Your smooth progress through life is being obstructed.

-- Split-level homes, uneven and unaligned by design, produce family, personality and career difficulties for their owners because their misalignment represents uneven fortunes.

Entrance and hallway calamities

-- Does your front door open toward a wall? Such an arrangement crushes positive ch'i and guarantees a major life failure within three years.

-- Not surprisingly, narrow, dark and cramped entranceways depress ch'i, trap it in darkness and create depression and sadness.

-- Narrow hallways that serve as entrances to the home can result in the inhabitants suffering poor health and difficult childbirth.

-- Equally troublesome to family harmony is a short and narrow hallway with several doors that open off of it. In feng shui, each door connotes a mouth from which emanates a different family member's voice, shouting out opinions at variance with each other.

Bad Doors

-- Suffering personality clashes or family troubles in your home? Check out your door alignments. Doors that open awkwardly, are poorly aligned or are positioned so that their knobs collide are considered dangerous omens that sow family discord.

-- Feng shui principles dictate logically that doors be harmonious with the room or home they access, and in proper proportion to their surroundings.

-- If it is too small proportionally compared with a room, a door will constrict the flow of positive ch'i into the home or room. That in turn depresses the inhabitants' prospects for success, health and happiness.

-- A door that is too large proportionally is equally unbalanced, and will allow excessive ch'i into the home or room. There will be so much ch'i that the residents won't be able to control, contain or retain it. In life, that indicates the unlucky door-owners will be unable to retain wealth and will fail at efforts to save money.

Lighting and ch'i

-- In feng shui, lights represent the sun. They enliven positive ch'i and speed ch'i's smooth movement through rooms and throughout the home. Ch'i enjoys and thrives on light, so banish your home's shadows wherever and whenever you can.

-- Allow as much light as possible into your home, but avoid fluorescent lighting. The constant flickering and noise disrupts the flow of ch'i and brings poor health to the home's residents.

-- When you burn out a light bulb, replace it immediately with incandescence that's equal to or greater than the broken bulb. To do otherwise depresses positive ch'i and puts your health, wealth and career at risk.

Finally, first impressions

-- First impressions have lasting influences in feng shui, so the rooms that residents and guests see as they enter the home will influence their lifestyles and impact their destinies.

-- Never have your front door open into your kitchen. Such placement encourages compulsive eating, especially in children.

-- Does your entrance door open into a bedroom? If so, your guests and residents will be chronically tired and likely want to flop into bed the moment they arrive home.

The principles of feng shui have their roots in time-honored traditions that flow logically from the belief that all things are connected in a circle of life.

If you have feng shui trouble spots in your home -- don't despair! There are numerous cures and fixes, such as crystals, mirrors and wind chimes -- that can turn your life around and allow positive ch'i to circulate once more through your home!

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