Feng Shui 101: What is Chi?
“Being born with good looks is not as important as being born with a good destiny; Being born with a good destiny is not as important as having a kind heart; Having a kind heart is not as important as having a positive state of chi.” —unknown
Chi is a term that we hear more and more these days, whether it’s in reference to energy, eastern movement modalities, or Feng Shui principles. But what exactly is chi, and what do we mean when we talk about moving or activating chi?
Simply put, chi (qi) is an energetic force, a life force that powers all living organisms. Feng Shui, meaning Wind and Water, is a metaphysical art that works with the unseen forces the ancients called “the breath of cosmic life” or chi. It has been called many things by many cultures: Ki, Prana, Pnuema, Aether or simply the breath of life.
To have strong chi is to have a strong life force and vitality. You are able move easily and freely, and you have an energetic resistance to negative forces and situations that could comprise your health and wellbeing. You have created a protective source of stamina, confidence, and capability. To strengthen our life force, we need to improve the quality and amount of positive energy in our environment. This is Feng Shui.
The cultivating vital chi in your environment is paramount. You cannot begin to activate and manifest change in your life until you improve the chi that is already in your home.
The chi of a space
In Feng Shui we focus on nurturing the chi of the earth. This is the chi of nature and our surroundings, the environments we live in, and the spaces we create. We choose our homes, lots and residences by examining the flow and quality of the chi of the earth. We correct, adjust and enhance the environments we live in to improve the flow of energy so we can feel supported by our homes.
The chi of the body
Personal chi is that which flows through an individual. It is expressed in both physical qualities, as well as in mental states such as thoughts and emotions. How you walk, talk and express yourself in the big, wide world is influenced by your life force. Situations, events, and environments impact an individual’s chi, sometimes creating imbalances. As in spaces we want to avoid extremes in personal chi, we strive for balance. Your own chi should flow smoothly and without resistance through all the meridians of the body. Chinese medicine specifically examines the flow of chi in the body to reveal symptoms, illness and deficiencies caused by energetic blocks and imbalances.
Take control of your chi
We can change our personal chi, and improve the quality of the chi in our life and home. By taking action, and using specific tools, methods, and energy work our life force can be strengthened.
- Meditation: simple yet powerful tool to increase stability and ease; with each mindful breath, inhale and exhale, you introduce new, beneficial chi.
- Tai Chi and Qigong: Qigong, Tai Chi and other forms of Taoist martial arts improve the flow of chi-energy in the body using beautiful, subtle movements to create different types of vital chi. Yoga, in its many forms, generates prana and clears energetic blocks.
- Energy bodywork: improving the flow of chi and removing blocks by seeking the help of a qualified practitioner of Reiki, acupuncture or shiatsu massage.
- Natural forces: using the chi of the earth in its purest form; walk on a beach, sit in the forest, climb through the mountains, meditate by a lake…
- Feng Shui: shifting and balancing the chi of the environment through action, adjustment and intention.
Cultivating strong, vital chi
Improving the quality of chi in your home, and body, requires a commitment to change and a mindful practice. You will need to move, breath, meditate and change your space to increase the flow and quality of chi in your life. Before you can plant new ideas or enhancements, you need to give your chi a chance to grow stronger by weeding through blocks and resistance. To affect change in your life you need to do the work, the preparation, and invest in yourself and your chi.