Guest Author - Carol M. Olmstead
Feng Shui aims to achieve a balance of the opposing characteristics in the world around you, which are known as yin and yang. The theory of yin and yang in Feng Shui is another way you can balance your interior surroundings. According to the yin and yang theory, everything in the universe consists of two opposing, but interconnected, forces: yin, which is feminine, and yang, which is masculine. Yin qualities are female, soft, passive, nurturing, dark, while the yang qualities are male, hard, active, aggressive, bright.
You are probably familiar with the universal symbol for yin and yang which is a circle with a curved line in the middle that divides the black and white halves of the circle, with a spot of each opposite color on the opposite side.
Yin and yang are the everyday opposites we see around us in our homes and offices: soft and hard, cold and hot, dark and light. Yin and yang exist in nature, in buildings, and in individual rooms. According to Feng Shui principles, it is the appropriate interaction of these two forces that creates harmony around us.
For example, if you paint a room a dark color, keep it cold, keep your children and pets out of it and rarely use it, it becomes yin. However, if you paint the same room a light color, turn up the temperature, and invite your friends, neighbors, and pets to join you in using it, it becomes yang.
In most cases we balance yin and yang naturally and instinctively in our homes: we add soft seat cushions to hard wooden chairs; if the bathwater gets too hot, we turn on the cold; we paint one wall a darker accent color to keep an all-white room from looking too bland. Thatís because when these two equal and opposite forces are in balance in our interior surroundings, we feel comfortable, secure, and at peace. Each aspect of our lives has yin and yang attributes that we need to balance.
When we explain these two forces in terms of the Feng Shui Elements, yin is represented by the color black, which is the Water Element, and the passive energy of silence, darkness, and slow, relaxed movements. This is the predominant energy at night when you go to sleep, or when you need to relax and replenish your energies, so it is often appropriate for bedrooms.
On the other hand, yang is represented by the color white, which is the Metal Element. It is the strong energy characterized by vibrant sounds and colors, bright lights, and upward moving energy. In Feng Shui, we would use yang energy in decorating a family room or a busy office.
The yin-yang balance is especially important in the workplace where all too often we find ourselves working in less than optimal Feng Shui conditions. The typical office today is filled with computers, bright florescent lighting, hard shiny floors, metal filing cabinets and desks, and ringing phones that can result in strain, tension, irritability, and feelings of isolation. It is hard to feel creative in this kind of workplace because there is too much harsh yang energy. A little bit of yin energy balance, in the form of soft fabrics, desk and floor lamps instead of overhead lighting, wood file cabinets, and some soothing colors on the walls would go a long way to balance this space.
Adjusting Yin and Yang
If the energy in your home or office just doesnít feel right, chances are good it is caused by a problem with the yin-yang balance. Fortunately, there are simple ways to add the attributes of yin and yang and restore balance.
Does your space need more yin? If you want to create a space that is more relaxed and focused, add:
* curves and flowing shapes
* dark colors
* upholstered furniture
* shades on the windows
* rugs on the floors
* rooms with lots of furniture
Does you space need more yang? If you want to create a space full of energy and excitement, add:
* straight lines and angular shapes
* light and bright colors
* furniture made from wood, glass, or stone
* track lighting and bright lights
* wood blinds
* floors made from wood, marble, tile
* rooms with few pieces of furniture
In Feng Shui, having a balance of both yin and yang in your home and office will create the positive energy you need to attract wealth, harmony, and love into your life.
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