Thursday, January 19, 2012

LOFT LIFE: Feng Shui and Ch'i


Let me start right out apologizing to all of the people who will read into the following some “tone” or disdain for the practice of Feng Shui that are not intended.
But, let me also say that I do not practice these philosophies in the manner in which I am sure I would need to do to be approved. I am not sure if Christians will allow me to embrace an ancient Chinese practice with Eastern spiritual implications. (This is the part where I expect to offend almost everyone.)
That said, I have to tell you that in reading a news article about Feng Shui-ing bathrooms, I was intrigued. Not intrigued enough to buy into this with any kind of ritualistic or spiritual commitment, but intrigued enough to take a look at our loft in a new way.
I may not know which things are tall or circular or even life endangering about my bathroom, or my kitchen, living space, bedroom or any other rooms in our loft, and I may not be paying enough attention to the positive or negative (Ch’i) forces or yings and yangs of my decor, but I am now convinced that some changes are in order.
I know what makes me feel good: green things (plants), soft and vibrant colors, order and cleanliness. I know what things make me feel bad: dust, clutter, drab colors, and decor  that never changes.
So, I have begun my own version of Feng Shui-ing my rooms. 
I started with the kitchen. I cleaned the countertops, put away 30 per cent of the clutter (things sitting there to make readiness and convenience, but not beauty). I lit candles. I like good aromas. I put a pretty glass bowl of fresh fruit in place of a line of empty bowls, finished candles and empty cups. Then I threw away the pads under my teapots, got some fresh, clean ones, and put away food containers, again sitting out for convenience. 
In the bathroom, I disinfected the shower curtain, and I threw away products that were older than a year, emptied out the drawers containing old medications, almost finished tubes of creams and gels, and lit another candle. I placed the flowers on the bathroom table in a more attractive place. I closed the lid cover to the toilet (okay, I yielded to one actual Feng Shui suggestion just to see if the negative forces I have been living with in my many bathrooms, will turn more positive).
In the dining room I discarded the pots of dirt that no longer contain plants, and bought new, living plants, which will remain on the wire table until I kill them. I will eventually kill them. I always do. Unless the Feng Shui works, that is. My Ch’i is awaiting the verdict. 
That is all I have done for now. And, yes, Feng Shui or no, I should have been doing these things all along. So I feel better, happier, cleaner, prettier already--well, my loft does.

It’s winter. Rather than yielding to the doldrums winter usually brings, I am trying to change some of the external cues, as well as my internal ones (my spirit, my heart, my thinking), to let in the light, celebrate the season, refresh the environment, and become more aware of the impact my space has on me, on my husband, and my guests. I’ll let you know how it goes. In the meantime, let me know about your own Feng Shui efforts. I want to know.