Transform from the outside in

20 March 2014
Written by Colette Maat | Images by Sacha Kenny
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Integrative health and life coach Colette Maat shares some simple Feng Shui guidelines to help bring a renewed sense of harmony and success into our lives    

Whether you live on the 10th floor of an apartment block, reside on a lifestyle property or in a beach bach, Feng Shui is a transformational tool that can provide balance, harmony, success and love to a life you will relish living.

From a very early age, I have always been aware of the connection between my immediate environment and how my mind and body functioned.  Challenging as it was, growing up in a relatively chaotic household of 10, I always found sanctuary in creating my own slice of harmony, whether it was in the allocated ‘one drawer for clothes’ in a bedroom shared with four sisters, or in tackling the household linen cupboard in a ‘sorting frenzy’.

I guess I have been unknowingly using this tool throughout my life so it has been a natural progression to be drawn into studying with the Western School of Feng Shui and sharing these tools with anyone who will listen.

The basic principles of any style of Feng Shui, and there are several variants from east to west, would be that of ‘Loving what you see’ and ‘feeling’ that it’s ‘just right’. Sounds rather simple, but if you were to walk into a room, any room, and scan the room of it’s contents, furnishings and placement of furniture, there is an opportunity right there for you to check in on how the room ‘feels’ and whether you ‘love what you see’.  This alone can be the beginning step to getting connected with your surroundings and finding out what works and what doesn’t. We’ve all been in a situation where we’ve walked into a home, perhaps on a house hunt or visiting an open home, when no matter how neatly presented the house is, it just doesn’t ‘feel’ right.  This is not by coincidence - this is energy working at its most powerful and guiding your intuition.

The second fundament of any Feng Shui  is to de-clutter.

This has to be one of the most energy-moving and therapeutic practices to undertake.  

So how to begin? Begin with one room, one drawer, one cupboard, working from left to right (that just seems to flow more easily and logistically). Going through the contents, one by one, removing them, assessing them, forming three piles - 1.Keep,  2.Throw, 3.Give.

1.Keep: Questions to ask and to be given an honest answer to: Do I love it? Do I use it? Is it working and in great condition?  If the answer to all of these is a resounding yes, then find a spot for it.  If there are ‘no’s’ in there, then choose between throwing in the garbage (yes, you can be totally ruthless with this one) or finding a new home for it, with someone who will treasure it and someone who needs it more than you do.

As you can see, this can be a time-consuming task, but the resulting space that is freed up with this exercise will be rewarded with vital, fresh and vibrant energy. Plus, it will leave the space open for the new and fresh to enter, should that be your desire.  De-cluttering throughout the home can be broken down into scheduled time for each space.  I personally love to listen to some inspirational downloads, some motivational teachings, or just some great music while de-cluttering. Whatever boosts the energy while sorting and piling will ingest additional positivity into the mix.

Note, when wardrobe de-cluttering, the same applies as to the remainder of the home; If you haven’t worn it for the past four seasons, let it go! If it doesn’t fit you as you are now let it go. Never hold on to the ‘what ifs’!!  Learning to live in the present and being able to go to your wardrobe and pull out anything and wear it with confidence is a bonus step in the direction of self- acceptance, self-nurturing, and self love.  

So, once the home has been made free of all clutter, there are a couple more Feng Shui principles to follow, regardless of school source.

Is everything in working order? This is especially true of things such as the plumbing. Are there any leaking taps? Blocked drains, sinks, toilets?

This plays a huge symbolic reference to the body and that of the ‘plumbing’ in the body.

Here’s how: If there are any blockages, anywhere along the plumbing pipes, this can be represented in issues such as in the lymphatic system, congestion, water retention, swollen joints and skin outbreaks (relational to poor lymphatic drainage). So there is a huge advantage to having this system working optimally and cleanly in the home. Check that all the drainage points are cleaned regularly and water can flow freely throughout.  

