Chances are you’ve grown very familiar with your home environment over the past year. And if you think nothing has changed inside your four walls, the ancient Chinese practice of feng shui might make you reconsider. “Every year, feng shui moves throughout your house,” explains Mae Kwan White, wellness creative and founder of Mase Lifestyle (maselifestyle.com) as we chat on my sofa in Tiong Bahru. “As it does, it spreads good and bad energy which affects the success, career, health, and relationships of those who live in that space,” she continues, “much like a living being, feng shui energy is changing and evolving constantly, just as we are.”
Former architect and interior designer Mae has come to my apartment to put her years of working with renowned Hong Kong feng shui master Chow Ho Ming, and her certified feng shui expertise into practice.
I’m initially apprehensive that Mae might tell me to remove a wall, but she assures me that is not how her personalised home readings work. “I never tell a client how to furnish their home, or suggest major structural changes,” she says. “I work out where the positive and negative chi is, and share practical tips on how to improve the balance. While you cannot change the feng shui at that time, there are things you can do to encourage a better flow until the energy moves again.”
After walking Mae through my house (and trying to draw attention away from my husband’s five – yes, five – bikes), I leave her alone to do some ‘mystical maths’. “Numerology (using numbers 1-9) pinpoints what energy is where. I merge this scientific aspect of feng shui with the layout of your space; the elements of earth, wind, water, fire and air; and my training and spiritual intuition,” she says. Here’s some tips Mae shared about my surroundings.
Where the good vibes are
The best thing to do in a “good energy area” is to spend time in it and to utilise the chi. Make the space work for you so you want to physically be there:
Introduce bright flowers in bright colours such as peonies, flamingo lillies or heliconia
Bring in a fire element to positive spaces with candles
Water elements are a plus point. No space to install a waterfall? Bamboo plants work just as well
Move your desk into good energy areas if you’re working from home
Place a Himalayan Salt Lamp here and have it on constantly. Use a pink one as it represents fire (as opposed to white which represents metal)
Mirrors represent water in feng shui and are best placed in a positive energy zone
Green and blue hues also signify water and stimulate the flow of good chi
Where the bad vibes are
There will always be bad energy somewhere in your home, you just have to locate where! Once you do, it’s best not to sleep, eat, or spend much time in that area until the vibe shifts.
Something metal that is round and moves is best placed amongst negative chi. “I recommend a round metal clock. Windchimes are another option as long as they move,” says Mae
Avoid putting water, plants or flowers here – you don’t want to have anything that flourishes
Stay away from bright white light in your home, but particularly here. Stick to warm and golden glows
Beware of ‘number 5’ energy. In feng shui, it’s called ‘the misfortune star’ and considered the worst type. Explains Mae; “It’s linked to misfortunes like accidents, loss of wealth, illnesses and so on. While working as an architect, prospective homeowners would avoid anywhere with number 5 energy at the front door.”
Open your windows
Cross-ventilation will increase the flow of good chi. Also, as windows represent the eyes of the inhabitants, clean your windows regularly!
Love your front door
The front door is literally and metaphorically where energy enters your home, and it can be an incredibly auspicious area. Keep it clean and clutter-free and don’t neglect it.
Where’s your bed at?
If you’re having trouble sleeping, your chi may be to blame. Avoid having doors that open directly in line with the bed, and try not to adopt the “coffin position” where your feet point towards the door. Place your headboard against a solid wall, with space on the other three sides of the bed.
Fan it out
Remember that any wall, ceiling or standing fan will increase the flow of energy whether it’s good or bad. This is great for positive areas, but not advised for negative ones.
Clear the clutter
Having too much clutter stores stagnant energy and impacts your mood. “Clutter is believed to take up valuable space that new incoming energy needs,” explains Mae. “Remove blockages – rid your rooms of unnecessary stuff and create space to bring in an abundance of health, wealth and prosperity as we bring in the new lunar year.”
I’m just building up to telling my husband and his bikes the bad news …