You may have read my recent post called The Tao of Lockdown. It was sparked by the situation we suddenly found ourselves in, thanks to the Covid crisis, spending more time in our homes than we ever imagined. For some that’s been okay, for others it’s been incredibly stressful. What it has done, though, is shone a spotlight on the importance of our homes.
A supportive home is such a precious thing. It’s what led me to feng shui in the first place. But how can something so Chinese and so old be incorporated into modern Western lives? There are so many versions, some of which seem conflicting and confusing, but they all start in the same place – assessing the way the life force energy inherent in everything flows through the home, and trying to optimise its beneficial qualities.
So I wanted to share this podcast I did with Dr Ron Ehrlich, the author of ‘A Life Less Stressed: The Five Pillars of Health and Wellness’. I’ve known Ron and his wife Annie for many years and been allowed to advise them at various times on the layout of their home. Ron is a rather extraordinary man whose career as a dentist has led him to explore the much wider spectrum of health. Early on, I remember him talking about the importance of feet in dental care, which kind of blew my mind. But of course it makes sense – how you stand affects the alignment of the spine and therefore the jaw and the health of your teeth. It’s a great example of how everything is interlinked. Just as our homes have a deeper effect on our health and well being than we might at first think.
Here’s the interview: Unstress with Dr Ron Ehrlich
You can listen to more of Ron’s podcasts and order his book at www.drronehrlich.com.
And yes, I’m happy to take questions…
What a great interview!
I love the idea of Feng Shui being like Chinese medicine. Because it really is. I always think the flow of a living space is so important. And I don’t think that needs to mean open plan, in fact it could be all kinds of architectural layouts. But if there isn’t a flow to the space, then somehow the house cannot work properly.
It’s all interlinked. Which is how the flow of energy in the home can affect your body, too. None of this Western separation nonsense! And you’re right about open-plan – good feng shui is assessing what is too much or too little to get the Goldlilocks just right balance… You might have noticed in the interview that I could talk about it for hours! Glad you enjoyed it.
Of course you could! It is one of your passions! And great talents.
Too much or too little – that’s great. I often think with my painting it’s all just a question of putting the paint on and then taking it off to get the exact balanced required.
We have one room in the house which doesn’t flow and we will be sorting it out in the autumn. It is an eaved room with one window, so having things where you want them is somewhat restricted. We have tried a myriad of arrangements. What would be a good starting question to ask? xx
Irregular spaces are often difficult to be in, and being up in the eaves can be problematical – it’s the end of the house, for a start, like being at the end of a long lane, so it’s quiet energetically. And then the eaves add a pressing-down quality which can make us feel cramped and cranky. Not a great space to work in. Probably the best advice would be to lighten the space – push it upwards and outwards with lots of bright uplighting to evoke a certain loftiness, and eliminate the line between wall and eave so you don’t see the boundary… Somewhere to start, perhaps.
Really enjoyed this. Listened to it twice to take it all in. I’m a terrible sleeper and will now take down the picture above my bed to see if that helps! I think, from listening to your advice, that my house has pretty good feng shui. The spare room needs work, though. Possibly it’s in the relationship corner of the house. Not sure. From the front door, it’s upstairs and slightly to the right. That vague explanation may not be good enough for you to be able to confirm it!
I’ve just started learning Qigong and am finding its focus on energy really interesting. Western thinking has taken a long time to catch on to the importance of energy flow.
That’s great if it helps – and if it helps you sleep better. Of course there are always so many other things to consider – like the impact of Electromagnetic Radiation (from the fuse box to the amount of wiring everywhere)and plumbing (water flow) – that can also impact on the bed. So much of it is trial and error. But the simplest bedroom is always the most conducive to sleep and it sometimes means you have to look at your surroundings with new eyes – we become so used to the things we have around us that we fail to see their impact, however subliminal… Your spare room being in the relationships area is the simplified Westernised version of feng shui that was most popular here. The original would say that Relationships is in the South-West section of the house. But go with your original thought and think of that room being the site of your Relationships & nurturing area, and assess whether or not how it supports Relationships, and whether you might want to add the pairing quality there – images of pairs, symbols of pairing, adding someone to that framed photograph of you on your own… Feng shui is just Qigong for the house!
Qigong for the house! I like that! Thanks, Colin.