At a time when staying at home is deemed a heroic act, our relationships with our personal environments are evolving – we’re lighting the ‘good’ candles, dining on the fancy plates, disinfecting high-touch surfaces, and tending to our workspaces more than ever before. But how about looking to ancient practices for guidance? With that in mind, Savoir Flair tapped feng shui expert Simone Osswald, who combines her expertise in and passion for the ancient practice with interior design and wellness to create spaces that are in harmony with their users – a “feng shui wellness designer” if you will.
First and foremost is understanding the concept itself. “Feng shui has become a well-known term over the last few decades, but there’s still so much confusion and a lack of clarity as to what it actually is. One can sift through Google, Instagram, and YouTube to read about decoration and color principles that result in beautiful interiors and promise to change our lives for the better,” she says. “But the truth is that what is accessible through the internet is a diluted and rather commercialized form of feng shui mixed with Chinese culture, religion, beliefs, rituals, superstition, and myths.”
Clarifying the matter, she says, “The traditional, authentic feng shui is actually the study and analysis of the interaction between people, buildings, and their environment and, when applied professionally, allows for improvements to be made in several personal aspects by modifying living, working, and sharing environments. It is the harmonious balance of space and energy through the most suitable allocation of rooms and the arrangement of furniture and objects.”
As for applying the principles of feng shui? “We first need to understand the existing energies,” says Osswald. “This is an exercise carried out by a professional feng shui practitioner, who has studied the calculation of energies through compass readings and formulas, and knows how to address serious and harmful imbalances in health, life, and financial matters. Just like a physiotherapist who has studied how to unlock bodies and ease pain, feng shui does not follow a one-size-fits-all formula when it comes to life-changing solutions. However, there are universal rules for spaces that can improve the overall energy flow in our homes to support general well-being – without pretending to change our lives.”
First Things First
Osswald says decluttering is one of the most popular and effective methods to facilitate a smooth flow of energy. “Clutter hinders an even qi flow, blocking our personal energy. Like acupuncture for the body, good feng shui ensures a smooth flow of energy in our homes, resulting in ease of mind and spirit. With everyone staying at home these days, clutter can accumulate easily and quickly, resulting in stress and an overwhelming state of mind. Feng shui advocates decluttering as a major home detox at least once a year. However, we can use our current time at home for thorough spring-cleaning sessions and an ongoing decluttering regimen.”
Drawers, bookshelves, and wardrobes tend to contain too many things, which hinders the qi flow throughout the entire space, according to Osswald. “The rule of thumb is don’t keep items that you haven’t used for the last 12 months in your home. This is a good time to give away what you no longer need to those in need. Sort and tidy up the things you’re keeping and carry out five-minute ‘clutter checks’ throughout the day to ensure your home supports a positive state of mind at all times.” Adding to that, she advises keeping all walkways unobstructed, avoiding furniture with sharp edges, decorating with plants, and opting for natural rather than manmade materials to uplift the overall mood of a space. “You could compare this approach to the practice of yoga, which might not cure acute pain, but generally helps you stay flexible.”
“We usually associate wellness with going to the spa or heading to a retreat, but we can actually create our very own wellness oasis at home. Based on my Second Nature© concept, there are a few tips on how to incorporate feng shui wellness into your home:
– Make your home beautiful by decorating with items that are meaningful to you or those you simply find pleasing and uplifting.
– Put on some relaxing background music with the volume on low.
– Open the doors and windows to refresh the qi in all rooms.
– Turn on an air diffuser with your favorite essential oil in the rooms where you spend most of the day.
– Put on your favorite ‘comfort’ clothes, especially if they’re freshly washed.
– Turn off all electronic devices in the bedroom, including the Wi-Fi router, at night for radiation-free and therefore deeply regenerating sleep.