By Carol Cannon, Certified Feng Shui Practitioner
We’re deep into the fall season and it’s natural for the trees to shed their leaves when the air becomes crisp. We “fall back” and adjust our clocks so that it gets dark earlier in the evening. Winter approaches and people begin to spend more time in their homes. This natural process is well documented in Five Element theory which is the basis for Feng Shui, the art of placement. We are in the Metal phase of the calendar year, moving towards the Water phase, which is the most Yin time of year.
The [Yin] Water Phase
Yin, according to Chinese philosophy, is one of two forces that, together, form all that exists. It is the passive principle of the Universe, characterized as female and sustaining, Yin is associated with the earth, darkness and cold. According to Chinese philosophy, Yang is the opposite force that combines with Yin to form everything. The active principle of the Universe, Yang is characterized as male and associated with light, heat, and dryness. Yin and Yang come together to produce all that comes to be.
Personal Inner Work with Feng Shui
This seasonal “pulling inward” allows us time and focus to do our personal, inner work which is much needed after the bright, busy Yang time of the year. During this introspective time of Thanksgiving just behind us, it’s a perfect time to give thanks and practice gratitude. Considering all that we have to be thankful for and acknowledging the people who help us is an important part of our inner work. The natural stillness, darkness, and home-focus of the late fall and winter provide the perfect environment for the inner work that will allow us to reach the Yin of our own being. This isn’t to say that inner work isn’t possible or should be skipped in the summer and spring. The inner work of grounding, meditation, introspection, etc. are needed and productive year-round. The point is – this Yin time of year is more conducive to a focus on your inner being, so why not take advantage of it? Here are six easy ways to get started.
Six Feng Shui Tips for Getting the most from Inner Work this Yin Time of Year
1. Find the ideal location in your home for a sleeping, napping or meditation space.
In classical Feng Shui, which focuses on compass directions, the north sector of your home is considered the most Yin area. This is because the north is generally the cooler spot where less sun is present during the day. According to the concepts of Building Biology, the north area is an ideal sleeping location (sleeping is the most Yin activity). In Western Feng Shui, the rear right corner of your home (as you are facing the front of your house) is the location of Mother, the most Yin of the Bagua….another good location for your bedroom, Good quality sleep is vitally important to our entire day because it rejuvenates us. A friend of mine likes to say “thank you” at bedtime and again when she gets up. It’s a simple way to offer gratitude for the day that is ending and again as the new day is beginning. It’s important to acknowledge that a great deal of our inner work goes on while we sleep because we often work out and consider issues subconsciously. It’s a good idea to keep pencil and paper next to the bed so you can write down your dreams as soon as you awake. Listen when your subconscious speaks to you.
2. Establish a meditation practice (another Yin activity) or quite time each day.
Meditation, whether guided or a time of silence, nourishes your inner being in so many ways. Daily meditation can help lower blood pressure, bring focus and clarity to your day, and is a positive way to diffuse and reduce stress. Heighten the benefits of meditation and quiet by creating your “Yin space” in your bedroom, in the northern area of your home, the right corner of your home (the Mother area of the Bagua as noted above), or the spirituality area (the front left corner of your home, according to Western Feng Shui).
3. Display your books and art about spirituality in a location that supports your inner work (the spirituality area).
The front left corner of your home (as you are facing the front of your house) is an ideal space for your books, art, and music that reflects your spiritual interests. It can be a great place to meditate, sit and read, or write in a gratitude journal. Do you have a few spiritually focused books that you’ve been planning to read? Do you color as a way to calm your mind and spirit? Doing these things in the spirituality area provides a naturally nurturing space that supports your work. It’s also an ideal place for your sacred altar, if that’s a part of your spiritual practice.
The importance of decluttering cannot be overemphasized. This Yin time of year is a perfect time to get rid of the excess “stuff” that crowds our space and our mind. When your home is cluttered, do you feel overwhelmed and unfocused? That’s the energy of your space having a negative effect on your mind. Go through closets, dressers, cabinets and the attic to pull out blankets, coats, clothing, and household items that you aren’t using. Donate any and all unwanted/unneeded items to community organizations that assist the homeless. Take your time; it doesn’t have to be done in a day. Move with determination, intention, and gratitude through your home and you’ll see what a difference it makes. It’s a win-win situation: you’re helping others in need and you are creating clearer space in your home. As you go through your home looking for things that can be donated, reinforce your action with gratitude and intention. Say a prayer or a statement that feels natural and comforting to you. Something like,
I’m grateful that my family and I always have enough. I’m releasing what I no longer need and what no longer serves me. May this release help others and create positive open space for the best and highest good.
I guarantee this process will be freeing and create room for new and positive energy in your life.
5. Make time for Yin-style exercise such as Yoga, Tai Chi, or Feldenkrais (a system designed to promote physical and mental well-being via gentle exercises that improve flexibility, coordination, and range of motion).
Practice these exercises in the center of your home which is the Health area. Again, doing this type of exercise in this space will deepen and support your practice and its positive effects.
6. Start working on your vision board for 2017.
As you read, listen to music, exercise, declutter, and meditate, think about what you want for your life in 2017 and what you’re grateful for now. Pay attention to the ideas, goals, and thoughts that keep coming up for you during this time. Go through magazines and cut out photos, words, headlines, etc. that appeal to you and depict the energy you would like to have, or have more of in your life. Keep your collection of cut-outs in a folder or envelope until you’re ready to create your 2017 vision on a poster-board. Arrange your selections in the pattern of the Feng Shui Bagua, creating a visual of your heart’s desires. For example, would you like a new job? Paste a photo of something that represents your ideal job in the bottom middle area of the poster-board (that’s the Career area of the Bagua). Looking for a relationship? Select words and/or photos that symbolize a positive, happy, loving relationship and put them in the top right corner of the Bagua on your poster. Make this a project that you complete in January before the auspicious Chinese New Year!
Before you leave for work – or, as you arrive home today -pause for a moment and really look at your home. It should be your refuge from a world that can sometimes be negative, overwhelming, loud, and far too busy. I hope your home offers comfort, security, joy, and love. If it doesn’t offer all those things, you have the power to create that positive energy with your inner work. The work you do on yourself to nurture and let your inner being shine will manifest itself in your home.
Carol Cannon, a graduate of the New York School of Feng Shui has been a Feng Shui Practitioner since 1993. She is also certified as a BBEC (Building Biologie™ Environmental Consultant). As a resident of Emmaus, PA, Carol’s passion is to help people find peace and joy in their lives. Visit Carol HERE.