Are there any leakages in the home? Whether water from dripping taps, draughts that leak the warmth out of the home, or dampness in corners. This is representative of energy leaching from the body in some form. Areas for reflection would be to look at how your energy is distributed - is there someone in your life who is ‘draining your energy’? Are you getting enough rest and sleep? Are you overdoing your work and/or exercise schedule?  Are you not finding time for nurturing movement such as stretching/yoga/ and meditative practice? Is your schedule working around everyone else and leaving you at the bottom of the list?  

When areas in the home are worked on, together with reflection on the physical aspect representation, it catapults a shift in energy that has potential for transformation.  

Another general ‘guideline’ across the Feng Shui board is to keep the toilet seat down at all times, except of course the obvious times of usage! Not just the toilet seat, the lid cover itself. This is representative of ‘keeping financial abundance from draining away’. This is one that could take a little time for everyone to get on board with in the home, but once in place, it noticeably changes not only the look of the bathroom/toilet area, it has a much more hygienic essence also. 

The bathroom is very much representative of ‘cleansing’ and should be represented as such. Kept clean, neat and de-cluttered of all things that are not representing this purpose. 

The kitchen is where the family nourishment begins and is imperative that this is represented in such a way that will invite health, vitality, physical and emotional nourishment to every individual in the home. This is an area where de-cluttering is key.

It’s time to get into the corners of the pantry and fridge and get rid of anything that has an out of date on it. The deep recesses of the ‘baking cupboard’ often sees lingering remnants of last year's birthday cake mix, or flours that may have reached the oven only once over the past two years. Get them out and get the cupboard refreshed and cleaned.

The energy that goes into our bodies is coming not just from the food itself, but the environment of cooking. Also, the energy from those who are preparing it plays a huge role in how the food tastes, as well as the transferred energy to our bodies. This is a subject for another complete article in itself, so I’m just skimming the surface in this guideline.

The bedroom is an area of immense importance.  

Whether we are in a relationship, partnership, marriage or single, the bedroom is representative of the place where we regenerate, renew, nurture and revitalise.  

Having the room conducive to quality sleep is imperative. Ideally the room should be void of all technology, especially around the bed head itself. I-phones, laptops and electronic devices should never be placed by the bed and should ideally not be in the room at all during sleep. In today’s technology-dependent world, this could be a stretch for many, however reducing and gradually eliminating these devices could be your first step to renewed, quality and regenerative rest and recuperation, especially in children’s bedrooms.

Generally throughout the home, photos are displayed reflecting memories, people, family, places etc that are representative of past and present.

A valuable exercise would be to go through all of these images, and if there are any displayed of a time or periods of the past that were less than supportive, holding images of partners that are no longer partnerships, then remove them from display and replace with images of happy memories, current and inspiring images and people who represent love and support.  

Of course many may want to hold on to these images for whatever reason. In this case, finding a suitable place in perhaps a photo album, but not on display, will change the energy in the room without completely discarding the experiences.  

This is an exercise that requires much reflection and, when carried out, can bring about a renewed enthusiasm for living in the moment and loving what is.

Finally, bring fresh ‘growing’ energy in the form of healthy plants and fresh flowers into the home, will inject color, vibrance, and a healthy supply of cleansing oxygen throughout.

Placing a healthy vibrant evergreen plant on either side of the front door/entrance of the home, is representative of ‘welcoming good energy and prosperity’. It is also a prosperity practice to place similar plants on either side of the rear door of the property, which symbolises ‘stopping the prosperity from leaving the home once entered’.

Feng Shui can be personalised according to each individual’s taste and specific dynamic in the home and just by using the general guidelines provided, has the potential to enhance and transform life beyond any perceivable challenges.

Integrative health and life coach Colette Maat shares some simple Feng Shui guidelines to help bring a renewed sense of harmony and success into our lives    

Whether you live on the 10th floor of an apartment block, reside on a lifestyle property or in a beach bach, Feng Shui is a transformational tool that can provide balance, harmony, success and love to a life you will relish living.

From a very early age, I have always been aware of the connection between my immediate environment and how my mind and body functioned.  Challenging as it was, growing up in a relatively chaotic household of 10, I always found sanctuary in creating my own slice of harmony, whether it was in the allocated ‘one drawer for clothes’ in a bedroom shared with four sisters, or in tackling the household linen cupboard in a ‘sorting frenzy’.

