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Changing Your World: Inner & Outer

Feb 15, 2024

“Qi energy moves like a dancer and cannot abide a cluttered stage.” –Chinese sage

We’ve entered the season of energetic Spring according to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).

With Spring being the time we tend to feel the impulse to clean up and reorganize, the art and science of feng shui is particularly relevant in our lives right now.

The New Oxford American Dictionary defines feng shui as:

“(in Chinese thought) a system of laws considered to govern spatial arrangement and orientation in relation to the flow of energy (qi or chi), and whose favorable or unfavorable effects are taken into account when siting and designing buildings.”

You may be using feng shui without knowing it. If you like to keep things very well organized, categorized, efficient, uncluttered and clean, you’re mostly practicing feng shui, although the system goes somewhat beyond applying these excellent habits. Perhaps you listen to your intuition, feeling nature and common sense when rearranging your home or workplace. This is basic to feng shui and will reap big rewards not just in the comfortability of the spaces you dwell in but in your physical vitality as well!

Clutter accumulates when energy stagnates. It’s easy to accumulate clutter and clutter always magnetizes dirt to it. It’s virtually impossible for a cluttered space to be clean and a dirty space will always be directly and strongly working against you. Debilitating low frequency energy tends to accumulate around dirt. A clean, uncluttered environment will tend to promote more expansive higher vibrations. This supports the phrase, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.”

And when we bring just anything into our environments without discerning if it’s truly right for us or if the energy it bears is good for us, we can start to accumulate energies in our spaces that can be detrimental to our own.

Let’s talk about clutter.

Clutter is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as:

  • things you do not use or love
  • things that are untidy or disorganized
  • too many things in too small a space
  • anything unfinished

When we have clutter, chi can’t flow to nurture our home lives, businesses, and finances. The more “stuff” there is in a room, the more encumbered the flow of chi. There’s just too much yin. Less “stuff” creates more yang so now we can experience a balance of yin and yang. Not only this, but according to feng shui principles and often, just plain common sense, clutter may cause:

  • safety issues
  • health problems
  • money problems
  • blocks to progress in life
  • confusion
  • old stuck behaviors and ideas
  • stress
  • lack of direction
  • instability
  • upsets
  • obstructions of all sorts.

Clutter itself is inefficient and unattractive and it makes us inefficient, wastes energy and causes us to appear rather unattractive as well. Clutter creates obstacles to smooth energy flow in and around a space, but the purging of clutter is immediately liberating!

Tune in a day or two for part three of our posting on feng shui and the Spring energetic season. Next, we’ll give you 30+ ways to get your home decluttered and ready for Spring and ensuing Summer! It’s simpler than you think!


For Some Chinese, Success in Life Is A Name Change Away

Businesspeople Use Feng Shui To Choose New Monikers; Mr. Chen’s Big Comeback


Updated Jan. 17, 2006 12:01 a.m. ET

When Li Jun asked a feng shui master last March for tips on how to make his new investment consultancy in Beijing successful, he got a quick answer: Change your name.

“Jun,” which is Mandarin for “handsome,” would not help his career, the master determined. Instead, he suggested Mr. Li call himself “Jianming,” which means “establishing a bright future.”

Mr. Li immediately started using the name Li Jianming in all his social and business dealings. Ever since, his business has been growing. His staff has expanded to more than 20 from just a handful in less than a year. Mr. Li attributes his success to his new name. “I will do whatever the master says can bring better luck to my business,” says Mr. Li.


 “Hoarding clutter symbolizes fear of the future.” –Selena Summers

Have you noticed I've been talking about the principles of "feng shui" and our natural impulse at this time of year to clean out, clear out and shift the energies we feel in our living and work spaces.

If you feel stuck, depressed, sickly or lethargic, you may well benefit from clearing clutter in your world. 

The following are some helpful, easy, simple keys for decluttering. Many of these are actually unblocking “cures” (“cures” being a feng shui term).

