Improve Your Life with Feng Shui
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Improve Your Life with Feng Shui

Feng shui is an ancient Chinese belief of harmony and balance. This is how you can bring health and happiness into your home or office.

Feng shui (pronounced fung shway) is an ancient Chinese belief of harmony and balance. It’s about health, prosperity and general well being in your surroundings and life. Fen Shui can get complicated and some people and businesses hire an expert in feng shui to come to their place and instruct them on how to make their home or business more balanced, harmonious and prosperous. It is about the energy flow through your home and office, in Chinese, energy is the qi (pronounced chee).

The five elements of feng Shui

Some of the tools of feng shui include the use of colors, yin and yang, nine star ki, compass directions and materials, which are based on the five elements. In balance the five elements are:

  • Water - moderates fire, keeping it from raging out of control.
  • Fire – warms metal, allowing it to become more flexible.
  • Metal – moderates tree, making sure it doesn’t rise up too fast.
  • Tree (wood) – moderates Earth (soil), keeping it from becoming too solid.
  • Earth (soil) – moderates water by keeping it flowing and not becoming stagnant.

When out of balance these elements can be destructive in creativity, harmony, health or finances in your life.

The elements and their own characteristics













Black/dark colors


White/ pastel colors

Greens and blues

Yellow/earth tones



Water, glass, fountains, crystal

Candle, fireplace, light

Rock/stone and all metals

Plants/flowers and wood






Focus/mental acuity





Color is very important in feng shui, the color of your walls, clothes and objects in your home. Colors can influence the harmony in your life. Look how color has been used in advertising as well, colors influence people and emotions. With everything in life, you can overdo it with colors, and too much of certain colors can worsen what aspect of your life you are trying to strengthen. For example too much red can cause anger or aggression, too much blue could make you feel blue.

The bagua

The bagua (pronounced ba-gwa) sometimes called the pa kua is an octagon chart used in feng shui that tells you what parts of your home or office corresponds to the various aspects of your life. You can make a square or octagon bagua chart for yourself using tracing paper, then make a drawing of your home and lay the bagua chart over that. That way you can look at each part of your home as it corresponds to the bagua and see what areas you can change. To do just one room of your home, you can lay the chart over the drawing of this room and organize it that way. If you want prosperity, you can do something as simple as putting something purple in this area of your home or room according to the bagua chart. Colors are used to enhance an area and also to tone down an area, the bathroom is full of water, looking at the above chart you wouldn’t want to paint it with dark colors.

Bagua chart with associated colors and the areas of your life it helps

In feng shui, there are two schools of thought when placing the chart over the drawing of your home, one uses the compass directions and one doesn’t. Using the compass directions, you place the bagua over the drawing of your home with north in the north direction. You can use a compass to be exact.

Using the non-compass method, the bottom of this chart should be aligned with the front of your home. You might use other doors more frequently to enter your home, but the front door is the entrance. Your home probably isn’t a perfect square, it might be U shaped with a vacant area, which is okay as long as it has something in that area that will enhance your home in some way. Even something like a nice flowerpot or garden to fill up that area will help. Your front door might be different, recessed, or a vacant area which can be enhanced in subtle ways using feng shui.

Look at empty rooms in your home that are not used except where you might just throw things in to. Look at the bagua chart to see what area of your life this room falls into and then see how you can fix it. Using feng shui, it might be as simple as organizing it to organize that area of your life. Maybe you have a totally empty room in your home, see what area of the bagua is in that room, does that area of your life feel empty. Look at the bagua corresponding colors and items you can put in that room so it won’t be empty anymore.

Using Mirrors in Feng Shui

Some say that mirrors are important in feng shui and others say they aren’t. The ones who say mirrors are important believe that mirrors can reflect good and or bad energy. For example you wouldn’t want a mirror reflecting the bathroom into your kitchen. Mirrors are supposed to be able to expand positive energy flow if positioned in the right places in your home. If you had a mirror positioned in a place that reflected your flower garden into your home; that could be positive energy. You could also use a feng shui octagon mirror.

Photo by Gobind Khalsa

Wind chimes

Wind chimes can also play an important part in your home, some say it’s as simple as placing the wind chime on the corner of a patio or porch to discourage negative energy and enhance the positive. The use of wind chimes with feng shui can go further according to the direction, number of chimes and are they metal or bamboo wind chimes.

Does it feel good?

How does it feel to you. Do you feel gloomy in your home or in a certain room, using feng shui you might be able to make that area more pleasant. When you drive up to your home, does it feel good. Is the front door pleasant, is the yard kept nicely and the trees and flowers all healthy looking. If you have a neighbor whose yard isn’t pleasant there are things you can do in your yard to make it pleasant. Even if you live next to a parking lot or a freeway, there are feng shui ways to make it more pleasant with positive energy flow.

There is a lot to feng shui and there are plenty of books and videos at the library for further research.

© 2009 Sam Montana

Interactive bagua chart

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