Feng Shui For Everyday: Doors

There have been some truly hideous and truly dazzling doors in my feng shui career. But the worst, and this will be elaborated on, are those I can barely squeeze through due to the clutter behind them.

Doors are important for reasons almost too numerous to mention. They represent, and literally are, the membrane between your public and private life. Doors are both boundaries and openings. They are the mouths of your home. They should be able to open fully so that your home is fully oxygenated, literally and figuratively. To not be able to do so would be similar to inhaling only minimally because you can’t completely open your mouth.

Clutter and all manner of obstacles behind doors should be relocated. If you are stuck in life, take a look at every door in your home and free it of any obstructions. Don’t even think about living in any ongoing way with a door that is somewhat stuck, especially if you are pregnant, as the door also corresponds with the birth canal of the human body.

If your door is clogged or blocked you will have difficulty attracting and integrating opportunity into your life. The approachway to your main door is important; make it as inviting as a gentle garden pathway. Let it present in ways that draw your attention from one pleasing revelation to another. If you have a straight sidewalk right to your entrance, try to slow things down by replacing concrete with an earthen brick pattern, maybe even cobblestones. Perhaps place some potted plants along the way.

The doors themselves should be in good shape and function smoothly. If you climb deteriorating steps and see litter or planters with dead plants or old soggy newspapers on the way to your door, there will be a lowering of your frequency even if you consciously dismiss it. You may feel relief once inside, but the detritus you slogged through will still be with you on a certain level.

There is a sense in which the representative parts of our homes correspond to the equivalent in our bodies. So if there is decay, rusty hinges, peeling paint, dis-alignment, cracks, etc., in time, it could affect your dental health. Remember, this is your home’s mouth. If you wear dentures, the door and door frame should be a good fit. I don’t know which comes first, the door or the dentist, but you get the idea.

It should be very clear where the main entrance is. The doorway is a portal. It should “entrance” in the best sense of the word. The transition should be smooth and pleasant. If you have street numbers by the door they should be level with each other or ascend upwards sequentially, not downwards.

You may live in an apartment in a third floor walk up; you may live in a basement studio; you may live in a castle; you may live on a farm. Apply these concepts accordingly. Make it easy for life’s good stuff to find you.

Hi Lynn,
My front door leads directly to my back door and I read that this is bad. What can I do to rectify this? The hallway is narrow so I cannot place anything like a shield there.
— Laide

Dear Laide,
This question is so at the heart of feng shui that it will be difficult for me not to go overboard vilifying the straight line.

It is in curves and undulations and meandering meridians that nourishment is delivered and received. The brilliant design of our bodies is an example and the question you ask is in regard to the body of your home. Feng shui is like acupuncture of the environment in that its aim is balance — achieved in many ways such as optimizing chi (energy) flow. Not too fast, not too slow — just right. Moderate, harness, and make beneficial, rapid chi flow smoothly; stimulate and enliven stagnant, congested energy quagmires to dispel them.

The situation you describe of a front door leading directly to the back door would be kind of like living in a house with diarrhea; certainly very little nutrient absorption and also chronically uncomfortable. It’s a set up that doesn’t allow any beneficial accumulation of energy and it’s quite difficult for life’s smooth vitality to enter the adjoining rooms. Energy enters and is funneled straight out the back door leaving nothing in its wake.

You can liken this to the difference between driving on the Interstate versus driving on a country road. It’s not just the difference between a vehicular view of barren or pretty; it’s also the measure of nourishment depleted or nourishment delivered, respectively. Two hours on the highway is exhausting and boring. Two hours in the countryside is interesting.

Life wasn’t meant to be a corridor. It’s all about the journey, right? So let’s create a journey in the concourse running through your home. The rate at which chi travels has to be slowed down and grounded. Anything that accentuates the length and continuity of the trajectory is to be avoided, such as one long runway rug. Create environments within that larger defining one. You say the space is narrow but you do have a floor, a ceiling and two walls. They will be your canvas.

I suggest creating three areas within the hallway energetically. First ground each with its own floor treatment, the more absorbent the better. So three rugs or three separate complimentary floor treatments are indicated.

Place area rug number one. Look to the walls at each side. Get something on each wall so that they are in relationship there. This will slow down the fast-moving hallway energy. It could be art for the walls, a mirror (not two) with a tapestry/art feature. It only matters that they are a presence worthy of notice. Make sure you like it, and you’ve just created micro-environment number one.

Proceed to create micro-environments two and three. There shouldn’t be a jarring synapse between these little chi-moderating stations. It should still flow, but more slowly and gracefully. Curtain, or otherwise embellish, the back door in a way that pleases you.

If you look in a feng shui book you will be advised to hang crystals and perhaps a chime; these are good suggestions too. They moderate and distribute chi, and their placement at doorway junctions off the hallway will help. Remember to sift through these options and select what’s do-able and enjoyable for you. Do not fret, do not worry, do not create a never-ending part-time job for yourself. Just treat your hallway as if it had a soul.

Dear Lynn,
When I come in the front door, there’s a wall. It feels like a block. Is it?
— Sally

Dear Sally,
When you enter a space that isn’t as deep as you are tall, you are diminished a little bit. If it’s the main entrance, its impact is the most damaging over time. It speaks to you subtly, but repeatedly, and the care you must use maneuvering past it requires at least a slight postural adaptation. Part of you, if not your conscious self, believes it must adjust downwards. Expectations are lowered. Compromise becomes the norm. This scenario stunts development a bit and over time, actually becomes frustrating.

Unless you can prevent this from being created in the first place or have the means to make a structural change, this entry needs to be addressed pro-actively. Mirrors can be tricky here. They open up the space certainly, but they also bounce chi back out. Instead, I advise artwork that suggests depth — a larger landscape into which you could seemingly step. Or maybe a “vista enhancer” such as a seaside or seascape. If this is un-appealing, place an item or have an image of something that you love there. This uplifts your energy and provides a counter-balance to the less than optimal space. Sometimes distracting the eye from an offending situation is the best way available to offset it.

You could also introduce sound — chimes, bells, that sort of thing — if you like the idea. Sound changes everything in an instant. I don’t think you can ever go wrong when you compensate for a weakness with beauty, as beholden by you.

The late Lynn Taylor was a senior feng shui practitioner, teaching and consulting in the United States and Mexico for both business and home environments.