What Is Chi And How Does It Affect My Home?

Have you ever walked into a room and instantly felt uneasy, but you're unsure of the reason? The next time that happens pay attention to the big and small details like the colors and shapes in and of the room. Observe where furniture is placed, the ease of passage through the space, and the décor that fills the area. Notice natural lighting or lack of, placement of doors and windows, and the number of (or at least visibility of) electronics in the space. All of these individually and combined impact the energy (chi or qi) of a place, says Qigong Energy Healing.

Chi, or life force, is believed to inhabit everything. It's energy that swirls all around us, within us, and from us and everything that exists. Essentially the breath of the universe, it sustains us. When its path is undisturbed, we are rewarded with vitality in all facets of life. When blocked or askew, chaos and negativity can reign in those same areas of our life. Encouraging an uninterrupted flow requires a balance of energies (yin-yang) and can be incorporated into your life and home in many ways. We can practice personal mindfulness with diet and lifestyle choices, and when it comes to our homes, we can add elements that bring good energy. Or we can go all in and feng shui the whole place.

What does feng shui have to do with chi?

Feng shui, meaning wind and water, is an ancient Chinese art with roots in Taoism. Its principles are based on organizing things to create positive chi by balancing yin-yang and enhancing the flow of chi by arranging furnishings, buildings, and entire landscapes positively. Buddha Stones describes yin-yang as the world in the hands of a cosmic duality, a pair of opposing and complementary codes or energies such as sun and moon, male and female, dark and light. According to National Geographic, feng shui dictates the rules of object positioning around doors and windows since chi can enter and leave through them. 

Make sure mirrors aren't facing doorways, particularly at the front door, because it's believed that mirrors reflect energy — including good chi -– right out the door instead of allowing it to flow through the space. Michael Helwig Interiors says a simple trick for some mirrors, such as reflective closet doors, is to cover them tastefully with fabric. The goal is to create balance through a healthy and peaceful environment. Anything that crimps or blocks this flow of energy can create disharmony, including electronics with their emittance of electromagnetic fields (EMF). EMFs cause chaos in chi, so placement of electronics such as a TV is an important consideration when practicing feng shui. When not in use, keep electronics unplugged and out of sight.

More simple tweaks to make your home chi friendly

The front entryway is a great place to start improving the flow of chi in your home. By choosing colors and paints that are inviting, you're on your way to having good energy. Then go room-by-room to ensure enough open space to encourage chi to flow easily. If there are messy areas, organization and cleanliness are a must. Clutter is exhausting and chi-inhibiting. Chi stagnates when there is messiness and accumulation of unattended, unnecessary things. And even worse, negative energy grows. The Urban Monk says that clearing the clutter makes room for positive chi because it removes the physical blockage it created within the space and eliminates negative energy.

Like water, chi finds and follows the path of least resistance. Open drains are a quick way to lose chi in your home, but closing toilet lids and using stoppers in sink drains will stop the energy leak. Prevent this problem with the bathtub drain by simply drawing the shower curtain closed. Another energy block is a stairway to the upper floor, and chi sloshes into it like a gentle wave and rolls back without climbing to the next level. To help chi flow upward, place a tall plant or statue near the base of the stairs to encourage it to move in that direction. Implementing these easy changes can cause a dramatic, upward energy shift in your home.