The spaces we live and work in are important. Growing up, if I was going through a creative rut, or just felt distracted and overwhelmed, I would change it up, push around some furniture in my bedroom and try and put my belongings in places that felt right. It later occurred to me that this is an actual thing that people do – an art form in fact – called Feng Shui, and after educating myself, I realized that I had some pretty awful juju going on in my room and that I needed to change it up, stat.
So my first mistake was that my bed was originally centered in the room, facing the door. In feng shui, this is a big no-no. It is called the “death position” and apparently mimics the way a body is carried out of a room feet-first after death. It is believed that having your bed set up like this can drain your psyche. Consider my psyche drained. Feng shui practitioners suggest instead placing your bed in the farthest corner of the room, where you can still see the door.
Note: Feng shui also suggests not putting your bed underneath a window, but this is something I have to disagree with. I am a natural light freak. There is also very low lighting in my room, so I need to maximize what I have with strategic placement of furniture.
Natural, earthy tones like terracotta, copper, cream, tan and cocoa are recommended along with blues, lavenders and greens for a calming atmosphere. Keeping the colors in your room muted helps to avoid over-stimulating yourself, which can lead to poor sleep. As an artist wanting to be surrounded by art, this is a challenge. I tried to balance my colorful prints and rug with soothing green plants, blacks and whites, and neutral blankets.
Bad news for your clutter…
Apparently, even clutter that accumulates behind closed doors can be draining. So just because you dumped all your stuff in a drawer doesn’t mean it is going to stop weighing on your mind. Unfortunately, that means you’re going to have to consolidate and either invest in more storage solutions, or get rid of it. Distracting clutter is a big problem for me, so I ruthlessly went through the contents of my drawers and threw out everything I didn’t need anymore. I have also adopted a buy-no-more-hangers policy for my closet. Meaning I have vowed to buy no more clothes hangers, and in order to add more items to my closet, I have to get rid of a few pieces first. This is helpful for me because I tend to have one or two items at all times that really don’t get much airtime. Waste not, want not, people.
For ____ do ____.
For HEALTH, feng shui suggests using earthy materials, squares and rectangular things, artwork depicting landscapes and grouping objects in sets of five.
For CREATIVITY, use whites, metals (copper, steel, iron, brass,) stone, crystals and groupings of seven.
For a CAREER boost, mirrors are your go-to, along with asymmetrical, fluid shapes.
For TRAVEL, or if you want a mentor or helpful person sent your way, give a little attention to the front righthand corner of your room. Decorate with pictures of travels you have made or wish to make, spiritual knickknacks and paraphernalia.
For WISDOM, decorate with (duh) books, or a reading chair. Also, images of mountains or other still, contemplative places.
Happy feng shui-ing.
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