Feng shui for Your Family: More Peace Less Perfection
Photo credit: Skyla Design on Unsplash
Our family home is a place where we as parents can nurture the values that we hold dear for our families. It’s often easy to grab a tip or hack that you see online, but when you want more intentional, personalized change for your family, the practice of feng shui can be your guide and partner along the way. Since I began practicing feng shui I have begun to integrate the practice into my family’s daily life in small yet meaningful ways. Here are five simple and subtle ways I have brought more peace and harmony into our home.
Clarify your goals
The first step is to clarify your goals and create a practical plan to meet those goals.
Each season, I take some time to observe how things are going with our family. How is each family member doing with their schedule? Are we hurried or are there things that we are not getting to? I try to make a few notes each day for a whole week to see what is working well and where we need improvement in our weekly routine. This fall, as we shifted from the longer, unstructured days of summer to the full days of fall, I found that with our busy schedules we needed to return to more routine in our daily home life and specifically, create more calm and meaning around our meal times together.
Start with you
Before I asked anything of my family, I first started with my own personal work.
Any change that we want to implement in our homes can be made more powerful by first adjusting our own qi so that we can be more present and connected to ourselves and our families. For me, I wanted to rededicate myself to my meditation practice and use that time to shine a light on the things that were working in our family before I made any changes. A simple visualization that I often use is imagining a warm, bright light enveloping each child. I picture my child at their fullest—content, smiling, and full of their own unique life energy. I then pictured all of the good things that were going on in our days, lingering on those moments I wanted more of in our lives. Holding a tiger’s eye crystal during this practice is thought to bring more harmony, grounding and positive Earth energy to your practice, and I found it to be helpful to jog my memory on the days that I was having a harder time focusing.
Choose a focus
My meditation practice guided me towards making some small, but meaningful changes in our weekly routine.
My first focus was to build upon on our regular dinner time together to make this not just about food on the table for hungry bellies, but a chance for all of us to connect with each other at the end of the day and transition more easily to sleep. I often took on the responsibility for the entire meal while the kids played, but I realized that while I enjoyed the alone time, I often felt burnt out from doing so much at the end of the day and the kids were annoyed to stop their play abruptly to eat dinner. I was deeply inspired by Kim John Payne’s vision of a family dinner in his book Simplicity Parenting, where he describes a family dinner routine where every member of the family is involved in the entire process of the meal, from prepping food to setting the table and cleaning up. Each family can make this routine their own, but through it all, the conversation is plenty, the day is downloaded, and everyone contributes to the tasks at hand.
Set up and create structure
To implement any new routine into your family, it is helpful to do all of the practical set up before you share the idea with your family.
To set up our family dinner night, I first made sure that all of the things needed to set the table were within reach of our dining area. I cleared and cleaned our dining table. I posted our weekly meal routine (such as pizza on Monday, BBQ on Saturday) so everyone knew what we were having each day. On a nearby table, I set a Tibetan bell that I had been using to call everyone to dinner alongside a candle and snuffer that we could light as part of our meal time ritual. Throughout this process, I made each of these changes with intention, envisioning the positive family connections that we would make as we used each item that I set out in preparation.
Add in feng shui
Before announcing the idea to everyone, I deepened my commitment to this new family routine by practicing a feng shui ritual that resonates and supports any new beginning that you would like to kick off with your family.
I bought three plants from my local garden store, choosing herbs that we could use as we cooked, and placed them with intention and reverence, imagining how this family meal together could transform our family. To make this a more powerful adjustment, you could add these three plants to the New Beginnings area of your home along with the same placement ritual. You could also choose to include your family in this part of the process, asking each family member to envision how they will contribute to this family goal.
Try to Remember: Enjoy the process, open your heart, and never strive for perfection
We are still practicing our family dinner and I expect it will take the greater part of this season to implement fully. Along the way, I have also adjusted my own expectations to be less focused on the outcome of a perfect meal and more about the process. I continue to use my personal meditation as a way to “see” all of the good that is already happening. And every time those plants catch my eye as I go about my daily tasks, I am renewed in my hope and commitment for this special family time.