Rearranging room bring spiritual enlightenment

A romantic relationship can be had by simply cleaning your room. Well, maybe not that simple.

Feng shui, an ancient Chinese art of placement, can help you focus on the areas in your life that need improving. It can free your qi (chi), according to Katherine Olaksen, author of “Dorm Room Feng Shui.”

“Qi is energy. It is inside you and all around you, so when you improve your qi, you improve your life,” Olaksen says in her book.

Some of the examples Olaksen gives for freeing qi are as simple as reading a book that is not required for school, exercising, laughing and meditating.

Another way to keep your qi free is to block ghosts and bad spirits. Mirrors are used to keep ghosts and evil spirits from coming into a home, said Li Li, who teaches Chinese in the languages department at Utah State University.

If the door to a house is facing the road, placing a mirror above the door on the outside of the house will keep bad luck out, she said. The same will be done for windows facing the road, or other areas you don’t want.

Ghosts are ugly, and they will see themselves in the mirror and run away, she said.

“Scare bad feng shui away, good feng shui will stay,” Li said.

Susan Duffield, a resident of Salt Lake, Utah, and a practitioner of feng shui for eight years, said feng shui is about the application of intention and purpose.

If a student wants to succeed in school, there should be a focus on studies according to feng shui, she said. When an area is decorated with the idea of studying and minimizing distractions, the space will serve the student better.

“Creativity is crucial,” Duffield said. “Effectiveness means more mindfulness.

One of the first things someone starting feng shui should do is create a level of awareness, Duffield said. Ask yourself questions such as: “What do I buy and bring in?” and “What do I need?”

“A level of awareness will start to create a simplistic and minimalist train of thought,” Duffield said.

After creating a level of awareness, evaluate how your space serves you today, she said. Evaluate your space by asking questions such as: “What do I have today?” and “What serves me?”

Then, she said, get rid of the items that don’t serve you.

“Your body takes on emotions,” Duffield said.

For example, if an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend gave you a piece of furniture or a bedspread that is still in your room, then that person energetically stays in that space. It becomes hard to move on to a new relationship, she said. That item then does not serve you, but hinders you.

According to Olaksen, the first step in preparing your room for feng shui is to clean it.

“Okay, now here’s the one thing you didn’t want to hear: The best thing you can do to liven up your room is to clean it. Not what you want to hear, but deal with it — it’s the truth,” according to Olaksen.

Another aspect of feng shui is celebrating who we are right now, Duffield said.

“Feng shui is about loving what is, no matter what it is,” she said.

She says if you’re hanging on to a pair of pants hoping that someday you’ll fit into them again, you’re not celebrating who you are now. If someday you become that size again, you’ll want to celebrate and buy new pants.

Modern feng shui might deal with old pants, but ancient feng shui was not interested in details. It dealt more with location, Li said.

“In ancient times, feng shui was 100 percent important,” Li said.

In the beginning of the Chinese culture there were three aspects to feng shui, she said. These aspects were: building a house, a business and an ancestor’s graveyard.

Building a house with the best feng shui meant it would bring luck and harmony to those who lived in it and their offspring, Li said. It also meant they would have lots of children.

Li said her grandmother once told her that people would intentionally build their house one inch taller than their neighbor’s house so they could be the first to receive good luck.

“Neighbors would then climb up ladders to their roofs and stack bricks taller than the new house,” Li said. Another example of good feng shui is if a house has a mountain behind it. A mountain is strong and is considered a support for the house, Li said. In addition, if a river is flowing in front of the house, it is thought that the river is washing away trouble.

When building a business, feng shui was considered important because it would bring wealth to the business. Li said the common businesses in ancient Chinese culture were tea houses, restaurants and stores.

The last aspect for ancient Chinese feng shui was ancestor’s graveyards.

“Luck came from the elements and ancestors,” Li said. “You want ancestor’s blessings.

In 1949, China became a socialist country. The people were taught not to believe in the old ways including feng shui, said Li. However, after the 1980s the people were encouraged to have their own businesses and build their own homes. Feng shui was practiced again because business owners wanted success.

“They encourage and indulge in feng shui now,” Li said.

There are many elements to modern feng shui, according to Olaksen. To reduce the amount of frustration caused by learning each element, she gives specific examples of quick and easy things students can do to their rooms.

“The door into your room is the gateway to your world,” according to Olaksen.

Olaksen suggests that a door should be decorated to represent the person living inside the room. She also states that the color red is a powerful choice for a door.

“In feng shui, windows represent your outlook on life,” according to Olaksen.

Clean your window, make sure it works properly, and let the sun in, Olaksen suggests.

She also states that desks should be clutter-free. Clearing your desk once a week will give a new start and perspective, which can improve your studies.

She also warns against forgetting to take the trash out when it’s full. By emptying the trash can, it can free up your qi.

“Feng shui yourself regularly,” Duffield said. Evaluate where and who you are about every three months because we change, she said.

For a more detailed look at feng shui, the book “Dorm Room Feng Shui” by Olaksen can be found in the university bookstore