As a Feng Shui practitioner since 2001, I’ve visited many homes and businesses to help my clients with their spaces and their lives. Now I’m loving sharing Feng Shui with all of you online. It’s been great getting to know some of my readers through their very thoughtful and varied questions. Here I provide a dose of Feng Shui “how to” by sharing a variety of Feng Shui questions I’ve received from readers recently.
Part of my commitment to Feng Shui, and to you, is to provide experienced, professional insight on how to understand and integrate Feng Shui into your lives. Many questions focus on trying to sort through the different approaches and conflicting information that is available about Feng Shui topics. My explanations also provide some of my own Feng Shui so please be reminded that we spend part of our time in Florida and the rest in Maine.
Reader: What is your opinion on a mirror in the bedroom? I’ve read that it isn’t good Feng Shui?
Carol: Generally, a mirror is not recommended for the bedroom. If you sleepily rise in the night for any reason, your subconscious could perceive the movement of your own image in the mirror as that of another person, perhaps an intruder. Plus, for some people seeing their image can be disorienting. I almost knocked myself out one night in a hotel that had a mirror on the outside of the bathroom door! In this most Yin space in our home we want to feel safe and secure and know that we are in command of the situation.
That being said, your specific motivation for placing the mirror should be considered. A small mirror on an exterior wall that is adjusting for a Bagua area outside of structure or a small space that has no other place to position a mirror are individual circumstances that could warrant a mirror being thoughtfully placed so it doesn’t create the nighttime confusion. I would caution against full closet door mirrors, and if present, curtain them during sleep.
Reader: Where is the best place to put shoes? They say it’s not good to put them in a closet or right by the door?
Carol: Shoes are a necessity of life. Treat them as you would your personal care items in the bathroom or your dishes in the kitchen – keep them clean and have a convenient and appropriate place to store them out of sight. A basket by the door or a shoe rack in the closet are fine. My coat closets up north, where it snows and can get pretty messy, have boot trays, and I leave my heavy-duty snow and slush footwear in a closet near the door. In the summer, my sandals go in a cupboard by the back door. Shoes that are warn occasionally, and never in wet conditions, are kept in the master closet.
It’s true, shoes do contain dirt which is considered undesirable Ch’i. However, they can be polished, brushed or handwashed if needed. I play tennis on courts that have a sandy textured surface and my shoes get very dirty. There are shoe washers at the courts, and when needed, I give them an extra wash with liquid soap and a scrub brush.
Reader: Are wastebaskets bad in Feng Shui? Do they have to be covered?
Carol: Like shoes, wastebaskets are another necessity of life. They hold all the undesirable, discarded items, and their Ch’i, in one concentrated area. To counter that, I have very small wastebaskets and even though, yes, I may empty them often, the inauspicious Ch’i doesn’t hang around for a long period of time. In Maine the kitchen wastebasket is a small two gallon size and lives under the kitchen sink. It is emptied at least once a day. In the Florida house, there is a fancy pullout cupboard with a large built-in twelve gallon bin alongside another for recycling. To modify this large capacity, a three gallon can is inserted into the larger bin. We empty that daily as well.
Regarding covered vs. uncovered wastebaskets, I leave that up to personal preference. I don’t like to put my fingers on the covers when they get dirty or too full, so I’ve always had an open container. Generally, keeping waste containers tucked in a corner or out of sight is preferable irregardless of whether they are covered or not.
Reader: Is putting family photos on the wall in the dining area a good choice? Everyone seems to say you should have a mirror for that room.
Carol: Since the dining room is a place where people gather, I do think it is quite fine to have family photos there. They represent a type of “gathering” of those closest to you, similar to a group of people sitting down for a meal. Unless this is the Health & Family area of your home’s Bagua Map, avoid placing photos of deceased relatives or ancestors here.
Live with what you love is a phrase you will see over and over in my writing. When you research a topic in Feng Shui and it says you “should” or “must” do something with your interior decoration, there is almost always an alternative. The dining room is a great room for a mirror, but if you don’t want a mirror there that’s fine.
I’ve also made myself available to receive Feng Shui questions from readers that are very specific to their particular situations. Perhaps one of these circumstances applies to you as well?
Reader: My bed is positioned right below two horizon windows, and this is the only wall I can place my bed on. I have blackout shades that I close at night. Is there anything else I can do?
Carol: Let me ask first, how are you sleeping? If your answer is, “Great!” the blackout shades may be all you need. If not, (and your bed is in the Power Position) you could install a rod and full-length curtains. Make the rod long enough so the window treatments can be pulled back during the day and still leave your windows clear. When drawn at night, they will give a strong illusion of a “solid” wall behind the bed.
Reader: When considering the Power Position, what if the desk is built in and your back is to the door? That was the situation where I last lived.
Carol: When the desk is built-in, it usually means the person at the desk will have their back to the room behind them with no view of the door. In this instance, mount a small mirror at eye level close to the desk in a position where you get a view of the door in the mirror. You will catch a “glimpse” of movement when someone enters and will be alerted. Knowing that the mirror will keep an “eye” on the door, the nervous system can relax and not be on guard for someone approaching from behind. This method works for those who work in cubicles as well. Once the mirror adjustment is made, you will likely feel more at peace. That is the objective of good Feng Shui.
Now that you are learning more about Feng Shui and how it integrates into your environment and life, what are your Feng Shui questions? For additional tips, download my FREE 7 step guide, Start to Feng Shui Today. It provides a short list of what I consider some of the most essential Feng Shui features every home should have. The tips are presented in a concise manner so they are simple for any homeowner to do.
As always, I’m here to answer any questions or assist you online with a personal Feng Shui consultation. Let’s create beautiful spaces and do some Feng Shui together!