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Feng shui tips for beginners

Inspired to try a little feng shui around your own home? Here are some tips to help you get started:

* Keep passageways unblocked. Doors should generally be kept open and flat against the wall. If there is not enough space in a small or crowded room for the door to open freely and easily, try rehinging it so it opens in the opposite direction.

* Designate one area of your home for storage and keep it organized. Whenever you feel stuck in your life, there is always a corresponding blockage — often a pile of clutter — in some part of your home. Keeping your living space tidy encourages the free flow of energy.

* Take advantage of greenery surrounding your home. Bring nature indoors. Put flowers near the places you sit or sleep. Keep plants around appliances to absorb magnetic energy and radiation, and put a little oscillating fan near the plants for a calming effect, “like trees blowing in the breeze.”

* The direction of your apartment can influence your mood. South-facing apartments are best as you can observe the progress of the sun through the sky and be aware of the natural progression of the day. As the sun’s position changes, your energy shifts as well.

* Be creative with interior lighting. Choose illumination that softens the room and brightens your mood. Fluorescent lights should be avoided as they emit a cold light that can’t be controlled. Hang lights in corners, rather than over sitting or sleeping areas. To add warmth to a room, use floor and table lamps scattered at different levels. Candles help create a cozy feeling.

* Get rid of threatening edges and sharp corners, as these disrupt the free flow of qi. When choosing overhead lamps, go for rounded rather than sharp edges.

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