Earth Element

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Vibrant health. Focused cultivation of your passions. Who doesn’t want that, right?

There’s a lot of work to be done to achieve and maintain both of these things, of course. I think of feng shui as a boost to the work I’m already doing, a way to keep the energy flowing in the way I want it to.

Remember that you can apply the bagua map (nine sectors) to any size space, so if you want to focus on the health and knowledge/cultivation sectors of your home, stand at the front door looking in. Dead center of your home is the area that corresponds to health. The area in the front third of your home, to your left facing in from the front door/mouth of qi, corresponds to knowledge and cultivation.

If you’re working with a particular room, or with your desk, the same spatial guidelines apply: health is the center of nine sectors, straight in front of you, and knowledge/cultivation is forward rather than away, the corner section close to you, to your left.

See those spaces, choose one at a time so that it’s not overwhelming, and do your clearing out. You’ve probably heard Marie Kondo’s guideline from her book The life-changing magic of tidying up, “If it doesn’t bring you joy, say good bye,” or something close to that. The idea is that we take a moment to hold and connect with an object in our environment, and tune in. We decide whether to keep it based not on whether we “should” but whether we feel joy, whether the energy of it is positive. If not, use a little tough love on yourself and decide to let it go.

Sometimes, recalling why you’re clearing out makes it easier to let things go. You need to make space for all the awesomeness to happen, so clear out what’s taking up that space now. Take a moment to make sure that there are no water or metal elements left in these spaces - that energy will work against your intentions.

There. We’re a few steps closer to being clean and clear. Now that there is space to do so, and now that we don’t have a lot of old stuff draining the energy/qi out of our environment, we move things there, rearrange a little, to enhance the energy that wants to flow.

Earth element colors are yellow and brown. Shape is square. A little wood element will help nourish the earth element, so use a little bit as an accent if you want to.

The center of your health space should be clear. You really want qi to flow freely here. Think of the colors and shapes as general colors for the space, but you don’t want to weigh this space down with a lot of stuff.

In the knowledge and cultivation area, think about what you want to learn. How can you learn more about the things you are passionate about? What kind of new knowledge to you want to explore? What new things do you want to cultivate in your life? Small objects in in this area that represent your answers to those questions can be placed in this area so that when you see them, you are reminded that you’re on a journey, you’re focused on positive growth. We all need reminders, right?

Do you have a collection of meditation stones? This would be a nice place to keep them. Books that you’re reading to learn more about a new hobby? Keep them in this space. A painting of yellows and oranges? Maybe you paint one yourself! Have fun with it! If it represents the growth and cultivation you’re going for, that’s enough, even if it’s not the perfect color.

Chose the materials and colors in this space with care, but don’t stress about it. Earthenware, yellows, browns, a little white, a little green, a little wood. No need to buy all new furniture. Use what you’ve got, and rearrange a bit, adding those colors that will enhance the energy of the space in the direction you want.

Remember that feng shui is an art and practice. Our interests change, our goals, our state of health. Nothing is static. What works in your space now may not be right later. Checking in with your goals regularly is a good thing. Recalibrating your physical energy (yoga), your mental and spiritual energy (meditation), and the energy in your environment (feng shui) regularly keeps you tuned into what’s holding you back, what needs to be shed, what needs to be nourished.

Post your questions, photos, suggestions for others!