Nurseries in Balance: Feng Shui
Harmony. Prosperity. Health. What mom doesn’t wish these upon her children? Believe it or not, you can start laying the foundation for these influences before your child is even born, and the place to begin just might surprise you. Step into your baby’s nursery, and open your eyes to an ancient Chinese philosophy that’s growing in popularity.
“Feng Shui is about creating harmonious energy in one’s surroundings in a way that benefit’s one’s life,” explains Honey Lim, an in-demand Feng Shui consultant. While its history goes back to the fourth century B.C., Feng Shui has only recently gained a sudden following in Western culture.
In Chinese, the literal meaning of Feng Shui is “wind-water,” and it is based on three fundamental principles: 1) Flow of energy (or “chi”); 2) Balance of yin and yang; 3) Interaction of the five elements.
The first principle has to do with the natural law that energy flows in wavy lines like the wind, mountains and rivers. Perfectly straight lines are found only in short segments, such as those seen in the canes of sugar and bamboo. Second, we must achieve a balance between yin and yang in order to become grounded and centered. Yin is the female side of universe: soft, passive, nurturing, even numbers and the right side. Yang embodies the male side: bright, hard, active, aggressive, odd numbers and the left side. Third, we see the five elements — fire, earth, metal, water and wood — relating to each other in either a generative or creative way. Each nourishes the other or destroys the other.
“Feng Shui is the study of how the wind and water create invisible energies that flow through the air, the sea and the land,” summarizes Barbara Dellinger, owner of Healing Environments and a Feng Shui Licensed Interior Designer. “These energies in turn affect us, and although we can’t see them, they are still constantly present.”
While skeptics of Feng Shui view it as mystical and doubt its effectiveness, proponents insist it is a serious study of how the energy we can’t see impacts us emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually. “Understanding the various types of energies can help us live more peaceful lives because we know what to expect,” explains Barbara. Whether you embrace the philosophy or not, there are many solutions based on the principles of Feng Shui that can enhance the environment of your baby’s nursery.
“Designing a nursery according to Feng Shui can ease the newcomer’s adjustment from womb to room,” advises Angi Ma Wong, a Feng Shui consultant and award-winning author who has been featured in Time magazine and made appearances on Oprah and LIVE! With Regis and Kelly.
So how do you do it?
Angi says to start with a “clean slate” by airing out the room to rid it of past energies. Leave the windows open on a sunny day to bring in the yang energy of sun, light and fresh air. Other methods include clapping and ringing bells. This “cleansing” should be done twice: prior to painting or wallpapering, and again the day before your baby arrives home.
When choosing colors, Angi’s advice is to stick with mild Yin colors “to induce serenity and rest.” Strong, bright Yang colors should be avoided because they stimulate rather than produce calm. Decorations should be kept simple, with light, airy curtains and soft lighting. “Music is very important,” adds Honey. “Music with positive meanings should always be used as this creates loving energy surrounding the baby.”
The crib or bassinet should be placed against a wall and not under a window or in direct line with the entrance of the room. After placing your baby in the crib at night, observe the position he or she assumes by morning. Babies usually turn the tops of their heads to face what is naturally their most comfortable position, and you can turn your crib to match it.
Feng Shui don’ts
Barbara Dellinger of Healing Environments lists things to avoid in every baby’s nursery:
- The room should not be above the garage (garages have very negative energy, as well as possible leaks from fumes.)
- There shouldn’t be anything violent in the room (especially as the child gets a little older and wants posters of scary creatures or animals). These create negative energy and can be very disturbing to children (and adults for that matter).
- There should be no “poison arrows” pointed towards the child’s room — these can be the corners of dressers, a square edge of a column, etc. Again, this sends negative energy to the child.
- Do not place a lot of books on shelves in the child’s bedroom, as it is too much Yang energy.
- No plants, mirrors, TVs or computers. (This is true of parent’s rooms too).
- Do not arrange the crib or bed under a beam, low ceiling or a ceiling fan (all have cutting energy).
- The location of the toilet in relation to the room is very important. Do not locate the bed on the other side of the wall where the toilet stands.
And that adorable musical mobile you bought for above your baby’s crib? Save it for playtime because having anything hanging above baby’s head when she’s trying to sleep can produce negative energy that results in illness, moodiness and restlessness.
Harmony. Prosperity. Health. You really can’t go wrong when you incorporate the principles of this ancient wisdom into your baby’s room.