Feng shui, the ancient Chinese practice of configuring one's environment to harmonize with nature, includes an aspect called space clearing that is quite accessible to the non-expert. There are techniques that any of us can use to clear the energies of our home or office to let go of the past and prepare space energetically for the new year ahead.
Although these tips are by no means comprehensive, they will provide a quick and easy way to align the energies of your environment with your intentions for the new year. These six C's of Space Clearing will empower you to sweep out the old and make way for the new in your environment.
1. Clutter. To our subconscious mind, clutter triggers images of stagnation, stuck energy and places where Life doesn't move. It usually represents the things we are resisting and where we don't want to put our attention. Simply put: Clean out the clutter. Piles of laundry, papers, boxes, mail...whatever it is, when we see clutter, our mind equates it with chaos and dead energy. So make a point to dive into your clutter like a heat-seeking missile. Go straight for it, put it away, find a home for it, make decisions about it, address it. You will be surprised at how energy moves in your life.
2. Corners. Feng shui teaches us to keep corners especially free of clutter--as these are the places where the Life energy, or Ch'i, of our environment comes to a stop, like traffic at a four-way stop sign. Put things in your corners that move energy: a fountain, wind chimes, or even a plant will keep the energy flowing instead of stagnating. Use your common sense and intuition. Trust how it makes you feel. There are many rule books out there, but ultimately if you feel more harmony, peace, and joy when you look at that space, you will usually be on the right track. An altar is usually a nice way to redirect the dead energies of a corner. Put things in the corners of your home or office with intention, because these are special energy spots in the house.
3. Closets. They are the bowels of our homes and offices, the storage bins for old, dead energy. Clean them out! If you don't use it, lose it. Keep your closets clean, neat, and free of unwanted, old, unused items. Yes, you looked marvelous in that dress five years ago, but if you haven't worn it since then, pass it on to a friend, family member, or charity. Don't allow your closets to become black holes, or they will absorb your energy.
Ceremonies, cycles, and more...
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It could be a simple ceremony, such as ribbon-cutting to initiate the new energies of your place, lighting a candle, or bringing in a new flowering plant. Whatever the ceremony, when you do it with conscious awareness, that ceremony heralds in the energies of your intention in a much more profound manner than simply and perfunctorily performing the same act. Even the simple ceremony of smudging a new dwelling can be quite profound when done with intention. Lighting a candle each night and ceremonially letting the problems and worries of the day burn away is a simple ceremony and one which keeps the energies of your home clean and clear of the burdens of the day. Ceremonies to acknowledge and honor the ancestors, through music, song, or dance, are another means to help keep the energies of your space clear and clean. Keep ceremonies simple and heartfelt, and they will hold the energies of your space aligned with higher dimensions.
5. Consciousness. The power of this cannot be overstated. Where we put our consciousness, we put our life energy. So find the places in your home or office where you have vacated your consciousness--those closets, corners, and dead zones that you pretend are not there, or wish weren't. For some people, it could be a room where the kids used to live before they went off to school, or the pile of paper in the office that calls out for help but is just ignored. Put your consciousness into that space, with intention, and yes, even ceremony, and notice the MAGIC that happens when you do. Energy flows where attention goes!
6. Cycles. There is a rhythm to Life, a time for growth and a time for death. Cycles are important to observe: moon cycles are often used for planting, cutting hair, beginning new projects. Similarly, observing the cycles of the sun, being more active during the daylight hours and winding down in the evening when there is less energy available, puts us in harmony with nature. There are also the larger seasonal cycles, solstices, equinoxes, and the times in between them (what the Celts called the cross quarter days). When we are in tune with and align consciously with the rhythm of Life, we find more harmony and balance in our lives.
The season of Winter is a natural time to go inside--hibernate in the cave like the bear, reflect, pull our energies inward, allowing a kind of death to the old so that we can go forward in the Spring with new energy and enthusiasm. Then, beginning on Feb. 2 (Groundhog Day) we enter the cycle between the Winter Equinox and the Spring Equinox, a time traditionally honored by the Celts as the time to plant the seed of the new idea so that it may sprout in the Spring. When we follow these cycles, we harness the Life energy of the planet and begin to dance to the same beat of Life. So by paying attention to the cycles of Life, we begin to work with them to receive the gift of their energy.
With some small investment on our part, we can dramatically change the energies of our environment making our homes a sanctuary to reflect our highest intentions and dreams.