Instinctual Rhythms in Feng Shui

Instinctual Rhythms in Feng Shui

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 fouryear 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