By special guest, Michele Dufy, Feng Shui Master
Colleague and friend, Michele Dufy, BTB M.F.S. is an Orinda, California resident who, since 1999, enjoys creating “Space as Medicine” Feng Shui one space at a time. Since we’re hot into the start of the school year, the below blog is a great way to start with a clean fresh slate with ancient wisdom to support with study success! Michele is a Canyon Ranch Feng Shui Master, member of the International Feng Shui Guild (IFSG) and Red Ribbon Professional.
Space Clearing is a ceremony associated with restoring positive feng shui, or energy, to our living environments. The key concept in feng shui is energy (chi/qi/charge) management and refreshment, and space clearing has this same goal and function. The ceremony ignites positive intention, calms the heart and mind, and creates a spiritually imbued and energetically aligned optimal physical space. These upgraded conditions aid in staying focused and present, typically yielding the best results in relationships, business, study, and more.
Space clearing for a new school year can start with renewed intentions for academic success. This could include intentions to promote a better balance between school/work, improved self-care, and increased time time for play. Space clearing cleans out one’s mental cobwebs, disappointments, and failures of the past and inspires a fresh, energetic start. Ignite even more positivity by taking inventory on what needs improvement, amplification, and minimization and by setting intentions to make shifts for the academic year. As a parent, you can do this with your child.
After this initial introspection, consider a designated area for study. Space has a huge impact on the effectiveness of study and/or learning. If the location is a busy thoroughfare, like a kitchen counter or cluttered surface like a dining room table, consider moving to a more secluded and quieter spot, like a bedroom and a more open clear surface. A calm environment is more conducive for engaging with, concentrating on, and retaining academic material and processes.
Once a study area space is designated, refresh, and enhance its positive spiritual and physical qualities to promote a fresh start, especially important for a new school year. Start by steeping the space with positive intentions and thoughts. Take time to imagine how an ideal school year would go: likely with ease, growth, and no drama, and bless that space that it will promote these things.
Next, shift your attention to the more ordinary aspects of your study area: the layout. You want to have an arrangement that imbues a healthy relationship to learning, studies, daily responsibilities, and self-care. This comes through the optimal placement of furniture as well as promoting positive and effective energetic encounters with doors, windows, objects, and imagery in the room.
Physical objects in a study room should have designated placement, and evaluate whether the functionality of storage and organization systems are up to snuff. In fact, get a second set of eyes for ways to improve and upgrade from a professional organizer! Keep your study desk as uncluttered and clean as possible to aid concentration and focus.
The placement of the desk or study surface needs to be in the “commanding position” or so that one is facing the entrance/door to the room. The commanding position is a recurring feng shui theme concerned with how one maximizes receiving support and maintains optimal output. For study, this means having a solid wall, representing a mountain, behind you. This placement invites a grounding feeling which supports tasks done from this spot. Looking out from the desk into the broadest expanse of the room inspires and expands creative thought. Conversely, placing a desk against a wall and sitting at the desk with one’s back to the door will adversely affect concentration. It promotes feeling blocked and uncomfortable, especially if one is jumpy or uncertain about who might enter.
Lighting, décor, and environment also have an impact on one’s study conditions and results, and upgrading them through feng shui leads to significant upgrades in study and performance. Lighting that is bright and plentiful supports expansive, focused study. If a source of natural light is available, include it in your lighting strategy. Putting up inspiring imagery, especially on the wall across from where you sit, aids expansive, artistic, and logical thinking while it infuses your breaks and daydreams with positive messaging. Try majestic nature scenes, pictures of admirable people, quotes that inspire you, or images that depict positivity. If it makes you happy, put it up! Further, if you introduce a few oxygen producing green leafy plants, like jade or fiddle palms, they’ll bring life into the space and stimulate mental growth.
Cleanliness counts! Prior to study, make sure your area is clean, organized, and tidy. If it’s a bedroom, get into the habit of making the bed and tidying up before you leave for the day. Upon returning home, settling into a study environment that is fresh, receptive, and welcoming is conducive to learning, as well as far more pleasant.
A distraction-free space is also advantageous. During designated study time, forego distractions such TV, music, cell phones, and laptops displaying content unrelated to your studies. Parents, unless your kids actually need their phones or laptops for homework, encourage them to leave them with you, or completely turned off, till their homework is completed. You’ve likely read about how tech devices have negative effects on the ability to focus, feel or display empathy, and retain content learned. In fact, many pediatricians recommend no more than two hours a day of screen time for kids, yet many exceed that regularly.
In addition to all these upgrades, traditional feng shui space clearings can include rituals with sage, bells, or drums. The most traditional of all ceremonies, the citrus water space clearing method, infuses the environment with the mindful intention to create abundance, health, and protection. This could be helpful for study as well.
Compliance with feng shui has profound positive effects on ones study process and promotes academic success. Setting up an area that is comfortable, supportive, and relaxed is easy to do, and these small adjustments early in the school year promote better all-around study habits for the entire school year. Happy Space Clearing and Happy New School Year!
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