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  • Writer's pictureTamara S. Graham

FENG SHUI - Highly Important for The Highly Sensitive

Updated: Jan 15, 2021

Feng Shui (pronounced fuhng shway) can be very important to the highly sensitive soul. It is the ancient Chinese art of placement and translated means “Wind and Water.” It symbolically and literally helps us manage the flow of life energy, also called chi. It examines how energy moves through a particular space; if this flow is blocked or stagnant we can begin to face obstacles in our lives. Applying Feng Shui principles can mean the difference between surviving and thriving.

For most of my adult life, I have rearranged furniture and reassessed my home environment every season. I always thought perhaps I was just diving deeply, somewhat obsessively, into “spring cleaning” or “winter nesting.” As a highly sensitive person (HSP), I noticed many subtle changes would make me feel calmer and more focused. It wasn’t until I began to study Feng Shui extensively that I understood why.

What you surround yourself with can be a direct reflection of how you feel, and vice versa.

I have studied many schools of Feng Shui and the commonality of them all is that everything has energy and what you choose to surround yourself with has an affect on your life. When you think of the flow of energy in your home, imagine it symbolically as a curious child running through your house and consider what may be “in the way,” blocking or dangerous for that child to run into. Imagine how slowly this life energy moves when it has to dodge sharp edges or stop at each item in your home to study it like an inquisitive child – getting distracted before moving on.

We are so in-tune with our environment as HSPs, and keen on noticing the details and feeling all the subtle energy shifts. Controlling our environment is one of the few ways we can feel supported and comfortable, especially in our home. In my own experience it is essential for HSPs to have this awareness of Feng Shui and the knowledge of its tools.

Feng Shui teaches how to create harmony and balance

to support our physical and emotional well-being.

Your home is a multi-sensory experiential environment and it takes effort to make it a positive one. Imagine...

  • The sound of a child’s laughter

  • The smell of cinnamon wafting from the kitchen

  • The well-worn softness of the quilt your grandmother made

  • The emotional warmth you feel when you look at a beloved gift

For highly sensitive people like me, these sensory snapshots can have a profound effect on whether or not your space is restful or rejuvenating.

The flow of energy in many areas of your life, such as career, relationships and health, can be blocked if there is too much clutter in your life. That clutter may be the very thing that is preventing you from being motivated to change it. Small changes can make huge shifts. Start slowly.

What if you were having an important guest come to stay with you? What would you change or try to stuff into a closet? Well, that important person to tidy up your space for should be YOU!

Your space symbolizes many areas of your life, and every room has the potential to support your life energy or diminish it.

  • What do you surround yourself with?

  • Does it give you joy, or make you grumble in frustration that it’s not what you want?

  • Are you displaying items out of obligation to the gift-giver?

  • Haven’t had time to put away piles of papers, laundry or unused items?

  • Do you feel guilty or overwhelmed like me when you see the clutter?

  • How would you like to feel?

Imagine that in the movie theater of your mind. Now let’s create that image!

Your front door energy is symbolic of your career. Take a look at your front door as if you are approaching your home for the first time. Do you feel invited to continue? Realtors call this “curb appeal”, but in Feng Shui your entrance and how well it looks, flows and functions is key to inviting success into your home. Make it as inviting as possible to attract good energy and invoke a welcoming feeling.

Can you easily see the house or apartment number? Do you have a working doorbell for “opportunity to come knocking”? What about an attractive mailbox for all the good news to arrive? Does the door work properly and does it open completely? Think about your work life. How is that going? Is your door in need of repair or fresh paint? Does it open fully? This is all a reflection of your career – if its moving forward, or if you feel stuck. If the door-jam sticks and you can’t enter easily, or if there are shoes and a coat rack preventing you from opening the door completely, traditionally this symbolizes that your career can’t move forward with ease. Allow opportunities and good energy to come find you, open and receptive, by applying Feng Shui.

Decluttering in general:

There are many books and systems out there for organizing, but before you find a place for everything and put everything in its place, rethink it all. Take the time to touch everything.

When you pick it up are you grateful you have it?

Does it bring you joy?

Does it serve a purpose?

If not, put it in a box for donations and let it give someone else joy. Remember one person's tactile display could be another housemates clutter, so please be respectful when sharing your home.

