All Paths Lead to Your Door
Making a good first impression is important in feng shui–but in feng shui, it's not about impressing others as much as it is about mindfully projecting the picture of yourself that you want the world to see. You control how others perceive you–and if your front door is a mess of overgrown shrubbery, piles of junk, and a rusty old mailbox, others will perceive you as an unhappy, overwhelmed person whose decision-making skills are not the best.
Make sure that all the elements of your entrance are represented by shape, color, or actual element. Ensure that the shrubs are cut back, leaving a clear walkway. You want a meandering path leading to your front door; this avoids what we call “rushing chi.”
When you mindfully project a positive image of yourself to the world around you, your front door radiates warmth, abundance, peace, and togetherness. It exudes a feeling of welcome energy while it attracts new possibilities, since it also represents new opportunities to attract abundance and prosperity to yourself and your family. It is the conduit through which chi can enter and spread its healthy qualities throughout your home and its immediate surroundings.
But before anyone–including opportunity–can get to your door, they must walk the path that leads to it.
The Long and Winding Road
The path to your front door can be made of many materials, including wood, stone, or brick. The important consideration in feng shui, however, is the configuration. Your walk should be designed for its representation of “meandering stream.” In other words, rather than having a path in a straight line that “beats a path” to your front door, you'll ideally want a path that slows down rushing chi and allows visitors to stop and smell the roses a bit.
You could have small bushes, shrubbery, pachysandra, or even delicate flowers such as geraniums or violets welcoming visitors to your home. Just be sure to keep the flora healthy and well tended.
Whatever plant you choose to adorn your walkway, know that, aside from pure aesthetics and beauty, it will serve the purpose of slowing down the chi even more along the winding path. It will also represent your intentions, just as the seeds of your thought do. Whether you are planting red California poppies for fame and recognition or marigolds for better health, planting specific flora can help you stay focused on your life's goals–and can help you to literally grow your intentions from seed to reality.
Some feng shui practitioners warn against roses due to their thorny nature, although you may think of them as good yin–yang because of their soft petals and prickly thorns.
Consider the house that has the inauspicious configuration of the straightline path leading to its front door, further complicated by the fact that a busy street dead–ends right at the beginning of it! If you happen to have a straight path leading to your door, rather than tear it out and replace it with a winding one, you could simply plant more bushes or shrubs–and position them in a meandering, flowing path around the straight line of the actual walkway. It's a simple way to enhance the feeling of the meditative, meandering path to your door. You could also plant a tree or, better yet, a line of pine trees as a natural barrier in the front yard to block some of the energy from rushing to your door.
In feng shui, no particular positioning is inherently bad–just challenging. You might have a very short front walk but a long driveway, and that's all right because you can connect the two by positioning rocks in a “faux path” that connects and makes for a much longer and auspiciously winding path to the front door. Challenging doesn't mean impossible!
What if you live in an older neighborhood that features very well–planned, straight paths to your door? Is this rushing chi? Certainly it is, but it can be slowed by planting some bushes in a curved pattern along
the path and by hanging a wind chime at your front door. How about placing two potted plants on either side of your front door as well? Good idea. Be creative, but always be mindful of how the path feels. If it feels like the energy is rushing to your door, it probably is and should be addressed.
If you use a side entrance to the house rather than the front door, you can treat it as your main entrance, especially when placing the bagua there as a starting point in feng shui. If you live in an apartment with a nonprivate entrance, you can still create a personalized pathway to your door by placing a small wind chime in front of your door or by placing a small potted plant just outside of it.
Accentuate the Positive
If you want to show the world that you are ready to receive any prosperity the Universe might want to send your way, you can show it symbolically by adding the water element to your front yard. You could have a nice, big water fountain in the middle of a pond–or you could stay on the simple side and have a small birdbath. Whatever you decide to use as your water element, be sure the water is directed toward your house rather than away from it, since water in feng shui equals wealth, and you don't want your wealth to be draining away from your house. You want to attract more wealth, of course!
A free-flowing path to your front door is good, positive use of chi. If your path isn't a winding one, consider arranging rocks around it in a more winding pattern to slow down the chi; a straight path speeds the flow of energy (chi) right to your front door in an unhealthy manner.
There are a few other feng shui considerations in the front yard to be mindful of as you create a meaningful first impression to the world. For instance, a wind chime next to the front door is considered to be very auspicious because it serves three purposes: first, it lets people know where you are; second, it protects you by detecting when others are near; and third, it spreads good chi to all who come to your door.
As a final touch, consider placing a few potted yellow or red plants on either side of the front door, since that will extend the chi sideways a bit and spread it around your entire front door area.