  • Think zen when reducing clutter. Keep it simple. We’ve all seen the more spartan zen environment. Put yourself in that mindset and reduce to what really and truly is necessary.
  • Handle each item only once. Don’t pick up something only to put it someplace else before it eventually, months or years later ends up in the trash.
  • Don’t be afraid to throw or give it away. Make the decision and just do it. You will survive! If the clutter in question are papers or receipts that seem important (outside of legal documents), remember, the IRS can randomly audit your return up to three years after the filing date or if it suspects you made an error. That deadline only extends to six years if the IRS believes you underreported income by 25 percent or more.
  • Think, “Is it elegant?” If the answer is no, it’s got to go! Elegance is the epitome of feng shui.
  • Go green. Go electronic. Get your bills by email and pay by automatic bill pay from your checking account. There’s a whole of lot of floating paper you’ve just eliminated from your home or office.
  • Scan your receipts into your computer then throw the paper receipts away. Again, a big reduction in floating papers.
  • Use storage boxes with lids and pack them carefully in an organized fashion. Use see-through boxes for easy viewing and no labeling necessary. You can get these boxes in all sizes inexpensively and they stack.
  • If you’re using a file cabinet, invest in some expanding/accordion files rather than mere file folders out of which papers slip and slide.
  • Arrange like items with like items when storing. The energy feels better and you’ll be able to find them easier later.
  • Use smart looking decorative storage containers/chests/cubes in your living areas but be sure to pack them in an organized careful fashion. No more dumping!
  • Bring plants, flowers, candles, and platonic solid objects (one of five regular geometrical solids: tetrahedron, cube, octahedron, dodecahedron, or icosahedron and place them in your spaces for the energy they offer.
  • In energetic Spring (according to TCM), incorporate the color green (corresponding to the Wood element  into your home through fabrics, plants and art.
  • Cover your television screen with a beautiful tapestry when not in use.
  • Make a prayer altar but clean and rearrange it often. Don’t let it accumulate dust. Add to your altar a small dish with Himalayan salt or lentils, a crystal, acorns gathered from outdoors, a pine cone, a beautiful sounding bell, a statue or picture of a saint or person you admire, all according to the way these things make you feel.
  • Change out your decorative pillows, maybe even your wall art according to the season.
  • Sweep tile floors often to prevent accumulation of dust in corners.
  • Think handy but neat. Keeping things handy that you use all the time makes sense and preserves your energy.
  • Use Himalayan salt lamps in various rooms. They charge the air with beneficial negative ions and so much more. Search previous blog posts from last year.
  • Transfer items from half opened packages to nicely sealed ones whether they’re in your cupboards, drawers or refrigerator.
  • Put things away when you’re done with them. Right away. Don’t let them accumulate somewhere they don’t belong only to attract more misplaced “stuff.”
  • Clear off your refrigerator, kitchen counters, desktops, and dressers as much as possible.
  • Play OM, the primordial sound of the universe, or classical music as ambient music in your spaces. They will work and harmonize the energies present.
  • Clear out your catch-all drawer at least once a month. You’ll find things in there you forgot you had and have been looking for all along!
  • Prominently display your musical instrument if you have one right. In fact, you might want to consider purchasing one for decoration even if you don’t play it. Musical instruments have an aura all their own and representation of art and soul, they add a touch of harmonic energy to the space.
  • Clear your spaces of astral imprints (the effects of predecessor energies) with sage and intention. Do the same with objects you purchase before installing in your home. When you do this in conjunction with feng shui, it works even better and faster.
  • Keep your spaces clean. Clean as you go. If you see that it looks dirty, clean it right then if at all possible.
  • Clear clutter in segments, one room at a time or one cupboard at a time, otherwise it could be too overwhelming and you might give up. Don’t give up. It’s worth it. Think of how great you’re going to feel!
  • Don’t let your clutter be reflected in a mirror. The effect is doubled!
  • Keep the front door to your home clear of clutter.
  • Rearrange your furniture periodically until it feels right.
  • Make a set of personal rules for clearing clutter and spaces and follow them!


“Metal types [according to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)] will not relax with cat hair on the couch or dirt on the windows. Nothing distracts Metal more than clutter or disarray.” –Sharon Stasney


“In Bali… the people still live in total harmony with both the seen physical world and the unseen energy world. Daily offerings at hundreds of thousands of household shrines throughout the land and an endless procession of indescribably beautiful and very highly evolved ceremonies in the island’s twenty thousand communal temples ensure that balance and harmony are maintained. This, to me, is feng shui at its best–not just a set of principles applied to an individual building for a specific result, but a whole island of three million people in tune with the sacredness of the land and incorporating feng shui as a complete way of life.” –Karen Kingston


Alexander, Skye. 10-minute Feng Shui Room by Room: Hundreds of Easy Tips and Techniques for Prosperity, Health, and Happiness. Gloucester, MA: Fair Winds, 2006. Print.

Summers, Selena. Feng Shui in 5 Minutes. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 2002. Print.

Stasney, Sharon. Feng Shui Living. New York: Sterling Pub., 2003. Print.


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