Bedroom tips:

Arrange your bed so that the headboard is against a solid wall and if possible with no windows above it. Move your alarm clocks and cordless landline phones away from your nightstand.

For a good night’s sleep be sure there are no visible beams or shelving above your head. This Feng Shui principle states that having something over your head can subconsciously make you uneasy and visually reminds you of the potential for it to fall on you. HSP’s are very consciously aware of these extra areas of concern in their environment. Something overhead like a bunk bed, beam, or ceiling fan can directly affect the restful quality of your sleep.

Try to keep the space under your bed clean and clear of clutter so the energy and air can flow through it. Remember the story of the Princess and The Pea? I am sure she was an HSP to be able to feel a small pea under layers and layers of mattresses. So, imagine what any clutter under your bed could feel like!

Don't forget to look in your closet and reconsider items that you never wear and let your wardrobe reflect who you are now. Make room for future new items and feel what A L L O W I N G that extra space can do for you. This can be very cleansing to your soul. You may even find yourself breathing more deeply.

Kitchen tips:

Do you use everything that is out on your counter? If not, tuck it away or consider donating it. Visual clutter is very much like loud irritating noise to those of us who are more aware of subtleties. Add an inspirational saying on your backsplash, or something that makes you feel good to look at while doing the dishes. Feeling joyful while you prepare food will enhance the nourishing benefits of your meals. Organic foods offer the purity our sensitive digestive systems need.

Office basics:

It is important to feel well supported while working or taking care of finances. You should feel in command in your home office even if that space is just a gratitude desk where you write thank you letters and pay your bills. Be sure there is a solid wall behind you since this is symbolic of all kinds of support. It’s also considered a position of power, and can increase our ability to stay focused. It is crucial for us as HSP’s to be in a position where you can see your door rather than have your back to someone walking in. You can accomplish tasks at hand without the subconscious feeling of vulnerability to surprises.

Be aware of where you keep your WiFi modem. Don’t sit near it and turn it off at night since most of us are sensitive to the electromagnetic fields they project. I find the waves of electronic energy often affect my heart rhythm and my mood.

Air quality:

Living plants can bring life to your space, and many are considered clean air machines, working hard to detoxify the air. Most HSP’s and empaths thrive and reset in nature, so why not bring some nature into your home? Choose plant varieties that are safe for young children and pets. As a society we are spending more time indoors due to an abundance of electronic entertainment, so keep the dust down and use non-toxic cleaners. Your sensitive nose will be happier and your whole body will be more relaxed if you keep your lungs healthy.

Sanctuary space:

Create a room, or at least a dedicated corner, to do what you love most, whether it be reading in a cozy chair with a great lamp, or having a desk with fun markers and creative tools at the ready for when inspiration arises. It should have soft textures, subtle refreshing scents, and sounds that you love along with anything you feel passionate about. HSP’s need a place to recharge and process the emotions and interactions of the day. Everything has energy, so surround yourself with what you LOVE!

As a highly sensitive mom raising two highly sensitive children, these principles helped to make our own home a place where we could all feel nurtured and supported. I recommend learning more about Feng Shui and space clearing. Try out some of these tips - at your own pace. Take one room at a time and be sure to take breaks. Remember to breathe deeply through any changes, and allow the love and support of your home to embrace you with a reflection of your best self.

Find your space, or move to create it:

Update as of Summer 2020: I recently moved into a small 500 square foot house and I adore all of my little spaces. I have rearranged a number of times to find the right fit and the right feel. Carve out your own cozy, relaxing spot, and enjoy the process!!

Books to Learn More:

Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life by Karen Rauch Carter

Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui by Karen Kingston

Naturally Clean by Jeffrey Hollender

How to Grow Fresh Air by Dr. B.C. Wolverton

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

Feng Shui and Health by Nancy SantoPietro

Tami is grateful for all of her Highly Sensitive Person traits because they have made her who she is today: an optimistic, nurturing soul, full of great compassion. Being a mother has been her hardest and most rewarding job since her unique and sensitive children have been her greatest inspiration and teachers. She is currently writing a series of children’s books for HSP families, The Sunshine Books. Book #1 will be available for sale soon. Follow this link for more of her heartfelt ponderings about highly sensitive people. Or sign-up above for her weekly emails as she continues writing for you.

{Copyright 2019 - 2021 - Most photos are the property of Tamara S. Graham unless noted otherwise}

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