With Guest Writer, Gray Estrada, MTCM
In olden times survival was fought for. An intimate understanding of terrain, environment, seasonal cycles, observation of prey routes and dialogue with Nature kept us alive. In modern times, that dialogue is almost non-existent given the ease, efficiency and accessibility to technological innovations. As such, our primal instincts are collectively numbed and our connection to Nature is made weak.
Chinese Medicine identifies Five Elements that humanity was dependent upon for survival: Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood. These non-self aware ‘personalities’ were pivotal in the evolution of the human species. As such, we are indebted to and intrinsically connected with these Elemental forces. Feng Shui theory stipulates these forces should be routinely interacted with to maintain mental and emotional vitality. By doing so, we create a metaphorical dialogue that stimulates our subconscious and long-standing historical ties to these life-giving Elements, thus enlivening our psyche and fostering feelings of safety and security. If we’re unable to discourse with these Elements in real time, we can symbolically represent them in our environments via color, texture, objects, light and shape.
This brings us to Feng Shui in modern times where we tinker with the symbolic representations of these Elements by arranging them in our environments, which in turn, positively influences us. The more we’re able to recognize and align with life-giving rhythms larger than ourselves, the more gracefully we transition through life.
When applying Feng Shui, I encourage a broad-stroke approach. In Feng Shui theory, certain colors are placed into specific cardinal directions of our environments because it’s believed the electromagnetic currents of planet earth house various aspects of human consciousness and experiential life themes such as luck, community, creativity, career success and health. It was also ascertained that when certain colors were placed appropriately into specific cardinal directions, the Five Elements became “activated” and therefore the life themes associated with each cardinal direction were enhanced in that person’s life.
That said, below are suggestions to incorporate Feng Shui principles into your life. Place the mentioned colors and shapes into the corresponding cardinal directions of your environments and consider embodying the corresponding emotional/lifestyle rhythms to facilitate full spectrum emotional expression. By doing so, our potentially deadened connection to Nature, the Five Elements and ourselves is rekindled, thus uplifting our mind, body and soul.
FIRE ELEMENT – SOUTH regulates Future, Fame & Luck
Colors: Red, Pink, Purple
Shapes: Sharp angles, pointed edges, mixed patterns, modernity, candles, fireplaces
Emotional/Lifestyle rhythms: PLAY – New, fun, different, change
EARTH – CENTER area of any environment regulates Health, Wellness & Unity
Colors: Yellow, Orange, muted colors
Shapes: Soft/plush fabrics, large muted patterns, comfortable furniture, old/worn items, antiques
Emotional/Lifestyle rhythms: NOURISH – Sit, relax, connect, eat
METAL – WEST regulates Femininity, Creativity & Children Dynamics
Colors: White, Gold, Silver, Pastels, Iridescence
Shapes: Clean/sparse lines, high contrast colors or monochromatic colors, simple, elegant, minimal, lots of air and visual space, metal objects
Emotional/Lifestyle rhythms: ASPIRE – Refine, clean, perfect, create beauty
WATER – NORTH regulates Life’s Journey, Career & Business Success
Colors: Black, Blue, dark colors
Shapes: Undulating lines, wave patterns, bubbles, amorphous shapes, solid colors, water features/imagery
Emotional/Lifestyle rhythms: BE – Rest, Read, Lay, Sleep
WOOD – EAST regulates Community, Family Life & Grandparent Dynamics
Colors: Green (all shades), Brown, acidic colors
Shapes: Long, lean lines; tall/large structures, rough surfaces/textures, wood furniture, live plants
Emotional/Lifestyle rhythms: DO – Work, move, exercise, spending time in nature
Too, Lillian. Total Feng Shui, Chronicle Books. 2005.
Alizay, Gabrielle. Feng Shui For The Rest Of Us, Evolution Now. 2011
Gray Estrada, MTCM, BA holds a four–year Master’s Degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine. He is the owner of OMNI HEALTH & LIFESTYLE in Sacramento, CA. His approach is to teach and facilitate to his clients the typically overlooked health and lifestyle practices found in Chinese Medicine. He specializes in the tutelage of Tai Chi, Feng Shui, Food & Cooking as Medicine and is currently deepening his knowledge of Feng Shui and Chinese Facial Reading & Diagnosis under Lillian Bridges. Learn more at www.OmniHealthAndLifestyle.com