First, I just want to reassure you that there is almost always a remedy to “not-so-good” Feng Shui. So, although you might have done things wrong for a while, it is rarely beyond repair! So please pay attention to these common Feng Shui mistakes beginners often make:
1/ Not decluttering properly before installing any Feng Shui remedies. Most of us dread the idea of decluttering. We hold on to our possessions for fear of missing. But it is absolutely necessary to declutter before starting doing some Feng Shui work on your home. Feng Shui has “eyes” in every nook and cranny, so do not try to hide the clutter. Hidden clutter still drains your energy! Example: I had a hoarder client who had a spotless house, except for her garage where she was hiding gigantic mounts of “stuff”. This explained to me why my client had not obtained the life she wanted: clutter was simply impairing the chi by burdening her.
2/ Hanging big paintings and photos on top of places where you sleep or lay down (bed, couch, or chairs). Safety is number one, so never place anything heavy on top of the bed. Yes, I know, it’s what designers do in just about any bedroom. Sorry, heavy art!
3/ Positioning beds, sofas, desk chair with your back to the door. You may not feel this consciously but in order to feel safe, we need to be in the “command position” (i.e. we need to know that no one is going to come from behind and surprise us). Our amygdala, a primitive part of our brains, is conditioned to be on alert when we cannot see what is behind us and will be preparing to respond in a flight or fight mode. If you cannot change your desk position, I recommend attaching a small rear-view mirror on top of your computer screen so that you can see what is behind you at all times.
4/ Seduced by a beautiful object that does not fit the criteria of “comfort and safety”. Sharp edges, wobbly furniture, a painting above the bed, prickly cacti inside the home (and in accessible areas of the garden) are all very poor ideas. We react strongly and subconsciously to threatening objects and situations. A client I had was once almost seduced by an Italian designer table with a sharp edged glass top and with feet that designed a “V” which formed two threatening “arrows”. That’s a no-no.
5/ Beware of “tortured art”. I had a client once who absolutely refused to remove her “drowning woman” photo series by a famed photographer. While her life otherwise became extremely fulfilling, she has not yet been able to find love. Pictures of single people especially if depicted as sick, lonely, or unhappy are not at all good for you, so remove them! Look around and question those objects, art and photos! What do they communicate to you?
6/ Only paying attention to one of the areas of your life you desperately want to improve. Say you absolutely want to get wealthy (wealth gua). Make sure you also enhance the areas that will help you get the abundance you want. Are you planning to get wealthy through your excellent reputation or customer service (fame and reputation area)? Is it through opportunities coming your way or thanks to a mentor or a boss (in the helpful people area)? Is it through getting recognized at your work (your career area)? or if you are a teacher, a coach, or a student, is it through your knowledge and self-cultivation area? Everything is connected, so do not focus on one thing only.
7/ Beware of overusing one element for the sake of creating a “color palette”. The 5 elements are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. Some designers (and clients I have had) have a very strong preference for one or two of the 5 elements, but this is detrimental to the feel of a room. As an example, many people report arguments and fights in houses where the Metal presence is too high (White, grays, metallic objects). Earthy homes (with lots of yellows, ceramics, square shapes) can be too “stuffy” and the energy can become stale, etc. So always balance the 5 elements in every room.
8/ Focusing too much on a specific outcome. Say you want to salvage your love relationship. You activate your Romance gua and your relationship still falls apart. What happened? You are activating an area that needed a renewal of energy flow. Feng Shui works in unexpected ways. It could be for your own good that the Chi flowed in a way that made this relationship dissolve. So don’t hold on too tight to a specific outcome., or you might miss the opportunity to live what life has in store for you. This relates to core teachings of Taoism.
9/ Treating your home like it’s not made to be lived in. There is a tendency in Interior Design to make “perfect” interiors. Just like you want to avoid elemental imbalance, you want to avoid decorating with materials and furniture that are so precious that you feel guilty or anxious when they are in use. Example: when your cat wants to sit on that “perfect” velvet chair, or that you scold your kid when they bring toys to play in your “perfect” living room. Taking kids and pets as an example, they have a wonderful life energy (“chi”) so letting them run around might actually manifest the luck you are so eager to find!
10/ Keeping broken items in need of repair. Objects need to be in use or they should not be in your home. Never save for later. If you don’t care enough to repair them right now, donate them or sell them “as is” to someone with better handy skills.
By Marianne Gordon www.fengshuiwithme.com