I guess I have been unknowingly using this tool throughout my life so it has been a natural progression to be drawn into studying with the Western School of Feng Shui and sharing these tools with anyone who will listen.

The basic principles of any style of Feng Shui, and there are several variants from east to west, would be that of ‘Loving what you see’ and ‘feeling’ that it’s ‘just right’. Sounds rather simple, but if you were to walk into a room, any room, and scan the room of it’s contents, furnishings and placement of furniture, there is an opportunity right there for you to check in on how the room ‘feels’ and whether you ‘love what you see’.  This alone can be the beginning step to getting connected with your surroundings and finding out what works and what doesn’t. We’ve all been in a situation where we’ve walked into a home, perhaps on a house hunt or visiting an open home, when no matter how neatly presented the house is, it just doesn’t ‘feel’ right.  This is not by coincidence - this is energy working at its most powerful and guiding your intuition.

The second fundament of any Feng Shui  is to de-clutter.

This has to be one of the most energy-moving and therapeutic practices to undertake.  

So how to begin? Begin with one room, one drawer, one cupboard, working from left to right (that just seems to flow more easily and logistically). Going through the contents, one by one, removing them, assessing them, forming three piles - 1.Keep,  2.Throw, 3.Give.

1.Keep: Questions to ask and to be given an honest answer to: Do I love it? Do I use it? Is it working and in great condition?  If the answer to all of these is a resounding yes, then find a spot for it.  If there are ‘no’s’ in there, then choose between throwing in the garbage (yes, you can be totally ruthless with this one) or finding a new home for it, with someone who will treasure it and someone who needs it more than you do.

As you can see, this can be a time-consuming task, but the resulting space that is freed up with this exercise will be rewarded with vital, fresh and vibrant energy. Plus, it will leave the space open for the new and fresh to enter, should that be your desire.  De-cluttering throughout the home can be broken down into scheduled time for each space.  I personally love to listen to some inspirational downloads, some motivational teachings, or just some great music while de-cluttering. Whatever boosts the energy while sorting and piling will ingest additional positivity into the mix.

Note, when wardrobe de-cluttering, the same applies as to the remainder of the home; If you haven’t worn it for the past four seasons, let it go! If it doesn’t fit you as you are now let it go. Never hold on to the ‘what ifs’!!  Learning to live in the present and being able to go to your wardrobe and pull out anything and wear it with confidence is a bonus step in the direction of self- acceptance, self-nurturing, and self love.  

So, once the home has been made free of all clutter, there are a couple more Feng Shui principles to follow, regardless of school source.

Is everything in working order? This is especially true of things such as the plumbing. Are there any leaking taps? Blocked drains, sinks, toilets?

This plays a huge symbolic reference to the body and that of the ‘plumbing’ in the body.

Here’s how: If there are any blockages, anywhere along the plumbing pipes, this can be represented in issues such as in the lymphatic system, congestion, water retention, swollen joints and skin outbreaks (relational to poor lymphatic drainage). So there is a huge advantage to having this system working optimally and cleanly in the home. Check that all the drainage points are cleaned regularly and water can flow freely throughout.  

Are there any leakages in the home? Whether water from dripping taps, draughts that leak the warmth out of the home, or dampness in corners. This is representative of energy leaching from the body in some form. Areas for reflection would be to look at how your energy is distributed - is there someone in your life who is ‘draining your energy’? Are you getting enough rest and sleep? Are you overdoing your work and/or exercise schedule?  Are you not finding time for nurturing movement such as stretching/yoga/ and meditative practice? Is your schedule working around everyone else and leaving you at the bottom of the list?  

When areas in the home are worked on, together with reflection on the physical aspect representation, it catapults a shift in energy that has potential for transformation.  

Another general ‘guideline’ across the Feng Shui board is to keep the toilet seat down at all times, except of course the obvious times of usage! Not just the toilet seat, the lid cover itself. This is representative of ‘keeping financial abundance from draining away’. This is one that could take a little time for everyone to get on board with in the home, but once in place, it noticeably changes not only the look of the bathroom/toilet area, it has a much more hygienic essence also. 

