Feng Shui Tips for Your
by Stephanie Roberts
In ancient cultures, "breaking bread"
together, whether as a family or with strangers, was a honored way to
build community. More recently, potluck dinners, pancake breakfasts,
and company picnics have continued this tradition. We haven't done so
well at maintaining this important ritual in our homes, however.
Today, the dining room is often
one of the most neglected rooms in the house; either it is a formal
space that is rarely used, or it has been taken over for use as
a home office or projects space. Busy schedules and multiple-careers
can make it almost impossible for families to share dinner together
on a regular basis. From a feng shui perspective, we are missing
out on an important and once-sacred aspect of life. Paying attention
to the feng shui of your dining space can help to remedy that.
A cramped dining room can create a feeling
of pressure in family relationships and interfere with good digestion.
Too much heavy, dark, old furniture - especially when it is squeezed
into too small a space – also creates a heavy, dark feeling and blocks
the flow of chi. Boxes and bags of clutter have a similar effect. The
older the clutter, the more stuck the energy will feel. De-cluttering
your dining room is an important first step in improving the feng shui
of this space.
The dining room is an exception to the
feng shui guideline of aiming to leave some open space in the center
of every room. Here the dining table itself should occupy the center
position, with equal space on all sides (if possible), and plenty of
room for each person to sit down at and get up from the table.
The flow of energy through the dining
room should be gentle but not stagnant. It's good to have two doors
to the dining room to allow chi to circulate, but if doorways on opposite
walls are directly in line with each other chi will move straight through
the room too quickly. A faceted crystal ball or crystal chandelier over
the center of the dining table will help to balance chi in the room,
and also helps people with eating disorders embrace healthier habits.
A mirror is also helpful for improving
chi flow in the dining room. Make sure that the mirror reflects something
attractive: a nice piece of furniture, a view out a window, or painting
or other artwork. A mirror that reflects what's on the table visually
doubles your food, and symbolically doubles your money. Keep in mind,
though, that if your dining table is covered with clutter or unfinished
projects the mirror will doubling the mess and workload.
If your family is managing to dine together
but the conversations tend to focus on the past rather than sharing
current issues, try clearing all old objects from the dining room. Boxes
of old papers and photographs especially will contribute to holding
the energy of this room in the past. Getting rid of them will encourage
your family to open up about what's happening in their lives right now.
If you want to keep a few ancestral treasures or portraits in the dining
room, place them together in the Family sector of the room rather than
distributing them throughout the space.
EATING IN PEACE
The dining room should be a calm and
peaceful place. Warm, soothing earth tones such as soft yellow, peach,
and beige are good colors for this room. Curtains soften the cutting
chi of mini-blinds, and a thick rug or carpet adds a soothing texture
that helps to absorb sound and keeps the atmosphere of this room tranquil.
If you don't have a formal dining room, do what you can to make the
area where you have your meals as separate and quiet as possible.
Lighting is an important element in
creating a good dining atmosphere. Use candles, lower wattage bulbs,
or a dimmer switch to bring the energy level down a little, especially
at the end of a hectic day.
If your evening meals often feel rushed
or if time pressures from the day carry over into the dinner hour, try
removing all clocks and calendars from the dining room and reposition
those in other rooms so they can't be seen from the table. This will
help you slow down and enjoy a calmer dining experience.
At least once a week turn off the
TV and allow yourself to enjoy the process of physical nourishment
without any distractions other than conversation with your family.
Good manners dictate turning your cell phone off when you dine at
a restaurant; why not apply this rule at home, too? Treating the
dinner hour as a special time for relaxation and nurturing is a
good feng shui practice, and will help both your mood and your digestion.
Your beautiful table linens and good
silverware should be used from time to time, so you can enjoy them in
the present instead of always waiting for some future date. Plan a special
sit-down-together dinner with your partner or family one night a month
(or more often, if you can). Making this a regular event reinforces
how special your loved ones are to you. Using a tablecloth, rather than
individual placemats, encourages closeness among family members.
Take a moment before beginning the meal
to give thanks for the abundance on your table and for the family and
friends who are sharing the meal with you. Saying grace before the meal
- in whatever form you choose - fills the dining room with the energy
of love and appreciation.
Excerpted from “The
Pocket Idiot's Guide to Feng Shui” by Stephanie Roberts (Alpha
Copyright © 2004
STEPHANIE ROBERTS is the author of the popular
Fast Feng Shui book series, available at Amazon.com. Receive FR(EE)
Feng Shui tips in every issue when you subscribe to the Fast Feng
Shui newsletter. Visit http://www.fastfengshui.com
Article: Clutter's Side Effects:
How the State of Your Home Affects Your Life
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