Feng Shui for Everyday: Hidden Benefits in Your Bathroom

Dear Karen,

I have always flushed my toilet with the lid closed, but I heard you can flush away bad chi in your home by leaving the lid open when you flush. Is this true?

This is a good question, as your query illuminates the amount of inaccurate feng shui information available to the public, especially on the Internet.

With their water flow and pooling functions, bathrooms create both positive and negative energy consequences in your home. The constant rushing of water down the sink, bath drain and toilet, stirs up a lot of chi in your home with a potential to create chaos. Still water, on the other hand, collects the energy around it, and most specifically the positive energy that encourages and attracts finances and good health, so the toilet you’re sitting on is actually a gold mine!

It is advisable, however, to keep the toilet seat down and the bathroom door closed at all times, even when not in use, to support these helpful pooling properties of the bathroom. This practice has aesthetic benefits as well; it prevents you from opening a door and staring into an open toilet at first sight. Keeping your bathroom clean will also attract more positive chi to the standing pools.

Toilets flushed with open lids really do not affect the removal of unhelpful chi, and are, quite frankly, a health hazard. Negative energy in a home accumulates in areas of cluttered, dark, and stagnant areas. Piles of dusty papers, moldy, damp, cold areas that do not receive fresh air or sunlight, unkempt human and pet spaces, and unused areas are huge magnets for all sorts of low vibration energies. Unless these conditions occur in the bathroom, toilet and drain flushing will not remove any negative chi. Likewise, those who save water by not flushing after each toilet use should be aware that unflushed waste becomes stagnant chi and is a severe detractor from the positive pooled energy of clear standing water.

DIY Feng Shui

Hi Karen,

I am very interested in the topic of feng shui. How can I increase my awareness of the good and bad flows of feng shui energy in my house?

Your interest in this wonderful topic and the fact that you have written indicate that you may already be attuned to the dynamics of energy flow more than you think! Understanding feng shui is not much different than the mundane activity of choosing the right melon at the grocery store. Although the melon inside is hidden by the rind, you are able to easily detect the right one by its feel, shape, scent, and often by an instinctive knowing. The cues given by the melon that you respond to allow you to make a good decision.

Or have you ever walked into house or a room and had an unsettling feeling or even an actual negative, visceral response? Without prior knowledge of the argument, misfortune or tragic event that transpired, many of us have experienced this ability to sense the energy trail of an event.

Similarly, feng shui is very much about the information you gather through the senses of sight, sound, scent, touch, and knowing or feeling. Cultivate your powers of observation to notice your neighborhood, your landscaping and building exteriors, and your interior spaces with their colors, shapes, materials and object placements. Sensing requires inner quiet that allows for receptivity to the subtle, non-physical pathways of chi in a space. It is this invisible realm that has so much influence on what is happening at the tangible, physical levels in our environment.

To heighten your feng shui awareness, simply imagine that you are a skilled practitioner. Take three or four deep, cleansing breaths to clear your mind and step outside your home and close the door. Set the intention that you are entering your house with the goal of quietly observing, without judgment, the energy flow in the space. Open the door and re-enter your home.

Begin your walk through by moving from the entrance area to where you feel yourself drawn — left or right. Without judgment, notice where you can walk easily without sensing energy blockages or physical objects that limit your movement. Carefully observe what areas you are pulled to, and what areas you avoid or save for last.

With your feng shui eyes, see and sense areas of clutter hidden or in plain sight. Do you notice any unexpectedly dark, stagnant or unused spaces, or areas that uplift you? Is living energy in the form of plants, animals, fish and natural lighting showing up? Is there artwork on the walls or tables that does not project positive images you find pleasing? Over time humans will adjust their chi to accommodate environmental imbalances and become desensitized to their presence. You will most likely be amazed with a few surprises in what you notice because you are in a neutral state of openness and careful observation. With your new awareness, you can make adjustments as needed. Repeat this exercise at the entrance to each room.

Karen Feldman is a certified feng shui practitioner and interior designer, and the owner since 1994 of Urban Eden, a full-service holistic interior design firm in Providence, RI. Karen helps her residential, commercial and corporate clients to co-create spaces that are beautiful, functional and in alignment with the best interests of their well being along with the planet’s. Contact Karen at urbaneden@cox.net or visit www.karenfeldmanurbaneden.com.