This month, in the final segment of Finding Your Chi, we explore how to incorporate Chi into your daily routine to create more harmony and balance in your life.
Last month we learned how to find and develop your Chi through meditation, focus and exercise. At the heart of bringing Chi into our home and daily life is finding the balance of Chi within us. When our Chi is balanced, the Yin and Yang inside us is also balanced.
A well known method of incorporating Chi into our lives is through the art of Feng Shui. This ancient Chinese practice believes that Chi is not only the energy within us, but also includes the energy of all things around us including their size, shape and color. Feng Shui attracts and supports the natural flow of Chi inside your home which in turn, supports the positive flow of Chi within you. Energizing Chi is known as Sheng Chi and dulling or destructive Chi energy is called Sha Chi.
Start with assessing the flow of Chi in your home, especially in rooms where you spend the most time. Chi energy has a natural rhythm and fluidity. By visualizing Chi as a gently flowing stream, you can see if the flow can enter and move smoothly throughout the entire space or if there are areas where pooling may be causing blockages.
Once you assess the flow, clear the cluttered spaces, including closets. The flow of energy within your home reflects the flow of Chi in your body, which ultimately impacts the quality of your life. The deeper essence of Chi is the connection of our Chi to our intuitive selves. We have all experienced that “gut feeling” about the placement of a piece of furniture or art that just doesn’t feel right. Ever walked into someone’s home and felt restless or a sense of unease? Feel fatigued working in your office after just a few hours? This is your Chi telling you the energy is not flowing well or blocked. Become aware of your surroundings and how the space is functioning. Is their clutter on the desk or floor? How is the lighting? Is the furniture blocking windows or doorways? Is the energy able to flow easily throughout your space? If not, what can be moved or eliminated to create a seamless flow of energy?
Maintaining the flow of Chi energy in your physical space is only part of the equation. Developing and maintaining your inner Chi through lifestyle habits is the other. Our attitudes, emotions and sense of well-being are all influenced by our Chi. Balancing diet, rest and exercise is essential to balancing the flow and reserves within us. We aren’t aware of our energy flow most of the time, but think back to an occasion when you were excited about starting a project. Your Chi was flowing freely. Recall a time when you were feeling angry or sad, your Chi was probably low or blocked. When worry and stress take over, the body’s natural response is to protect itself by tensing the back, shoulder and neck muscles, restricting the flow of Chi. Your body needs to be in a relaxed state for Chi to flow freely.
Becoming mindful of how our bodies are feeling and reacting to situations and surroundings is key to maintaining the flow of your Chi. There are many simple breathing, relaxation and visualization techniques available to improve your Chi energy and enhance your quality of life. Experiment with one or two exercises that feel comfortable to you and set small reasonable goals to achieve them. Becoming aware of the triggers that create tension is a conscious activity that will take time and practice to master. Eventually it will become easier, almost to the point of doing it automatically. You will notice and feel the benefits and the improved sense of well being you have attained. The more life energy you receive the more active, focused and uplifted you will become.