Did you know that whenever you rearrange a room to eliminate clutter and make yourself feel better that you’re essentially practicing Feng Shui? Yep, it’s true; Feng Shui has a rep as one of those woo-woo things that you can either buy into or not, but it’s actually just the practice of making positive changes to your environment to produce positive changes in your life. So says the intro to Easy Feng Shui, a new iPhone app that serves as a guide to getting the best results from the practice.
Feng Shui says there are nine areas of your life represented energetically in nine areas of your home. Now here’s where you just gotta buy in, even simply see it as a game if you need to. There’s a thing called a Bagua Map that spells out each of these areas (Wealth and Prosperity, Fame and Reputation, Health, Family, etc.), and where they’re located is individual to every home, depending on its shape, size, and directional orientation.
All the books and instructional how-to in the world aren’t going to help me figure out where the Career zone of my living room is, and that’s why I really like this app. Through an interactive element called “Augmented Reality” (the name alone sounds pretty exciting), you program in the size of your room, and a compass function in the phone points out what’s what.
This is how I learned that in my Career area (pictured above), I had instinctively placed this antique filing box in which I've placed all my old reporter's notebooks, maps to cities I visit when I work, and various office supplies. Way to go, me!
I discovered some troubling issues with my layout, however; using the Bagua Map, some things going on in my life started coming together. Namely, this:
Oh wow. There's a dying arm of a plant I've been trying to propagate, and NOTHING ELSE. The Fame & Reputation area of the home is associated with how we and others see ourselves, and that whole "Who am I--no really?" mini crisis we all go through has been permeating my brain lately. Apparently the image of fire, says the app, will help. "A good reputation burns brightly and spreads quickly." While I'm not going to light that part of my room on fire, I do need to get some lights, lamps, artwork of the sun or my name (hmm, I kinda dropped the dorm room art vibe when I dropped out of college), any awards, press, or acknowledgements up on that wall STAT. In a pinch, red will do.
This is a bit depressing. There's an empty suitcase and a plant stand with nothing on it. At least there's a bit of mirror, to help along some self reflection. Bet if I move that over a smidge, I'd be right on track.
Phew! I can totally blame all of my love and relationship issues on this window. See those dying plants? (Thanks winter, and a sizzling radiator that I have no control over located right under the only window in my apartment that gets any sun.) And it looks out into a barren courtyard. Ouch. According to Feng Shui, Love & Relationships is associated with earth, and I was correct to have placed green life there. I just have to figure out how to keep it green and healthy, not brown and dead. You can't see it, but I also have a lot of crystals associated with love and the heart on that windowsill. And I'm sure that dreamcatcher helps keep the dream alive.
Interesting. Here, out of all places in my apartment, I have the most items accrued from my family: the table at which I work and the chair I sit in to do it, the mirror (like my old Bon Jovi concert T-shirt?), the lamp, the rug under the whole thing, and more crystals (I love crystals, if you can't tell) from my sister. I can pat myself on the back for all this, and maybe add a photo or two of my loved ones to make it extra good.
Overall, I like this app. It does take a bit of work to get anything out of it, though. First off, you have to actually measure your rooms. And then, looking through Augmented Reality, you have to kind of take note of stuff, and then go through the app and figure out how to apply it one step at a time. It’d be great if, when I looked through the compass and saw that my wall of Fame & Reputation was totally blank, a little screen popped up with suggestions on what kinds of things would enhance this area. As it is, I have to go back to the main menu and scroll down a whole bunch of info before I can find this information.
I've never practiced Feng Shui outright. I'm still trying to figure out to what degree I'm going to jump into this new little pool of direction--do I really need to think about whether or not my TV best serves my life in the corner of Wealth, where it is now? Regardless, it's interesting to use a filter to see where certain areas of my home could use a little clearing out, and a dash of happiness, and where I've got it just right.