Finding a Happy, Healthy Home Using Feng Shui
By Claire Burstein
Claire Burstein, "The Feng Shui Fairy," offers private consultations.
Right now, we are experiencing a "buyer's market," meaning that you, as the buyer, have more housing choices now than you might at other times. As "The Feng Shui Fairy," I feel that it is my honor and duty to be of assistance in this matter. I am going to give you some tips that will help you find your next home with Feng Shui in mind.
Feng Shui is the best tool you can use to find a house that is already happy and healthy. Yes, it does involve furniture placement, but there's so much more to be aware of, and the house itself may have some issues that need to be addressed. I hope to give you a clear sense of direction (no compass needed) and empowerment. Go forth, with the details below, and conquer!
Is it inviting?
Take a moment to look at the house from the outside and get a feel for the neighborhood. Make some notes about thoughts that come to mind, questions, things you notice such as likes and dislikes. Does the house "speak" to you from the outside? If so, what is it saying? Does it invite you in or make you want to turn around and drive away? Is there a clear path leading to the front door? Recently I visited a house that did not have a clear pathway from the sidewalk. The front door was to the side, as well. I noticed that the home owner walked across the grass to get to the door. This did not strike me as being a good thing.
Do you see yourself taking shortcuts? The front door is called the "mouth of chi" and it's very important that it's easily accessible from the street. Would you invest the time it takes to create a clear path, perhaps by using stones? Know that there are usually options for "curing" a situation like this, but be realistic about the time and expense those options would require.
Notice the life close to the house. Do the plants look lively or in need of an energy boost? Plants and animals can be a good indicator of the chi circulating the area. What about the house number? Is it proudly displayed or is the only indicator a faded marking on the pavement? Is there a freeway nearby or a dog that might keep you up at night? Trust your instincts and first impressions. Some things can be helped and others cannot. I would be happy to assist you with your house hunting, as would most other consultants, to help you discern the difference.
Conditioning: Does it need work or is it ready to go?
When you go up to and inside the house, look closely at its condition. Are the doors in good shape? Do they open and close easily? Is there dust on the baseboards and paint chipping all over, or has it been lovingly cared for? Are there things that need repairing? Making a list will help in the decision process. The words "recently remodeled" or "fresh paint and new carpeting" may seem like a dream come true, but I caution you to investigate further into what types of materials were used. Was the remodeling done with your health in mind, or was it done with "industry standard" petroleum-based products and paint with all sorts of nasty chemicals?
There are contractors and designers who focus on green design and healthy interiors. If your real estate agent doesn't know the answer, then chances are it was done with products that could cause "mysterious" health problems down the line. If you are planning to do remodeling on your own, I urge you to look into buying your products from a green design center, specifically. I'd be happy to go shopping with you if you need help, and there are others who would, too. There are some amazing new products available. They will leave you feeling proud of your remodel and the fact that you considered your family's health and the environment in your selection.
As for green design centers, here are a few to consider:
Green Home Center
Green Fusion Design Center
Form and Function:
Is the home in the shape of an "L"? If so, you may have a problem that needs to be addressed. More often than not, it means that there is a part of the bagua, or "feng shui floor plan," missing. Familiarize yourself with the bagua before going in. BTB Feng Shui will have you orienting the bagua from the front door. That's the type that I use most often in my practice.
Speaking of front doors, is there an interior staircase that's directly in line with the front door? That would be an issue, as well. Is there room to maneuver in the entryway, or will it require energetic contortionism? How about the back door? Is there one in the wealth area, which is in the back left area of the house? This could mean that your money is exiting the back door. Beware of houses nestled in a cul-de-sac or at the end of a "Y" or "T" intersection, as these are very tricky spots to work with.
Working Towards the Ideal:
My goal is not to overwhelm you with potential issues, but rather to help you make an informed decision so you feel good about it from the start. Most of the issues mentioned have cures associated with them. Feng Shui is about working towards an ideal. You're not likely to find the ideal in your housing search. The closer you can get to it, however, the less work will need to be done.
Keep in mind that sometimes everything checks out in terms of form, but it still doesn't "feel" right. There may be some predecessor energy hanging around from things such as a nasty divorce or forclosure. A space clearing may be in order, if that's the case.
Once you have move in and sorted your things, it could make sense to consult with a Feng Shui expert in order to assess the situation and make necessary adjustments. I would suggest a clutter purging, as well. A great book on the subject is Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui by Karen Kingston.
If you just can't bear to face your clutter on your own, don't feel bad. That makes sense, as clutter represents stagnant energy. Consider inviting a friend over to help or hiring your local feng shui consultant for some professional pointers. I wish you good luck in finding and establishing your next happy healthy home!
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