What is feng shui, and how will it change your life? Translated literally, feng shui means “wind” and “water.” It is a language of symbols that focus on the individual and relates everything in our space to our conscious and unconscious minds. It encompasses the forces of nature and the energies within and around us. What you learn when you practice feng shui is how to work with your intentions to attract the best things into your life, while dispersing or eliminating the negative things.
Feng shui teaches us to be sure that the things we cling to are the things we really want in our lives—because what we create in our homes symbolizes how we feel about ourselves. In actual application, feng shui practitioners use the bagua (an ancient tool) and simple psychology to help us find the positioning that works best for us—and that allows our best energy to flow freely all around us.
“Decluttering” in feng shui terms means removing the obstacles of clutter from your home—and your life. Everything we own speaks to us—and about us. How much clutter is in each room of your house? If clutter truly reflects who you are and you are okay with this, don't worry about it. But if you're like most people, you feel embarrassed or constrained by it; if it prevents you from living comfortably or makes it difficult for you tothink clearly or creatively, then you should take steps to eliminate the clutter and allow the chi, or life force, to flow freely. For many people, a growing clutter problem is a direct result of an addiction to “stuff.” Here are some signs that you have developed a hardcore clutter habit:
You can't pass up the great prices at garage sales, dollar stores, and other “deals” and “steals,” regardless of how much space the items consume in your home and how little you use them.
You've run out of room in your closet, medicine cabinet, desk drawers, kitchen cabinets—just about everywhere!
Your attic and basement are littered with boxes and bags you haven't looked at in years, including unopened boxes from the last move or two.
Your excuse for hanging on to everything is that you never know when you might need it—even though you probably wouldn't be able to find it if some day you actually do need it.
Thankfully, there is a cure for addiction to “stuff,” and it's simple—but it's not easy. You must say no to acquiring more useless things. Don't expect to achieve this new goal all at once. Just as with a twelve-step program, you'll have to take it one item and one day at a time. Read on, put to good use the tips on the pages that follow, and you'll be well on your way toward healthy energy or chi!