"If you look at it in a metaphorical sense, [clutter] is like creating obstacles for yourself," she said. "With feng shui, you're creating freedom."
Feeling: Harmonic Bliss
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The ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui (pronounced "fung shway") is the interior design technique built upon the idea that individuals should live in harmony with their environment. The Chinese practitioners of Feng Shui believe that people's homes contain Ch'i (pronounced "chee"), an energy or life force that governs the world that is manifested in five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal and water.
Don Terhune, a feng shui consultant in Manhattan, has been practicing feng shui for eight years. He has worked on projects in the K-State Department of Music, the Manhattan Arts Center and the K-State Student Union, and he teaches classes on the subject for UFM Community Learning Center. He said the arrangement of a room can affect all parts of a person's life."It plays a big part in the subconscious mind," he said.Terhune has
10 tips on how college students can improve the flow of energy in their homes.
1. Reduce clutterDirty laundry and empty takeout boxes disrupt the flow of energy in a room, so it's important to keep things tidy. "Everything should have a place, and everything should be in its place," he said. "This will
allow the energy to flow through the room. It will help you manage your time better and feel more free."
2. Clear the entranceThe doorway is where energy flows into a room, so it should be free of obstructions, Terhune said. Students should move items away from doorways and use WD-40 to keep doors from squeaking, he said.
3. Balance colors"You want to have a balance of cool colors and warm colors - not too dark or too light," Terhune said. The balance of yin, dark colors, and yang, light colors, is important in feng shui, he said, because it helps create a balanced life. "Balanced people deal with situations better," he said.
4. Bring plants into the roomPlants symbolize life and increase the energy in a room, Terhune said. Students can place plants near their beds to create a restful space or on their desks to improve their work habits. According to "Feng Shui Tips for a Better Life," living or silk plants will work, but students should keep living plants healthy and green and avoid sharp or spiky plants.
5. Position the bedWhen lying in bed, students should be able to see the door, Terhune said. If the bed is facing away from the door, it creates a feeling of anxiety. He said it is important to keep the area around and under the bed free of clutter to create a restful atmosphere.
6. Position the deskAs with the bed, students seated at a desk should be able to see the doorway. If they have no choice, students can put a mirror on their desks to see who enters the room, Terhune said.
7. Keep windows cleanWindows are a pathway for energy and should be free of smudges and dirt, Terhune said. "Clean windows give you a clear aspect of your environment," Terhune said.
8. Shut the bathroom door. In feng shui, water symbolizes wealth and can be lost through an open bathroom door or leaky plumbing, Terhune said. "It will literally go down the drain," he said. "If you have a leak, you might find yourself wasting money." Likewise, having a picture of water can attract wealth to a room, Terhune said.
9. Avoid big mirrors"Mirrors will either pull in energy or bounce it off," Terhune said. "For example, if, when you came into a room, the mirror reflected your stomach, you could have stomach problems." He said students shouldn't put mirrors near their beds. "If you see your reflection when you rise up from the bed, it will startle your spirit," he said. Mirrors near the bed also can create insomnia and negative dreams, according to "Feng Shui Tips for a Better Life."
10. Balance the elementsFeng shui recognizes five elements: water, wood, fire, earth and metal. Students should have balanced amounts of each element, Terhune said. For example, a picture of a stream or lake balances a fireplace. The metal base of a lamp can balance wooden furniture.