The bathroom is very much representative of ‘cleansing’ and should be represented as such. Kept clean, neat and de-cluttered of all things that are not representing this purpose. 

The kitchen is where the family nourishment begins and is imperative that this is represented in such a way that will invite health, vitality, physical and emotional nourishment to every individual in the home. This is an area where de-cluttering is key.

It’s time to get into the corners of the pantry and fridge and get rid of anything that has an out of date on it. The deep recesses of the ‘baking cupboard’ often sees lingering remnants of last year's birthday cake mix, or flours that may have reached the oven only once over the past two years. Get them out and get the cupboard refreshed and cleaned.

The energy that goes into our bodies is coming not just from the food itself, but the environment of cooking. Also, the energy from those who are preparing it plays a huge role in how the food tastes, as well as the transferred energy to our bodies. This is a subject for another complete article in itself, so I’m just skimming the surface in this guideline.

The bedroom is an area of immense importance.  

Whether we are in a relationship, partnership, marriage or single, the bedroom is representative of the place where we regenerate, renew, nurture and revitalise.  

Having the room conducive to quality sleep is imperative. Ideally the room should be void of all technology, especially around the bed head itself. I-phones, laptops and electronic devices should never be placed by the bed and should ideally not be in the room at all during sleep. In today’s technology-dependent world, this could be a stretch for many, however reducing and gradually eliminating these devices could be your first step to renewed, quality and regenerative rest and recuperation, especially in children’s bedrooms.

Generally throughout the home, photos are displayed reflecting memories, people, family, places etc that are representative of past and present.

A valuable exercise would be to go through all of these images, and if there are any displayed of a time or periods of the past that were less than supportive, holding images of partners that are no longer partnerships, then remove them from display and replace with images of happy memories, current and inspiring images and people who represent love and support.  

Of course many may want to hold on to these images for whatever reason. In this case, finding a suitable place in perhaps a photo album, but not on display, will change the energy in the room without completely discarding the experiences.  

This is an exercise that requires much reflection and, when carried out, can bring about a renewed enthusiasm for living in the moment and loving what is.

Finally, bring fresh ‘growing’ energy in the form of healthy plants and fresh flowers into the home, will inject color, vibrance, and a healthy supply of cleansing oxygen throughout.

Placing a healthy vibrant evergreen plant on either side of the front door/entrance of the home, is representative of ‘welcoming good energy and prosperity’. It is also a prosperity practice to place similar plants on either side of the rear door of the property, which symbolises ‘stopping the prosperity from leaving the home once entered’.

Feng Shui can be personalised according to each individual’s taste and specific dynamic in the home and just by using the general guidelines provided, has the potential to enhance and transform life beyond any perceivable challenges.

Colette Maat | Integrative Health & Life Coach


I am fiercely passionate about supporting individuals, groups and families to implement small changes that create a healthy environment, beginning in the kitchen, so that they can enjoy life as it is meant to be lived, with vibrance, sustained health and joy.

I incorporate several modalities within my ‘Life Upgrade Coaching’ programmes, such as: ‘Feng Shui for the western home’; Healing with food first; Loving the self -The Louise Hay approach; Fitness prescription without the gym membership; Emotional Freedom Technique for those stubborn and destructive unconscious beliefs; Basic cooking guidance for bringing simplicity into the kitchen; and Addressing the ‘Stress Factor’ for restoring balance in Mind, Body and Spirit.

I grew up in Northern Ireland, youngest of a large Irish catholic family. I flew the nest at the early age of 17 and during the subsequent years, wove in and out of a very nomadic lifestyle, collecting treasured experiences, certifications and diplomas, challenges, life lessons, life-long connections and wisdom. Eventually in 2007, I made my way down to New Zealand together with my Dutch husband and our daughter who is now 13. We get to experience life in all its simplicity here on the Kapiti Coast.

 


Colette Maat
www.coachcolette.com
021 2926897

 



 

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