Heart-Minded Feng Shui

If your heart doesn't lift when you return home each night, you need feng shui.

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A psychotherapist moved into her new office, a large room with two over-size windows and three doors (one too many). Key pieces of furniture--sofa for the clients, chair for the therapist, and a desk chair--had their backs to the room's entrance. This is a no-no in feng shui because you should have an unimpeded view of the door so you can see who comes into the room.

What I suggested was for the furniture to be re-positioned for unobstructed views of the entry. Two tapestries in natural colors were hung from large brass rods over doors that were not in use (the ratio of one door to three windows in a room is considered auspicious in feng shui). A large leafy fern was placed on a pedestal table in a corner behind the diagonally placed sofa. The room was transformed.

On entering the room now, a healing serenity welcomed therapist and client. Sheer linen curtains were hung to diffuse the strong window light. (Excess ch'i from harsh light rushes out the windows, carrying money and opportunities.) Nine green plants were placed under the windows to strengthen the healing atmosphere. The therapist smiled and said, "I feel so energized--this is wonderful!"

Along with correct placement of key furniture to control ch'i is the use of feng shui's natural color palette, sensual textures, sound, even fragrance. For example, Chinese feng shui masters believe every room should have a touch of true Chinese red, because red is considered the color of luck, power, and energy. But remember, less is generally more.


Emperor yellow, the second most auspicious color in feng shui, is excellent for a narrow wall with a gentle glaze of raw umber and a flick of Venetian red. A dreary dining alcove can be transformed with a sunny Provencal yellow print tablecloth, tempered with a border of red, blue, and green; spirits are lifted instantly. If you like blue, be advised indigo is preferred in classical feng shui, coming as it does from the seven colors of the rainbow and the refractions from cut crystal.

Symbolism is potent in its effect on emotions and states of mind, so be attentive to what is on your walls. Two different art-collecting families had dismal images facing people entering their homes--one was a painting of a dead fish; the other, an exhausted woman hanging laundry. Both were by well-known artists, but this hardly altered the negative energies projected. Happily, the paintings were replaced by others with positive ch'i.

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Nola Day
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