MOVING THE CHI
By CAROLE HYDER
WHEN THE outside changes, the inside makes a corresponding change. When the weather warms up, we live differently than when the weather is cold. During one season we’ll have sleigh rides and during another picnics. We wear one kind of clothing when the temperatures are hot and another kind when the temperatures drop below zero. Our lives can’t help but follow the change of seasons. I argue that our homes should mark the changes of time as well.
When my sister’s kids were little, they decorated their home for each and every holiday—hearts on the windows on Valentine’s Day, shamrocks in March, tulips in the spring, etc. It was always fun to visit their home because you knew what month it was. Holiday decorations are another expression of this concept. The importance of this action is that the house is included in a time-relevant event—it’s staying current with the seasons.
One of my clients has a summer furniture arrangement and a winter furniture arrangement. She has a corresponding rug and pillows that she changes as well. In the end, her home reflects her intention of wholeness filtered through the appropriate season. Another client acquired 12 silk wreaths over the years. On the first of each month, she places a new wreath on her front door to mark the change of time.
A couple that I’ve worked with have an “artwork exchange” ritual that they do on each solstice and equinox. Every three months they replace a painting over their fireplace with another one, which provides them an internal clock that is in step with nature. The idea of a summer bedroom and a winter bedroom is not a new one, marking the change of seasons with different comforters, maybe different curtains.
Feng Shui is often called “acupuncture for the home.” As acupuncture enhances and lifts the ch’i of an individual, Feng Shui can do the same for a home. The advantage in moving the energy in a space is that it will correspondingly lift the energy of those who live there. One way to move the ch’i of a home is by moving the physical items around. In doing so, the visual as well as tactile influences become different. You will walk through your space in a new way and see the accessories of your life in a new context.
Besides keeping your home “on time,” another argument for changing the space in accordance with the seasons is that the occupants themselves embrace the change in a whole different way. Keeping track of days and months on a calendar is a linear way of witnessing the passage of time; changing your home is a visceral way of doing so. We have taken the cycle of nature and moved it into our home. We are reminded of where we are on the continuum.
A lot of homes have been set up with one look regardless of the season. Just as we would be bored wearing the same clothes, your home may be bored and boring if day in and day out it looked the same. If the ch’i in your home is keeping time, you and your home are both staying current.
Carole Hyder has been a Feng Shui consultant since 1992. She has published two books and two DVDs, and is the founder and lead faculty of the Wind & Water School of Feng Shui. This article is an excerpt from her third book called House Alive: Conversations with Your Home due out in 2010. www.carolehyder.com