I recently had the pleasure of getting a casual and insightful feng shui assessment of my home. “Feng” means wind and “shui” means water, and it’s an ancient Chinese idea often applied to design.
As with many concepts and beliefs, I am prone to a moderate following — I was warily expectant that I would be told to buy a fountain for the middle of my house and place little glass containers with grass around the flat.
Either my home is far from ready for the final feng shui touches or the world of feng shui is, at some level, really a matter of energy and love, because there was no mention of fountains or grass — merely a map of affirmations, colors and a recipe for a good energy scrub.
This may be the most tedious aspect of feng shui, but as Sanaa al-Rifai, feng shui consultant and holistic healer, points out, it is the most important.
“While there is clutter, energy cannot move,” Rifai explains.
What does de-clutter mean? Everything has a place marked by its purpose — put things in their places.
If you haven’t used something in more than a year, give it to someone who will. Pile of receipts? Make a receipt box and keep them all there.
2. Find direction
Use a compass to find the direction of your home’s entrance. Once you have found which way is north, apply the feng shui bagua, as depicted in the picture.
Each direction represents one facet of your life — family, career and marriage, for instance.
3. Get out the paint
Take a look at each of the areas of your home and see how “feng shui” they are — each area should have particular color schemes.
South areas, for instance, are intuitive, with reds, pinks and earth tones helping love and marriage. Greens and browns, meanwhile, are suitable for the east area, representing health and family.
Add sea salt to your cleaning regimen and scrub the house of bad energy.
“While disinfectant is sufficient for physical germs, you’ll need sea salt to rid yourself of dirty energy,” says Rifai. “In fact, a little salt in the corners of your rooms will clean up the energy visitors leave in your home when they come visit.”
5. Make your affirmations
Look into each main area of your life and state where you would like to be according to each category. For example, say, “I have found my career path, work hard and am the best in my field.” Or, “I am traveling to four new countries this year and will meet new people.”
You can write these down if you wish, and place them in their correct spots in the house.
Make small changes in the different parts of your home to add that extra bit of energy to the area.
For example, for south-west areas, which represent love and marriage, you should place things in twos: two pots, two vases, two statues, etc.
Use west areas for paintings and music to represent creative passion, and, in the north-west areas, place pictures of loved ones on a trip.
This piece was originally published in Egypt Independent's weekly print edition.