How do you know if your feng shui has gone too far?

Fundamentally, feng shui aims to bring peace, harmony and abundance into your live — things we could all use more of. But with endless blogs, tutorials and gurus spouting their version of “feng shui”, these ancient principles can start to feel a little inaccessible to the average homeowner. Your desire to create a peaceful space in your home shouldn’t lead to being stressed out if you have guests come over who don’t take their shoes off at the door. And if your kitchen table has clutter on it for half a day, it shouldn’t ruin your entire week. Although it may be easy to take feng shui too far — at its root, it’s all about cultivating a space where you can breathe. If you spend your time trying to ensure the energy in your home is perfectly balanced, you waste time you could have spent enjoying it.

You don’t need a comprehensive checklist or a deep understanding of the five celestial animals to bring a little feng shui into your space. Take it back to basics, focus your attention on the key principles you’re trying to evoke, and work with the space you have, rather than trying to change it.

Feng Shui seek balance
Seek balance

Seek balance

Find something to represent all five elements in each room: water, wood, fire, earth and metal. This will help ground you and bring balance to even the most chaotic of households. It can be as simple as placing a candle in a wooden bowl filled with stone pebbles or dropping sandalwood essential oil in a water-based oil diffuser. Another way to achieve this balance of the elements is to incorporate the elemental colours of black, green, red, yellow and white, or variations of these.

Feng Shui entryways
Pay attention to entryways

Pay attention to the entryways

According to the ancient principles of feng shui, the entryways are how qi (chi) enters and leaves your home. An inviting entryway allows positive energy to flow into your space — an area where opportunity will come proverbially knocking. Make your entryway distinct from the rest of the space, ensuring shoes are taken off before entering the main space of the home. Make sure your front door can open fully and isn’t impeded by furniture, as this can compress energy coming in.

Feng Shui bring the outdoors in
Bring the outdoors in

Bring the outdoors in

The benefits indoor plants bring are not reserved for ancient Chinese wisdom, and scientific research has also proven that plants help to reduce anger and anxiety. According to feng shui, living plants have their own qi and draw qi too them. Placing indoor plants around your home can help bring balance, abundance and promote connection. If you’re not a green thumb, stick to silk plants and flowers over plastic, as a natural fiber is the next best thing.

Feng Shui declutter
Make like Marie Condo and declutter


Channel your inner Marie Condo and declutter. While feng shui doesn’t require you to throw out all items that don’t spark joy,
it’s important not to hold onto bad energy unnecessarily. For example, a wardrobe packed full of clothes you don’t wear is a symbol to the universe, and to your brain, that you are full, and that you don’t need anything else. Clearing out space can be a trigger to also letting go of other unnecessary things (such as harmful people or ideologies) and it’s a simple way to invite more abundance into your life.

Feng Shui use light
Use light wisely

Use light wisely

Although bright spaces are ideal for energising your home, this doesn’t mean your power bill has to go through the roof. Make the most of natural light and use high-wattage bulbs in hallways. When it’s time to quiet down for the night, use light as a cue to do this. Allow your body to cycle slowly towards sleep by using softer lighting like candles and salt lamps, as well as dimmers on your ceiling lights.

Feng Shui ying & yang
Consider the principles of Ying & Yang

Consider the principles of Yin & Yang

The forces of Yin and Yang represent the interconnectedness and harmonious interaction between the peace and the chaos. These cannot exist in isolation and a true feng shui home will have both Ying and Yang energies in each room, although some spaces should tip heavily in favour of one or the other. While your study space may be geared towards Yang, your bedroom should tipped heavily in favour of Yin, so it’s crucial to let go of all of the dominant Yang features in this space.

Whether you take on board just a few of these principles or try to utilize all of them, what’s most important is to stay aligned with what your true purpose is. The reason for dabbling in feng shui is to add a little peace and harmony to your space. Be sure not to take it too far and get caught up in making it perfect and you’ll find yourself enjoying an accepting and abundant home.

Written: 7 February 2019

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