I want to talk to you about feng shui and the bedroom. Now, I'm sure no expert! This is a complicated subject that has many layers of knowledge and many nuiances, like any cross between "art" and "science." It is also very old, grounded in geomancy principles of the Daoist philosophy of ancient China. Some people swear by it. Me - I'm open minded on the subject, but I have to tell you that something I came across some weeks ago while looking at bedroom design sites on the internet rattled me enough to induce my fervor to rearrange my bedroom!
What I read - paraphrasing - is this: If you don't want to be carried out feet first through your door, don't sleep with your feet pointing toward the entry/exit of your bedroom!
Well, there was my bed, and while my body and feet were not directly aligned with the door to my bedroom, it was close enough for me to go "hmmmm....."
A "before" bedroom photo. This was taken from just inside the entry to my bedroom -- there is a little "entry hallway" before one is in the room proper. Notice the position of the entry to the bed. As a restless sleeper, it is not uncommon for me to wake up in the morning with my body stretched out diagonally across the bed - with my feet pointed right toward that doorway! Eek!
So, I did some additional reading on the subject of feng shui principles specifically applied to one's bedroom, and learned some interesting things:
1. Best not to have any mirrors in your bedroom at all, but if you do have a mirror, make sure it's not reflecting the bed. Oh oh. Before photo below: triple mirror directly across from my bed! Eek!
2. Other than a soft canopy, have nothing hanging above your bed (ceiling fan, beams, chandelier). A-okay in that area.
3. Don't have your bed aligned with the entry door. Best position for a bed is called the "command" position, which is a location farthest away from the door but where you can still see anyone entering. A bed placed diagonally in this position is fine. Because of the configuration of my room, I've got my bed in probably the "second best" command position.
4. Don't put your bed underneath a window. A-okay there. If bed is near a window, it should preferably be on the right hand side of the bed. A-okay there.
5. Have a wood or upholstered headboard attached to your bed for a "solid backing." A-okay there, although I do have some "plastic" wood trim in addition to actual wood making up my headboard. I think it's the thought (intent) that counts :)
6. Do not block the flow of chi (basically, invisible energy created by all things in the universe) around your bed - so make sure your bed is elevated off the ground and there is room around any canopy and below the bed for the chi to flow freely.
7. Close all doors to your bedroom when you are sleeping, including doors to en suite bath, closet doors, and entry door. This restricts the flow of active chi energy from entering into the room and disrupting your sleep. Hmmm... not a habit I have -- when alone in the house I sleep with my bedroom door open. But for no reason, really. Closet door is always closed except when I'm getting dressed or undressed and moving from bedroom to bathroom (outside off the hallway).
8. Even if you don't have the best designed room to achieve maximum beneficial chi flow, you can use elements of feng shui to mitigate not so favorable aspects and increase the favorable aspects. These principles involve the use of metal, wood, water, air, and "fire" (usually represented by candles and fire-like colors), arrangements of art, floral arrangements, use of books, and other decorative objects strategically placed around the room to create a well-balanced and yet soothing environment in which to regenerate yourself.
9. Remove exercise equipment, computers, televisions, and even your clock-radio (oh no!) from your bedroom, if possible. These objects are conducive to "work" and not to rest and regeneration. They obstruct the chi you need to recharge during sleep.
10. Soft lighting - use a dimmer switch if you have a central light fixture and make sure your bed is not situtated underneath it. Candlelight is conducive to creating the flow of regenerative chi. Several different levels of light is best for bedroom use. No harsh, glaring lamps. With flameless candles readily available, one can now fall asleep with battery-operated candles "flickering" without worrying about burning the house down!
11. There should be balancing tables or nightstands on either side of the bedhead. Oh oh.
There are many more principles involved, but these are the ones that I recall.
Which leads me to my redone bedroom. While the new location of the bed was better as a "command" position in relation to the entry to the bedroom, part of the bed was still reflected in the triple mirror!
This "after" photo was taken on February 13, 2012. Notice how much of the bed you can see in the mirror even though the canopy obscures part of it!
What to do, what to do? I could remove the mirror from the dresser, leaving a big blank wall in need of decorating! The mirror is detachable, but I'm not sure it's a project I could tackle by myself. I could see headlines "Woman Found Crushed by Fallen Mirror..." And not sure that is something I'd want to do. I like that mirror! It adds light and substance to the room.
So, I did some more reading yesterday and found some excellent advice. I can use an artificial floral arrangement placed in the center of the dresser to block (deflect is probably the more correct concept) a large portion of the mirror. I am thinking about what to use from around the house. I do have many silk flowers stashed away here and there, plus the bouquet of silk roses currently adorning the dinette table -- they look so pretty there! It was also suggested that photographs and artwork could be used on the dresser to block the mirror, as well as book arrangements and other accessories.
The first thing I did was change the angle of the bed in relation to its corner, so that now not quite so much of it is reflected in the mirror. In addition, I experimented with raising the height of the two end corners of my canopy during the day, so one can see "into" the room better, and lowing them at night -- even lower than shown in the above photograph from February 13th -- you can see the canopy in the mirror and that deflects the "water" chi flowing from the mirror.
Last night the ties were moved far down, to a few inches below the top mattress level, which resulted in the netting material ballooning out and gently blocking most of the view in the mirror. I can also simply untie the cords holding back the netting, thereby "enclosing" the bottom half of the bed at night while still leaving plenty of room for the good chi to flow around the bed.
After adjusting the position of the bed, I then "shopped my house" as the saying goes. When I put my eyes to it, I discovered many cream-colored accessories that I moved to and arranged on the triple dresser. I put more
Here are a couple of "after" photos of the dresser taken after I did my changes yesterday. Notice how, even with the bottom half of the bed canopy tied high up, the view of the bed has been substantially blocked in the mirror:
"After" photo of dresser top, applying feng shui principles to deflect mirror energy from bed. Added elements included (1) two sets of candlesticks (one brass - a "metal" element, one carved soapstone - an "earth" element) and candles ("fire" element) flanking (2) large (11 x 14) much loved photograph taken in Chicago in 2007 - framed in wood (earth element, the opposite of the mirror's "water" energy); (3) perfume and cologne bottles now removed from plastic bucket and displayed on shined-up brass tray (adding metal element to counteract the "water" element of the mirror); (4) two decorated ginger jars added to either side of the dresserscape (made of ceramic, an earth element (clay), to counteract the "water" element of the mirror); (5) two other special photographs added to dresserscape, one framed in metal, one in wood. All elements were "balanced" across the surface of the dresser, while not stricly symmetrical. Prior elements to counteract the "water" chi of the mirror include wood lamps, ceramic music/trinket box, metal-framed picture, and wood/metal trimmed jewelry box.
Now, perhaps it was just psychological, darlings, but last night I slept pretty darn well for me. I did wake up a few (4-5) times but was able to fall back asleep quickly, and felt generally well-rested this morning, until I tried to walk around with my bum right ankle! Ach! Tonight I'm going to experiment and untie the canopy draping at the end of the bed so it encloses the bottom half of the bed.
Still to be addressed is balancing either side of the bedhead with tables or nightstands -- they do not have to match. Right now, I figure that The Mother Goddess with her subtle but powerful presence on the right side of the bedhead on her wall plinth balances out the energy of the nightstand with lamp on the left side of the bed. But I really do want to add a second nightstand. Which means I need to shop - and also find a second lamp.
Oh my, here I go again...