Feng Shui (pronounced Feng Shway) is the Chinese Art of Placement and the translation means wind and water. One of the principles of Feng Shui is to maintain an open space in which clarity can be gained, creativity can be channeled and mental calmness can be achieved.
The aim of Feng Shui is to harmonize our opposing but complimentary yin (nurturing, passive, feminine) energy and our yang (aggressive, dominating, masculine) energy.
Yin and yang represent everything that exists in the universe, including the universe itself and it signifies wholeness, unity and oneness. The dualities also work together with respect for the fact that there is no “higher” or “lower” entity, only differences that can cooperate and coexist to achieve harmony.
When our own internal yin and yang energy is balanced we will feel a sense of inner peace, centeredness and an interconnection to everything that exists.
Although Feng Shui is often associated with our external environment, until we achieve peace, joy and harmony on the inside, it will be very difficult to attain and sustain these things from an outside focus. If the energies are in discordance it can cause our relationships, home, workplace and financial status, as well as other aspects of our lives to be out of sync and we may even find that we are disorganized and regularly encountering dysfunctional situations.
Inner Feng Shui can clear, stabilize and reenergize the mind and it can particularly benefit us when we feel weighed down, fatigued, demotivated or sluggish. The power of the mind should not be underestimated when it comes to creating change, as it is the originator of all that we do, say and feel. We are capable of limitless possibilities, but if our mind is cluttered making any of them a reality can be an arduous or even feel like an impossible task.
Here are a few effective ways to apply inner Feng Shui:
Taking Responsibility for Our Life
If we have overloaded the mind with too much emotional energy or unwanted thoughts and feelings, we will feel overwhelmed and obstructed in a similar way to how we feel when a room is clogged by having hoarded too many material items.
Blockages in our energy can occur when we do not take accountability for our lives and instead we operate on autopilot, which constantly triggers previous emotional injuries as well as causing us to repeat harmful patterns of behavior.
Until we take control of our own life and own it, so that we are accountable for all of our thoughts, emotions, feelings, beliefs, decisions and lifestyle, we will be unable to find peace as we will constantly reflect and project everything outwards. We may then wrongly believe that other people are responsible for our happiness or unhappiness, as we have aligned so much of our life to other people’s desires instead of existing in beat with our own preferences and natural rhythm.
Acknowledging Our Emotions
Due to a variety of historic experiences throughout our life, in our unconscious mind there is a build up of suppressed, denied and rejected emotions and feelings and these are often unpleasant to face. Rather than acknowledging them, we hide them away hoping that we can ignore them. Unfortunately though, this emotional hoarding does not go away and will erupt whenever someone scratches at one of our ancient wounds. We may then impulsively react and respond in ways that seem out of character.
When our energetic channels are blocked, we will also find it difficult to open up so that new life occurrences and feelings, such as love, joy and happiness can enter. We may subconsciously turn positive experiences away, as there isn’t a clear route for them to flow in and through us.
It is crucial that we acknowledge the dormant emotions that are clogging up as energy blockages in our system. As each emotion rises to the surface, we can focus a little attention on them by showing understanding, tenderness, care and compassion so that our emotional energy is recharged and able to start moving again. This encourages our yin and yang energy, our dark and light side, to work for us rather than against us, which brings us back to a state of calm and balance. We will then feel replenished and revitalized, resulting in our chi (universal life force energy) being able to circulate fully and freely.
It is vital that our energy is fluid as it is the driving force behind all of our expressions.
Just as we ground our electrical appliances to ensure the currents are safe and the energy is correctly routed and stable, we can also ground ourselves and safely stabilize our own energy field.
The earth provides a natural source of energy so simply walking barefoot on it recharges and stabilizes the electrical charge of our physical and subtle bodies. Our immune system requires a healthy amount of electrons and the earth’s surface provides these vital electrons in abundance.
We ground ourselves any time we spend time with nature. When we are away from the hustle of our day-to-day lives we will notice our senses becoming more alert as we tune into our surrounding environment. Our awareness of sights, smells and sounds will instantly heighten and we will feel fully present as we achieve total peace and harmony.
Focusing on our breathing is a simple way to raise our energy levels. We can do a simple pranayama exercise by inhaling deeply and slowly through the nostrils and then exhaling quickly through the nostrils. When we repeat this we are able to reenergize and replenish our inner system flushing it through with vital life force energy.
Concentrating on our breathing and letting go of any thoughts that are not connected to the present moment is the simplest way to gently bring ourselves back to the here and now. When we breathe in and then out in we can pay close attention to the physical sensations that occur with each inhalation and exhalation. The air that we breathe is essential in keeping us alive, every breath we take is vital and it also releases areas of tension that is stored energetically as well as in our physical body.
When we begin and end the day with a meditation, even if it is only for 5-10 minutes, we will allow the mind to calm so that it can acknowledge and dispose of any unwelcome, unnecessary or persistent thoughts. Before our morning meditation we can set one, or more, intentions for the day ahead and before the evening meditation we can pay gratitude for everything that we have received during the day. Setting intentions helps us to align our day so that we achieve our goals or work towards reaching our full potential and expressing gratitude helps us to notice all the things that take place in our lives that we may otherwise take for granted.
Retrain The Mind
We can retrain our mind to think differently, if either what we are thinking is causing us to feel weighed down or if we are generally thinking too many thoughts. It is believed that on average we have approximately 50,000 thoughts every day. Therefore, we have an incredible amount of opportunity to make our thoughts count so that we can create significant transformation in our life.
Although thoughts matter, we are never going to make the most of 50,000 of them, which is why it is necessary to slow the mind down with meditation and mindfulness so that we have quality thoughts rather than quantity.
When we continuously press repeat on negative thinking from the past or the future, we recreate fearful, tormenting and destructive scenarios that lower our energy levels and cause blockages, when instead we can concentrate on what is happening currently, as this encourages our energy to remain highly charged and positive.
If our thoughts jump back to the past or ahead into the future, we can slowly and gently nudge them back towards the present. We can learn to calm what is known as the “monkey mind”—the constant chatter in the back of our mind.
When we are feeling energetically low there is a reason for it. If we are caught up in negativity, feeling anxious, resentful, bitter, envious, frustrated, angry or stressed our bodies and minds are exhausting themselves as they are storing up so much tension through blocked energy that it begins to slow us down.
When we are balanced and energized our energetic vibration is faster, so we are naturally more optimistic, healthy, aware, positive, inspired, compassionate, appreciative, loving, intuitive and understanding. Internally we will benefit, as our mind will feel relaxed, light and free to creatively express itself and all of these qualities automatically transcend and positively impact and enhance our external environment.
Author: Alex Myles
Editor: Travis May
Photo: Flickr/Keenan Turner