Thursday, January 7, 2016

A home's center is key to a balanced life

Feng Shui Bagua
If you’re familiar with feng shui, you’ve probably heard of the bagua (pronounced baw-gwa). If you haven’t, just think of it as a map you can place over a layout of your home. It’s comprised of 8 core life aspects (e.g., career, relationships, abundance, etc.) surrounding a central and unifying aspect of life – balance (picture the yin-yang symbol).

The great thing about the bagua is that it allows you to see how different areas of your home represent different aspects of your life. For instance, based on the placement of a room, it can represent your family or your job or the people in your life who offer support.

There are different schools of thought as to how it should be positioned (e.g., cardinal directions or the entry to a home). More traditional schools follow the cardinal directions while the more “modern” schools use the entryway. In the school where I was trained, the International Institute of Interior Alignment (learn more at, we tend to use the entryway, but have also used direction depending on a home’s location (that’s a topic for another blog).

The nice thing about the balance aspect of the bagua is that no matter how you position the map it’s always in the center of your home. Easy, right?

OK, so why is this important? Well in feng shui the goal is to direct the energy within a home so that you have greater success in all areas of your life, and ultimately so you feel more balanced in your life across all those areas. So the center of your home can give you insight into something being off kilter in your life and it also can be adjusted to help realign the home’s energy for greater balance.

You might be asking how you might know if the center of your home is out of balance.

Well first, stand in the center of your home, or look at the center (sometimes it’s a utility closet or a flight of stairs going downward so you can’t actually be in the center), and ask yourself how you feel. Trust me, it’s important.

If you feel good, you smile or generally enjoy the space, great! That’s a good indication that things are in balance. If you do not feel so positive when you look at the space, a feng shui enhancement could probably do you some good.

Ok, so if you have more of a negative feel about the space, here are a couple common feng shui challenges that may be the culprit and how they might affect the balanced energy you’re trying to create:
  1. Stairs. In feng shui, stairs, going up or down, can create some fast moving energy or chi in the space. When you have energy that moves too quickly, then the home, and in this case the center of yor home, doesn’t get a chance to benefit from it. Remember, feng shui is about directing energy to different areas of your home, and as a result different aspects of your life. The goal is to provide more support (energetically) for you to achieve your goals. If the energy doesn’t stick around in an area of your home, that aspect of your life won’t get the energetic support you want. So, stairs in the center of your home can mean you won’t be able to access the energy you need to be more balanced. It’s as if every time you try to create more balance, it eludes you.
  2. No light. Light generates chi, while darkness dampens chi. So if there’s no light, the energy may not flow well in the space. Stagnant chi is a common challenge in feng shui as it creates a feeling of sluggishness and inactivity, and is reflected in our lives when it takes an inordinately long time to achieve a goal. Stagnant chi also tends to attract more stagnant or heavy energy. It’s not unusual, for example, when a room with stagnant chi becomes a dumping ground for clutter (Have you been in your garage lately?).
  3. Bathroom. The bathroom in the center of a home offers challenges because of its connection to the element of water. In feng shui, water represents either emotions or money. When we are constantly “flushing” the water out of the home, this can affect our stress levels, our financial well-being or both. These can be especially frustrating imbalances.   

These are just a couple examples of situations in the center of your home that could affect the balance you are trying to create in your life. Does it mean if you have these situations, it’s the end of the world? Nope. First check your gut. Does your life feel pretty balanced (e.g., work vs. play)? If the answer is yes, great! If not, I’m happy to talk to you further about it, just shoot me an email at

Hopefully now you’ll think a little differently about your home, and the importance of its center. 

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