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Rearrange & rejuvenate: Mary Anne Winslow shares how an energetic Feng Shui home makeover can help you start the New Year off on the right foot.

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Ever wonder why you feel more comfortable in certain places than others? Why you have trouble sleeping or wake up not feeling refreshed? Or, why you feel energized after you take a walk in the woods or on the seashore? It's all about the flow--the energy flow of the place.

Everything in life has an energy. The Chinese call this energy "chi." By looking at everything in this universe as being alive with energy, we're able to see what it is we're surrounding ourselves with and how these items and places are alive. We can then identify the quality of the chi with which we are constantly being bombarded. To live successfully in peace and harmony with ourselves and the world, the chi of a space needs to be in balance with the occupant of that space; then, harmony, peace, beauty and whatever qualities we desire will naturally occur.

Ancient Feng Shui design, practiced for at least three thousand years in China, is a powerful tool for achieving this chi. Feng Shui, translated as wind and water, works with the energy of a place in a home, garden, office, business, store, mall, or the woods or mountains--literally everything on the planet. Historically, the study of these energy patterns provided guidelines for the Chinese in designing homes, businesses and cities, including the Forbidden City in Beijing. A map called the "ba gua" guides Feng Shui design. The map is an eight-sided figure used as an overlay for a floor plan, a piece of land, a home, a business, a 40-story building, or even a desk. The ba gua is divided into sections representing various aspects of life, such as family, wealth, health, relationships, and careers. Visual energy patterns are uncovered by using the ba gua.

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Today, Feng Shui is enjoying a renaissance in the western hemisphere. Everyone has an elemental ability to evaluate and "feel" energy flow. Feng Shui is like acupuncture for the home or office and believes that moving certain furniture, clearing clutter, and "charging" certain areas shifts the energy pattern of the space, which, in turn, adjusts the energy of the occupants.

Some typical tools used for bringing new energy into the home and revitalizing our lives through Feng Shui might be placing a plant, mirror or water fountain by the front door. It's thought that these items can help you on your path to finding a better job or to bring about a career change.

Changing the placement of a bed is another simple Feng Shui tool that can rejuvenate not only your home, but you, too, by improving your quality of sleep. (Be sure to check out the sidebar for tips on bed placement.) Factors such as what is in the immediate vicinity of the bedroom windows, the bedroom's relationship to the other rooms in the house and street, or shape of the room may also have an impact on sleep patterns.

Think about how you feel after you walk on an ocean beach, hike to a mountaintop, or witness a wondrous sunset? That feeling is what brings you into harmony with your environment and with yourself. And, it's the ultimate goal of Feng Shui--to create and capture this feeling whenever you enter a space.

A supporting environment reduces stress, induces calmness, balance, joy, and improves our mental, physical and emotional health. As 2007 comes to a close, it's an opportune time to reexamine this year and your home. Try some simple Feng Shui rearranging and redesign and rejuvenate your space for 2008!

A Feng Shui Must-Read

For more Feng Shui tips and information, take a look at The Modern Book of Feng Shui by Steven Post.

Basic Bedroom Balancing

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Feeling refreshed and rejuvenated starts with a good nights sleep. But, that can be difficult if your bedroom isn't designed to make sleep an easy accomplishment. Here are a few Feng Shui guidelines to consider regarding the placement of your bed in your space. Get that bed moving before 2007's gone, and you should sleep your way soundly into next year!

According to Feng Shui, the placement of the bed in your bedroom should ...

... not face the door. The door directs too much energy at the bed for quality sleep.

... be located in the room where the door is easily visible for security reasons.

... have a headboard for protection of the head.

... not be directly under a ceiling fan. The fan's blades cut energy.

You should also avoid ...

... having sharp angles pointed at the bed, whether from furniture or room layout, as sharp energy can negatively impact sleep.

... using the space under the bed as storage of shoes, suitcases, or books. These items have too much activity for a restful sleep.

... having a television, computer, or exercise equipment in the room. Like storage items, these electronics present too much activity for restful sleep.

Mary Anne Winslow is a certificated Feng Shui consultant who recently moved from Albany, NY, to settle in Greenville, SC. She graduated from the three-year curriculum at the BTB Feng Shui Masters Training Program in Berkeley, California, and New York City, and now travels to wherever there is a request for a personal consultation. She can be reached via email at fengshuiway@juno.com or by phone at 864-990-6401.
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Copyright 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Winslow, Mary Anne
Publication:New Life Journal
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2007
Words:882
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