Meanderings/Kiki Obadal – Feng Shui-ing my heart out


Since my condo is only slightly over 600 square feet, how I make us of every square inch really counts.   

I have come to learn that clutter in the house makes me irritable.  Dust makes my sinuses clog; and a sterile environment of fluorescent light, combined with a lack of any organic materials in my environment, including animals, is just plain depressing.  It makes me feel as though the place was not a home at all, but a dull office.    

I used to laugh at Feng Shui, but when I moved into my condo I began to see the wisdom of this philosophy.  Feng Shui is a Chinese traditional approach towards designing interior spaces.  Its purpose is to harness Chi, or life-energy, in a manner that promotes well-being and prosperity.  In order to accomplish a beneficial chi, it makes use of the five elements of water, wood, fire, earth, and metal, along with the colors that represent them.  

Whether or not you believe in the mystical part, this ancient approach to interior spaces can make a difference in how you feel when you are inside them.  While there are some different schools of thought in this business of Feng shui, the basic principles are constant.   

It is interesting to note that the communist government of China has made illegal the professional practice of this ancient aesthetic.  It has granted permission to two university professors to study this subject. Talk about the government getting into your living room.  (Note to self: nobody in government is going to tell me what kind of light bulbs I can use in my house.)  

Whatever we might think about Feng Shui, such traditional approaches to organizing living spaces exist in India, Japan, and almost everywhere in the world to varying degrees.  

In any event, there has to be a reason why many Asian people live to be very old.  It must have to do with soy, green tea, fish, sake, and Feng Shui, not necessarily in that order.   

So after a little research into the subject, I have compiled another one of my lists to assist you in harnessing beneficial Chi in your household.   Or, simply put, as your mother used to say, Pick up your room!

Bad Feng Shui:

  • Clutter
  • Eau de locker room, masked by synthetic air fresheners
  • Dirty, hermetically sealed windows
  • Ambient grunge
  • Yappy little dogs
  • Old nylon carpeting
  • Lack of color
  • Dust bunnies as pets
  • Dead houseplants
  • Polyester
  • Flourescent ceiling lights

Good Feng Shui:

  • Green houseplants
  • Flowing fountains
  • Flowing fresh air (windows or air filters)
  • Mirrors
  • Smart use of color
  • Natural fibers
  • Strategically placed candles and lamps