Moving From ‘Shangrila’
As I wrote in my last Elsewhere article, my Ultimate Concierge and I recently sold our second home, Shangrila, in California. When unpacking the 83 boxes we brought back to Chicago; organization became the key to my happiness and my sanity, darling. One way that I decided to organize my belongings was with the philosophy of feng shui.
In autumn, it’s time to put away your summer dresses and sandals to make room for warm woolen leggings and stylish ankle boots. This organizational transition presents a perfect opportunity to tune up the Feng Shui of your home.
Many of you know that I have long practiced feng shui. Twenty years ago my husband and I were visiting our friend in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He invited us to his office and after welcoming us I said, “I feel surrounded in harmony.” His face lit-up in a big smile, his eyes opened wide and he began to explain to me the philosophy of feng shui, a 3,000-year-old Chinese practice. He went on to explain:
“My desk must face in this direction for prosperity.”
“And, my plants provide me with extra oxygen.”
“My office sits on this site because it faces water that gives me peace and serenity.”
“As well, my possessions from my family are in the glass case in front of me. They represent love, therefore joy.”
“My desk is uncluttered so my thoughts can be clear.”
“My watch is on my right wrist, though I am right-handed. And, my left wrist must not have any electrical currents stopping the flow of energy to my heart.” (I put my watch on my right wrist that day!)
What is Feng Shui?
What is feng shui? It is a way of balancing the energies of a space to assure health and good fortune. But, for me, it is focusing on my private surroundings–my home and my garden. My home and my garden mirror me and my feelings. When I open the door leading into my home or walk out into my garden I am in total harmony with my space. I feel my whole body relax and the woes of the day are lifted from my shoulders. I can simply be.
Here are some of the simple feng shui steps I took in my home and I think you might enjoy in yours as well.
- Color: My color scheme is the same throughout my home. As I leave one room and enter another I feel its flow of continuity. Continuity provides me with a feeling of harmony. Here are tips on picking paint colors for your home.
- Plants: Every room in my home has orchids and greenery, all of the same variety. I have nature surrounding me. This gives me joy and extra oxygen!
- Clutter-free: Feng shui taught me that clutter sets me up for failure. I have simplified my desk with no paper clutter. I have meaningful objects that make me very happy. Fresh flowers are always on my desk. A picture of my husband. A beautiful paperweight from my housekeeper, a magic wand from my daughter-in-law lays next to a picture of my two daughters. Two turtles from two close girlfriends.
And There is More…
- Downsize: Feng shui says to let go of items and give to those in need. My closet is void of clutter. My clothes are lined up by color, casual, dressy, and formal. I even enlisted the help of California Closets to help me bring in my clothes and items from our second home and blend them seamlessly with the ones in Chicago. Here are other ways you can simplify and downsize your home.
- Peace of mind: Feng shui puts safety and comfort above all else. Thousands of years ago the feng shui practitioners would survey the landscape for a family. We choose a neighborhood that provides me with contentment. We have an alarm system for safety. This is especially needed during our time spent in Elsewhere.
For more tips on feng shui in your home, click here!
The practice of feng shui continues to be popular in all cultures to this day. I believe this is because we are all searching for harmony. Consider making it a part of your life so you can work to simplify your life and “simply be.”