Although Feng Shui is usually concerned with keeping a healthy flow of chi in your living and work spaces, Feng Shui can prove useful on the go too. Take the yin-yang theory for example. This theory states that everything in the universe consists of two opposing yet deeply interconnected forces: yin (feminine) and yang (masculine). The interaction between yin and yang creates the essence of life around us, and you can consciously support this healthy balance in your life in the same way you use Feng Shui principles to encourage a healthy flow and balance of energies in your home, office, etc.

Yin is the more passive energy, the Feng Shui energy of slow and relaxed movements, silence, and deep darkness. Yin is the predominant energy at night while you're sleeping, relaxing, or replenishing your energy in some other way. Yang is the more active energy characterized by upwardly moving energy, bright sounds, lights, and colors – the kind of energy you'd most likely experience at a lively party, while you navigate your way through rush hour traffic, or during a busy day at the office. Life in Western culture is frequently characterized by an imbalance of the Feng Shui energies, with busy lives more dominated by yang energy than yin – the relaxing and nourishing form of energy. Unfortunately, in some cases there is barely any yin at all. Learning to live in a way that balances the two Feng Shui energies as best as possible is one of the best things you can do to improve the quality of your life.

To keep the optimal balance of yin and yang in your life, follow one simple rule: honor yourself by acting on your desires. Balance every aspect of yourself and recognize the feelings that are true to you, and you'll ensure that both your energies are receiving equal amounts of care. By merely following your heart and recognizing that every thought and behavior has an opposite, you'll exist in the flow of life and come closer to fulfilling your life's purpose.

Black Sect Feng Shui was developed by Thomas Lin Yun and was designed as an easy-to-use Feng Shui system for westerners. The biggest difference between Black Sect Feng Shui and the more ancient traditions is the fact that Black Sect doesn't utilize the Chinese compass to determine directions before positioning items around a space. Instead, the front door is used as the main frame of reference. Based upon where the front door is situated, Black Sect Feng Shui practitioners will determine where the various life values exist within a particular space. Specific items are also used, like mirrors, crystals, and flutes.

Black Sect Feng Shui divides the Bagua into 8 parts, with each section assigned a certain life value. They're laid out as follows:

South: fame
Southeast: wealth
West: children and pets
Southwest: marriage and relationships
Northwest: significant people
North: career and reputation
Northeast: knowledge and wisdom

Black Sect Feng Shui follows an established set of rules that are easy to follow, and for this reason most beginners are able to learn the basics of the discipline by picking up one of the many self-explanatory, comprehensive guidebooks from a bookstore. Black Sect Feng Shui's design principles can be used to benefit your home, your business, and even your health – in addition to other issues that may arise regarding your career, reputation, finances, family, and other relationships.
Sometimes the answer to life's little frustrations and challenges can be as easy as answering the question, "What is your environment telling you?”. Recognizing environmental cues and acting upon them may be what you need to restore a healthy balance of energy. Take a messy desk, for example. If your desk is messy and cluttered there’s a good chance your mind is too. And you'll definitely not be doing your productivity margin any favors by taking time out of your day to find that report you've misplaced under the three stacks of papers on your desk. Keep the items you typically need daily in and around your desk, without keeping everything you may possibly need or have needed on your desk. A more organized desk will help you concentrate on the task at hand without distracting you or taking time away for a massive search mission.

If your houseplants are dead or dying from lack of water or sun, your environment is obviously lacking in some respect. If lack of sunlight in your living space is a problem for plants, chances are you'd benefit from some more sunshine in your home, too. While too much sun can be detrimental, sunlight provides the body with vitamin D and offers mood-altering benefits. And if you're not looking after your plants, chances are you're too busy to be taking good care of yourself, too. Are you eating well, sleeping and exercising enough, and keeping your stress levels in check? Take your plants' fragile state of health as nature's way of telling you to slow down, pay more attention to your body and what it's telling you, and to always set aside time for deep, calming breaths.

Whenever you notice something is amiss in your environment, think of it as an opportunity to reconsider your state of health and energy levels. After all, realizing there's a need for a change is the first step toward making that change. So the next time something unusual in your environment grabs your attention, take some time to look around your environment and evaluate your life. Your environment just may be trying to tell you something important.


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Elements: Water
The five elements of Feng Shui are earth, metal, wood, fire, and water. The water element is used frequently in Feng Shui. The key to using this element is keeping the water clean, fresh, and moving. For this reason, water is often incorporated into design in the form of fountains, waterfalls, fish tanks, and water sculptures. When storing water, metal containers are preferable to plastic or earthen containers because metal strengthens water in the cycle of elements. Even a simple metal liner in a fountain will strengthen the energy value of the water.

There is a host of creative ways to incorporate the Feng Shui element of water into your space. In addition to being soothing and refreshing, water can create a more harmonious environment, encourage prosperity, strengthen bonds and relationships, and provide a number of other positive benefits.

Too Many Corners in Your Home? Ways to Soften the Corners and Enhance the Flow of Energy
Like a pebble makes the water ripple around it when you drop it into a lake, chi emanates from the center of a room in circular waves. But when these swirls of chi find their way into a corner, the energy becomes trapped with no way out. The sharp corner of a piece of furniture pointed towards a door or a person isn't any better. In fact, Feng Shui refers to corners as "poison arrows" because they literally point negative energy toward their target. To soften the corners in your home, office, or other space, try these easy tips:

  • Plants are nature's remedies for sharp corners, so place plants in your corner or as a buffer between you and the sharp corners of a piece of furniture.
  • Try hanging a beaded or decoratively knotted rope from the ceiling above the corner.
  • Use a Japanese style screen to stop the energy from ever being able to make its way to the corner. Try a screen with built-in picture frames, for a decorative touch with two useful purposes.
  • Hang a drape from one side of the corner to the other. You can always use the space behind the curtain for storage.
  • Place wooden or metal shelving (use a material made of the controlling element for that particular direction) diagonally in the corner.
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