Finding Root in Clearing Clutter
The breadth of Feng Shui in its entirety is a life-long course of study. It is a system filled with depth, tradition, practicality, and grace. With this being said, attempting to wield the wisdom of Feng Shui and its tremendous wealth of information and applications, can often seem daunting to novice practitioners (me included). We are often left thinking, where do I begin?
In any tradition of Feng Shui, the first step to implement any aspect of the practice, is to clear all clutter from one’s environment. If this clearing of clutter does not take place, the fruits of Feng Shui practice will have no foundation from which to grow. This seemingly mundane principle (and usually the most difficult) is the very core of Feng Shui practice.
Clearing clutter is far more than just keeping a space clean. It is a sacred and meditative practice that brings us into a state of constant mindfulness. People often believe that keeping a space in a constant state of cleanliness, will be both daunting and tiring. They often ask themselves, ‘how can I possibly keep an area clean all the time?’ In reality, this is a logical, thoughtful, and practical question because in the beginning, it is very hard to keep an area clean for any amount of time.
However, the larger and far more relevant question is:
If you are unable to keep an environment clean, how do you intend to keep your mind clean?
If these questions are collectively weighed for any amount of time, it becomes painfully obvious that tending to an environment is a far easier task than tending to the profound depth of the human mind. This is the beauty in Feng Shui; it gives us a very practical way to begin true meditation.
When beginning your practice of keeping your home or office free of clutter, remember that you are in essence, practicing to learn how to meditate. You are not learning how to “clean.” Routinely remind yourself of this as your practice evolves. Its what allows you step outside of seeing your practice as a monotonous chore. Know and trust that you are embarking on an artistic exploration of yourself.
The theory of yin and yang states that the interdependence of polar opposites is the basis for all balance and harmony in nature, i.e. with night there is day, with positive there is negative, with death there is birth. By experiencing opposition, we come to understand our existence. If we never experienced light, we would never know darkness. In addition to this, this continual dance of opposition is cyclical. All oppositions repeat themselves; day to night, night to day, and so on. We spend many hours in our days tending to what needs to be done, but ultimately, we must retire to bed and slumber in darkness. To fight this cycle will only bring imbalance.
This cyclical process in nature paints a beautiful metaphor for our practice with Feng Shui. As we grow, heal, and attend to our interior landscapes, at some point, we then must venture out into our external environments to do the same. Moving from internal to external is as perennial as the seasons and is just as important as any other cycle in nature. It too should be honored, nourished, and attended to. To remain in either environment for too long will ultimately create disharmony within ourselves and in our lives.
With much practice, clearing clutter eventually becomes an easier and more organic process. It then gives us a way to leap forward when we’ve reached plateaus in our internal/personal growth. Again, Feng Shui is a tool, and tools are meant to be used in different capacities at different junctures.
When our minds have run ourselves ragged from the inside, it may be time to consider looking outside. Shaping and molding one’s environment then becomes a natural extension to reshape our minds and emotional patterns. When we can no longer be with the chatter of our minds, shifting our 3-D environment can act as a catalyst to proverbially burn the candle from the other end. It is a natural and harmonious way to reassess and restructure our lives.
The art of Feng Shui embodies life when it has rich soil to root into. In this case, rich soil comes from spaces free of clutter. From here, rooting our lives becomes palpable and more importantly, possible. Having less, minimizing, and consolidating our environments allows us to find our own Feng Shui. Feng Shui is a self-knowing tool eager to aid us in our journeys. But our spaces must be clear. Then, and only then, can we begin to grow our environments and therefore, our lives.
This post was by Grayson Estrada, Nourishing Life’s Feng Shui consultant. He will be traveling to China via hand outs and a pod cast. It will be great to have his insight when we visit the Great Wall and the Forbidden City, two of the largest Feng Shui projects ever built. His insight will help us tap into the Qi during our practice session on the Wild Great Wall and tour the Forbidden City’s remote areas.