Tag Archives: Feng Shui

Old Year Resolutions

28 Dec

The New Year has become associated with new beginnings. We wipe the slate clean and give ourselves another chance. The New Year is the first day of the rest of our life. We write New Year’s Resolutions in order to take the positive with us into the New Year. Yet we often forget about leaving the negative behind.

In these last few days of 2011, think about what you do not want to take into 2012. Use these last few days to prepare yourself for a fresh start.

Here is a list of the things that I would like to do before 2012, in order to start the year with good energy and positivity:

Clean my home

Leaving behind: mess and dirt.

I would like my home to be tidy and clean for the New Year.

Bringing in: cleanliness, openness, light.

 

Sort out my papers

Leaving behind: mess, disorganisation and disorientation.

Paper is my weakness. Leaflets, flyers, receipts, notes, bills, lists….these are the things that stack up in all corners of my house. They create a mess in my home and a mess in my mind. I would like to sort these out, by throwing away anything I do not need and by putting the rest into folders.

Bringing in: organisation.

 

A new wardrobe

Leaving behind: the habit of hoarding clothes, settling for clothes that look less than great, and feeling guilty about buying new clothes.

I would like to sort out my wardrobe, in order to get rid of clothes that I no longer like or those that do not flatter me. This will give me space for new clothes and it will give me the opportunity to choose clothes that I love and those in which I feel good.

Bringing in: respect and love for self, confidence, beauty.

 

Friends Only

Leaving behind: unnecessary relationships

Letting go of: past ties that no longer serve me.

I would like to sort out my address book/contact list, leaving only close friends. I have telephone numbers, addresses and e-mails belonging to people who I have not contacted for years and who I am unlikely to contact in the near future. This contact information takes up space and energy in my mind, as I am always thinking about contacting the various people on my list. I would like to limit my contact list to only the people that are dear to me.

Bringing in: love, honesty, friendship, peace, time.

 

Give Plants Life

Leaving behind: dead energy, and the lack of care for living things.

In the past few months I have completely abandoned the plants on my balcony. There is not enough daylight or enough warmth for me to spend as much time as I used to taking care of my plants. My balcony is not looking its best, with empty pots and dead flowers. I would like to take care of the plants on my balcony, to prepare them for a year full of life.

Bringing in: responsibility, simplicity.

 

Inbox Clear-Out

Leaving behind: information overload, all unnecessary gadgets that make me lose time and energy, and the obsession of always having to be available for communication.

I have five email addresses. One for friends, one for work, one for subscriptions, one for official correspondence and one for my blog. Despite putting up filters and unsubscribing from every newsletter, I still receive junk mail. What’s worse, I have emails stored from years back and have to check all five email accounts regularly. My head is starting to explode from this overload of information and this waste of time.

I would like to create one email address that I use for all correspondence. I would like to sort out all of my old emails and start with a clean, fresh inbox.

Bringing in: simplicity, calm, peace.

The Art of the Essential, Part II

12 Apr

For the past two months, I have been living with only a suitcase-worth of possessions. Three pairs of shoes, three pairs of trousers, a dozen tops, two jackets, three novels, two poetry books, a make-up bag, a laptop and a couple of notebooks. For the past two months I have been experiencing the art of the essential.

Living with fewer possessions has had some amazing effects on my life:

I have saved time: having a limited amount of clothes to choose from, I did not spend hours trying out different outfits for one outing.

I have been tidier: fewer things means less mess.

I have had more space: seeing as my possessions fit in one wardrobe and one cupboard, the rest of the space is free, for movement, for dance, for yoga…

I have had a lot of light in the apartment: fewer things means more open space, which means more light.

I have been calmer: in my previous home, I had around forty unread books and a wardrobe of unworn clothes. I would feel guilty about not reading the books and not wearing the clothes on which I had spent money. Now, seeing as I make use of everything in my possession, I do not experience a feeling of waste, greed or stress. Instead, I have a feeling of comfort and simplicity.

I have had more time to do the things I love: I spend less time tidying up and no time at all sorting my things out, which gives me more time to do things that I enjoy.

I have had more opportunities to be creative: rather than obsessing over the world inside my apartment, my thoughts open up to the world beyond my walls.

I have focused on the things I do, rather than on the things I own: in modern society, it is most often our possessions and not our actions that define us. Having little possessions, I have been able to concentrate more on defining myself through what I do, rather than through what I own.

I have seen others differently: now that I define myself through what I do, I also define other people by their actions, instead of their clothes, gadgets, cars, or accessories. This has given me a whole new vision of the world.

Living with fewer possessions has many positive effects on our lives. It does not mean that we should deprive ourselves, but that we should simply reduce our possessions to the essentials: what we need and what we love. Everything else has no place in our home, our mind and our body; everything else brings us negative energy.

April is a perfect time to do a spring clean, so why not take this opportunity to clear that clutter that blocks your energy?

A great book on this subject is Clear Your Clutter, which explains the negative energetic and psychological effects of hoarding and the positive ones of clearing.

The Art of the Essential

13 Jan

“Are you rich?”
“I have everything. I no longer even have possessions.”
~ Malcolm de Chazal

A few months ago, I met a guy in Paris whose only possessions were the ones he could fit into his rucksack. Ever since reading L’Art de l’Essentiel (The Art of the Essential) by Dominique Loreau, I have been trying to achieve a similar sort of thing.

In her book, Loreau outlines the Feng Shui principles of space clearing that bring peace into our lives. Excess or unnecessary possessions can have a negative effect on our energy, slowing us down, making us depressed or lethargic, and eventually making our possessions become the owners of our lives.

Just before the new year, I managed to clear my shed of eleven years’ worth of junk. Clothes, books, films, music, jewellery, stationery, a bike (that I rode once, six years ago), roller blades, a tent (that I borrowed from someone five years ago), and other similar things. Friends came and took what they liked, and the rest went to charity. I followed Dominique Loreau’s basic principle: if you don’t need it or you don’t love it, let it go. Unsurprisingly, I didn’t experience any remarkable feelings of loss or regret when I parted with these things.

It was a different thing, however, when I started going through my university folders. Ninety-five percent of four years of work went into the recycling bin. Four years’ worth of lectures, homework, assignments, essays, notes, photocopies and research proved to no longer be of any worth to me. When I’d finished my first round of recycling I sat back in horror… “What was my education for if only months after finishing it, I am already throwing it away?!”. I remembered my endless battles with philosophy (one of my BA subjects) and how I thought about giving it up a few months into my first term at uni. But I didn’t, because I thought it would be ‘good for me’ in the long-run.

Sitting amongst all the philosophy papers that I was about to trash, I decided then and there never to do anything with the hope that it will be ‘good for’ or ‘useful to’ my future self. I realised that we can never guess what we will want or need in the future, so the best we can do is to make the most of the present – that way, our best possible future will unfold naturally. If we hold on to objects that we don’t use now, we ruin our present by being tied to things that have no relevance to the life we would actually like to lead. If we spend our time doing things we don’t enjoy, believing that they will be ‘useful’ for our future selves, we will end up losing opportunities to do the things we genuinely love.

Living with only the essential brings freedom and peace to our lives. We are defined by who we are and what we do, rather than by what we own. When we learn to effortlessly let go of material things, we find it easier to let go of situations, places and people.  Happiness does not lie in the things we own, but in the things we give.

 On the same topic: Art of the Essential Part IIArt of the Essential Part III